Thursday 23 February 2017

"A true knight is fuller of bravery in the midst, than in the beginning of danger."

There used to be a time when I was a big part of a LEGO kit build, I'd sit there doing all the hard parts and when the boys had lost interest, because they were taking too long and they just wanted to play with the finshed piece, I'd get to finish them off. These days though the boys get so into building the kits and want to do it all themselves so I have been demoted to the guy that puts the stickers on straight. It's fine though I do get to do the occasional solo build when the boys are in bed, plus I get so much out of watching them work together as a team, building something awesome.

There are so many exciting kits out at the moment and even more due to be released this year, Opeie especially has really got into kit building recently and Seth has been his go-to guy when building custom pieces to go with the kits he is putting together. One range that has really got them both excited is the latest kits from the Nexo Knights range. Chapter 2 boasts some pretty amazing kits and as I stood in our local toy store ogling the boxes, I found myself completely hooked on all the new bad guys. 

The first to get my attention was Ruinas Lock and Roller, the kit is great and an evil looking jail cell wagon is always going to be of interest to Seth, he loves building holding cells. The fact that this one has a trap door though had the pair of them excited while they were building it. Being a collector of LEGO monsters and baddies though, it was the Ruina figure that I wanted to get my hands on most. 

I love all the bad guys from the latest range (Opeie is always telling me it's strange how Baddie and Daddy rhymes, clearly it was meant to be, mwahahaha). Rogul was another minifigure that got my full attention, how awesome is that rock base. Lance's Twin Jouster is the sort of kit Opeie loves, he's all about the good guys and Seth loves locking the good guys up so they play great together. Opeie is also a big fan of vehicles that split to become other vehicles, so being able to split the Twin jouster into a motorcycle and jet pack added another level to the boys play. The jet pack can also be added to battle suit Lance, if you purchase that set too. I love how well thought out these kits are and they are perfect for role-playing action.

I can't wait to see what the Nexo knights have in store for chapter 3 and after seeing this release i'll be keeping my eyes peeled for more interesting baddies.  You can check out the entire Nexo Knights range HERE.

'Jestro's dark clouds and gloomy weather'

Since Opeie's last LEGO adventure story when he wrote about Ironman: Detroit Steel Strikes, he has been asking pretty much every day about writing another. Today turned out to be the perfect day for it when we looked out of our window this morning and saw Storm Doris throwing our garden furniture about and pulling our hanging basket bracket out of the wall. Opeie's response 'I'm not planning on going out today dad', love that boy. He was so right though, there was nothing pushing me towards our front door so we got up, finished watching a movie we had started last night and then got stuck into building theLEGO Nexo knights Jestro's Headquarters, and what a kit to be building on this windy wet day.

Watching this beauty come together was so much fun and has definitely been one of the more interesting larger playsets due to the enormous vehicle being able to be separated into smaller vehicles. Plus the baddies from the new Nexo Knights range have really got my LEGO geekiness at its peak. This range has been Perfect for the boys adventure roleplaying. Opeie made it clear that he was taking the lead again on this one and of course, it started with one of us being in trouble...

Tuesday 21 February 2017

“People say graffiti is ugly, irresponsible and childish... but that's only if it's done properly.”

Making the decision to homeschool Opeie wasn't something we just dived into without thinking a lot about it. There was a huge build up to taking the plunge and many things that were steering us in that direction. Both Mrs M and I have very strong views on how we wanted Opeie's learning to be during his formative years. In my opinion (and I know I'm not the only one) there is far to much pressure put on children at an early age and I strongly believe that the education system in this country is failing these amazing little minds.  Home Education gives us so much freedom to adventure and it is this kind of organic learning that is the reason why we have a 5-year-old who is always happy and excited about learning.

The last few weeks have been exceptionally fun as we have visited a few museums that we've not been to before. It's been a while since I have been to Walsall but while I was online looking for interesting places to visit around the Midlands, the new Art Gallery popped up. As it is only 40 minutes drive from ours, we loaded the Micro Scooters into the car and set out on an arty adventure.

When we're out investigating places we don't know well, the scooters are a must. They are great for manoeuvring around quickly and if we do happen to get lost a distance from the car then it takes the strain off of those little legs if he's been walking around the museums etc. The great thing about visiting art museums is listening to Opeie's opinions on each piece. I've got to admit that the two exhibitions that were on (as some of the floors were closed) were really not my cup of tea at all, apart from some of the Idris Khan pieces. The gallery was somewhere different to visit though and even if you have a negative opinion about certain art or you simply just don't understand what is going on, it sparks conversation or debate which is great for learning.

While walking around the gallery we passed a window and noticed some graffiti covered walls out back. So after looking at the exhibitions, we headed outside for more Micro Scooter adventuring. Graffiti is definitely an art form that interests Opeie more and I can see why. The vibrant eye catching colours in places that you don't expect them is really fun. We had tried some graffiti at home on slabs a while back during an 'Art week' and I think it is something we will be looking into again very soon.

Opeie was really excited to see a Pokémon piece on a wall as we scooted by and couldn't wait to get a picture with Gyarados to show Seth when he got home.

Our scooting adventure then hit the streets and we continued looking for things of interest, all the while Opeie was asking question after question, it was the sort of effortless home schooling day that I love. We passed a war memorial while scooting along the street and Opeie stopped and asked if the statue was of the same person who is in St Peter's Gardens in Wolverhampton as they wore the same uniform and hat. It was great that he had remembered the memorial so we checked online and it turns out that both Douglas Morris Henry HARRIS A.B., R.N.V.R. and John Henry Carless VC sadly lost their lives in 1917. I was genuinely impressed that Opeie had paid that much attention to both memorials.

As much as I loved visiting the art gallery, sometimes we get so much more out of investigating a city on our scooters. Home education opens up doors that state schooling can not offer and in my opinion being outdoors and learning from experiences for some children is so much more productive and natural. If I had had this style of learning from a young age I think I would have been a lot more focused and motivated. Like many children, school never interested me, I didn't feel inspired by my teachers and that was something that I feel hindered me at the start of my adult life. Things are definitely different these days though and Opeie's home schooling is opening my eyes to many things I never thought I'd be interested in myself.

Scooters and Home education go hand in hand and I can't wait for our next adventure.

Monday 20 February 2017

'Your friendly Neighbourhood Yoshi'

 I'm a professional when it comes to procrastinating when I need to be writing. For the last few nights I have come up with all manner of things to stop me doing the one thing I need to be getting on with. My favourite though has been playing Poochy & Yoshi's Woolly World, to say I am loving this game would be an understatement. Last night Mrs M wanted an early night and I should have been the perfect chance for some quiet time to get my head down and write, but I decided to join here and take my 3DS. I had planned to play a few more levels but found myself hooked when entering the 'Yoshi Hut' on the game. The game itself is AWESOME, but being able to create your own Woolly Yoshi's  is such a great addition to the game. 

It started with Wolverine Yoshi and then when I looked at my phone I realised I'd got a little carried away. It was 1am and I'd been creating marvel Yoshi's for a couple of hours. Anyway, I thought I'd share them with ya'll.