Much like last year, well, the beginning of it, the girls seem largely content with a diet of skill gathering and story based information at the moment. The Antartica thing was nice and has captured their imagination briefly, but i think having explored the basics of the geography and some map work, the animals, the explorers and it’s history and perhaps just a little snow orientated science thrown in for good measure, we’ll be leaving that again for now. I’d like to go back and “do” glaciers at some point but it isn’t urgent. We touched on them on the way home from Dynamic Earth and that will do for now.
This week has mainly consisted of getting Maddy into a routine of guitar practise, which is mildly tricky as she’s got that gitar up on a “must not be touched” pedestal. However, i think i’ve persuaded her that she should and she’s done half an hour every morning. She’s very good at deciphering the next chapter in the book and i’m unsurprised, but impressed nonetheless, by her ability to stick to time, having had only a very brief explanation of note values by me.
Fran is really enjoying EC and i’ve been watching her progress on the report with interest. She’s about ready to move on to the second French section and she’s scoring highly on various Yr 4/5 stuff. She likes the science in Yr5, it is a bit more meaty. Aside from that she’s been steadily reading a few chapters of her latest book (Teddy Robinson) a day and liking that, plus doing some blogging. I helped her narrate a book review of Matilda the other day (cue much banging of heads about ‘brief overview’ not meaning tell the story word for word!) and she liked doing that once she got the hang of it.
Fran has also been enjoying doing co-ordinates on EC, in Singapore and on various free sheets i printed off. She’s got as far as beiing able to manuipulate negative co-ordinates now, which i think is pretty good going. She’s also enjoying map work so i think we might delve a bit further into that
Maddy is plugging away at reading and liking the simple repeating nature of P&J books. We’re about ready for level 4, which means i’ll actually have to concentrate; i don’t know those ones by heart because we’ve never got that far before! She’s very much enjoying writing and drawing again and has been designing clothes, drawing stories and so on. She did some costume designs for a play the other day, which i thought were great. She’s also 3/4 of the way through her paid Studydog now; when she’s done that i’ll probably put her back on the free level 2 for a while and see what happens next.
Ams is making a start on reading and continuing having fun with letters; she’s done lots of maths with Emma, looking at greater and less than (the crocodile snaps the biggest pile of food but if they are the same size he gets confused and makes his lips go like this = ) being my explanation to help Emma remember how it went! (She looked a tad bemused but i bet she never forgets it!) She’s working on EC and a bit of Studydog too and just writing and drawing all the time.
Oh, one other thing i’ve started with the big two is spelling tests; the plan is really to help Maddy consolidate words and give Fran an opportunity to develop a joined up style and gain confidence in writing generally. I’ve made some sheets for them, so they think it is all rather fun and i’m planning on doing 10 words on most days, starting with really simple words that are current to Maddy’s reading and hopefully going steadily from there. The sheet gives them 3 practises and then they do the test on a separate sheet which has a box for the answer and a second try box to help Maddy not get flustered if she makes a mistake. F got 10/10 in her first go (all joined up too) and Maddy 7/10 – so they were delighted with it.
Josie is getting ever cuter and more manipulative – the thing that still gobsmacks me is her language. She is so incredibly verbal! And of all of that, her grammar impresses me no end; Today she said “I don’t like you doing that. You took my breakfast” – Maddy and Amelie still can’t use took properly, they say “tooken”. Someone of Josie’s age would surely be doing fairly well to say “taked” so i was quite open-mouthed at her.
Wednesday and Thursday we had Charlie and Claire here, so we did some craft with Floam and there was lots of playing and silliness. Plus more too, but i’ll have to look at my camera to remember. We’ve done some Hand Up For Home Ed hands, which i must photograph and our Young Scientist Kits have started to arrive, so that is a new plan for the weekends too.
Last night i took the big 3 to a performance of The Nutcracker by The Siberian State Ballet. I was really impressed by them, given it was their first big deal trip to the theatre and they were all completely captivated. I spent nearly as much time watching them watching it as i did looking at the stage myself. It was a slightly odd production but i got quite into their ideas by the end (though surely Clara doesn’t normally dance the Sugar Plum Fairy?) – i’m a bugger in a theatre though, even now, because i’m ridiculously critical of anything they do to effect changes and stuff. i can always instantly think of 6 other ways i’d have done it 🙄 . The costumes were rather good though, everyone wore masquerade masks and the costumes were very sumptuous. I don’t know if it is imp[licit in the story line, or whether the particular production made it so, but i’ve never noticed such a strong “womanhood” theme in it before. The second half had Clara played by a more senior dancer (who did the Sugar Plum bit) and she appeared after they’d been “married” and then gone off for a bit while all the dances took place. Somehow it was very obvious that she went away a girl and came back a woman 😯
Anyway, shall definitely make the effort to do more of that now even despite irritating people behind us. One man persistently thumped time on his knewee right into my ear until i turned round and stared at him and the 2 old biddies on the other side yakked like they were at the bingo. I hate bad theatre manners.
Today i’ve forced myself to chill out and laid on my bed and read a book. I’ve also cleared out the spare clothes cupboard and pruned them again and my room is nearly ready for being “decorated” tomorrow. I’ve also been for a bike ride with the big two and now i’m off for an evening of biscuits and tv. Sod Weightwatchers 👿