Beatrix Potter

Hunca Munca by Rosie

Hunca Munca by Rosie

Rosie is going through a delightful phase of being enchanted by all things Beatrix Potter. The tales were read to her when she was smaller, but now she is enjoying reading them to herself. They make for delightful reading & the sentence structure, & language sometimes challenges her.

I wanted to make the most of this interest & have come up with some ideas to keep this love burning for a little while. This is not a unit study by any means, just some ideas to enrich her reading.


I usually ask Rose to narrate her readings & I found a handy-dandy Story Chart to use for narrations about the tales of ‘naughty’ animals. Simple, but useful for furthering our discussions about what has happened in each story.


For me to read to Rosie:

My Dear Noel The story of how ‘Peter Rabbit’ came to be

Nothing is Impossible. The Story of Beatrix Potter


Appley Dapply’s Nursery Rhymes

Cecily Parsley’s Nursery Rhymes


Copywork from her favourite tales

Have Rosie write her own simple ‘naughty’ animal story. Again, another handy-dandy story planning chart!


Drawing & painting inspired by the illustrations of Beatrix Potter.

Nature Study

Time for her to observe wildlife & also our pets. As a wonderful home educator pointed out to me; Squirrel Nutkin was so hysterical because Beatrix captured what a naughty squirrel would be like & that talent came from hours just observing squirrels.

To consider:

How does Beatrix Potter’s life compare with Rosie’s life?

The personality traits of the naughty animals

The difficulties they got into

I am really enjoying infusing our days with the richness & beauty of these timeless tales and Rosie is thoroughly enjoying herself.

“Thank goodness I was never sent to school; it would have rubbed off some of the originality.”

Beatrix Potter

Week Four


The week began beautifully with the scent of Autumn in the air! Tuesday was the Autumnal Equinox and the nights have begun to draw in..


But back to Monday…Monday saw our Pond study. It was a glorious afternoon, sunny & warm. We had been at the pond a little while, then suddenly a duck came scuttering out of the reeds, clearly in distress. Its head was bobbing under the water, then its whole body would follow. It was a very sad sight to see. Ellie quickly pulled of her boots & tights & waded in with a net & brought the poor fellow out.

Rescuing The Duck

Rescuing The Duck

He was in a poor state; a small wound to his neck, his head he could not hold up, and he was exhausted.


We made him as comfortable as we could in Rosie’s jacket & drove to our local vet.


The vet confirmed my fears. His neck was broken & he was put to sleep. We were all very upset. He was one of the baby Mallards. This would have been his first winter.

Rest in peace Jonathan Puddleduck


Ellie Working in Her Latin Sticker Book

Ellie Working in Her Latin Sticker Book

In happier home education news, Ellie took a break from her regular Latin book & worked in her Latin Words Sticker Book. She has made flash cards for the new words, so we can practice those with the rest of our memory work.

Can You See The Square Numbers Model?

Can You See The Square Numbers Model?

As we have been memorising square numbers, I got the girls to make a model with cuisenaire rods of the square numbers to 10. I have to confess that until recently, I did not know why square numbers were called square…

More Cuisenaire Rods

More Cuisenaire Rods

Rsoie Working On 'Hunca Munca'

Rsoie Working On ‘Hunca Munca’

Rosie has done quite a lot of watercolour this week. We had a good play with our palettes, seeing what different colours we could create.

Hunca Munca

Hunca Munca by Rose

Poppies by Rose

Poppies by Rose

I have decided to change up how we are studying science, so after a little research I have decided to go with the Building Foundations Of Scientific Understanding Series. I have purchased the first two books, but at the author’s recommendation, we will be starting with book one (even thought this is for K-2!) It is very parent intensive from what I understand, so I am looking forward to spending the weekend reading through the introduction & planning out the first ‘thread’ of the book that we will be following.

We have begun a demonstration from Cool Chemistry Concoctions ~ hopefully making stalactites & stalagmites!


The girls also painted their batiks that we began last week. Once they are dry, we can wash out the glue.

Aslan by Rose

Aslan by Rose

The White Witch's Sleigh

The White Witch’s Sleigh by Ellie

Some of the books we have been reading this week:

The Tales of Beatrix Potter

The Water Babies

The World of Columbus & His Sons

By Pond & River

Twilight Child

Age of Fable

The Story Of The Romans

D’Aulaire’s Book of Norse Myths

Various comic books

Lots & lots of poetry ~ focusing on Beatrix Potter & Walter de la Mare.

Rose is really taken with Beatrix Potter’s Tales right now. She has been playing with our old dolls house in the attic since re-reading The Tale Of Two Bad Mice. She has a little stuffed mouse that has become ‘Tom Thumb’ so I picked up my knitting needles & got cracking on knitting a Hunca Munca for her. Hopefully she will be done this weekend!

We are off to our home ed group meet up this afternoon to spend time with friends….

Happy Weekend!

Week Three

New Earrings - Miniature Sherlock Holme's books!

New Earrings – Miniature Sherlock Holme’s books!

Another great week, but I felt more of a time pressure this week & I didn’t get either of Ellie’s two logic lessons done. What we did do was rich & productive, so I am pleased with that outcome!

Rose in her suit!

Rose in her suit!

We are progressing well with memory work; we are up to the first chorus of The Periodic Table Song, Oberon’s speech from A Midsummer Night’s Dream is proving to be delightful, and we are making slow & steady progress with this book for multiplication. The girls are memorising a poem of their choice. I was particularly touched by Rosie’s choice:

Some people
by Rachel Field
Isn’t it strange some people
make you feel so tired inside,
Your thoughts begin to shrivel up
like leaves all brown and dried!

But when you’re with some other ones,

it’s stranger still to find
Your thoughts as thick as fireflies
all shiny in your mind!
Memorising Maths Facts Under The Table!

Memorising Maths Facts Under The Table!

Last but not least, we are memorising grammar facts. This video was made a while back – we still practice these but have added new ones too.

Our local pond study is keeping us busy! This week we focused on the trees the girls have chosen to study – Ellie’s is Alder, Rosie’s is Beech.

Measuring the height of Rosie's tree!

Measuring the height of Rosie’s tree!

Measuring the circumference of the trunk

Measuring the circumference of the trunk

More Nature Study

More Nature Study


We have finished reading “The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe” and we made turkish delight to enjoy as we sat down for the final reading…never again! It was a sticky mess! But the girls said it tasted good.

Batik Making

Batik Making

The girls have also begun a ‘batik‘ inspired by our reading of The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe. Once it has dried overnight, they will be able to apply the layers of colour. Ellie is working on a scene with the White Witch, Rosie a portrait of Aslan.

A crocodile doing her maths :)

A crocodile doing her maths :)

Some of the books we have been reading this week:

The Tales of Beatrix Potter

The World of Columbus & His Sons

By Pond & River

The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe

Twilight Child

Age of Fable

The Story Of The Romans

D’Aulaire’s Book of Norse Myths

Lots & lots of poetry!

Finally, my copy of Norms & Nobility has arrived! I am so excited to get stuck into this book! I think it will be extremely meaty & require me to have a pen in hand, making copious notes.

Happy Weekend!

Week Two

Our Harvest Moon Nature Walk

Our Harvest Moon Nature Walk

Our week went superbly! (Not perfectly, but superbly!)



Illustrating 'The Lion, The Witch, & The Wardrobe'

Illustrating ‘The Lion, The Witch, & The Wardrobe’

Early Morning Science!

Early Morning Science!

This was our first week of ‘proper’ lessons and all was well. Ellie has really enjoyed her work & is relishing the challenge. I have been able to make lots more free time for Rose this year, whilst still getting everything done for her. Sticking with short, authentic lessons with no ‘twaddle’ has given her space between lessons to play. She is still very much into imaginative play & it has been glorious to see her playing with her stuffed animals & chatting away to them or running in from the garden to tell me about a spider she has found, a fly, or a butterfly….
Origami Maths ~ AKA Paper Airplanes

Origami Maths ~ AKA Paper Airplanes

I am doing the necessary ‘end of first week’ shake up of the time table. Little Passports was mentioned on FaceBook as now being available in the UK. It has come along at the right time as I was mulling over ideas for something that Rose can dip in & out of as the mood strikes her. I ordered on Friday & I believe it will take up to four weeks to arrive, so I am not going to mention it to her & let it be a surprise package in the post.This is just the kind of thing that will fire up her imagination. It will work well with these two books I was planning to use with her this year:
Writing Thank You Notes

Writing Thank You Notes

Also in the ‘Time Table Redux’ I have decided to cut ‘Life Of Fred’
Oh! how sad I was to do this! I was reluctant, but I had promised myself that I am not over stretching us this year. Everything must have a purpose & count. We are not going to dash from subject to subject. The temptation (for me) with short, Charlotte Mason – style lessons can be to ‘pack ‘em in’ to every available minute! We need margin…and it was the one thing that wasn’t getting done.  We only got it done once…so it has gone off the time table!
There is a happy ending to the sad tale of LOF…I sold our books, which has funded the purchase of Norms & Nobility: A Treatise On Education I am very much looking forward to slowly reading this book!
More Harvest Moon Walk

More Harvest Moon Walk

Happy Weekend!

Not ‘Back To School’


I love this time of year so, misty mornings,  warm, sunshiny days, our apple tree & blackberry bushes overloaded with ripe fruit…bountiful blessings.

I also love our ‘not back to school’ day.


I am so very grateful to have had this wonderful life with my children. To be there with them day in, day out. To see them learning & growing.


I usually time our ‘not back to school day’ to fall on a Wednesday or Thursday & we ease ourselves back in with familiar activities to reacquaint ourselves with the rhythms & routines of our learning at home.


This morning we discussed our new books & resources, then chatted about the children’s goals for term 1.  For us, this runs from September to the end of November. 6

After an impromptu trip to the supermarket to pick up toilet paper & to spend birthday money (really! who runs out of toilet paper on the first day of lessons?!?) We came home to enjoy our traditional ‘first day’ lunch of alphabet spaghetti. After lunch the girls & I began work on our new journals. These journals are going to be dedicated to a year long pond study that will we be carrying out of our local pond. I think this may just be my favourite part of our studies this year! I intend us to study not just the pond itself, but also the creatures, plants & trees that surround it. We each stuck one of these handy-dandy ‘observation tools’ print outs into the back of our journals & covered them with sticky back plastic to protect them while we are outdoors for good measure. I would highly recommend you take some time to watch this video by John Muir Laws if you have an interest in nature journaling. It is not only inspiring, but wonderfully practical too. And so on the button. Deep Observation & Nature Journaling is the title. Deep. This video is not about skimming the surface, superficial learning, or any any old ‘box ticking’ activity, but wonderful, deep learning about the world around us. 11 The girls baked & iced gingerbread which we had with apple juice for ‘afternoon tea’ in the garden. We each choose a poem & read them out loud. I read Jaques speech from ‘As You Like It’ by Shakespeare, which we had memorised last year. Elianna read ‘Night’ by William Blake & Rose read ‘The Birthday Child’ by Rose Fyleman, on account of it being her birthday earlier in the week.


Honestly, I have no idea why the child is now in her dressing gown!

After dinner I took Rose to our local canoeing club & Elianna stayed at home to read ‘D’Aulaires Norse Myths. It was a perfect day. A beautiful, autumnal, perfect day.


Home Education Plans 2014~2015


It has been a long time since my last post…

It has been an even longer time since I posted about the plans for my children’s education at home…I think the last time was at my old blog.

My plans for our up coming year are pretty much done and dusted. We still follow a Charlotte Mason approach. I am not a purist by any stretch of the imagination, but I do appreciate the joy and gentle pace she brings to the every day.

This year is a milestone for us, as Elianna enters ‘high school’ ~ Year 7/grade 6


Rose will be going into Year 4/grade 3


Family Read Alouds:

Under blankets on the sofa, cuddled up in bed, or lazing in the sunshine, read aloud time is my favourite part of ‘school’.

~ Lots of Fairy Tales

Aesop’s Fables

The Lion The Witch & The Wardrobe

The snow queen

The Trumpet & The Swan

The Merry Adventures Of Robin Hood

~ The Story of King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table

~ A Christmas Carol (ours is a vintage, unabridged version)

~ The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer

~ Little Women

History Read Alouds:

The World Of Columbus & Sons


Good Queen Bess

Starry Messenger

I, Galileo

Degas & the little dancer

Science Read Alouds:

The mystery of the periodic table

Mathmaticians are people too V1

Great scientists & their discoveries

Mathmaticians are people too V2

Great inventors & their inventions

Nature Study Read Alouds:

Nature Lover’s Book 3

By pond & river

Silverstein’s World in a Drop

The Stream I know

There will be *lots* of discussion around our reading..


The Story Of The Romans

Bulfinch’s Greek & Roman Mythology – The Age of Fable

These books I had planned as historical fiction; I may switch out for more ‘classic’ lit.

Twilight Child

Rider in the dark

The Pirate’s son

The Orange Trees of Versailles

Stink Alley

The minister’s daughter

Marie Curie (Giants of science)

Watchers at the pond

Albert Einstein and the Theory of Relativity by Robert Cwiklik


Khan Academy

Life Of Fred

Origami maths

Various games & living maths



Primary language lessons ~ Rose

Intermediate language lessons ~ Elianna

Spelling Wisdom

For Elianna:

Daily sentence diagramming 

Reading through The Sentence Family at our leisure as review.

Keeping a Common Place Book

Figuratively Speaking


Poetry tea once a week

Memory Work

Reading a poem a day, focusing on one poet per term. (Walter De La Mare, William Blake, Sara Teasdale)

Nature poems in our nature notebooks (yes, I have one too!)

Poetry analysis 1 x month

With Elianna:

Rose, where did you get that red?

Wishes, lies and dreams


Macbeth (coville)

Never Say Macbeth

Shakespeares Storybook

With Elianna

No fear Macbeth

PLUTARCH ~ Elianna

Poplicola / Publicola


LATIN ~ Elianna

Getting Started With Latin

Usbourne Sticker Book

The Story of the Romans

LOGIC ~ Elianna

The Art Of Argument

Mind Benders


 Poetry & Shakespeare

Poetry of their own choice

Various Shakespeare

 Grammar –

Parts of speech

 Maths – times tables

Multiplication facts in 7 days ~ We need to get this down – Elianna struggles with some facts. I plan to take 7 weeks to use this resource!

Sci – periodic table

Periodic table song 

colouring book

Making our own Periodic table

 Latin ~ Elianna

Flash cards from Getting Started With Lain

Map Work – wkly

Keeping up our wall Time Line


 Bi-Weekly Experiment – cool chemistry concoctions

Basher The Periodic Table

Basher Chemistry

Albert Einstein & the theory of relativity ~ Elianna

Galore Park – SYRWTL Science book 1 ~ Elianna (This I am undecided about. Maybe, maybe not)


As well as our regular journal keeping, I plan for us to undertake a year long study of our local pond!

We have multiple resources:

Natural science through the seasons

Concise Pond Life

The World of the Microscope

One Small Square – Pond

Rivers Ponds & Lakes

Tell me Tree

First Book Of Pond Life

Elianna will be reading: Watchers at the pond

Rosie: Pond LifePond & River BirdsWhat to look for in AutumnWhat to look for in WinterWhat to look for in Spring

What to look for in Summer, amongst many others…


Artist tea once a week:





~ Elianna: Outlining & summaries using:

The Medieval and Early Modern World: Primary Sources and Reference Volume

Kingfisher History Encyclopedia

Rose will be reading & narrating.

 A great resource: What on earth


 Following the liturgical year & seasons


Learning as we walk along the way..

Typed out like this, my lists look overwhelming. But with short lessons, some subjects for only a term & lots of time for contemplation I know this is going to be a beautiful year…





Whitsun is fifty days after Easter Sunday, also known as Pentecost.

Acts 2 tells the story of the original Pentecost:

“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.


Spring goeth all in white

Crowned with milk-white may:

In fleecy flocks of light

O’er heaven the white clouds stray.

White butterflies in the air;

White daisies prank the ground;

The cherry and the hoary pear

Scatter their snow around

Robert Bridges

From Festivals, Family & Food:

In Northern Europe the connection is also a natural one, with the blossoming of white May, Hawthorn and Lilac at this time. For children this can be the time to celebrate the blossoms, bringing a few into the home if possible, or finding white daisies to place on a saucer of water for the table or weave into chains.


Last week we harvested lots of Elder flowers to make cordial. Already the tree has replenished!

Elderflower Cordial

~20-25 flower heads rinsed
~ 4 lemons, zested & roughly chopped
~1 KG of sugar
~1.5 litres water
~ 50g citric acid (used as a preservative, so useful, but not essential.
In a large bowl add the 1.5L boiling water to the sugar & citric acid. Stir well.
Allow to cool
Add the flower heads, lemons & zest
Allow to steep for a day or two (two days for a good, rich Elderflower flavour)
Strain through a jam strainer, muslin or an old (clean!) tea towel.
Pour into sterilised bottles.
Dilute & enjoy!