Sunday, 21 September 2014


We collected C from the airport yesterday evening. It was so interesting for the trio with wild reading, Police men with big guns and a sniffer dog...............She is our guest for 11 weeks and although she has been with us for less than 24 hours feels totally like the new normal already.

Yesterday evening O (5) spontaneously drew a 3D cube. He said he drew it because Professor Frink drew one on The Simpsons - he then went on to draw many, many more............I think I was way more than 5 before I was drawing in 3D...........incredible - Minecraft and Lego inspirations..........

Later O dropped pretty much a whole cup of OJ in my slipper  and then drew a picture of it!

There was Doctor Who for the Trio and Crimes of Passion for me on TV

This morning we have been to Worthing to our beach hut and for a play in the gambling arcades - had we known it would be so sunny we might have stayed all day but TDO was keen to come home for the Singapore Grand Prix. There were many people swimming in the sea.

S has someone to discuss Artemis Fowl books with and is currently watching Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.  This is wonderful for S as few of her friends read with such voracity as she does.

Meanwhile E and I have been to the park for nerf fun  designing a few new games one of which is sort of like a sort of nerf boule. E talks about nerf guns almost all of the time.

In Other News

Early this morning E was making something from brown lego with a few yellow bricks included whilst S and O were giggling and laughing........."What are you making?" I asked curious

"It's a sweetcorn poo." he replied as S and O dissolved.............

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Get Lucky

I remember once reading a blog written by a lady about her experiences of a house swap holiday. She said that the very best bit was returning back to a home where everything worked because all of the weeks prior to their holiday had been spent tying up all of those niggling DIY loose ends that many of us tolerate until a catalyst comes along  and so it has been here at Fhloston Paradise for the past 24! Fhloston Paradise is a few months away from its 110th birthday anyone of that age would need regular TLC.........

I can show off S and O's project too hanging up behind me - O coloured the S using the American flag as inspiration - I had no idea he even knew that countries had flags leave alone which flags belongs to which country - Minecraft Mod and Simpson's apparently - The whole  design and concept was S's idea - she has also made a tiramisu for Casey.

This is the A-Z of Unschooling written by Casey's Mum. I hope to be able to do many more of these with an extra pair of hands around.

In and around the jobs its been word magnetics on the fridge making silly sentences with the magnetic words and letters and E and O making nerf targets and modifying nerf bullets in the garden  and for TDO Singapore grand prix qualifying.

We landed up watching Ferris Bueller last night. Funnier than I remembered from 30 years ago.

S said a big banner was embarrassing so O made this one on a lolly stick

Friday, 19 September 2014


Me "Orin, are you playing Plants Vs Zombies on two tablets at once?"

O (5) replies "Why wouldn't I?"

It has been a 24 of moments. Some brilliant moments like when S and E were playing discos, when S and O were working on a fabulous surprise amazing me once again with their imaginations and intelligence illustrating things I had no clue they knew...............and some less brilliant moments like S not having fun at the park and repeatedly asking to leave and E being really challenging as he processes the likely changes of the next few days........tempting O outside whilst I was distracted with a mattress delivery for example.........

There is always so much happening in S 9 and O's busy brains - S made this frozen ice flowers that look like sculptures this morning. She's been experimenting with them over a few days sneaking the valuable flat space in the freezer ahead of the epic Ocado grocery delivery.

O was asking me to write down some of the words we came across this morning as we ate lunch - There was "daisy" and "pocket" which I wrote and in between he wrote "In" so it read "daisy in pocket" and after "teeth" he wrote "fel awt" (fell out) and before Mummy he added "I heart!" His handwriting he pretty similar to mine.

O also made a cheeky addition to my shopping list "orange juice" how could you deny such a request - S also helped him out with the correct spelling of "butt"

Last night was the first ever #HomeEdHour I have organised on Twitter. I started out on the PC but when E woke up so I had to try and organise it from my phone. There were so many RTs it was a struggle to keep up! Just as I had answered a question there were several more. But it was fun. Made 7 new connections and spread the information around. My tweet about home educators joining the National Trust for a significantly reduced rate for example had 10 Retweets. The main take away for me from the conversations was just how many home ed families have a teacher, a head teacher, a private school head or an ex teacher in their ranks. I'd guesstimate around 1/3. Speaks volumes. It was similar back in 2005.

If you want to follow the conversations you can simply click #HomeEdHour on twitter and all the tweets with that hashtag will come up. I invested a while trying to storify it but it didn't include all the best tweets.

E now has his Sonos set up in his room.  It has taken 6 years but we finally have Sonos in every room now. This should help with the bedtime inequity as I can read to S whilst E listens to an audio book. We talked about how the word SONOS is not just the same back to front but upside down too.

And we've downloaded the Sonos App on his tablet and he knows which is "Et's Room" and yesterday he asked me what BB was having seen it on a nerf thread. (Turns out it is ball bearings.......We won't be making that mod to his guns!)

Pushed the rock uphill with E on Reading Eggs again this morning feeling that he really is not developmentally ready to read and is unlikely to pass the test to get onto the next level. Chatting to an adult who read at 10 made me feel better yesterday. He more enjoyed looking at Nerf Wiki. Doing anything without developmental readiness on your side is really tough. There is a dichotomy too between believing something and living it - E is often in situations now where people expect he can read instructions and so on....

It's all explainable - sorting E's birthday invites - I could probably find a similar post from this point last year when I comforted myself with the "this time next year" thought and all that "Back to School" advertising sinks in somehow - I just delayed the reaction by having a holiday last week!

This whilst I am simultaneously chatting to the authors of Murder Most Unladylike and The Roman Mysteries on Twitter about future detective inspired reads for S.....

And maybe the concern that O will read ahead of E is mine alone. I doubt he will ever devour fiction in the way S does....but menus, road signs, instruction manuals. I also find it hard to match the attention I give him as an non reader with that I give to S and O.........

and I can't help but feel he'd be less bored if he could read but again maybe that's just me.........

Relax, we'll be gallivanting again next week!

We met up with local friends for an hour at Storrington Park this morning, we had great laughs on the drive over in and around the regular Friday shop local errands but upon arriving S went into a major down turn :( Am aiming for more short, close to home meets as the seasons change and to try and simultaneously please those who need fresh air and those who prefer to stay home. On the plus side I did get to snuggle a 4 month old :)

We bumped into Lisa from Bignor Roman Villa at the butchers this morning. We had been planning to go to the villa on Monday!

S is so into Katy Perry atm - in the car, in her room, on the Wii............Dancing and singing

S's ice molds

Disco lights in E's room above and S's room below.
A hot and sticky night - waiting for thunder.