Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Combining Home Ed and A Social Life

Having had such a full day yesterday, at Beamish, I opted for a day closer to home today.

Francesca was tired this morning and reluctant to get up. Actually, it's been 3 days since we last managed a 6 am walk because I keep sleeping in too.

Anyway, the violin practice went better today, with Francesca getting through more things and seeming a bit more clued up about the names of the notes. Then she was supposed to move on to literacy (according to the timetable, which we're still sticking to) and I decided that she could continue with her thank you letters while I had special time with Elizabeth.

Elizabeth had wanted her own login on the computer so I've set up her desktop with a maths game - counting the spots on ladybirds and moving them to the right leaf. She struggled to control the mouse, but that's difficult for anyone, with it being a small mouse pad thing rather than a physical hand shaped mouse. I worked with her and she quite enjoyed the game but all the talking was quite a disturbance for Francesca, who didn't get much done.

Sebastian was also clingy this morning. His nose is running so he might be feeling under the weather (strange expression since it's been so warm this week).

I managed to persuade Francesca to do maths, even though Elizabeth was doing magic painting. Francesca enjoyed her maths but it was quite a relief to us all when break came. Francesca got to do her magic painting.

And Sebastian was much appeased by... cake.

We had a short break because we were half an hour behind schedule anyway. And, actually, no one wanted to play outside and all are better when occupied.

Sebastian was happier after his cake and more content to play on his own. Perhaps the winging was just hunger but I thought he'd had a massive breakfast?!

Anyway, it was supposed to be literacy-proper (as opposed to Francesca doing her literacy book while I did special time with Elizabeth) so Francesca read one of her reading books to me, then wanted to finish her magic painting.

So, we cut literacy short to let Francesca paint on the understanding that we would start Science at 11.

And here are my experimenters!

Elizabeth tried to join in Science but it was not interesting enough for her. We had a tube of smarties on the table and I was helping them to come up with questions to investigate. We got some good ones.

"What else begins with 'sm'?" (Eliz)
"What's inside Smarties?" (Fran)
"How are Smarties made?" (Eliz)
And, prompted by me a bit:
"How many Smarties are in a tube?"
"Are there always the same number of smarties in a tube?"
"Which colour is there most of?"

We're planning to investigate how many smarties are in a tube. That'll give us enough scope to have fun counting smarties, to pick a suitable sample size (Francesca did initially suggest counting ALL the Smarties in the world) and make a results table.

Anyway, Sebastian kept trying to steal the Smarties and Elizabeth was overly keen to get them shared out so we quickly drew the lesson to a close and ate the sweets. Then it was lunchtime.

After lunch we did a quick French lesson. I went into their room where they were playing and took a toy dog puppet (he's called, ahem, Claude - at least during French lessons. Apparently he's called Ben at other times) and had a little chat with them for about 15 minutes. What are you called? How old are you? etc. Francesca was pretty up to speed with it all and Elizabeth catches on quickly. Sebastian climbed up to the top bunk with the girls and I and lay down on the pillow. He was ready for his nap but I was delaying because we were about to go out and I wanted him to sleep in the pushchair.

So then we did this:

Because a friend had booked us for a 'play' I suggested we all visit the Hatton Art Gallery where they have a 'help yourself' art cart in the afternoons. It was great! Sebastian slept and the girls beavered away for ages making many creations. We had the room all to ourselves.

Then, with school well and truly over, we got some snacks to take to the park where we even saw - to Francesca's great delight - a rabbit!!

We all walked home from town which took ages but it was very pleasant. Then our friend gave us some broad beans and the children podded them while I cooked some pasta for tea.


So I'm enjoying myself. I'm loving the 'school' day and all the organising. I'm behind with my bread blog work, though, and I wouldn't like to think that I had to totally shelve my own project to achieve quality schooling.

Keeping up with making the coloured timetable cards has been too onerous for the amount of notice they've taken of them (almost no notice at all).

Francesca has been saying that she wants to go into Year 1 with her friends. I don't comment, I'm just waiting to see how we all feel in a few weeks. I'd be kind of disappointed if she wants to go to school and I don't want her to. I don't even know how much choice to give her at this age. She's certainly better off at home in terms of energy and pleasantness. She's having loads more dry nights now she's not so tired and the relationship between myself and her and between the girls is more harmonious.

It's late yet again and I haven't properly planned tomorrow since I had expected a bird walk but Grandpa can't. I suppose we could do that ourselves but perhaps we'll go out somewhere instead and maybe take our literacy and numeracy books with us.

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