Category Archives: Weekly Wrap Ups

Weekly Wrap Up – The One Where We Finally Made Elephant Toothpaste

elephant toothpaste homeschool science

We’ve had a light homeschooling week as it’s UK half term holidays and my mum and nephew S(5) have been visiting. S lives three hours’ drive away and started full-time school last September, so it’s been lovely for the cousins to spend time together.  There’s been lots of swimming, park fun and playing in the garden.

What’s Been Happening In Our Homeschool

Projects  C’s passionate about animation at the moment. Father Christmas brought her The Klutz Book of Animation and she’s been having great fun making movies using the software that came free with the book. This week she made a portable animation studio out of paper, and created some props, including a rising and setting sun and moon suspended by fishing wire!

watermelon chalk pastels homeschool art

Art  We got out the soft pastels and made watermelon pictures.

Read Aloud  We’ve been listening to lots of audiobooks recently – we just finished the Narnia series (again).

But we have a few books on our shelves that I’ve been wanting to read together, like Return of the Twelves, which intrigued C and I when we used it in an opening hooks exercise for The Arrow.  So I was pleased we started reading it aloud together this week.  Return of the Twelves also fits in well with the fantasy genre C and I are exploring with the Arrow following reading The People in Pineapple Place.

Science  We continued our investigation of mixtures, colloids and emulsions by experimenting to see what substances make good emulsifiers.

The results weren’t as clear-cut as I’d hoped – it’s no coincidence that mayonnaise and hollandaise sauce can be tricky to make! We talked a little about how emulsions are formed, and plan to make mayonnaise together soon to revisit this topic.

elephant toothpaste homeschool science

My nephew’s visit also prompted me to get round to making “elephant’s toothpaste” which I’d pinned 36 weeks ago! They all LOVED this experiment, of course! Read more about how to make elephant’s toothpaste here.

poetry tea homeschool language arts

Poetry Tea  We held a special poetry tea at which read all our favourite, 5 year old-friendly poems. (Yes, I was there too!)

What have you been up to this week?


For more fun homeschooling ideas from around the world, visit Collage Friday at HomeGrown Learners, It’s A Wrap at Hammock Tracks and Weekly Wrap-up at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers.

Homegrown Learners

Weekly Wrap Up – The One With Science, Gangnam Style

Portrait - homeschooling art

A look at what’s been going on in our homeschool this week…

What’s Been Inspiring Me

This week I’ve been inspired by Brave Writer’s One Thing Principle, which is about creating the conditions to invite in inspiration, and finding the time to follow it up.

Here’s what I took away from the One Thing Principle podcast:

(1) When you’re inspired by an idea for a homeschooling project, plan for it by putting a date in the diary two weeks from today. That gives you time to get in any supplies and prepare.

(2) Be open to putting aside routine tasks (yes, even maths and English) on that day, to give yourselves the time to create a fun and memorable learning experience.

Simple but effective!

Most Fun We Had This Week

The most fun we had this week was definitely making butter, “gangnam style”! (I love how my autocorrect wants to say “gingham style”.)

Home Made Butter Science Fun

(Yes, I was there too.)


We began a mini-unit on China in the Middle Ages – so much fun!.  First we reviewed what we learned about Ancient China last year   Then we started to look at some Chinese inventions.  C(9) was inspired to make an animated film about the invention of gunpowder.

Middle Ages China Unit Study


We’re enjoying our short break from Life of Fred to practice times tables on Mathletics – they have some great multiplication songs.  Well, they’re great the first six times you hear them. 😐

We’ve also dipped into the Maths Made Easy workbooks to look at some concepts on the UK National Curriculum  that haven’t yet been covered in Life of Fred.

It’s so reassuring to realise how quickly the children catch onto new ideas when they learn them in a relaxed, one-to-one setting – concepts that might be worked on for weeks in school. I think Life of Fred has helped C and J develop a “maths is fun” attitude, which makes everything else so much easier.


For this week’s Art Lab For Kids project I bought a mixed bouquet for us to draw with soft pastels.

art labs for kids - soft pastel bouquet - homeschool art

As soon as she saw the flowers, C plucked out the rose in delight and asked me to photograph her so she could draw herself with it. She’s been drawing lots of portraits since I put a box of skin-coloured pencils in our art area. I love successful strewing!

What have been the highlights of your week?


We’re appreciatively linking up here:

Weekly Wrap-Up @ Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers

Collage Friday @ Homegrown Learners

It’s A Wrap @ Hammock Tracks

Yes, I Was There Too @ More2Les

Yes I Was There Too Button

Homegrown Learners

Weekly Wrap Up – The One With The Snow

Homeschool weekly wrap up Navigating By Joy

We had our annual snow this week, so snow fun was top of the homeschool agenda. The highlight was hitting the sledging run on Monday morning when all the other kids had gone back to school (tee hee!).

We just about managed to  fit in some other types of learning around the edges, too. 🙂


We’ve been reading about the rise of Islam and the Islamic Empire in The Story of the World Vol 2: The Middle Ages. This has sparked some interesting questions and discussions about Christianity, Islam and other belief systems.

C and J are 9 and 7 so at the moment we’re learning history as an exciting story without much detailed examination of complex causes and motivations. But I love, love, love it when I notice them making spontaneous connections.

It happened this week when we learnt about how the Visigoths who had settled in Spain invited Tariq bin Ziyad over from North Africa to help them deal with internal conflict. I was so excited to see C’s eyes light up as she exclaimed, “That sounds like when the English invited over the Anglo-Saxons and ended up being conquered by them!”


This term I’m bringing maps in wherever I can. We use the WonderMaps software which lets you view and print maps showing as much or as little detail as you require.

The WonderMaps package also includes historical maps, so to complement our history study this week we’ve been looking at a map of the medieval Islamic Empire, side by side with a map of the area as it is today. As we learn about each important place in history the kids find it and mark it on the map.

I try to select maps that show Britain on the same map as the area we are studying.  If that’s not possible, I have to hand a separate, smaller scale map showing where we are in relation to the area. I think this helps the children (and me!) form a joined-up mental map of the world.

This week we all enjoyed learning how the name of the British colony at the south of Spain is derived from Jabal Tariq (“Tariq’s Mountain”) – the rock of Gibraltar!


We use Life of Fred as our main maths curriculum, but from time to time we supplement with other materials, to consolidate learning, practise techniques and fill gaps.

This week we’ve used Maths Made Easy workbooks and Mathletics as our supplements. C has been learning about factors and J has been practising arithmetic. Workbooks can be fun when you don’t use them all the time!

English/Language Arts

The People In Pineapple Place

C and I have been enjoying reading our current Arrow book The People in Pineapple Place and doing copywork and dictation from it. We also restarted Spelling Power which had fallen by the wayside about a year ago. We’re going to try doing it once a week, instead of daily,  to try and keep it fresh.

Luckily I don’t have to keep reinventing the wheel when it comes to J’s language arts programme, which is progressing nicely.

I’m pleased to see him choosing to write a bit more.  One evening this week he produced a “magna carta” for the family to sign.  “How sweet,” I though,  adding my signature to his charter declaring that “Mummy gets to do what ever she wants” – shooing away cynical thoughts about the location of the small print.

Five minutes later a triumphant J reappeared, revealing the rest of the “magna carta” which he had written in invisible ink before we signed – “Jasper gets to do games all the time”! (Honestly, you’d think we kept him in chains!) It’s so true that a child will write if the desire is strong enough!


Appreciating classical music is so easy with You Tube! C chose our current composer, Chopin.  We’ve all enjoyed listening to the pieces she’s selected this week.  Sometimes we have the music on in the background, other times (especially if it’s a funny clip or original instruments are being played) we watch the accompanying video via Apple TV.


We made an acid/base indicator with red cabbage! I’ll be writing a separate post all about the fun we had with that.

Red cabbage acid base indicato original  2

We hope you’ve had a great week too.

We’re appreciatively linking up here…

Homegrown Learners