Monday, 28 January 2008

Planning and Housebuilding......

So it was worth putting in some time for planning Grade 3 Waldorf as today went pretty well. We started off with a recap of word families from a week ago and Hettie remembered 11 out of 12 which is fantastic for her. Then we followed on with some form drawing which was free hand squares, circles and triangles. Walking the shapes out first around the lounge definately helps as a warm up starter session first thing.
We started our buildings and shelters block, we'll be coming back to Old Testament stories in a few weeks. But we did link in quite nicely to Adam & Eve sheltering in the garden of Eden, and Noah building the Ark. We spent some time looking at the first houses etc and moved onto looking at Inuit houses. We used Bonnie Shemies Houses of Snow, Skin and Bones as a reference for this, there are a whole series. Lots of map reading as well, and we started a new main book.

That pretty much took up all the morning and after lunch we got out our house building kit which was a Christmas present from nanny and grandad. It was really great, a bit of help needed but she soon got the hang of it. We looked a measuring, right angles and used a set square to get our walls nice and straight. Although I've been listening to Donna Simmons audio download of 3rd Grade and we really need to be building outside, the weather was rubbish and I can't see us building a brick wall in the near future. So it really was a good alternative to the real thing.

Troweling on the mortar

Hopefully we should end up with a house and a courtyard! You can soak the mortar off and re-use the bricks so pretty impressed. Available from Mindware which has lots of other great stuff as well.

So as my planning is relatively up-to-date I'm going to spend the evening making bits for the nature table for Spring - yes I know I should be ironing, but I have made chicken soup as well today, and ticked off quite a bit of my To-Do list!

Saturday, 26 January 2008

Scheduling and My Little Girl ....

I'd not really heard of this phenomenon called scheduling before I started reading blogs. I had no idea you could actually buy schedules which you can organize your life to the precise minute. Like clean out your purse at 9.47am every second Thursday. I have this problem with being completely unorganised and laid back about time, well its not exactly a problem until I realise we have no clean underwear, dh has no work clothes clean, and we are meant to be somewhere at a certain time. I have lost count of the amount of appointments I've missed. I have a calendar, a filofax and now an organiser on my new phone - which I am beginning to hate with a passion, as it has a life of its own. Still I can't get organised. I set the phone to beep at me for home ed meetings, which it did, but I was already on my way so if I had forgotten it would have beeped to late. I also own every domestic appliance known to mankind, but still there is a huge pile of washing and ironing.

So Saturday remains blitz day and as usual I have decided to be more organised this week. I will use the phone organiser if it kills me, I will of course probably lose the phone eventually. I have read recently the key to being organised is getting up early, and this I have to say is my downfall. I spent years as a nurse getting up early and I simply do not like it. It means I have to go to bed early, and I don't like doing that either. Still I WILL get my curriculum planned, my various organisers filled in and try my best this week to get sorted.
Fortunately the girls decided to go out and bounce for a while which meant I could tidy & clean. Ignore the garden/mud - that's also on my To-Do List.

And so just when exactly did you grow up little girl of mine?

Hetties off to a party and sleep over at her best friends - I couldn't forget this as she taped the invite to the stairs, reminded me as often as possible and her friends mum rang me 3 times to check I had remembered and got the time right!!
There's always next week.

Friday, 25 January 2008

Curriculum planning...

I'm beginning to realise that although I found the National Curriculum long winded, rushed and almost impossible for Hettie to achieve all the goals it's fairly easy to follow and there's lots of info. You only need to pick up a Year 4 book in WHSmiths and you can more or less have an idea of exactly what to do. And I am not knocking anyone following the NC at all, we have for a year and I spent many an hour sorting it out.

But following Waldorf fairly closely to the actual curriculum takes some degree of planning. I could of course just purchase a fairly Waldorf curriulum but for one you can't get to see a bit of any that are available and theres no roon for manouvre. We've started off fairly well but I felt the need for a plan! Also as we've started a term in so I've got to squish it altogether a bit. So I made a read aloud reading list to start with:

Little House Books, Laura Ingalls Wilder
Farmer Boy, Laura Ingalls Wilder
The Jungle Book, Rudyard Kipling
Just So Stories, Rudyard Kipling
Charlottes Web, EB White
The Railway Children, E Nesbit
Kidnapped, RL Stevenson
Treasure Island, RL Stevenson
Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
The Hobbit, JRR Tolkein
Swallows and Amazons, Arthur Ransome
Heidi, Johanna Spyri
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Mark Twain
White Fang, Jack London
The Call of the Wild, Jack London
The Secret Garden, Frances Hodgson Burnett

Now I'm not expecting to read them all by July, but I needed a focus list, and this will carry over to next year, or whenever!

Using Donna Simmons 'Waldorf Curriculum Overview For Home Schoolers' and 'Living Language' I'm cobbling together my plan. So our main lessons are going to be:

Old Testament Stories
Farming & Gardening
Buildings & Shelters
Native American Stories

Now in 3rd Grade these do all seem to mix in together at some point, but its a practical year for Waldorf so not too many main lesson books.

I'm gathering together all the verses, short stories, lesson plans for grammar etc that I want to use and either typing up or copying to put together in a folder. Probably much more than we will ever need or use. I needed some focus for english and maths as well, so I'm ploughing through to see roughly where we should be and where we actually are. Surprisingly we're not as far behind as we are in the NC.

I don't really want a plan to follow to the letter each day but more of a guide so I can have on hand what we need, and a vague idea of what we need to cover, all bound together. Otherwise I'm spending hours looking through books every night.

I'm also using Eric Fairman's Path of Discovery Vol 3 and Roy Wilkinson's Teaching Practical Activities to help with the main lessons. These are relatively inexpensive but really excellent for explaining what to include.

Ok so back to the planning and maybe next year it won't take so long!

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Waldorf, Strange Things & CSI.....

We had an Ok today, Issy still off school, to return tomorrow. We looked at Noah's Ark and they made a play about The Lion & The Mouse which Hettie had just read from Snip, Snap, Trout a Waldorf Grade 3 extra lesson reader which she chose to read although we have lots of readers to choose from. That & a comment from Mrs Darling asking about Bees Wax made me wonder what I really liked about Waldorf and why it seems to be working so well for us.

The hunter catches the Lion

The mouse nibbles through the net (OK its a teddy we didn't have a mouse)
To start its a fairly relaxed curriculum but still has a structure. Rudolph Steiner's views on child development seem to be spot on. The Grade 3 curriculum suits Hettie down to the ground and I can see Issy's Grade would suit her as well. Having a rhythm does suit us and we're not nearly there yet in the full sense. It seems to give them a security blanket to have a rhythm of the day, week, month & year, which in turn is helping Hettie overcome her very great difficulties with time.
Because our nature table is an actual thing with a story attached it makes sense to them. Its something they can move and re-arrange and add to so it 'lives'.
Handcrafts, in particular knitting, seem to not only be popular but have helped Hetties handwriting. She's exercising her hands and increasing her wrist movements without the slog & expense of occupational therapy and repeated boring exercises. It relaxes us all. She seems to be finding a bodily balance by using both hands rhythmically. The same is so for weaving. As for bees wax modelling it was great for hand exercises. We did heat on the radiators for a bit but you have to keep working it to keep it pliable and soft. It smelled nice and it was warm. We do use clay as well but it seems a bit wet and cold after the bees wax.
Watercolour painting is giving us lots of pleasure, and a greater understanding of colour. We can depict a piece of work with a painting rather than slogging away at writing. Beeswax block and stick crayon give a whole new meaning to the word crayon. In fact it pays to pay a little more for nicer equipment because they're a pleasure to use. I'm generally rubbish at art but I get a better result with better 'tools'.
Because lots of the curriculum is through stories and verse Hettie seems to be gaining a better understanding of the basics, of grammar, spelling and arithmetic. She's still behind but now we're making progress. And the best thing is the books. The readers are beautifully printed on nice paper with lovely illustrations and the girls just seem to gravitate towards them. We're reading some 'good' literature as read alouds and I'm getting a bit picky now about what we read rather than just any old story.
I love Donna Simmons books which help home school Waldorf, where we're making our own textbooks and it just feels like the pressure is off. It takes a lot of work for 'mum' and prep work but our days are much calmer. I think the Anthroposphy part of Waldorf perhaps puts some people off but you can delve as much as you want. Oh and the dog uses Donna's books of an evening as a pillow!

The strange thing is this. Those of you familiar with Waldorf will know, no tv, computers, nintendo etc and I didn't feel I could completely take this away, but the tv is on noticeably less, the laptop is used but not as often, so I haven't needed to go the whole way as they seem to be regulating their own usage.

Personally I think the good thing about home ed is you can use what suits your family, at the moment this is working for us and now I've told you why!!

And CSI ............. well I love it and Grissom, and its a new series so I'm going.

Monday, 21 January 2008

Beeswax Modelling, Rain and Head Lice...

Today dh and I decided to give Issy a couple of days off school. She's had a constant headache all last week and is just generally unwell. So I decided I would just carry on as normal and she could either join in or watch a dvd. She obviously decided she was up to joining in. As I haven't any work planned for her I ploughed on. So we carried on with the Old Testament stories starting with re-call of Cain & Abel. And then did a page in their main book, fortunately I had a spare book for Isobel to use.

Mummy's blackboard - girls said it looked like two cavemen!

Hettie's - she refused to colour all the background

Isobel's depiction

Its fairly tricky having two at home - many congratulations to everyone home edding more than two!! It was quite apparent that 3rd Grade Waldorf is not really suitable for 1st Grade. So a learning curve for me, but as I say no planning ready for two. I may have to put some thought into this. We read Cain & Abel again, because Hettie insisted I read it to Isobel, even though she thinks it's rubbish! Me thinks that might have been a sneaky way to hear the story again. Then we read Noah building the Ark ready for tomorrow.

We followed on with some work on nouns and named & copied animals we thought might be on Noah's Ark. Then I decided we could try some beeswax modelling. I tried my very best to think Waldorf! So I asked if Noah built his Ark in our garden what animals would be first on board and then we modelled. Wow, how nice is beeswax modelling. We added our models to our nature table - it's all coming together!

Hettie's fox

Isobel's rabbit

I found a rhythm today, lunch was at lunchtime and then we popped to the shops so I could get some wool for my latest knitting project. We followed up with some maths work on place value and I discovered Isobel might know how to put things in tens and units but had no idea that 100 was more than 1. Quite good for Hettie to have a bit of competition and she used her bead frame and rainbow tray to count gems effortlessly up to hundreds - just how many gems have I bought!

That was about it. As for the rain I insisted Hettie walked the dog with dh and we probably had more rain than I've seen in years. They were soaked to their pants and had to strip off in the hall. Obviously Hettie had something to say about it all.

And finally head lice. They like my hair, the girls have none and are not itching at all. Obviously I have lent too close to some small child with them. So out with the comb once more!

Sunday, 20 January 2008

Where is Oregon? ... and King Winter ....

I was reading Mrs Darling's blog this morning while we all slobbed about and decided it was time to get some order. So I declared to my gang we were going to tidy and then spend some time together, after all, I more or less shouted, we could all be sitting in the hot tub together. A little voice asked 'What's a hot tub and where is it?' while the other asked 'Who is Mrs Darling?' I replied never mind all that, lets get cleaning! when dh appeared with a cuppa and said 'Who's Mrs Darling?'

So I read Mrs Darlings blog, quite a bit of it actually, including Pop's stories. The girls wandered off before mum remembered we were meant to be tidying. I lamented the fact that other women could fit so much in during the week and have time to bake (besides the point really, as I hate baking) and dh asked mildly what Mr Darling did. I said I have no idea but he loves The Goonies to which dh muttered 'must be a normal bloke then'. The next question was 'Where do the Darlings live?' I scanned the blog and said 'Oregon'

Cleaning & tidying were completely forgotten while we searched for an Atlas to find Oregon. Dh borrowed my reading glasses and decided he needs his own pair.

So by now about another hour and half had passed and several more cups of tea. But now we know where Oregon is and I decided dh looked rather fanciable in glasses, but I won't tell him that.

I did kick everyone into action though and we now have a fairly tidy school area, still with a few plastic boxes but I prefer the baskets.

I also was determined to get the nature table set up by the end of today. This led to another break from cleaning while we held a family discussion about where to put it. Once again two little girls drifted off with an air of out of sight, out of mind. We decided the only option was to cover the juke box and use that.



Dh did the floral display while I finished off King Winter, and bless him he even found something to make a broom with while walking the dog.

Hettie and Dh went swimming, Issy played zoos with her animals and I cooked Sunday dinner. We never got to build a hot tub and sit in it together, but we did have a nice day, and we're very tidy!

Saturday, 19 January 2008

A Midsummer Night's Dream ....

Dh spent the morning making a cardboard Elizabethan Theatre complete with actors & actresses and script for a Midsummer Night's Dream. I bought this for Issy yesterday at the museum. Hettie was helping dad with the building while Issy studied the script - me I stayed well out of the way, but could hear cries of 'mum, dad said a naughty word' and 'mum, dads being unkind about you'. Eventually we were ready. I read the script and my trio moved the stage and actors about.

Amidst much shuffling about and whispering on stage I started to plough my way through the shortened script, shouting stage directions and reading all parts. There was much giggling at the part where Lysander and Hermia meet in the woods and he chances his luck at having his wicked way (we described this as a kiss & cuddle) but as the word bosoms was mentioned full hysterical laughter came on from the stage hands, including dh.

We continued fairly sensibly until Issy decided she would like to read a part and became 'Bottom'. Obviously it was not long before passing wind jokes came about. Despite the hilarity we managed to get through about a third of the script, Issy reading her parts extremely well, with only a little prompting and Hettie managing the stage well, available from Tobar.

Issy was at a party this afternoon and I did some shopping while I waited for her. I bought a lovely book Knit A Fantasy Story by Jan Messent so guess what I'll be doing this evening!

Friday, 18 January 2008

Little trip out...and new phones

We went out today with some of our local home ed group to visit a Tudor hall. It belongs to a local museum and cost a whole £1.80 each. We had a great guy who gave a fantastic talk about living in Tudor times. Very hands on with lots of stuff for the kids to actually get their hands on. Hettie answered several questions to my surprise - she obviously does listen sometimes! Our speaker looked slightly bemused when he asked what they thought the candles were made from and there was a chorus of beeswax. Maybe we're going a bit overboard about the crayons.

Hettie volunteered to dress up as Lord Henry and got to sit at the top table with Lady M.

Don't they look lovely! Actually they were both quite taken with their costumes and wore them for quite a while. K aged 3 joined in whole heartily to the delight of everyone and particularly enjoyed snuffing out a candle and washing her hands Tudor style.

My new phone upgrade arrived today, hooray. I took some time (months) to actually get the courage to change it. I dithered about which phone to upgrade to and eventually asked my nephew G who said 'Auntie Lisa, stick with a Nokia, you're old and probably won't manage anything else' I was a bit put out by this comment about my age and technological knowledge - but my new Nokia is here. Ok so I couldn't work out why it wouldn't charge up until my niece M pointed out I hadn't put the battery in it. I have spent a long evening trying to work out how to use it. So it probably was best to stick to the Nokia.

Issy went on her school panto trip which she seemed to enjoy, and is itching to make the Elizabethan theatre I bought her at the museum today. She's got a party tomorrow at the Bear Factory which she can't wait for.

Dh and I spent a little time this evening looking at Rudolf Steiners Four Temperaments and deciding where we all fit. We decided he and Hettie are Phlegmatic (water), Issy is Sanguine (air) and I am Choleric (fire). Well at least he showed some interest!!

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Getting organised...

If I get organised at work, everything at home is disorganised and so on. I completely understand the Waldorf importance of finding rhythm and some days we seem to really get it together, others we just don't. Still we'll keep working on it.

So today we dropped Issy at school, and came home determined to be organised. So we looked at Adam and Eve and Hettie copied some work I had (fortunately) prepared earlier. We had a big discussion about the onion skin pages separating other pages, and decided we would not tear them out. She promptly got in a muddle and did her lovely writing on the onion skin page. Still at least she did some writing:

I had a call from work so we set off for her home ed group meeting half an hour late and then decided not to go. By the time we would have arrived it would have been nearly over, so we turned around and went to our local library instead. We spent some time using the computer to look up books and Hettie actually picked two Dick King-Smiths to read to herself! We actually managed to use our super dooper up to date electronic library check in and out system (under the watchful eye of our not so jolly librarian) without a mistake, which caused Hettie to shout hooray very loudly and earned us another disapproving look.

We bumped into some home ed friends at the shops which was nice. We had a chat without someone saying 'not in school today?'

After lunch we read Merry-Go-Round, Ruth Heller which Hettie really enjoyed and led nicely to some grammar work. So we looked at nouns and after I grabbed Donna Simmons Living Language from the shelf for advice we managed to link to our Old Testament stories to make lists of nouns.

Time to pick up Isobel, and we played spot the noun on the way, which was very loud and noisy as we shouted nouns out.

Issy came home and wrote out half of her party invites and while Hettie went fencing we started the arduous weekly task of cleaning her bedroom. But we found time to play dollies and making tea games so the day ended nicely.

Now to prepare work for tomorrow!

Tuesday, 15 January 2008


I really needed to get more bookwork sorted out and planned for Hettie to do some work on her own for an hour or so and she decided she needed to learn maths all morning! Best laid plans and all that.

We kicked off with some form drawing, walking them out around the lounge and then drawing some. Lots of good work but the 'C' shape still causing problems, but we're getting there.

We carried on looking at place value and used our bead frame and base 10's to do lots of practice. I think we managed to get to the point where she realised the importance of the '0'. We read some of our Zero to Ten book before lunch.

She really liked the bead frame, so a worthy investment. She made a page in her main book about different ways to count things, fingers, abacus etc.

Little House on the Prairie still going down a storm. Who'd have thought it after all that Harry Potter.

Isobel is finding school difficult at the moment - again. She spent a lot of last term in the office at lunch and early pm with a variety of ailments and now this term the school has built a sickbay, so its a bit like her personal chill out room. She calls it the hospital room. But school panto trip on Friday so she's looking forward to that. And she's moved up a reading band and has made a new friend.

So to bed ... long day at work ahead.

Sunday, 13 January 2008

Had to have a go...

Nicked from Sarah, who nicked from Laney, who I think nicked from someone else, Nosey Meme:

Do you talk in your sleep?
No idea.

Whats your favorite colour jelly?
I don't like jelly at all, never have, yuk. When I was 6 I had my tonsils out & the nurse tried to make me eat jelly & I've never forgotten.

Whats the song that's getting on your nerves right now?
None I can think of but that Leona Lewis one at xmas sounded like a cat in pain.

Current crush?
Johnny Depp, I got Pirates 3 for xmas but Colin Firth as Mr Darcy still tops.
Oh sorry hubbie first .......... of course.

Whats your favorite colour?

Window or aisle seat?
Window, except on a plane where I feel claustrophobic so I like the aisle.

Ever met anyone famous?
Robbie Coltrane just walking along in Covent Garden, Jools Holland and Sharon out of Eastenders in a shop I worked in, in London.

Do you feel you've had a truly successful life?
Yes, my family are my pride & joy, I love our life and our home.

Do you twirl or cut spaghetti?
It's vile, I don't eat it.

Dr Phil or Oprah Winfey?

Basketball or football?
Football but only World or European Cup.

How long do your showers last?
5 mins or 20 mins if shaving of legs involved or I have new smellys.

Do you know how to drive a car?
Yes, I miss my red mini mayfair and my orange beetle.

Are you self conscious?
Not often.

Have you ever given money to a bum?

Where do you wish you were?
Right where I am, OK maybe down in windy Devon or Cornwall, in a cottage, with a fire.

Have you ever ridden in an ambulance?
Yes loads of times, I used to be a nurse & midwife. And with Hettie when she and the dog got tangled up & she knocked herself out cold.

Can you tango?
No but I would love to be able to.

Last gift you received?
Christmas presents, I love my camera.

Last sport you played?
Rounders when I helped at Brownie Camp.

Things you spend money on?
Mmmm tricky, home ed, girls, house, me, hubbie anything really. I love to shop.

Favorite fast food restaurant?
KFC and local chinese (not really that fast)

Most hated food?

Can you sing?
No but I like to, even though kids & dog get out ear plugs and beg me to stop.

Last person you called?
My hubbie.

What's your least favorite chore?
Ironing, followed by any housework.

Favorite drink?
Jack Daniels & Coke (fat) and nice cold bottle Vina Sol

Are you a vegetarian?

Do you believe in Heaven?

Do you miss someone?
My dogs (deceased) Millie & Sikes, my cats (deceased) Tinks, Clarence & Jazzy Cat. Not sure why I miss Jaz, he belonged to my hubbie, and attacked me regularly for about 10 years, particularly when carving chicken, eating Chinese (his favorite) and when I tried to comb or de-flea him. Or in fact any opportunity he had.

Have you ever come close to dying?
No but I thought I was when I was in labour.

Are you eating?

Do you eat the stems off broccoli?
Yes but only 'cos its good for you.

Do you wear make up?
Every day - I'm from Essex.

Whats your worst fear?

Would you ever have plastic surgery?
I used to always say never, now I'm nearly 40 probably.

What do you wear to bed?

Have you ever done anything illegal?
Yes, but I'm not saying what.

Do you ever want to get married?
I am married and one husband is plenty.

What kind of trainers do you wear?
I don't

Future child's name?
Not having any more, two are enough.

Do you snore?
Dave says I do, but I think he's lying.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Not sure.

Do you sleep with stuffed animals?
No, with my hubbie.

If you won the lottery what would you do first?
Scream, tell everyone and go shopping.

Gold or silver?
Depends on what I'm wearing, where I'm going.

Hamburger or hotdog?
Hamburger. I like home made but the ones from the burger van after the pub are best.

If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life what would it be?

What was the last thing you touched?
My laptop.

Where did you eat last?
Our dinning room, school room by day.

When was the last time you cried?
Can't remember, ages ago, I don't cry often.

Do you read other peoples blogs?
Yes every day, I'm an addict.

Well not sure what that says about me!!!

Tired ...

I am so tired tonight, its the book keeping. But I have made brilliant progress with the help of my wonderful sis and the end is in sight, and I can confidently ring and book the accountant meeting, which is generally very tedious. He has a very perfectionist & serious outlook on life, which I do not & this makes me laugh and not pay attention & makes me feel like I'm back in school.

Lovely surprise when I got home as Dh & girls busy preparing Sunday roast. This is the first time in 12 years Dh has done this, and I presume probably first time ever. So after pointing out that if we left the chicken (I know, I know, it was free range & organic & expensive) on low it would be midnight before we ate & turning up the oven I left them to it. They invented a new dish, roasted mash and very nice it was too. The whole dinner was lovely. OK so I did step in and make gravy & dish up, but on the whole it was absolutely wonderful not to come home & cook. Thank you family of mine.

They also had managed to tidy & clean fairly well, and get weekly shopping.

Back to 'school' tomorrow. Hettie and I have been deciding whether to do another watercolour for her work on The Creation to round it off as we only managed 2 last week out of a possible 7. We need to do lots more work on place value for maths, with our friendly gnomes of course, and try to work out where to put our nature table. It will be Spring before we get it sorted and time to change it again. I have managed to finish Mother Nature who will be actually making her nature table debut as Mrs Thaw, but it saves me making two figures. King Winter is nearly completed and so I may put the book keeping away tonight and try to stay awake long enough to finish him.

The girls love the figures and Hettie is very keen on the nature table.

I needle felted her head and not sure I'm too happy with it, she looks a bit of an evil Mother Nature, but well if I ever find another evening free I can always make another :0)

Saturday, 12 January 2008

Book Keeping... sooooo tedious. I have been doing it all day and have a full day tomorrow. Thankfully I have help in the form of my big sister.

Apparantly the girls have been very good all day with only an odd minor fall out and dh took them swimming this afternoon. He also managed to do a great deal of the washing and build a Knex pirate ship. So all was calm and reasonably tidy when I returned home. No work today but I thought I'd post a piccie of our weaving!

Thursday, 10 January 2008

Work ....

My work, not school work today. I decided I needed a laser printer for our business 'cos I'm spending a small fortune on ink cartridges. So after purchasing one expensive printer and lugging it to my office, we couldn't actually fit it in anywhere, which meant a complete office re-organisation! It was one of those things we wished we never started, especially at 3pm.

However we fitted in our lovely new printer and then couldn't get the bloody thing working. Still dh got the phone working again - I bashed the socket box moving a filing cabinet and knocked the wires out, and tomorrow is another day.

But after a long day we had a nice parcel with our bead frame/abacus and wooden spindles. Thanks Sarah for the extra goodies you sent.

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Gnomes and Leaves....

We continued with The Creation which involved watercolours of course. Today was nice and calm with Hettie keen to work, work, work! Which was good because my joints problem has been particularly bad today and so it was nice to sit back, although my hands have been worse than usual and I've dropped countless pots of water. We decided we may not be able to fit in all of the days of creation so she chose the oceans and sea creatures.
As she was so keen today we carried on withsome more Gnome maths courtesy of Serendipity, working on place value. Although we had our usual place value confusion we managed to count 261 gems, swopping units for tens and so on. We also looked at numbers up to a million using our rainbow tray.
So after lunch we finally got round to our botany cabinet which arrived this morning, which is Montessori not Waldorf but I'd already promised to buy it (thanks Sarah). So I decided we could use it for science and nature and we looked at trees in our garden. Hettie picked an oak and we looked for the leaf shape and traced the shape into a new main book (we can continue it through the year) looking at how the tree looks through the year. Hettie scuttled off into the garden to find some acorns and we found some nature books, and made a summary together which she copied beautifully. Thanks to Sarah we've got lots of uses for our cabinet.

Monday, 7 January 2008

Old Testament Stories...And Chocolate Fountains

We started today with the story of the creation, amidst a little groaning. But I overheard a conversation later with Hettie explaining to Isobel how God created the world, so something went in. We followed up with some Gnome Maths courtesy of Serendipity about Odds and Evens with much counting of gemstones.
Creation of night and day (Hettie accidently painted out the moon)
Last night we finally set up our chocolate fountain, yum yum!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, 6 January 2008

And more painting...

We had to try out those new brushes! Even dh joined in after some persuasion.

Dh work of art! - show off.

Hettie's depiction of the Red Sea.

Isobel painted a boat and told some lovely stories about the fish.
We are now gathering large amounts of paintings which I think I'll bind somehow to make books. As usual Saturday was given over to cleaning and so no chocolate fountain. I have been needle felting and trying to decide how best to juggle work and home school next week, and plan our nature table.

Friday, 4 January 2008

Back to reality...

Normal life resumes and I'm rushing about mad trying to fit everything in, as usual. Issy has been back at school for 2 days, which has been a little trying to say the least. I forgot her PE Kit and dinner money, we both forgot to practice for her Friday spelling test and we had a lengthy debate about joining skipping club this term. I spent about an hour going through washing and ironing for the elusive PE kit last night only to find it was still in the bag it came home in. Spelling test didn't take place and we decided getting up half an hour earlier to be at skipping club just really isn't worth it.

Hettie went to nanny and grandads yesterday while I tried to catch up on paperwork at work. She copied some writing after reading a story from Winter Tales, did some reading and artwork. She came to work with me today and hung out with the staff while I continued my attack on the paperwork. I'd had enough by lunchtime and we went off shopping to buy some expensive paintbrushes (I entirely blame my MIL for introducing us to the delights of good brushes), we plan more painting tomorrow with our new brushes and also to have a go at our new chocolate fountain.

We had several bags on returning from shopping as it happens, new pjs and some slipper boots for Issy, couple craft activities and more watercolour paper.

My books arrived from Bob & Nancys though, two lovely readers which both girls pounced on, two recommended watercolour books and well one about drawing with block crayons which wasn't necessary but I wanted it! And good fun I had too last night crayoning.

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

A Peaceful Day....

We've had a quiet day today which was lovely after all the seasonal rushing about. Hettie spent a good part of it building lego while Issy made clothes for her cut out dolls.

Then we spent some time painting. Isobel explored with her new watercolour sticks on wet paper.

Then we all did some wet on wet watercolour. We managed much better soaking our paper with a sponge and Hettie's new watercolour brush was lovely, except she didn't want to share it for long!

I'm not posting my picture - it was rubbish. Above is Het's finished piece.

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

Happy New Year

Well we've continued on a de-cluttering frenzy and got rid of loads of basically junk. Not sure about rest of my family, but I feel much better for it. We did spend new years eve fairly quietly until our drunken neighbours dragged us into their party - which they held outside in the road! But a good time was had by all.

We spent today with my brother-in-law and hubbies cousin, and their families which was lovely. The children all had a great time, as did we. Which was a much nicer way to spend the day rather than more tidying!