Friday, 20 July 2012

Happy Friday

Another lovely day today, and another benefit of Home Ed noted: my boys don't have to do that horrid end-of-term transition that many of my friends who are mums of schoolchildren seem to experience.  I keep seeing Facebook comments about how now the children are off school for summer they've gone a bit loopy.  I'm grateful we don't have that to deal with - it's just life as usual in our house (or should that be "fun as usual"?).  My children don't have to adjust to being at home, and I don't have to adjust to having them around me all the time, because it's normal for us... and we LOVE it :)

Anyway, we went into town this morning for a hot choc (Mummy), milk-shakes (boys) and chai lattes (Grandma & Auntie) this morning, and the boys had some self-instigated maths practice with their 'dotty cookies': Eldest worked out how much 3 x £1.50 was (they were big cookies, but even so!!!), and when they counted the smarties on top of their cookies (I was relieved they all had the same amount as each other), Middle decided he was going to count his in twos! He's not done his times tables. "That's your two-times-table" I told him (cue him trying to get right balance between looking proud, then modest).  He then proceeded to count in threes!  Mummy's turn to look proud :)

While we were in town we had to buy some fizzy drink and Mentos to make our own volcano at home (the boys saw it on Backyard Science the other day).  We tried this yesterday afternoon but they all wanted to take it in turns to have a go at putting the Mentos in (any chewy mint will do - apparently it's the gum in them that provokes the reaction).  Youngest put one in first, to immediate but not excessive fizzing.  Middle put a few in next - more fizzing but only foaming over the top a little bit.  By the time it was Eldest's turn, it was all fizzed out - so him putting the rest of the tube in had very little result.  So today we bought another bottle of cherryade (the boys wanted it to be red, for that authentic volcano look), and we agreed that having learned from experience, Eldest would just drop the whole tube of sweets in, in one go.  Actually he missed and about half of them ended up on the grass, but those that did go in the bottle produced a much more gratifying reaction...

While we were in town we picked up a couple of books and a comic (I usually don't do comics any more as they're almost the same cost as a book and usually get trashed, but this one had a decent freebie)  The comic was Discovery 'Explore your World' (with free bug viewer and tweezers - we get through a few in this house).  I can recommend it - it was absolutely packed with a wide range of fascinating facts and short articles - it had eldest engrossed.  Inside there was an experiment to try out involving putting drops of food colouring into a saucer of milk, then dipping a cotton bud with washing-up liquid on the tip into the food colouring - and watching with appropriate 'ooh's and 'aah's as the blob of food colouring suddenly dissipates.  I asked Eldest if the comic explained why it happened, and he said 'no' (actually it did - I looked later, but I can see why he missed it in his hurry to just have a go himself), and when I asked if he had any ideas about why it was happening he thought for a bit and then pretty much worked it out - yay!  Anyway, the boys all had a go with lots of different colours etc & thoroughly enjoyed it...

              green food colouring in milk          when washing-up liquid is added

We also picked some more ragwort on the way home for Hermie Wormie & Frank (see Caterpillar Crazy) and measured the Painted Lady caterpillars at 1cm long now - they have doubled in length in just two days! (the Cinnabar caterpillars are harder to measure as they're on the ragwort inside the net enclosure whereas the PLs are in a little tub, right next to the plastic wall & therefore easy to measure).
Finally this morning we got out one of our new books, 100 Paper Aeroplanes to fold and fly, and the boys had a lovely time making and flying some of the planes from the book...  Obviously Youngest needed considerable help, and I wasn't dure whether to feel pleased or patronised when Eldest told me I did a good job making Youngest's plane... I think I could have done without the note of surprise in his voice when he said it!  Anyway, they then played with their planes for most of the rest of the afternoon, having races and making up other games (even one involving the trampoline) - a real success :)

Oh, and to finish: in all my soliloquizing about 'presence' in yesterday's post, I forgot to share something lovely that happened first thing in the morning... Middle and Youngest were playing in their room while Mummy got dressed, but Eldest had already come downstairs - he usually switches the TV on for a bit, but yesterday he decided he wanted to write a story to read to Middle and Youngest - and he wrote an Episode of "Abney & Teal" (CBeebies), called 'The Frog'.  He'd noticed the little idiosyncrasies from the series, such as all the episodes starting with "It was a *** day" and ending with "that was an adventure wasn't it?" - and I loved the little musical notes to show where the theme tune comes in at the end.  Of course, I am biased - but I was just so pleased to see him spontaneously choosing to write, that I had to share it here... (translation follows if you, like me, find the photo quality offputting).  Happy weekend everyone! :)

The Adventures of Abney and Teal

The Frog

It was a quiet and peaceful morning, just right for counting.  Abney was counting his silver paper, Teal was counting the stripes on her umbrella, Neep was counting the poc-pocs, the poc-pocs were counting the flowers, Bop was counting his bubbles, when - BOING! SPLASH!  A frog jumped out of the water and over Bop, and swam to the island.  Neep was still trying to count the poc-pocs so he didn't see the frog jump in a Neep-hole.
Abney had finished counting so he decided to fill up all the Neep-holes.  He was about to do another when the frog jumped out at him and hopped to his house.  It jumped into his house and jumped out with his silver paper.  Then Teal came down.  "Hey Abney," said Teal.  "Catch that green thing, it's got my silver paper,"  said Abney.  The frog jumped to the lake where Bop got the silver paper.  When Abney got to the lake he said "Thanks Bop".  "That was an adventure," said Teal.  "Yes it was" said Abney.

The end.


  1. Great story, I love it when they do things like this on their own! Much better than TV any day!