A gold plated “Bonjour!” to my trio of benevolent backers: G! D! And jeansobrinho! Subscribers all.
Scraping around found another homeschooling piece I scribbled. It’s about resources I’ve found useful. Taste and see.
The River Cottage Family Cookbook
A beautiful book embellished with uplifting photos of young people hurling pancakes, clutching fish and plucking tomatoes, this gives the baby basics and beyond in a dignified, friendly tone. It explains the fascinating history of things like sugar, cocoa and flour and the science of butter making and yeast fermentation. The recipes are reliably delicious (I recommend the shortbread, but think ahead and swap to elasticated waistbands.) It also has projects that require a pinch more time like making ice cream and growing potatoes.
Make magazine (makezine.com)
“Technology on your time”. Tricky to get hold of ( try the mighty Amazon.co.uk if you are stuck) each issue is a mind expanding wodge of everyday enlightenment. Thanks to “Make” I can, if I choose, assemble a kinetically powered remote for the telly, a sonic booming bullwhip, a pinhole panorama camera, a digital clock, a plywood coffee table, a solar xylophone, a beetlebot or a Wunderkammer (!!!??). It embraces the whole world of technology, from the pre-industrial to the virtual, from a woven Swahili bed to tilt shift photography. There is definite pride in the fact that much of this is done with things salvaged.
Anything by Elizabeth Zimmerman
A warm and witty writer she endearingly includes bits about her life, outlook, family and marriage. Mainly she teaches you to think. Then, because you understand, you can create, which sounds pompous and difficult the way I’ve put it but as Elizabeth shows is commonplace and liberating.
Unexpected Knitting by Debbie New (only unexpected if you find knitted portraits of beloved mothers or knitted teacups unexpected)
Knitting in Plain English by Maggie Righetti ( cheery, dry humour, wonderful clarity in teaching stitches and how to read patterns. She also has a book on crochet)
This Sceptred Isle by Christopher Lee
I bought this on cd for myself, all 50 billion hours of it, after hearing it on Radio 4 and BBC 7. We often play it in the car and the children are inexplicably fascinated (“What do you want on?” “KINGS AND QUEENS!”). I say inexplicably because although it is marvellously researched and jauntily told it is dense and definitely adult directed. I think they enjoy the fact it is told as a story, a story of families and illnesses and food and friends and clothes and parties and battles. Lots of battles, be warned. C reflected “History is grim“.