Monday, December 01, 2008

Part Two - Schooly Stuff!

Not sure how far to go back really, but I think I'll just start at last week and head into this :)

Monday (a week ago) - started out with the kids deciding to play Knex. The mini-craze had begun on Sunday and as this was non-book week I decided to let it spill over. So they brought the Knex downstairs (normally not allowed because of the mess and the unsupervised playing of the tinies in the lounge) and we all stayed in there for a good deal of the day busy with it. I was amazed at some of the creations. Phoebe was busy making random, but symetrical shapes. E and I made an improvised house (flat 2D). Jake spent a long amount of time trying to make a motorised car - and ending the day with nothing because he didn't want to follow a pattern! J2 made several objects; a swing, a car and something else. Boo, however, was the one who impressed me the most. This was probably the first time she had really had a go with knex for more than a couple of minutes. She started off with a 2D ice-cream milkshake model, then something else 2D and then decided to have a go at something 3D and made this entirely without my help (I think I had to turn one cog round for her where the diagram was no clear enough and she couldn't get all the pieces on a particular rod).

The beauty of our non-book weeks is that there is more time to engage the smaller ones too. Titch involved himself in this activity by absorbing himself in a threading game for quite some time.

The afternoon was filled pretty much with EyeToy exercise. The intention was to play on the dance mat too, but our PS2 is dodgey and will only play a few disks, so it didn't work sadly :( Still they got plenty of exercise, hardly squabbled and had some good fun together - that's how I like it!

The afternoon was filled pretty much with EyeToy exercise. The intention was to play on the dance mat too, but our PS2 is dodgey and will only play a few disks, so it didn't work sadly :( Still they got plenty of exercise, hardly squabbled and had some good fun together - that's how I like it! Once they grew tired of that though they did decided to do some dancing just to music ont he stereo - and had an arguement about whose music should be used! can't be perfect I guess, even for one day!

Tuesday began with more Knex and EyeToy, but I decided that a precident was not about to be set and today had to be different to yesterday, so I let them do for a bit and then made them change to something different. Jake had done a 'guess that recipe' game as part of his English and so he did that with them all and then, after we collected Caleb, took them into the kitchen and together they made Chocolate Brownies - entirely unsupervised by me. I have to stay out or I interfere too much and I wanted to know if he could do it - and he did - very well in fact. The only mistake he made was to tell me they needed to be in the oven for 35 mins instead of 30-35 and they would have been perfect in 30. In 35 they were slightly caught, but all the same perfectly edible and they were all consumed but one. While they were busy doing that Caleb and I went off and did something else together which I know we both enjoyed, but I can't remember what it was!! NJ was asleep.
I planned to read to them later in the afternoon, but I fell asleep in the chair. When I opened my eyes they were all busy playing Uno together :)

Wednesday started the day off with our new Table Talk bible study. I had meant Paul to pick up one with a Christmas theme, but instead we ended up with Easter (kid's thought this very funny), but in reality it might be Easter by the time we finish it because we won't actually do it every day, what with PBS and church Sunday School sheets as well. I have said we will do it in school on the days when tea is a hurry (so Mon, Weds, Thurs) and the other days we will do it at Tea time all together - that might work, we'll have to see. Anyway - at the end of the talking, discussing what passover was and what it reminded the Jews of, they had to make a poster to depict the 'murder plot' and the 'rescue plan'. They all had some interesting ideas and spent some considerable time drawing and colouring these, but Ellie's was by far the most profound. I can't scan it because it's A3, but I will try to remember to take a picture of it, meanwhile I'll describe it for you. She drew a man outstretched surrounded by red hearts and kisses. Above his head was a thick strip of brown. This is her explanation of her picture (she didn't draw the two-fold poster, although what she did draw was sort of a 2-in-1);

"This is Jesus on the cross. There are hearts and kisses because God is very important and we love Him and He loves us and there is a path because God made a path for his people so that they could get free!"

The final bit of this statment was a reference to the path through the Red Sea on which Moses led the Hebrews to safety & freedom, but it was also highly relevant to her picture of Jesus and I think in her mind she actually had managed to make the link - astonishingly!

After lunch I got out my card making kit and set the kids to task making cards for relatives (N&G and Gt G'dad) and anyone else they liked to. They all made 2 or 3 and generally enjoyed it. The more they do it the more of an idea they will get I guess. JI hates glue though, so he did a colouring one and one craft one (he already made one last year too, that he forgot to give, so that made his life easier!) I think I might get them out again this week and do some more, but this time I might leave them a little more to it by themselves.

Thursday turned into a not-really-anything day tbh and I wasn't that bothered! It was afterall Ellie's 5th birthday and she did need to play with her new toys of course (two Sylvanian Family sets), plus the fact that I just never really got my act together enough to do anything else with them. They did, however, seem to keep quite busy somehow. I think they played Lego at some point in the day, so I guess that counts. And I think one or two of them went of Education City, so that definately does count. Other than that I can't remember - just lots of playing with new SF seemed to be order of the day mostly!! :) Oh - Boo helped (well pretty much did it all actaully) me make a caserole for our evening meal.

The weekend was filled by a party and visitors. I spent the morning making a cake 'with princesses and butterflies' and was still doing so when friends J&T (with JLS) arrived up from Oxford (photo looks more splodgey than it did in reality- honest!). In the late afternoon we took E to Funsters (soft play center) and MD's, with her two best freinds (S and A), her two big sisters and little brother C. It wasn't an official party but cake, candles, "Happy Birthday", friends and party clothes make anything a party - and she had a lovely time :)

Today (ah here at last!!) - back to the normal run of things and all went relatively smoothly today, except for JA getting in a stew over something simple in Science. I sometimes wish he was capable of thinking just a little more laterally - science is SO hard for him!

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