At our local group today S set up making cards for all the kids. The wonderful teenagers helped out so mum's didn't see their cards, so thanks to them for their help, and jolly good they were to. M continued art classes which went down well again and the mums got to chat as the kids were busy! I can't post any pics 'cos its a secret.
Issy had birthday assembly at school which entails all the birthday children getting up and telling about their birthdays, blowing out candles and getting a sticker. Now she gets very stressy about this every year, not liking to be center of attention. First year she didn't get up, second year she got up for a short time with the help of a teacher and a friend while I groaned inwardly. I should explain birthday assembly is a brilliant idea but very tedious for the mums watching. Hettie and I sat and held our breath, but up Issy jumped and very quietly, well we couldn't hear her, did her bit.
Admittedly Hettie and I did get the giggles as one teacher glared at a group of noisy 6 year olds who didn't notice her at all, and one of Hetties old teachers, a rather large chested lady, came and engulfed Hettie in a bear hug and asked her how she was getting on. She does this often when we bump into her, so while Hettie tried to avoid her I was whispering 'here she comes'. Hettie, somewhat smothered at this time managed a muffled 'alright thank-you'. Isn't it nice when your children are polite even under great duress, and how nice that a teacher from 2 years ago can still be bothered to find out about an ex pupil.
So, a few people have been interested in the Live Education curriculum which I purchased. For those of you not interested don't read any further, I'm about to waffle! Its a Waldorf - Steiner curriculum for home educators, although I think some schools buy it as well. When I first contacted them it was to enquire whether it was possible to just buy one book, but you have to purchase a full year. It is fairly expensive though the exchange rate is good for us Brits at the moment! I'd read about it on various e-groups and message boards and it is quite popular. You pay an initial fee and fill in a very indepth online form about each child and then they telephone you for a consultation. I must admit it was quick, about 3 days after I submitted the form, but I was left a little confused about what I was buying although you do get plenty of time to chat. He did stress the books you buy are for the parent to learn how to teach the subjects and not a book for children to work through.
They recommended a mixed package from Grades 1 -3 and I wasn't sure this was exactly what we needed - doubt was setting in after I had paid. But it turned out to be more or less exactly what we needed. They picked up on exactly the right levels for maths & english that we need and there are lots of ideas for lesson plans and how to develop them. You do need to really read through everything and then formulate your plan, its not handed to you on a plate, but it does mean you can add from elsewhere. I like Eric Fairmans Paths of Discovery and Donna Simmons books, and use these to supplement.
The good points are it gives the right level needed as they mix grades to make up packages, and do this if you have more than one child. The books are full of advice, ideas and tips on how to plan our days. You have also paid for ongoing consultations by email or phone. So I had a list of about 5 key questions and emailed them and got a really quick & full reply, with further ideas and clarifying things I needed to know, like how long shall we do for maths, we're having problems with this etc.
So the question is would I buy more? .... well at the moment I can safely say I will buy grade 4. Its working for us and its given me a new way to present things, with a helpline if I get stuck!