Wagamama workshop for home educators

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One of the highlights of 2018 ,in regards to foodie workshops , was our home schooling trip to our local Wagamama.  It is aimed for primary school aged children between the ages of 5-10.  It lasts 2 hours and it is a brilliant way for children to learn about food, its nutritional value and of course the history of Wagamama too.

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The workshop started at 9.30 am and there  were around 15 children , who were split into three groups. The  whole experience was extremely hands on .  First , they made their own juices , using a selection of ingredients -apples, strawberries, lemons , celery and mint.   My 5 year old, who can be quite picky when it comes to fruits and vegetables , really enjoyed making her own juice and drank it in no time to my astonishment.

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Then, it was time for them to do their own meal. They were given various vegetables ( sweetcorn, peppers, bamboo shoots etc ) and noodles and they had to measure all ingredients , in order to make their own meal. They learnt about the food Wagamama serve, its nutritional value and the environment in which it is prepared. They were also allowed to go behind the scenes and have a look at the the kitchen and how their food  was  being prepared by the chefs.

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At the end, the children all sat to enjoy their delicious noodles and to our surprise, the staff even gave a free meal to all the mothers who attended too. It was a really lovely gesture , as adults are not usually included to receive a free meal. The children also received their own Wagamama goody bag and a lovely certificate too.

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It was  for sure a fun- filled morning of education, food and culture. The staff  at Wagamama were very friendly, patient and welcoming . They were also very accommodating to our dietary requirements and making sure that no sauces containing alcohol , were being used.  I can honestly say, without exaggeration, that this by far, has been one of the best food related workshops, we have ever attended. It is extremely easy to organise one- just email or phone your local branch , get a group of friends  and book your date. Enjoy !

Peace and blessings

Eva

Pizza Express Workshop for home educators

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A few weeks ago we attended a free pizza making workshop for home educators at Pizza Express . It was organised by a fellow home schooling mama. We have been to the same workshop 4 times throughout the years which simply goes to show how much we enjoy it.

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The workshop started really early at 9.30 am and honestly at times like this , I am grateful that I home educate my children and that we do not have to wake up that early every day lol. There were about 20 home schooled children . We were greeted by a lovely member of staff , who told the children a bit more about the workshop and the history of Pizza Express. He then gave each child an apron and a chef paper hat. I love touches like this because it makes the experience much more real and fun. Each child was given a dough that they had to roll  onto their individual trays.  As they were doing a Margarita pizza , the toppings were only tomato sauce, mozarella and basil. However , in previous workshops , the children were given vegetables too such as mushrooms, peppers and sweetcorn.  So , the toppings really vary depending on what type of pizza you are making.They also take care of allergies and any other dietary requirements.

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While the pizzas were being cooked, a member of staff gave the children a talk on the origins of pizza,  the various types and the italian words for some of the most common ingredients used in making a pizza. Something interesting that I learnt was that basil originates from India. I find that really surprising because I have never seen basil being used in Indian food.

At the end the children received their delicious pizzas and a lovely certificate too as a nice memento.

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The Pizza Express workshops are free and are suitable for children aged 4 and above. However, I have seen younger children participate too but it is up to the discretion of the staff.  If you want to organise one for your home schooling friends/community, the easier way is to either email or phone your local branch. It is extremely easy to organise one and it is guaranteed that your children will have lots of fun. Bon Appetite!

Peace and blessings

Yours Eva

Visit to Lacock Abbey and Fox Talbot Museum

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As we renewed our Heritage  New Zealand Membership, we decided to visit  a National Trust Property , which we have never been too, even though it was only 30 min away from where I live. I really thoroughly recommend downloading the National Trust app for your phone as that way you can see what properties are around your area and how far away they are from where you live.

Lacock Abbey is near Chippenham, Wiltshire and it is very easy to access as it is just off the M4. I honestly have to say that from all the National Properties we have visited so far, this has been for sure one of the most picturesque ones with absolutely stunning views  and various trails to explore.

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The Abbey is a country house with monastic roots ( it used to be a nunnery) and it is also the birthplace of photography. If you are a Harry Potter fan , you will be delighted to know that it stood in as Hogwarts for two of their films. I am personally not a Harry Potter fan ( I guess one of the odd ones) , but my husband  who has watched all of them , was able to recognise where certain scenes were filmed .

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My children really enjoyed having a walk in the beautiful grounds . They were given the Lacock Spy Mission Treasure Trail  and that kept them busy for a long while  and they were also more keen to explore the whole grounds.  There is also a lovely children’s play area right opposite the entrance of the grounds . It has play equipment for all ages  and my children really enjoyed playing there too. My experience , in general with NT properties is that they always have something to offer for children and ways to make exploring with little ones much easier and more enjoyable.

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Lacock is also the birthplace of photography  , so you definitely need to check out the Fox Talbot Museum , which is situated right near the entrance . My children were excited to see how the first photos were made and the various cameras and equipment that were used in the past. The museum shows the history of photography up to the present day and on their upper floor , they have a dedicated photography gallery. They have various exhibitions throughout the year.

The only part which we were not able to do  was to explore the village. We were able to see from the car some stunning traditional stone cottages and medieval barns  and honestly it looked as if we had stepped back in time. As we have a membership, we certainly intend to go back there again so we can explore this place even more. We spent there 3 hours and that was not enough. I can honestly say that if you are around those ends, you really need to visit this stunning National Trust Property. You can easily spend a whole day there exploring the beautiful grounds and village.

Peace and blessings

Yours Eva

 

 

 

 

National Trust Membership

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If there is one membership that I often recommend to home schooling families is the National Trust membership. It is a great way for burning that excessive energy which your children have , while being around nature. Also , I don’t know about you , but I honestly parent better when I have had my doze of fresh air. And a bit of play in your local park is not the same as having the freedom of being in wide open green spaces. It is a great incentive to get out for the day to see some really nice countryside. Most National trust properties have really huge grounds and walks , great for children as there are beautiful gardens and features such as statues , ponds , mill streams and brilliant wooden playgrounds too. Many of the properties have a main House too , which is most of the time open to the public . It is a great way for children to see how rich people , aristocrats used to live back in the days- their bedrooms, the clothes they used to wear, how they used to cook, eat , the various toys which children used to play with and much more. So it’s guaranteed that you can squeeze some learning too. A further bonus is that most National trust properties are very close to the motorway network, so it gives you a bit of a break if you are on a long car journey and we all know how important that is for children, who let’s face it, will find it difficult to survive being stuck in the car for 3/4 hours. So here are some of the various memberships you can have.

The English National Trust Membership
– a family annual membership ( two adults and up to 10 children or grandchildren. Under 5s go free) is £120 or you can pay £10 a month.
– access to more than 500 beautiful places .
https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/join-us
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National Trust membership for Home educators
-this is part of the education group membership
– it is the cheapest out of all the NT Memberships- only £45.65 for a home educating family
-only allowed to be used during weekdays and term time. Unfortunately, you will not be able to use this membership during weekends, school holidays or bank holidays
https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/features/education-group-membership

Heritage New Zealand Membership

– you can visit all NT Properties in England, Wales, Scotland, Jersey, Northern Ireland, Australia and many more
– Free entry to English Heritage sites too, so you do not have to purchase seperate membership.
-depending on currency rate its usually around £54/£55 for a family membership.
– can be used during school holidays, weekends and bank holidays too
– it takes a week for your card to arrive, which is really not bad at all ,considering the fact that it comes all the way from New Zealand.
Here is the link – http://www.heritage.org.nz/~/link.aspx?_id=DAB8F95B221F4856A50B4F01ACB6E7A0&_z=z

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Throughout the years, we have always purchased the New Zealand Membership, as we found that it offered much more than the English NT Membership and it was better value for money.It is a legal loophole and you will not have to say “G’Day) or be questioned by a member of staff. Please note that by purchasing the NZ Membership , the money goes to supporting the NZ sites and not the English ones. Whenever we go to our local NT sites , we often visit the cafe, though ,and easily can spend £15 on teas, cakes and coffees and of course that money goes to them. Another important thing to remember is that some NT sites may charge for car parking if you don’t have the English NT Membership. Most of the ones where I live have free car parking and the one which charges , we just give the car registration number to the their office and we do not have to pay. There are equally a lot of NT properties which have free car parking, so just make sure you check your local ones to see what policy they have.

Throughout the years , we have also been to a few workshops organised for home educators in my local NT Properties . Most of them have school programmes which are available for home educators too . Make sure to email them and see what they offer . Workshops usually cost around £4/£5 per primary child .

Regardless of what membership you choose to have , it is guaranteed that you will have lots of fun while being in nature and beautiful surroundings. So get your wellies and join today!

Peace and blessings
Eva

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