Saturday, April 29, 2006

Play Time

DJ stayed with his friend FKE: all in all, about 8 hrs playing and socialising! They went out to the REC.

Later on DJ read The Vile Victorians - yesterday he had finished The Frightful First World War.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Meltdown recovery

The Pantheon
(see bottom entry)

Meltdown last night - exhaustion today

Work: how two millennia have altered the meaning of work.
Egypt: the land of Pharaohs

Cooking: Pizza Cheese & Tomato

DJ continued to explore KPL (Kids Programming Language).


Kenya: poverty, organised crime and disease.

The Warsaw Uprising of 1944: tragic military operation undertaken by a resistance movement in WW2. For 2 two months, the people of Warsaw took on the Nazis alone.

The Romans: the story behind the Pantheon, an outstanding feat of engineering during the golden age of this great empire.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Decisions Decisions

Sydney Gardens

We've been going to and fro and getting stuck - we're both hopeless when it comes to making decisions - that's typical Libra! On the positive side, we've decided to visit our family for 2 weeks in June in the Algarve - and we've booked the tickets!

Cooking: Chocolate Crunch

Maths: Brain Pop: What are Polygons? Types of Triangles (equilateral - scalene - right - obtuse - acute - hypotenuse - etc) with follow up quizzes (10/10) - Paralelograms' Area - What is Pi?

DJ downloaded Kids Programming Language and tried to work it out and spent some time on SWiSHmax - more computer animation

Fencing: resistance and more resistance... stayed for about 5 to 10mns... on the positive side, we stopped at Sydney Gardens and DJ did a lot of PE (running and jumping)

Dispatches: Undercover Copper - We watched this documentary of Britain's police revealing how members of the police behave while carrying out their duty

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


Reading: Numbers: The Key to The Universe by Kjartan Poskitt & The Adventures of Tintin: Cigars of the Pharaoh

Sam Learning: a Maths Exam and a History Test on the Norman Conquest

IT: sorting out how to copy MP3 files from the PC to the MP3 player

History: Battlefield Academy: WW1 Trench Warfare - Battle of Waterloo - Romans & Ancient Rome

Science: Dinossaurs - Allosaurus

Animation: The Meatrix II - animal rights & healthy diet: antibiotic overuse, artificial hormones, mad cow disease versus free-range or organic

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Stuff I'm up to

The 7th wonder of the Ancient World was the Pharos of Alexandria, more than 120m high, built in the 3rd century B.C. on the island of Pharos off the coast of Egypt.


Asterix & Cleopatra (learned about the Tower of Pharos) Asterix & The Laurel Wreath
Horrible Histories: The Frightful First World War and The Woeful Second World War by Terry Deary

The Way Things Work: building a new road and the art of weighing by using different types of lever systems.

RUH: OT appointment

Dispatches: Britain's Yobs: the relationship between antisocial behaviour and teenagers across Britain.

Identical Quads: Extraordinary People: Documentary about quads born in 2000, one of only 58 sets in the world. It charts different stages in the girls' lives from their premature births.

DJ: Playing Rome Total War I learned where Armenia was and about historical battles. Watching The Way Things Work I learned about the importance of wedges and different types of levers. Yesterday I saw my dad.

Other books DJ is reading:
Mind Maps by Tony Buzan
The Unexplained: UFOs Mysterious Lights in the Sky
Conquer the Internet Chapter 1 What is the Internet?
Numbers Chapter 1 The Beginning of the End p.16
Murderous Maths Chapter 1 p.18 by Kjartan Poskitt


Maths: Fractions

Horizon: The Mystery of the Jurassic - it was about one of the most important dinosaur sites in the world of palaeontology located in Patagonia, Argentina.

Science - revision
Teeth and Eating: Lots of different teeth in lots of different mouths, growing teeth, different teeth for different foods and why we need to eat and take care of our teeth
Moving and Growing: Why do we need a skeleton? How do our muscles make our bones move? And what if your skeleton gets too small for you?
Helping Plants Grow Well: Time-lapse shots from seed to plant, different conditions for different plants from cacti to strawberries

ICT: Just under 2 hrs using SWiSHmax and GameMaker

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Making friends

Yesterday we went to Norton St Philip to visit K and L - we met at The George.

DJ enjoyed seeing K again and then having him for a sleepover. Lots of comedy e.g. Black Adder, Monty Python and Ross Noble plus some time taking turns on Rome: Total War

After a late night the kids seemed a bit tired today. Socialising can be exhausting for AS kids (and grown ups!) But it is great to find people who share the same interests.

Later on DJ stayed with FKE & SW while I went to Corsham, so more socialising for him. No wonder he's not keen to go to Stroud tomorrow.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

LEA visit

The LEA EOTAS officer came over to see us for the first time. It went quite well, we chatted about EO in general and then he filled in a form - lots-of-ticks type of form - and off he went. I had previously posted a 5 page document that included our educational philosophy and a detailed report on learning taking place, which he had read before, so there wasn't much to add, really... DJ stayed in his room all the time but he wasn't surprised: aparently most kids do hide during his visits.

I feel absolutely exhausted though!

Some not so good news - the Secret Garden doesn't seem to be going ahead, and DJ really enjoyed the times he went there

Maths: DJ did some maths tests on
Drama: devising and practicing lots of 'silly walks'
ICT: Problem solving - uninstalling and reinstalling software
Reading: DJ read bits of
How to Conquer The Internet by Ian Lewis and
Murderous Maths: NUMBERS The Key To the Universe by Kjartan Poskitt
Comedy: The Complete Thin Blue Line starring Rowan Atkinson

DJ wasn't feeling too good today, all this recent upheaval of reviewing Home-Ed, considering mainstream school and LEA visits must have affected him. He complained of headaches and stomach aches and of feeling 'tired, exhausted and half-dead' - so we skipped Fencing.

Some good news: much improvement in the 2nd attempt at GF bread!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Reviewing HE

We visited a local school in order to explore the possibility of another attempt at mainstream secondary education

We've done a review of our 10 weeks learning otherwise than at school
DJ: 'I learn much more here, and learn more things I'm interested in, not some crappy religious stuff. I do better work, not like maths, and don't have to wake up so early... I've learnt in these 3 months what I would have learned all my life at school, e.g. how to make computer animations. I don't really miss being with people my age all the time because I socialise on MMORPG.' DJ also reckons that he is constantly socialising with me and that socialisation with same age peers can often become a problem and a major distraction to learning. The only minus on DJs list was 'you trying to make me learn boring stuff'

PJ: I really appreciate that fact that at home DJ can follow a healthier GF/CF diet, access the toilet whenever he wants, is able to continue focusing on whatever he is interested in for as long as he wants (it can be hours), be free from peer-pressure, etc However, I recognise my own limitations, irrational fears and need to deschool.

Today DJ spent a little time on SWiSHmax (computer animation software) and watched a programme about El Dorado and the 'terra preta' of the Amazonia, plus more Ross Noble stand up comedy.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Animation & Brain Pop

DJ started the day laughing with Ross Noble stand up comedy

Computer animation using SWiSHmax

Brain Pop!
Health: ADHD - AIDS - Avian Flu - SARS - Anthrax - Smallpox - JRA or Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis - Blood Glucose and Diabetes - Scoliosis and Lyme Disease

USA History: Declaration of Independence & US Constitution

Technology: How does flight work? What is GPS (Global Positioning System)?

Cookery: Cheese & Tomato Pizza

Last night DJ did some drawing

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Easter Sunday

Easter Sunday: Monty Python and Green & Black's
Dark Chocolate
DJ started scene 2
of his Flash animation

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Walk with Friends

DJ continues to have fun with computer animation and found out how to take a sound track from one of his computer games and put it onto his animation.

From 4pm onwards DJ was with friends; first they went for a nature walk and then had a meal together.

Film: Rush Hour 2, with Jackie Chan

Friday, April 14, 2006

Today & Yesterday


DJ downloaded SWiSHmax, a computer animation program and spent ages on it - really exciting stuff, actually

RE: a lovely session on recognising other people's kindness

On Brain Pop:
HI: War - Civil War - Vietnam War - Korean War - Armed Forces
Gg: North pole - South Pole - Daylight Saving Time - Map Skills - Everest
Sc: Global warming - Einstein
DT: Printers - Traditional Animation
Plus: Athens & Democracy - Feminism - Bullying - Chocolate - Airport - Security - etc

More Brain Pop Videos & Quizzes!
Maths: Basic probability; Probability of Independent Events; Game Theory; Slope & Intercept; Mean, Median, Mode & Range
EN: Antonyms, Synonyms & Homonyms; Verbs, Nouns & Adverbs; Similes & Metaphors; Subject & Predicate
Computer Animation with SWiSHmax (1hr)

Film: Godzilla

Reading: Horrible Histories - Groovy Greeks & Rotten Romans

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Playing Outside

DJ spent all afternoon playing outside with kids!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Gluten-free Bread

Today we got a breadmaker machine. DJ went through the instructions manual and worked out how to use it. We made our first ever gluten-free bread - we definitely need more practice!

This led us to explore health issues:
what is gluten?
what is autism?
what is dyslexia?
what are viruses?
how do my eyes work?
DJ did 4 quizes and got 10/10 in all of them!

After a break DJ explored how things work: televisions, sattelites, robots, microscopes, dams, telephones, mobiles, compasses, solar energy, car engines, plastic, international space stations and analog / digital recording! That was just too much technology for my brain... Again, he did lots of quizes about all that stuff and got great results.

In the evening I found DJ reading What The Don't Tell You About ...World War II by Bob Fowke

Monday, April 10, 2006



Computer: CPU; mHz; Rom; Ram; Hard-drive; Modem; Circuit Board; Sound-card; Video-card; Operating System; Interface... Quiz: 10/10
Internet: How does the Internet work? What is the Internet? Network; server; client; URL; ISP; IP; DNS; backbone... Quiz: 9/10
Mouse: How does the click of a computer mouse activates a computer program? Quiz 8/10
Computer Viruses, Worms and Trojan Horses... Quiz: 9/10
Floppy Disks - Quiz 9/10
MP3s - Quiz 10/10
CDs, DVDs and CR-ROMs - Quiz 8/10

HI: A day in the Life of a Monk

How to Beat Your Kid's Asthma finding our if it's possible to treat asthma by removing the allergens that can trigger attacks.

Help Me to Speak Selective Mutism: For children who suffer from selective mutism, just trying to say a single word in public can be a terrifying ordeal. Selective mutism is thought to be caused by anxiety which prevents them speaking in social situations.

Yesterday, DJ did a lot of reading (books and strategy guides) and socialising (J came over for a late lunch). We watched:
1) part of an Art program examining depictions of the Crucifixion, including those found in paintings by Tintoretto and Chagall
2) part of Coast (DJ: It was boring!)

Saturday, April 08, 2006


Well, we've got DJ's test results today from the Autism Reseach Unit at the University of Sunderland:

Given the presence of IAG, it would normally be most prudent to attempt a gluten free diet with the purpose of ameliorating some of the symptoms

Friday, April 07, 2006

Brain Pop & Grid Club

Homer was a Greek poet, to whom are attributed the great epics, the Iliad, the story of the siege of Troy, and the Odyssey, the tale of Ulysses's wanderings.

DJ explored the Grid Club website

Scottish History: Stone Age Survival, Roman Retreat, Vikings Trade or Raid, Castle Siege, Castle Retreat, Jacobites and Suffragettes

Maths: Subtraction, Multiples, Tables & Coordinates
(It was easy! that means I'm good at co-ordinates :)

English: The Quest of Comma Castle

Mission Inedible (balanced meals)
Streetwise (communication)

ICT: What if you wanted to make
your own computer game
your own website

Later on DJ found the Brain Pop website


  • The Rise of the Roman Empire (Quiz 7/10)
  • The Fall of Rome (Quiz (8/10)
  • Homer: The Iliad and The Odyssey
  • WW2 (Quiz 9/10)

Maths: Equations

Science: Teeth

Thursday, April 06, 2006


DJ had his first fencing lesson today (and being poked in the belly - we had to let each other get hit and someone hit me in the *!@&!)
In this beginners course DJ is going to learn the fundamentals of attack, defence, safety, and rules of competition using the foil as the primary weapon. DJ will be introduced to competitive fencing and take an achievement award (Grade 1 in Foil fencing) by the end of the course.

Today, also for the first time, DJ downloaded the photos from the digital camera to the computer.

Reading: Private Eye's Colemanballs, a collection of funny quotes, like 'with the very last kick of the game macDonald scored with a header'

Extraordinary People: The Girl Who Makes Miracles - we watched this programme about Audrey Santo who, despite having been in a coma for years, is believed to be a faith healer and stigmatic. (DJ: 'I don't believe it! Even if there were miracles, it's probably just the ill people's faith that cured them'.)

Reading: The Solar System by A. Gordon Smith
'I learned how big Neptune's storm is: as big as Earth. And if the Earth was a clock, and midnight was when the Earth was formed, each hour of the clock represents 383 million years, and each minute just over 6 million years, then humans would only have been on Earth for a minute'.

Completely irrelevant joke: what're you doing in Greece? Just Roman around...

Completely irrelevant fact: the Egyptians were the first people in the world to make bread.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Romans & Supertwisters

The Big Fight
55BC, and Julius Caesar rules all Gaul, except for one village...

We watched this animated adventure where Asterix fights to save his tribe from the Roman Empire

Science: Horizon BBC2 - Supertwisters are the most powerful of tornadoes, reaching windspeeds of 300mpr!

Family - Dad came over

Maths - length:converting between m, cm & mm; factors, multiples and even & odd numbers; fractions

English: reading and following instructions; plurals spelling rules; commas (game & quiz)

History: Roman Settlement & Retreat, Tricky Tudor Trading, Vikings & Battle of Trafalgar

Finding out: 'I wonder how compasses work...'

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Lazy Day

Monty Python's
The Flying Circus
Volume 1

Save Lullingstone Castle
I learned that castles are bigI already knew that – that there was a person who was alive – I already knew that too! (I knew it because there’s lots of people alive) – God I learnt a lot! That grass is green, that a person had some plans to save the castle, which I knew, because everyone has plans, and that the people owned quite a fancy chair and a table... actually, they had quite a lot of chairs which came in different colours (wow!)

It's Not Easy Being Green
I learnt that if I have 2 pigs, I’ll call one Porky and the other Bacon.

Don't Mess with Miss Beckles
Socialising is prob: ppl more distracted
Meow meow meow meow
I know u can read my thoughts… when I tell u them

We talked about motivation
its too hot for anyone to go outside

Monday, April 03, 2006

Avon Valley Country Park

Bath City Farm & Avon Valley Country Park

We had a great day out. First we visited Bath City Farm and saw the animal pens, chickens, goats, sheep, pigs and the donkey. Then we headed to Avon Valley Country Park, a river based park with animals and birds and children's adventure play area, and stayed until 6pm. We loved the rowing boats on the first lake, the falconry displays and the riverside walk with its 1,5 mile junior assault course and lots of interesting animals to see on the way round, like llamas, rams, deer, shire horses, wallabies, etc. One of the kids' favourites was the barn owl. We were exhausted by the end of the day!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Sleepy Owl

DJ's Sleep Profile Summary
Your sleep is very well optimised (77 %). You sometimes have a problem with sleep, though you are not sleepy during the day, which indicates your body is getting the sleep it needs.
You are an "Owl" - You are built to be at your best later in the day. It also means your body clock is more flexible than people with standard body clocks and that you can probably cope quite well when your sleep pattern is disrupted.

Science: Senses Challenge & Nervous System

Maths: Mental Multiplication
English: Silent Letters; Syllables Factory; Apostrophes; Verb-Subject Agreement

IT: GameMaker - DJ spent 40mns trying to figure out something about this software program

Natural World: DJ watched a documentary about Britain's countryside and how farmland wildlife is starting to recover due to the rise of organic farming

Coast: DJ took a journey of 330 miles from Dover to Exmouth, and found out about (1) secret constructions at the front line of Britain's air defences, (2) Nazi atrocities in the Channel Islands, (3) cuttlefish, (4) prospecting for oil on the Jurassic Coast, (5) the growth of Portsmouth as it became home of the Royal Navy.

Yesterday was 'Friendship Day': DJ spent 5hrs with 2 of his friends