Monday, June 26, 2006

Busy Achieving :)

After a fun, but hectic weekend it’s back to some sense of calm. It seems our weekends are always busy these days; filled with kids activities and shopping trips on Saturdays & church responsibilities on Sundays. Saturday was tennis and ballet as usual. Mum did those runs while Paul went out to do the shopping and I planned the menu for the week, paid lots of bills and forgot to start the tea (a cook-all-day type tea)! As soon as everyone was reassembled and lunched, Mum & I took Jake to spend the rest of his birthday money, while P. stayed home to mow the lawn! I am really impressed with what Jacob has managed to spend his money on this year. All in all he received about £80. With that he has; added £10 to the cost of his mobile phone to get the one he really wanted, bought some better earphones for his MP3 stick (he couldn’t keep the others in, he has such little ears!), an England football kit, an England watch, an England tracksuit, some football boots & a football. 10 guesses as to what he is into just now and what he talked about all afternoon!! Even his mobile has an England flag on the front!! I think only his MP3 stick had nothing to do with football ;) The life of a 9yo boy..!

On Sunday it was church as usual in the morning, only Paul & I were both in the band and as there hadn’t managed to be a practice in the week, we had to all be there by 9am!! Now anyone who knows me knows that is tough! But we did it and with three kids in tow. The other 3 came down with Mum, but I had to make sure they were ready before I went out too.

Then of course Sunday afternoon was the footie. Although we normally are a ‘no TV on Sundays’ family, I figured the world cup was allowed to intrude on that just a little. So that meant having lunch (a roast) done and dusted and all cleared up in time for the match - managed that too!! (OK, now you can applaud :) and tea had to happen whilst it was on, because immediately after the final whistle we all had to troop back to church for a ‘vision sharing’ meeting. Normally only one of us goes to the evening service - usually Paul - and the rest of us stay home because I don’t think the kids cope very well with two services just yet. But last night was unusual so we all went. The kids were a little noisy, but not too bad considering England had just won the football and the boys especially were a little excited. It was a good meeting - quite exciting all that we have planned :)

Then it was straight back home to a piece of fruit & bed for 6 very tired little children.

Today has gone well - all the goals achieved by 3.30for once. I always aim for 3.00pm, but with extra play times in the day, trying to teach three at times and general dawdling about their work at points, more often than not we are not finished at 3, especially on a playgroup-run day.

I realised today that Joel really needs to work on his spelling, or at least his accuracy. I don’t know if he actually can’t spell the words, or if he just doesn’t slow himself down enough, even in a test, to make sure he gets it right. Often when I question him about how he spelt something he will say “Oh yeah!!” and proceed to tell me how it should be spelt, so I think it’s more a speed-spelling problem in reality, but all the same it needs some attention paying to it. I shall probably leave it to focus on that next year now though, it’s a bit late now to target it this year.

I’m really impressed with Boo and her maths. Today we were doing different ways of making 5 with rods and she deduced (all by herself - which is what I like about Miquon; I don’t feel like I’m so much ‘teaching’ her maths, as showing her ways that numbers ‘reveal’ themselves) that “3 & 2 make 5 and 2 & 3 make five, and 4 & 1 make 5 and 1 & 4 make five - cool! That’s easy!!” I figure if she gets to that point by her own powers of deduction she is much more likely to retain it than simply drilling her with the ‘facts’. So tomorrow she knows we will learn what makes six and she is really excited about it :) I can’t remember EVER being excited about maths at her age. I love to see her so thrilled by it. My plan is to then use Singapore to ‘practice’ and remind her of what she has already worked out, before we move on to subtraction. I’m hoping she will then quickly recognise the correlation between the numbers when we get to that point.

I’m also really impressed with her writing skills. I gave her a random spelling test last thing today - words she hadn’t previously learnt, just to see how well she can piece them together. She managed bunch, golf, thing, smash, bench and a few others as well without any trouble at all. I need to start encouraging her to try and write short pieces without my help. Just maybe a sentence or two at first and not worry too much about the spelling. I know they do this in schools, just to encourage free writing. I don’t wholeheartedly agree with the non-correction idea, but I might give it a little try. Having gone the other route with the boys and ended up with two reluctant writers, I feel I’ve not got much to loose really. I think I would need to strike a happy medium, so I would work on praising her efforts, as I’m sure what she writes would be phonetically correct and then put the words she has spelt incorrectly into a ‘word book’  (like a child’s-own dictionary) and make a spelling list from them for her to learn for the next week. I think that could work quite well as a combined strategy. It would mean increasing the flow of her writing, expanding her vocabulary and improving her spelling all in the same breath and without making a single mark on her work to discourage her. What do you think everyone - how does that sound to you? Do you think it might work.? My main concern is to not end up with another reluctant writer, when at the moment she is anything but.

Jacob has gone to a friend’s for tea tonight. Joel has swimming and Caleb needs to go the Dr’s (little private infection - bless him!), so tonight looks to be a little hectic too. Fortunately I think P. is going to do the ‘transport’ runs while I get on and cook tea - Pork with pears tonight. So best get on and do it then..! :)

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