A while back we obtained a Raspberry Pi, ready programmed and complete with keyboard and monitor. I pulled it down from the loft a couple of weeks ago and youngest has been getting to grips with Scratch. So far she has dabbled with movement, speech and background.
It is a very easy programming tool for kids. Coding animations, games and interactive stories. Using drag and drop comands to make a script , the characters can be programmed to interact with each other and their surroundings as part of a story.
Scratch is suitable for children of primary and secondary age, as animations can be both simple and more complex.
The link for scratch is below.
The annual Big Garden Birdwatch takes place between the 27th and 29th January. My youngest did it last year and we have ordered the pack this year too from the RSPB website (link below).
Over one hour during the three dates above participants watch and count birds that land in their garden or other chosen location. The results are recorded on a sheet provided in the RSBP pack. Youngest will be doing the bird count on Saturday 28th. When we return our results to the RSBP they will use them to gain a picture of where the different birds are in the country. The pack can be downloaded from the website so it’s not too late to take part.
I had a wobble recently over our choice to remove youngest from school. Things have not run smoothly over the last few months since eldest received his epilepsy diagnosis. Adjustments have had to be made and the new situation has affected us all in some way or another. The way the kids’ week had been organised last spring and summer was impossible to continue and September to December was in retrospect about finding a new routine that worked. And now that we have found that routine, one that works for all of us I have suddenly remembered that only in Home Education are we able to do this. Youngest has wanted to do some more structured learning groups and eldest has managed to get back to his guitar lessons for the first time since his diagnosis in the summer. We are moving in a better direction and with that I feel more confident in our decision to Home Educate. For of course the problem wasn’t Home Ed but the giant bomb blast of Epilepsy that hit our family. But we are getting on with it and progressing through treatment and adapting together. And Home Education is an integral part of that. It allows us to be a close working unit, to support eldest and each other, to get through this at our own pace without being affected or influenced by anyone else.
Christmas jigsaw, making bird food and Robot making at STEM science
It has been a strange Christmas this time. Whilst still adjusting to eldest’s Epilepsy and all that comes with a so far uncontrolled neurological condition, it has proved difficult when it has come to receiving visitors. His seizures have, very unhelpfully, turned out to be triggered mostly by noise which of course is absolutely everywhere he goes. The end result is that he goes nowhere or else goes out and behaves in bizarre and uncontrolled ways due to focal seizures and tics. We have the latest neurology appointment in a few days to discuss EEG and MRI results followed by next steps with medication.
Being around other people at Christmas was a struggle for him and therefore us, but the time when it was just the four of us at home was great. We have had even more stay at home time recently with the intervention of the lovely Flu that we managed to catch on a recent visit to Yorkshire.
Therefore it has been a slow start to the year. Youngest has started a new Maths and English Home Ed group which she loves and the eldest has managed to start back at his guitar lesson this week, for the first time since the seizures started. A while back he said that guitar was too hard. I didn’t appreciate until the day of the guitar lesson and i saw that the epilepsy is actually affecting his ability to play the notes. But it still made him happy to go back and do something that he loves so i’m trying not to care.
This term eldest is going to crack on with his Art Award Bronze whilst youngest is enjoying learning about egyptians and animation. We are hoping to finish an animation which we began making some time ago about the Loch Ness monster, so watch this space.
It is 23rd December. The decorations are twinkling and the cards are taking it in turns to fall on the floor. The first round of family visited today. There was cake and it was good.
Fortunately i finished the food shopping before the last minute lunacy began. I shall not be stepping foot out into the world until after the Schools open again in the new year. After the year when i wrapped every present on Christmas Eve and didn’t get to bed until four in the morning i have always made sure that all pressents are wrapped at least two days before the big one. This year was no exception and they are now rammed in the under the stairs Tardis shaped like a cupboard, waiting for the kids to go to bed tomorrow.
And now we are sat on our bums in our nice warm living room watching a suitable offering of Christmas junk on the TV whilst devouring a rather yummy stash of chocolate.
Tomorrow will be spent preparing the food for Christmas day. The house will be filled with the smell of Christmas food and echo with tacky Christmas songs. Still to put together are the trifle and pecan pie. I could be organised and start tonight but that would be too easy. Happy Christmas.
Yesterday the eldest made our first batch of lovely gluten free mince pies. And here they are. The pastry is beautiful, just the right thickness. It didn’t stick to the work surface and it is just crumbly enough without falling apart. I’m sure it is because no rolling pin was used to flatten it into shape. The recipe we used for the pastry is from all recipes.co.uk. and can be found by clicking on the link Gluten free shortcrust pastry.
We watched this last night. I had seen The 1990 film The Krays, several times and loved it. I think that is part of the reason why i never got around to watching this version. I expected it to be pretty similar. However it wasn’t. It followed the story from the point of view of Frances, wife of Reggie, from the time she meets the brothers until her sad demise and the arrest of Reggie and Ron.
Ron’s volatility was portrayed magnificently by Tom Hardy. It took until half way through the film before i realised that he was playing Reg too. Though my powers of observation aren’t known to be great some of the credit does have to go to the actor himself for playing both twins so differently.
The mixture of humour and violence was balanced so perfectly that it made the violence even more painful to watch and Ron’s insanity totally believable.
My favourite scene was the “Proper fucking shoot out” fight scene in the Pig and Whistle pub, both funny and shocking with the help of totally inappropriate background music. I really enjoyed this film and can’t believe i didn’t watch it sooner.