Thursday, 29 September 2011


Hi all

Early start for us this morning, well 7.45am anyway which is hardly an early start, but early enough for us!

Up and dressed, lunch boxes packed, breakfast eaten, flask of tea made and then off to Wildwood with Lorraine and Amy and some other home ed families.

An excellent, but busy day. Glorious sunshine throughout, but as there was lots of trees (clues in the name really) plenty of shade when needed.

We all met up outside and then ventured in for a quick cuppa before meeting up with Laura our ranger for the day.

First up was a brief tour around the park itself visiting a few animals on the way in a bit more detail.

First up the Fallow Deer:

Next up were the Konik wild horses:

Then Eagle Owl, Red Fox and Wolves:

The wolves were brilliant. Two females, both hand reared (there were others too, but these came up close to the fence when Laura went in, so we could get a close up view). One was particularly 'cute' if that is a word you can describe a wolf with, as she loved having a bit of a fuss through the fence and rolled over onto her back just as our dog, Draco, would do.

Next it was onto the Red Squirrels, past the elusive otters and back to the start.

We then met Gimli the owl who was lovely but very nervous with all of us standing around staring at her. Callum was a little bit shy in going forward, so I had to manoeuvre him into a position where he could see. I went and sat down as my hip was starting to hurt, but he stayed and listened to what was being said.

After lunch and a play in the play area, it was off to meet the bison. They were huge and we were told that, surprisingly, they can run at 40mpm! Wouldn't want to get on the wrong side of those. They did look lovely and warm with their shaggy hair though.

All in all it was a very good day - thanks Chrissie for organising and thanks Lorraine for driving us there. Would like to have seen a lot more of the park, so I think we will have to do another visit without being in a group, just to wander around at our own pace. There were lots that we didn't get chance to see. Must have been a good day as Amy and Callum fell asleep in the car on the way home. hehe

Anyway, cya

Wednesday, 28 September 2011



Today Callum had a chilled out day! I had a friend round this morning for tea and a catch up chat. Haven't seen her for ages properly, so thanks Michelle for popping round.

Callum did do his maths and literacy sheets though and he did two lots as he didn't do them yesterday. Didn't like to mention that he wouldn't be able to do them tomorrow as we are out on a home ed trip, so theoretically he should have done 3 lots, hehe. I was just very pleased that he'd made sure he'd caught up.

He spent most of the rest of the day on the computer playing, you've guessed it, Command and Conquer, Generals! I'm amazed that the fascination for this game has lasted as long as it has, but then it is very Dune like and he's loved that game for years!

Off for the family shop tonight. We went along for a change as there were a couple of items that I desperately needed and didn't want to write a huge list. So Phil went off doing the normal everyday bits and I went off looking for the gluten free bits and the extras I wanted to flavour the veggie food I'm now cooking. Callum flipped between the two of us, ensuring he got a few goodies put in the trolley (he was pushing it); some for packed lunch tomorrow and some for just whenever. Back home and it was dinner, shower and a little chat about tomorrow's trip. He's a little apprehensive, as he always is, but he knows in his heart he will be fine.

Anyway, we are out tomorrow, so might have something a little more interesting to write about.


Tuesday, 27 September 2011



Today was yet another glorious Autumn day, but it did start foggy. Love a bit of fog to walk in; like the idea of walking in a cloud.

We started a little early as we had to change our trampolining lesson to 9am as we were off to a party this afternoon. We arrived just as they were opening up, but our teacher was a little late as her lift to work didn't turn up, so she had to walk in a rush. Callum did really well again doing lots of moves that involved one move to a half or full twist and into another move, eg, front drop straight to half twist straight to front drop in opposite direction. He worked hard and enjoyed the last few minutes launching himself into the foam pit!

We'd taken his kite along with us as he fancied another session of flying it. Off we went to the lower part of the Great Lines, but there really wasn't enough breeze, so we wandered off to the upper part of the Lines in the hope that there would be more wind. Passed a couple of Community Officers on the way who just looked at us, said 'good morning' and walked on. Never ceases to amaze me that we are never asked why Callum isn't at school, but I'm not complaining.

Got to the top part of the Lines, but still no consistent breeze. But by this point we were talking about wildlife and pathways, both man-made and natural. I mentioned that the upper part of the Lines used to be all longer grass, but now they have only kept about half of it as there are birds that nest on the ground. Just as I said it one flew up which was quite cool. We then talked about the war memorial and Fort Amhurst. Callum spotted a train in the distance and wanted to know how it got from Chatham to Gillingham. I mentioned that it went under the Lines and he wanted to see where it went in, so we strolled right over the Lines almost to Chatham so he could see the entrance to the tunnel. Just as we got there a train appeared from underneath and went on its way to Chatham. We then walked back home dropping into the library to change some books. Both rather shattered to be honest, but it was a lovely unexpected stroll.

We dropped into Subway for some lunch and then it was home, drop off library books, pick up present and card, check dog and off we went again to catch bus back to Chatham and then onto Borstal. Popped into Arriva shop to pick up new timetables and D&A toys for an emergency pastel colouring pack just in case we can't get the mosaic kit before next Tuesday when we are supposed to be showing his sister something arty to go towards his Arts Award.

At the hall it was Lauren's 12th birthday party, so lots of running around, music, sweets, food, pass the parcel and general party noise of happy kids. Sun was glorious, so a lot of the time was spent outside. After much munching and singing happy birthday, gathering party bag and balloons and leftover biscuits we just managed to catch the bus home. He is now flaked out on the sofa going through his goodies and drinking a cuppa. I don't think he'll be doing much else today apart from the computer!

So, no maths, no literacy and no science today, just lots of fresh air, general chatter about geography and history and a nice social afternoon. I love home ed!!


Monday, 26 September 2011


Hi all

Just a brief one today. Monday morning arrived bright and sunny and at 9.30am for Callum!!!!! I decided to leave him to it this morning as we've been busy again over the weekend and had 2 early starts at the end of last week, but I wasn't expecting it to be quite so late. Oh well, beauty of home ed is that there is no school run to do or school to get to, so lessons start when we are ready.

10am he was curled up on sofa wading through his daily maths and literacy sheets while I was checking post (which arrived early today) and making us a cuppa. A shriek of "yay" went up and I looked up from perusing The Book People's catalogue to find that he was excited because of a fraction sheet! Yes, I did say fractions. Strange boy. Apparently circles divided into sections and shaded is his favourite way of doing fractions. He remembers doing them before and really liked them, so am rather glad I've used them to start fractions all over again.

Next was Science - Physics this week and we are looking at Energy. So big discussion on fossil fuels verses renewable fuels; looking at different forms of energy; water shortage(?) and how we would be able to 'clean' sea water for use (again ?) and then he came up with an idea for a self charging fan! Home ed does tend to wander off topic, hence the water shortage discussion, but then we went round in a circle and came back onto it. Callum strongly thinks that we should be using solar panels, wind turbines and renewable sources of energy which is a good thing and he wants us to have solar panels on the house (have explained that its rather an expensive outlay and although I would love to do it, we just can't afford to at the moment).

Anyway back to the self charging fan. He came up with the idea that if a fan used rechargable batteries to work and you put a smaller fan in front of the larger fan, facing it, then there was no reason that, after the batteries initially being fully charged, that the big fan blowing air into the smaller fan, which would spin, would be able to recharge the batteries which powered the big fan which blew air into the smaller fan making it spin which would charge the batteries, etc, etc, etc (hope that makes sense). Good idea in principle, but we did discuss that we would need to check that the smaller fan would produce enough energy in the batteries to continuously 'fuel' the bigger fan. Might have to find some inventor/engineering home ed friends and see if we can build one. Anyway A+ for the idea definitely.

After lunch and some damson jam making we had a visit from Terri, his sister, and her dad, Dave. Dave came bearing gifts from America which, of course, went down a treat with Callum.

After that he decided he would go out with dad and Draco the dog when dad got home so he could fly his kite again. Nice, as it gave me a bit of empty house time. Back home and it was back on computer. He's still obsessed with Command and Conquer Generals!

So that's it for today.
Cya later

Sunday, 25 September 2011



Another busy weekend for us, but want to make the most of the September sunshine. Love this time of year! Days are normally sunny, but not too hot and being outside watching the leaves change colour and the air being fresh instead of humid is wonderful.

So...Saturday morning we took ourselves off to Capstone park to forage Sloes, Damsons and the last of the Elderberries. We took the dog with us, so he had a great run round. Breakfast was wild apples and blackberries picked along the way - yum!! Callum managed to find us another superb Sloe bush; lots of berries and not so overgrown so much easier to pick without getting thorns stuck in your fingers and as the bush was more open the sloes had had the sun on them more, so there were a lot of them.

Back, after a round walk, we stopped for a coffee and Callum undid his 'healthy' breakfast by having a huge piece of black forest cake (homemade by the people at the cafe). Must admit it did look good, haha.

The afternoon was spent with Phil setting up the Sloe Gin, Callum running about in the garden and then on the computer and me picking sunflower heads, removing seeds, shelling said seeds (easier than you think, but quite time consuming) and then dry frying sunflower and pumpkin seeds for use in topping salads etc. Must admit, Callum and myself did devour a few, so probably only one lunch salad topping left, haha.

Today, we picked up his best mate Callum D and headed off to Riverside for Kite Making. The boys had a fab time making their kites and really took their time making them look gorgeous.

Then outside we went to give them a go at flying. The weather was just perfect...sunny with enough wind to lift them into the air. Callum D was an expert and got his up first - well done. My Callum took a bit longer, but got the hang of it pretty soon afterwards.

Lots of people were flying their kites, so we moved into the other field and ended up being the only ones in there. Perfect for flying and they only managed to tangle them once. Well done boys!!!!

Back home this afternoon and Callum dived onto the computer again, while I destoned 3lb of Damsons ready for jam making tomorrow afternoon. Still have 3lb left so think I'll be buying some cheap vodka ready for Damson Vodka.

We are all knackered now after so much fresh air, so another night of monging in front of TV beckons.

Cya later

Friday, 23 September 2011



Well, as you can see the daily blog hasn't exactly been daily this week! We've been quite busy and I think I've been getting the start of the hibernation season tiredness. All I want to do in the evening is curl up in front of crap telly and mong out, haha. So as Callum has his best mate around this afternoon, I'm going to use that time to do this and catch up with emails, etc. So, here goes:

Wednesday was another day at home, so it was the usual ritual of maths and literacy worksheets and then a quick review of acids and alkalines. We wrote up our experiment and then did a worksheet and comprehension sheet. Callum has never done comprehension sheets before but I thought it was a good time to start. Luckily the book I use by Letts contains a Key Words Exercise, a Comprehension Exercise, Testing Understanding section and a Skills Practice sheet for each section of work, so I'm not having to find and create worksheets. It also has an answer section...phew!!! ;-) The comprehension bit is just a few small paragraphs to read with about 1/2 dozen questions so nothing really difficult as all the answers are given in the paragraphs. Callum answered the questions and wrote out his answers (wow!), but didn't want to do one of them as he couldn't answer it as thoroughly as he wanted to without writing loads!! After he'd finished the rest of the questions I went over it with him with the answers given in the book and he realised that the amount he was writing wasn't really necessary. He still isn't happy about it all, but I think he's understood the point about being concise.

Wednesday afternoon was cooking as we were out all day on Thursday so we needed lunch. Broccoli soup for me with sage and onion rolls, some shortbread and some apple and blackberry muffins for breakfast just in case we didn't get up in time to eat and they were something we could eat in the car.

Thursday, we were up at 7am and being picked up at 8.30am. Off to a home education trip to natural pathways and a bushcraft day. We learnt about knots and how to put up bashas, Callum didn't want to help put up a basha as such but made sure everyone had ropes, tent pegs and helped out explaining some of the knots (evidence that he'd retained something from him being shown). We also did a sensory awareness exercise where some people were blindfolded and others helped lead (in case they walked into trees or tripped over brambles or roots). You had to listen for the sound of the drum and aim towards it using your hearing and personal space awareness. Callum didn't want to actually do the exercise, but he was quite happy to do the drumming!

Callum in our Basha

Toasting marshmallows around the fire

After lunch we learnt about animal skulls, skats (poo), pellets and tracks and went off on a walk to see what we could find. Callum was very comfortable by this point and I lost him off with the rest of the children while us adults trailed behind having a chat. Actually we really did get lost, one minute the kids and guide were in front of us and the next minute they'd disappeared into the trees. We did find them though. All in all it was a fabulous fun and informative day, 19 of us (parents and children)in all and the weather stayed lovely.
Animal skulls

Today I was giving a talk about home education to the local MAGIC group.

Callum went off and played with a boy called Ben on their XBox which again shows how much his confidence has improved. And this afternoon he has his best mate round to play.

So, there you go, another catch up done.

Cya later

Tuesday, 20 September 2011


Hi all

Sorry, have had a busy weekend and just not got round to being on computer. So am going to have to combine a few days here.

So, firstly Saturday...Autumn Food Walk today at Capstone Park. Lovely two hour walk around the park (it is vast) looking at berries and nuts and some greens that we could eat now. Lots about at the moment including elderberry, damson, sloes, apples, pears, rose hips and wild carrot. Weather kind of held out although we did get some short downpours it wasn't anything that soaked us completely.

Spent the afternoon in the garden cutting back herbs, and clearing up. Used our washing machine drum fire pit for the first time, which Callum loved. He even got brave enough to pop some bits in. Rosemary and sage wood smelt beautiful when burnt but obviously smoked a lot as it was green. Luckily no-one had washing out on the line.

Sunday I was out all day with a couple of friends at Faversham and Belmont House for their Country Fair. Callum had a day with his dad. They dug over a corner of the garden where I want to put trees and then made a start of some models that Callum bought at the Model Show at RE Museum. They are quite small, but are the ideal size for his tanks and soldiers that he has upstairs. Will post some photos when they are finished.
Monday, back to school. Although we were both pretty shattered after all the fresh air of the weekend. Concentrated on Science. We're doing Acids and Alkalines this week. Was nice to just curl up on sofa and have a big talk rather than doing loads of worksheets. Rest of day was spent in kitchen cooking. Cauliflower moussaka. Callum wanted some of it too for dinner, so I cooked extra + a portion for freezing. Then baked apples dish style. I've got some apples that I'm not sure of the insides, so we wedged them and then layered them with dried fruit, brown sugar, crystallised ginger and knobs of butter and baked them. Was lovely!!! Yum!
Today, more science, but actually testing for acids and alkalines in household stuff and back to some maths and literacy.
This afternoon was off to the hall for a meet up and for Harry's 7th birthday party. Had a great time and although Callum didn't join in the games (he rarely does), he enjoyed himself and that's what counts. Thanks Harry for the invite.
Anyway, quick catch up, but its done now, so will catch ya later.

Friday, 16 September 2011


Hi all

Yay, it's Friday. We have had a real hit and miss week this week. Callum's difficulty in sleeping has meant he's been very tired and trying to fit in work has been sometimes good and sometimes impossible.

We've managed to cover our maths and literacy and even managed to get that done early this morning. However, Science is a day behind schedule, but what we have learnt has been successful. We were supposed to be looking at the typing 'lessons' on BBC website this week, but that just hasn't happened! But that's how it goes sometimes.

Today we went swimming with Lorraine and Amy..well Callum and Amy went swimming, Lorraine and I sat and drank tea and chatted. Seem to have done quite a bit of that lately, not that I'm complaining, hehe. Callum adores going swimming and as they are both old enough they don't need us in the pool anyway. Was nice to see them just getting on with it. The wave machine went on twice, so Callum was happy and the fountain went on for a while and they spent that time throwing Zogg Seal Sticks into it and diving under the water to retrieve them. Looked a bit scary from where I was sitting, but then as I don't swim, anything like that looks scary to me. They, on the other hand, looked like they were having the time of their lives. After a quick lunch out it was back home with every intention of doing a bit of work, but Splashes always gives me a headache as its so hot in there and Callum looked knackered, so we had a chat instead and I caught up with marking.

As I type he is happily on the Wii playing Worms!

So Friday has been a fun and less structured day which is how Fridays should be. Tomorrow we are doing an Autumn Food Walk at Capstone Park, so its nice to have had the afternoon to chill a bit.

Thanks Lorraine for taking us, must go again. x


Thursday, 15 September 2011

Sorry, its a double post today as just didn't have time yesterday.

We've continued on the maths/literacy worksheets and Callum has been sailing through them. Included a sheet on symmetry today which we have covered before, but was a while ago. He redraw all the shapes going to have to find him something more challenging. Must trawl the internet later me thinks.

He's been a happy, but tired chappy past few days. Doesn't seem to be able to go off to sleep very easily and then wakes up late. I'm convinced its hormonal now that he's 12, but he's finding it really frustrating as he's normally such an early bird and he feels that he's wasting the day. I daren't wake him up though as, like me, he's a bear with a sore head if woken before his ready. He waited up for me (well stayed up in bed reading) until I got home last night, even though Dad was sound asleep, which didn't help. It was 10am when I finally couldn't wait any longer and woke him up with a cuppa and his worksheets. Am grateful that we don't have a school run to deal with in the morning as I doubt if he'd be in any fit state to learn if I had to get him up for it.

Science yesterday went well, we continued looking at Cells and how they form tissue and the various types that you have. We were supposed to be looking into specialised Cells today, but neither of us were particularly in the mood, so we had (well, he did) an easy and very basic day today.

Terri, my daughter, visited yesterday afternoon and although he'd been asked for days when she was coming, he still dived onto the computer to play his game as soon as she arrived. He did sit and explain to her what he was doing and he didn't like it when we went out to the cinema later that evening (hence no blog yesterday), but I was surprised that he didn't just launch himself on her as soon as she arrived.

This afternoon he had a surprise playdate for an hour when Carol came round to pick up the washing machine drum and to drop off some mini jars for me. Lauren (her daughter) spent some time with him on the Playstation whilst Carol had a cuppa and a chat, so that was cool. I also got a lovely little pile of educational resources to have a looksee at and decide what I want to take before passing on.

Other than that he's basically been a computer boy while I've been doing housework, washing and catching up on the knitting. He's also been making up his own game using the Cluedo board and paperclips......he was happy and I was....interested. Never did get to understand it though.

So that's it, not a great deal of activity, but that's how it goes sometimes. Very busy one day and very quiet and maybe a bit lazy the next.


PS: If you are wondering why Carol was picking up a washing machine drum, we saw people using them as fire pits whilst away at Off Grid this year and both thought it was a brilliant and simple idea (and why we hadn't already thought of doing it), so dearest partner has managed to pick up a couple from the yard at work and bring them home to be reused. Better than being put on the tip!

Tuesday, 13 September 2011


Wow, sorry this is a late post, but today has been very hectic.

We started slowly as Callum was really tired, so he didn't leap out of bed and start his daily worksheets over a cuppa as normal. Instead he rolled out of bed at 8.30am when I took him a cuppa, slid floppily down the stairs, slumped into the chair and.....played on the DS.

Actually I didn't really mind as I had some questions I wanted to print out to go with our lessons on Cells.

So we started at our 'official' time of 10am with the daily literacy and maths. Hmmmmm, that didn't go completely to plan either. Callum still wasn't up for the writing, but as I secretly knew he'd have a reasonable amount of writing to do in science I let him off. Maths went ok until it got to division, at which he went completely blank and forgot how to do it!! So we went over that with the result of "Oh yeah, now I remember", only for him to be flumoxed again because he'd forgotten how to use a protractor! He got himself in a right tizz and I called time out for a cup of tea.

After a breather we went over the sheet together and he was fine, so then it was science and cells. We were just covering "What is a Cell?" today, looking at what cells are made up of and what they do. Callum zoomed through it, coming up with his own way of remembering the longer words and answering the questions easily. There was me allotting 3/4hr to the 'lesson' and panicking about how long it had taken to the do the dailies and he breezed it in 25mins!!! Hey ho!
After a quick lunch it was off to trampolining. His first lesson of the new term and the first proper lesson without James, but with Sue. He was really enthusiastic about it all and worked really hard, surprising Sue on a couple of occasions as she tried to work him up to a more complicated move and he just went straight ahead and did it! Grrrr, annoying how sometimes he makes it look so easy, hehe. He even had time for a bit of fun in the foam pit which went down brilliantly with him.

So back home, couple of hours rest and then out again (told you it was a busy day). Off to Riverside for Junior Rangers, this month's theme - seeds. We walked around the fields looking at berries, seed heads, nuts and grasses and discussed how each was distributed through being either eaten by wildlife, blown by wind or by attaching itself to animal fur (or our clothes) and being brushed or pulled off.

Needless to say Callum (and I for that matter) were knackered by the end of the day and were very grateful to get home, have some dinner and chill out.

Hopefully tomorrow won't be quite so hectic.


Monday, 12 September 2011


Today did not start well. It was wet and windy; just like everywhere else in England by the sound of Facebook this morning. Anyone with ASD children will probably be aware that windy weather seems to ruffle their feathers (bit like a mad dog), adding to that the wet weather and we had a miserable, grumpy and slightly uncooperative Callum on our hands.

He wasn’t really responsive to his literacy this morning; putting lists into alphabetical order, so we agreed to do 4 out of the 6 and do the other 2 tomorrow. He hates writing, as I’ve said on many an occasion, and as I knew what else I wanted him to do today; I didn’t want to push it. He was reluctant on maths too, but did manage to complete the sheets without too much harrumphing!

A break was needed and a cup of coffee. He had ½ hour on his DS and then it was science. I wanted an overview today. There was a couple of worksheets with regard to things we covered last year that I wanted him to complete; see much he remembered and whether anything was missing. Then a discussion about how we were going to plan the science year. I want to follow the curriculum as much as possible with regard to subject matter, but not necessary do it the way schools do. Hopefully including plenty of hands on stuff to help him better understand.

So, how did he do? Well I have no worries about his learning last year as he zoomed through the Gruesome Gases and Powerful Planets questions in his Splendid Science book from Letts and got them all right. We have a couple of their booklets and they are pretty easy and fun to do, so are really just add-ons or for revision use.

Then planning…we thought that we hadn’t done much science last year, but on looking through what we should have covered last year, we discovered that it was only really Biology that we hadn’t touched. The majority of the Chemistry and Physics we’d already done, so we are going to redo and recheck over those areas quickly and fill in any gaps, concentrating for the rest of the time on the Biology stuff. I think that we will easily be up to date by Christmas and ready to start next year with this year’s work (if that makes sense).

This afternoon our friends Jackie, Hannah and Azeem came over for a play date; the boys spending the majority of that time on the Wii. Hannah was a little quiet today, but seemed ok to sit in and watch the boys. Jackie and I drank tea and caught up with news.

So Monday done and dusted. Tomorrow we start the serious work, haha.


Sunday, 11 September 2011


Hi all

Sundays are supposed to be quiet days. A day to rest, chill out and take stock. Our Sunday was supposed to be exactly that, however, a lovely friend of mine (Linda) informed me yesterday that one of our shopping centres (Hempstead) was having a Transport Festival. Couldn't go yesterday, so went today instead.

The morning started with Callum trying to set up the Hornby that he'd persuaded his dad to get down from the attic. Unfortunately it wouldn't work, so up Phil went to help out! Soon I could hear whizzing and laughing and on investigation discovered a lovely little layout in Callum's room, working very well and two males, one young, one older, having a good old play. ;-)

After a quick lunch it was off to Hempstead for the cars. Luckily the weather held out as they were displayed in the outside car park. Callum had a great time looking at all the old classics. I must admit I prefer old classic cars to new ones because, and Callum pointed this out himself today:
"They all look so much better than newer cars don't they? They look more comfortable and they have character. New cars all look the same."
His words, not mine.

We took loads of photos, here are some of Callum's favourties:

On investigation inside the centre, I had to go and get a birthday present, we discovered that they had two of the James Bond cars in there:

Back home afterwards he was back upstairs for more railway, back downstairs for Railway Simulator on PC, then back upstairs after dinner with dad for more railway.

Me, I got on with knitting and gardening. Nice to be able to leave the boys to it.


Saturday, 10 September 2011


Hi all

Not a great deal to post today as, obviously, no 'education' taking place. Well nothing officially anyway.

Callum was incredibly helpful this morning carrying up the washing and taking up an old drawer so that Phil could put it in the attic, when he did the attic run later.

He popped up the town with me this morning so he could pay in the penny bags into his savings account and then onto Wilkinson to help pick out a lamp for his dark corner. He has chosen a red spotlight lamp. Just under £6, so will get that after Monday when my Carers money goes in. He said he didn't mind going up the town today as it was only the bank "which smells nice" apparently and Wilkinsons which he loves.

He then tidied up his bedroom when he got home and returned to Command & Conquer Generals on the PC.

Off to his mates house this afternoon. Took a slow walk round and then an even slower one back for me - uphill on way home, haha. He's still there at the moment. Due home around about 7pm. Although it is chucking it down with rain right now, am hoping it will stop within the hour.

Anyway, here's some photos of his sunflowers that he grew from seed:
Love this multi headed one!

And here is an extreme sports snail that I spotted miles up a plant....very brave. He's right at the top!

Friday, 9 September 2011


Hello all

Well, its the end of the 'school' week and we celebrated with our first home ed meet of the new term. Lorraine picked us up at 10.30am with her daughter, Amy, and took us off to ice skating. The local home ed group regularly meets up there on a Friday, but we've never made it along before. Last time I went was when Callum was still at school and I was just investigating home education, that was over 4 years ago.

He refused to ice skate, but then I knew he would...same sensory issues with new place, new people. He decided to sit in the corner and play his DS, but at least it was the corner nearest the main group not the furthest away, so I took that as a good sign. Amy went of ice skating with her friend, but Callum didn't mind. He was happy sitting with us adults as usual.

He did agree to sign up for a trip though, which also impressed me. So we'll be going off to Wildwood in a few weeks. I think the lure of being able to stroke an owl sealed the deal.

I was impressed with this morning all round as he was even up early and had done his maths and literacy before 9.30am. He also discovered the wonderful delights of clicking a pen off and on. Bashing it across different surfaces and realising it makes different sounds...very musical. So I nice little scientific discussion on sound waves, vibrations and air space ensued.

So, maths, literacy, science and a bit of semi social interaction today. This afternoon he disappeared back into the world of Command & Conquer Generals on the PC and I continued with my daughter's Christmas present.

Cya and thanks Lorraine

Thursday, 8 September 2011


Hi all

Yes, unfortunately the lull continued today except I joined it too. Callum had to be woken at 9.30am this morning. Hope that doesn't happen tomorrow as we are getting picked up at 10.30am!! I decided to not only take up a cuppa, but to take up his maths and literacy as well.

It worked, he woke up and did his work in bed with me next to him going through the post.

Our bright red Newton forcemeter (spring scale 2kg) turned up today. Wrapped in lots of bubble wrap so that meant a happy 5mins bursting bubbles. Only £3.49 inc p&p from Ebay - fab!

As well as the spring scale, the How It Works magazine arrived too, so a very happy further 45mins was had skimming through and stopping at articles that were just too good to pass over until later. Lots of discussion arose from that so all good.

I think we finally, officially, got up at 11.30am. Callum decided that he wanted Subway for lunch and as I didn't have any money he treated me too. Thank you my lovely. He ended up eating a foot long meatball sub with cheese and salad plus a coke! I had a tuna mayo salad and cup of tea...I love Subway; at least I can eat something there.

After Subway we popped into the library to pick up a book I'd reserved and had a good look round at books and games, then pet shop for claw clippers for the dog, Co-op for some bargains (but they didn't have any we would use) and then home.

MAGIC tonight at Monkey Bizz with his best mate Callum D. They had a great time running around like loonies and Callum D missed winning Magic Numbers by 1 number. My Callum managed to do an amazing front slide on the floor 5mins before leaving and now has a grazed knee. Oh yeah and he managed to lose a wobbly tooth as well!

Sorry no piccies today.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011


Hiya, us again.

Callum had a complete dip in energy today. Was supposed to get up and have a shower before starting work this morning. 8.45am and still wasn't up, so made us both a cuppa and took it up to him. He was in our bed by this time.

"Wakey, wakey" Said I,
"Uh" was his response.
"Tea here" His reply was just a grunt.

Undetered I climbed into bed and drank my tea while going through the post. He finally decided to drink his tea and then asked if he could have a quick game on his DS.

"Sure, you still have time."

I finished reading the post, got up and went downstairs, sorted out the front room, put on some washing, made another cuppa and went back upstairs. I must point out that Callum doesn't like being on his own when having a bath or shower. He doesn't like anyone actually being in with him, but likes someone to be in the bedroom next door. He still wasn't up. I drank a further cup of tea. He moved and then said,

"Can I play another game?"
"No! You need to have a shower before we start and its already 10am"

He had shower, he got dressed and then went into his room. I brought down washing, washed up, put washing out on line and came back in. Still no Callum.

"What you doing?"
"No, its now 11am and you are supposed to have done your maths and literacy. Come on."
"Oh, ok."

Down he came and reluctantly did his one page of literacy - spellings today, not his best subject, but he really made the effort and got 10 out of 20 and 4 of the remaining 10 only had 2 letters round the wrong way each, so not bad for him. I think he rather impressed himself too. He has so little self confidence when it comes to literacy and he is so much better than he thinks. He proceeded to zoom through the maths sheets getting them all right, even the 5 times table ones!!

"Do I have to do any more?"
"Well, we was going to do another science experiment weren't we?"
"Oh yeah!" He leaps up from sofa and bounds into the kitchen.

The experiment didn't go completely to plan, but he had great fun doing it. We wrote it up and then he said,

"Can I stop now?"
"You're really not in the mood today are you?"
"No, I'm tired."
"Ok then."
"Thanks Mum." And he bounded off to his bedroom again.

Oh well, at least something got done today. Hope he feels more up for it tomorrow.


Tuesday, 6 September 2011


Well it's two days in and we are slowly getting back into the routine of home ed. Callum wants to concentrate on Science this year and have a dip in and out of other stuff. I've insisted on continuing with basic maths and him working through his literacy books though AND he has his Arts Award to finish, but most of that is now done (I just need to upload it).

So Monday dawned nice and sunny and he was up by 8.30am. He made me a cuppa and brought that and his maths and literacy into the front room. He zoomed through his one page of literacy and then attempted the 3 variety sheets of maths. I must point out that the sheets have approximately 50-80 questions per sheet, but he only has to do 5 per sheet a day, so it may sound a lot, but it isn't really.

Discovered he'd 'lost' the 5 times table (again). So have searched out some basics of that and will spend a week going over it all. What is it about times tables, he gets them, then he forgets them. However, he can do division!! Which, to me, does not make sense.

We were then supposed to do some science, however, it all kicked off out the front. Well, I say kicked off, I happened to spot 2 guys and a girl over the road hovering around a car, wasn't sure who they were, but then noticed one of the guys had his forearm up in the air and noticed there was blood running down it. Was just going to open front door to see if he was ok, when a couple of Police walked down the road.

Apparently one of the dogs over the road had bitten him. Needless to say that Callum was much more interested to watch what was going on than to go and do science and, admittedly, so was I. We have a bit of a dodgy guy living opposite us who is well known to the police, he has a Staffie (not that I have anything against Staffies as I know people who have them, but they have become a status symbol for those who want to have a hard looking dog without the size so I'm always a little wary). The women next door also has one, although that one has only appeared over the past week.

It turns out that the woman had ordered her dog to bite this guy. The bloke living opposite had obviously been outside at the time also because he legged it leaving his house open. The Police kept going into the unlocked house to check for whatever and the guy who had been bitten kept shouting that it was the woman and that she had gone downstairs to the flat below. He ended up losing his temper just as the ambulance turned up and ran off up the road with his mate running after him to try and calm him down. As I've said, it all kicked off!!

The woman was found and was talking to the Police, then her and her Staffie went off in a car with another guy. The Ambulance drove off as the victim didn't want to be treated. The Police loitered about for a bit, then secured the open property, waited to be recalled and then disappeared. This had taken over an hour from start to finish and had raised some lovely discussions on behaviour, control of animals, racial discrimination, the role of the Police force and how not to behave.

Later on the guy over the road return, but was promptly arrested and taken off in a Police car. Not seen either him nor the woman since.

So... Monday we covered maths, literacy and Citizenship! hehe

Today, the day dawned wet and windy. Over a cuppa in the kitchen we gave our thanks that we home ed and did not have to do the walk to school in the weather. Poor kids that did.

Maths went fine as did literacy. Then it was science. The experiment Callum wanted originally to do meant going outside and that wasn't going to happen so we decided on attempting to extract iron from breakfast cereal instead (Richard Hammond's Blast Lab Messy Mess Kit).

We managed to make a lovely mess in the kitchen but did extract some very very small black dots of iron filings from the cereal (Cheerios), so worth doing.

This afternoon I wanted to watch a movie I'd recorded and Callum was going to go upstairs and play, but he asked if he could watch the movie with me. When I say that it was The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas you may understand why I was a little apprehensive. But I thought, why not, he needs to know what happened and this may be a 'safe' option. He sat and watched it and I explained some of the basics of what was happening and he watched it until the end. If anyone hasn't seen it, be warned, it is emotional, but very good.

Callum was amazing. He understood it and was pleased that they didn't make it a happy ending. He actually said that he wished they would make more children's films with more realistic endings rather than the sugar coated ones you tend to get. I'm not sure if his Asperger has shielded him from the true horror of what had happened (I'm sure the lack of empathy that ASD people tend to have did), but I'm glad he appreciates the message and subject. He saw it as facts, whereas I saw it as an emotional rollercoaster.


Monday, 5 September 2011


Well, hello there. Just realised that I haven't posted since the start of the summer hols. Oooops!!! So here's a quick update of what we did:

Archeology Dig at Tower Bridge - found animal bones and pottery;
Orienteering at Capstone Park with friends - didn't get lost, but walked miles;
Foraging with friends for damsons, blackberries, cherry plums and red clover;
Photo exhibition and some bands at a local pub;
Cinema trip to see Zookeeper with friends;
Swimming with best mate;
Margate with best mate;
More bands at a local pub with friends;
Beer festival at another local pub;
Medieval Merriment Festival at Rochester Castle;
Model Exhibition at local Royal Engineers Museum, and
Various play dates with various people.

Plus, of course, the normal shopping, chilling, playing on computer/Wii/Playstation.

PHEW!!! Glad we are back to home ed, it might be quieter - haha