I love Fridays. I love the plan that we finish 'school' at lunchtime and let the girls have a tv afternoon. Sebastian, hopefully, naps and I clean the house. May not sound fun to you but I aspire to being tidy and organised. The chance to actually tick some housework items off the list, unhindered, is something to look forward to.
We got off to a shaky start. I had a list, that I populated with Francesca. It was the things she had to finish before tv time. I wanted to make some progress with the money maths (so much for being ready to count the contents of her money box by Friday!), finish her English book (with only 2 pages to go that she's been procrastinating about), look at the couple of videos of white blood cells in action (that she asked for and I took the trouble to find), eat lunch and put away the toys. Not too onerous a schedule, I would have thought, but after breakfast, when I asked the girls to go and clean their teeth, they disappeared off to have a play in the lounge.
I practised letting go.
I had plenty of things to be getting on with myself. They knew the deal: no tv until all the other tasks were complete. I don't find it fun to rule by shouting and battles. I can only lead by example.
I pulled up a chair beside the kitchen counter, put an apron on Sebastian and let him help me make the bread. It was nice!
I don't think I've baked with Sebastian before. He wasn't keen on having doughy hands so he didn't do much more than play with the floury surface but even so, he was involved. And I got the bread done, which was great.
Then I casually said to the girls, "I'll be ready to do money maths in 5 minutes!" and they said, "OK" and went off and washed their teeth (at last) and appeared in the dining room.
I had prepared (this time!) paper ruled into boxes, in which they could neatly present their sums. I wanted to get across the idea that, when counting money, one counts the values rather than the number of coins.
I asked them to draw round coins and add them together, making sums and writing down their results.
I had to help Elizabeth, both with the drawing round and the concept of adding. The fact that she was doing the task with me meant that she felt grown-up/involved and was no trouble at all. I'm not pretending that she can add up anything, let alone money.
Francesca was quite capable. She had little trouble adding 2, 3 or 4 coins, if they were all pence or all pounds. Further down the page, she had to cope with a mixture and I had to help her a lot. I also noticed that she is still struggling with place value. She doesn't see how simple it is to add ten, although she can confidently count in tens. I need to do more work with her on place value (tens and units) and adding or subtracting 10. We did a bit of work on that, previously, but must spend longer.
She worked hard while the task was easy for her but lost interest quickly when it became harder. I gave her a lot of support and she got it finished.
She was able to do the last couple of pages in her English book, no bother, and enjoyed looking at the white blood cell videos.
They got their tv afternoon!!! And I tidied and vacuumed the house from top to bottom :)
In other news, our Home Education Officer phoned today to arrange a meeting with us, next week, so that'll be interesting.
I feel a bit of trepidation, not knowing what she's going to expect or want to see at this stage, but then again, I feel as though we've made a decent start and I have confidence in what we're doing.