Saturday, October 28, 2006

Just to Say…

I’m still alive!! Been feeling pants and avoiding the PC as it exacerbates my inevitable pregnancy headaches that are so unrelenting! But all is well and after our half term break and a birthday (Joel is now 8) we are back to school on Monday - although we are on light duties atm (like Maths and English in the mornings, a long lunch-break and some kind of ‘fun’ activity after lunch) until I feel more up to the general chivvying that full-on school takes!
Be back to blog land more soon!

Monday, October 09, 2006

The Vote is On!!

So - what will it be then folks? I have no idea this time!!
boy - early
boy - on time
boy - late
girl - early
girl - on time
girl - late
Free polls from

Give Up and Give In!!

I just thought I'd share these with you all too. These are Caleb (of course) as he was climbing out of his cot after being put down for a nap. He gave up (unusually as he is pretty expert at it) and gave it to his tiredness - bless him!!

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To Blog, to Blog, Oh what to Blog?

The rest of 'yes' week went happily by with some constructive play and some general having fun. I needed to chill a little so I decided it was fine to let the children do the same the majority of the time! Plus it gave me chance to get a little housework done before my SiL and her family (hubby + 4 children, I-7, R-5, M-3 and J-16 months) descended for the weekend. It’s always lovely having them over. The kids are mostly great when they are all together. J was a handful though. He and Caleb are so close in age, but J decided it was fun to bash C over the head with two hands whenever he was within reach. Apparently it’s a bit of an issue (he bites too, but he didn’t do that thankfully) and my SiL is struggling a bit to know how to deal with it without making too big a deal, so that it has a negative reward effect (tough one). Fortunately Caleb is tough and he simply avoided J a fair amount!! I never know why I clean before visitors with reams of kids arrive though - it’s such a waste of time!! Over half term we have another old friend coming up from London (a family where Paul used to work with their eldest son). They have four children too. The eldest (Ge) is now 12 (and autistic - we have known them since he was 2 ½ - where does time go?), then the next three are L-10, Gr- 8 and R-6. So when we are together we have a lovely descent of ages; Ge12, L10, J9, Gr8, J7, R6, A5, P4, E2, C1 :-) They of course are a bit too big for top and tailing, so sleeping arrangements should be fun!

School wise - back to normal today was met by a 45 minute tantrum from Joel when he opened up his maths book to the last review of 2B and had a melt down when he saw the length of it. In reality, once he got over it and knuckled down he worked solidly for 45 minutes, got stuck a couple of times, got passed it, and only made 5 mistakes out of about 30 sums. He said it was hard, but it obviously was well within his capabilities and when we chatted at length about it in the cool of the evening, he could see it was silly fuss for nothing much. I just wish he would remember that the next time. That said we are switching to MPH now so this shouldn’t be an issue any longer as there are no ‘reviews’ and revisions as such - just more workbook practice as you go along, which for us will be the best thing I’m sure. It probably works out to equal amounts of work, but with the different layout it just doesn’t look so daunting when you open the page. Hopefully we will be ready to start after half term (which is only two weeks away). This week we’ll finish off the two ‘revisions’ in the workbook 2B and then I have some BBC skillwise sheets I’d like to work through with him to recap on different methods of mental calculations and particularly recover rounding to the nearest 10 and 100. I just think these ideas have struggled to take root with him.

Abbie is doing great with her maths too and loving MPH. Today we started counting on and she got it straight away. She is definitely catching on now. She was even practicing her maths walking home the other day - completely voluntarily - adding door numbers; “that’s number 22, 2+2 is 4” - etc… Just simple ones like that, but it’s a start :-)

Other stuff is going well too. We made some clay models today (looking at the properties of clay in science) and Boo made a lovely cat. When it is dry and painted I’ll post pics. Joel made a cool flat-man and Phoebe made a sweet flower with a fair amount of help from your truly! So that was fun.

History was Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego - a great story and we had fun with that too.

We then rounded off the whole day by watching ‘Because of Winn Dixie’ on DVD - based a book by Kate DiCamilo that we read way back and I’ve never seen the video of it until now, although I knew it existed. It was really excellent and unusually true to the book. I spent a good portion of the film in tears (as I did when I read the book too) and the kids loved it. Jake said it was one of the best films he’s ever seen - and I guess he remembered the book best too as he was the oldest when we read it. I might just go back and read it again to them - or maybe Jake could read it himself now. It’s not a difficult read at all, but it is a great one!

And last news, but not at all least, is that I’m pregnant! Not planned, but happy and feeling blessed (I just wish I could have lost a bit more of that weight before I fell though - pregnancy was pretty uncomfortable last time and my right hip is already twinging and I’m only 9 weeks (I think!!)) !! We’re just wondering where exactly the baby is going to fit in the house? It’s doable- just, but it’ll be a squash - even more than it is now! Ah well - a few weeks to cross those bridges..!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

‘YES’ week begins…

Yesterday was the start of our activity ‘yes’ week. We started off with a couple of games; ‘My first Vocabulon’ and ‘Days of the Week’. Then in the afternoon we had a friend come round to play, so more ed’ stuff really happened, but that was OK. Today has been pretty full on and I’m tired out. I was supposed to get some free-time to get some housework done and this is the first breathing space I’ve had all day! The kids started out by choosing to get out all their old lapbooks and some file-folder games I made way back when Phoebe didn’t know her numbers or colours (that seems like history now) which meant that they were great for El’s, but she needed my hep with them, and they still had some play-value for the younger girls. Joel busied himself with the lapbooks and all in all they probably spent over 2 hours working with those. Then Joel started on the Hama and made a bus, and Phoebe followed and made her first un-guided heart design - it’s lovely too :) Elle and Caleb did a bit of Hama too, but Elle will never complete anything - she does a few beads and gives up. Abbie wasn’t interested in doing Hama, so she continued with the lapbooks playing with the Egyptian dress-up dolls.

After lunch Joel went on BrainPop (shame that cost’s so much. I can’t afford it as well as Ed City) and played on there for about ¾ of an hour I guess, whilst the girls knuckled down to painting in some pictures from a rather nice book I have. They are still at that now. Currently P. is doing a Christmas tree and A. a whole load of presents. I was thinking we could make a ‘big picture’ combining the two and display it in a few weeks time!!

Tomorrow we already have a list; Socially Speaking game, Playdoh, ‘ART’ (I might make that a little more ‘looking at’ art than doing it though - I’ll see), French, more Hama I expect. The park is on the list too, but that’s rather weather pending - it’s not been good for a few days now :( Autumn is in the air for sure!!

Jacob had a ‘challenge day’ at a different school today, so I’m looking forward to hearing all about that when he gets home. I hope he had a good time. It might have meant he missed his footy training today though, so he was a little annoyed about that!

Jacob has also been ‘spotted’ by his swimming club coach as having some talent! He wants to keep him for an hours training n Wednesday nights now. To begin with that can only be fortnightly because of our other time commitments, but come the summer (and his birthday) he can cycle himself home, so that won’t be a problem. He can go more often then too if he needs to :-) Tomorrow & next week he has a gala & time-trials, so I guess that will be a test for him that he hasn’t met before. I’m sure he’ll do fine though. He really is very sleek in the water and displaces hardly any water (except on his butterfly - which I can’t even do at all!). I raced him the other day, front-crawl up our local 30m brine pool. My hair fell down (lost my toggle) which slowed me, but only fractionally and I was still ‘going for it’ some - he beat me by a stroke!! When he did his 400m (16 lengths) he did it in about 10 minutes and that was about 6 months ago - he’s significantly faster now and swims over 30 lengths every week (in ½ hour), so I’ll be interested to see what he times in at tomorrow and next week when he is swimming flat-out.