Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Sunya Publishing - TOS Review

Sometimes you just need a new way to make learning math fun or with Miss K maybe a new way to try to learn math facts. I was eager to review and play Sunya - The Magic and Wonder of Math and Science Adding & Subtracting from Sunya Publishing.

Math and Science {Sunya Publishing Review}

Sunya Publishing has two games that they are developing -- adding & subtracting and a multiplication & division one. We received the adding and subtracting game which included playing cards, guidebook, number line, and math and science riddle cards. This game is for ages 7 and up. I was impressed with the quality of the cards.

Sunya is a word from Sanskrit, which means empty or void of any quantity. The idea of the game is to empty your hand of cards and then you say, "Sunya".

I found the instructions a bit confusing. There were photos along with the written instructions, but it might have been too detailed and long. I ended up just following the rules a bit and then working with what Miss K could do. I did find that it was easy to adapt the game to her playing level.

We began with an addition number sentence and then took turns changing the addition number sentence based on the cards that we had in our hand. I think one game I had to pull and pull a few cards which gave me lots of cards to pick from when it was my turn but made it easy for Miss K to win and say, "Sunya".

The wild card confused Miss K a bit so at times I pulled those out just to avoid the confusion. I had her read the math fact to me just to practice math facts.

The guidebook also includes some ideas for math activities for younger children.

The game is still in development and not yet available for sale, hopefully soon. I think it is a good concept and just needs a bit of work in simplifying the instructions.

You can read reviews from other who used either this game or the multiplication & division game.

Math and Science {Sunya Publishing Review}

Crew Disclaimer

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Friday, May 20, 2016

Friday's Five

You know you are in Costco UK in five just photos. 

1. Victoria Sandwich Cake - I think a sponge is a very British cake. I did a quick search and all the recipes at least on the first page of results are from UK websites. So a Victoria Sponge is one way you know you are in the Costco UK.

2. The spelling is a give away that you are in the UK. I have learned to add the u to words like labour and harbour and changing the order of re in words like centre and theatre but changing the i to a y in tire is one I just forget to do. See I forgot it here.

3. Marmite in Costco size containers. I don't think I will comment on this as I have never tried it. I think if I decide to try it I will buy a smaller container to begin with. It seems to have either a love it or hate it following.

4. Tea by the 100's - Tetley, Ty-phoo, and PG Tips are all sold here in bags of 100's of teabags. I did read that the British drink 165 million cups of tea a day. Yes, a day. That is 3 cups a day for every man, woman and child. Except in the city where we live where 1 in 3 drink more than 6 cups of tea a day. 98% add milk and 45% add sugar. I did read that the more sugar you add the less the class or you could say the less sugar the higher the class.

Just in case anyone is wondering I might drink 1 cup of tea a month.

5. Mary Berry Cookbook - I was recently introduced to Mary Berry's cookbooks. I have to say that the recipes I have tried have been a success.

5. Cadbury chocolate and a bit more chocolate -

And a bonus photo -- Hot dog and a drink for just £1.50. I will spare you finding the conversion to US$. It is about $2.17.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

British History - Prehistoric to 1066

I shared a bit about our resources for studying British History. We are making progress in our study. We began in prehistoric, Stonehenge and moved all the way to 1066.

We made a model of Stonehenge with shortbread.

It was a combined effort as one of the packages of shortbread had gotten a bit crushed.

I ended up doing most of the reading from Our Island Story with some readings from British History. I found that Britannia repeated the stories from Out Island Story.

We then moved to the Romans. The important things that I wanted the children to know are why the Romans came, what they did here and the legacy that they left, and then why they left.

We built Hadrian's Wall from some chocolate biscuits.

Miss K is quite pleased with her wall.

After the Romans, we moved to the Anglo-Saxons and then the Vikings. I ended the first section just before William the Conqueror. It is difficult at times to find a break in history to have a test. There are events before William the Conqueror that lead to that event.

The maps that we traced during this period were the following
Roman Britain
Anglo-Saxon England
The Earldoms in 1045
Britain from 1066-1070

The important events on our timeline were the following:
55BC Julius Caesar
123AD Hadrian's Wall
410AD Roman's leave
449AD Saxons arrive
596AD Augustine comes
787 Viking raids begin
871 Alfred becomes King of Wessex

Some of the important people we studied were as follows:

  • Boudicca - Miss K loved the story of Bouricca and her daughters. Miss K remembers history with families and children. 
  • Canute
  • Caractacus
  • Earl Godwin
  • Edmund Ironside
  • Edward the Confessor
  • Ethelred the Unready
  • Gunhilda - I loved the quote from her, "my death will bring great sorrow upon England"
  • King Alfred
  • King Harold
  • St. Albans
  • Tostig
  • Venerable Bede
  • Vorigern

Now we have moved to 1066. I think as we began studying that we remembered our visit to Battle Abbey.

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Sunday, May 15, 2016

S'more Fun

The days are getting longer. The weather is a bit warmer. It is time to enjoy bits of summer. I found a grill marked down this week and decided it would be fun to be able to grill a bit in the summer. Having a grill meant we needed to make some S'mores. That sounds so easy. S'mores are just three ingredients but finding the right substitutes was the challenge. We were attempting to anglicise the American campfire treat.

I found imported marshmallows at Costco. The bag says they are Mega and it means mega. There was a comment about American food being big and how these marshmallows followed that tradition. We decided that these worked best if we cut the marshmallow in half before we toasted it. 

The back of the bag tells how to make a S'more, calling it a tradition campfire treat very popular in the United States and Canada.

I had my marshmallows now to get the graham crackers or something that would work. I have to say that the whole cracker section of the supermarket is missing. The best there is here are water crackers but we are missing things like Cheez-its, Triscuits, Wheat Things, and even saltines. You can buy some of these things on and a few other American food websites but you pay quite a bit and I didn't have time to wait for an order to come. I bought Digestives and Biscoff hoping that one of them would work.

In the end given the fact that we had Mega marshmallows we ended up using the Digestives.

I also had to find the right chocolate. That doesn't should that hard as we have lots of delicious chocolate here but I didn't want it too thick because the chocolate needs to melt a bit. I bought about four different chocolates. In the end we decided that the Cadbury Dairy Milk Kids was the best chocolate.

We toasted the marshmallows over the grill. We had invited our neighbours to join us. Our back gardens are next to each other and Helen is in my small group. Their son had S'mores at camp but it was a new treat for the rest of the family.

Here is one ready to eat.

Miss K is enjoying her S'more.

These were a fun treat and we enjoyed sharing them with our neighbour. We sat around the grill/fire for a bit staying warm. We have enough marshmallows, chocolate, and Digestives to have these again.

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Monday, May 9, 2016

Is it summer?

Miss K has asked that question a few times recently. Currently at ballet and church and maybe the schools it is called summer term. The weather yesterday and today has felt like summer. We have learned that summer is not necessarily hot so if you get a few hot days enjoy them.

Yesterday and today were hot days. Not Asia hot or even summer in PA hot but England hot. We had to go and do something fun.

We got school done this morning and then packed a lunch. A few weeks ago I had seen a picnic table not far away and knew there was a place where we could walk nearby. So we headed out.

I decided I would take my good camera and just get some nice photos. I did take my camera but didn't take a memory card. I will confess that is not the first time that has happened. All the photos are from my phone.

There was tree climbing.

Testing to see how waterproof the new wellies are.

A nice quiet stream to throw a few stones in.

A tree beginning to have leaves up on a hill.

Bluebells in the field.

More bluebells in the field but I would like to go where we went last year and the field was full of bluebells.

You know how when there is a snow storm everyone runs to the supermarket for bread and milk. If you get there too late there is not much left. Well, when it is hot everyone runs to the store for ice cream and lollies and if you are late there is not much left. This is what we found this afternoon at Sainsbury's Local. We found something to share and celebrate that the temperature was 23/79.

The picnic and the walk were the highlights of the day. I am glad that we did it.

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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Dissecting the Dyson

Do not fear it was not my Dyson that we dissected. The Dyson came from the James Dyson Foundation.  I was impressed everything we needed came in the box -- a DC 22 vacuum clean with complete with hose, want and accessories, eight turbine heads, eight screwdriver, a teacher's manual and engineering posters. We were able to keep the box for about three weeks.

We invited our home education friends over for two different afternoons of dissecting. The teacher's manual began with the Dyson story and then the design process, problem solving, testing, mass production, and logistics. I have fun going back to my days of working in manufacturing that explaining bits of the process to the children.

The first time we gather the kids teamed up in pairs and took apart the turbine head. I basically allowed them to have a go and see what they discovered.

Here are the parts. One of the children was very neat and organised.

It was fun to watch them work and also to see them looking at what others had discovered, talking and helping one another.

The second time we gathered the plan was to dissect the DC22. First we did some drop tests. The kids had fun dropping it. We talked about why they would do that type of testing. Has your vacuum ever fallen down the steps?

Then it was time to get at it and see what we could find on the inside. I love this photo of four different children each with a screwdriver working to unscrew this.

It was neat to see how the cord winds up -- it is a spring.

We got it all back together. I think that was the hard part. We plugged it in and it worked.

There is just one screw that is remaining.

I am glad that we had this opportunity. I think all the children enjoyed it and we learned so much not only about the Dyson but also the process of going from idea to a finished product.

I thought about sending my Dyson back but thought they would notice a bigger, dirtier model. Time to go Hoover with my old Dyson.

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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

April in Review

April showers bring May flowers. I think through we have had more snow flurries in April than we did in the winter.

I had plans in April to be creative and do all kinds of creative things. I did begin and finish a quilt, my record breaking quilt.

It might have been the shock of having done that quilt so fast but I really didn't do much other creative projects this month.

We didn't go on any outings. What did I do all month?

I did read four books. Thanks to the list I have in my planner I can tell you what books I have read.

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank - I finally got around to reading that book.

From Dishes to Snow - I never figured out the title. It was an easy reading book.

Gospel Amnesia - This was an excellent book that just reminded me how easy we forget the gospel. That is so true for me. I can easily fall into the thought, "the gospel was for the moment of salvation and now it is just me working hard and doing good" but really the gospel is God's grace and I need that each day. This fulfilled the category "a book with the word 'gospel' in the title".

God's New Community - this is from the category "a book your pastor/vicar recommends". This is one that over the past year has been recommended a few times and I finally read it.

My book total for this year is 15 books.

I am not sure what May's challenge is. Maybe getting rid of stuff. I have a stack of home education books that I have sold. I need to sort through books a bit more. I looked at a stack of puzzles wondering if there are some we can get rid of. I think I just found May's challenge. How much stuff can I get rid of?

What are your goals for May?

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