The Breadline Challenge

A couple of months ago a good friend sent me a tweet, saying the following:

‘Hey, I think I’ve found the perfect charity for you – a combination of volunteers and thrifty cooking’

And that charity was Food Cycle and he couldn’t have been more right! Food cycle, set up in 2009 by Kelvin Cheung, run programmes all over the UK by combining volunteers, surplus food and spare kitchen spaces to create meals for people at risk of food poverty and social isolation. They do this through a fabulous Hub programme and by setting up Community cafes. Definitely check them out if you can!

In reading more about the work of Food Cycle, I became intrigued about their recent attempt at The Breadline Challenge. The Challenge, which I will come onto later, was borne from the report by Helen Goodman MP who calculated that, with the changes to the benefits system and the introduction of the bedroom tax, some people would be left with just £2.57 per day to spend on food.* And the most shocking thing of all? This affects more than 4 million people in the UK today. A morning coffee at Starbucks costs more than a daily food allowance for 4 million people!”

Read tge compkete post at The Breadline Challenge.


Jack has been asking to go bowling a lot lately so we have been going on a Friday and then on to the market afterwards. Next week we are meeting up with the PDA group again and going to a different bowling alley in Aldershot. We will be in Cleethorpes on Friday visiting family, although if he wants there is bowling there too. We have also started running. I have always walked lots, sometimes 10-15 miles at a time and there is so much lovely countryside here to enjoy, it is perfect. But Jack cannot manage that kind of distance as his legs get very tired and achy. He can walk the couple of miles into town now and then around shops which is great. We have been doing a combination of running and walking together to get started and keeping track on so we have a record to look back over. On Sunday we walked round and used the local trim trail and fitness equipment which Jack said was fun. It has been interesting to track some of our common walks for everyday tasks as well, such as ‘home to Tesco’ or ‘home to the post office’ and see how far they are and so the walking we do without even thinking of it.

We have done quite a lot of craft projects recently and Jack is working on an Arts Award which is a first qualification for children from arts award.

Home education

Jelly fish racing craft and game

Home education

Catch up (1/10/14 – 15/10/14)

I never end up posting on here as much as I’d like to. I always intend to but then end up distracted by everything else or forgetting. I have also started posting from my tablet as that is often easier but not much good when photos are on the camera… (tablet camera is pants!).

At the moment we have been doing a lot from Easy Peasy All in One Homeschool. The curriculum as a whole has a lot of Christian based work, including bible studies which some people may wish to avoid. These I am leaving out as I am not going to teach one religion as true over another and personally I don’t believe in any god so it feels hypocritical. That aside there is a lot of really good stuff on the site and some that I’ve not seen much elsewhere. As Jack loves science we have picked out most of the science courses, thinking and ancient art to start off with. A lot of ancient history looks good too. It is also an American site so some of the history, geography and other bits don’t apply but they could still be used as a basis. There are some really good educational games on the maths practice and thinking pages. The lilly Pads game really gets you thinking and I couldn’t get past level 2, though Jack made it to level 3 so far. Like Sumdog and Literacy Planet Jack will use those just for fun as well as in learning time. It is nice the site has levels as well and he is completing both so far, which is roughly up to American middle school grade 8. That is about 13 years old! I have had a look at the English section and I know Jack will be a lot lower if we use that though that is not unexpected. He loves literacy planet anyway and I’m sure he’ll be pretty quick to get frustrated when he can’t manage both levels as he has been.

Jack wanted to complete the whole of Literacy Planet from the start but I have managed to convince him that there isn’t much point in using his time to do the year 1 work as he has already done some in school and last year (we had to recover things he missed in school). So he is on year two until the half term and then I am going to see how he goes with year 3. Because it is interactive and speaks to him it suits his learning style so I think he’ll do ok but there is always the underlying issue of his anxiety at not being able to manage things and that he will make a mistake.

For ancient art we watched a tour of some caves in Lascaux (France) which Jack said was creepy because of the music! (I thought it was pretty interesting :D) and then discussed how cavemen would have painted and what they could have used. Yesterday we had a go at producing some caveman paintings of our own using mud paint lol (mud and water mix)

Home education art

Jack painted a cow and a horse (rule was only things a caveman may have seen, so no Kirby) and I went for animals and trees.