Last week we went to our first study group session. I say 'we' but really it was 'they'. The only bit I was involved in was the driving and dropping off. Another home educating mother has organised a study group for older children to take Level 2 certificate courses which can then be extended into taking IGCSEs if they wish. The Girl has signed up for four classes and Boykin has signed up for the Digital Photography and Film-making class, working towards Level 1.
It's quite a long drive to the group, but it's through lovely countryside and we get to stop and walk round a lake on the way home - weather permitting. Unfortunately, the group clashes with the home ed martial arts group, so Ninjitsu has had to go on the backburner for a while :(
Other new stuff for The Girl is that she is starting her Bronze Duke of Edinburgh award with Explorers. In fact, she is at the training weekend for the expedition as I type.
The Girl also walked up Glyder Fawr in Snowdonia, Wales last weekend with friends. We try to go on at least one holiday every year with a whole bunch of people, old friends and new, cousins and kids they've grown up with. It's a fantastic weekend that gives us all chance to catch up with each other and get to know new friends better. It started out as a camping trip every year and has evolved into a YHA holiday instead.
While the teenagers and adults climbed a mountain, I took Boykin inside one - a new experience for us both. Dinorwig aka the Electric Mountain houses an underground pumped-storage hydro-power station built by the CGB when electricity production was a nationalised industry. There is a lake on top of the mountain that feeds the turbines as the water drops a couple of hundred or so feet through an enormous pipe, ending up in a lake at the bottom. The station can go from stand-by to full production in 12 seconds (or something like that) and provides the extra electricity needed during a power surge. At night, it pumps the water back up through the system from bottom lake to the top lake, using electricity provided by coal-fired and nuclear power stations. It took me a short while to get my head round the fact that for every 3 units they produce during the day, it takes 4 units to pump the water back through the system in the night. The tour guide explained really well how this particular type of power station is designed to stabilise the national grid. It's well worth a visit if you or your children are into electricity and power stations.
Useful Electricity links:
Dinorwig educational materials - click on 'Pre-visit education pack'
Dinorwig educational materials - click on 'Post-visit educationpack'
Electrical safety for kids with an optional signed interpretation
KS3 resources and lesson plans
Electricity site for KS3
BBC Science clip KS1
BBC Science clip KS2
Another BBC science clip KS 2
BBC KS3 Bitesize
BBC GCSE Bitesize
Online activities for 5 - 16 yos
Resources for KS2 & KS3
How electricity is made interactive