Friday, 27 April 2012

Spotting the Learning Opportunities

Well, we did it this morning... WE GOT OUT! AND IT WASN'T RAINING!!!

I had started to feel like I would go stir crazy if we didn't get out in the sunhine soon (our trip out the other day was lovely but still a bit stressful (not to mention very wet), not least because my car was out of action... fortunately I had arranged to have hubby's car for the day, but driving any distance in an unfamiliar car, in the pouring rain with serious spray on the busy roads, with the boys squashed up against each other in the back... well, let's just say it wasn't the most peaceful travelling ever ;) 
So now I'm car-less for the time being, and the boys can't even play in the garden when it stops raining as it's one big mud-puddle & I'm doing my best to preserve some kind of lawn for our landlord.  Hence my desperation for a chance to get out... and this morning we got it! :) 
We had some birthday cards to post, so as soon as we saw some blue sky & sunshine, it was 'wellies on & umbrellas in hand', and off we went (the forecast was wet, but we weren't hanging around to wait for it)  The walk to the shop (under 1/2 mile) was lovely - mostly footpaths but with a few roads to cross, so lots of opportunity to practice our Green Cross Code (that's life-saving education right there!). On the field, DS1 & 2 ran about playing some kind of star wars role-play.  DS3 also ran for ages, then walked with me and counted the 'darlings' aka starlings - there were 27;)   At the local shop, we bought a couple of bits of groceries (practical Maths - DS2 telling us how much the items were, and DS1 adding them up in his head), and the essential stamps.  The boys all stuck their stamps on and posted their own card in the post box - then we set off back home.  More chance to run about - bliss... and it didn't rain until we turned into our own street - yay!  Once home, it was a perfect opportunity for a mug of hot chocolate each and a bit of TV - I have an old BBC DVD of Come Outside (link is to actual episode on Youtube) where Aunty Mabel & Pippin follow a letter from posting it in the postbox to getting delivered at the other end.  It wasn't planned that way - we just happened to need to get out, buy stamps, post cards etc - and have a little rest when we got in - and on the way home I remembered the DVD & realised it was a great learning opportunity:)  The DVD is a bit dated now, but still helpful.  I did think it might be a bit young for DS1 but it was too perfect timing to pass on, and as it happened, he asked "why is it called Royal Mail?" (great question) so Mummy had to look up the full answer - I knew it was something vaguely to do with the queen etc but wasn't fully sure myself... (apparently it came about through royal arrangement in 1516 when Henry VIII established a 'master of the posts' and was made available to the public by Charles I in 1635 - so now we know!)  Incidentally, doesn't the internet make Home Education just SO EASY?!
So anyway, that was our morning: all feeling happier for getting out in the fresh air again :). And this afternoon?   We've been doing a Reading Eggs trial for DS3&2 (great for DS3 as he's just starting out - we may well stick with it, but not for DS2 - I thought the assessment was rubbish, first placing him on a level far too easy, then too hard). We've also been following on from yesterday's weather project, having cosy reading times together, dancing... oh, and tackling the chaos and mess brought about by being cooped up indoors for the best part of 2 weeks ;)

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