Wednesday, 31 December 2008
As time passed and we inevitably preferred to go out with our mates at New Year, years were spent in the pub squashed, merry, and trying to hang onto your drink that had taken half an hour to buy and trying to avoid the bloke who came out once a year to snog girls that he would usually have no chance with!
By the millennium New Year dh & I had a 10 month old baby and went into our little back yard to watch the fireworks our neighbour inevitably set off - he went all out for millennium - and drank champagne.
And for the past several years we have stayed in, neither of the girls enjoy parties and so we watch Jools Holland's Annual Hootenanny, dh is usually asleep and I wake him up just before midnight. Last year however my neighbour from two doors away was rather inebriated and flashed her chest at dh through the front window at midnight, being a rather buxom lady he woke up rapidly :0) Her 80+ year old mother was also extremely unsteady, having decided she no longer needed a walking stick , and was unable to get up her stairs - she lives next door - so dh and I (me in pjs) ended up in the street, singing and shouting out Happy New Year and pushing and shoving a drunk OAP upstairs to bed.
It seems I've come full circle, back out in the front street at New Year!
So whatever your age, and whatever you do, here's wishing you all a very happy and peaceful New Year x
Sunday, 28 December 2008
Mmm, where to start!
Just what I wanted!
An obscure book, about an obscure guitar legend - just what dh wanted!
Wednesday, 24 December 2008
This may not mean much to other mother's, but to a mother of a child age 10 with severe dyslexia, this was absolutely fantastic. I was so shocked I couldn't speak. Never have I seen her read a book, so this was a first for us and a brilliant present - nothing else she can ever give me will mean more than that sight of her engrossed in a book.
So, a very Merry Christmas to you all - keep your faith, because sometimes the impossible becomes possible. Maybe it's my own little Christmas miracle!
Saturday, 20 December 2008
I dosed everyone, and cuddled and cooed. I cleaned the windows, including frames, in the front room - admittedly dh helped a bit, but he huffed and coughed loudly while doing so - and I hoovered and dusted. I ordered and paid for Chinese take out and went to have a cuppa.
Dh disappeared and then a loud crash in the back room, and silence. No-one shouted so I thought I'd best investigate. The Christmas tree had fallen over and landed on Isobel, who was quietly sobbing in a corner that the tree had tried to 'eat her', Hettie was engrossed in the tv and dh was deaf to anything - deafness due to man flu I expect. As no-one had carried any left overs to the kitchen there was a fair amount of rice all over which the dog was rapidly trying to hoover up before he got sent out of the room.
I sent Hettie for dh, comforted Issy and explained the tree doesn't like to be moved around and then directed Hettie to clear away. Dh picked up the tree while I disappeared to clean the kitchen. So why did I have a tantrum, well I returned to find dh disappeared, girls engrossed in tv and tree deccies everywhere.
I flipped and screamed Mrs Darling's one touch rule, ie while you're touching it you may as well put it back where it came from (bit basic explanation but you get my drift) While I stomped around the house ranting about tidying up the girls re-decorated the tree, tidied up in double quick time, went to bed and dh mumbled something impolite about Mrs D and her one touch rule under his breath.
Now all is calm, girls in bed, dh in bath sniffing and me - well a glass of wine and plotting new house rules for the new year!
Friday, 19 December 2008
Tuesday, 16 December 2008
This tree was my mum and dad's - its 48 years old, not one branch lost!
Favorite Christmas Toys
Door wreath, made by Hettie, which the dog growls at!
Home Made Angel!
Got better at stars!
Picture is the right way up, robin RIP!
Children's finished tree!
Sunday, 14 December 2008
Hettie made a lovely wreath which dh hung on the front door. It covers the glass panel and the dog has spent the evening growling at the door 'cos he thinks someone is standing there!
I need to really get a plan sorted for next years home ed, so I'm organised. I need to sort out what I've got - which is quite a bit - what we're using and when, at least for the first half termy bit. Hettie is fairly organised and working well, so I just need to double check what we're doing and Issy I'm going to have to get thinking about, she really has taken to the Montessori things I've bought and loves getting them out to 'play'. So off to read up!
Friday, 12 December 2008
Oh well, that's kids for you! Although she was up nearly all night throwing up, she made it to the loo the rest of the night, approx every half hour. Still unwell today but no more sick, thank goodness. Thought best not spread the bugs round science club so fortunately my SIL picked Het up and my friend is dropping her off.
So not much HE today either but I have managed some housework! I'm off out tonight with old work collegues so best go and decide what I'm wearing as I only have 3 1/4 hours left til I've got to be there!! Leaving the sicky child with DH - may have to forget my phone :0)
Wednesday, 10 December 2008
Although it looked sunny and warm, its actually very windy up at the castle sometimes. We need to go back now and have a Winter photography walk, but I'll try to catch a frosty day. Issy isn't usually up before the frost has gone though!!
I've decided tomorrow we can clean through and rake out the deccies and take down our Autumn wall display and make a Winter one instead. Lots of craft and Christmas activities for now, after all excitement levels are rising :0)
Monday, 8 December 2008
At the Roman Baths, which were brilliant!
I so, so wanted to just dip a toe, but security people everywhere!
Here's Mr Darcy at the Upper Assembly Rooms, worn out from my enthusiastic wanderings!
We walked here, 'cos I thought it was a great idea, a romantic Austin stroll, tbh I could hardly breath by the time we got to the view, let alone enjoy it.
And obviously you have to surreptitiously stand outside Jane Austin's house for a piccie - I also have pics of about 4 other houses she stayed in, but hey that may get a bit boring :0)
Sunday, 7 December 2008
Not sure how the girls will get on with me adding a bit of Living Maths with the new books, but I'm really enjoying reading them first!
Hopefully this week we can start sorting out the Christmas stuff. And of course I must order the turkey this week, otherwise we'll end up with fishfingers!
Hettie came 3rd in one round and 4th in another and then 12th overall in the girls fencing competition. Dh video'd her matches and we had good fun watching them back, especially listening to her coach cheering her on from the sidelines!
Time to start slackening off on the HE and replace with Christmas activities.
Friday, 5 December 2008
Afterwards we were standing outside and I ended up with some of the kids waiting for mums to get organised and the conversation between two 7 years old with AS went like this:
Issy 'Are you ill?'
S 'Yes very ill, I've hurt my ankle' (swinging the crutches around his head & shooting people with them)
Issy 'Do you like being ill?'
S 'Yes I really do'
Issy 'I like being ill as well, and I'm often seriously ill'
S 'I'm am the illest though because I've got crutches'
Issy ' Mmm I've always wanted crutches'
S 'You can have a go if you like'
Much hopping up and down the path went on while Hettie and I howled with laughter.
They strolled off down to the cars, chatting away and smiling and laughing while myself, S's mum and Hettie trailed behind. It took about 20 mins of standing in the cold to persuade them it really was time to go home. Hettie requested ear plugs! Issy was completed amazed that she had found someone who viewed the world in exactly the same way she does and obviously has gone on, and on, and on about it. Oh and then she went on some more about it.
Hettie remarked 'Its probably because you both come from Mars and the rest of us are from earth', followed by 'Perhaps we could put him in a cage next to the guinea pigs!'
Wednesday, 26 November 2008
Hettie had a good go though and measured and compared angles, which is something we've done very little on. Don't ask me why she's wearing her coat indoors, we have got heating now!
Issy drew round shapes and named them all.
I've been having a look at Living Math for Issy to run alongside the Montessori math curriculum and it looks pretty good. I've got a couple of the books, although not nearly all of them, but think I can use some of it.
Off to laminate and find somewhere to put the cabinet which may mean clearing another bookshelf !
Tuesday, 25 November 2008
Sunday, 23 November 2008
Amidst a fair bit of time spent on the computer today - I haven't indulged for ages - and cleaning the house from top to bottom I maaged to find time to supervise Hettie dyeing some wool from a kit she got last Christmas - OK it's probably about time we got round to it!!
White wool - soaked
Poured over the wool, then wrapped in cling film and microwaved.
Rinsed and hung up to dry 'til tomorrow
Actually Hettie did most of this herself with minimal help, except from getting it out of the microwave. It worked pretty well and hopefully she can roll into a ball tomorrow and knit into a scarf.
And Issy, well she watched Kung Fu Panda and practised with the piggies - don't ask!
Saturday, 22 November 2008
The cakes were pretty yuk, very, very sweet!
There's been a discussion on the Structured Home Ed Group about a variety of things but visual timetables cam up, so here's the pics of Hettie's. Issy's are a bit different and more focused on listening, sitting still, as well as subjects.
Basically its a Tesco display folder to start. Then I laminated 7 A4 day tables, I think from Do 2 Learn get organised section. Then I used sticky velcro and added 2 strips on each table.
Then I printed a whole heap of little cards and laminated them, and backed them with sticky velcro, got cheap from the local market. The cards are available from Do 2 Learn and Meyer-Johnson Boardmaker, they have a free trial. You can make them for older children/teens to fit in a filofax type folder. I pull out the box of velcro pics and set out what that day's work is, or sometimes Hettie sets out her own.
Then they have a coloured A4 laminated sheet with 12 pics on (see above) and a strip (see below) which they can use for any communication needs. It works quite well with Hettie, because she uses this as a memory prompt, and it usually has hungry and thirsty on it most of the morning. Issy has more emotions on her board, and a 'I need time out' card.
I also make A5 cards, just printed - no velcro -for when we go out on trips for Issy, eg first we're getting a train, then we're getting a bus, then we'll get to the museum and so on until home again. Its all in pics with simple words and she says it makes her feel much better about going out because she knows exactly what is going to happen. Only problem is she wants to stick to her plan rigidly, so if it says we're getting the tube - then we are getting the tube!
Friday, 21 November 2008
Hettie & her cousin
Wednesday, 19 November 2008
This is Ginny Weasley
And this is no longer Ruby, or Mrs Squeak (her 2nd name) but is now Hermione Granger!
As for Sonlight, after a comment left here I feel I should explain a bit further. The things I love about SL is it comes in one big box and the book titles are great, both fiction and non-fiction. The whole curriculum is well laid out, easy to organise and above all you can just pick it up off the shelf and carry on from where you left off. The language arts programmes was good and the girls got on well with it, and we love the timeline book and geography mapwork. Issy loves the bible reading and I wouldn't send anything back.
My problem with it is a) it is an awful lot of reading, and then more reading. We didn't find we had much actual 'doing'. b) When we added more 'doing' ie a lapbook or project we got behind with the reading. c) I didn't like the science curriculum.
Having said that I think Issy will come back to it, as I think she will be able to work through it better next year and as she begins to work more independently. So I would recommend it with reservations that you need to be quite dedicated to keep up with it all and it is mainly an American curriculum not a British one.
I hasten to add this is only my humble opinion and I know many UK HE'rs who love using SL!!!