Sometimes, it feels like much more than 2 weeks since the cleaners last came. (Damn, giving up cleaners as redundancy reality bites is going to be hard.) Today was definitely one of them, with mess beginning to creep up in the “i can’t face doing anything because it is all so untidy” sort of way. Undeterred, i made myself ignore it this morning and all sorts of meaningful stuff happened.
Fran and i did Latin, which surprisingly feels a lot less dull and dry than it did at school. I think this is because as a voluntary exercise it is more like playing at decoding something and delving into the past as an investigator. We’ve got time to make sure all the points are covered, that words link together and that we’ve made sense of the sentence patterns before we move on and time to delve a bit into some of the things that come up in conversation as we do. Word roots, countries, cultural habits, history – there was a bit of everything today and as an aside we got the verb “to be” sorted as well. Maddy had her ear on us for a lot of it too and chipped in quite a bit on how verbs work in sentences and how “the” or “a” can change a sentence from one meaning to another.
Perhaps the best bit of this week has been the fact that every time Fran has put pen to paper she has produced full sentences, with punctuation and meaning and in nice handwriting. I swear her literacy skills (or at least the ones she is prepared to show anyone) have come on about 3 years in a week. She assures me that this has nothing to do with the fact that i said last week that unless she could read and write like an eleven year old by the time September came i would refuse to send her to school whether she wanted to or not 😆 I’m thinking that coercive threats work quite well! 😉 She has got more and more confident as the week has progressed, lovely to see the penny drop that actually she CAN do this. I’d have liked to have left the process completely, but she has chosen to force the hand of time and in the current climate i really don’t want her going to school all scrawly and behind and it reflecting badly on me and the others. Doing things in your own time is really only okay if you choose to let time be taken; if she wants to go to school, the playing field changes a bit.
So while Fran wended her way through the tail end of GP Eng1 Chp 2 (that’s my record keeping bit) Maddy was doing the same with her English. On being asked to write her own fairy story on Monday, she dissolved into tears, proclaimed herself unable to write, spell, think of words or know how to write a story. According to my SIL, this is what regularly happens with her Aspergers daughter at school and for the most part she then gets sent home with a blank sheet and “Z opted out of classwork today.” I shudder to think what the result of Maddy melting down in class would be, but i imagine it would be much the same and her confidence would be rock bottom. On Monday, i took Maddy downstairs with me while i cooked lunch, suggested she thought of a first sentence and that i would spell out any words she needed, agreed that no she didn’t HAVE to write it in joined up (too many things to think about) and left her to it. Tears dried, I spelled one word and then moved into my normal “how do YOU think you spell it?” facilitating role and she got on with it. Today, she picked up her writing book, wrote another page on her own while curled up against the radiator, then described the series of books she is planning to write and illustrate using the same characters. Bit of a difference really 🙂
Everyone did music, Amelie read, did times tables, handwriting, investigated about 100 things while ostensibly tidying up the books in the study and did something very creative with Josie (as in some craft or other, rather than creatively dangling her out of a window). Josie is insisting on learning to read and write (dang and blast it!) so she did Jolly Phonics writing books, some sounding out with me (tucked up on my bed – it was cold!) and a maths worksheet from here. We all tidied the house very co-operatively and the kids went out to feed the rabbits but ended up also cleaning them out (without being asked!), playing with them and trying to train them to do tricks for food 🙄
Somewhere else in the day Fran and i also did square numbers, products and some stuff on Castle Diary (to back up her Norman studies!), Maddy read more Enid Blyton and looked at Orang-utans on the web and did some EC. We’re wireless-less this week, so down to one internetted computer, which does hamper things a little.
Ended up with me cooking tea… no one has yet died of it though.