I’m having a “what have we got on this ship that’s good?” moment. After wobbling about HE so badly the other week, I decided it was time to at least get back to doing the things we do well and working on putting in more of what we’d ‘like’ as we go along. We’ve been out of routine for ages, with NaNo and Xmas and holidays and we need to get back. We’re all happier with routine in this house but we need to add more innovation and fun without a doubt. Routine first.
First of all, everyone agreed that the work diaries had been good and, as a way of co-coordinating between the girls, me and Max, with a bit of record keeping, some motivation and a dash of pace, they suited us. One thing we did was to give ME a diary too and I marked into mine and theirs days out, events and things we’d like to all do together, with a view to me being prompted to keep promises on projects and fun stuff. Another thing was to agree to small chunks and no more than “x” amount per day and for some things, we’re trialling a couple of weeks of actually marking amounts off (I’m thinking Mathletics here). We’ve talked again about time wasting, procrastinating and not doing things when asked and what that actually means (I spend all day nagging and we don’t get to the fun stuff).
So we were well set up and on Monday we tried it; they needed to work mostly alone as they had a brief time with a sitter; predictably they all came up with a million reasons why nothing had got done and really, the only thing I could think to do was make the point by crossing out the fun thing we then didn’t have time to do.
Neither nice, happy making or PC – but made the point. Things have been better since.
Amelie is loving (to my surprise) a set of S&S Science workbooks and has hurled herself into those as well as working through the Muddles, Puddles and Sunshine: Your Activity Book to Help When Someone Has Died workbook which she found and seemed to need to do We bought several of these when Freddie died and have made them casually available through the house; various children have done them at various times. She’s been reading more Horrid Henry (gah) and playing lots of violin, doing lots of Mathletics and spelling and is inching her way into the odd Galore Park book (so long as I don’t make her write!) Oh and we spent ages talking about Braille and feeling some – it is very convenient to have it on medicine boxes these days! I think she might enjoy a famous people/inventions project if she could just read it. (Which she can!)
Maddy has cracked through no end of GP Science and got hugely involved in the magnet section this week; she loved designing a recycling plant (much Toy Story 3 hilarity) and has been very busy. She’s writing a story called “Wallace and Grommit and the Bad Hair Day”, has been doing Pythagoras with Max and is happily on GP2 history, which has a new era for her in it. Moving on from Ancient Egypt was tough. She’s quite goal driven, if the goals are achievable, so likes having a list.
Fran had a massive breakthrough week at maths (so did I) and we got through various equation things that neither of us really knew how to do (simplifying of all types, squares and cubes in equations, working out patterns with 2 steps of… oh god what is the word…. working out stuff.. in them. Was lovely to sit with her going through the help pages and then suddenly see her launch ahead as the penny dropped and the light bulb burst into action. She has done other things (several guest blog preps for one, English with added tears, science and more of her NaNo which is now at nearly 20,000 words). She’s picked up the latest in her Spooks series today, The Spook’s Mistake, which she is really pleased about. We do actually own it, but it has gone astray (like a LOT of books I needed this week!) so the library made her happy.
Josie reread me several books we last read some time back (woot!) and did masses of mental maths with me (she seems to be able to add and subtract in her head to about 30), did Mathletics, made lots and lots of books (copied out the word Confidential correctly) and has done her usual thing.
Fran has been obsessed with an ipod game called Alchemy which is about combining elements in a sometimes sane and sometimes silly manner.
We also went to Latinetc and played for a couple of hours with Poppy and Skye – that can have its own post too. Next week we’re going to go for adding more fun in and have ideas for an architecture theme to life for a while.