Sunday, 8 March 2009
Saturday, 28 February 2009
Thursday, 26 February 2009
She loves using pastels and its one of her favorite ways to produce art work. Issy seeing the pastels out thought she'd have a play about with them and came up with this:
Which I kinda like! Looks like something I'd paper my wall with!
Wednesday, 25 February 2009
Now, this is dh, in bed in his work clothes, family tradition we sit in our bed while they open birthday presents and he was already dressed for work so had to get back in, having just learned he has games on his iPod which he has had for a year now. Hettie informed him!
Today we went to our HE meet. Group is going great and we have lots of regular turn out which is nice for parents and kids. We usually go to nanny's for lunch but she has just come home from hospital after having a kidney op, so we gave it a miss. After lunch we got down to some art and craft work.
Issy made geometric shapes from paint stamp sponges.
Working on a rabbit mask.
Hettie had some good news this week, thanks to Lyn at the Art Factory - she can start the Art Award, broze level, a year early. This means although she may not be able to register until she's 11, she can do the work, and then register and have it assessed when she turns 11. Great because she is very keen to do it, and some of her HE friends will be starting Monday so she'll join with them. This meant she immediately started looking at art, so we looked at cubism type work and she produced this:
That's about all folks!
Saturday, 21 February 2009
Dh and I quickly realised the girls didn't know the famous dance routines, having not seen the films they were from, with the exception of High School Musical. The Flashdance routine performed by Robert Webb of Mitchell and Webb fame was the funniest thing I've seen for ages, and boy has he got legs I'd kill for! He somehow seemed to look strangely attractive in a leotard and leg warmers. Anyway I digress, and so after the show I scanned You Tube for the original dance scene clips.
Its been some years since I've seen the M Jackson Thriller video and so I popped it on. Unfortunately it scared the living daylights out of Issy -surprisingly Hettie laughed all the way through it and she has nightmares if she watches Scooby Doo. They howled with laughter at the Blues Brothers though, and at John Travolta strutting his disco dancing in Saturday Night Fever. Thought it was even funnier when I said all the girls loved John Travolta. There was a sudden outburst of the strut and dance routines in the lounge.
So we stayed on You Tube because Issy asked me if they have Dolly Parton on there. I wondered where she had heard of Dolly Parton and discovered unbeknownst to me she's a closet DP fan. Nothing wrong with that, I like her myself! Turns out DP is Hannah Montana's aunt in the tv show. So we got over my scaring the life out of her by watching half an hour of DP on You Tube, whilst Issy told me how glamorous she is, what lovely hair she has and how slim she is. Hettie pointed out she has big - well lets call them Dolly's - as well!! We checked out a few Billy Ray Cyrus videos as well, and I learnt more about Hannah Montana. Seems to be Issy's specialist subject, maybe she can do a lapbook ;) We also checked you can buy a DP album from itunes, just in case she gets an ipod for her birthday next week.
So click here if you want to see a much younger DP singing Jolene, which is my favorite! I was 8 years old as well when this was on, and I thought she was pretty glam too - sadly, I never grew such a nice pair of Dolly's though ;o)
Friday, 20 February 2009
So today we started. Hettie made hers and the mixture just didn't look right to me. She licked the bowl out and said it tasted funny. We removed them from the oven, and they were rubbish, and so ended up in the bin. Issy started hers and the mixture looked like slop tbh. And yes I did follow the instructions carefully!! I didn't even bother baking them.
We'll go back to the proper old fashioned way of baking fairy cakes I said, reaching for Mrs Beeton. In fact we really did go back because I had no self raising flour, so it had to be plain and add baking powder. Well Mrs Beeton won the day and we finally produced 12 cakes which looked like they were edible. Actually being on a diet the ones I threw in a bin looked quite edible to me!
After finally producing something worth decorating we made Issy's pink butter icing from the pack. It was Yuk, no-one liked it, so after my arm nearly falling off beating it, the whole lot went in the bin. By now I was getting a tad grumpy. So I made normal butter icing for Hettie and pink icing for Issy!
Girls spent a happy hour decorating their cakes. Unfortunately I can't find my camera, so no pics but the girls and dh said they tasted good. No I didn't eat one, I'm on a diet.
Other than taking 3 hours to produce 12 small cakes, I washed and ironed all day.
Our loft conversion starts in 3 weeks and so I really need to get sorting all the stuff that is stored up there. Strangely enough one of the builders employees is the grandparent of HE children and so hopefully there will be minimal disruption. Ok who am I trying to kid? They've already told Hettie she can go and learn carpentry!!
Wednesday, 18 February 2009
Spent a nice day at my friends and we let the kids ride their bikes over to the common alone, 2 minutes away. This involved crossing one road. 'What on our own!' they cried, 'Yes on your own, clear off and play' we replied. We followed that up with, 'Check back in half an hour, stay together, don't talk to strangers' and much watching out for their return and so on. They had a great time judging by the rosy cheeks and thick mud.
My friend and I spent some happy time discussing the correct use of apostrophies and commas!!
Stuck to my diet - Day 3 and could kill for a bit of chocolate!
Tuesday, 17 February 2009
Although they insisted dh was in attendance he sloped off to amble round the shops. I forgot my camera, but fortunately my friend had hers in her bag!
Yesterday we had friends round for lunch and the kids all played out and got some fresh air. Issy having a bit of a meltdown week, think the big bear may have set her off and all the excitement of the party, and she spent an hour this evening cleaning the bathroom and lining everything up in straight lines. She said could everyone stop leaving the toothpaste oozing on the side of the sink, cos it makes a mess. Pretty rich really coming from the one who leaves the toothpaste on the side :O Anway the bathroom's sparkling LOL
Managed to get out in the tank - sorry car - I've borrowed and get to the supermarket, which was necessary because a) I didn't go at the weekend and b) I started a diet.
So bringing me nicely onto dieting. Since my wedding 6 years ago I've gone up 4 dress sizes and put on 2 stone and 4 lbs. Now I don't expect to be 40 years old and be that slim again - I was breastfeeding 2 babies and burning up 600 calories a day in milk production -but lets face it, its not good is it? I used to just basically 'cut out the crap' and loose weight, but now that no longer seems to be working - mmm maybe a little middle age spread then, harder to budge. So I dived onto the book shelf and found Rosemary Conley's original hip and thigh diet, and decided I'd better stick to it pretty drastically!
I like this diet because you can have no fats or oils ever - easier than being allowed 4 grms of butter on your toast. Lets face it you never weigh the 4 grms so proably end up having 20! Also you can have 1 small glass of wine a night - yipee! Its pretty straight forward 1 breakfast, 1 lunch and 1 dinner. OK now I've blogged it I'll have to stick to it!
We're out again tomorrow to friends - girl's twigged its half term and don't want to do any work - so I should be hoovering and mopping now, but its nearly time for my small glass of wine and I want to savour it!
Thursday, 12 February 2009
Good work by the girls today. Hettie worked hard with maths, history and science. I had to rake about deep in the recesses for teaching photosynthesis!! Issy completed all her Sonlight. She read the history/geography out loud beautifully and worked hard with her handwriting today. Hettie went to a party so Issy got a whole hour piano tuition all to herself.
Wednesday, 11 February 2009
Girls have been to their Shakespeare workshop, seen Romeo & Juliet and The Tempest at the theatre - Shakespeare 4 Kidz theatre company - and old Will is the latest hot thing in reading round here. We stated reading children's versions by Andrew Matthews and Tony Ross and they give a good outline of the actual stories. Hettie wanted something a bit more so I bought No Fear Shakespeare Romeo and Juliet This is the full play plus modern translation on the opposite page and we started today, and Hettie wants to attempt the whole play. She's got a good grasp of the language and even if we get through some of it I'll be pleased. I also bought Macbeth from Comic Book Shakespeare which is abridged but good for getting the story and the original language comic book style. She really wants to read Macbeth - thinks its the witches!
Hettie followed up by making a character poster for R & J, and is making a collage of the balcony scene. Not usually her type of thing but I think the artist in her over ruled the 'yucky' love bit.
Good day for Hettie HE wise today. She produced some good history work and we managed to finish the chapter on cells for biology. Issy didn't do a great deal today but we did complete all her allocated Sonlight work, and we remain on schedule!
Returning to the saga of my eternity ring, the car died on the way to dropping off the girls. I just about gave up hope of ever getting the ring. My BIL rescued us and fortunately had a spare car to lend us. So we managed to get my ring, which is lovely. I'm not overkeen on driving the borrowed 4 x4 or 'tank' as I call it. Much bigger than I'm used to driving, but I've stuck with it. That was until that died on me yesterday as well. My mum had to rescue me. So not much luck in the car department this week!
Oh well its only a car. Sure I am able to get a bus if necessary, but we got lots of HE done today 'cos we couldn't go out anywhere ;)
Friday, 6 February 2009
Monday, 2 February 2009
Dh took the girls off to the woods - with a mass of other kids and dads - to do more sledging, steeper slopes! We took the dog out with us this afternoon, but he was just a yob! He pulled the girls physically off the sledges by yanking at their coat sleeves with his teeth, and kept knocking us all flying. He was sent in for bad behaviour!!
Not good news for adults, but all the kids in the South East of England have a had a ball. We only had 3 or 4 inches of snow, but the girls have never seen that much before. So tomorrow comes the black ice and slippy stuff, which the country is equally unequipped for ;o)
We got some video, nanny and grandad as well. I'l get a copy in the post!
Saturday, 31 January 2009
Now I had explained to the girls that he had to go to the vets for a little operation because he was barking a lot and was trying to find a girlfriend lady dog, which was also making him wander off when daddy walked him.
Unfortunately he returned with a great big plaster stuck on the affected bits. Hettie roared with laughter and said 'I didn't know they were going to cut those bits off' and Issy asked if he could still 'poo'. Oh, and 'Why did you do that?' looking shocked.
The dog, looking distinctly fed up at the intimate examination, returned to his basket. I added further explanation that those were the bits that made him want to find a lady dog to be his girlfriend. 'Is he a girl now?' asked Hettie. 'No he's still a boy' I replied. A long silence ensued, before all eyes turned to daddy, and then there was an outbreak of hysterical laughing.
While myself and the girls fell about laughing dh joined the dog!
So after guinea's breeding and dogs neutered, it was time to return to school today. Hettie worked hard and Issy finished Week 3 of Sonlight with no complaint, so that was good. I spent a lot of time talking to many people about maths club, art club and science for the HE group and didn't seem to get anywhere tbh. Still sure it will all get sorted in the end.
I ordered some larger protractors and set squares from a company having a clearance sale, not realising quite how big they were. The long side of the triangle being about 2 foot long!! Dh asked if we were planing to do the loft conversion ourselves :o) OK so they're a little bigger than I thought. I'll blog some pics!
Weekend plan: Housework as usual!
Wednesday, 28 January 2009
Sunday, 25 January 2009
I tried re-punching the sheets and basically it made a mess and it was easy to tear. I'm a bit fussy about things like that. Hettie's Real Science 4 Kids workbooks have 3 holes punched. The problem is if you want to add any work, you need a 3 ring hole punch. OK so after chatting with some other HE mum's we decided you could make a template and use a single hole punch - I have one already, never used before - for punching additional work.
This still leaves the binder problem. Dh said just order them from Sonlight if you really need them, I think I only want about 4, but they only do blue and we like different coloured binders for subjects. Now that sounds really finicky but it helps the girls quickly find their work. Besides blue is for boys - only joking ;)
Tonight I had another brainwave! PING - Amazon. Oh goodness there's a vast array on there, with sizes in inches and all sorts. Are all US 3 ring binders the same size??? Help me out here I just want some 3 ring binders!! OK I do like the ones with the clear pocket on the front, but we can live without those.
I must have something better to be doing - aah yes a chilled glass of wine!
Saturday, 24 January 2009
Please, please fill in the consultation - we need to make ourselves heard - here Children can give their views - here
Its quite amazing to me that schools are failing to reach standards yet we as home educators are apparently failing our children by removing them from a system that fails them day after day.
Hettie made an observation this week which for me entirely validated every reason I have for home educating. Her friends at Brownies (schooled) asked her what she was doing 'at school' She replied world geography and for history Ancient Mesopotamia:
H: 'Mum they didn't know what I was talking about'
M: 'What did you say?'
H: 'I said it was ancient Iraq - they looked blank'
M: 'What did you say then?'
H: 'I said there's been a war in Iraq, don't they watch the news or read the kids newspaper?'
M: 'What are they doing in school?'
H: ' They didn't really know - must be really boring, they just watch tv all the time'
On a lighter note our baby guineas are growing fast. Here's dh helping out - ha ha ha:
Alphasmart Neos went down a storm - and they're actually using them:
HEers. Girls had a great day, Hettie swopping email and phone no's with some boys she met and I made friends with some new mums. We've been invited over to their houses so that's great. Issy joined in and had a fab time.
We're planning a loft conversion and the architect came today to measure and give us plans. Fantastic news is the building regulations have changed and we probably won't need planning permission, so it should all go through really fast. Mrs D - have I got some organising to do, best buy dozens of storage boxes!
And finally laugh of the week goes to Issy! My cousin - Little D [6ft 2 and stocky] - a builder came to take some measurements for the conversion. He is loud and chatty and makes the girls laugh anyway. But Issy was completely amazed when he sat at the key board [dirt and mud and all] and knocked out some 'rag time' and a variety of music. She could not stop talking about it, she was so shocked - 'he doesn't look like he can play the piano' was all she could say. I can see my building work is going to be constantly interrupted by piano playing:
Wednesday, 21 January 2009
We obviously then went to the shop here as well - more science kits than you've ever seen in one place! We got a couple more bits here and then time to head home through the London rush hour. Not fun with a group of kids but they were all really good. Issy managed well although she was a little stressy with all the crowds.
Kids all thoroughly enjoyed themselves and we mums' had a great laugh with R who is American, while we compared what we thought Americans did and what she thought British did!! We discussed God, evolution, queuing, online dating, jogging, diets, teeth and the weather, amongst other things. Isn't it nice when you make new friends!
Tuesday, 20 January 2009
Still we had a great day. We purchased a Neo 2 for each of our children, a variety of books and a copy of Word Shark and Number Shark each. Neo's should arrive tomorrow, and the 'sharks' have been a great success here already. Amazing if you tell chidren its a 'treat' rather than 'school work' how much they can do! Have to say these computer programmes are very very addictive - I've been playing with them :o)
We loved Writeonline but refrained from subscribing! Well at least for now - we blew our budget on the Neo's. Managed to stop for a bite to eat and a quick drink on way home though!
Hettie has managed to write about an A4 side for history today about the laws of ancient Mesopotamia - great work! Issy has completed all her Sonlight work and more.
Tomorrow we're off to the Natural History Museum to see the Darwin exhibition and hopefully will have some time to spend at the science museum. Some difficulty here, because I have one child who believes in Evolution and one who believes in the Creation. However the lesson has become one of respecting the beliefs of others and that is no bad thing. So packed lunches are ready, worksheets ready to print out early in morning and lifts etc arranged.
Thursday, 15 January 2009
The word curriculum has its roots in the Latin for race course. This guy described the race course as the deeds and experiences whereby children learn to be members of an adult society, or some such thing. It seems to back up home education nicely I thought. The deeds and experiences of my own children do not need to follow a state school system to be part of adult society. In fact with their learning difficulties/challenges that definitely doesn't work for us. For some children it works and for others it doesn't.
But not so much info on what a curriculum actually includes. I had always really believed that the curriculum was the plan and schedule, and not the resources needed to carry out the plan. With Sonlight its a bonus because you get the plan/schedule and all the resources in one [or two] boxes, ready to go. Same with some others - Winter Promise, FIAR and so on. Then you come to classical education, like Well Trained Mind and Ambleside Online and there's no actual resources included. Does that make the second any less of a curriculum or does it mean that no-ones cashed in and packaged a curriculum? Not that I believe the first have cashed in by the way, I think they've offered something needed by Home Educators and offer good products.
I can't really decide if the plan/schedule alone classes as a curriculum because you have to get the resources in order to implement them. What I do know is there is a severe lack of curricula which include resources for UK home educators. We constantly turn to the US for both curricula and resources. Maybe there's an opening for someone?
As for me - well I have my 'in a box' Sonlight for Issy, it works and it's easy, saves time and she's learning. For Hettie I've 'made' a curriculum and resourced it from a variety of sources and that works for her. They're both learning.
Not much learning this week actually, as the baby guinea pigs have taken up a lot of time - 5 guineas eat far more than 2, and they're just so sweet! Issy had to have an anaesthetic and have 4 teeth extracted, which was another day gone and its been mad.
So we will try to get some sort of 'curriculum' met tomorrow and Saturday I'm off to an educational exhibition in London with my SIL. Theory being we can look before we buy - Ok maybe just an excuse for a day out with no kids, a nice lunch, and a credit card :o)
Tuesday, 13 January 2009
Hermione and Baby 1:
Baby 1 is very nosey and seems to always have her nose poking out the door!
Hopefully all will settle down again in a couple of days. Oh well its all science!
Monday, 12 January 2009
This little guinea pig had one baby,
The pet shop gave me a free cage for compensation and offered to take them off my hands but is that going to happen?? - I think not :0)
Anyway mummies and babies doing well. Baby 1 has been out skipping and hopping around the cage and getting squeaked at by mum. Babies 2 and 3 have not been out, but mum as been stuffing her little piggie face!
I was a little concerned in case I was doing anything wrong and the book I've got just gave detailed instructions on how to resuscitate a baby GP - I think not - so I rang dh's Aunty A who said 'how lovely', leave them to it and they'll manage fine on their own!
So no Maths, English or Sonlight today but - don't tell dh - we had a fantastic zoology lesson!
PS Pics to follow - I didn't want to scare them with the flash,
Thursday, 8 January 2009
We read our Sonlight history and Read Aloud, and Hettie worked on her geography project and notebooking.
So, after lunch it was a well deserved DVD afternoon I think. Hettie's Chemistry book and workbook arrived today. This is most definately not my area, so I'm wondering if I should have bought the teachers book as well. Oh well I'm sure it can't be to difficult - after all its aimed at children :o) OK I've looked - I may need to use the web for back up here!
I'm hoping to get out tomorrow and have a nature walk, even if it's just around the garden!