Tag Archives: home education


I’ve been wondering for a while what it would take to make me start blogging again, then I realised it’s been a year today since my last post.  If I don’t do it now maybe I never will.  It’s been a very tough year and something had to give, but I have missed it and I think I might need it as my space to process some things.  Or maybe not, but I’ll only know if I try.  It feels like a positive step.  I’ve been feeling hard pressed on all sides for a very long time but something has lifted this week and I hope I am emerging.

Getting outside in this beautiful weather has helped.  We now have two children happy and settled in school (more on this later perhaps) and I am enjoying the time with the three home educated ones all the more because I’m aware how precious it is, and how school is creeping up on us.  We had a lovely walk to Oaks Park on Monday morning, and a fun afternoon with friends in Carshalton Park this afternoon.  I’m storing up all the happy and hoping that blogging at least some of it will help me to remember to be thankful.

Isaiah 44:2-4

This is what the Lord says—
he who made you, who formed you in the womb,
and who will help you:
Do not be afraid, Jacob, my servant,
Jeshurun, whom I have chosen.
For I will pour water on the thirsty land,
and streams on the dry ground;
I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring,
and my blessing on your descendants.
They will spring up like grass in a meadow,
like poplar trees by flowing streams.

The Beginning of the End

Today.  Just another rainy day in August.  Too much to do and yet nothing to do.  I’m lacking motivation today.  Tobias is at football – the first of four sports days with his new school.  I hope he’s having fun even though he will be getting very wet and muddy.  It’s not the official start of term but it feels like it.  And ever since we took him out of school five and a half years ago, this day has been a shadow in the background.  Hardly visible most of the time but always there.  The beginning of the end of our home educating life.  In some ways it’s just a bend in the road and there’s likely to be a lot of home educating going on here for years to come.  But today it feels more like an end than a beginning.

There’s a lot to be positive about.  I’m proud of my biggest boy and I love watching him grow and gain independence.  He has chosen this next step himself, worked hard to get where his is now and is (most of the time) looking forward to this new experience.  I have loved having him at home with me for so much of his childhood and I am so glad I didn’t blink and miss it.  But I have always said it is his choice and now he is ready to move on.

I’m happy for him but I’m a little bit sad too.  Suddenly our freedom to go where we like when we like is gone, and all the children will be affected by that.  But more than that, I’m sad that Tobias’ time will be so structured.  I know there will be lots that he will enjoy at school but I don’t want him to miss out.  I wish he could have the benefits of school without giving up so much time.  Time to learn what he wants to learn and study things in depth.  Time to read a whole novel in a day.  Time to relax with friends.  Time to cook meals for the whole family.  Time to play with his baby brother.

I saw this on facebook yesterday and it summed up a lot of the things I’ve been feeling recently.


I hope we will be able to find a way to work round the edges of school, to live our lives and learn and grow, to keep school in its place as a resource, a part of the education we want our children to have but by no means all of it.

Over the years I’ve often been asked why I’m home educating.  There are many ways to answer that question but the simplest answer is this – I want them to love learning.  I’m proud of Tobias and everything he has achieved throughout his primary school years at home.  But most of all I’m proud and happy that he loves to learn and now I think he is mature enough that school, even though it isn’t perfect, won’t ever be able to take that away from him.  So that’s why I know he is ready to go.

And as I’m writing this he’s just walked through the door – wet, muddy and happy, so I think the first day was a success.  This is it – the beginning of the end.  But I’m hopeful it’s the beginning of something good too.

Tobias (I know you will read this!) – I am praying for you, that you will enjoy your time at school, have lots of fun and make new friends.  I hope and expect you will do well at school, but I want you to remember what’s really important.  Just be yourself – trustworthy and reliable; kind and generous; enthusiastic and open-minded – and then you will be able to make the most of the new challenges and opportunities that school will bring.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)





Chinese New Year Lapbook

If you have been home educating for a while, you have probably heard of lapbooks, which are a quick and easy way to produce a mini topic book.  I’ve been meaning to try it for a long time, and have finally got round to it with a little help from the twinkl website.

chinese lapbook 1

We decided to try the Chinese New Year one first.  We printed off the resource pack from twinkl, which contained lots of pictures and captions along with instructions on how to make the lapbook.

chinese lapbook 2

It’s really simple, and all you need (in addition to basic stationery supplies) is some large sheets of card (A3 or similar) – ours was thick blotting paper because that’s what we had but it was just as good!  The instructions were really clear and the children quickly got the idea, and produced their lapbooks with a minimal amount of help.

chinese lapbook 3

We enjoyed a very relaxing afternoon making the books, and using the internet to find out more about Chinese New Year.  It was a great success and we’ll definitely be heading back to the twinkl website for more lapbooks soon.

Hama heaven and the MP who came to tea

I recently ordered some more Hama beads and they arrived before we went away last week, but we didn’t have time to do it until we got back on Friday.  When I opened the parcel, the children were in Hama heaven, and it kept them quiet for about an hour.

  When I placed the order, I thought it would be enough to last a while, but they already have a list of certain colours they need, so I expect we’ll be back to order more soon.  It was a very peaceful way to spend an afternoon and it occupied the children very well while we talked to our MP (Tom Brake) who came to visit us.  We talked about my Select Committee appearance, and the issues around support for home education.  Owl then asked him how he was going to save our local hospital, and he explained about the campaign he is running.  We also talked about his role as Deputy Leader of the House of Commons and what that involves.  It was an interesting afternoon and a lot of learning went on (not just the children!)  The Hama beads kept the peace throughout the conversation, and I was very pleased with the results.
  Rabbit made the Maxi bead square by herself and then the butterfly with a lot of help from Supergirl and me.  Monkey made the house, the crossed arrow heads and the heart, and Owl made the pine tree with pine cones.  They had so many other ideas that they didn’t have time to complete, so I think they will use the beads as fast as I can buy them.  It looks like they will be on the Christmas lists this year.

Friday round up – 19th October 2012

Another week has flown by.  Last Saturday, Tiddler went to Dramabuds, Owl went to football and the other two had a quiet morning at home.  I think they have all given up on ballet, for the moment at least, which is a bit sad but makes Saturday mornings easier.  In the afternoon all the boys had haircuts, and we did a bit of shopping.  On Sunday after church, the little ones went swimming with daddy, and the big ones stayed at home with me.  They hadn’t tidied their bedrooms despite being given ridiculous amounts of time to do it, so they weren’t allowed to go swimming.  Instead we spent the afternoon trying to sort out their enormous jumbled up Lego collection a bit, and we made some progress.  I think we’d probably need about a week with no interruptions to finish the job though.

Monday started off badly, with lots of small things going wrong, then it got better as the boys had their piano lessons, enjoyed themselves and had made lots of progress.  The day got dramatically worse with the scooter incident (in another post), and the rain which made us abandon the park as soon as we arrived.  However our friends came home with us, and the children had a lovely time, so it ended well.

From Tuesday to Thursday we were at my mum’s house, which was very restful.   On the first day Rabbit was ill again, but she recovered quite quickly.  The children played with Lego, cars, puzzles and games, decorated some teddy cutouts, drew pictures, listened to stories and made biscuits.  They also did a fair bit of Maths (time, times tables, doubling), English (handwriting, alphabetical order and using a dictionary, reading, a mind map for an Autumn poem) and Science (space, rocks and volcanoes).  Owl did a bit of History (the Bronze Age)  and some Latin.  We fitted in violin practice, Reading Eggs, Conquer Maths, Mathletics, Spellodrome and BBC Bitesize Science.  We had two trips to the swings at the village green, and they played in the garden.  They collected leaves and conkers, played Stuck in the mud, Grandmother’s footsteps, Hide and seek and What’s the time Mr Wolf?  On one of the trips to the green, a friend (an eight year old boy) came with us, and the children had a good time playing with him.


Today we came home, and I took Rabbit and Tiddler to Musicbox.  The big three did Reading Eggs and Mathletics, Maths, English, History and Geography, and studied the Lego Christmas catalogue in great detail.  We spent the afternoon peacefully Hama beading, while chatting to our MP who kindly came to visit us after he had to cancel an arrangement to meet with us on the day we went to Parliament for the Select Committee hearing.  Some excuse about having been made deputy leader of the House of Commons the day before, I believe.  This evening we went for supper at our local restaurant, which is very good, and properly child-friendly in an Italian way.  It was a very good end to the week.

Learning together

How do you manage to teach all your children together?  I have been asked this so many times, and I’ve written about it a little bit in another post but in response to a number of requests I am going to try and write a more detailed answer.

I think that one of the issues is that it is easy to set unrealistic expectations of what we want our children to achieve, and then feel that we are failing if they don’t meet our goals.  Some home educating parents aim to replicate what goes on in school, which creates a lot of pressure to attempt to tick all the boxes of the over-complicated National Curriculum.  Having worked as a teacher, I am aware how much of the school day is wasted, and how little is achieved in comparison to an average home educating day (or even a less than average one.)

One of the advantages of home education, is that you can be flexible from day to day and respond to your children’s individual needs.  There will be many days when you achieve far more than is possible in school, so if there are other days when things are not going so well, you can write it off and have a fresh start the next day.  You don’t have to stop in school holidays (how can you make children stop learning anyway?) so you have a lot more time to play with.

Another issue is the question of what counts as work/ learning/ education.  Many people are negative about the idea of home education and doubt that is possible to teach several children at once, perhaps because they have a narrow idea of what education is.  Even those who are doing it may be unsure if they are doing it right, and want to be reassured by the sight of lots of school-type written work at the end of each day.  While there may be a place for this type of work (depending on your educational philosophy), it only represents a small part of the way children learn.  From the moment they wake up to the moment they go to sleep, children are learning all day every day.

Perhaps one way to deal with the question “How do you teach them all together?” would be “Most of the time I don’t, they just learn without having to be taught.”  I suppose you would have to be in quite a bold mood to answer in that way, but there’s certainly some truth in it.  Personally, I use a semi-structured approach so some of what I do would definitely count as teaching in the traditional sense, and often it is very successful and enjoyable.  However on some days it doesn’t work so I leave it, and they learn just as well without me by following their own ideas and interests.  I know that on those particular days by trying to teach them anything specific I would have actually interrupted their learning.

Some practical suggestions

  1. Work alongside each other.  Children can work at the same time on different activities, related or otherwise.  We often use this approach for Maths, where Owl may be working from his Junior text book, Monkey with a workbook or an activity I have made up for him, and Rabbit with a dot-to-dot book or a counting and matching activity for example.  Tiddler does not want to be left out, so he climbs up to the table and demands to “do Maths”.  He is usually happy with a pencil and paper, doing his own Maths which generally involves shapes.  As long as I respond to his requests to “make a circle” or “make a triangle” on his paper from time to time he is happy, and is getting rather good at drawing shapes himself ( he has worked on it for weeks with great determination because it was his own idea.)  When he’s had enough of this, I often give him multilink cubes, Lego or counters to count and sort which he enjoys.
  2. Work together.  This works best for practical activities – art, practical science, cooking, maths investigations.  We recently had a good time doing Smarties Maths (counting how many Smarties there were of each colour, doing a tally chart and making a bar graph) and the difference was only in how much help each child needed with the recording.  This approach can also work well for projects.  We have been learning about minibeasts recently, for example, and all the children have been bug hunting together.  The big three then drew what they had found, and wrote labels and captions according to their abilities.  They also drew a stag beetle which Rabbit and I had found at her Pre-school, and Tiddler coloured in a picture which I drew for him and enjoyed sticking it in his very own (first) project book – he was not going to be left out and luckily I had a spare book!
  3. Be flexible.  Sometimes it works perfectly as described above, but if it doesn’t, be flexible.  If I am doing some work with Owl and Monkey at the same time and one or other starts messing around, I will tend to focus on the one who is being most sensible and turn a blind eye for the time being if the other one wanders off.  That way the child who is behaving best gets my attention, and when his work is done he can go and play while I turn my attention to the other one.  If that doesn’t work, or you haven’t got time, it may be necessary to change your goals for that day.  I tend to find that if I have a completely free day it is almost never necessary to abandon any planned work, but if we are under pressure to go out at a certain time it is more likely that we will have to.  Which leads me on to…
  4. Don’t plan too much.   One of the advantages of home education is that we have the opportunity to avoid the over-scheduling of our children’s lives.  Children in school have a busy day with many different activities and constant transitions with little time for reflection, and in many cases they also have after-school clubs several evenings a week.  Home educators do not have to do this, but very often we do.  There are so many home education groups, outings and classes, all very worthwhile, and of course plenty of after-school activities to choose from as well.   If we are not careful we can create a life for our children which is not that much different from the busy school days we may be trying to avoid.  It is better to choose a smaller number of activities, allowing space between them for relaxation, reflection and down time.   It is also best to avoid planning too many things for our children to do in the time we are at home, so that we have time to allow them to develop their own ideas as well.  I am definitely talking to myself here!
  5. Value different ways of learning.  Children can learn through playing, talking, asking questions, making things, experimenting, acting, singing, cooking, gardening, shopping, using the computer, watching television, listening to stories, reading – and there does not always have to be written work to show that learning has happened.  If, like me, you love writing, you may need to keep reminding yourself of the fact that it is not the only way to learn!
  6. Accept help.  If you are lucky enough to have friends and family who are supportive of your decision to home educate, make the most of any help they are able to offer.  And get to know other home educating families in your area so that you can support each other.  Many families get together so that parents can teach subjects they particularly like, children can enjoy learning together and younger siblings can play together with supervision by one parent while another teaches the older ones.
  7. Take up other learning opportunities.  If you can afford to, you could pay for some specific teaching for your children, in Music, English, Maths, languages, and probably anything else you would like your children to learn.  There will also be free learning opportunities if you look out for them.  Obviously these will vary from place to place, but may include libraries, museums and art galleries, and small local ones are often just as good as the big ones.
  8. Encourage your children to teach each other.  It’s easy to overlook this, as sometimes we are too busy to notice what is going on under our noses, but older children really can and do teach their younger siblings a lot.  I have noticed this many times among my children.  The older ones read to the younger ones, explain things, answer their questions, teach them the names of shapes, colours, letters, numbers – and often without prompting.  Give them lots of encouragement when they do this, and they will do it more often!
  9. Make it fun!  I had to include this because I just asked Owl what is the best way to learn together and that was his answer.  For example, you can do something fun like weighing things and everyone will want to do it.  Advice from an eight year old – I can’t top that!

Friday round up – 20th July 2012

Random things I can remember about what we have been learning this week….


All – learning about stag beetles, beeswax and honey, seeds and vegetables at the Ecology Centre garden party

Owl, Monkey and Rabbit – experiment about genetic difference in taste buds

Owl – learning about bumble bees and honey bees


Owl – writing a blog post; words with silent letters; reading comprehension

Monkey – superhero alliteration; handwriting; writing list of food in cafe role play game

Rabbit and Tiddler – Dramabuds

Rabbit – Reading Eggs

Owl and Monkey – writing Lego pick-a-brick wishlists

All – lots of stories


Owl and Monkey – number patterns (1+2+3+4+5+6)

Rabbit – addition; Mathletics

Monkey – measuring length; telling the time (analogue and digital); Conquer Maths

Owl – reading and marking scales; estimating and measuring mass and capacity; Conquer Maths


Owl – reading about the Bronze Age (Mesopotamia, the Sumerians)


Owl and Monkey (and me!) – our first Chinese lesson


Owl and Monkey – piano lessons and practice

Owl – violin lesson and practice

Tiddler – Musicbox


Rabbit – visit to the National Gallery

Fresh air and exercise

All – outdoor play and activities at Ecology Centre Garden Party; playing in our garden, on bouncy castle, with visiting children at Suburban dad’s work barbecue; our Home Education Group Sports Day; playing outside at another Home Education Group

Owl and Monkey – Beavers Sports Day

I know there is more than this but I’m too tired and I can’t remember…

Superheroes and Eco Warriors

This morning started off early as usual with Rabbit and Tiddler waking shortly after six o’clock.  However, after a while they went downstairs to play and then Monkey came in to our bed.  We often get up before him so it was nice to have his company first thing for a change.  He and Suburban dad started playing I-spy, which some how led to “I spy batman in bed.”  This developed into an interesting game, and we came up with “spiderman eating spinach”, “superman slurping soup” and a few others.  Monkey would like to make an alphabetical list of superheroes and their alliterative activities, but more research is needed as our knowledge of superheroes is limited.  We did find an alphabetical list online, of many I’d never heard of, so we may continue the game later.  It was a fun way to start the day anyway.

After breakfast, Rabbit and Tiddler went to Dramabuds which was also on a superheroes theme.  They had lots of fun practising their superhero skills, and both joined in really well.  It has been really good to spend time with just the two little ones and I have found that I listen to them more when the big ones are not around.  No wonder they are both so loud most of the time – they have to be!  Tabitha is one of the oldest in the class, and I think she is aware of it, so next term she is going to move up to the class for older children.  There is a class available on Tuesdays, so she will be able to go back to football on Saturdays which she has missed.  So Tiddler will get all my attention at Dramabuds on Saturday mornings next term, and Rabbit will be dropped off at the “big girls’ class” on Tuesdays which will work well as I’ll have all the boys with me.  I’ll miss doing it with both of them though.

The boys chose not to go to football this morning, as it looked like it was going to rain, so the rest of the morning was spent peacefully at home.  Suburban dad and I both had work and online stuff to do, so we sat at the dining room table with some or all of the children working alongside us most of the time.  The big three did their sticker Maths books, Rabbit did her summer sticker book and a new dot-to-dot farm book, and they all did some drawing.  Owl also spent a lot of time upstairs doing Lego.

After lunch, Monkey and Rabbit went to their last Ballet lesson of the term.  I think they have enjoyed it, but Monkey is back on saying that he doesn’t like it.  He is quite a bit older than the others as well as being the only boy, and I think that is just too much being different even for a confident easy-going child.  I am looking into classes that are more suitable for his age, and also for Owl who really wants to try it, but it just depends on whether there are any classes available at the right times.

After ballet, we went to the Ecology Centre garden party which was just lovely.  We were only able to get there a little less than an hour before the end, and we could have spent much longer there, but it was great fun.  Rabbit and Tiddler enjoyed a simple craft activity, making flowers out of paper plates with tissue paper petals and real seeds, and Owl enjoyed finishing Tiddler’s when he wandered off.  They spent some time talking about endangered species and looking at a live stag beetle (and two dead ones) and told the stallholder about the (bigger) stag beetle we had found at Rabbit’s Pre-school.

Then we went to the local honey stall, where we felt and smelt some beeswax, touched some pieces of dry crumbly honeycomb and admired the beeswax models and candles.  We also bought some honey in its honeycomb and some rock cakes, and spent a while chatting to the very nice lady who was running the stall.  When I mentioned that I was home educating the children, her response was refreshingly positive.  She told me about someone she knew who was home educating, and what nice children they had, and said that she thought it was much better for children to learn by being out and about in the community talking to people and doing real life practical tasks like meal-planning, budgeting, shopping and cooking.  She continued on this theme for a while, and it made rather a nice change instead of answering the same old questions about home ed that we are usually asked.  Not that I mind people asking, as I am happy to talk about home ed all day!

We then went to another stall where there was a competition about matching seeds to vegetables, and Rabbit gave me some parenting brownie points by answering lots of questions and correctly identifying pea and pumpkin seeds.   The big three also made cress heads, while sheltering from the rain.   The children had a lovely time, and in addition to all the free educational stuff and friendly people to chat to they also enjoyed winning bubble mixture, eating lollies and cake and having their faces painted (Rabbit with the England flag, Owl with the Union Jack and Monkey as Spiderman!)

I enjoyed chatting to a student who was doing a PhD on sustainable food, and as she asked me her survey questions she rather charmingly commented on how much I knew about the subject.  Along with Rabbit’s superior knowledge of seeds (she was the only one in a group of older children who knew any of them) I was beginning to feel that we were quite the eco warriors.  However, we are very inconsistent as we drive a big car, use a tumble dryer rather too much and resort to disposable nappies and convenience foods when we are busy and stressed.  I think we are getting some things right though, and having the veg box has certainly helped our children to be knowledgeable about vegetables – and not too fussy!

Back at home, we did a science experiment about genetic differences in our taste buds.  We all (except Tiddler) tasted a piece of ordinary paper as a control, and then a strip of paper with a substance called PTC on it.  To some people it tastes very bitter and to others it tastes of nothing, and it may be an explanation for why some people dislike the taste of certain green vegetables more than others.  We found that Suburban dad, Owl and Monkey tasted the bitterness quite strongly while Rabbit and I could only just notice it.  This was interesting as we all eat green vegetables, but Monkey in particular loves them (he’s the boy who has been known to say “Oh yummy, hot vegetables”, when they are brought to the table!)  So we discussed other factors that might affect our tastes, such as how often we are exposed to particular foods.  I think that’s another vote for the vegbox!

At the end of the day Rabbit and Owl both asked for some time on the computer and we just managed to fit it in.  I renewed the boys’ Mathletics subscriptions today and for the first time I added Rabbit as well.  She was very excited to try it and she really liked it.  Owl finally managed to finished his long overdue blog post about the National Gallery, and he wanted to try Conquer Maths (finally took the plunge on that today too) but we really had run out of time.  They are all looking forward to doing it, and I’m all for anything which gets them excited about Maths!  It’s been a fun day and it’s nice to look back and see how much “education” has happened without me planning any of it.  If this is what we can do on a busy Saturday, while ordering electrical appliances online, emptying kitchen cupboards, buying other last minute things for our kitchen project, planning and organising the next two weeks’ worth of activities, doing washing up, laundry and cleaning (and many other tasks) then maybe I need to relax a bit in the week and not plan so many things. I need to keep telling myself this – there is no stopping children learning and complicated plans are really not necessary.

Friday round up – 13th July 2012

Some of the things we have been learning this week.


  • Owl – rounding to the nearest 10 and nearest 100; estimating and measuring length and mass
  • Monkey – 2D  and 3D shapes; symmetry; comparing and measuring length and mass; Mathletics
  • Rabbit – counting and writing numbers to 20
  • Tiddler – drawing circles and triangles; counting
  • All – using the balance scales with an assortment of hexagram weights, multilink cubes and other objects


  • Owl – punctuation of speech; imperatives; spelling words with silent letters
  • Monkey – handwriting; rhyming phrase poem; acrostic poem; writing the names of Lego Minifigures
  • Rabbit – mazes; captions
  • All – reading and listening to stories


  • Owl – vertebrates and invertebrates
  • Monkey – BBC Bitesize Science
  • All – pond dipping and looking at some of the creatures using a video microscope


  • Owl and Monkey – piano practice and lessons
  • Owl – violin practice and lesson
  • Tiddler – Musicbox

Art and craft

  • Rabbit – maxi Hama bead butterfly; making cards for Pre-school teachers
  • Monkey – making snowflakes
  • All – clay modelling


Owl and Monkey – discussion about which continent has the most countries (Owl said it was Africa with 52 countries, which is more or less right – I checked and found two different sites, one saying it has 53 countries and the other saying 54!)  We also looked in our Children’s Encyclopedia to find out more about the continents.

Fresh air and exercise

  • Rabbit – Pre-school sports day
  • All – playing in the garden with Home ed group friends; lots of walking and playing outside on the pond dipping outing


  • Owl – Lego plans for museum
  • Monkey – designing a family coat of arms; making dens
  • Rabbit – playing tea parties
  • Owl and Monkey – making posters about healthy eating and exercise at Beavers
  • Monkey, Rabbit and Tiddler – the messy flour game

More pond dipping…can’t get enough of it

Today we went pond dipping again, this time as part of a larger group of home educators.  It was a 40 minute journey which I found quite stressful as I was tired after a sleepless night, but it was a very successful day and well worth the effort.  To call it pond dipping is an understatement, as it was not a pond but a large lake in a beautiful park which I would love to explore more of in the future – especially when I am not on my own with all four children!  I was a little on edge to start with as I arrived to find the buggy was not in fact in the back of the car, and after Tiddler’s interpretation of pond dipping last time being “dip yourself in the pond” I would have preferred not to have him on the loose all the time.  However, he was very sensible this time and did pretty much what he was told, so he had a good opportunity to catch a few “wiggly fings” (as he joyfully shouted at regular intervals!)

The other three enjoyed having a lot of independence as I couldn’t leave Tiddler for a second, and they all caught some interesting creatures.  At the very last minute, Owl caught a dragonfly nymph skin which is causing great excitement as he has been allowed to bring it home.  I’m not sure I can remember everything but among other things we found water boatmen, leeches, bloodworms, pond snails, water scorpions, newt tadpoles, water hog lice, water spiders, some tiny fish, and larvae of various insects (mosquito and mayfly among others.)  We also saw some damselflies and heard a very noisy marsh frog

We were able to examine our finds more closely back in the classroom, and we looked at a couple of tiny ones using a video microscope which was a wonderful experience.  The children were amazed to see so much detail on the screen and then to look at the creatures themselves which were just tiny dots you could barely see.  We looked at a ramshorn snail and a water flea, and could see their hearts beating.  Then we looked at the dragonfly nymph skin and could even see tiny creatures crawling over its eye.

After the session finished we had our lunch in the outdoor picnic area and the children played for a while, and then we headed back to the carpark, seeing some rabbits on the way.  It started to rain just as we were leaving, and the journey back took much longer than it should as I got lost, mainly because I was so tired.  I feel thoroughly exhausted now but also that good feeling of having learnt stuff, had lots of fresh air and a successful day out with the children.


Dragonfly nymph skin