Fat Caterpillars

We’ve now had our caterpillars for 7 days. 3 of 4 of our caterpillars have moulted into …er newer looking caterpillars 😂;)
We lost Runt (RIP), so we only have 4 caterpillars now.

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We decided to clean up their pot as it was getting pretty full of….waste and silk ๐Ÿ™‚

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It hasn’t taken them long to fill it with mess again though!

The kids enjoyed handling the caterpillars whilst I cleaned their pot, we’re hoping to hand rear any eggs the butterflies hopefully leave behind so have been researching the plants they like to lay their eggs on.

Have you ever kept insects? What was your experience of them?

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Caterpillars, Insect Lore & Groupon!

We received our caterpillars on Monday, I think we missed the initial stage whilst it was in transit over the weekend however as one caterpillar was brown, the rest black but a day later and the brown one had turned black!

Day 1 with the caterpillars and I assumed one was already dead but turns out it was stuck on the lid, I helped it down and it immediately started eating but I think it has some injuries from being stuck in its silk for so long…its named the runt due to its tiny size!

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Eldest has named her small caterpillar (middle) ‘caterpie’. Twin A has named his ‘Wyldstyle’ (the largest one) & Twin B named his ‘Batman’ because it climbed a lot on Day 1 😂 you can see ‘Runt’ at the back curled.
Day 3:

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The caterpillars have grown but Runt is still tiny!! They’ve been rather still since yesterday but I suspect they’re getting ready to molt their exoskeletons again.

Lottie has been looking after the caterpillars for us too:

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At night we surround the pot with a cloth to keep them warm, keep them away from draughts & direct sunlight!

I was a little disappointed by the process so far, approx ยฃ15 total for 5 caterpillars and upon reading the little leaflet they came with, Insect Lore only guarantee 3 of 5 caterpillars/butterflies will survive! 😱

I won’t be buying from them again simply because I thought the postage cost was hidden & Groupon misleadingly stated “a voucher for 5 caterpillars will be provided free” …so I paid ยฃ15 for a net?! I don’t like it when businesses are sneaky, i like to know all costs upfront & CLEARLY stated, not hidden away in small print.

I will continue to blog/Instagram our caterpillars growth, hopefully we won’t suffer any losses 😥

Bug Month

We received our butterfly netting from Groupon (ยฃ11.99) & caterpillars will be despatched this Friday (ยฃ2.99 p&p). Today we went to the library to borrow some books on each of the kids’ chosen creature. Eldest chose animals & preying mantises, Twin A chose ladybirds, Twin B chose woodlice, I chose caterpillars & butterflies as we will soon have 5 of them!

We didn’t find anything on woodlice but plenty on other bugs and creepy crawlies & even managed to identify an oddity we spotted last week…

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A plume moth! ๐Ÿ™‚

Lego has been out a lot recently, we’ve increased our collection quite a bit too which came in handy for this little number game I made up:

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I’m going to do the same but bigger with the alphabet soon too ๐Ÿ™‚ even eldest wanted to join in!

She’s been busy with Lottie too

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I made Lottie a backpack too and we went to a friends house for an adventure in the countryside 😁

Home ed life is good, what have you been up to?

Kicking back

We’ve been pretty chilled this Easter half term. Rock climbing has finished until further notice, eldest is keen to get back into it, I think we’ll book maybe 5 lessons and change to another sport. Maybe running or roller blading now the weather is changing.

The twins have showed interest in learning more numbers so we’ve been singing along to YouTube videos for children counting to 20 & back ๐Ÿ™‚

We’ve been very Lego orientated these past few weeks, increasing our collection & playing a lot more!

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Even Lottie got some new things:

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And helping us on our Easter egg hunt 😁
I’m going to try plan some more activities & generally get us more organised, its getting to that time where I need to have a sustainable business in order to be able to continue to HE so no more “selling for fun” but now “selling to survive” …isn’t life fun?

What have you all been up to?

Ofsted new guidance about home education to inspectors

Some good news? ๐Ÿ™‚

edyourself

I have just received a message from Matthew Brazier (Ofstedโ€™s social care policy team) saying that Ofsted has provided inspectors with new advice and guidance about elective home education, covering the following points:

  • ยท Home-educated children are not, by definition, all in need of protection and help.
  • ยท Ofsted does not have a mandate to inspect the quality of home education.
  • ยท The statutory duty on local authorities (LAs) to identify as far as possible those children not receiving a suitable education does not extend to home-educated children.
  • ยท The details, and limits, of the guidance in relation to home education

The message goes on to say

โ€œWe have reminded inspectors that local authorities do not have a duty to evaluate the quality of the education provided for home educated children โ€“ for example, through routine visits โ€“ although they may intervene if it appears that the education is unsuitableโ€ฆ

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Single parent? Attend the Jobcentre and get referred to social services as a troubled family. New trial at Ashton Jobcentre.

Sounds like “named person” if you ask me….

The poor side of life

Yesterday I heard something very disturbing. A lady contacted me, she was very upset. She attended the Jobcentre for her signing on appointment and was confronted with something totally unexpected. Sheโ€™s a very intelligent lady and thankfully she acted quickly and appropriately. She said hello to the advisor or job coach as they call them now. I donโ€™t know why because they donโ€™t coach you into anything except desperation. Sheโ€™s been attending a mandatory work related course and had despite this completed all her Job searches correctly. The meeting then took a totally different atmosphere. The advisor suggested to her that she should be willing to get involved with a trial that they are running with Tameside Council. They are asking single parents to be assigned a social worker and a key worker so they can keep an eye on herโ€ฆ The reason for this? Because they said she hadnโ€™tโ€ฆ

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The big S word

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We went to the Natural History Museum recently with another HE family. People who have their children in school are always asking about socialisatio & wonder how their child will get to meet as many children as they do in school.

My eldest spent a few years in school, 4 to be exact. We left at the end of yr 3 & in all those years she never really made any friends. She met a lot of mean children, a lot of children she had little in common with & in the end can only name me 1 or 2 girls who she got along with. But she still had to see the other children everyday regardless.

Now we HE it is true that once you find all the groups & meet ups happening around you there is opportunity to meet and greet. My personal experience was that not many people want to meet new HE families. We went to a few meet ups and no one welcomed the new kid (ie me & my daughter) as I assumed they would. They looked over & carried on within the group they had established. My daughter found the children to be particularly unwelcoming & a couple even telling her to go away. The good thing about HE though is you don’t have to go back there.

I was surprised that the last group I did go to, the parents were welcoming & kind to myself & my children. Eldest still didn’t seem to be welcomed into the children’s group…again I believe its a case of being unsure of the new kid & safe within their own established ‘gang’. We weren’t able to go back as its quite a trek for me with twins under 5 & in a pram. Since then my daughter has joined rock climbing where again you meet and greet & I did meet some friendly parents but none have stuck to the club & have moved on. It seems a common theme among the HE community, moving on and meeting new people. I guess for us it takes some getting used to!

But that being said my determination to find some nice children for my daughter seems to have paid off (if only a bit) as we did meet with a lovely HE family who are very welcoming although busy! ๐Ÿ˜‰ another problem that seems to be quite common among meeting new HE friends is that their schedule is usually a little booked up for socialisation outside their usual groups.

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Back to our museum visit, we went to parts of the museum we hadn’t been to for a long time. The volcano & earthquake sections were the children’s favourite though ๐Ÿ™‚ Another trip to the shop & we took home some more glow in the dark dinos 😆

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I almost forgot, we also watched the eclipse, safely from indoors & easily via the TV ๐Ÿ˜€ the kids weren’t really engaged but I put it on as it was too cloudy outside anyway.

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That’s Lottie doll, eldest is still having adventures with her too ๐Ÿ˜‰
I completed the Lottie doll order, will be shipping it off on Monday, Lottie loved the Autumn coat.

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I had lots of fun crocheting this order.

I must try to update weekly as I think I’m trying to cram too much into my posts! 😅 My children are all coming down with lurgies 😷 so i’ll see you next week then!

Lots of Learning!

The dino birthday party was a success, the boys & their sister had lots of fun. Since then we’ve got lots of dino learning done & plenty of play of course :mrgreen:

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The space book grabbed my daughters attention and we read it together which inspired many questions & added learning 😆

I made their Lego horses some capes

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I’ve just realised I forgot to take a picture of their cakes ๐Ÿ˜ฆ but they all loved it so that’s what matters ๐Ÿ™‚

Eldest has been having lots of adventures with Lottie doll. Rock climbing, playing with Dino’s & Lego!

I will update with more but I can’t seem to upload any more photos!

New adventures

If you read my last post you’ll know I’ve been busy getting ready for my twin son’s 4th birthday this month. They have decided they want a dinosaur theme party. Twin A asked for dino wrapping paper but I found none long enough at an affordable price so taking our Xmas wrapping paper, myself & my 9yo daughter set to work…

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We also made their birthday cards & I stitched some crocheted dinosaur appliques & balloons on ๐Ÿ˜€
I’m hoping to finish wrapping their presents tonight & make a quick harness for my daughters new Lottie doll that arrived today.
Day 1: Adventures with Lottie

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Eldest was very excited to get Lottie & edited this photo I took in her Photoshop app & asked me to share it online 😝
The reason I’m making a harness is so Lottie can go rock climbing tomorrow!

Apart from that I’ve been busy making an order for an 18″ doll, I’m pretty much all finished now, just waiting on some elastic. Now I’m making another dolls outfit, but this one is 32″ !

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I really enjoy crocheting orders for people, gives me a great excuse to do what I love & buy more yarn! 😘