Thursday, 17 October 2013

Mistakes in books

We have  a whole lot of books, some are really old and we get a lot of very new ones to review. A few of the older books have mistakes, especially the dinosaur ones because sometimes scientists think one thing, and in the future they find out they were wrong, but the books have already been written. I know three mistakes with dinosaurs. My Mom's old dinosaur books from when she was little say Parasaurolphus used his crest to breath under water. They also though Brachiosaurus lived in the water and had his nostrils on top of his head so he could put just the top of head out to breath. They also have a dinosaur called a Brontosaurus, but there is really no such thing, it was a big mistake, made of an Apatosaurus body and a Camarasaurus head.
But a lot of my new books have other mistakes. I just finished a book called "Professor Astro Cat's Frontiers of Space". It says that astronauts had to wear heavy boots to keep from floating away in space. That is fake. The moon has less gravity than we have, but it still has gravity. Even a feather will fall to the moon, it just takes longer. We watched an astronaut drop a feather and a hammer on the moon on youtube today. If there was no gravity, making the boots heavier still wouldn't work. Without any gravity there is no weight. I really liked the rest of the book though.
Another book I read, "Horrid Henry's World Records" said the King Cobra is the most poisonous snake. Another fake. The sea snake is really the most poisonous snake of all, and the Taipan is the most poisonous land snake. Many other books have typos, or even whole sentences left out like
Horrible Histories Deadly Days was a really fun book, but it had a lot of mistakes. It said a massacre happened in 5,000 BC, and they said twice that that was 34,000 years ago. It is 2013.  If I add 5000 and 2013, I get 7,013. The book also says the youngest child sent to Australia as a prisoner was 9, but it also says a 6 year old was sent. A 6 year old is younger than a 9 year old. The book says Martin Luther's thesis "was mailed not nailed". My Mom looked that one up, and historians used to think that, but they changed their minds again. Finally it says that Nero's enemies claimed he played the fiddle while Rome burned. He couldn't have. There was no  such thing as violin then. They weren't invented yet - unless you watch Family Guy. Maybe he borrowed Stewie's time machine.
Horrible Histories Beastly Best Bits has a mistake too. I found two typos. Once the last word was cut off a sentence. The next time there was a sentence which said "When the police when to her house" .
I think more authors and editors are making mistakes because they haven't learned as much at school as the ones who wrote the older books did. I am just a kid and I can catch all these mistakes. Maybe more people should do home education. I think more people would notice the mistakes if they learned to really think about what they read instead of just believe everything a book says.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Why I am glad I learn at home.

I have been home educated since I was age 4. My Mom thought 4 was too young for me to have to go to school, so she wanted to teach me for a few years at home, but we liked it so much we stayed with it. I am eight years old now and would be in in P5 if I went to regular school.

I like home education because:

I don't have to get up quite so early. I can eat, drink or go to the toilet whenever I want to. I don't have to wait for a bus, wait in lines, or wait for other people to finish what they are doing, so I have more time to play and do things I like to do, like karate, swimming, Boys Brigade,  Sunday School, riding bikes and fixing them.

I get to choose some of the things I want to learn about. I want to be a palaeontologist when I grow up so I really like learning about  dinosaurs, fossils, prehistoric plants and insects. I also enjoy learning about regular insects and bugs. I like plants too. I have a collection of carnivorous plants, cacti, and a few prehistoric plants. We get to do science experiments too, and go fun places. I get to choose most of the books for my reading too, so I get to read books I like instead of boring ones.

I like that we can change what we were planning to do as well. Sometimes we read about something really interesting in a book or magazine and I want to know more. We can stop what we were doing and look up more stuff online. I like to do school on the internet too. Things like Jumpstart and Mathblaster  are nice for a change from books, and I really looking cool things up online like genetic mutations with a bird I read about.

We make a lot of our own books too. I have one I made called "We're Going On a Ghost Hunt" when I was little, a dinosaur book, a space book and a story called "It Wasn't Me" with our dog. My brother has his own ABC with Morse code and the NATO alphabet and a Zombie Rat book. I am making a zombie grammar book now. I don't like grammar very much but zombies makes it a little bit more fun. We tell make up stories every night too.

I love doing science experiments. We have a really good microscope, a telescope and lots of science kits. My favourite science toy is my Chemistry set. I like when we make a tiny explosion in the test tube. We really terrible stink bombs once too. I like growing crystals, and making fake fossils with plaster. I have a small collection of real fossils too.

Fridays are my favourite day because Friday is board games day. We have all sorts of educational board games and we have even made a few of our own. We Mariopoly Jr., Skylopoly ( Skylanders Monopoly), and Guess Who Dinosaur version. We make up our own rules for other games too, so we can play pass the bomb naming different types of dinosaurs, using different kinds of words or anything we like. We made our Chinese Checkers set much better too. Now it has dragons and marbles instead of pegs. We bought books to show us how to play many of the games like chess, backgammon and go.

 Being home educated means we can go places on school days too when things are not so crowded. I love to go the museums, the sea side, on nature walks and places like the farm park. W-5 is my favourite educational place to go, but I also like Grey Point Fort, The Somme Museum, The Ulster Museum, Botanic Gardens, The Ulster Folk and Transport Museum,  The Downpatrick Railway Museum, Exploris and pretty much any place we go for  a day out.

Another good thing about being home educated means I get to spend more time with my family. I like to do things my Mom and Dad. Sometimes my Dad teaches me guitar and helps me fix or make things. My Mom does lots of things with me, like art, games, experiments etc.. Sometimes my brother is annoying but lots of times I like to do things with him too. I can even help my Mom teach him some things. Sometimes I help my Mom write reviews too. We get a lot of free books because we write reviews for them and sometimes my Mom gives me money to spend online when I help her write other reviews.

 I like Mondays too because I have swimming and karate.

I'm also glad I don't have to go to the school near where I live. Lots of kids who go there never even learn to read well - even when they are grown up.   A lot of the kids where I live are nice but there are some very bad ones. They have tried to drown two children, throw bricks and bottles and steal things a lot. They have hit me with stones when I try to ride my bike and hurt me very bad once so I had to go to hospital. They like to hurt animals too and I know they hurt children at school too. They go in a group and beat people with golf clubs. Their Mom says it is OK because she likes them to steal things - maybe so she won't have to buy much and she doesn't like them to play near their own house. She locks the door so they can not get in.  Lots of the boys drink beer  and coloured drinks that  I wanted when I was a baby because I liked the colours but Mom says are not for children too.  I am glad I don't have to go to school with them. I wouldn't like to have to fight every day, especially if there are always a whole lot of boys to fight at once and they have bricks and rocks. I really wouldn't like to have to wait for a bus where they know you are waiting and could come with golf clubs. It would be very cold waiting for busses in the winter too.

I really want a good job when I grow up so I want to learn a lot. I wouldn't like to go to a school where people can hardly read. I like to read to learn about all sorts of things. I will need to get good test results to go to university and be a palaeontologist. I need a good school so I can learn a lot.

Some people worry that home educated kids are not socialised.  I looked up socialized. It means that you are  able to  mix with other people and "behave in a way that is acceptable to your society".  I wish there was someone nice my own age where I live but I get to mix with lots of people. I go to Boys Brigade, Sunday School and Karate. I play with other children at the caravan. I used to go to youth group but the boys that try to hit me with golf clubs go there and the grown ups there don't watch. I think I am better socialised than many of the children here. I don't break laws, steal, get drunk or hurt people who don't hurt me. Most home educated kids do not do things like that. If children are supposed to go to school to be socialised - then why are kids who go to school worse than the ones who don't? I can learn more at home, and I can be better socialised too.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Grey Point Fort

Grey Point Fort

I have been to Grey Point twice. The first time I went we were the only visitors and the man who ran it showed us how to send signals in Morse code. The next time there was a big military vehicle exhibition

My favourite things about the fort on a normal day are being able to try on military clothes and gas masks, do the Morse code with the machine that makes beeps and see the machine gun. I also like the big canon guns. Grey point Fort is nice place for hiking or nature walks too. We found blue butterflies, a grey ant, a huge beetle. There are also some wildflowers and different birds. There are picnic tables as well and you can see the beach and coastal path below the fort. the man who taught us to use Morse code was very nice and fun to talk to.

The fort was even more fun when they had the military vehicles day. It has all sorts of things besides vehicles as well. There were army tents and a man was making tea on a small army stove. There were lots of men in army uniforms. My brother and I had our pictures taken in an American army jeep. We got to talk to lots of people about the vehicles and the equipment. The very best part was getting to hold the guns and get our pictures taken with them. There was a sniper rifle, a pistol and a M1 carbine. I liked the M1 carbine the best, but I liked all of the guns.

I also liked getting dressed up to go to this. My brother and I dressed as soldiers, and many of the other boys did too. We brought our own airsoft guns, but we weren't allowed to bring ammo. It was fun sitting around the camps with everyone dressed like army guys and playing with guns.

Mom's note: Grey Point Fort is one of Northern Ireland's best kept secrets. Located near Helen's bay it is free to visit and has  good access and wonderful volunteers. For more info please visit their website:

http:// public/ index.htm

or see our complete review @

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Review of Backyard Safari Bug Gun

Bug guns are a good tool for catching bugs. They suck the bug up when you pull the trigger into a catch jar. There is an extra jar so you can catch more bugs and bring them inside for awhile. My Dad hates the bugs inside, but he hates it more if we carry them inside in our hands. We have not lost any bugs that were in jar except when my brother dumped some on the sofa.

My bug gun is from a company called Backyard Safari. They make a lot of good toys. I have the bug gun, the bug house, and the bug scope. They also make bug guns with laser lights, bug nets, belts to put your stuff in and a compass. I would really like to have the compass. Some of their sets have badges you can collect too. I have a bug badge with a beetle.

Also appears with my Mom's review on dooyoo:

Monday, 3 June 2013


Ants are a good pet to keep because they are easy to take care of. Ants are fun to watch, but I wish I had bought a queen ant because if we had a queen we would get a whole colony. The queen would lay eggs for the worker ants to carry, and the workers would take care of the larvae and pupa. We only have worker ants, and they have lots of food so they don't have much to do and they stay in their tunnels most of the time. Worker ants only live a few months so when my ants die I am going to get a queen. I will buy yellow ants because they are see through and have different colours. Yellow ants are native to Britain, so if they get out it won't hurt anything and they do not sting.

 I keep my ants in an antosphere set. This is much more sun than a plain ant  farm because you can different types of spheres. Some of our spheres have plants. We do not have to water the plants anymore because the sun makes water into vapour. This goes up to the top of the dome and turns into water. The water falls like rain and makes the soil wet. Then the sun makes the water in the soil into vapour again. Vapour looks like steam, and when there was too much water I couldn't see in the dome, but now we have it right. The ants  go into the domes with plants when they are thirsty and drink water from the top of the domes or the leaves of the plants. They do not like to live in the plant domes. They built their houses in the dryer domes. They have to walk through tubes to go to different domes or to their food dishes.

 Ants have lived since the Mesozoic Era. That is the same time as the dinosaurs. I think ants survived the Mesozoic extinction because their homes were underground. That means they would be safer from falling dust and debris and it doesn't get as hot or cold under ground. Also ants eat lots of different foods - even dead things. They are small so they do not need a lot of food.  I think they lived because they had  a safe home and could still find enough of the right kinds of food to eat.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

KLutz Book of Paper Airplanes

This is one of my very favourite books. This book is about how to make paper airplanes and how to make them fly right. This book tells you how to make 10 paper airplanes. It is very big and really good pictures of the planes made with coloured papers. The instructions are easy to read and the pictures help a lot, but it is very hard to get the folds right. You have to make both sides exactly the same. Even though I try the best I can, my planes do not come out as well Mom's. But I still really like this book. I love the planes Mom made, I love the coloured paper that comes with this. It makes the best airplanes ever. I like reading this book and I like practising making the planes. I can make one of the planes well now, and  I will keep practising until I can make them all.

 Another good thing about this book is that it tells you ways to fix your air plane if it isn't working right and it tells you which planes are best for inside and which planes are best for outside. It shows you the best way to throw your plane. It tells you how to make them turn and tells about parts on real airplanes.

 My favourite airplane in this book is the professional. It is for indoor and outdoor. It has triangle shaped wings. It one of the easier planes to make, and flies really well, It goes fast and makes loops. The people who make the book say it can go up to 71 feet. Mine haven't gone that far, but Mom says we can make a whole bunch of planes and test them all. We can use a measuring tape and see how far we can make them go.

 I like this book a lot. I think other kids will like it too.  My brother likes it too and he is only 3, but he can not make the planes. he just likes Mom to make them. I think this would be best for kids my age or maybe bigger. I am seven. I think this would make a very good Christmas or Birthday present because you can make so many planes.

 The only bad thing about this book is you can not get more of the special paper when it runs out. You can make the planes with other paper, but this paper is really colourful with nice designs like space and bubbles.

* Mom's comment - my full review for this product, along with Billy's can be found here:

Thursday, 31 May 2012

Vinegar science experiments

Fun things to do with vinegar:
Vinegar and baking soda make a  chemical reaction. They make a gas called carbon dioxide. That's boring but the things you can make with it aren't boring.

We have a lot of science kits, and one of them came with a plastic volcano. You put vinegar and red food colour in, and then you put in baking soda and put the lid on very fast. The baking soda reaches the vinegar and hisses out. It shot up very high and made mess in the kitchen. When it gets enough gas it explodes. Gas makes real volcanoes explode too.

We use vinegar and baking soda to make a rocket fly too. Our rocket goes really high. We played with this all day today. It is called "Cosmic Rocket". Mom did it first I gave her goggles  but she didn't wear them. It blew up too soon and Mom got it all over, even in her mouth. It was funny  - it would have been more funny if it was Dad. Then I made the rocket go until I ran out vinegar. I went to to the shop more but I ran out again.
We also made a super bubbler by just pouring vinegar on baking soda.

Alien egg;
We made an alien egg by adding vinegar and green food colour to a cup with an egg. The vinegar rotted off the shell, so the egg only has a squishy stuff called a membrane. The egg is see through and green - we pretend it is an alien egg. We have kept it for 3 weeks now. It feels squishy and wet.

Blow a balloon: Put baking soda ina balloon  add vinegar and tie it. It didn't get very big - but it did grow.

Explosions: This is really fun when it works but Mom has to help. You need magnesium tape. Smash it up and put it in a test tube. Add enough vinegar to cover tape. Mom cooks this with a spirit burner, and then shakes it. You have to keep your finger on the top. Take your finger off fast and hold  match over tube. It makes  a bang. Mom really jumped the first time. We got to try it later. But if you aren't fast enough it doesn't work.

Angry Dad:
We made angry Dad! We put vinegar in the super soaker. It stung his eyes and now he stinks. He was very angry but it was very funny - try it with your Dad.

*Mom's note the volcano came in Galt's Horrible Science Explosive Experiments
You can make a volcano from paper mache or sand if you don't have one.

The rocket used was Science Museum Cosmic Rocket.

We used magnesium tape from Trends chemistry set, but you can buy it seperately online. It needs to be kept  in a sealed bag or conatiner - if it get exposed to the open air and dampness it will not work as well. The vinegar and magnesium create hydrogen gas, but it is safe in this quanity.  Do not try to make  a bigger bang with a larger quanity though. If you don't have a spirit burner you can use a tea light. You just hold the bottom of the test tube in the flame. The test tube will go black at the bottom but it washes off easily. This was brilliant when we were studying airships and the Hindenburg explosion.