Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Bean Projects

Every year since we started home educating, one of the spring science and nature projects has been bean growing in a jar to see the root growth. We have studied them, grown them, dissected them and eaten them... We have tested growing variations like light, dark, with water and without, and grown many different kinds of bean to compare. We have kept records and logged our data in every different way we can.

This year we tried something different....

This year we placed one side of the jars so that they touched the window, it has been so very cold and frosty here that we thought we would see how much temperature affected the beans. We put two beans in each jar on opposite sides, one side was touching the window pane at all times, the other bean was facing into the house.

As you can see in the two photographs above the bean on the inside of the jar (the warmer side) grew but the bean touching the window (frosty side) did not... the results were the same in each and every jar so the children's temperature experiment is quite conclusive even though there is only a short distance between the two beans on either side of the jar, this makes a big difference!

There is also added incentive to grow beans this year....

My husband built this tepee in the garden from some tree prunings, we wanted to create a living tepee, a quiet place to play or read in a bare part of the garden. The beans will be grown up all around the sides to provide the cover for little ones to hide in, my husband has added a little fence at the bottom to protect the young beans from the chickens. Although it looks like Dotty is having a quick dig to see what is in there, which doesn't look good for the beans!

On the celery front, we are continuing to grow new plants from the stubs which you can read here if you missed it. I have noticed some new shoots coming up from last years plants too, which is very unusual as the weather in the UK is too cold in winter for celery to survive!

We also still have and love the three chickens that live in our garden, they have been no trouble at all (so far) and have provided us with loads of eggs. In fact so many that we haven't had to buy any at all for over a year and I think there are about forty in the kitchen waiting to be used.

That concludes our quick update for now, we will be back very soon to breathe some life back into the blog.

Friday, 5 April 2013

Magical Museum visit

Last week we had the chance to visit the Magic Worlds exhibition at our Castle Museum, it is touring from the V&A. There was a wonderful mix of magical items from film props, magician's props, items from fairy tales and many beautiful works of art.

My daughter was really pleased to see sooty was included in the exhibition and even happier to perform her own puppet show with some of the props available.

 Many fairy tales had their own sets to explore... I know one little girl who was in her element and totally oblivious to the real world. 

We really enjoy going to the castle museum there always seems to be something that fits in with our studies, something amazing to see. As a teenager I used to visit the museum nearly every Saturday and it's still a place I love to visit.

Whist exploring the keep we found this model trebuchet, a siege engine weapon from the middle ages. My husband and son were very keen to explore the workings of this as they have been planning to make a small one for the garden in the summer.

As you can see it's like a large catapult or sling which throws heavy items at the castle walls... we were aiming for the little model of Stonehenge my son built.