Friday, 22 July 2011


Our first week off this week and we have done pretty much nothing! Callum has flitted between the computer and the Wii on most days, but he’s also been enjoying discovering music on YouTube. He now wants to listen to some more and really likes Zero-Project; a band from Greece who do instrumental music and whose track 'Gothic' is on his Roblox game. He continues his love of Madness and Ska in general too. Bit opposite ends of the spectrum, but nice to know that he can appreciate all types, hopefully.

Tuesday we went off to hall day and as we had so much swapsy stuff we needed to get a lift. Got rid of most of it and off loaded some more to a friend of ours on the Wednesday. The rest went to a charity shop today. We are concentrating on Science next year along with maths and literacy with a bit of art, sport and possibly music thrown in. This meant we needed to reduce our ‘stuff’ to make room for more ‘stuff’ that we need.

Callum didn’t really socialize at the hall, he does prefer to sit with us adults and drink tea whilst playing on his DS. It isn’t that he doesn’t like the children that are there, but I think, being 12, he is at that in between age.

We also went along to trampolining group on the Thursday which was nice. Got to see everyone again and Sue made it a bit of a fun session. Sue will be our new coach until James returns. Lorraine, Amy and Connor came back afterwards and whilst the kids played on the Wii, we had a good natter. Its funny how, when on his own turf, he will interact better with other children.

I think he has enjoyed his first week off, but I don’t want us to be stuck indoors all the time. He’s moaning at the moment, but I know he will get bored really quickly and start climbing the walls, so am trying to plan between 2-3 days a week where we do something, 2-3 days where we are at home and then, of course, there will be weekends.

Hopefully off to London on Sunday for an archaeology dig at London Bridge. Hope weather holds.


This is just a brief write up of our yearly open day:

Callum’s Open Day went well. Only downside was the rain, meant having everyone inside, although it did clear up a bit later on so the kids went out for a bounce on the trampoline.

Callum set out some ‘experiments/demonstrations’ to show and we printed off some hand-outs. He showed the combustion engine, two electrical circuits, bicarb and vinegar volcano, drinks carton rocket ship, orrery and two wave machines. He also used Newton’s cradle to demonstrate how the water molecules work. He set it all out and did half hour slots for people to see.

The rest of his work was in folders dotted about the dining room. I’m not sure if he reported on any of those, but he did have a major discussion session with his Aunt and Uncle the following day.

House was a bit manic. We had 13 adults, 13 kids and 3 dogs in our house over the course of the afternoon. With burgers and sausages, cakes, crisps and biscuits being eaten, thank you very much to Grace and Carol for bringing along the cakes.

The point is that he, once again, enjoyed it and it was nice to see everyone and show what we’ve been up to. It always gives Callum something to work for each year and the motivation to do it.

Thanks everyone for coming!

Friday, 8 July 2011


It’s been a sad week this week! Callum’s trampolining teacher, James, is off to Australia next month and, Monday was our last private lesson with him. He kept it to a fun session mainly, but slipped in some revision work and some assisted somersaults. He will be so missed by Callum, myself and many others and I’m sure we will all be counting down the days until he comes back.

On the other hand, we hope he has a great time there and look forward to reading his blog about his adventures! Have fun James!!!

Actually we had quite a busy day Monday. We started dead on time which has been getting rarer and rarer as we are on a wind down of this year’s education.
We completed a sheet on Pluto, leaving us only with Dwarf planets to go. We also inputted our bug survey results and were very pleased to see that a few more people have done the survey in our area. The last one we did; we were the only ones. It’s a shame as they are great fun and free.

Phil and Callum finished the combustion engine kit over the weekend and Callum demonstrated it today with a very good explanation, so I think that will go on the demos list for his open day.

On top of that we uploaded and printed off some photos, rearranged some folders and ticked off stuff from the To Do list.

After trampolining we played Dino-opoly. We bought it ages ago and hadn’t got round to playing it. It’s pretty much the same as all other monopolies, but you have dinosaur information on the back of the cards and little quizzes. Callum, of course, won! He is very good at Monopoly; am sure he will be a property tycoon when he grows up.

Tuesday, I woke up with a sore throat and Callum complained his arm was hurting. We think he may have pulled a muscle yesterday, so he sat with an icepack on it for most of the morning and that, along with some paracetamol, seemed to do the trick. As I still felt lousy and we’d done so much yesterday, I said he could take the day easy, but he still insisted on doing his maths and literacy. Meanwhile I attempted to do a little brochure/programme for his open day with brief descriptions and explanations.

Wednesday, we were both feeling a little under the weather, but Callum still managed his maths and literacy and we completed our planet work with the dwarf planets, Eris, Ceres, Makemake, and Haumea. We then had a huge discussion regarding his open day. Trying to work out which rooms the stuff will go in and what demonstrations he was going to do. Oh yeah, we talked about geography this morning, looking up airports to start with on the road map and then went off on a tangent about rivers, mountains and the difference between built up areas and wild areas in different parts of the country; very interesting little chat.

Thursday, we went along to the group trampolining class and saw the kids getting their awards, which was nice. Also being able to see their progress was lovely and, of course, Callum got one more lesson with James. As for the rest of the day, we continued uploading and printing off photos and rewrote our Top Gear review from November last year as that was lost when our computer broke before Christmas.

Today, we just did maths and literacy as he was going off to see his friend, Callum D, this afternoon. But to be honest we really haven’t got much more work that needs doing.

Friday, 1 July 2011


Okay, this week’s update.

Monday was private trampolining. Not long now and James will be off to Aussie. Callum worked hard and got something ticked off badge 8 – yay!!! Terri came along to spend the day with us, so she was there to see what he’s been up to. He’s quite impressive now, especially if you haven’t seen him for a while. I also got Terri to help him make his Sun viewer for his Space project. Cereal box, tin foil, cellotape and a pin hole – all good stuff and it works!

Tuesday morning I was off to Osteo. Callum decided to come with me. We popped into the hairdressers on way home to change our appointment so we can go along to the last trampolining group with James next week. Will be nice to see everyone again and it means we get 2 more lessons in instead of 1. Callum’s new game turned up in the post so he was a happy bunny. Super ScribbleNauts on DS. It’s pretty good from what I’ve seen and he has to spell things so will hopefully help with his words and his confidence in spelling.

Wednesday, Thursday and today we have been at home. Although we did go shopping on Wednesday evening for food and to get his best friend’s present ready for Sunday. We also bought a Haynes Combustion Engine kit. Thought it would be something he can do with dad and also be educational. If they finish it before the 16th we can add it to his Transport project. The rest of the time we wrote up some planet sheets, printed off photos, watched DVDs on Pluto, 1st two episodes of Blue Planet and Horrible Histories on catch up.

Thursday was an extra special day for me as I had a really interesting conversation with Callum about space. Callum started out looking at orbits and came to the conclusion that as planets orbit around the Sun, we, the planets, are in effect Star moons because we orbit around our star (the Sun). He also noticed that planets increase their number of moons as the distance from the Sun increases until you reach Jupiter. After that the number of moons decreases again. He wondered if the number of moons was also affected by the heat of the planet and the distance from the Sun.

We also talked about black holes (he’s fascinated by them) and he is convinced that they must go somewhere. His argument for this is that as Science believes there is no such thing as nothing, how can a black hole contain nothing? Where does all the stuff go to that is sucked in? He also wanted to know what the Universe expanding into as he knows that they say it is expanding? He then came up with an idea that the universe itself could be a sphere?

After having a cup of tea he suddenly went on to explain that if our sun is a large star it will expand, then implode and form a core which will gain mass and pressure and then collapse to form a black hole, which sucks everything into it. If our sun is a small star it will expand as before, then implode and become a dwarf star which continues to release its remaining heat and light until it eventually burns out.
I have to say that I was rather astounded that he:
a) Remembered so much and,
b) Was thinking so intricately
I am always surprised at how much sinks in without me really noticing or really doing that much intensive work! However, I probably should check the facts of the bit about suns as I can’t remember any of that!!!!!

Today we continued with project work but also did our Opal Bug Survey. It’s rather handy not having a pristine garden as it meant we had loads of different environments to look for the bugs. Callum really enjoyed it, but then he normally does enjoy the Opal Surveys.

Hopefully this weekend will be him and Phil doing the Combustion Engine and possibly spending some time in the garden. And on Sunday we will be off to his friend’s house for his birthday.