Category Archives: home education

Horrible Histories Spies – Imperial War Museum, London

It is Tuesday and so you know what that means: Travel Tuesday! I have really enjoyed looking through all the links up this past week.  I was homesick by by Louisa with her P is for the Perfect Pacentro, learning about how Kate’s Dad Lives in Kenya, and having my wanderlust fueled further by Lindsey’s travels to Thailand.  I cannot wait to see where you are all sharing travels and stories of wanderlust from this week!  You all make this link up so much fun and inspiring! 
For Travel Tuesday I take you to the Imperial War Museum in London, England.  We had the opportunity to visit this summer with my family.  The reason for our going was to visit the limited time Horrible Histories Spies exhibit that was going on at the museum.  My boys love the Horrible Histories television programme and so we left it as a surprise until we arrived at the IWM. 

Horrible Histories is a British children’s television series based on the Terry Deary book series of the same name. It aims to provide entertainment while also informing its audience about history, thereby making a stereotypically boring topic fun – Wikipedia 

The exhibit was very hands on and geared towards kids and the child in all of us.  In fact I am not sure who had more fun: my sons or all of the adults.  The boys got a special new Horrible Histories book and a special stamp sheet that they could use through out their experience at the museum.  In different stations they could get an embossed stamp to signify they had completed that part of the journey. 
In typical Horrible Histories fashion they were able to provide the truth of spies with real artifacts coupled with gruesome tales and sometimes disgusting things you as an adult would not really want to know.  They had pictures and videos and many interactive areas where they could engage with computers to learn more about spies through out history. 
Of course at the gifts shop they had every gag spy item imaginable as well as their book series for purchase.  They even had quite a bit of books and films for the adults in the fiction and non fiction genres of war and spies.  
One of the most fun activities we enjoyed was becoming spies and making our own faux passports to fit our secret cover identity.  We then had to memorize our cover story and get questioned by the passport control to see if we could stay in the country.  It was all quite fun and the whole family was entertained. 
The Imperial War Museum is a great museum to visit when you are in London, England.  After we visited the Horrible Histories Spies exhibit (and had a break for tea, of course) we went to see other areas of the museum.  They have a pretty impressive area about war and spies geared more for adults though my children had almost as much fun as before.  Even if you have young children like mine I would recommend taking them because we found it to be a great home education resource.  It opened up dialog for more conversations about history, war, and spies.  My boys were most impressed with all the artifacts they had that spies really used in this part of the museum.
Here were some favourite captures taken from the day:
More on Horrible Histories
Want to know a little more about what Horrible Histories is all about? I definitely recommend checking out their website below and you can find plenty skits and songs on youtube as well. My family’s favourite is the RAF song as we have history with the USAF and the RAF. It definitely brings in a lot of memories of my dad and I think he would have thought this song was so hilarious. I think you will too so I have shared it below.
Share your Travel stories and wanderlust addictions.
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3. Linkup goes live every Tuesday at 9 am GMT.
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The War on Girls: Education & Bloggers

I have two sons.  I am their biggest advocate when it comes to their education. As a nomadic family you have to be.  With moving frequently my eldest son at eight years old has been home educated and has gone to five different schools in three states in the US and two countries. For me as a mum the biggest challenge facing my kids and education is just making sure my kids are not being held back from their potential.  I look at the spelling lists, the math work, and the lack of homework my sons have in the UK and I see how behind it is from schools my son attended in the US. My eldest went to an accelerated learning school for first grade and was doing algebraic equations for his math level.  That school worked with kids with what level they were at individually and did not hold them back or push them forward for the group.  It opened my eyes to the potential kids at young ages have to learn.  My first grader here in England came home this week with spelling words that included: go, to, and we. I have my son reading chapter books at home and he helps in reading paragraphs aloud in Harry Potter with us as a family. Not to mention I am certain the spelling words I worked with him on in home education a year ago were much harder.  It can be really frustrating as a parent especially as in the expat life and dealing with cultural differences.  Our solution so far is to do as much home education as we can in our free time on top of everything they are learning at school.  We have talked about revisiting the plan of home education full time at home if things do not progress at school.  This is my personal story with education and raising boys. What does it mean for the girls of our world?

I am glad that we are highly involved in our boys’ education and that we did not let the in-laws hostility towards home education ruin our plans to continue with it.  However not all children all over the world even have the luxury of freedom to go to school.  There are people who think girls should not get an education. Those who say ‘what is the point when they are not going to get a job’. These girls face the challenges of distance, poverty, and child marriage.  Instead of families advocating for their daughters education, there are girls who are banned from going to school and beaten for attending. Girls can be harassed by the community on their way to school. Dreams of girls continuing their education become dashed when forced into child marriages where taking care of the family replace their role of a student.

There are people standing up for change.  Like Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani girl who is an activist and blogger standing up for education and women’s rights. She was shot in the head and the neck a year ago ‘in an assassination attempt by Taliban gunmen while returning home on a school bus’.  This past friday Malala was at Harvard to accept the 2013 Peter J Gomes humanitarian reward.  You can read Malala Yousafzai’s blog here.

There are also groups of people advocating for change for girls around the world. I recommend you watch the video below about Because I Am A Girl, an initiative formed by the international charity organization Plan International
In the end I believe it is all our responsibilities to make sure our younger generations get an education.  I am so inspired by all the young girls out there advocating for their peers all over the world. It truly fights against the Miss Representation post I shared last week.

To read Malala’s blog:

Maddox gets his Cast Off.

The boys got their very own library cards this week and we checked out quite a number of books.  It is really convenient being a short walk away and we will probably go at least once a week.  The boys found out about a new book series called ‘My Weird School’.  We are going to see how far we can get into the series because the library is having a party based on it.  Next month they will have a Scooby Doo party.  Its nice having things for the boys to look forward too while we are here.  One thing we have been looking forward to is having Maddox’s cast taken off.  Maddox got to keep his cast and we celebrated by having celebratory pancakes for breakfast afterwards.

Maddox before getting his cast taken off. 
At the Doctor’s after getting his cast off. 
Library finds!
Movie Date! 

Back to School

The boys went back to school this week and started our new journey: The Adventures of Home Education.  We are not sure when we are going back to England, so being able to home school will help keep us going through out this transition period.  The boys and I have already had a lot of fun and I look forward to the rest of the school year.  We started the week with taking our ‘Back to School’ photographs. Enjoy!