This morning started with haircuts for some of us, so we didn't start 'school' til nearly lunchtime (perks of the job!)
With our happy new haircuts, we began with the usual violin practice which was completed in half an hour with minimal input from me and minimal procrastination from her. She is bribed with another book of mazes if she has a second excellent lesson on Friday AND she is feeling very pleased with herself, which is more to the point.
Then it was lunchtime already so the girls put on a story tape (Charlie and The Chocolate Factory) while I got lunch ready. After lunch, they hurried back to the tape, whilst I was busy with the plumbers working on the central heating system.
Eventually, eventually... we got to Maths. I had created another sheet of 'add ten' sums for Francesca to practise. She was allowed to use the online abacus too, but, I'm pleased to say, she barely touched the abacus and was quickly able to complete the sums, using the idea of adding one to the tens column. She even mastered a number over 100, so progress is definitely being made there.
We extended the lesson to taking away 10, too, and began to think about doing the same sums in our heads, which she found challenging. She's fine if she can see the number written down but I'm not sure what she imagines in her head when I say '32', or whatever. More on that tomorrow.
All through Maths, Francesca was pretending to do fast typing on my computer and I kept asking her to stop it. She said she wanted to type. So...
I found her a children's typing tutorial http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/typing/flash/stage3.shtml and away she went. She was so keen, she got onto level two. She'll be typing faster than me soon!
Elizabeth did more jigsaws and was pleased to surprise me by finishing the hardest one on her own.
Sebastian surprised us by having an afternoon nap!
I said the story tape counted as English, which Francesca was delighted about. She also did some reading aloud, which I'm pleased about. I thought I 'should' hear her read every day, like we did when she was at school, bringing reading books home. Luckily, she tends to read every day of her own accord, so it's something that happens naturally. Today it was Mr Men books that her auntie had brought round.
We also checked our mould growth - nothing yet. The girls are expecting everything to go mouldy. They predict that the cheese will go mouldy first. I predict that the ginger biscuit and the popcorn will probably not go mouldy - at least not for a very long time - so that'll be a great chance to teach them that advances in science are made, not by being able to predict the answers, but by getting unexpected results and having to search for better explanations.
So, I'm feeling quite positive about our school day, today. Particularly the increased work ethic. Francesca is realising that I mean it when I say she has to finish x, y and z before 'treats' and I am learning to recognise procrastination/manipulation tactics and how to deal with them (mostly by backing off!)
Many an "I'm NOT doing it!" has vanished into thin air, replaced by hasty productivity when I have simply left the room. Many an "I can't do it, I don't know how to..." has evaporated when I've gone off to hang washing.
"Yes you can. Yes you have to. Now, I'm off. I'll be back in ten minutes to see how much you've done." Works wonders.*
*Works wonders today. Of course we all know that this could all be different tomorrow but I'm getting wiser.