Monday, 3 September 2012

Fun with Story-telling

That title is a bit of a mis-nomer really - I can't think of any form of story-telling that isn't fun - at least, not in this house!  But after Middle, Youngest and I had another fun time telling each others stories at bedtime last night, I got to thinking how I would love to have a record of the stories that we make up - because they're so much fun.  So last night I drew up a brief outline of a story for the boys to fill in the gaps, but rather than having one sheet of paper each, I used the principle of the game "consequences" so we could come up with some collaborative stories.  For those who aren't familiar with the game, basically we filled in the first gap: "Once upon a time there was a                      " and then folded it over so our writing wasn't visible to anyone, and handed it on to the next person to fill in the next gap: "who was called                        ".  It worked really well, except that where I had planned to scribe for Youngest, who whispered his words in my ear, Middle was also lacking in confidence to write his answers down, so I ended up scribing for both of them - which was just a bit of a challenge to keep them from hearing/ seeing each other's answers.   (Incidentally, I'm reassured that Middle has expressed a desire to learn cursive  - I had been thinking for a while that he needed to build his confidence in writing, as demonstrated today).  Anyway, they were all full of enthusiasm and utterly tickled by the resulting stories (we do like surreal humour), to the point where they then all went off and did some more writing/ illustrating :)

Story 1:
Once upon a time there was a bird who was called Tiger and lived on a shelf.  One day he went on a trip to the moon and saw a car.  Suddenly there was a falling fish.  He did a big scream, shouting "Sorry!".  That made everyone fly, and then he died and they all lived happily ever after.  The End

Story 2:
Once upon a time there was a whale who was called Nugget and lived in a sea. One day he went on a trip to the beach and saw a bird. Suddenly there was a bang. He did a big sneeze, shouting "Poo-poo!". That made everyone cross, and then their babies fell over and they all lived happily ever after. The End

Story 3:
Once upon a time there was a carrot who was called Bobby-kiddo and lived in a soaker-house. One day he went on a trip to the trampoline and saw a penguin.  Suddenly there was a car. He did a big fart, shouting "Hip hip hooray!". That made everyone mad, and then he went home and they all lived happily ever after. The End

All in all, we're gearing up into our version of "term-time" - I need to clear the study again so there's space for all their projects, big and small.  The boys are wanting to find interesting things to do, and I'm clamping down on the amount of Wii/ TV time etc.  We're working on a housework routine (I'll write more on that once it's clearer & working), and we're really looking forward to the "Not-back-to-school" picnic with the local Home Ed-ors later this week :) 

So... so far today, other than our story-writing, Middle is continuing learning to tell the time using this fabulous clock from Early Learning Centre.  He hasn't had any "lessons" - it just hangs next to our kitchen table and every now and then he works out the time from it - great :)  There was a fair bit of bouncing on the trampoline.  Middle also wanted to have a go at Reading Eggs which immediately prompted Youngest to want a go, and as Middle then got distracted with the Bibleman DVD that Eldest was watching, Youngest got his way - with Reading Eggs and CBeebies!  Eldest played on Maths Whizz for a while, then Middle had a turn on Reading Eggs while Eldest made some scrummy cookies (recipe here - but we didn't have enough choc chips, so we substituted half with fudge cubes instead... yum).

Those cookies were so tempting when they came out of the oven that the boys needed a distraction while they cooled, so I got our "Habitats" reusable sticker pad out, and we had some lovely conversations while they made their pictures...  Eg when Youngest was peeling a giraffe sticker off the backing sheet, I asked him what he thought the giraffe was bending down for, and he said he was trying to smell a mouse on the ground ;)  Middle was telling a lovely story about some brother dinosaurs and Eldest was educating his brothers about the different ocean species in his picture - a great way to spend fifteen minutes ;)

So altogether, that was a lovely day - nothing stressful; nothing pressured - just time with my boys, living and learning, remembering why I love Home Education.  Happy days :)

PS While I had my camera out, I took a photo of our avocado plant (now measuring 29cm tall, according to Eldest), that we planted back in June - as blogged about in Garden Fun  - when we put two avocado stones into pots thinking that in theory they could grow but we didn't really know - well one did, and here it is!  I've just found a link here that tells how to grow an avocado tree from a pit (stone) and am laughing that we did it all wrong but it still worked!  I thought it was a bit long and leggy - I'm off to pinch out the top leaves now ;)  Still, it's nice to have something that 'we' grew from a seed/ pit, especially as the carrots we sowed at the same time just went all leafy, with no actual carrot.  Green-fingered I am not, but we're enjoying having a go - and of course, learning all the time!  Home Education's not just for the kids! :)