Monday, October 04, 2004

Funny Tomorrow!!

Ok so three days later is hardly 'tomorrow' but hey ho!! :)

SO, Friday...In the morning I had our usual Mum's Bible Study meet here together with a whole swarm of 12-18 month old girls (strangely no boys). Sometimes they were playing well together, often they were bickering over who had what doll. We have LOADS of dolls, but they always want what the other has at that age don't they!!

Afterwards one of the ladies stayed behind to 'chat' a little. She too is homeschooling her little boy (5), but he had been refusing to 'do school' over the last couple of weeks. She only really does 2-3 half days with him and doesn't want to go down the 'unschooling' route. She, like me, is the sort of person who feels she needs to at least have a rough guide and a 'fall back' structure, even if it isn't the be-all and end-all of everything. She would like to use Sonlight, but her husband would like her to not use anything at all! Sticky situation. She is the one doing the 'schooling' as he works full-time, but she doesn't want to go against him. I hope I helped her! I told her she needed to go home and 'talk straight/discuss' with both her hubby and her little boy about what they want and how they can best meet the needs of the 'whole' family. I also suggested to her that she needed to vary her 'subjects' more as she has only been doing letters and numbers until now and her boy is very bright. He might be bored. I suggested she introduce some geography, or music, or something such like, for more variety and 'spice'. I know that's where I went wrong to begin with and school is so much more fun now. :) Tough one!!

As she was leaving another friend arrived from Whitchurch with her three youngest children to play for the afternoon. Which was lovely. A chance to chat about all-sorts of things schooly and non-schooly. The boys decided to play marbles and as our back garden has no grass they had to play at the front. Of course then the little ones wanted to join in, so the boys were put on 'careful watch' duty. Boo and Beef were out there in their fairly dresses and it certainly wasn't warm, but they refused to change! They were getting plenty of looks from passers-by, but I know they are very reliable as far as the road is concerned and they were more interested in the marbles and acorns (we have a big Turkish Oak in our front garden) than in getting run over!! :)

The house was a bombsite in the evening having been raided by two sets of children that day, but a good fun time was had by all I think. :)

Saturday was a stay home morning - for me anyway!! No swimming as my friend we usually go with is on Holiday in Italy for a week with her sisters. But the boys still had tennis and Boo still had ballet, so Paul was in and out ferrying kids about on bikes all morning (bless him).Then in the afternoon my friend MS came round and we went out for coffee and to but a few bits I needed to get at the market. And of course, as I was child free (having left the girls all sleeping and the boys playing with M's little boy on the PC) and she only had her toddler with her, we hit Oxfam bookshop. I spent another £20 - and justified it by adding in some 'stocking fillers' and 'books for someone else'!! But I got some goodies - as always :)

Children Just Like Me (DK) - for my HSing friend as we already have it
Allsorts 6 - collection of poems and stories. I like these kinds of books.
Sophie's Lucky (Dick King-Smith)
The Last Cowboys (Harry Horse)
Let's get out of here! - collection of poems by Quentin Blake and Michael Rosen - VERY funny!! We read some tonight (Monday) and Jacob loved them. Just a little 'crude' in places without being crass. Very appealing to a 7yr old lad's sense of humour :)
Attack of the Tentacled Terror (Susan gates) - otherwise Known as Sea Hags, Suckers and Cobra Sharks! - sounds interesting :) I am trying to inspire my rather reluctant reader.
The Worlds Best Fairly Tales - in 2 volumes (Readers Digest). M said she had these as a child and read them over and over and they do look wonderful. For a family who disallow 'magic' we do have rather a comprehensive collection of fairy tale books now. While I'm doing the reading we shall avoid the magic laden ones, and I hope that by the time the children are ready to read them alone they will better understand why we avoid it and will choose to do so for themselves to a large extent. Of course there are no guarantees and I know that inquisitive minds are apt to want to find out what all the 'worry' is about, so I guess that will be the time to read and chat through them. Until then, we'll just read the ones without magic and there are plenty of them after all.
3 Beatrix Potter books - we don't have any at the moment, so maybe these will 'test the waters'. I always felt they would be an expensive collection to have if they weren't to get read because the children didn't take to them.
Joshua Conqueror of Canaan - Mark Healy (a history/factual book, with great pictures)
The Silk Route - for when we look at China
My First Look at Honeybees - a gorgeous text with great 'real-life' pictures
Cinderella and The Pied Piper of Hamlyn - Ladybird Fairy Tales (I'm collecting these)
And four little stories about woodland animals for the girls (stocking fillers) that I thought were nice because they depicted the animals in their natural habitats.

Sunday was Harvest festival 'fellowship lunch' at church (we stay and eat together) which was lovely, and then Abbie had her Ballet photos at 2.30pm. She pulled a terrible grimacing smile, but we'll see..! Crashed out for an hour at home then back to church in the evening (just me and I met my boys there - they had both been to play at Dom's again!!).

Today some of us Mums decided to hit the soft play centre this morning. The girls were packaged off to playgroup and me and the boys & Ellie went to 'Funsters'. When we got there we were told the boys weren't allowed to play because the session was only for under 5's (good in some ways I can see, but how do you contain a 5 & a 7 yr old for a whole hour?) . It was a shame though because I had hoped it would be a treat for them for working so hard & well the last few weeks :( I fed them chocolate and they had a drink (which cheered them a little!) and then gave them charge to 'look after the little ones' - they rose to the challenge and did a good job - in between playing!! Jacob even managed to sneak onto the big frame for a few minutes - afterall none of the tinies were on there so why not? And the staff didn't say anything, so I guess they just decided to turn a blind eye :)

When we got home, we rushed to pick up the girls and then bimbled home collecting numerous acorns and conkers (can get a bit wearing that, but the kids can't get enough of it and, as it was warm, not raining and for once we were in no hurry, I didn't mind. Phoebe's word for conkers is "con-conks" - which I think is too cute. "Acorns" is pretty much the same!!

After a long lunch we sat down to do just a little school, but I didn't want to get heavy at all today (just to fill some time really), so we did PBS (Postal Bible School - which we do every Monday) and Geography (favorite subject of the moment - closely followed by History!!). Joel protested a little, but cheered up when he realised this was all I was asking of him today! We looked at the 7 continents and the 4 oceans. Talked about them, related them to NSEW and discussed what that meant in terms of climate. Then they filled in their own little map, labeling the continents and oceans and colouring each continent a different colour - being careful to include the right countries in the right continent. They enjoyed that. Jacob really gets confused with Continents and Countries, but I think it's soaking in slowly :)

At 5pm the boys had swimming and this week I had to troop everyone down as Paul had a meeting, but it was a good opportunity to sit a read stories to the girls while the boys were changing afterwards - lots of Percy the Park Keeper stories - nice :)

Then tea, stories and bed. Now peace reigns and I get chance to blog, while Paul is once again out at music practice. He's a busy man!!! (Ah, I hear the door...)


merry said...

Sometimes i find that just edging in "something" into a day improves things no end, not just for the kids but also for me. I feel virtuous and we have something to come back to and talk about. It can mean more than a whole heap on other days!

karen said...

Another fun filled week Caroline - how did you get to be so wise and wonderful?