This week we've been doing lots of geography in the form of flags of the world. Lego has again featured heavily, but it's what Jenson loves and it's a brilliant way to help facilitate his learning. We also squeezed in a trip to Slimbridge yesterday to make the most of the beautiful Autumn weather. Jenson has started his tutoring sessions and we made a Worm World too.
Flags first though. I did some print outs from which Jenson chose half a dozen flags he wanted to make. I also chose a few. I am particularly proud of my United Kingdom effort!
After a few days of flag making, I sat Jenson down with the globe and talked him through which countries each flag represented.
I'm particularly proud of Wren this week. I'm very conscious that she doesn't always feature that strongly in my blogs. The reason for that is very simple - she just isn't school age yet. However, I'd say this is the first time she has got involved in one of our home schooling topics. Furthermore, she actually showed far more enthusiasm than Jenson did. Here she is drawing a flag of the world after telling me that she wanted to do some learning.
Here are the flags that she drew. I love her approach to this. First she drew the flag outline, followed by the content. I love how the content in some of the flags only fills up a tiny portion! The flags she chose to draw all had some sort of pretty pattern on like a tree or a star. She's such a clever girl who really focused on the task at hand. It's such a massive difference to Jenson who can barely apply himself to anything for much longer than five minutes unless it involves Lego.
Next we moved onto passports. I've found this brilliant learning resource website called www.activityvillage.co.uk. There are hundreds of worksheets and activity pages to download, including this passport idea.
Fair to say Jenson wasn't impressed with what was being asked of him because it involved writing and thinking about something other than Lego! As is always the way though, Lego did provide the inspiration for the country he chose to travel to. Much earlier that morning he had started working on a monstrous snake. By the time I got up he had crafted a 6ft giant complete with deadly fangs. Here it is eating earth!
It did lead us nicely onto a conversation about whether Jenson thought a snake that big actually exists and if so, where you might find it and what sort of snake it might be. A quick Google search and we were soon boffing up on anacondas. They are HUGE! I showed Jenson and Wren some pictures and their jaws dropped in amazement! We quickly discovered they live in the Amazon in Brazil and hey presto - Jenson had chosen the country he wanted to visit.
The children began filling out their passports by writing their name, nationality, date of birth, gender and place of birth.
They also had to research into local cuisine, native creatures and interesting facts. There was plenty of writing involved, which didn't please Jenson, although the deal was that if he completed the task I'd take them both to the Lido. He did comply and finished the project, which also involved drawing the Brazilian flag and finding Brazil on the print out map at the back of the passport and shading it in. He even went so far as drawing a line between the UK and Brazil to show the route he would take.
We learned that Feijoada, a bean, beef and pork stew, is Brazil's most famous dish and that the name Brazil actually comes from a tree named Brazil Wood.
Other projects Jenson has done this week include building this Plesiosaur Lego model. It was something he did all on his own without any help from me. I didn't even suggest he make one. He simply emerged from his bedroom one morning, holding it proudly. I was astounded and promptly took a photo and sent it over to Simon, who was equally impressed. It wasn't just the way he had constructed it and its striking resemblence to the animal that left me feeling wow but the fact he had remembered this marine reptile from our Dorset trip a few weeks ago. He even remembered the geological time period that it lived in, (Jurassic.)
Speaking of the Jurassic, Jenson bumped into this dinosaur on Wednesday! I love it! He accompanied me on a venue recky to this new adventure golf course called Mr Mulliagan's, which opens in the Brewery Quarter tonight. I've been booked to take pictures of the VIP party.
Jenson has also been on a little expedition to India this week. Lego was the inspiration, obviously, as he wanted to create a Minecraft flag. He chose the flag of India because the orange matched his Minecraft colours.
Slimbridge yesterday was also fun. The children spent five hours running around in their swimming costumes splashing in the water. Really great to see.
And then of course there was the Lido today. Who knew they turn the heating off in the pool at this time of year. Brrr....!