Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Better with less agenda

I'm trying not to mention the V word. Violin. I know it's horrible to be asked, reminded, nagged, pressured into doing things and I'm sure Francesca digs her heels in when she feels obligated to do something. So, I'm backing off a bit and she's only done the tiniest amount of practice this week. I'm torn between wanting to 'train' her into a daily habit and not wanting to put her off with too much pressure. Oh well, yet another learning curve for me.

Back to motivation, I decided that enjoyment of life and learning is far more important than meeting pesky curriculum objectives, especially in this very early stage of home-schooling. We did some 'proper' work in the holidays, after all, so we could legitimately take 3 weeks off, at this point. Never the less, I don't want to let time trickle by without achieving anything, so I have been wanting to do 'subjects' every day. After yesterday's "I hate writing" strop, I felt like taking a step back and reminding us all how much we can enjoy being together, learning through other activities.

When Elizabeth was at playgroup, I took Francesca to get the passport photos she needs for her dance/drama class, which pleased her greatly. Then we came home to do 'special time' even though Sebastian was around. We played Sylvanians (role-play? making up stories?) which was kind of like literacy. And, more importantly, was bonding time. Then we did jigsaws and listening to Matilda on tape, which Francesca has had read to her before but loved to hear dramatised.

After we collected Elizabeth and had lunch, we made jelly worms - or started to.

Here are the only photos from today. The girls enjoying cutting up the jelly with scissors:

They busily broke up the cubes, added the water, microwaved it for a minute (Francesca did that!), added more water, stirred... and then I insisted on doing the pouring into the straws (upended in a glass) in the sink.

We're going to have to top the straws up with more jelly tomorrow, after the first lot sets, then the worms will be ready to emerge. I'll post pics and instructions if it's a success.

After that, they did some colouring, mazes and sticker books, before we decided to bake cakes for their friend coming round. Then their friend came to play and that was that!

I certainly felt happier today and no one was under pressure. When people ask how it's going, I tend to say that we're having a lovely time but I'm not confident that it's academic enough. Some of the other mums have said how hard they are working in Year 1 (sitting at proper desks all day this year) and how exhausted their children are. I'm glad Francesca's not being drained in this way but what's she missing?! She's certainly not working at a desk all day - hardly ever, in fact.

So that's where we are today.

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