Please don't think we haven't been doing other bits and bobs by the way but with an important family birthday next week they are Top Secret.
Please don't think we haven't been doing other bits and bobs by the way but with an important family birthday next week they are Top Secret.
Excluding the hour or more in bed reading story books first thing it has been me on my own today. Christmas shopping whilst The Smalls had a day with their Grandma at Fishers Farm. My first stop was Seawhite in Partridge Green, then I stopped in Steyning for a look in the Book Shop and a cappuccino with Almond croissant. Yum. I read an article in the Daily Mirror about how only 50% children get 5 gcses at c or above. See! This is what happens to me when I'm left alone I start reading tabloids! Then, on to Brighton where my shop included lego store. So Christmas is pretty much under control here. It was so windy in Brighton along the seafront (where I parked) that I could hardly walk against the force. It was rather a novelty to engage with shop keepers and chat rather than removing small hands from fragile objects and so on.
Friends over today, first social day in a while. I love home educated children. From upstairs comes the cry "Mum, the Barbies need their daily timestables and additions." So, ignoring that I am organising lunch for seven some are quickly written down. Brilliant!
E has been great today. I was apprehensive as the friends are the same age and gender as Big and Baby Small but he has been peachy. Surprising for a 5am starter. We've had the brio out for the first time in a while.
Fabulous decadent Monday lunch today. Home made butternut squash and bacon soup with home made pear tarts to follow.
Did I tell you I have a "day-off" tomorrow? For Christmas shopping purposes.
First thing (before 9am) I headed out to collect a Christmas present for S that a friend had alerted me to. A Barbie plane! It is incredible, only just fitted in the car boot. Those Barbies, driving a newer car than me, a wardrobe of gorgeous gowns, a pony and an oven that has the pizza (which is now a vegetable apparently) ready cooked for their arrival home. Those dolls have it sorted. So, the shopping has commenced.This morning turned out, for various reasons, including a cash machine with a red plastic grid over the slot, to be an epic adventure. Let's hope the rest of the shopping is smoother. So acustomed to considering three small people in my every move then when alone it feels a bit strange. At one moment it was pouring with rain then, without warning the cloud broke to a clear blue just as the uplifting tune "Children" by Robert Miles was warming up and I pointed out a real cool looking tyre swing to no one in particular.
Then, later, the outside the boxers made decorated boxes inspired partly by S's jeweled affair from yesterday and adding the third dimension to cutting and sticking. E made lego ninjago and lego alien conquest. They are really impressive. My might varnish them. O covered his becks box in lego Cars cars. We have (or should I say had!?) a big collection of lego catalogues so the raw materials were easy to come by. Do you have weekends off?
In case you were still worried, by the way, the puffa jacket is puffed again. Maybe the 20th winter a puffa jacket has been my warmth of choice. You can take the girl out of the rave......
The Daddy One took E to the dens in the woods today and E did some great reading first thing as well. A little (big) thing happened too. As E awoke first, (well actually O woke first but that was 4am and he went back to sleep after the lack of traffic on the road outside and silence from the central heating gave me the clue it was still night time!) and he was watching Indiana Jones but we told him if Baby Small woke up he'd have to turn it off. When we turned it off he flew from the room in a rage (I didn't blame him it was at a good bit) then, less than a minute later, he came back in and said "I'm okay now Mum I was pretty cross but I'm okay now." I was seriously impressed.
He asked me some questions today too - I notice he has been doing this more and more
"What does peppered mean?"
"Why can't dogs climb?"
S has been making things for the Barbies and playing on the Barbie website.
Part Two of The Killing on BBC4 today. After family movie night that it......
Et said a funny thing today about some sweets
"They are really sticky because I licked them clean with my tongue."
The trees opposite are looking trimmed and tidy, only when you see the branches on the ground can you (I?)visualise the true scale of their size. The crows that had made a habitat there 3 or so years ago have not been seen for a whole season now. Banged with the gun I suspect.
S asked at breakfast if Baby Small is still 2 and a half and with the help of the fraction cubes we established that yesterday was actually his 2 and seven twelfths birthday but probably it is okay to say half as 7/12ths is not how people usually describe their age!
We went to Whiteways this morning in our matching wellies, around ten, for a play in the woods and a hot chocolate with marshmellows (well, I had some of their divine espresso but I am not certain it is legal to feed that to under tens.) E (5) is so much more pleasant for even an hour of physical activity in the morning that the benefits are actually for all. A friend posted a great photo of her home educated girls knitting in the coffee shop on her blog yesterday, home educating a single gender family must be such a different experience from spinning plates not without its other challenges though I am certain. Sadly our regular Friday help is poorly with a nasty cough so I was solo mio today, and although S moaned for almost the entire time "Why would anyone want to go outside in Autumn you certainly won't be expecting me to go outside in the winter will you?" "Why can't we go to soft play?" she cheered up for hot chocolate and we called into the library to order in more books and South View dairy on the way home. She suggested it would be a good place to film an episode of Tractor Ted. I left them the article from yesterday's Guardian about unpasteurised milk. 2 x £0.85 they have a honesty box.
We also filled up with fuel on the way home. In the attended Murco, no dirty hands equals joy! Exactly £100.oo on the nose, a few ml shy of 70 litres which I am fairly certain is the tank capacity! Doh. S exclaimed "I know The Daddy One works hard but how can anyone have £100?" We talked about wages and what they are spent on and then I remembered I had forgotten the tax man's percentage. She was genuinely horrified and hasn't said much about it since. The forecourt attendant produced his calculator to work out miles to the gallon. Odd really as I have been a bit concerned about maths lately and then there is it. Everywhere.
Anne Fine - Jennifer's Diary
Trixie and the Amazing Doggy Yap Star - Ros Asquith
Dream On - Bali Rai
Eva the Enchanted Ball Fairy - Daisy Meadows
Fairy Charm "The Unicorn" - Emily Rodda
Star Island - Amy Tree (this is part of a set of 12 books and S has now read them all)
The Otter who Knew to Much - Jill Tomlinson
Cathy Cassidy - Scarlet
He, clearly, has never seen a cot!
E chose this DK Rainy Day book with a Domino rally project and I spent ages looking for the dominoes, by the time they had been located he had rather lost interest in the idea.
S & I had a chat about the number 12 and why it features in the 2, 3 and 4 times tables.
The Daddy One and I watched Colin Firth in A Single Man after The Smalls had fallen asleep chuckling away to Flat Stanley the Japanese Ninja Surprise. What a hilarious book and a very stylish movie, the whole set radiated the colours of a giant Gucci store.
Today was our no power day so we headed to Play - the soft play in Worthing first thing. All 3 smalls really like it there and it is only £12 for all of us which includes a free cappuccino and free town centre parking (probably worth a £5) before heading over to see the BFFs in Goring~by~Sea for a few hours lego and barbie on our only play date of the week. I am pleased to announce that Operation Family Re-group is working well and my trio slid down the slide together, squabbling has been minimal to zero and they even played with each other at a friend's house today.
Home from friends around 3:30pm to find lights and other 21st century trappings all fully functioning and trees trimmed. Home made pizza for tea. Pear and dolcelatte for me. Yippee.
Surprising, I know, to read of someone who has not engaged in paid employment for over seven years and whose three children are committed to little in the way of clubs groups and classes and obviously no school runs suggest that they may have overdone it but certainly the behaviours at home would seem to suggest so. The family dynamic is at the core of home education, just as the school teacher dreams of removing the one disruptive pupil from the class room it takes little to upset the equilibrium at home. I am doing my best to restore it and have, pretty much, cleared the schedule in an attempt to refocus the sibling balance.
E has been about stories this past 24. He was inspired to dictate the following to me at Hove Museum yesterday
Talking of Daddy Ones, it is The Daddy Ones 39th birthday this weekend, yes, a toy boy from the school year below. It is fortunate that we did not attend the same school as well, you just didn't go out with boys from the year below in my school days. This will be the 11th birthday that we have shared. We bought a different legacy of birthday celebrations to our relationship and ultimately into our family. Growing up in my family birthdays were a big deal. Cards, parties, presents etc but certainly a more mellow approach from The Daddy One's side so, on his first birthday that we shared, I decided to fill our flat with balloons. Tricky, as it only had one bedroom, to find privacy so I decide to inflate them whilst I was in the hot, steamy bath. Looking back a minor miracle that I didn't faint.
Seems like ages since the Robots post, we arrived the 16 miles home from Hove yesterday just before 2 o clock and some of our loveliest long standing home ed friends came over very shortly after. They played barbies and the super Mummy One made lego hoth ice planets with E. We read loads in bed last night including several robot books! S has had a London day with The Daddy One today. They have been to the science museum. So, the boys had super fun with Friday's extra pair of hands in the shape of our home ed helper. They have made cards and played playmobil castles whilst I walked down to the dry cleaners in the village with my blood stained white puffa jacket.
It bore the brunt of Baby Smalls slip in Hove Park yesterday. It has been a week for puffa jackets really. E's red one feared lost until we tracked it down to Fishers Farm and my white one turning red. The dry cleaner suggested I wash it and tumble dry it with tennis balls. I have washed it and the blood has come off but it is still bouncing around in the dryer with the balls. I'll let you know how it goes. As I was in the village alone I called into the library to have a look at "Who Next?" in peace! I looked up some of the authors S has been enjoying and, based upon its recommendations, was able to select 10 or so more books I think she will like. In fact she has already started reading them. Who Next? Is fabulous. I believe most libraries hold a copy.
I noticed another book on the shelf with tips for starting school. On the front it suggested that failure to control angry feelings appropriately can mark a child out as immature. Odd that as I thought being a child was a sign of immaturity. Fortunate I am usually too busy reading to my children to have a chance to notice such books.
Had a bake-a-thon & laundry-a-thon home day after that. Made some cottage pie, plum crumble, chocolate brownies and roasted the last of the red peppers from our allotment. After lunch our Italian friends came for a visit bearing Italian biscuits that are rather delectable when spread with brown paint. They stayed until the day trippers returned.
We have a totally clear day tomorrow, this week has been brilliant but I am not sure the pace is sustainable. Looking forward to a lazy one tomorrow.
It was fabulous. It is rare indeed that all 3 Smalls are captured by an event and it is often the case that I will only take one or two to a particular museum or gallery but they all really enjoyed today. S & E wrote both a story and completed the quiz and S joined in the cutting and sticking activity. They are normally both pretty resistant to prescribed activities but today E even wrote bomb on his story.
The exhibition is in three rooms, the first has about 20 glass box cabinets full of robots grouped thematically, it has been thoughtfully set up as many of the displays are low down perfect for smaller people. Few of my photos are worth uploading as the cabinets are back lit - but that is okay - more reason for you to check it out in person! The second room has two displays of robotic blaster guns and three beautifully painted wooden robots with their faces cut out for Brighton Pier inspired fun. In the third room there is a projector showing many of the robots from the cabinets doing their thing on film with a mini red sofa for younger viewers. E & O watched two revolutions of this whilst S joined in with the activity.
Whilst we were there we also had a look upstairs at the display of toys and found some Barbies to add to our collection of Barbies we have seen in museums.
We parked right outside on a parking meter but the museum is not that far from the train station, we bumped into some home ed friends who were arriving just as we were leaving. Afterwards we had a snack in the museum garden then headed to Hove Park for a run around. Sadly O fell off the roundabout and has a bit of a fat lip, bumping it in the same place he landed on when he fell over at Bury Hill yesterday.
Really impressed with the robots and more importantly I can see that S & E are really inspired and E has been talking about Asimo.