On monday, we set off far too early in the morning to get to @Bristol, a fantastic science centre. Crazily, I had decided to organise a group visit, which included a visit to the Planetarium for a ‘Star Stories’ session, a workshop called ‘Body Basics’ which involved a huge soft toy called Stuffee, who’s internal organs could be removed and passed around. Both these were aimed at reception – KS1 children, and the rest of the day we were free to check out all the exhibits.
The low moment came when I realised my handbag was not in the car when we arrived…and I was meant to be paying for everyone to get in…oops! As I’d said at the time, ‘hey, it could have been a child!’ 🙂 All was saved as I had randomly grabbed my chequebook before I left, and luckily hadn’t thought to put it in my bag!
There were almost 20 Home Ed families, with about 50 people in total ranging from 0-8yrs, plus lots of adults. We arrived at the same time as lots of school parties, in smart crocodile lines, with one teacher at the front, and one at the back. We were higgledy piggledy, some catching toddlers, some with giggly girls, everyone excited and desperate to go in!
The planetarium was fab, with lovely laid back seats which I could have happily sat in all day! The kids and adults were totally enthralled, lots of interaction, and captivating stories of stars and planets. They learned about the moon, mars and saturn and that there were saucepans, dinosaurs and bears in the skies, pattern spotting, and using their imagination. We got home when it was dark, and the girls got out of the car and looked up at the sky and told me what pictures they could see. E can even tell me, 2 days later, that you can stand on the rings of Saturn because they are made of rocks and ice.
The workshop was not what I expected. Very schooly – sit on the mat, don’t kneel up, put your hand up to speak etc etc. Special people were picked to go up to the front and take organs out of Mr Stuffee, or hold things. Always a nightmare with E, who never understands why she doesn’t get picked, and is always so upset 😦
Sharp intakes of breath were taken when cards with sentences relating to living things such as ‘can they move’ ‘can they reproduce’, we had to go into groups and put these sentences into agree, disagree, don’t know caregories. A parent whispered to me ‘but they can’t read…’! Workshop aimed at 5-7 yr olds, highlights the difference between home ed and school systems. You have to read by 5 otherwise the system fails, home ed families don’t force feed reading skills, I personally am avoiding pushing reading, writing etc until E is 6 or 7, or when she is ready. At the moment she is not, but gradually I can see things making more sense to her.
Luckily everyone was in the same boat, there were plenty of adults to help out!
The rest of the day was fab…they had a fantastic Animate It! exhibition, which was supported by Aardmann Animations, so they made lots of plasticine models, and traced lots of pictures of Wallace, Gromit and Morph!
We froze our shadows in different poses on a wall, made giant bubbles, made sand jump about on a metal plate at different frequencies, we felt music through our feet using vibrations, we mixed colour lights on a wall, and walked into a room which made is fall over because it was all at an angle!
We loved it. Membership is inevitable!