Thursday, 13 September 2012

Busy busy...

We're definitely getting back into our stride now :)

Yesterday we had a lovely trip with a few other Home Ed families to one of our favourite woodland haunts.  It was a lovely ramble, and the boys had LOTS of fun playing with friends on a rope swing and in the root system of the coolest tree in the world (in our opinion - see photo below to decide for yourself), learning by experience all about how the root system of a tree works, without consciously thinking about it.  I wasn't so happy when we eventually got back to the car park only to discover that Youngest had left his back-pack at the cool tree - but I am blessed with a lovely friend who took all my boys to her home down the road so I could quickly get back to the tree on my own to retrieve it, rather than having to drag three tired boys with me!  When I picked the boys up after, they were having a great time - Youngest in particular didn't want to leave, and kept asking throughout the afternoon if we could go back, or if our friend could come to us.  It's the first time I've felt able to leave the three of them playing anywhere other than at home or at Grandma's - and I was really happy at how well they did :)

Coolest Tree in the World?

Other than that, we've been busy at home too - Youngest keeps revisiting Reading Eggs at every opportunity, as well as the CBeebies website, and also drawing, looking at books - and today it was his turn to bake, making an impressive "Dotty Cake" with Mummy's help...

Dotty Cake

Eldest has also had a couple of really good days - he's been doing well on MathsWhizz, reading like books are about to disappear, and practicing his sketching techniques, re-visiting the How to Draw Rainforest and Ocean Animals DVD kit that he used a few months ago.  Funnily enough I had only looked at it the other day and wondered if he was ever going to open it again, or if it was a 'single-use' product in Eldest's eyes.  I didn't even have to 'strew' though - he pulled it off the shelf himself that same day and asked to have a go.  This time not only did he draw the four animals as demonstrated on the DVD, he also had a go at a couple of extra animals from the accompanying booklet, and then he tried drawing one of his own toys - for someone with no confidence in his ability to draw, it was lovely to see him so 'hooked' :)

Top l to r: 'Gorilla', 'Shark', 'Macaw' and 'Elephant'
'Toucan' and 'Dolphin' - not attempted before
'Stingray' - portrait of a toy
Middle has also been having fun on Reading Eggs and drawing (see self-portrait below), playing with dice and experimenting with magnets (he really liked the extra-strong magnet that worked "through him" - ie he held the magnet on one side of his thumb and it held a washer in place on the other side of his thumb! We hit a hiccup with MathsWhizz today though - he was apparently being tested on subtraction and addition using carrying - well, he was just staring blankly at the questions, and when I tried to help jog his memory it was clear he had no recollection of ever learning how to do it.  I have emailed the helpdesk as I can't immediately find how to help him on their programme - but every other topic he finds really easy, so I think I'm just going to help him myself, until he's confident enough to rejoin the program.

Self-portrait by Middle

Today we also all sat down and painted our now dry clay creations (as made last week in "Art and Structured Autonomy".  Eldest wasn't interested in anything other than getting his gun finished - although he's happy with the end result, so that's fair enough. 

'"Pistol" by Eldest
Youngest had a whale of a time painting his snowman - at one point it looked like a gory horror film victim, with black and red everywhere - and then he enlisted Mummy's help to smother it with LOTS of white paint until it looked like a snowman again (I think he was disappointed that as the clay dried white, he didn't need to paint much, so he painted it multi-coloured before restoring it to snowy-white with more paint!

"Snowman" by Youngest

Middle (as always when doing arty things) took his time to get his works of art just the way he wanted them.  It's times like this when his absolute focus-on-only-one-thing-at-a-time comes in handy - he didn't care that everyone else had finished; he was happy just to keep painting until he felt he was done :)

"Bob", "Burger and Chips on plates" and "Loveheart", all by Middle

And I had fun too - painting is quite therapeutic, although it would probably be more so if I didn't have to keep getting up and down to change water, wash out pots, wipe up spills, check that boys who have wandered off are in fact paint-free... etc etc!

"Barn Owl" and "Hedgehog" by Mummy

Desite all the busy-ness though, I do still feel as if we're not quite settled though - I think it's mostly because I have no idea where the boys' learning is going - and while I keep reminding myself that that isn't really a bad thing (as we're not the fully-structured type), there is obviously something niggling at me that I haven't put my finger on yet - I'll let you know if I figure it out!  Meanwhile, for a family who don't seem to have a clear direction, we're having lots of fun learning - and that's my number one priority.


  1. That tree looks awesome! And the chocolate cake too, mmmm! We haven't actually started "term" yet, but will be trying to get back in the swing of things next week.

    1. Thanks Rachel (the cake tasted awesome too!) Hope you're having a good "first day" today xx