Archive for the 'Day to day HE' Category

To celebrate international freedom in education day

We went shopping and had lunch at Krispy Kreme. Why? Because we could! I think I can swing that as making a political point don’t you?


Audrey made cupcakes today to enter into English Mum’s Great Valentine’s Day Cupcake Challenge.

Tuesday 19th January 2010

The word on Twitter is that today is the anniversary of the launch of the DCSF’s ‘Badman’ campaign of harassment and vilification of home education. What a depressing thought! Also today the Public Bill Committee starts looking at the Children, Schools and Families Bill. Also depressing, but I hold out hope that good sense will prevail and the Lords will kill Schedule 1. Having to repeatedly defend my parenting choices to the ignorant and hostile does get wearing and I would love all this oppressive nonsense to just go away. I ought to point out to any government type reading this that the time this battle has taken up is time that should have gone on my business which as a result had a turnover last year of £0 and therefore paid NO TAX.

On the bright side the actual home education is going great guns. This morning Audrey finished Timez Attack for a second time, taking less than 3 days to do so, and she says she’s going to do it two more times, once in Machine World and once in Lava World. What this means is that half way through Year 1 she’s mastered her times tables from 1 to 12.

No tears. No stress. Because she wanted to.

I’m not sure when, or even IF this is a National Curriculum target, but KS1 only seems to talk about 2, 5 and 10 times tables. She also does workbooks (don’t shoot me! she only does them when she wants to) and is 2 pages from the end of Year 2 in the Maths ones. Autonomous/Child Led Education WORKS. Don’t tell me children have to be forced to learn anything. Don’t tell me I need to do a literacy hour and a numeracy hour, or whatever the government enforced fad of the month is in schools. We don’t want it and we don’t need it. We also don’t want or need some LA inspector’s opinion, it’s not rocket science! I know that for sure because rocket science is what we did on that visit to the Mullard Space Science Laboratory.

Stand back it’s workbook time!

Don’t worry, they are autonomously used workbooks and these phases don’t typically last long, but after doing 5 pages of Messy Maths this afternoon Audrey is now laying in bed looking through all her unused workbooks deciding what order she’ll do them in. Not bad timing with the generally miserable weather (today excepted) and lots of things stopping for the holidays. Having blogged this she’ll no doubt wake up in the morning and change her mind.


And so on to beer making. This time playing fast and loose with instructions from here.

The great cheese experiment part 3

The cheeses have been pressed (2 of them) and now have to be unwrapped, wiped with salt water, re-wrapped and turned every day.

The great cheese experiment part 2

Sort of following the instructions from here we have:



Running the whey

Some of the curds are going to be eaten as Cottage Cheese

Pressing, in a proper cheese mould, the holes just don’t show very well in this photo. There are 48 hours of pressing ahead and then drying and maturing, which may or may not work. Even if it doesn’t it’s certainly been interesting and another thing to tick off the list.

The great cheese experiment part 1

The order arrived yesterday from Smallholder Supplies so we fitted picking up 12 pints of skimmed milk in between home ed group and music lesson. Rather than buying a proper starter I hung a slice of cheddar in the pan of milk for a couple of hours last night. I figure that a nice mature slice of cheese must have plenty of the right bacteria in it, and if it doesn’t well we end up with tasteless cheese, live and learn, it is an experiment after all.

Today we slowly warmed the milk to 30°C and Audrey added the vegetarian rennet. Now we wait …

Butser Ancient Farm

Sticking with the historic farming theme but taking a break from the kitchen today we payed a quick visit to Butser Ancient Farm

In order we have, a shed (hiding a very un-iron age wheel barrow), a small, adorable and sadly very lonely little cockerel (his hens having fallen victim to a fox), a privy (and I have to say that the lack of daub on the walls made it look very draughty and unappealing), a Wild Bore/Tamworth cross called Spot and a mosaic in progress in the Roman villa.

And I still smell of smoke from the fire in the Great Roundhouse.


The classic American tollhouse cookie recipe.