Tag Archives: art

Andy Goldsworthy arranges natural objects to create Magical Land Artworks

I had to share this, its so cool and inspiring. Don’t forget to show it to the family too and re-share 🙂 Go out in to nature alone or with your partner, family, friends etc and have a go at  creating your own.

Scottish sculptor Andy Goldsworthy creates transitory works of art by arranging leaves, sticks, rocks or anything else he can find outside.

Most of Goldsworthy’s art is considered transient and ephemeral, causing people to perceive it as a criticism on the Earth’s fragility. However, for Goldsworthy, the meaning is more complicated.

“When I make something, in a field or street, it may vanish but it’s part of the history of those places,” he says in an interview. “In the early days my work was about collapse and decay. Now some of the changes that occur are too beautiful to be described as simply decay. At Folkestone I got up early one morning ahead of an incoming tide and covered a boulder in poppy petals. It was calm and the sea slowly and gently washed away the petals, stripping the boulder and creating splashes of red in the sea. The harbor from which many troops left for war was in the background.”

For more and to see some of the artwork he has created go to:

Man Arranges Leaves, Sticks, And Stones To Create Magical Land Artworks

Home ed Diary 09/05/16 – 21/05/16 part III

What an absolutely busy, yet fun, action packed week! And it hasn’t stopped. We had a fairly laid back day on Saturday. Our main thing was grocery shopping and catching up on household chores… On the Sunday morning, Inky and Bri, picked Inkys bestie up for an all day play-date in the morning. We had a fun day. My man Sam took the morning off from working on his camper, and we went to the local playground on the seafront, expecting it to be warm as it had been the past week or so, but it was freezing. So we went and got ice creams at the local lake where we found some wind shelter. Bri had a nap when we got home. His eyes were real watery from teething and were made worse by the incessant cold wind outdoors. I had some ‘me’ time whilst Bri was napping and Inky was occupied with her friend. She got picked up at 6 and then we went to my dads for dinner. Inky ended up staying there for the night….

The next morning, Monday 16th May, my Dad dropped Inky off early before work. We walked to my Nans house, who lives a ten minute walk away (5 without kids :p ) and had breakfast with her and a couple of guests who had come over from Germany for my Nans (we call her Oma in German) birthday. Both our children are fluent in German and its always nice to show off their skills, especially to Germans. Plus its proud Mummy moments hearing them talk accent free and totally fluent not just in English 🙂 We stayed till around midday before walking to out local town with the scooters and buying ingredients for Inky to make cookies for Omas birthday tomorrow – again, single handedly. Sams Mum came over for dinner in the evening after work to see the kids. Inky wheedled another sleepover – this time at Sams Mums….

Tuesday May 17th – My Omas birthday. We munched our way through quite a lot of the cookies Inky made yesterday afternoon last night, so Inky had to make another batch this morning. This resulted in us missing trampolining and so we went to Omas early to wish her a happy birthday, taking home made cards, cookies, flowers and a gift. My aunt was already there, as was my sister with her baby, my Mum and a couple of friends. We stayed till late afternoon, went home to hang up washing and mundane stuff like that, then went back to my nans at 6. My eldest brother and his girlfriend, plus all of my cousins (4 of them) from my Mums only sister and their partners plus one of their children were there. We ended up staying until really late catching up with everyone. Another pleasant home ed day…. those of you reading these diary style entries will see how sociable and outgoing the home ed world really is, with plenty of learning mixed in…..

cuz wuz

Now for the last part…

Home ed Diary 09/05/16 – 21/05/16 part IV

Back to teh beginning if you missed it, or if you liked it so much you want to read it again….

Home ed Diary 09/05/16 – 21/05/16 part 1

Home ed Diary 09/05/16 – 21/05/16 part II

Thursday 12th – my mums birthday of course! My sister picked me and Bri up after she dropped her eldest son to school. She also has a 3 month old little boy. First of all we went to pick up a gazebo my Nan had gotten my mum for her garden for her birthday so we could put it up for a little garden birthday party Mum had organised for that evening. Then we drove to my Mums from where we walked to the local cafe for breakfast, smoothies and coffees. Our Dalmatian, Shadow, came too. Brian took his scooter down the quiet residential streets and him and Inky took turns on it. It was a lovely mild morning and we sat outside in the sun. The atmosphere and company were perfect. We stayed there a good few hours. After walking back to mums, we all went off to sort out various things, Inky stayed with my Mum. My sister picked me back up after picking my other nephew up from school and we went back to my mums for the garden party. 2 out of my 3 brothers turned up and my sister of course with her 2 boys, and everyone’s partners…. more lovely family time 🙂 The only downside to the day was our Dalmation, who is epileptic, having 5 horrible seizures after 4 and a half months of none. My mum was very sad, but still had a lovely time with her children and grand children.

The next day, Friday 13th, my man Sam gave me and the kids a lift to Inkys best friends house. From there we grabbed a lift to Bignor Roman Villa with her family. I only have use of a car a couple days a week at the moment, it’s a bit challenging to get places sometimes but somehow we always manage… we got to the Roman Villa just after 10am and met up with around 10 other home ed families to attend an organised ‘educational’ day. The kids got given Roman robes of varying rank and then were talked through what their status would have been. Inky was dressed as the rich wife of a villa owner. There was a longish workshop before lunchtime, a guided tour by an amazing lady called Liz. She captivated the childrens attention entirely with her enthusiastic and passionate way, talking them through the history of the villa and explaining the mosaics, what they thought the missing pieces may be, what they thought the rooms that had been preserved were used for…. I was so proud of all the home ed lot, especially as ages ranged from toddler to 10/11 years of age. They were all attentive, inquisitive and polite, as well as some of them being rather knowledgeable about Romans when questions arose. Lunch was a happy affair, in the West Sussex sunshine surrounded by rolling Down land and woods. Again, I have to say that all the children got on wonderfully, all ages mixing. The older kids, including Inky, played some game with the younger kids they made up and which evolved in to something that was lovely to watch, all of them, running around. Once or twice an adult had to step in but nothing bad…. After lunch the group was split in 2 for a hands-on workshop. The first group used beeswax tablets, similar to those which would have been used in Roman times, as well as trying their hand at mosaic patterns. The other group got to make flour the good old Roman way. The groups obviously swapped activities when they were done. After the workshop finished, approx 330, we stayed another hour hanging out with our friends and Inky got to choose a couple things from the gift shop. Oh, and there was ice cream for everyone of course 🙂 Inky went back to her friends for a sleepover, and Bri and I got a lift home… Inky changed her mind about the sleepover though so I went to pick her up at 8pm, just when I was about to get Bri to bed. Luckily I had use of the car in the evening!

Home ed Diary 09/05/16 – 21/05/16 – part I

Home ed Diary 09/05/16 – 21/05/16 part III

Home ed Diary 09/05/16 – 21/05/16

Well, last week was a very busy, fun, happy ‘social’ week for us.

On Monday 9th Inky had her third session of English film literacy group, run by another home ed mum. She has just completed a training course in teaching this and offered to run a six session course for up to 10 home ed children. 6 attend. The same 6 who also attend history and art history sessions run by the same Mum. She is very good at delivering the material in a way that engages and motivates them.

On Tuesday 10th Inky had a chiropractors appointment and then her and Bri had an hours trampolining lesson. Inky has been going for a year and a half and is working on badges. Bri just started trampolining about a month ago. Starting age is normally 4 unless they have an older sibling attending. Trampolining lessons are run by yet another mum. There is a waiting list! Late afternoon Inky had gymnastics from 16:30 – 18:30. This is NOT a home ed group, its open to all. Inky went to gymnastics from age 2-8, then had a year and a half gap and did kickboxing instead as well as go horse riding. She then stopped these and has been back at gymnastics for the last 8 months…. SO SHE DOES SOCIALISE for all you worry warts out there… and not just with kids her own age, or home ed exclusive :p

On Wednesday 11th we went to Inkys monthly art and drama home ed session from 10-12:30 in a very rural location, the hall surrounded by forest and some cool sand cliffs which the kids over course climb all over! My Mum dropped us to my nans after where I spent a few hours cleaning her 3 bedroom house top to bottom and changing the beds ready for some guests who were due to arrive on Friday for my Nans birthday next week Tuesday 17th May. On top of our already busy day, when we got home Inky baked fairy cakes all by herself for my Mums birthday the following day, the 12th May. We sampled some of her creations, she’d topped them with molten dark chocolate. YUM.  She then made a card and wrapped the presents she had bought with her pocket money. Inky stayed the night at my mums so she could wake up with her tomorrow on her birthday…

inky painty me n bub



Home-schooled children have a stronger link to their parents

Posted by viola woolcott

It is undeniable but home schooled children generally have a stronger link to their parents. Childrens’ manners and their outlook on life change a great deal when they are sent to school. No wonder. They are brought up and ‘shaped’ by

  1. A system designed to keep everyone at the same level at a certain age.
  2. Teachers who are perfect strangers with potentially differing views to your familys (who knows what they are filling our childrens heads with) and could potentially bring their problems with them to work and take it out on the kids. Of course this does not include the genuine, lovely teachers out there who do do a good job…
  3. Copious amounts of kids they are forced to associate with from all different kinds of backgrounds

Basically, you have to trust a total stranger, a person you have never seen before and will never be on a first name basis with to bring up your precious child and ‘prepare’ them for the real world.  Why would you want to do that? You will tell your child to be good for mummy/daddy and listen to their teacher and do exactly as they say or they will get in to trouble.

Let’s face it. Most children don’t want to go to school, and that isn’t because they are naughty, or want to push your buttons and argue. They have a natural instinct. They KNOW what is good for them. They KNOW what they want. And the last thing they want is to be told and sit down for most of the day and shut up. If they don’t, they get labelled as hyperactive, disruptive, unable to focus etc and may soon end up on some medication, especially in teh USA.

Any child that is home educated in a loving and supportive surrounding will be in a better, greater position in life to form a healthier and positive self image. Same goes for kids who go to school as well to be fair. It shocks me how some parents talk about and to their kids – I witnessed it enough myself when my 5 kids went to school –  these are the ones who are more likely to suffer when they get older –  look around and if you haven’t already noticed, see how many grown ups lack self-image and self-confidence. These are irreplaceable advantages home-schooled children grow up with when they mature into adulthood.

Home-education can definately help and support children to be more positive as well as think and ‘act’ more independent. They grow into a greater decisive thinker. Going to school, these traits aren’t emphasized as there is never enough time. Lets face it, an hour in school is 45 minutes long. And that hour has to be shared by 25-30 children. And not all of them want to learn. A lot don’t understand or lack interest in the subject. So how can they learn anyway? Teachers only teach what is mandatory by law. Sounds like robots working a conveyor belt to me!

Every one of us has their own area of strength as well as challenges. Home-education is the perfect setting to address each of them. Homeschooling is without a doubt a far more customized way for your childs education. Not that there aren’t those who thrive in a school setting, but if they don’t and are unhappy take them out of school!

Lets see. A homeschooled child that is weak in a certain subject will get the opportunity to receive one-2-one attention in the subject and it will allow the child to excel in the subject and move forward. The child can develop further and has the opportunity to grow in a supportive and healthy atmosphere. So, I would say that the child has the chance to develop educational skills redargless of it’s strength and weaknesses. The child is supported in a safe as well as a loving setting.

My 10 year old grandaughter Inky is home-educated, and so will her brother Bri (2) be when he reaches ‘official’ school age – and I can only say that I support my daughter Ina the whole way. I can see the creativity, the fun, teh excitement and the purposeful meaning in all they do. Thing is, you learn about your childs or grandchilds strengths. You learn about their weaknesses. You can support them. For example Inky is really into gymnastics, trampolining, swimming, horseriding, art, reading, history, science, sleepovers, watching movies/series and playdates. She also LOVES being outdoors. She gets to do plenty of all of this. We don’t stop her. We support her. Explain and stimulate the young mind by making it all fun. Makes me think of Mary Poppins – ‘In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun, find that fun, and snap the jobs a game, til every task we undertake, becomes a piece of cake, a lark, a spree, its very clear to see…. ‘ Home-schoolers have a greater interest in learning. They don’t have to compete. You can teach anywhere. It doesn’t matter where, what time, how long. The world is your oyster and teaching is your playground.

TIME IS PRECIOUS VERY compelling reading

Benefits of Home Schooling

Creative Art, Deadlines

Short but sweet – shows how when under time pressure,  kids creativity is killed! The kids in teh video are given just 10 seconds to complete a drawing. They all pretty much draw the same picture. They are then given 10 minutes to complete the picture – colourful creativity and talent really starts flowing. WOW. Imagine having hours, days to come back to art projects and designs and expanding on them.

Creativity is not inspired by the pressure of time,

but by the freedom, the playfulness and the fun.

Follow the link to watch the video. MUST WATCH 🙂 Deadlines

Charlotte Mason Teaching Philosophy and Methods

Submitted by Claire ~ ‘we home educate our 3 children and use some – not all – of Charlottes methods mixed in with a huge sprinkling of autonomy’.

“Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life. Education is the science of relations.” C. Mason

The philosophy and teaching methods of Charlotte Mason are easiest broken down into several principles. Her beliefs entailed that children were born persons and should be regarded as such, being taught the Way of the Will and the Way of Reason. Her maxim for students was as follows – “I am, I can, I ought, I will.”

1 – Habit training Children need to learn how to control their actions/behaviour. Charlotte encouraged children to learn to pay attention, be truthful and respectful,  have an even temper, to be neat, to show kindness and gentleness, to have order, be good at remembering, to be punctual and clean, among other things. Generally a child works on a designated habit over a four to six week period.

2 – Short lessons Charlotte was in favour of short lessons for younger children, which became steadily longer with a childs age. Young children should study a subject no more than 15-20 minutes before moving on to the next study area. This supports a child in learning how to commit their full attention to the task at hand. In this way a diverse and varied education is offered.

3 – Art/Writing/Music Appreciation Art is a place where living ideas are found. The great ideas of women and men of history are made known in their work, whether it be a painting, writing or music. Here Charlottes method was as always, gentle and inviting. This was no lesson in art criticism. A picture was shown and the artist was named. Children would study the picture until they could see it clearly in their minds eye, then the picture would be put out of sight. The children were then asked to describe what they had seen. Then the picture would be presented again and new aspects would be noticed together. There should be no interference with a child building personal kinship with the artist’s work. Works by the same artist are studied for several weeks so a child gets familiar with their style. Music Appreciation is similarly taught by listening to the works of composers.

4 – Living books – Perhaps one of Charlottes best known method is the use of living books written by someone who is enthusiastic about the subject writing in a colloquial or conversational way, as opposed to arid, factual textbooks. Whether the book is long or short is irrelevant so long as it is ‘alive’ and captivating. If textbooks fall into this category, then their use is allowed. ‘Twaddle’ refers to information or books that are ‘dumbed down’ and offend children’s intelligence. Living books should be used with as many subjects as possible.

5 – Narration – Children need to give a narration about what they have read, whether in writing, drawing or orally. The child has to integrate all they have read, then organise it in their minds, and then decide the best way to convey all that is recollected in their own words. This should be done after only one reading of the material.

6 – Copy work – Children are provided with a sentence, paragraph or phrase, rather than single letters, to copy in their best handwriting so they don’t repeat a single letter over and over again on one. This should only be done for a few minutes daily. This will help support a child in learning how to commit their full attention to the task at hand without becoming tired or bored.

7 – Dictation – Prepared dictation was used by Charlotte to teach spelling, make grammar effective and to perfect the art of composing literary work. A child would be provided with a sentence, paragraph or passage to study until all the spelling, punctuation and where to place capital letters was learned. Once studied sufficiently the sentence / passage / paragraph would be read aloud by the teacher a sentence at a time and the child would write whilst the teacher watched and corrected any spelling mistakes at once. This method enabled spelling to be taught within the context of great ideas and rich language rather than motionless lists.

8 – Grammar – Charlotte thought that since grammar is the study of words, not of things, it would be a hard concept for young children to understand. She advocated the formal study of grammar be delayed until the child was 10 years of age and that regular study of narration, copy work and dictation would form the basis for grammar study.

9 – Poetry – This was an essential, daily element in Charlotte’s schools. Shakespeare was frequently studied. Poetry was not presented for analysis and criticism though. Poetry was recited and read aloud, it was shared together, as a way to show big ideas of the past. In this way the childs interest was kindled and they were encouraged to form their own relationship with a particular poet and his thoughts.

10 – History – again, best learned with the aid of living books -autobiographies, biographies and narration. On top of this Charlotte’s students had a ‘Book of Centuries’ comparable with a personal time line in a notebook. As they were studied, people and events were added to the pages.

11 – Geography – also best learned through living books. History is an account of what happened at a specific time, geography of where it happened and how the surroundings had an effect on this. Short map exercises can be implemented as a means of teaching and perfecting the art of map reading

12 – Foreign language Charlottes students learned French as a second language. In line with her philosophy, foreign languages were best taught in a living setting.

13 – Bible Charlotte required children to read the bible daily and gave children credit if they were able to comprehend passages straight from Scripture. Each academic year various large sections were selected to be learned by heart and recounted orally.

14 – Nature study – In Charlotte’s schools one afternoon weekly was committed to spending time outdoors. For nature study, children require a sketchpad to draw and label the different aspects of nature they observe. Regular nature study paves the way for meaningful science lessons.

15 – Math – The importance of children comprehending maths concepts before doing any hand written equations was highly stressed. Children should be stimulated to reflect on and think through the reasons of solving word problems – in other words, how math is relevant to life situations

16 – Scouting –This is also known as the Scout Movement, a worldwide youth movement with the goal of supporting young people in their physical, mental and spiritual development, in the hope of aiding them to have constructive roles in society. Charlotte was the first person to become aware of the educational potential of Scouting applied to children. April 1905, Aids to Scouting by Robert Baden-Powell, was added to the syllabus of the Parents’ Union School by her. This led on to Scouting for Boys and the formation of the Scouting movement. Charlotte alongside her teachers established the Parents’ Union Scouts for boys and girls countrywide, for those receiving home education and those attending schools using the P.N.E.U. system. When the Girl Guides were founded, charlotte suggested that the P.U. Scouts unify with the national organisations for both girls and boys.

17 – Handicrafts – Charlotte thought subjects should be studied in the mornings, and the afternoons should be open for outdoor activities and exploration, exercise, and handicrafts.

Autumn Art, Leaf Painting

autumn leaf art

What you will need

*Leaves! The perfect excuse to go for an autumn stroll in the woods with your kids and collect some leaves – make sure they are not too brittle.

* Good quality paper suitable for water-based paints

* Paint brushes

* Some water to rinse paintbrushes in, and an old tea towel or kitchen paper to dab brush on

*Glitter optional
What to do with your leaves

Cover the area the kids will be working on with newspaper or a plastic sheet.
let your kids select the colour(s) they wish to paint the leaves with on to a palette.
Get them to place their chosen leaf under-side up and paint its entire surface with as many colours wanted. Now press the leaf paint side down on to paper. Once the leaf is removed a beautiful print will be visible.

What else you could do

* Sprinkle glitter on to the paint whilst it is still wet.

* Make a gorgeous collage with overlapping leaf prints in various colours.

* Try making metallic leaf prints on black paper with gold, purple or silver metallic poster paints.

* Paint a tree trunk then print on the leaves to complete the tree!

* Make an autumn leaf wreath by cutting out many leaf prints in autumn hues such as red, brown, orange and yellow. Or even a mutlicoloured glittery one. Then stick them together in a circle.

RELATED LINK: Woodland Trust – Nature Detectives