Sunday, May 29, 2011

Birthday Come ~ and Go!

Can you believe May sees two birthdays in our house and I haven't blogged either one? ~ slap wrists!

Bugs turned 14...

Those of you with sharp eyes will notice I can't count!!!  ~ check the bottom of the blog...
 'Strawberry & Chocolate Oreo Cheesecake'!! (home-made I might add, and super scrummy!!)

A couple of weeks later (last weekend) he had his party ~ a houseful of teenagers over for a BBQ/Wii evening. It was great fun :-) I've decided I really like teenagers, or at least I really like all the ones I know! 

 (that's Bug's GF on the Guitar Hero btw)

Then we did a few more weeks school ~ a day of which I blogged here;
There's been some sewing (Minnie's been doing this x-stitch forever!), earing and necklace making (Minnie is wearing hers in the picture) & some shrinky-dink making ~ everyone really enjoyed that. We watched them curl, flip & shrink on the sandwich pan and talked a little about polymers (although I must confess not a lot, as I'm not very knowledgeable myself about such things - anyone want to offer me a science lesson on this?!)

The younger three also had a 'Wild Things' week :~ read the book a couple of times and made masks, told the story back - which DD is getting really good at, wrote about our own imaginary 'wild thing', drew monsters, made monster puppets with empty toilet rolls and topped off the week by watching the film ~ which is good, but a little serious I thought, compared to the book.

The boys had a trip to Manchester Velodrome with scouts and very much enjoyed that ~ came back asking to go again!

And then Stitch turned 4 on Friday ~ where did those four years go??

10 points to the person who spots the theme in most of the birthday pictures ;-)

This time last year we spent the week with him like this ~ with Pneumonia!

Aside from birthdays and fun stuff there's been all the 'normals' around here too. DD & Lilo are both doing really well on Explode the Code Online. Lilo has zipping through the lower levels already, as I had hoped she would. DD is also progressing steadily and is surprised to discover 'I can read' :-) He really can too! There are a couple of letters he consistently forgets the sound of still - 'd' & 'w' being the main ones, but essentially he is sounding out and beginning to read short sentences. It's all seemed very effortless with him and I believe it will be with Stitch too, when he decides to give it a shot. Atm, he's pretty much refusing to do anything schooly unless it's on a computer, or he can work with me ~ fair enough I guess, but I'm feeling really stretched & tired right now and can't always give him what he needs/wants from me :-(. I'm hoping September will be a little easier with Baby able to sit and play more. Just now I am feeling a bit burnt out and creativity is almost non-existent in regards to school. I am just so grateful for all the online resources that serve me up ideas so readily and take so little adapting to make them work for all three of the youngest. In that respect, it makes it simpler that Lilo has been such a slow-to-learn reader because her 'literacy' work is not that far behind the boys! That said, she is gaining speed at quite a pace now and the other morning, presented me  with a book which she has been apparently reading in her spare time & has now finished..!  

This week the oldest four are off on 'Energi' camp again ~ it comes around quickly. Paul is taking the week off and we are planning to spend some time doing 'fun-stuff' with the littlest four. A trip on a 'real train' is planned to either Liverpool or the beach, depending on the weather. I got a free 2 month family railcard (online from the Daily Mail ), so that makes it affordable and a treat for the littlies, who don't remember the days when we went everywhere by train as a family!

So that's me caught up for now. I'm missing not being Off The Path this weekend though, it just wasn't possible in the end :-(

Observation answers; ~ 1. Bugs had an extra candle on his cake, 2. All pictures involve chocolate cake!

Monday, May 16, 2011

A (half) Pictorial day in the Life of the FrogAcademy

Every year, there is a little tradition of doing an 'a day in the life' photo-post. Well, no problem you'd think, being that photos are SO much my thing, BUT... for most of last week my internet was down (SUCH a pain), then it was midday today before I remembered I was supposed to be snapping away! So please forgive the first half of this being wordy. The pictures take over half way through!

I get up sometime around 9.30 (a bit of a late start due a disturbed night) ~ I have missed breakfast time it seems; the children are all already fed and most are ready for the day. I busy myself with changing and feeding the baby (who has been playing with the big kids for a while) and settling him back to sleep for the morning. Then I help Stitch get dressed & DD dresses himself. Everyone else is heading downstairs to get started on their day.

Bugs, Taz, Minnie and TP work on their respective Bible Studies. Lilo is starting on her handwriting (she traces over a Bible verse, joining the letters as she does). 
Once Lilo is finished with that I do Bible Study with DD, Stitch and Lilo ~ we are using a series designed to accompany The Beginners Bible.

Taz by now is busy working on his maths and when he finishes that he plays a game with Stitch which involves hiding three letters inside little plastic eggs around the house. Stitch has to find the eggs and then try to make a word. He has previously been playing this game with just one letter and then finding something beginning with the sound. He did well with the words, making hat, mat and van :) By then it was snack time (11am), after which Taz did GP History & then a spelling test. 

Bugs ~ hmm not sure how he spent his morning tbh... 

Minnie ploughs through her written work in the morning, so by 12.00 she had done MPH Maths &  some written Understanding English (poetry ~ S&S). Then she played with Stitch; Dotty Dinosaurs & then writing letters on a mini-whiteboard and he told her what they were. He carried on playing with the whiteboard for a while afterwards too.

TP seems to have had a bit of a slow day ~ she played on Tut-Pup for a while before 12.00.

Lilo went on the Laptop and earned herself 6 'badges' on Explode the Code then joined in with DD and I who were working together, learning about the difference between 'natural' and 'artificial' things. It's something he's been asking questions about for a while and his attention held well for a good while. We did some sit-down-and-chat-about work first, with a fairly easy worksheet. Then we went on a scavenger hunt looking for 'natural' , 'man-made' and 'mineral' objects, which was a lot of fun.

TP playing Bus Stop with Stitch

 Lilo working on her maths (converting words to numbers and then vice-versa)

Minnie reading on her bed

Taz drumming (notice the addition of practice pads for school hours!)

DD completing a TUX Paint stamper chart to illustrate the morning's lesson.

Bugs reading on his bed

chart almost completed

Stitch waiting for LeapWorld to load!

Baby wakes up and gets a bum-change 
(yes that is a purple nappy on my boy!)

DD busy on as reward for working hard this morning :-)

TP working on her HeadSprout Comprehension.

Baby plays contentedly on the window seat with his mirror-rattle and chats to us all :-)

Lilo is coming to the end of her maths work ~ it's taken her longer than usual for some reason.

Stitch is now playing on LeapWorld (which took an age to load!)

Taz is writing his blog and learnt how to embed a YouTube Video.

DD has started work on Explode the Code

Sometime around 13.30 we all have lunch and take a bit of a break.
I fed Baby his fromage-fraise & gave him a breastfeed.

The kids start back when they feel ready. Some take a longer break than others!

Baby has fallen asleep on the window seat of his own accord :)

Lilo is reading to me.

Minnie is waiting to get on the study PC to do her blog
Before this though she has done some 'Next Stop' comprehension work.

TP is off somewhere reading.

Bugs is on Manga High

Lilo is doing her third page of a 'sight words' book. 
It's easy for her now, but she's only got a few pages left to complete.

I get to play with Baby for a few minutes (who has obviously woken up!)

A little bit of song-time ~ I think we were singing Wheels on the Bus here.

Bugs took some pictures of us and practiced using manual focus.
(this one is straight out of camera ~ he has to edit his own shots!)

Minnie eventually gets to write her blog!

DD is at last getting to play on LeapWorld, but this is his free-time now :-)

It looks, from the pictures, that most of DD's school happens on-screen, but this isn't really the case. He does like it that way, but we try to strike a balance between pencil work, manipulative work and screen-work. I don't push anything too heavily with him really and he seems to be making good progress, so I can't be going too far wrong ~ if I was I know he would be digging his heals in and screaming at me. The only tears we had today however, were when LeapWorld wouldn't load up for him in the Study. He's not the most rational at times!

Somewhere in the midst of all that a load of nappies got washed and some washing, that had been waiting for the rain to lay off, eventually got hung on the line ~ it's still there mind!

I hope you have enjoyed a taster of our days ~ they are busy, but mostly not too stressful! I'm sure there was more happening around the house than is pictured, or even described here, but I really can't be everywhere at once with a camera in my hand!! I know that in the evening Minnie helped Paul prepare tea (spaghetti and meatballs), Taz did some more drumming and Bugs had maths to do because he had 'forgotten' do to it in school hours ~ no biggy to me if he wants to work in the evenings he is free to! 

Click the House to read another great 'day-in-the-life' picture story, and there's a whole load more links to be found at the end of that post and the end of THIS one  :-)