Our friend Bob

2 months ago we found some moldy bread in the kitchen. Great opportunity to make it grow. Immediately we found a name for it – Bob. So Bob was put into a plastic bag and given a place to live in our kitchen, where he could develop in peace and in a non stressful environment. So we have been looking at him once in a while the past 2 months. This is what he looks like now.

A typical day/week in our Home School

People often ask us to tell about a typical home school day. So here we go. The main thing about home schooling, is that there is no such thing, as a typical day/week. You have the freedom to have a new plan everyday. But for us, there is a need to have a plan and the security of repetition.

Many years ago our oldest daughter asked to have a weekly schedule put up on the wall every week, so she would know what our plans were. So every week I make a new schedule and put up Sunday evening. Some things will continue to be on the schedule for a long time and others, are only one of events.

The subjects on the schedule is a mix of adult and child wishes. I have chosen that they do general subjects that keep their learning above public school level, so it would be easy academically to enter a public school, if we no longer are able to home school. But also to prepare them for high school or other later education of their choice. Then the children have chosen to have additional subjects, like Spanish, Latin and Chinese. Subjects and how often we have them can vary on our schedule. We can also have weeks where we do project work intensively.

Well, back to a typical day. Let’s start with today. Today we had a day at home. We try to ballance days out of the house and days at home. We often get to plan too much, especially trips and activities out of the house. That often leaves us exhausted and longing for a day at home to get back our energy and catch up on basic stuff. We also really like to get good food and to have time to eat. As a general rule, we try to stay at home in the daytime every second day.

We usually get up at around 7 am-8 am. Then we all do our chores, do our exercises and positive confirmations. The kids empty the dishwasher, they put away any clean dry laundry, they open the windows and air out the house to start of with a fresh oxygen filled house. In the evening I have put their books ready on the table, so they can start working when they are dressed and have done their personal hygiene. I hang up any wet laundry to dry and put on the washing machine with a new load. Then I do my exercises, while the kids do their individual schoolwork like math, Danish, English and German. I go to and from my exercises to help them when they get stuck and so goes the time until around 9 am-9:30. Then I usually get time to get dressed and get ready. I make breakfast, alone or with a kid who needs a break from school work. Then we sit down together and eat.

The smallest child pealed the bananas for the smoothie and went to the cellar to get frozen fruit from the freezer. He also chose who should have which glass.

We usually then do our common school work. That is the rest of the subjects, mentioned above. Today we did biology, Latin and biology project.

Biology is a common subject in our home school. On the picture we are using the book from Pirana and Politikens book Menneskekroppen. Today we were examining the function of the human organs.

For Latin we are currently using https://www.clc.cambridgescp.com/sites/www.cambridgescpcom/files/legacy_root_files/clc/webbooks/book1/index.html?p=1

I prepared bread in the kitchen while they worked on the Latin exercises, and then corrected them together with them.

Then the children worked on a movie for their youtube channel, while I prepared lunch together with the smallest child in the kitchen.

Test shot for biology movie.
Getting lunch ready.

Then we watched their work on the computer while eating, and decided on redoing it after eating. So we shot another section of the movie, until we were happy with the result.

Then the youngest child and I made a beetroot chocolate cake in the kitchen, while the oldest child edited the movie together and worked on her musical as well. The two middle children sewed on their costumes for a dance show they are planning.

Then we were expecting two good friends to come over for a sleepover, but unfortunately they had gotten the flu, so we had to eat the cake on our own. Don’t worry friends, if you read this, we will make a new one for you.

Gluten free beetroot cake.
Hot oat milk with cocoa powder and gluten free beetroot cake.

The at 3 pm we have quiet time until 4 pm. At that time you can do what you want to do – play on the computer, watch movies, talk to your friends on the phone, read, play outside or go where your imagination takes you. I meditate and drink tea.

Our oldest daughter did this lego project in quiet time. A Find Wally house.

Today we have a quiet evening. No spare time activities or work. We all enjoy having our meals together and being able to talk and relax in the evening with a movie or game together. The kids often work on creative projects in the evening, writing, sewing, knitting or drawing. They often also just play and make lots of noise and play music and dance.

We have a huge pile of second hand stuff for the kids to use in the living room and it brings about a lot of creativity.

So how does a typical week look?

A general example of our weekly schedule could look like this:

Weekly schedule february 2019.

The subjects at the bottom has stayed the same for a while, because it work well. We have a language a day, as the kids like languages. We have math and danish three days a week, because they got fed up with having it every day. We finish our books already in april every year anyway, so we manage to do enough work anyway, to be ahead of general curriculum. My work is on the schedule, so the kids know when I am not at home in the evening or daytime. The childrens newspaper route is also on the schedule, so we are able to make everything work out with the time we have available. Creative subjects are not on the schedule, as they are present in most things we do, and they infiltrate most other subjects. Project on thursday and friday is a new thing we are trying after the kids started a knowledge based youtube channel called : https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2ECOh462jxQraolPZ53evw

At the middle of the schedule you see events that vary from week to week, like playdates, trips, hobbies, meetings and so on. The kids attend different sparetime activities outside the house like physics and chemistry, drama and ballet. They figure on the schedule on and off, when they have their seasons.

The weekend is also included, as we often go on educational trips together as a family in the weekend or visit friends and family.

Next week will be the winter holiday. Originally, when starting out home schooling, we did not separate school and spare time, but we have found that we have a need to do this. So we now have the same holidays as schools. The difference is just that we do not do the usual subjects, but mostly do trips and project work. This winter holiday we will work intensively on costumes, painting the barrel and go pick branches for our fastelavn celebrations. We are so looking forward!

Singing physics and chemistry for fun

My oldest daughter found these very motivating videos on youtube. How great to have youtube while home schooling. So many great people out there! She can sing a great part of it now. Learning can always be fun. You just have to be a little creative.

Great to dance to and think about. We look up the things we don’t understand and learn about new areas.


Let thy food be thy medicine.

In our homeschool food, eating food, making food and talking about food takes up a lot of our time. We are really compassionate about making food choices that benefit our bodies and minds. During the years, we have struggled with different health issues, and found that where the doctor could not help, or ordered medicine that was not a cure, but a symptom treatment, we would try in any way possible to improve our health the natural way. We have had so many great effects on our general health from making specific food choices, that has made the children aware of the effect of food on the body and mind.

An example of our lunch.

A really good book on the subject that we started out borrowing from the library, is “Spisebogen”. After reading this book and other studies, we made a project, where the children made a book where they cut out food from magazines and put into the book, with sections on all the different vitamins and minerals the body need and other vital needs, like water and fats.

This book has been a great inspiration to us.

We have read and talked about ways of choosing to eat. We have also tried many different diets and specifically The SCD diet has worked well for us (Specific Carbohydrate Diet). But we have also found that meat and fat in general does not sit wonderfully with us, so we mostly choose fish and lean chicken if we eat meat at all with a meal. We also eat glutenfree and have done for 6 years now. We don’t drink milk, as we can’t digest it. In general we try to choose foods that give as high nutrition as possible.

We hug vegetables.

We have found that what is the main way to keep healthy, is doing what you can to strengthen your immune system. So making sure you get as many vitamins, minerals and fats through your diet, as possible. But food is not enough. We also try to get fresh air and exercise every day. Positive thinking and trying to put yourself in other peoples shoes, is also a way to better health. We often read Louise Hay and she is a great inspiration to us. So is yoga and meditation.

Next episode on our youtube channel – now data about the Corn Snake

We have a channel on youtube called “Videnskanalen”.  We have for a long time been thinking about making a channel, with knowledge based videos, made by children.

The first movies are biology themes, but that may evolve over time. The first movie theme was about the Sea Cucumber. The next about Octopus. Now we have made one on the Corn Snake, as we have just bought one for our daughter.

Home School gathering with Children Christmas Market and Dakota Fire Pitt Project 2018-11-03

We like fire. All sorts of fire. As long as it is real old fashioned fire. We attended scouts for 5 years with the kids, in reflection, I think just to sit at a bonfire and stare into the flames. We love starring into a bonfire and feeling the warmth. No thoughts in our brains. It is relaxing. Meditative. It is so lovely simple and primitive. Still so fascinating and magic. A chemical reaction and pure energy.

When we suddenly realized that we could just make a bonfire in our garden, we stopped being scouts and continued the fire love in our garden. The smell is also wonderful. When you have made any kind of food over the fire or just sat next to a bonfire you smell wonderfully of bonfire. For many days. Your clothes keep the smell for weeks.

We have done a lot of cooking experiments over fire and other things too, but lets try to focus on the food things for now. Our favorite is pancakes and fried bacon.

Today we held a gathering for Home Schoolers in the celebration of Christmas. We had a market for the kids to sell their home made crafts and our oldest daughter had been given the job of selling and frying pancakes over the large bonfire. We held the event at a Nature Cottage owned by the borough. They have 2 large bonfire places.

Then my husband had been reading about how soldiers can make a Dakota Fire Pitt, which is a bonfire buried in the ground. The effectiveness of this fire is that you dig 2 holes next to each other and make an air canal between the two to make a ventilation duct. That reduces the smoke and visibility from afar of the bonfire. You can then get heat and cook food without being found by the enemy.

So today was the day and he made one. It turned out really fine and worked.

 

Living out history lessons – The Iron Age.

August, 2011 we went for the first time to live one week in Sagnlandet Lejre, as they did in the Iron Age. We had 3 children at that time, and they were 7, 4 and 3 years old. I thought it could be great history lessons, learning by living as they did then. The village was build to fit the time period 200 B.C. until 200 A.C.  When we first arrived we were given clothes as they would have been worn then. So we put all our present things away and lived with one outfit for the rest of the week. We also put away our phones and computers for a week.

There were 4 houses in the village and we were 4 families living together there in the village. We had no running water og electricity. We were given food to prepare every day, and everything had to be cooked over a fire or in an oven which took hours to heat up. We had no watches, so had to start estimating time in a new way.

We had a ritual area where we did a sacrifice while there, as they would have done in the iron age.

There was a lot of animals loose the area and the children got used to walk near them.

We had a  witch doctor who would walk around in the local area with us and teach us which plants could be eaten and we picked them and put them in our food.

More animals. Most of the animals they keep at Sagnlandet, are original breeds that can be traced back to the iron age. These are wild pigs.

We did yarn dying with natural colours, picked in the area. We dyed yarn from the local sheep. We then spun it and made belts.

Making belts.

We made sushi from salmon and then smoked the rest over the fire.

Lovely to spend your time watching the fire at night.

The small kids LOVED the outside toilet 🙂

The geese and the wasps pestered us quite a bit, but was also a part of the real life experience of the iron age. This holiday has meant a lot to our children. It but a lot of the things we do today in our life, into perspective. Brought out our grateful side for having running water, water closet, hot showers, a potato pealer and so on. When we talk about history now, they often say “is that before or after the iron age, mum?”. We actually repeated our trip to the iron age 2 years later. In 2017 we went there again, but then to their viking site, but more will follow later in a new post about that experience.

The Children made a movie about Octopuses

We have combined the children’s interest in making movies with their interest in biology. This is our second movie in our series of biology themes they have chosen. They have made the movie on their own. As a parent, I have only contributed with the advise on ideas and helped with the planning of their time spend on the project. The project didn’t really happen, until we put the project on our weekly schedule. They had to have a set time to work on it. Like an author, sometimes needs to set himself a set time where he works on a book. Then things started to happen.

Octopuses is an amazing category of sea animals. There are 800 different species, and they are split into 5 categories:

  1. Nautilus.
  2. 10- armed octopuses.
  3. 8-armed octopuses.
  4. Sepia octopuses.
  5. Vampire Octopus from hell.

Nautilus.

5 species. It has a shell. No ink. Can get up to 20 years old. Has 90 tentacles without suction cups. Found around Australia and in the Pacific ocean.

10-armed octopuses.

300 species. Spine of cartilage. Can swim very fast. More than half of them light in the dark. 13 species in Denmark. One of the 10-armed species is the kolos octopus. It is the largest octopus found. It can be up to 10 meters long and weigh 500 kg. It can put up quite a fight with sperm whales who likes to eat them. It has eyes the size of a football.

8-armed octopuses.

Spits poison. Can get through very small gaps. Very soft, apart from their beak. Can change colour and shape. Can let go of an arm and regrow it. Can get up to 5 years old. Very strong- can lift up to 33 kg. Clever brain.

Sepia octopuses.

120 species. The chameleon of the sea. Can change colour and shape. Has an inside shell. They are cannibals. Has 10 arms. Usually get 1-2 years old.

Vampire squid from hell.

Likes to be on its own. It has light cells, so it can choose where on the body it want to light. Around 28 cm long. Turns inside out, and shows some spikes it has on the inside. That makes it seem invisible. It shoots off blue slime which lights up. Lives at 1 km depth.

Pleurotus ostreatus – growing Oyster Mushrooms with the kids

We are making a biological experiment at the moment. We like to grow all sorts of things, sometimes with success other times with failure. We dance around when we have success and learn a lot with the failures.

At a Maker Space Event we went to, we made and bought a bag with a mixture for growing Oyster Mushrooms.

Maker Space CPH 2018-09-30.

Ready for darkness in 1 week in warm room 2018-10-01.

One week later we took the bag out of the dark box and hang it in our livingroom and after a few days this happened:

Day 1 of mushrooms appearing 2018-10-18.

Day 2 2018-10-19.

Day 4 2018-10-21.

Day 5 Our Oyster Mushrooms are huge! 2018-10-22.

Great way to see things grow with the kids! Now I have to eat them all, nobody else here likes them.