Another Weekend, Another Walk | Living Arrows 5/52 (2021)

1 February 2021

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Another week has passed and the juggling of work and homeschool continued and we all couldn't wait for the weekend. Weekend means walk and this weekend we headed to the waterfront for a change of scenery. 

boy hiding behind a statue

We had some jobs to do around the house first so didn't manage to get out till quite late, I think it was almost 3pm. By the time we got there it was so cold and windy. It was the type of cold wind that hurts your face as you walk. We almost turned around to go back home to where it is warm but we know how important it is to get some fresh air and exercise so we persevered and we actually enjoyed it, in the end. 

Boy on a scooter

Little J took his scooter as there is lots of open space to scoot around and I was surprised how many young adults there were on skateboards. I suppose there isn't much for anyone to do at the moment so why not go skateboarding by the waterfront.

We had promised little J an ice cream but unfortunately the van was there but there was no one inside. Maybe it was too cold but he did manage to pick some sweets off another van selling lots of sweets and candy floss. 

As we were walking we saw lots of people holding Costa cups so we knew the Costa was open for takeaway. John grabbed himself a coffee. It was on those type of days I really wished I like coffee as it would have warmed me up. 

brothers hugging

After a while the cold didn't seem to bother the boys but I am really looking forward to some warmer weather. 


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Is Spring On The Way? | Our Sunday Photo 5/52

31 January 2021

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While we were out on a walk at the weekend we came across a snowdrop. It was all on its own in the middle of a patch of mud. Snowdrops are supposed to be the first sign of Spring ahead of bluebells and daffodils. 


Although the weather doesn't feel like Spring is on the way I have enjoyed the lighter evenings. This Winter has been so miserable with not much to look forward to so I hope Spring arrives very soon and it's the start of brighter times. 


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Snow Fun | Living Arrows 4/52 (2021)

25 January 2021

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This past week was exactly the same as the weeks before with the juggling of work, home schooling and trying to keep things fun. We got to midweek and I could see that sitting at the table doing school work is just so boring for little J. He loves school but doing school work at home isn't fun. There is no one his own age to bounce off during class discussions, there is no one to play with at break time and there is no escape from us. He needs to see his friends, he needs to chat to kids his own age, he needs to be a 7 year old boy and as much as we all love each other he needs space and time away from us, its natural to need a break from people even if just for a few hours.

a boy making a snow angel in the snow

I was dreading the weekend if I am honest as there is no difference really from midweek to weekend at the moment. Every day feels the same however over night on Friday we had some snowfall. 

Our snowfall wasn't as heavy as other parts of the country but it was enough to perk up our moods and we headed straight out in the garden for some snow fun.

boy falling off a sledge

Little J didn't want to make a snowman, all he wanted to do was have snowball fights, make snow angels and be pulled around on his sledge. 

After a morning of fun we headed out for an afternoon snowy winter walk at Speke Hall. It was so lovely to see the hall and grounds covered in snow. We became members of National Trust just a few months ago and haven't had chance to visit many of the NT properties yet so it was nice to visit. 

man and boy having a snowball fight

We enjoyed snowball fights on the main lawn and enjoyed a walk overlooking the airport runways. Unfortunately we didn't get to see any planes take off or land but we did see some parked on the runway. 

Our walk was cut short when it started to hail and the temperature dropped quickly but it was lovely to get some much needed fresh air.


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How To Make Home Schooling Fun

20 January 2021

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Disclosure - This post contains mentions of previously gifted items

Nearly a year ago now we became home school teachers. We had no idea what we were doing, neither did the schools at the time as home schooling or learning at home was something none of us have experienced before. We got through it somehow but now we are back in the same situation as before and although this time the school seems so much more prepared, our children may not. Sitting in front of the screen all day isn't appealing to some children but there are other ways that we can teach them that seems more fun. Children follow the curriculum in school but at home it is a completely different environment and I think we need to remember that.

boy looking at a computer screen

There are so many ways you can incorporate maths in to your day. We use numbers and shapes all the time and it can be fun.

Playing shop with real money. This can help little ones learn numbers and basic addition and subtraction.
Complete a jigsaw. Jigsaws help concentration and help encourage problem solving.
Baking. Measuring out ingredients is a great way to encourage children to learn about simple measurements and counting.
Singing. There are lots of 'number' nursery rhymes and  songs.
Apps. There are lots of apps that can encourage basic maths skills.

boy reading

There are lots of ways to make English fun.

Watch a short movie and then ask the child to write a short story based on what they can remember. Pixar 'Shorts' 'are only between 4-7 mins long and they cover a range of topics. Encourage the child to write about the beginning, something important that happened in the middle and the end.
Treasure Hunt. Ask your child to create a treasure hunt and encourage them to write their own clues.
Reading. This can be together or the child reading alone.
Spellings. Create a spelling sheet for your child using words that they are familiar with.

map of the world

Other areas of learning. 
This is such a simple idea and can cover so much.

If you ask your child to think of a place. It can be a city, a country, a landmark, a theme park, anything. You can use the internet or books to find out everything you can about the place they have chosen. This could cover

Geography - Where in the world is it? 
History - When was it built?
Technology - Research as much as you can online.
Mathematics - How many people live or visit there each year?
Reading - Finding out the facts.
Art - Ask your child to draw what they think it looks like.
Imagination - Create a role play area based on their chosen place.
Fine Motor Skills - Write out a list of facts they have found.

Making use of resources around the home. We will be using....

Geomag Mechanics Gravity Magnetic Track - Encourages STEM - Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics learning. Exploring science without the need of batteries or electricity.

Osmo - Osmo is educational without the kids knowing. It encourages basic maths and english, problem solving concentration and it's fun.

boy playing osmo
Games - We have lots of educational games that are fun and we can learn from them to.

Lego / or similar building blocks. Helps with imagination and fine motor skills.

Garden - Physical activity is very important and if you have a garden making use of this space for outside play/exercise also helps get fresh air.

Daily Challenge

Each day we are going to have one daily challenge that we need to complete. The daily challenges will be fun and could include baking a cake, making a den or creating an obstacle course. Educating your child doesn't always mean sitting a desk writing, if they are using their imagination, their fine motor skills or being creative this all adds to their development.

Our children learn every day without them knowing.

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Trying To Mix It Up | Living Arrows 3/52 (2021)

18 January 2021

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Last week was our second week of home schooling and just as I expected the novelty had definitely worn off and little J was not as keen or interested to get started on Monday morning as he was the week before. However he managed to pick himself up and get stuck in and seemed to enjoy some of the work set.

boy with sunlight behind him
At the moment we have no idea how long the schools will be closed for so we are trying to mix up the home school day as much as we can so he doesn't become bored. There is quite a lot of work set this time around and zoom calls at the beginning and the end of the day so he doesn't have a lot of free time. 

boy measuring out ingredients

One of his lessons last week involved measuring so we took it one step further and made some cookies. Little J enjoyed measuring the ingredients out and made sure we took lots of photographs so we could send them to his teacher. 

He has one scheduled PE session a week which encourages the children to head outside for a walk or bike ride or do an indoor PE / Exercise session such as PE with Joe. We have tried to make sure we get out and about at least 4 out of the 5 days for a walk or bike ride. We are lucky that we have lots of cycle paths and a park close by so it's been nice for him to be able to enjoy a bike ride locally.

boy looking at a computer screen

Little J is reading Charlie and the chocolate factory at the moment and was really keen to know what happened at the end so I suggested we watch the movie. I am a huge fan of the original so I popped it on and he didn't move all the way through, he absolutely loved it. He has also loved being able to bring his teddies to his homeschool lessons.

box of sweets

For RE he had to talk about someone he loves and we had a discussion about why he loves that person. I had no doubt in my mind who he would choose, his brother. To make it more interesting and fun he made a gift box which he decorated himself and we filled it with a few chocolates so he could treat his brother. 

two boys on bikes

Big J had a good week doing his university course online. It has been hard learning how to become a teacher through zoom calls but he has just found out that he will be actually going in to a school to help out until half term so is over the moon. It means he won't be at home during the day as much and I know the boys will both miss each other. They did spend lots of time together this past week both in and outside which I just love. 


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Before WandaVision - How To Watch Marvel Movies in Chronological Order

13 January 2021

marvel poster

Disclosure - this post has been updated and republished. It also contains affiliate links.

I can't believe it's two years ago since we binge watched all the Marvel movies in just 3 weeks. Neither of us have ever wanted to watch the Marvel movies before but the world had gone Marvel crazy and everyone we knew was heading to the cinema to watch Avengers - The End Game. 

Captain Marvel running

As we had never watched any we decided to look up all the Marvel movies and then we decided to watch them in chronological order rather than release order. Watching the movies and storylines in this order made more sense. 

Once we had our list we headed to Amazon Prime Video to begin. We had just over three weeks before End Game finished on the cinema to watch all 21 movies and we did it. 21 movies in 21 days. 

If you are thinking of watching the Marvel movies then here is the list in chronological order.

Captain America - The First Avenger
Set in 1943-1945

Captain Marvel
Set in 1995

Iron Man
Set in 2010

Iron Man 2 
Set in 2011

The Incredible Hulk 
Also set in 2011

Also set in 2011

Avengers Assemble
Set in 2012

Iron Man 3
Set in 2012

Thor - The Dark World 
Set in 2013

Captain America - The Winter Soldier
Set in 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy
Also set in 2014

Guardians of the Galaxy vol 2
Also set in 2014

Avengers - Age of Ultron
Set in 2015

Ant Man
Also set in 2015

Captain America - Civil War
Set in 2016

Spiderman - Homecoming
Also set in 2016

Doctor Strange 
Also set in 2016/2017

Black Panther 
Set in 2017

Thor - Ragnarok
Also set in 2017

Ant Man and The Wasp
Also set in 2017

Avengers - Infinity War
Also set in 2017

Avengers - Endgame 
Set in 2019

Spiderman - Far From Home
Set in 2019

iron man in Disneyland Paris
Now we have Disney Plus I am thinking about starting them all again. I think now is a good time as the new Marvel mini series WandaVision starts on the 15th so its a good excuse to have a recap. 

Have you watched the Marvels movies?

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Back To Home School | Living Arrows 2/52 (2021)

11 January 2021

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Well things have certainly changed since last weeks Living Arrows post. On Monday it was announced that all schools were to close after being told the day before they were safe. We all knew a National Lockdown was on the cards and that it was going to be soon but it was still a shock. Home schooling began here on Wednesday and it was definitely more organised than the last time schools closed. 

at boy doing homework
Little J starts his day with a Zoom call. It's a chance to see his friends on the screen and for his teacher to discuss what she has planned for them throughout the day. It's a lovely way to begin his day but it's also so sad because I know how much he missed his friends last time and seeing them on a screen just isn't the same. 

After the zoom he has four lessons to complete. Maths, English, RE and then a foundation subject. The workload has been okay so far but I am expecting more this week now they have had a little more time to prepare. 

a boy doing homework
The home schooling isn't as easy for us this time around as parents as I am now in work. I was furloughed last time which obviously made it easier but now we are trying to fit everything in-between John's work and mine. 

John and I are both key workers however we made a decision to keep little J home as the infection rate in our area is so high and we obviously want him safe at home. 

a boy reading
After he has finished his lessons we have been colouring and then also reading. He is reading Charlie and The Chocolate Factory and loves it so far. 

Once his school day is done we email all his work over for marking and he finishes the day with another Zoom call. It's a little catch up of the day and the teacher reads then a short story. 

boy on a zoom

So far little J is enjoying being at home and it is definitely the best place for him to be until this madness is over. 


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Be Positive | Our Sunday photo 2/52

10 January 2021

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Disclosure - Previously gifted item. 

At the moment everything feels negative. There doesn't seem to be much positivity in the air but I am trying my best to not let the negativity take over. I have been writing in my planner and it's really helping me.

The positive planner

The positive planner
Each day I focus on my mantra, my positive intentions, my top three to-do's, my self care moment and my note to self. In the evening I reflect on my day. 

I have never done anything like this before but the way the world is at the moment I have enjoyed trying to pick out the positives and they are there but I just have to search a little harder to find them. 

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