Thursday, 9 August 2012

The world is our classroom

Grandpa wasn't free to do the bird walk this morning so my planning for the day was awry. I also played squash last night so didn't get round to 'fixing' the hole in the planning. It seemed a shame to spend a day indoors anyway, so I felt like taking our schooling out and about. We went to Gibside.

We did violin practice first which was so-so. Off to a good start but the usual stalling when it came to playing an unfamiliar tune. Anyway, what with all the tantrums and making of packed lunch and changing of nappies etc, we didn't get to Gibside until about 10.30 or ll.

Nevermind, we made our way straight to the Stawberry Castle Playpark and had a play. It was really busy (another advantage of home-ed - I could come back when it wasn't the summer hols!) and it took ages for a bench to become free. At about 12 we managed to sit down and have lunch (ok timing, just no chance of doing any 'school' before then).

After lunch, I asked Francesca if she would like to do some school work here and she decided to do another thank you card (second last one!!). Elizabeth wanted to do her wipe-down literacy book. Sebastian and I played some football.

Then we needed the loo and headed back towards the cafe and toilets. We got icecreams and wandered down the Long Walk with them. Sebastian fell asleep.

The girls are in this pic, at the bottom of the hill - honest!

Here's Sebastian enjoying the view(!)

We walked up to the stables and milked the plastic cow. Francesca loved that - she was playing that she was the farmer and Daisy loved her best.

Here we had another snack break and more football. It would have been a great spot for more school but Daisy was too interesting and I didn't suggest any 'work'.

Francesca's pistachio shells:

Anyway, there was a wildlife room and another educational room which we all enjoyed. There were crafty things to do...

...a milk churn...

...a castle playhouse with a toy kitchen and vegetables:

And a puppet theatre where Francesca put on an impromptu show.

Sebastian was very busy shopping.

Elizabeth dressed up as a duck.

And Sebastian loved the beads.

Then we headed off to the adventure trail. It was kind of hard to keep up with the girls, with Sebastian, but we managed it.

After that, we walked the scenic route, supposedly back to the cafe for tea.

But by the time we got there, it was closed.  Seymour happened to be driving nearby so we met up in a nearby village for chips and an evening play in the park.

This is Seymour's halo for rescuing us with chips.

Everyone had a great time but we were so tired! The children weren't in bed until 8!!!

But it was worth it. I must say, I couldn't help pointing out to Francesca that we could have more days like this if she wasn't at school(!) and she said it was "The best day ever!!!"

I want to do more out-of-the-house learning - taking our books to cafes and parks. And I want to do lots of educational visits. Today they've all experienced the countryside, nature, aspects of farming, aspects of history (the milk churn which ties in nicely with things we saw in Beamish last week) AND they've had lots of fresh air and exercise. Hopefully this is all contributing to their rich and varied education, despite the lack of formal study today.

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