Saturday, 26 July 2014


On Sunday, we took Charlie to Charleston, home of the Bloomsbury group.

We had to wait 40 minutes before it was our turn to enter the house, but we made good use of the time by exploring the colourful garden. Designed by Roger Fry, it was created by Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant, who also decorated the interior of the house.

In addition to the colourful flowers, it featured all kinds of sculptures.

Vanessa Bell once wrote that the garden was: 'simply a dithering blaze of flowers and butterflies and apples'. 

a dithering blaze of flowers and butterflies and apples. - See more at:
a dithering blaze of flowers and butterflies and apples. - See more at:

Charlie was especially taken with the enormous pond, which was filled with hundreds of fish.

As we entered the house, Charlie was handed a children's quiz by an enthusiastic guide. He didn't want it, so I took it instead and filled it in as we wandered from room to room, wih Charlie helping me out occasionally. He much preferred browsing in each room at his leisure. He told me afterwards that he had enjoyed looking at all the paintings and decorated furniture.

During the last week, we have temporarily turned into autonomous home educators, thanks to my immersion in finding a suitable school placement for Tom. There was no way I could educate Charlie daily whilst also working on the wording for the statement and researching and visiting possible schools. However, Charlie has remained busy. He has continued to work on ConquerMaths most days, enjoying earning his certificates as he makes progress. He has also been writing and illustrating a children's book.

First page from Charlie's book

He had an art lesson from a friendly neighbour, who is an artist by profession, and was very encouraging about Charlie's art. He has promised to come back again, bringing his own art materials next time.

Charlie is still reading the 'Harry Potter' series and is now on the fifth volume, 'Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix'.

There have been daily visits to local parks and playgrounds, with Charlie trying to outdo his personal best time at scooting. 

There have been surprise science lessons. We found this striking creature whilst we were walking to the playground one day...

A little online research showed us that it was the caterpillar of the sycamore moth, which feeds on horse chestnut, sycamore and field maple. Sadly, the dull brown moth does not live up to the spectacular promise of its juvenile self.

We have continued to have at least one evening a week when Charlie cooks for the family. This week he made salmon nuggets with sweet potato chips and mixed vegetables. 

Charlie has enjoyed having friends round to play several times this week. With his school friends on their summer holidays, he can look forward to seeing more of them.

Co-operative play

Working it out together

With the fabulous, Mediterranean weather, there have been lots of opportunities to get outside.

A comma butterfly

We are not going to attempt to get away again this summer, as it is too difficult for Tom, but Charlie has lots of fun stuff ahead of him: swimming in the local pools; free art classes at local art galleries; meet ups with friends; visits to nearby beaches; days out to museums; gardening; and, of course, lots and lots of free time for reading and art.

And, when the summer is over, there is the promise of autumn, with blackberries ripe for picking, Hallowe'en, Bonfire Night and Autumn birthdays. 


  1. We love the Harry Potter books here as well. What a fabulous caterpillar to come across - there must have been great excitement.

    Thanks for linking up :) #homeedlinkup

  2. Yes, the caterpillar was a source of wonder: like a living toy! 'Harry Potter' continues to keep Charlie occupied - especially useful when I'm trying to get on with other things. Am a bit concerned that he says he wants to belong to Slytherin though...!

    Thanks for continuing with the homeedlinkup. It's great to read everyone's contributions.

  3. PS: I have emailed you my details for the book you're sending, by the way. Let me know if you don't get them, by any chance.