When I was born.

This is a poem written by me when I was nine.

When I was young,

And only one,

I moved to Hatherleigh,

By an art gallery,

I like it here,

So do not fear,

I will stay,

Stay and play! ! !

Jayfin Home School – day two

Monday 14th June 2010

Jayfin began her day reading to Steve. During her reading she came across a word she didn’t understand ‘indignant’. We looked it up in the dictionary, in the definition were several other words that she didn’t understand ‘contempt’, ‘scorn’ etc. We looked those words up too until she began to get an understanding of indignance. We then played a game where we each acted indignantly or respectfully and the other had to guess which we were being. After that we went back to the book and she read the same passage with great feeling when it came to the part where a character spoke indignantly.

We then went to visit a friend who grows vegetables and looked around her garden and poly-tunnel. We discussed the various plants at length and compared them to the ones in our garden at home (some were further on and some not so far, we had some of the same plants and some were new to us). She told Jayfin about growing lemons, oranges and tangerines from seeds found in fruit bought from the shops and gave Jayfin a small lemon tree to look after. She also gave  Jayfin a few exploding cucumber plants and explained that the cucumbers explode when they are ripe to distribute their seeds. Jayfin later planted these (unaided) in her own patch of garden at home remembering to put them at the back where they could climb.

Jayfin had instructions for making Rose Water in one of her fairy books and wanted to make some. We collected petals from a rose that had a lovely strong scent and later boiled the petals to make the rose water.

Last Sunday I took Jayfin to the local boot fair to sell the plants that she had grown from seed. I asked her to write up a report of what she had done and also make a list of things she would do differently next time. We also looked up one of the plants – nicotiana, so that Jayfin could see what the flowers would be like.

After lunch Jayfin did some drawing in Illustrator on the computer. She found an image of ‘Heather the Violet Fairy’ on the internet by searching in google (unaided) and I helped her display it on the screen so that she could see it while she was drawing. She did not finish the drawing but will come back to it.

So far she has drawn the wings.

We then opened her flower press to see how the wild flowers we collected last home school day were doing. Jayfin wanted to use them to make a game where one has to match the pressed flower to its correct name. We laminated the flowers and Jayfin wrote out a card with the common name, family and latin name for each one. This was good fun but after ten she was tired and we stopped.

Jayfin also practised her recorder.

It was a good day, after a slightly reluctant start we got into the swing of it and learned a lot.

Jayfin gets an email

As a follow up to the post below about Jayfin’s home school day:

Pablo sent us an email back:

Hi Jayfin,

Good to know somebody from so far is ineterested in the Franciscana dolphins!
My kids are about your age, so will try to reply your questions int eh same way I do with them.

The Franciscana dolphin is a species that lives only in coastal marine waters of Southern Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina. These dolphins usually lives in coastal marine waters rather than freshwaters, although many of them are found in those places  where the rivers reach the sea. They are called river dolphins just because they look alike a real river dolphin: long beak, small dorsal fins, like to live in small groups or even are solitary. So, externally they look alike river dolphins, but they are not. Many scientists believe that this species is the only link between marine and river dolphins.  These dolphins are one of the smallest dolphin species in the world. An adult is about 1,5 meters (5 feet?), and amazingly a newborn size is about the half.
I have been studying Franciscana dolphins for almost 20 years. My main concern was that these dolphins were accidentally caught by fishermen, and because dolphins need to take a breath as we do, many of them died in the nets. So, since then I have tried to save them working in association with fishermen that are also concerned about the dolphins.

By the way, some pictures of these dolphins are attached in another e-mail.

Hope this message helps you to start studying dolphins someday!

Take good care,

“All is born of water, all is sustained by water”. Goethe


Jayfin was very pleased. We did not receive the photos though and I have asked Pablo. I will post them if we get them.

Jayfin’s first day of home school

Jayfin’s home school diary – Day 1

Monday 10th April 2010

Unfortunately Jayfin was not very well on this day and would not have gone to school if it were a normal school day because of her cough – however we decided to keep the day as a home-school day and just go gently and see how she felt. In the end although she sensibly rested at break times she had a very productive day.

Jayfin began her day by reading to Steve for 20 mins. She then did a thorough recorder practice. After which we went out to feed the rabbits and chickens.

Jayfin checked on her plants and we discussed which ones were emerging and she noticed they needed water.

We discussed many ideas for projects for home school including designing and building additions to the climbing frame, researching answers to questions she has on the digestive system, researching wild flowers and trees, exploring sea creatures (in line with her school topic this term), cooking etc. Needless to say we did not have time for all of these things! But have noted them for future days.

To start with Jayfin wrote down some of the questions she wanted to research, we then used the computer and internet to research and explore. As we looked and discussed the subject of dolphins she made notes on what we found as well as writing down further questions she wanted answers to as they occurred to her. We both learned a lot!

We printed out an illustrated list of 32 types of dolphin, which Jayfin then studied. To see it follow this link and scroll down.


During our exploration we found this photograph of a pink dolphin that Jayfin wanted to save. It is an albino dolphin apparently.

Jayfin was interested in what ‘albino’ is and we agreed we would research this at another time.

During an investigation of river dolphins we came across details of a researcher who offered more information if you emailed him. Jayfin dictated the following email:

Hello Pablo

My name is Jayfin and I would like to find out a bit more about river dolphins. I am nearly seven and a half and I am doing a school projects about sea creatures.

I go to Hatherleigh Community Primary School in Devon, England.

I am interested to find out more about La Plata River Dolphins.

Please can you send me some pictures of La Plata Dolphins.

Do they live in rivers or in the sea? Why are they called river dolphins?

Have you ever seen a baby river dolphin and how small was it?

How long have you been learning about La Plata river dolphins and why did you start learning about them?

I might start studying river dolphins too.

Here is my mum’s email address: tamsin@pynto.com

Could you please email me back.

Thank you.



We stopped for lunch and in the afternoon we went out on a walk to collect samples of wild flowers for a project.

We took wild flower and tree identification books with us and Jayfin learned to look up the flowers we found. We observed butterflies to look up later, Jayfin got a really good look at one butterfly and told me of many distinguishing features that would help when looking it up.

Jayfin wanted to find a willow tree and used the index to find one in the book and using the information we sought out and found several. We also identified many many other species including ash, oak, hazel, beach, holly and hawthorn trees and even more flowers: violets, bluebells, primroses, wild garlic, pinks, orchids, cow parsley, vetch, euphorbia, dog’s mercury, and many more.

We discussed common names and latin names and that different plants can belong to the same family and share characteristics.

When she had collected many flowers we came home. Jayfin then photographed the flowers in various ways and then pressed them in her flower press. She intends to mount them with their common and latin names when they are pressed.

Finally she did some drawing on the computer.

We had a lovely day and although Jayfin was not very well she worked hard and we learned a lot together.

Home School

As of next week Jayfin will be educated at home for one day a fortnight. We are trying this out for a term and hope it will enhance Jayfin’s learning and complement the wonderful time she has at school.

So far we know we will be doing lots of planting and growing of flowers and vegetables. Jayfin has already planted many seeds and would like to set up a shop to sell them (a challenge for the facilitators!).

We will record the other projects that we undertake and let you know how its all going.

Please let us know what you think if you read this and if you have any advice or help.

Upsey Daisy

Yesterday my brother robin found a great big daisy flower and I used it to make this picture (all by myself) of Upsey Daisy from CBeebies – here she is:
Robin got over the loss of his flower very well :0)

Fairy Party

Last week I had a party – I was too ill for my birthday party in December so we rescheduled!

It was a fairy party! Here are some photos:


Here are my brother Robin and me all ready for the party to begin. I wore curlers in my hair all night the night before and my hair was very curly.


A real fairy called Fairy Charlotte came. I chose the dress she wore and she told us all about her life and showed us where she lived through the magic picture you can see behind me.


Here are my friends who came all dressed up as fairies, pirates, cowboys and princesses.


We had to help Fairy Charlotte to say spells and perform magic because she couldn’t do it without our help.


Fairy Charlotte made balloon flowers for us all.


During our adventure we found some very smelly socks and had to wash them in our special parachute washing machine with balloon bubbles. I got to choose who came in and helped me, it was really fun.


Then we had some lunch and Fairy Charlotte painted my face with these flowers. She painted some of my friends faces too. We all had a really good time.


Even my cat Ladybird wanted to come to my party, here she is wearing my white fairy dress!


Thanks for reading!!