Monday, 11 February 2013

Mellow Monday

We had a busy weekend away this weekend, visiting family, meeting up with old friends from the church we were part of when we got married a LONG time ago, and then celebrating my brilliant nephew's 18th birthday with more family.  It was a lovely weekend, although I was glad to get home having had to drive through heavy snow in the dark on the way back.  I'm always so happy every time I stop and register that weekends away are no problem, because tired boys (and Mummy) can have a lay-in and lazy day the next day if necessary.

So this morning we got up very slowly and gently.  The boys drifted downstairs and were allowed one programme before breakfast (they chose a programme they had recorded called Splatalot), then breakfast, then Reading Eggspress.  I don't want them to feel crowded or harrassed, so more often than not I tend to leave the boys to it and let them know they can call me if they need help - but today I stayed with Middle to have a look at it together, and I'm glad I did - he had got stuck and was playing the games rather than ask for help.  He had still been learning while playing, so it wasn't a disaster, but I was glad for the opportunity to go through it together.  He obviously still has a problem with feeling bad if he can't do something first time (even something he has never learned, bless him).  Anyway, we went through it togethe and chatted about the bits he was getting stuck on, then he whizzed through the other bits, happy to be progressing.  He had got stuck on not knowing the definitions of nouns, pronouns, verbs etc, so I'm going to print off a sheet for him with the definitions so he can stick it to the desk and have it to refer to all the time.  So that was lovely, seeing his confidence grow - and making a mental note for Mummy to keep a closer eye on him to check that he isn't struggling but not asking for help (it's hereditary it seems: I never asked for help at school/ college either).  Well after that he carried on with some of the Reading Eggspress games while Youngest and I went on Reading Eggs on my laptop.  Youngest totally whizzed through it again - he picked it back up again last week after a good few months off - and I'm still astounded at how, during his time off, he has mastered the thing that he was stuck on!  I know it's true that we all need time off to process things and that children given that space really do progress naturally without needing to be drilled - but it's still amazing to see it happen before your eyes!

Other than their online curricula we watched "321 Go" (a Maths programme recorded from BBC's Learning Zone) on fractals and symmetry, which was lovely, because it tied in really well with the art I had planned for today.  Following on from our 'painting with scissors' art on Friday in Moodswings, Muffins and Matisse, we did some more cutting out, but this time using lines of symmetry to create 'positive' and 'negative' images:  We used an A4 piece of paper as a background sheet with a line down the middle (the line of symmetry), and then an A5 piece of paper to draw one half of a symmetrical shape/ image, and then cut it out and flipped it over the line of symmetry - and then glued the pieces down.  I think the pictures show more clearly what I mean...

 Mummy's 'Face' - the example I made to show the boys what I meant

Middle's 'Ball'

Eldest's 'Lightsaber Duel'

Youngest's 'Shapes'

Middle's 'Octopus'

Eldest's 'Squid'

 Mummy's 'Snowflake' (that took AGES!)

Following that, the boys wanted to watch "Fierce Earth:Tsunami", recorded from CBBC.  I wasn't at all sure because for some weird reason tsunamis - more than any other natural disaster - give me nightmares, & I was concerned for the boys.  They were all sure they wanted to see it though, and it was a children's programme after all so on it went.  Actually it turned out to be quite positive for me too as it focused on survivor stories... so next time I dream about a tsunami I can just climb a palm tree in my dream & all will be well! (I know, there aren't many palm trees in Hertfordshire - but then we're not exactly on the coast either... nobody said fears had to be rational!)

And that was it!  The rest of the day mostly involved pottering, relaxing and playing, cosying up inside and looking at the snow outsaide (we weren't even tempted to go outside in it, we were that tired!) - basically, the perfect Monday after a busy weekend away!


  1. fantastic stuff! Once again you leave me totally inspired and have given me more ideas to pinch. That is a fabulous way to look at symmetry and art. We've been under the weather today so it has been a day of TV and films and snuggling on the sofa but when we feel up to it, this is going to be great to try out. thank you for the inspiration. xxx

    1. Aw, thank you, that's lovely! (PS Sofa-snuggling is one of my favourite things about HE!)