Events

Our visit to the Wastewater Heritage Centre

HEdNI Kids at the Wastewater Heritage Centre

Today we visited the Wastewater Heritage Centre in Belfast. This is owned by NI Water.

First, we learnt about the sewage systems of the past.  The toilets in Roman times were quite hygienic as they had water running under them. It was not all good though, as the sewage ran into a river and polluted it, spreading diseases such as cholera.

The Medieval times were a bit better. If you were rich you had private toilets and the sewage plopped into a moat. The waste was then shovelled out of the moat by men and into a nearby river. The poor people used a bucket and threw their sewage on to the street. You just had to hope you weren’t passing by when a bucket was slopped out.

The Victorian times were better again. Sewers were available to the rich in the early Victorian era. The poor had to use privies, which were outside in their very small yards. The men who cleaned them were called the “Midnight Angels”, coming to clean them at night.

After learning about the history of our sewage system they told us about the 3 p’s, toilet paper, poo and pee. These are the only things which should be flushed down a toilet.

Spooky Science

Monster Manor in W5- ghosts in haunted house

Despite it being busy for the half term break w5 was a fantastic group outing for home educators in Northern Ireland. 

We started off our visit by viewing the spooky Monster Manor. 

Shortly after we made our way up to level 5, crossed the see-through  bridge and were split into two education classrooms according to age. 

I attended the first group which was for under 7's. It was all about forces! 

Things started off with a demonstration. A volunteer was called to help move eggs into cups without touching them by using force - a witches broom in this case! 

We then had a lid popping demonstration from three children and got to take out big boxes of toys to show us that different toys use forces to work. 

A few volunteers launched a rocket by using the force of their body. Pulling along cars using magnets then followed. At the very end we designed our own colourful magnets with googly eyes. 

The educator especially impressed as she went to each individual asking them questions, showing them cool force tricks and typically being very attentive. I was surprised by how much was fitted into our small hour slot. 

The second workshop was all about forensics! This got a lot of positive feedback from the over 7's and their parents. The children done forensic testing on a suspect. They looked at fingerprints, fibres from clothes, chromatography and DNA. The parents had high praise for the fun forensic scientist who, like the forces education officer, was great with the kids  

After the workshops we went to a private allocated area and had a lovely social meet over a picnic. 

It was especially nice to see new faces. 

Going during half term gave a few families considering home education a chance to see how a typical outing with our group goes. 

Halloween

Pumpkins in the field

A large group of us went pumpkin picking at Streamvale Farm on Wednesday. Availing of their exceptional group rate once again, we also bagged a free pumpkin and carving with admission. 

After picking out pumpkins in wheelbarrows we went inside the farm shed were the kids scoped out and the staff studiously listened to how the children wanted them to look. It was a quick, well done process and best part of all no mess at home! 

After the carving we left our pumpkins and went and explored the petting zone, listened to a spooky story, got free rides on the barrels (a big hit), slid down their hay filled slides and went on a Gruffalo trial! 

We ended our trip with a visit to their large play area and park. 

Once again a fantastic day was had at Streamvale Farm.

Recycling Centre Visit

The Children and Parwnts who visited the centre

Today we went on a visit to the recycling center in Lurgan. 

After we had all put on our hi-vis vests and had a quick safety briefing we were shown around all the different sections for various household waste. They told us what some of them are recycled into and a bit about the sheer volume of some waste they receive. 

Did you know that baked bean tins are used to make railway lines??? Or that broken washing machines could be made into stylish lamps? Or that old used cooking oil is made into new usable cooking oil?

The children really enjoyed seeing some of the machinery used on site and pointing out all the different household items they could recognise in each area. 

All the staff were so friendly and engaging. They made the tour very relevant for the children and their parents. 

We've all been made more aware of how we can recycle our everyday waste and help do our but to save our planet.

Snow Tubing

Safety briefing
The view from the top

A thrilling time was had by all on the ski slopes in Craigavon today, despite driving through fog to the venue we found sunshine waiting for us when we arrived!

After our safety briefing the kids trudged up and skimmed down the slope over and over again.

We followed the excitement with a picnic, a play and a thorough investigation of the maze at Tanaghmore Gardens.

Events like this, as well as being exciting and novel (and great exercise!), are opportunities to make social connections, support each other and exchange information. 

We all appreciate the work that goes into giving our children these opportunities, and the friendly receptions (not to mention group discounts!) we get from the venues!

Many thanks!

A visit to Streamvale Farm

Barrelling along in the distance  - children being towed by the tractor

Streamvale Farm kindly accommodated our home education group this week. It certainly lived up to its great reputation. 

A large group of us were first taken to the petting area were we fed rabbits cabbage and petted the really well looked after animals. 

We then went on to hold the baby rabbits in straw filled open baskets, the children found this part especially exciting. 

After a play around in one of their many designated play areas the children went on go carts, played with diggers in the sand and then went to see the puppies play. 

Soon after the children enjoyed free barrel rides, were the lovely staff member towed them on a quad! 

After a quick stop for lunch and indoor play in another great area the vet came and played hospital with a few of the children. 

Pony grooming, sliding into hay and two full rides on the towed tractor carriage followed. Seeing and learning about the deer and the antlers was a particular highlight. 

 We ended our day in the largest play area shooting soft balls out of the machines and playing on the toy tractors. 

Streamvale was an exciting opportunity to learn about farm life and just have some proper outdoor fun! "

Lisburn Fire Station Visit

One of the Fire station groups in front of a fire engine
One of the Fire station groups in front of a fire engine

Our visit to Lisburn Fire Station was fantastic and very informative for both parents and their children. 

There were around 60 children so we were split into two groups with different hour slots. 

The firemen tailored the talk to the age range attending importantly educating us about fire safety. 

They were absolutely amazing with the kids. They had them firing the water hose at a cone and dressing them as a firemen and firewomen.  

They let the kids get inside the engine and then took us through a detailed tour of every piece of the equipment in the vehicle and it's uses. 

I think we all came away with something we hadn't known before. 

All in all a brilliant day out for home educators in Northern Ireland.

HEdNI Singers to Join Peace Proms

Peace Proms 2017 - massed choir

We're delighted to be a part of the Peace Proms. We will be learning the songs at home and as part of our regular 'big sing' events with the lovely Kirsty who has arranged our participation. Our group will attend a workshop early next year and finally participate in the Peace Proms in 2018 as part of a choir of 3000 singers and a full orchestra.

http://peaceproms.com/peace-proms/register-for-peace-proms-2018/

Visit to Ulster Flying Club - by Myles Taylor

Visit to Ulster Flying Club- children with plane

On 11th May 2017 we visited the Ulster Flying Club in Newtownards. 

First Rodney showed us the Fire and Rescue pickup truck. The size of an airport dictates the size of the rescue squad. We saw the fire equipment. It was very interesting to see the aerator on the end of the hose’s nozzle which makes the white foam. 

Calling Fermanagh home educators...

A new meet up is being planned local to you, if you're interested then get in touch.

Meeting up with local home educating families is a great source of support, inspiration and fun!

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