Thursday, November 30, 2006

Music Links

Mozart Miracle Of Nature
Documentary on the life and music of Mozart
Glen Gould - On And Off the Record
Documentary about Glenn Gould
Heartbeat of Ghana
Documentary on the history of drumming in Ghana, its impact on its culture and the danger of it being lost with todays new music influences - 9mns

Scrabble & Boggle

An afternoon of Scrabble & Boggle! Plus playing Runescape and chatting on Messenger with Gustavo in Portugal...

Free Eds
Classics for kids

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


Science Monster of the Milky Way - the nature of black holes; supermassive black hole at the center of galaxies; how a black hole forms; the nature of space surrounding and inside a black hole; event horizon that surrounds the black hole; Andromeda galaxy; etc, etc
Communication We talked about education, lifestyles, society, health, friendships, induhviduals (proper spelling, meaning neurotypicals) etc
Food Tech DJ helped chopping vegetables

Ed. Resources
geosense wind power food tech english
school history alien language curriculum bits statistics maths guru

Also Online
They Work For You: you can comment on what has been said in parliament re. "provisions being made in the Every Child Matters initiative for families who opt for education at home."
Why aren't you in school, Mr Tompkins?
Greenpeace - Tony Blair is building a new nuclear weapon

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Milky Way

Our friend M has been staying at ours over the past few days, which was great! Our routine changed a bit - but might get back to normal tomorrow! It was another relaxing day, with a bit of science - Monster Of The Milky Way - and history - Hitler's private World

We got an email from Laura Jackson, who works for a TV company called RDF Television. Laura is currently researching families who choose to educate their children from home and looking for contacts. If you're home-educating your child you can call Laura on 020 7013 4362 or email

We also got a phone call from the Family Information Service Development Worker wanting to know if info about the Aspies' Parents Group could be included on their newsletter...

Today's Quote - Socrates
“No study pursued under compulsion remains rooted in the memory.”

Monday, November 27, 2006

Game Cams

ICT "I have a game camera and I'm learning how to use it - basically I can record games I play. I found out using google (I typed game cam and went to the first site and downloaded it for free)."

On The Media
Dr Phil
Great School Debate
New York Times Home Schoolers Content to Take Children’s Lead

Sunday, November 26, 2006

John Holt

"Education, with its supporting system of compulsory and competitive schooling, all its carrots and sticks, its grades, diplomas, and credentials, now seems to me perhaps the most authoritarian and dangerous of all the social inventions of mankind. It is the deepest foundation of the modern and worldwide slave state, in which most people feel themselves to be nothing but producers, consumers, spectators, and "fans," driven more and more, in all parts of their lives, by greed, envy, and fear. My concern is not to improve "education" but to do away with it, to end the ugly and antihuman business of people-shaping and let people shape themselves.

This does not mean that no one should ever influence or try to influence what others think and feel. We all touch and change (and are changed by) those we live and work with. We are by instinct talkative and social creatures, and naturally share with those around us our view of reality. Both in my work as writer and lecturer, and among my friends, I do this all the time. But I refuse to put these others in a position where they feel they have no choice but to agree with me, or seem to agree. This is why, except as an occasional visitor, I will no longer do my teaching in compulsory and competitive schools..."

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Bits & Bobs

Citizenship Power & Control How to keep the "SHEEP" in check....
Science Dr Quantum - Flatland - Dimensions 2D & 3D
On The News 'Bullied because I was different'
Online Fun Click on the Singing Horses

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


History What the Ancients Did for Us - The Britons
Stone Age sophisticated tools; construction of Stonehenge and Woodhenge; 1st British currency; Iron Age houses and early chariots.
Einstein: Shedding Light On The Universe
The Elegant Universe
String's the Thing and Welcome to the 11th Dimension
PSHE Citizenship: Political Literacy
Hank Hill Speaks Up About Bush Terrorism and Iraq War

On The News
Child database 'will ruin family privacy' "Parents will be devalued and family privacy shattered by the mass surveillance of all 12 million children in England and Wales."
Warning over data on children “There has been a substantial growth in the information held about children and this is something we need to look at carefully.”
Database details 'harm children "Serious dangers exists from the growth of government databases on children (...) This raises serious data protection concerns relating to the appropriateness of collecting, processing and retaining the data"

Join the Ceasefire Campaign: Stop the War
Today's Quote - George Orwell 1984 -"The war is not meant to be won, it is meant to be continuous. Hierarchical society is only possible on the basis of poverty and ignorance. (...) In principle the war effort is always planned to keep society on the brink of starvation. The war is waged by the ruling group against its own subjects and its object is not (...) victory (...), but to keep the very structure of society intact."

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Learning Styles

You are very intuitive and ingenious. You're attracted to any field of study that lets you break the rules.
You Should Study:
Art - Art History - Architecture - Comparative religions - Eastern Religion -
Education - Music - Philosophy

Learning Style: Unconventional & Insightful

Knowledge Is Power

This leaflet has been circulating in several Home-Education online groups. I'm passing it on.
What you need to know about
the government’s plans to regulate home education

Who are we dealing with?
The Department for Education and Skills (DfES) is the government department that is responsible for developing strategies in education. They see part of their remit as aiming to achieve excellence for all and their functions will accord with the Every Child Matters agenda.
You can read more about the DfES
What are they going to do?
Last year, the DfES carried out a consultation on draft local authority Home Education guidelines. They consulted lots of Local Authorities and a handful of home education organisations, but would not accept contributions from individual home educators. Many home educators felt this meant that the consultation did not adequately or fairly represent the views of a large portion of the HE community.
Following this consultation, the DfES have not produced new guidelines. Instead, they now intend to conduct another consultation on Elective Home Education. They describe the proposed consultation as being "a full one, conducted via the Department's consultation website."..where they hope to ensure that the documents are accessible to as many people as possible.
The consultation website is here.
What will they be consulting about?
From emails that have been sent to some home educators by officials at the DfES, it appears that the DfES is considering using the Every Child Matters Agenda to insist that home educators conform to standards as decided by the state. We don’t know exactly how they are planning to do this, but it is likely to involve them trying to tell us what our children’s education should ‘cover’ and checking we are delivering the education they want through a system of monitoring visits.
DfES officials have said that:
“The state cannot currently prescribe what form of education parents should provide, whilst all maintained and independent school provision is prescribed in legislation and subject to inspection. This anomaly is at odds with Every Child Matters reforms, supported by the Children Act 2004, which set out the Government's aim to improve educational outcomes for all children, regardless of where they are educated, and to narrow the gap between those who are doing well and those who are not.”
and that:
"whilst s437 of the Education Act 1996 provides a remedy for LAs which have concerns that there may be no suitable provision, this is unwieldy, time consuming and expensive and in some cases will be nugatory where home educators are making good provision but are resistant to LA enquiries."

What you can do to keep Home Education as we know and love it

1. Keep an eye on them

Write to Elaine Haste of the Elective Home Education Department (DfES) at and ask to be included on a list of those who receive information about the consultation.
NB: This does NOT mean that you have taken part in the consultation and the DfES cannot honestly claim that you have. Until we see the consultation document and have more information about how the responses will be used, we can’t be sure that taking part in the consultation process will help our case.
So why bother signing up now if we don't plan to actually take part in the consultation? Signing up is important because the DfES needs to know just how many of us they are going to have to deal with. It means they know we are watching them, and we are getting organised.
2. Spread awareness.
Tell at least 4 other home educators what is going on and get them to sign up, as above. Get them to tell at least 4 others. Blog the story if you have an HE or any other kind of blog.
Refer people to the explanation at dare to know - what to do if you want a quick way to let them know what is happening. This leaflet is based on that text.
3. Spread the positive word about home education
Follow up on any stories in the local paper or on TV with letters and comments. Talk about personalised learning, healthy happy children etc - possibly using the recent media stuff about "toxic childhood".
4. Join forces
If you are a member of Education Otherwise you might want to communicate your feelings to the EO Government Policy Group about what you would ideally like EO to be doing about all this. You could also speak to your Local Contact. If you are a member of any other home education support organisation (or you know anyone who is) please pass on general information about the forthcoming DFES consultation.
5. Get political
If you have any energy left, write to your MP and ask them to pass on your concerns to Alan Johnson, Secretary of State for Education and Skills.
· Tell them about why it’s important to you to be allowed to determine what is a suitable education for your child(ren).
· Remind them that Section 7 of the 1996 Education Act gives parents the responsibility to provide an education that is suitable to the age, aptitude and ability and any special educational needs of their child(ren).
· Explain how HE enables you to do that for your children and how external standards and monitoring would make it harder to provide such an education.
6. Keep yourself informed
Find out more about Every Child Matters. Keep up with the discussion about how to campaign to preserve our current freedoms by joining the UK-HOME-ED email list. November 2006
Download Knowledge is power.pdf

Science Vs Religion

A War on Science: theory of intelligent design versus Darwinism; replacing science with religion? You can watch it online.
The Virus of Faith Richard Dawkins & Religion as the root of all evil

ICT DJ has been clearing his old PC before passing it on through the Freecycle network (that's reusing and recycling plus environmental awareness - which would come under environmental and resource issues in KS3 Geography!) He has also installed Norton Internet Security on his new PC.

PSHE Rain In My Heart Documentary exploring the daily lives of people battling with alcoholism and the impact on those around them.

On The News Small room, big issue "School toilets are often dirty and smelly, a haven for bullies and a no-go area for teachers."

I liked these
Dare to Know - Letter to Alan Johnson
Sometimes It's Peaceful - Government's threats to HE freedoms
Beat Bullying

Monday, November 20, 2006

Fresh Air

Science: Physics
Atoms and Their Electrons 35mns Animation
The Elements Song by Tom Lehrer - version 2 here
Periodic Table - Catherine Tate's Sketch

On The News The nursery rhyme police
"The call for state intervention in the minute details of family life... "This is the micro-management of family life."

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Saturday, November 18, 2006

E.G. West

"Protection of a child against starvation or malnutrition is in the same category of importance as protection against ignorance. It is difficult to envisage, however, that any government, in its anxiety to see that children have minimum standards of food and clothing, would pass laws for compulsory and universal eating, or that it should entertain measures which lead to increased taxes in order to provide children's food "free" at local government kitchens or stores. It is still more difficult to imagine that most people would unquestioningly accept this system, especially where it had developed to the stage that for 'administrative reasons' parents were allocated those stores which happened to be nearest their homes; or that any complaint or special desire to change their pre-selected stores should be dealt with by special and quasi-judicial inquiry after a formal appointment with the local 'Child Food Officer' or, failing this, by pressure upon their respective representatives on the local 'Child Food Board' or upon their Congressman. Yet strange as such hypothetical measures may appear when applied to the provision of food and clothing, they are nevertheless typical of English and American state education as it has evolved by historical accident or administrative expediency. Presumably it is recognized that the ability in a free market to change one's food market when it threatens to become, or has become, inefficient is an effective instrument whereby parents can protect their children from inferior service in a prompt and effective manner. If this is so, then one should expect that the same arguments of protection would in this respect point in the direction not of a state school system where it is normally difficult to change one's 'supplier' but in the direction of a free market where it is not." from The Uneasy Case for State Education by Edwin G. West

BBC Learning

On The News
Bullies 'target disabled pupils'
39% rise in home education

Friday, November 17, 2006


Chemistry - Dad came over, we all had lunch together and then did some experiments with Chemistry In Action: we heated copper sulphate, magnesium sulphate, di sodium di sulphate and sodium thiosulphate and observed the changes.

Psychology - Last night we ended up watching Middle Child Syndrome and immediately DJ said "Of course there's no such thing as Middle Child Syndrome!" The latest one I came across was Japan's "Retired Husband Syndrome". Maybe soon someone will come up with "Lets-Make-Up-Some-More-Syndromes Syndrome"!

Communication - We talked about judgments, criticism, put downs; how they affect us and our relationships; how they are linked with notions of good and evil, right or wrong; and how we perceive other people negatively everytime their behaviour doesn't match our values and/or our needs. We came up with examples of unskilful speech and of alternative ways of expressing what we observe, feel and need.

Act Now! Sign the HE Rights e-petition, download Home Education File and distribute it!

Thursday, November 16, 2006


Slow start today, taking it easy... Still managed to do some PE, Sc and socialising. JC came over to see DJ and they went out for a walk up Church Street. Meanwhile I had a much needed break, which was just great! I went off to the library and stopped at Harvest. When I arrived back home they were playing checkers and DJ told me they'd also used the Magnet Kit. A while later we watched hour 1 of The Elegant Universe, Einstein Dream: Newton's law of gravity, Einstein's explanation of gravity as warps and curves in the fabric of space and time, his quest to unify gravity with electricity and magnetism, how bits of matter interact inside the atom, the quantum world of atoms and subatomic particles, and string theory. Loved it!

On The Net
Dare To Know - What To Do
EyeWitness To History

Education Website

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


Hi, Sc & DT What the Ancients Did for Us - The Greeks
Democracy, science, mathematics, codes of ethics and justice, music, theatre, weapons, astronomy, Pythagoras and Archimedes
PE Went out for another walk
Cooking, Sc & Hi While preparing and having tea (inc. 1st attempts at potato peeling and making chips from scratch) we continued to follow The Journey Of Man (parts 7 - 11).

On The News Sharp increase in home education
Today's Site NOVA

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Out Walking

Science The Journey Of Man (parts 1 to 6) Evolution; Y chromosome, and marker mutations to map our ancestors' journey: so far from Africa through India to Australia.
We Are The Aliens Panspermia, the idea that life on Earth came from another planet
History When The Moors Ruled In Europe DJ watched about a 3rd of it, enough to learn that from the 8th to the 15th century Spain was ruled by Islamic Moors, who where passionate about learning and rational thought and laid down the foundations for the Renaissance.
PSHE DJ looked at life stuff: politics and egg and sperm race

On The Net Some perspectives on home educated children

Monday, November 13, 2006

Why We Fight

History of American conflict from the Revolutionary War to Iraq.
History of the Middle East Flash animation showing who has controlled the Middle East
Why We Fight, a film about the American war machine (you can watch it here) and discussed issues like democracy, imperialism, propaganda, corporate interests, etc

Today's Quote - Hermann Goering
Naturally the common people don't want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.

PSHE Health & Safety Stay healthy on your PC! Deskercises
Citizenship 100% English we watched part of this and got talking about DNA tests, history and racism
Communication - we talked about
quantum physics, paralel universes, dimensions, time travel,
buddhism, origings of the 1st and 2nd turnings of the Wheel of Dharma
the link betwen patriotism, war and racism,
Medieval II Total War, the moors, castles, motte & Bailey
DJ explained the difference between fortresses and citadels, etc etc

Sunday, November 12, 2006


Reading & History - Last night DJ read most of Cut-Throat Celts

Today's Site: Digg More Educational Videos, not as good as QoolsQool

Saturday, November 11, 2006


ICT: I forgot to mention DJ continues to update his sites regularly and his typing is quite amazing!

PSHE: He has been experimenting with the power of intention - deciding what he wants - with positive results.

Today we went to Wellow (horse riding as usual), bought some more Horrible History books, and stopped in town to get Medieval II Total War, so DJ is very happy today...

Science: In the evening we watched Horizon Time Trip (read about it here), an interesting documentary about the possibilities of time travel.

On the News School leaving age may be raised

Today's Site QoolsQool
WOW! What an amazing site! Ideal for us visual learners!

Friday, November 10, 2006

Sc RE Games

Science: World's First Time Machine 2003 BBC documentary featuring some of Dr. Ronald Mallett's current time travel research.
RE: Life of Buddha
History of Video Games DJ enjoyed this documentory about the history of video Games from Atari to Nintendo - a lot of creativity and entrepreneuship from young teenagers!
We also discussed stupidity: what is it and how intelligent and educated people can act in stupid ways and make stupid choices such as using knowledge for destruction e.g. Einstein's discoveries used to make and use atomic bombs

Thursday, November 09, 2006


English Let's Write Non-Fiction - advice on writing Non-Chronological Report Writing plus some new stuff on DJ's blog
Sex Education Disney - VD Attack Plan (Venereal Disease Education)
Chess & Comedy - DJ has been playing chess with JC and watching Monty Python
The Secret - Documentary film

Check This Out
Do schools today kill creativity? Great stuff! Watch it now. 20mns

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Huns & Bangs

History: watched Terry Jones: Barbarians part 4, The Huns
Science: Paralel Universes

PSHE: Introduction to the concept of Social Intelligence
and to the attitude that whatever happens it is for the best

I've been finding out interesting stuff on YouTube and Video.Google and decided to make a collection of educational videos

Check These Out
Animal School
BBC Home-Education Debate

BBC Home-Education Debate 2

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Hi Gg Sc

History The Romans in Britain: how the Romans invaded and settled in Britain; their effect on the Celts already living here, and their legacy today. Important cities in Roman times.
Geography Coastal Landscapes - How the caves and arches of the Pembrokeshire coast were created.
Horizon Bye Bye Planet Pluto - Pluto demoted to asteroid; an exploration of exactly how many planets the solar system contains. International Astronomical Union members speak up.
Horizon Pandemic Predicting the next flu pandemic e.g. 750,000 deaths in Britain.
Drugs Education: we read What would you do? a booklet that can be read online at addaction exploring different choices made in drug-using situations and their consequences.

On The News
Home schooling has doubled in four years
(link from By other Means)

Monday, November 06, 2006

Another day

Cooking: We had a nice time cooking lunch & tea together. DJ took the rubbish out and checked the post.
Art & ICT: Flash MX animation
PSHE Citizenship
School of Hard Knocks: rising numbers of violent incidents in British schools; e.g. a teenage girl stabbed in the face during playground.
Iraq - The Lost Generation - life under American military occupation.
Lock Them Up or Let Them Out - learned about Parole Boards and the role of prisons and probation services in the decision process.

On The News School Bullies

Today's Quotes
The state calls its own violence law, but that of the individual crime. ~Max Stirner

So long as governments set the example of killing their enemies, private citizens will occasionally kill theirs. ~Elbert Hubbard

It is clear that the way to heal society of its violence... and lack of love is to replace the pyramid of domination with the circle of equality and respect. ~Manitonquat

Sunday, November 05, 2006


I have come to the frightening conclusion that
I am the decisive element.
It is my personal approach that creates the climate.
It is my daily mood that makes the weather.
I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous.
I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration,
I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal.
In all situations, it is my response that decides
whether a crisis is escalated or de-escalated,
and a person is humanized or de-humanized.
If we treat people as they are, we make them worse.
If we treat people as they ought to be,
we help them become what they are capable of becoming.

There is nothing worse than aggressive stupidity.

Saturday, November 04, 2006


Off we go...

Going horse-riding in a minute...

Childhood is changing
Freedom’s Orphans: Raising Youth in a Changing World, (...) recommends that every secondary school pupil (from 11-16 years old) should participate in at least two hours a week of structured and purposeful extracurricular activities – like martial arts, drama clubs, sports, Scouts, and so on. This would take place through extended school hours of between 8am-6pm and would involve a legal extension of the school day. Parents who did not ensure their child attended two hours a week of activities could be fined, in the same way as parents are punished for their child’s persistent truancy.

Friday, November 03, 2006


What The Bleep Do We Know?
"The topics discussed in this film include neurology, quantum physics, psychology, epistemology, ontology, metaphysics, magical thinking and spirituality. "

Socialising: Family Time - Dad!

History: Battle of Hastings on Medieval II Total War Demo

Today's Sites
Mindfulness In Education
Be The Change!

Today's Quotes
Man can learn nothing except by going from the known to the unknown.- Claude Bernard

The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes.- William James

He who joyfully marches in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would suffice.- Albert Einstein

Thursday, November 02, 2006

All sorts

PSHE Citizenship - Southpark episode on 911: Conspiracy Theories Science / RE - The holographic universe - Beyond matter - senses, mind and Muslim interpretation of scientific knowledge.
Socialising: We went out to visit Prof. J. C. - very educational
D&T: carpentry tools and a demonstration of how to use a lathe to shape wood
ICT: we saw an original BBC computer and JC talked about them
Science: Physics - Using a microphone, a speaker and an oscilloscope, DJ made sounds and saw the sound waves he produced
Our discussion included: what is energy; electromagnetism; thoughts as energy; Schrödinger's cat experiment; gravity; etc etc
PSHE: DJ helped taking the rubbish out and carrying the shopping

On The News
DNA fears - "instead of a nation of citizens, a nation of suspects"
Your privacy is being unnecessarily violated - what you can do.
Today's Sites
Stop Climate Chaos
Greenpeace - Climate campaigners shut down one of UK's biggest power stations

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Art Mu Sc

Art - Impressionism 10/10 - watch it here
Music - 60s Folk 9/10 - watch it here
Science - Quantum Physics Double Slit Experiment - Watch it here
On the Net: School Uniformity
On the News: Autistic pupils 'let down by failures in mainstream education services'
The Education for Pupils with Autism Spectrum Disorders report, published yesterday, (...) said: "The majority of teachers and non-teaching staff in mainstream schools did not have a sufficiently good working knowledge of ASD."