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Well, having started our term with plans of working our way into the Ambleside curriculum, we have ended up back to unschooling. It all started to peter out when Matt went to China for 10 days and I used the opportunity to have a major tidy up/clear out. Then he came back and went down with a grotty cold, so we didn’t really pick things up, and then I went down with the cold last week. And it’s also been difficult because Littlest has dropped her afternoon sleep, so we’ve lost our reading time. But the children have been busy. Matt picked up an old Meccano set on e-bay (no.5) so they have been making lots of models. Mip has been creating things from Magnetix, JJ has been making windmill models (one solar powered), there has been lots of playdough and painting and drawing and colouring and cutting. They have all been making paper planes from a book we had (lots of pre-printed different designs), the electronics set has been out….I’m not sure I’ve ever seen them quite so busy at projects from morning to bedtime. The only things we have really kept going have been the Da Vinci pictures (“Dada” said Littlest pointing to his self-portrait) and Bee’s weekly letter writing. Going out in the morning has dropped too, mostly because it has just been so wet and cold these last 3 weeks. Paddington (read by Stephen Fry) is being listened to fairly constantly in the background. I miss the reading times we were having in the afternoons, but it feels like a very productive interruption.

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I (Matt) went on a business trip to China. While I was there I was able to visit the Great Wall, the Forbidden City, Tianemen Square and the birds nest stadium.

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The picture on the left is part of the ‘Forbidden City’, which is a huge palace complex. On the right is a statue in Tianemen Square.

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If I had less hair would I look like him?


Fish before and after (they got a few out of the trout pond and my host chose the one he liked the look of – it was the one that smiled at him):

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The Great Wall is a truly huge and awesome thing to see.


I can now count to 5, say ‘thank you’, ‘right’, ‘stop’ and ‘hello’ (politely and more casually) in Chinese. Oh and Wan An – Good night.