We’ve had such a good week and i’m so annoyed i couldn’t blog it, because it was so very bloggable. I shall try to remember it from photos and twitters but it won’t be the same – ah well. I might have another good week in a year or so.
Cello – Fran discovered the horrible feeling of being caught out not doing your homework; she didn’t do enough cello practise or look in her homework book and consequently totally disappointed her teacher. I have to admit allowing her to learn this particular lesson when i saw she was slacking (and also cos it wasn’t me going to her lesson, so i didn’t have to be caught up in the telling off!) Laughed at Max’s description of it; one of the skills you don’t learn if you don’t go to school is how to lie your way out of the situation. I could lie about homework by the time i was 6, i remember doing it to Mrs Kenworthy!
Made her pull her socks up this week though and this week she worked very hard. She’s on to 3rd finger notes now, more than half way through her book, sight reading and counting really well and she hits the notes so well that i can’t tell the difference between fingered and open string notes. I think that is quite an achievement. Will have to do another video clip; tried to put it on Facebook but can’t work out how! However, her teacher has told her she should be good enough to join the junior orchestra held just before her lesson before the end of the year.
Guitar – Fran has inspired Maddy to get back to guitar (going to start her music lessons after September i think) and she is also doing well. To be honest, knowing Maddy’s style of “have to get there on my own” i wonder how much she’ll like lessons as she has really has got quite a long way on her own.
Buying sofas – we took Josie to town to look at sofas for our living room while the big girls were at the dancing marathon on Friday. Tempted by the rounded corner sofa in this set (but not in white!) but can’t decide if it will look okay in a not-too-huge room. It seems to have plenty of bottom spaces without take up too much floor space. Josie extremely funny and walked around the shop giving us opinions on all the sofas and demanding to try out all the recliners for her and her dolly! Had a cuppa in a cafe and had to listen to a very odd woman discussing, very loudly, how often she could sieve lard and reuse it! :sick:
Cleopatra – we’ve been reading a lovely book on Cleopatra, all together, when we finish normals. I’ve loved lying on the bed together and exploring it. We’ve made a start on learning more about Egypt but i’m working on a plan to drop this project more into their laps so have a plan to do some mind-mapping with them. Fran has been impressing me with stuff she knows about this from another book and told me all about the various fates of Cleo’s children. So far, we’ve made Fimo Cleopatra’s (not done photo yet, but will insert it) and they were rather fabulous. (Maddy told me mine was “not bad for a first go!) Wondering if they are too young to have a go at “Anthony and Cleopatra” the play as our current bedtime read is inspiring them all to be actresses.
Posters – big 2 needed to do posters about “healthy hearts” for a Brownie badge. Printed a food portions plate for them and then completely left them to it. No parental input at all and this is what they came up with.
Fran’s heart poster.
Maddy’s heart poster.
Really made me see how much they are capable of on their own these days; they used reference books and talked it through together and were really rather wonderful about it.
Gym and Sisters – Gym teacher came out to tell me how much he loved teaching them after class, which was lovely as he made a special effort to do so and didn’t have to have bothered. Said they work really hard, show good promise and he loves the way they look out for each other and praise one another. Made me feel rather special.
Maths – lots of practical maths going on here this week as well as ordinary stuff. Fran came and asked for a page of equations to try (after doing some on the wall of the school cello is in) so i found her some with erm… stuff on both sides or something… like this anyway…
4X + 6 = 30
and she got them all right! She has also been doing decimals and now we’ve started likening the placements to money (very much my daughter!) she can do those fine and has got as far as converting mixed fractions to a decimal. We’ve hit a stumbling block on Meleto as the long multiplication section is so awful that even Max can’t see what they are driving at. You can’t skip a section and i don’t think she should have to do it and get confused but actually i can’t even do it for her and i don’t want to ruin her average by just clicking and hoping for the best!!!!
Maddy did a rather amazing weighing experiment; she collected bits together, made a balance scale with a ruler and a rubber and then wrote out a very complicated results chart until she could deduce from her answers (written with <> = signs) the order of weight from heaviest to lightest. She eventually deduced her system was not sensitive enough to weigh 2 of her items, so she is going to use the digital scales from work to do them again and see how well her system worked.
This was markedly better than doing division which we’ve been trying to get through with blocks but Maddy is totally resistant to doing anything except in her own way… even though she knows, for example, her 7x table, she won’t use it to get close to an answer but insists on trying to do it block by block. We nearly came to blows over 43/7 – even when we got to it being 6 groups of 7 and she could see that was right, she would NOT see that counting on to 43 from 42 left a remainder of 1. I must get out my Montessori books and breathe a bit i think!
Reading and Writing – Amelie is well into the Roger Red Hat books this week and has been making me laugh by trying to do r’s instead of w’s – normally with a huge Brian Blessed style growl!!!! She is coming on quickly now and can read signs in car parks and stuff; ETC has been very good for her.
Maddy is fully into reading and has read a book on microscopes, a book on the Titanic and a book on the Frontiers in Early American life (well, life of interlopers anyway!) I’ve been rereading Virgin Earth by Philippa Gregory (GREAT book!) and so have had plenty to tell her.
Fran has been reading a book on Medieval Times and has got quite interested in the crusades. With a trip to Rockingham and the Disney version of Robin Hood also being features of the week, we’ve managed to do lots of discussion on this ear, helped by me recently having read the entire Elizabeth Chadwick back catalogue, which i highly recommend. Fran has also suddenly become able to write nicely; this week she has handwritten 2 mini essays of well over an A4 side each and copied one of them into her new blog. We seem to have left the pink and purple days behind….
Pavement Rage – on Tuesday i had to take the girls into work for a couple of hours. They were very good (we have a little area there now they can be in) and as a reward they got a magazine each and then a trip to the park. Ferry Meadows (known to most little girls in Pboro as Fairy Meadows) has a fairly huge goose population and a good number of swans and they tend to collect in one spot where they can get a bit aggressive so we went down to another bit where there is a landing stage and had a nice time feeding swans, goslings, ducks, moorhens, geese and so on.
Then sudden 2 dogs bounded down to the landing stage and started yammering at the birds and the birds started yammering back. Maddy got caught between an overexcited dog and a cross swan, Josie and Amelie went loopy and Fran kind of froze. Swans were getting very angry and i simply couldn’t look everywhere at once because at that second a woman behind me started yelling at the dog owners (who were 50 yards away) they were being irresponsible and they started mouthing off back. I called out and asked them to please just come and move their dogs away from my kids and they stormed down and growled at me because “our dogs are as soft as butter and would never touch your children!!!!”
I get REALLY pissed off by this line; personally, however much i like an animal (even a rabbit) i would NEVER assume it absolutely wouldn’t do anything and certainly not an over excited dog surrounded by nervous children, a frightened toddler who might poke, slap, kick or anything else and 30 wild birds well and truly capable of defending themselves. Seems bloody irresponsible to me to have your dogs bounding about in a place that is full of wild life when there are huge stretches of the park that is just open empty space for them to run in. And whether their dogs would have hurt anyone or not, getting stuck in a pitched battle between geese, swans and dogs with 4 kids you can’t immediately remove is bloody annoying.
Anyway, they went and Goose Woman and i chatted briefly, then we went on our way.
Argh… my blog has just given me a blank page YET AGAIN and lost the end of my post… will type it again later. Pah.