Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Home School - Castles

I realised that I have spent a lot of time discussing only one of our topics this term; Animal Care - Birds
I decided that I would take advantage of this and discuss another one of William’s favourites:

This topic is great for expansion; allowing us to explore this fully in a Child led, unstructured form of Home School.
We started in the same way we usually do by getting a book about Castles (In fact Castles and Knights)

William found the fact that each castle was shaped differently, with a variety of layouts, really interesting; It led him to ask if there are different types of castle around near us.

Luckily there are quite a few castles around Kent and I thought it would be interesting to take a look online, find a picture and create a poster.

This was really interesting, even for me, and we found castles that, I especially, didn't know were on our doorstep. We decided that, apart from making these lovely posters, we would try and visit as many of these as possible over the coming weeks.

The context of a drawbridge really intrigued him. From what I could gather; William couldn't quite grasp why every castle didn't have one.

The next task was to do some crafts.

With us now having a greater understanding of different layout of castles, as well ones locally to us, are next option was to choose some designs that we liked. 
Through this; William had decided to include some Turrets (Because "this is where Archers can shoot at you" and lets be fair; which little boy would a: pass up some Archer placement, and, b: the chance to use old toilet rolls?) 

A drawbridge; The fact that a bridge can lift up and down is always going to be cool. 

Finally; Battlement Crenellations (Such a cool word; the rectangular gaps or indentations occur at intervals around the top of the castle)

William's finished Castle front.

William also wanted to record a little video about what he made!

This has been a great start for us both and William and I seem to be excited to see where it takes us.

As always I will update you on how our topics go,


  1. Awesome stuff. I took my children to Stansted Mountfitchet castle and Norman village. It's a motte and bailey castle as opposed to a general idea of a castle but I loved it as a child and my parents never got round to taking me so we went last year. We all had all great day and learnt new things about how they used to live. Great use of the drawbridge William

    1. That sounds fantastic Tommy! I think topics like castles allows the whole family to have fun!
      He does love his drawbridge!!

  2. Very creative, I'm slightly jealous because in the states we just can't go take a ride out to the country and look at real castles! Good stuff as usual Martyn!

    1. Thanks Gary. I love how creative we're being in home school at the moment. Ha! I can imagine that it's a down side!

  3. You see, that there is what I love about homeschooling! Whilst other children just look at pictures and perhaps have one day out to see a castle, your boys are learning in a practical way, seeing castles and learning first hand about their history soon after they've learnt about them in books. Brilliant.x

    1. Thanks Natalie!

      I'm not going to lie this is the reason why I love home schooling too. We reap such practical routes from child led learning from these topics. Not only completing work bit also through going to places etc that they might be able to go once or twice.

  4. you can't beat a good old mott and bailey castle , we do have just done castle and knights . The princess sadly was not a feminist and needed rescuing by a man

    1. Definitely!! We're off to a Riverside side castle today but can't wait to see a mott and bailey castle.
      The boys haven't even suggested about a princess.....either she's already been rescued, freed herself or she didn't need freeing in the first place!