Follow My (Tiny) Leader

Last week we had a cold but fun day at Pollok Park. My family was the first to arrive so we busied ourselves with some seasonal foraging while we waited for others to arrive. We found wild garlic, ground elder and cleavers by the river and also some tender, little hawthorn leaves in the woods, perfect for munching on.


Once everyone had arrived some sweet games got underway. For one, the older children decided to play Follow My Leader using the toddlers of the group as their guides. Plenty of wobbly running and tumbling to the ground followed.


We, the adults, did the same in our own way, taking the children’s lead all day. A band struck up in the gazebo, puddles were investigated,

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and dens made in the nooks made by old trees. A call came from the children in the dens to try and build a fire for their little houses, so they could cook and keep warm. They set to building one using whatever they could find. Old receipts and train tickets made decent tinder and standing dead wood fuelled the fire. Even the tiniest people helped to get it going, their sense of achievement afterwards, immense.

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And then, of course, the important work of cooking and keeping warm.

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Once done they put the fire out, being careful to leave no trace, and wandered off deeper into the woods to find more adventures there.


If you home educate in or around Glasgow and would like to come to meets please get in touch by emailing me at


One Park, Two Days

This week we had two, consecutive, very different days at the Botanics. The first was spent with a large group of home ed friends. The weather was pretty erratic, swithering between still and sunny to cold rain with a fresh breeze. Luckily we had some tarpaulins to hand and the children set to erecting a shelter. They used the excellent willow structure in the Children’s Garden as their armature.

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It was so nice to see everyone collaborating on a project which provided many opportunities for creative problem solving. A little bunting finished off the den perfectly and soon chairs were moved in, bags hung on natural ‘hooks’ and many games played within.

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In another corner of the garden, a smaller den was being built with great attention to detail.

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This second post served as the base of a type of crows’ nest over the park.

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After a few hours, children started to wander away from the dens with some pottering around the playpark and others sliding down the ‘mud slide’ on the river embankment. Adults chatted and picnics were consumed. We battled with the wind to get the tarpaulins down and back in bags at the end of the day which was both hilarious and infuriating.


The next day was altogether sunnier. There were fewer of us and we met Louise, one of the plant experts working at the Botanics, for a guided tour of the large glasshouse. We began in the orchid house and saw a tiny flower called the monkey orchid that looked exactly like a small monkey. We also found out that the most precious orchids have to be kept in glass cases because, prior to that happening, they were often stolen.

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Louise’s specialism is dessert plants so we spent a good deal of time learning about cacti and euphorbia.


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The ridges in this euphorbia act as drainpipes directing rain water to the plant roots.




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The fibrous material in the leaves of the Agave are used to make fishing nets.

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The barbs on this cactus are used as fishing hooks in Mexico.

The rainforest was also exciting with its immense banana trees and a plant whose leaves look dead when young in order to fool animals into not eating them.

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Straining to see the bananas way up high in the tree.

But everyone’s favourite by far was the visit to see the catshark in the pond.

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Afterwards some children documented what they had seen and heard and then everybody spent many, many happy hours playing in the warm sun, which was a stark and much appreciated contrast to the weather just the day before.

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If you home educating, or are thinking about it, and are interested in joining us at our meets please get in touch by emailing me at

Writing Group

Today we restarted our writing group after taking a few months off over winter. We meet once a month at a local library, and whilst a couple parents facilitate the older children’s writing projects, a couple more keep the younger children enthralled with picture books.

This month’s theme was poetry. The children started with acrostic poems and limericks before some of them moved on to more self-directed forms. They were busy for a good hour and a half before the lure of the park became too hard to resist.

The children requested that they get to work on story writing next month. If you’re interested in coming along, email me for times and places at

Cherry Blossom On A Sunny Day

This week we moved our meets outdoors again for the year and were fortunate that the sun came out to greet us. The Kelvingrove Park fountain managed to hold its appeal from previous years and the children set to work decorating it with chalk.






The blossoming cherry trees provided inspiration for some.



Some of the more adventurous among us climbed higher than ever before,


while others had a good splash in whatever water they could find.


There were games of hopscotch,


larking about at the play park,


tree climbing, picnicking and lots of opportunity for adults to chat.

Feeling very satisfied and happy, my family came home and did some research into Walter Scott’s “Lady Of The Lake” which was the inspiration for the wonderfully versatile fountain in the park.

If you home educate or are thinking about it and are interested in coming along to group meets, get in touch via email –


A Mild Winter

The winter seems to be flying by. The weather has been mostly mild so our outdoor adventures as a group have been continuing.


Toddlers whittling with potato peelers while an older sibling supervises with her, rather sharper, knife.


A busy cafe at the mud kitchen


The cooperative dangling of younger siblings


Go-karts, tandems and many other wonderful wheels at Free Wheel North

We also managed a short holiday as a group at Comrie Croft youth hostel where, on our first morning, we woke up to snow.


A grubby snow person heavily dotted with rabbit poo!

We did also regularly make use of an indoor space where there were acrobatics and mad antics on stacks of mats, lots of crafting…

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a couple of pot lucks..


and lots and lots of reading.

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We’ve got one more week with use of the hall and then we’ll be back to meeting in various parks and green spaces in and around Glasgow. If you’re home educating or are thinking about it and want to join us please get in touch through this Facebook page..


Indoors again

It’s been quite a while since any of the group blogged but I found today’s meet especially fun so decided to share some photos. We began outdoors. It was incredibly cold, the ground glistening with frost. After a while we moved indoors for only the second time this season. It took a little while for everyone to get settled and find something to do but by the time the kettle had boiled and the packets of biscuits had been opened, the room was bustling with activity.

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Games were played..

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comics and paper-bag puppets made, a couple of adults even managed to get some knitting done while they drank tea and chatted.


At the other end of the room all was much more physical. Some children dived off a stack of mats onto a crash mat while others participated in a very mixed-age yoga session.


foraging with friends

I don’t think it has been mentioned before on the blog that we now have a facebook private group where you can find support or information about our meet ups. If you search for “Glasgow home education group” you should be able to find it. So, one of these days a member mentioned that she would like to learn more about foraging, and I know a few of us can recognize a couple of edible plants that we use often. If we put together all the plants we know, as a collective, surely we would have enough knowledge to share for a day.

That day happen today, I’m sure we’ll repeat this as some people (including the member who was interested!) missed out, and more plants will become available as the season progresses…


We met up in the woods, where the children started making fairy houses.  I’m sure I’ve said it before, but I love this type of play! When they all work together in harmony from their own initiative, with no adult input; five, six or more children with different ages, all working together without any argument, so many positive things here, just from this little activity, and they talk about socialization?!!

Of course, my pictures make no justice to the beauty and details of the children’s work, but my skills and camera can do no more…

Anyway, back to our day, isn’t it funny that spending time outdoors makes one feel tired but refreshed at the same time? Especially when it’s a day spend with friends!