Friday, 28 October 2011

A blogger splits herself in two!

I love writing Five Kids and Counting but there are definitely some aspects of me that are missing from this blog - I love to get on my soapbox and sound off about current affairs and politics. I don't want to muddy the waters here so I have started a whole new News, Current Affairs and political blog at You can follow @mammapolitico if this is your cup of tea. I've begin by looking at the way debtors are treated in this country in the light of the Eurozone crisis and today a review of John Humphrey's look at the future of the Welfare State. I'll be keeping Five kids for all things a parenting and family. I have just one more project up my sleeve - always was a multi tasker... so watch this space!

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Music as Therapy

I was so excited to be tagged for Music as Therapy by mum2four the brilliant meme started by misslexywoo.
I don't get much time to listen to music these days but my DH has earphones permanently fixed to his head and he has assigned me organisor and curator of his ipod. We always have music on in the car although it's a fight as to who gets their cd in first !

To take part in the Meme you have to choose
3 beautiful songs.
3 different bands.
3 sets of lyrics that touch you in any way you want to show.
So here are my songs:

This song sums up my philosophy for life really....

Let It Be - The Beatles

When I find myself in times of trouble, mother Mary comes to me,
speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
And in my hour of darkness she is standing right in front of me,
speaking words of wisdom, let it be.

Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be.
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be.

And when the broken hearted people living in the world agree,
there will be an answer, let it be.
For though they may be parted there is still a chance that they will see,
there will be an answer. let it be.

Let it be, let it be, .....

And when the night is cloudy, there is still a light, that shines on me,
shine until tomorrow, let it be.
I wake up to the sound of music, mother Mary comes to me,
speaking words of wisdom, let it be.

Let it be, let it be, ..

Copyright:Paul McCartney,John Lennon

This next choice is one of my all time favourite songs - love the Alexandra Burke version too:

Hallelujah- Leonard Cohen

Now I've heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you don't really care for music, do you?
It goes like this
The fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift
The baffled king composing Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew you
She tied you
To a kitchen chair
She broke your throne, and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Baby I have been here before
I know this room, I've walked this floor
I used to live alone before I knew you.
I've seen your flag on the marble arch
This is love not some kind of a victory march
It's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

There was a time you let me know
What's really going on below
But now you never show it to me, do you?
And remember when I moved in you
The holy dove was moving too
And every breath we drew was Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Maybe there's a God above
And all I ever learned from love
Was how to shoot at someone who outdrew you
It's not a cry you can hear at night
It's not somebody who's seen the light
it's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

You say I took the name in vain
I don't even know the name
But if I did, well really, what's it to you?
There's a blaze of light
In every word
It doesn't matter which you heard
The holy or the broken Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

I did my best, it wasn't much
I couldn't feel, so I tried to touch
I've told the truth, I didn't come to fool you
And even though
It all went wrong
I'll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah

Yeah but it's not a complaint that you hear tonight,
It's not the laughter of someone who claims to have seen the light
No it's a cold and it's a very lonely Hallelujah.

Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Hallelujah, Hallelujah…

Leonard Cohen 1984 & 1994

and finally I want this one playing at my funeral !!

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Halloween Love it or Hate it?

Blog fever is taking my house - my daughters'  helped me with the making of this vlog so bear with the wobbly camera work ...

In all truth after making this video we decided we would dress the little ones up and take them trick or treating and we did throw a pumpkin into the trolley at the supermarket this morning - so I guess we love Halloween after all!

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

For every parent of a teenager

My eldest daughter is 13 years old and don't we know it at times -  like any thirteen year old girl she can be moody and aggravating but also funny, loving and amazingly talented. She decided she wanted to learn to play the piano so armed with a book and a keyboard  from ebay she taught herself to play. She can now play like this. Her grandparents were so amazed they bought her a piano. I don't know how she does it!

P.S That is not a tattoo on her arm but another 13 year old annoying habit - doodling on hands and arms
Her latest project is teaching herself to write in Japanese

She can also draw like this:

So to every parent of a teenager:
When they are annoying you, frustating you, being rude to you, insisting they are right and you are wrong - take a deep breath - smile and focus on all the amazing things they can do - you helped them become the person they are and one day you will be truly proud.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Take one chocolate labrador and put her in the bath ....

Our one year old was wide eyed with intrigue as he watched our 3 year old chocolate labrador Lola being lifted in to the bath -  he couldn't work out why she was in there and looked a little bit concerned for his bath toys! Luckily labradors love water and Lola didn't mind at all as we lathered her coat with the gorgeous smelling Pet shampoo from Natural & Clean (I'd been sent this by the company after chatting to them on Twitter - they make a range of green products for cleaning home and pets)  Lola had been getting a bit smelly and we had run out of our usual dog shampoo so this  arrived just in time for her much needed bath. We don't bath Lola often as too much bathing can strip the natural oils from her coat but when we do we are very careful to use a quality product. The shampoo smelt gorgeous and the packaging was so posh it put our budget human shampoos on the bathroom shelf to shame!

               We soon had a very soapy dog but the shampoo was really easy to wash out.

 Lola was a very good dog loving the attention, then with her customary shake soaking everything and everyone Lola ran downstairs and found herself a spot near the patio doors to dry out. In the meantime I headed off to her dog basket which was also becoming a bit whiffy and gave her blanket a quick squirt with Natural & Clean Pet Spot and Odour eliminator - this too smelt fab and soon put a  stop to that little whiff of essence of dog.

The end result was a very happy dog smelling fresh as a daisy and with  a lovely shiny coat - who knew dog washing could be such fun ?!


To find out more about Natural&Clean's lovely products :
Follow @naturalandclean on twitter!/Naturalandclean

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Saturday is Caption Day

Saturday is caption day once more - so here is this weeks. FInd more on Mammasaurus
I'll caption yours if you are so lovely as to caption mine.
Follow me on twitter @5kidscounting and find more great pics to caption by searching #SatCap

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Thursday's Thought

I'm joining in with Pinkoddy and TheRealSuperMum with a fab new Meme Thursday thought
This is a chance to open a topic for discussion so join in air your opinions get something off your chest

My thought for today is - should the older generation and by that I  mean mostly retired people have a longer memory when it comes to young kids playing up in shops ( by playing up and I mean  anything from only a little bit of an "I want" to a full blown tantrum)
I am used to my kids being stared at in supermarkets if I take them in during a weekday as two are them are currently home educated BUT it really annoys me when I see mums being given steely looks by older shoppers when their little ones get a little overheated - surely they if they are parents themselves they can remember the terrible twos or the times kids who have had enough of shopping  want to go home decide to take a tactical approach to getting mum out of the store. Aren't we all guilty of keeping our kids shopping a bit too long sometime?
I'd also add it works both ways - I've seen younger shopper get really annoyed with the elderly shopper who takes a long time to load their shopping ... what do you think?

Find more Thursday thoughts on twitter #

Monday, 17 October 2011

"Even God hates Wall Street"

"Even God hates Wall Street" - or so said a banner waved by a protestor in Times Square New York on Friday. I'm a bit of a news addict at the best of times - even found myself watching Russia Today when the one year old accidentally sat on the remote control. (The russian interpretation of the protests in New York agains global capitalism and banking greed was interesting to say the least) The news is always in the background in our house and can lead to some interesting questions. So the five year old asks me to explain why god hates Wall Street and I launch into a story about how it's not good to be greedy hoping to give a simple analogy - so she looks me in the eye and says - so does that mean God hates me because I ate all the chocolate biscuits .... and off I go again fishing for an answer......

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Saturday is Caption Day

Saturday is caption day over on Mammasaurus so I'm jpining in again -what about this picture?
I love to see you captions it has been so much fun. I'll pop over to your blog and caption your picture if you join in the linky !

Friday, 14 October 2011

Reasons to be Cheerful

Today I'm joining in with the bloghop on Mummy from the Heart's fab blog with my reasons to be cheerful:

1. Although the week got off to a rough start with a horrible bullying issue for my girls on the school bus I'm happy to say the school took the bull by the horns and dealt with it swiftly by banning the culprits for a week - so great to see a school tackling bullying head on.

2. My one year old who seemed to be a reluctant talker started to copy every word that came out of our mouths - see video post yesterday - think he is going to be a chatterbox.

3. Letter from mortage company saying we had missed a payment turned out to be a computer error - though the hubby had spent the lot in William Hill ( tongue firmly in cheek I hasten to add!)

4. Got invited to a fab event for Drinkaware in London via Mumsnet Blogger network - can't go but still nice to be asked.

5. Found £10 under the one year olds bed - he has taken to pulling my purse out of my bag - thought I'd just overspent the budget. On reflection what felt a really stressful week has had some really good bits

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Mumsnet Better Miscarriage Care Campaign - My Story

Every woman who has ever had a miscarriage carries a tiny scar on their soul - the baby that never was.
I have five beautiful children so almost feel I have no right to the tears that are falling as I write this - I hope that by sharing my story and adding my voice to the Mumsnet Better Miscarriage Care Campaign I can turn a great sadness into something positive.

My miscarriage was discovered at a dating scan - I had two children already and had no reason to think that there would be any  problems with this third pregnancy. Ironically I had had early bleeding with my first two babies but with this baby there was no bleeding so I had gone to the scan with my DH feeling completely sure all would be well. It was my DH that noticed something was wrong soon after the sonographer started scanning - I heard the panic in his voice and watched his face crumple as she told us that the baby had stopped developing at 6 weeks.
We were quite quickly put into a side room where a doctor explained  briefly I would need a d and c. I was completely numb and terrified - I just wanted to go home to my two little girls. They left us in this side room (which was actually a storage cupboard) and we just cried and held hands - we were so shocked and devastated we just couldn't speak. We were told to come back in the morning after I had been nil by mouth for 12 hours to have the op and  briskly sent on our way. We passed lots of pregnant ladies with their partners on our way out and  I knew they knew by our tear stained faces and frozen expression we had been given bad news. I felt guilty in case seeing me in the state I was in spoilt their scan visit.
Telling our parents was hard but telling our eldest daughter who was 5 was harder - she is 13 now and still remembers the baby that never was. I went back to the hospital the next day onto the surgical ward and that was where things went from bad to worse. I was due to be one of the first to be taken down to theatre but I kept being put back due to "urgent" cases - by 5.00pm in the afternoon (I had arrived back at hospital at 8.30 a.m) a nurse found me to be so dehydrated that  I needed a drip putting up - this led to the suggestion that the operation would need to be put off as I was too dehydrated for it to go ahead. This is when I completely broke down - a passing hospital chaplain hearing  my crying came in to offer help and with his intervention the doctors agreed to go ahead and I went to theatre at about 7.00pm. As much as I didn't want to say goodbye to this baby the thought of having to come back and wait all over again the next day was unbearable.

I have had three more babies since then - I have had scans in the same scan room as the one in which we had the bad news - those scans were heart stoppingly awful until the point at which the screen was turned to show me our baby moving. I know how lucky I am, as so many women have miscarriage after miscarriage and never get to see the flicker of a tiny heart beating.

  So that's my story - I join with Mumsnet to demand on behalf of all women compassionate, appropriate co-ordinated and ongoing care after miscarriage - if it wasn't for forums like Mumsnet many women would struggle to cope once the immediate "medical" situation is dealt with so women should have better access to help even some time after the actual miscarriage.

As for my baby that never was - I believe that although he or she never had time here on earth my baby waits for me in God's arms and one day I will be reunited with my little one - and in truth I'm a mummy to six.

School - what is the point?

School - I just don’t get it.
 What is the point ?
 They make me sit, at a table - for year after year,
 and fill my head
 with stuff I don’t want to hear...
 I can’t get it right,
 I won’t read the words
 and nobody listens
 I can’t make myself heard.

 So they tell me  I’m useless.

 I give up and draw on the desk and throw away my homework and mess up the test.
 So they keep me in at lunchtime and sit me by myself.

 I can’t wait for school to be over -  so I can work for MYSELF

Monday, 10 October 2011

Vlogging for Britmums on the topic of kids tv

National Novel Writing Month here we come!

After discovering that the world doesn't stopped turning if I don't blog for a fair few days I have decided to set myself an even greater challenge than blogging regularly - I am joining in with National Novel Writing Month - 50,000 words to be written between 1st and 30th of November. I wrote a childrens book about 5 years ago and actually sent it off to an agent - and received a lovely rejection later saying that it was "didn't fit in with their list" but that it was being returned "so i could have the earliest opportunity to find the right publisher" - I thought this was an outright discouragement but on discovering the letter in a box of old letters in the attic I think perhaps it was a more encouraging response than I interpreted at the time. Anyway this novel won't be a children's story - I have a few ideas percolating in my head so we shall see what appears and whether I reach the finishing post.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

No time to blog - playing on google+

No time to meaningfully blog today as in between teaching polygons and the human body and addition and blending phonics, playing with the one year old, cleaning house, making dinner, going shopping, helping other child with technology homework - I will be playing on Google+ and newly discovered :)

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

The Gallery: My Guilty Pleasure

Notice there are a few brownies gone from the once overflowing plate - it wasn't the 5 kids who ate them!

If you are a blogger why not join in with The Gallery

Money money money ....

I was reading about the campaign to get financial education into the National Curriculum this morning headed up by Moneysaving Expert Martin Lewis. One of my goals for my children home edded and schooled is to make them financially savvy - we are teaching them the value of money and the dangers of using credit (and then paradoxically explain to our 13 year old that she will need to borrow huge amount to go to University but that's for another day!)
Both myself and my husband cut up our credit cards two years ago and have not used a penny of credit since - we are paying back our debts and will be doing so for a good while yet. We have a budget for everything - we sell things we don't want any more and use the money to buy the next thing we want/need  in this way we always look for what we call "old money" before use "new money".
Don't get the wrong impression - we have made money in the past by moving house lots of times but as the housing market took a downturn we lost money and we are paying the price in our lifestyle now.
If we get financial education on the  school curriculum we will produce a generation of children who can't have the wool pulled over their eyes by the banks - they will learn to manage money before they get their hands on it in any real quantity and that can only be for the  benefit of society.
Sign the e-petition here or visit

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

It's a memory thing

I love this idea - at  items are being tagged with QR codes - so if you are selling something on ebay you can tag it with a QR code -(a simple printable tag which can be read by android or iphone (you've probably seen these tags on print adverts in magazines etc) This means the buyer of your item can go to the Tales of things website and find out about the history of the item. This really is the start of the "internet of things "

Monday, 19 September 2011

What to make from an old book - altered art!

I've been experimenting with altered art in particular altered books - it was a fab morning.
I took  a battered old book and started to use the pages as a journal - in the inner front cover I doodled and wrote one of my favourite sayings "when one door closes... another door opens!" then using some old magazines cut and stuck little pictures and doodles - I warn you doing this activity makes you feel about five again but so much fun.

The front and back of the book  I recovered using pages from Country Living Magazine but leaving the old spine exposed for a shabby chic look

Inside  I made cut outs with pictures stuck behind and little collages

A work in progress only four pages so far  - give it a try !

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Save the Children Petition

I've broken the silence of Silent Sunday to join in with the parent bloggers who want to draw attention to the Save the Children campaign to prevent children dying because there aren't enough trained  health workers to adminster vaccinations

My health professional of note was my midwife Jane who looked after me during all five of my pregnancies - she was always reassuring and went the extra mile popping up on to the ward after I had my babies to say hello to the new arrival. Community midwives are rushed off their feet these days but Jane was the utimate professional

Sign the petition here

Silent Sunday

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Friday, 16 September 2011

Go the go ahead for new home education group for North KIrklees

Have just got a lovely room organised for the new Home ed group I am establishing in Cleckheaton West Yorkshire - hope this is the start of a long lasting a fun group - will keep details posted via the blog - email for further details

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Video blogging or should I say vlogging - here we come!

We got ourselves some webcams today so we have been playing around with them (because you can do that kind of thing when you are home educating!) - setting up led to a good half hour talking about light and its properties when Olivia realised that pulling the curtains closed made a difference to the picture on the camera..... After about 15 mins trying to set them up (as baby George thought it was hilarious to pull the webcam off the top of the laptop everytime I got it in just the right position)  - here's me and Liv trying it out ...

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Neighbourhood Watch !!

Is the concept of being a good neighbour dead and buried in Britain 2011?
There is about as much chance of me becoming the Pope as there is David Camerons big society becoming a reality if the experience on  my road is anything to go by. Last night there was a knock at my door - it was a Police Community Support Officer who had been summoned by the "Man with a Van" to have a word with us because we had asked politely for them not to block us in.  After an inital questioning she quickly came to the realisation that we had one car and one driver in our house - me .The neighbours have three cars a big van and a motorbike !!  and that we had indeed done nothing more than ask politely more than once.She went on to suggest that I didn't use my drive but parked on the road - when I said  I thought it might antagonise the neighbour she said - "f you were there first then it's tough!" She also said the PCSO would come and ask him to move if he blocked me in but we were not to ask - as asking again could mean they could accuse us of harrassing them over parking !!!
I was brought up to believe that neighbours should look out for each other and strive to create a harmonious place to live - is our society so broken we can't even listen to each other without a lady in uniform arriving on the doorstep?

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Neighbour from hell!

"Can you put your van on your drive please - you are making it difficult for me to get out" I ask the neighbour, smiling...
"No" he replies folding his arms determinedly
"I've paid my road tax I can park where I like"
"But your drive is empty - you don't need to park on the road"  I point out politely
"I'm parking here and there is nothing you can do about it !" his tone becomes more shrill
"You should change your driving because I'm not changing where I'm parking"
He stomps into his house and stands staring at me from behind the kitchen blind.

Is this the Big Society ?!

Monday, 12 September 2011

Sunday, 11 September 2011

9/11 may they rest in peace

The finally unveiled memorial to the victims of 9/11 is beautiful in its simplicity. Ten years before 9/11 I stood on the viewing platform of one of the twin towers and the view over New York was unforgettable. Ten years later I watched in horror as the attacks unfolded whilst my three year old daughter played in the garden. My much loved grandmother had passed away just ten days before. I share the sadness of the families and pray that they find comfort today.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

To carpet or not to carpet - that is the question?

We have carpet upstairs and wooden floors downstairs and with 5 kids and a chocolate labrador that is not a happy combination - so today on impulse I have taken up the landing carpet as a precursor to getting new (the Dh may not be best pleased as he feels stained carpet is better than no carpet) . George had a fab time wielding the hammer and Olivia had an impromptu lesson  on materials : we found - wood, metal, tiles, paint, paper and a ton of dust - What's in dust then Mum?" she asks and off we go down another winding path to learning.....
So the question now is -  to carpet or not to carpet - the floorboards are already sanded and looking rather shabby chic - guess another rug needs making.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Had a severe case of tense pencil sharpening this morning

Had a severe case of tense pencil sharpening this morning - it‘s a throw back from when I was a primary class teacher and had to speed sharpen hundreds of coloured pencils before school!
By contrast we had a lovely relaxed first day back to home ed yesterday :)

Monday, 5 September 2011

When your child tries to swim in the bath ....

She was trying out swimming in the bath
"Mum - there isn't enough water" she grumbled
New swimsuit, armbands and swimming lessons were purchased
She stood on the side of the pool
Looking so excited she could burst!
"At last - I get to go in the biggest bath in the world!" she declared
I'm looking forward to retreating to the viewing area to watch her splashing
"Come on Mum" said the instructor
"Mummys come in the water too - go and get your costume!"

It was the best fun I've had in years!
Like taming an octopus and trying to teach it to go in a direction it has no intention of going!

I say teach your children to swim parents
before they decide to jump in !


Sunday, 4 September 2011

It might have been money saving BUT .... rug hooking is hell!

I've been a knitter for years even running a small business supplying my own designs to  baby shops and I've done patchwork quilts and machine embroidery but earlier this year I decided it was time to get back to basics.  Our house has wooden floors downstairs and we needed rugs. A relative supplied me with a box of old rug making tools that used to belong to my great grandfather who apparently was a big rug maker. I found loads of info online about  the different ways rugs were made in the from proddy rugs in the UK to rugs woven around the spokes of a wagon wheel in the USA. I couldn't source a wagon wheel !! but we found a peg loom on ebay so easy to use Olivia and I had a rug made in no time at all.
I went to University in the USA in Kansas and my friends houses were full of hooked rugs I watched a video of one being made on Youtube and thought this looked easy!!
 After hours of searching for the special hook  which I finally located on Etsy I was donated a piece of hessian from my crafting mum  so I confidently sketched out my design, cut up my hubbies old t shirts (as I wanted my rug to use recyled fabric) and set to work......

The hessian is smelly and gave me an allergy - streaming eyes and sneezing for hours........
The hooking with t shirt fabric makes your hands hurt and takes forever...
Making rugs like this might have been money saving but it is the least fun I have ever had making something ... no wonder the rugs were passed down from generation to generatiion and vintage ones are worth a small fortune
Here's the rug so far - I  will finish it one day !

Saturday, 3 September 2011

Number two is starting High School

 High School is looming for child number two - I swore when I was a teenager that I'd never number my children and I also swore I'd never go through a list of half uttered children's names before calling a child by the correct one like my mum did - but I admit  am guilty on both charges but I also swore I'd never want more than two children and now I have five!

 Sometimes in the middle of all the baby chaos and home school stuff my beautiful older girls fight to get a look in  - one came past rubbing the sleep from her eyes this morning moaning "blogging or home school -  Why don't you just put the kettle on mother!"

 So by way of mother's revenge and much to their embarrassment I'm going to post their picture on my blog and wish number two good luck for her first day at high school and number one a brilliant year.

 Two in school - two at home school and a baby  certainly makes for a different September!

Blog now in Mumsnet Blogger Network

Five Kids is now in the Mumsnet blogging network - what with that and being a Mumsnet Tsarina - we're all Mumsnetted up !!

I'm one year old and I'm awake so you will be too!

I don't care that it's 6.30 a.m and everyone in the house wants to sleep
Sleep is for the weak and I want to play
I'll wake you by any means necessary - even the hair pull manoeuvre isn't off  bounds
So what if even the dog looks annoyed at being woken at this early hour!

I want my books and my toys and I want a person to play with
No you can't just put the kettle on before we begin
because I have the utlimate weapon
a scream so loud it will wake the whole street if mum delays play!

I'll play ever so quietly for an hour or so and then I'll want toast
and just when the others want breakfast and tea
I'll roll on the floor crying because I'M tired and I want to go back to bed

We love Saturday mornings in our house!

Friday, 2 September 2011

Ever wanted to lay down on the grass and do roly polys?

Our summer garden makeover (well part of the garden anyway!) is officially finished - new fence in place, scrubland style lawn stripped and replaced with new turf - it looks so lovely I feel the urge to lay down and roly poly all the way across whenever I look out the window! All the kids, my DH and the parents in law helped with the project so we feel very pleased with our efforts - now there is just the small matter of keeping a one year boy and a lively chocolate labrador off the grass for a month whilst the roots take hold !
 Isn't also  true to that when you make one part look presentable in either home or garden all the scruffy bits remaining suddenly look even worse !

Gran gives the ground a good water !

Finest Yorkshire Turf!

Just like laying carpet !

Looking lovely !

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Local meets for Kirklees and neighbouring areas home education families

New local meets for home ed me
Tweet @cthom5
or leave a post for more details

We are the proud owners of a mortgage free property

We have just got ourselves a second house .. a lovely residence in need of some updating but with great potential ... bought at auction for a mere 10 pounds. No mortgage but we won‘t be moving in any time soon.Its a fab new home ed project for me and liv ...  follow our progress over the next few weeks

Sunday, 28 August 2011

The great garden project

We‘ve all had a hand in stripping the old turf and digging out tree roots ...should have called in Time Team but all we found was bits of old tiles. Hoping at least one of the kids will take to gardening.Turfing next week thanks to the sterling efforts of dh and his parents (I supplied the tea!)

Teaching your five year old to blog can have it's hazards!

Have been a truly lazy blogger over the summer holidays - due to the fact we decided to returf and rennovate the whole of our back garden.. aiming to sell the house when the market picks up ! I haven't checked in for so long I hadn't noticed that my five year old has added a video (see last post) to my blog instead of her own. I suppose it's my fault really for creating a child who blogs at bedtime via my android phone instead of sleeping ! At least her home ed IT are up to scratch !!

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Why do home educating parents get no help with funding?

My recent post on
What's everyones opinion on the fact that we don't send our children to school or we take out children out of school so the LEA saves a minimum of £3000 per year and far more at secondary level but we get no help at all with funding ? If money was available would the fact that getting funding from an LEA or direct from government mean contact with the "authorities" or providing proof that the money had been spent on the childs education put you off applying if it was available?
There was talk of giving parents a voucher which they could take to any school which represented the LEA spending for that pupil and parents would be free to top up if they wanted private ed etc. This has been put to oneside due to cuts but we are still saving the government thousands and yet paying taxes etc which fund education.
I think we should campaign for some of the money which would have been spent on our children if they were in school to be given either direct to parents or to a central elective home education body formed by home ed parents to distribute to families - I'll start a campaign if anyone is interested?

In answer to my question I pose another - is it because government and LEA's are afraid that more parents would chose home education as a lifestyle choice if funding was available ?

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Will free school funding extend to us?

Along with some other home ed mums I have been ruminating the idea of setting up a part time place where we can run educational activities along home education lines. Can you tell I'm finding it hard not to call this "thing " I want to establish a school ! So the research begins. In Berkshire there is a place called Heroes which runs flexi style education but with an emphasis upon its work involving children with animals. Do I look at starting a social enterprise - heaven knows I could do with earning some money - or do I look at forming a charitable trust. I wonder if Michael Goves Free school funding would help  - or is this too establishment. I defy the mum who said that I'll never get enough home edders together to make anything like this  work as it would be like " herding cats"
I love a challenge so more to follow

A flash back through seven months of Home education

This is a quick run through of just some of the activities and learning experiences we have had during our first seven months of home education. It's great to look back at some of the best bits ( in no particular order!)

Making our own t shirts!

Turning our old clothes into rag rugs

Learning to create animations

Five year olds love using drawing software as much as pens and paper

Learning about space travel and watching the last ever space shuttle take off

Making good use of our recycled materials

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Online lessons ideas brewing....

I have been looking into virtual schools such as interhigh and can really see the potential for home ed children meeting online to learn together. A writers workshop springs to mind this space for more details

Monday, 20 June 2011

Lovely redcurrants from our garden - we tried them in muffins ..yum !

Dd wanted her redcurrant picking efforts on the blog - so here we are

Redcurrant Muffins

 Makes 12 muffins - we weren't too sure about redcurrant muffins but they were duly declared delicious!
  • 60g unsalted butter
  • 175g plain white flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 120g caster sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 120ml milk
  • 125g fresh redcurrants
  • Preheat oven to 180°C. Melt butter
  •  Sift flour, baking powder, salt and all the sugar apart from 2 tbsp - save this to sprinkle over top before cooking
  •  Beat egg and whisk in milk and melted butter. Add to flour mixture; stir then fold in redcurrants
  • Fill muffin cases, filling each slightly more than half full. Sprinkle reserved sugar over batter in each cup.
  •  Bake in a preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown and a wooden skewer or knife inserted in the centre comes out clean.