Today was a bit of a slow-starter, really. We're managing to stick to the new sort-of routine of tidying bedrooms before we come downstairs, setting the laundry off & emptying the diswasher etc - & not putting the TV/ Wii on before lunch, so that's positive. Hubby and I have got a real desire to have a good ole sort out at the moment, so I've been going for it while we are both in the mood for a cull - which meant that after breakfast today I got a bit distracted with clearing out some clutter-magnet areas, and while the boys were quite happy occupying themselves (largely on the trampoline - exercising in the fresh air, hooray!), I just got on with it. I got lots done, and I am pleased about that, but I'm also feeling a bit dissatisfied that we didn't get our usual lovely relaxed Monday morning together. Never mind - it'll be totally worth it once the house is emptier - mess is not conducive to a peaceful environment.
We did still have some lovely moments though - all the boys wanted time on the computer, so Youngest went on Reading Eggs first, followed by Middle. I popped in every now and then to see how they were doing (removing junk from the study with every trip!), and was really impressed with both of them: Despite the break over the holidays, Youngest doesn't seem to have forgotten anything he has learned so far. He was a little unsure in places, but then confessed that his big brother had helped him the other day ('help' probably meaning he did it for him), so I walked him through the bits he was unsure about, and he picked it up really quickly again - it's such a great programme, his reading-skills are coming on really well! Middle has moved up a level and is now doing stuff a bit more appropriate for his ability I think. For a while he was doing exercises that I thought were far too easy for him, but as I hoped, it appears that it has built his confidence back up - and it looks like it won't be long before he's ready to move on to Reading Eggspress (the second part of the Reading Eggs programme, for 7-13 year olds). He even used the programe to write a little story today - yay! :) Eldest did some Maths whizz and then got lost in a book ('The Horse and His Boy'), which he read in under two hours (could have been much less - I wasn't timing him; I just noticed him starting it, and a bit later finishing it). Little bookworm! He really reminds me of myself at that age :)
We had a bit of practical maths this morning as well, helped by the fact that all of mine love playing with money (not to mention spending it when they get the chance!). Having done a car boot sale at the weekend, I had lots of pound coins in my purse for once, so I set them all a challenge: we got out the tin that we keep a few bits of loose change in, and I said if they could each make £1 out of the coins in the tin, I would swap those coins for a £1 coin that they could put in each of their wallets. With Eldest I specified that he had to use at least one of each different coin there - which he did very quickly while I was helping Youngest, who really enjoyed finding the numbers written on each coin (frustratingly the newer coins don't have the numeral on them, only the number as a word - so "two" instead of "2"). Anyway, I helped Youngest to count his coins up to a hundred, and he gleefully ran off with his £1 coin. Middle was next, and he had lots of fun playing with the coins, sorting them, working out how many he had of each type of coin - even doing some times-table work as well as addition and subtraction. Lots of fun - and he didn't even realise he was doing Maths ;)
Middle had expressed a desire to do some baking today, so we had a lovely bit of one-on-one time in the kitchen baking banana muffins. I usually let the boys choose what they want to make (as long as we have all the necessary ingredients), but we had some seriously overripe bananas that needed using up, so I made today's choice - and let's face it, muffins always go down well in this house ;)
I also had some one-on-one time with Youngest a bit later, who just wanted to snuggle up together and watch a Dora and Diego DVD (learning a bit about wildlife and some Spanish while we were at it!).
Eldest then had a very exciting package delivered, so we ran out of time for me to have any one-on-one with him - but we had had a lovely snuggle last night watching "The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe" while Daddy put the younger two to bed, so I didn't mind too much. The 'very exciting package' was a Clone Wars Wii game that he had been wanting for a long time. He had been trying to sell a lego kit to raise funds, and I finally sold it at the car boot sale on Saturday for him. Happily, although the lego didn't get as much as he was initially hoping for, in the time it had taken to sell it, the Wii game had come down in price, so he was delighted to find out he had enough money! Cue a hasty purchase on Amazon - followed by a very excited boy when the postman delivered a package this afternoon that "sounded heavy!!!" when it hit the floor, and "looked the right size!!!!!" when a very excited Eldest ran to fetch it ;)
Hence my having enough time to sit down and blog - all three boys are now engrossed with doing goodness-knows-what to droids and other strange creatures, courtesy of the Wii. I'm not looking forward to their response when I turn it off in a minute, but I have to admit, it was a really lovely lesson in patience, as well as depreciation in value of certain goods (both lego and Wii games) over time.
So I was just trying to think of a title for today's blog, but as it was a funny day with lots of bits and pieces going on, all I could think of was that it really was a day of no one focus today - it felt like we just got swept along with activities, rather than having any plan to the day - but actually that's not necessarily a bad thing. We don't run to a timetable (another benefit of HE), so it doesn't matter. Some days like today are heavy on computer-based learning, some days we don't go near the study; some days I get lots of time with the children, some days not so much; some days are more 'arty' or 'outdoors' or 'sociable'... the variety is endless - and it always balances out in the long run. Tomorrow will be another day and will doubtless look very different again - I like that :)