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!
Tuesday, 6 January 2009
And they both busied themselves while I read aloud.
And yes, we had another successful Sonlight Core K day!! I am chuffed. Hettie wondered why anyone would possibly want to bind their feet to make them smaller, after I'd read about Gladys Alyward being a foot inspector in China, and Isobel surreptitiously eyed her rather long narrow feet! No doubt she will cut up a pillow case and they'll be bound up by morning.
I definitely had the wrong Core before. Its working much better to aim at Issy and add work in for Hettie. Because if Hettie does nothing else she still gets to do Issy's history/geography and read aloud, which I'm sure is much more in depth than she would be doing in school anyway.
Hettie worked on some of her biology course book today, looking at cells and how they work. It was a bit too much to do a whole chapter in one sitting so we did about half, and will finish the rest later this week.
We finished the afternoon with 3 rather riotous games of Frustration, where I ended up very frustrated because I got beaten by 2 girls and a teddy who was making a fourth for the game. Oh well can't win 'em all!
Monday, 5 January 2009
She then did some work from Jolly Phonics - her choice!
Hettie meanwhile, worked on her Galore Park maths, subtracting eleven mentally. 10/10 and then 7/10 so I was really pleased. She wasn't very happy with the 7 until I explained that would easily be a 'pass' mark. She carried on with Explode the Code but fell back a bit on reading and sounding out, so I nicked Issy's Core K reader and she did much better. Then she carried on with her Geography World Trail and a quick verbal test showed she had remembered the names of all continents and oceans as well as lines of latitude & the Equator. Not bad for someone with memory retention problems, so we moved onto lines of longitude.
Hettie has decided she would rather do a week of geography and then a week of history because otherwise she finds it bitty. Geography is not my favorite subject but hey ho.
She then started on tracing and cutting the continents to make a Pangea picture, while I read Issy's Core K history/geography book Hero Tales and then they both marked Gladys Alyward's journey from England to China on their markable maps. We all liked this book, it was clear and easy to read, though they thought from the picture Gladys was a man!
That was enough for Issy and after lunch she disappeared off to her bedroom, but not until I read a chapter of her Read Aloud - The Boxcar Children, which she sat with her hands over her eyes because she didn't want me to read it, but then promptly started to discuss the 'nasty bakers wife' when I finished. I know, I know, you would think she'd put her hands over her ears if she didn't want to listen, but no. Hettie then finished her picture and we looked at her First News newspaper.
In between all this I managed to get the Frost Free freezer defrosted and scrub the utility room, cook lunch and hoover through. It was great they both got on with it in the morning, but I felt like I had a bit of invisible elastic bouncing me back and forth between them. Of course dh came home from work and uttered those immortal words 'Been doing anything today?' which I ignored rather than be impolite and swear at him.
So will tomorrow go as well? - mmm I won't get my hopes up :0)
Sunday, 4 January 2009
When Hettie was assessed as having dyslexia I read an awful lot of books around the subject. So it follows I ordered a lot of books about Aspergers Syndrome, particularly those about girls with Aspergers, which I haven't actually read properly yet.
So this weekend I started to read Pretending To Be Normal by Liane Holliday Willey It was one of those books you just can't put down - funny, moving and to me familiar. Worth a read even if you don't have a child or know anyone with Aspergers.
Rest of the weekend - well I decided to tidy and organise. I made a good start. I actually boxed the Christmas deccies properly before storing in the loft, Issy's room got an overhaul (with dh helping) although half an hour after I finished she started pulling everything out again!! It makes her feel physically ill if its tidy - don't ask, we just live with it. At least it's clean underneath, oh and the 'frost free' freezer is defrosting. Hettie wants her room sorted, so I've promised next weekend hers will be turned out. She likes it tidy.
I did a mountain of ironing and hopefully can finish the last bit tomorrow. I'm thinking of getting a 'lady who does' in this year, and for once dh didn't murmur, so I take that as 'go ahead'.
So hopefully tomorrow will be back to normal. Girls are off to their art course in the morning and hopefully that will give me a couple of hours to sort their work boxes out!
Edited to add: You really all should read the We Are Here blog for a frank and funny look at home education and family life in general.
Saturday, 3 January 2009
How long now?
Happy New Year!
But jumping on dad is more fun!
Ok enough now - get to bed!