- Parenting is hard, especially if you have no intention of breaking the spirit in the process, I feel it would be dishonest not to acknowledge that.
- Home ed problems have home ed solutions.
- Attachment parenitng is investment heavy in the early years but I believe the dividends are paid later. We will see.
Sunday, 31 July 2011
- Re investigate food allergies: thoughts include bread and red food colouring. I have been considering taking him for some vega testing which we did with Big Small when she was a baby following a strong reaction to avocado.
- Take him to the Doctors just to rule out physical problems, although confidence in this is very low, I don't hear positives about this angle from anyone.
- Would be benefit from some time with a child minder? Is separation the answer to what might well be an attention based problem? Not for a moment do I really think it will help him but might give everyone else some space.
- Try some new discipline ideas. He does not seem motivated by carrot and stick or fear and guilt and sanctions at all and is acting on impulse is just that? Does impulse control come with maturity? Perhaps there are a few occasions recently when we should have left him at home but would he even make the connection or, if he didn't want to come where we were going would he act up just to stay home with a dedicated adult? Is he even that smart?
- That all of this is actually a pretty normal part of raising a boy who is jealous of his baby brother and intimidated by his Big Sister's abilities It is just that people are not honest about how hard they find parenting or they delegate most of it to someone else and so blame them when it all goes wrong.
- Fundamentally we do not want to raise compliant adults who do as they are told but failure to respond to a request like "Stop hitting" is not acceptable. How can we encourage cooperation without a backlash?
- We need to try and ensure in future that something specific is organised for the other siblings when a playdate happens especially in the winter.
Saturday, 30 July 2011
This morning during another of our, now very regular, simmer down chats Middle Small asked me if criminals are born criminals. He was trying to destroy the duplo castle his brother and sister were playing with so I removed him from the situation. We are trapped in a circle, neither vicious or virtuous, where his attention seeking actions are rewarded with the wrong kind of attention. We landed up having a very long chat that was essentially the nature nurture debate in a nutshell as to whether the criminal mind is born or made. We went back inside and he, immediately, smashed by the building so I took him outside again and we had another talk. He came back in and, after eating a snack, came apologised and rejoined the game.
Big and Baby Small were up for 2 or 3 hours after Middle Small fell asleep last night playing Top Agents and fairies, despite (or because of?) their 4.5 year age gap The Daddy One and I were not required to intervene once. Further reminder, if one were needed, of just how disruptive their brother can be at the moment. It is very waring for everyone especially as often he is okay and his outbursts are not always predictable.
At our local park last week a little girl who we often see there alone had a friend in tow. I asked her who her friend was and she replied "She's gonna have to come and live with us now coz her Mum just can't cope with her no more." Later on I told The Daddy One about this and we started speculating about how man such informal fostering arrangements exist.
A few weeks back I watched The Kennedys docdrama on BBC2 and I was struck by how one sibling was running the country whilst simulatenously another was being lobtomised. The line between genius and insanity maybe finer than we think. The recent tragic deaths of creative genuises like Amy Winehouse and Alexander McQueen have been on my mind too.
No matter your ability to be comfortable with yourself and how you behave in your interactions with each other outranks the importance of academic or financial success in my opinion. I just had no idea it would be so hard.
I and I am sure many other home educators were not really looking forward to the school summer holidays this year but, one week in, I have to confess they are turning out okay, well, apart from the disruption to The Small's regular Tuesday swim. We have had several friends over for playdates, aquiring several forgotten jackets in the process, and stuck local because there have been other children at the nearby parks to play with. In term time a 30 mile round trip is generally required to replicate this state of affairs.
Many Home Educators will have not yet really noticed that the summer holidays have begun because they are too busy having fun at HESFES, the annual home educators summer camp festival, held in the holidays I assume because so many home educating families have a school teacher in the family, not a fact widely broadcast to those outside the community and less so by the teachers themselves.
It does make our autonomous follow through a bit tricky though, there is no way, for example, that I would cultivate a sudden interest in dinosaurs in July but I have drawn up a list of suggestions for Autumn days out and explained we will be staying home significantly more for the next few weeks.
And, at the end of it all September is one of the best months of the year to be an out of school family, last year we had our fabulous term time Tuscan gallivant but in previous years the Indian Summer weather has handily coincided with our usual haunts emptying out. A particular meet up at a deserted Littlehampton beach where the older children swam in the sea will always stick in my memory.
The September Not Back to School Picnics that started as a response to the Badman report I believe are now an annual feature of the national calender, it looks like there will be 4 here in West Sussex alone. A great celebration of not having to sew in name labels and breezing past the shelves of teflon and text books.
One more seasonal trend I have noticed, in this the 5Th annual cycle for our local facebook group, is the pick-up in enquiries about home educating that occur for the next 7 or 8 weeks. I am not sure if this is a regional or a national trend but I do like to look behind trends, I can't help it, I was an economist before I was a Mummy!
Friday, 29 July 2011
Thursday, 28 July 2011
The body is completed as the door bell rings, an epic shopping delivery arrives featuring a large amount of frozen content so needs immediate attention, just as the floor is clear of bags the bell goes again, the tennis balls I ordered yesterday afternoon have arrived, Two of the smalls head outside to bounce them because new tennis balls have a great bouncability, meanwhile our friends are texting because my directions were too vague, they arrive and soon after one of their number announces he is hungry, somewhere along the way it appears I managed to put 7 jacket potatoes in the oven which means we can eat.
managed to squeee in a little chat with their mummy One about how people try and trransplant the skills of dog and horse trainning into the sphere of child rearing.
After lunch we head to the swings, Baby Small is tired and the walk should do the trick, it does, and between the squabbles we fly paper planes (& sneak a few chunks of chocolate)
I know for sure that it will not always be this way, they will not always need me and I'll miss them when they are gone. I wonder what I'll do
Wednesday, 27 July 2011
Shortly after we arrived at our second park of the day a family of 4 girls arrived and S and E played with them for maybe two hours. It turns out they are going to be at our local park, Pulborough, tonight, so weather permitting it might be 3 parks that we land up visiting today!
Tuesday, 26 July 2011
Monday, 25 July 2011
Sunday, 24 July 2011
Saturday, 23 July 2011
We have had The Daddy One's parents here for the day today, they arrived around 11am and have just left, 9pm ish. The Smalls popped out to buy some plants for their Grandma who has had a birthday since we last saw her whilst I whizzed up a cake and a tiramisu for us to have later, ironic for someone who feels her families sugar consumption has slipped into the red of late (sugar reduces immunity and mouth ulcers are a sign of reduced immunity.) When they arrived the 7 of us walked into our village and Big Small completed the next phase of the circus summer reading scheme before we headed to our local pub for a beer garden lunch. Scampi. Our visitors also made a quick trip to see the allotment.
Much lego and duplo play this afternoon and S made a boat. We have watched The Oddessy, Barbie a Fairy Secret and a Star Wars movie.
The sad news from Norway has rather hung over my day today. The Daddy One, being in the oil business, has been to Norway 3 or 4 times on business and has commented each time on the great philosophy and attitude of the Norwegians. He has has several Norwegians working in his office.
Friday, 22 July 2011
Thursday, 21 July 2011
- Baby Small can say eucalyptus
- E has been making lego and been on lego website, he seems troubled over whether he likes lego or playmobil more.
- S has been writing in her diary -she can spell a surprising number of words.
- S painted a cool picture of "Mum and Dad! and painted a yellow frame around the outside