Friday, 5 June 2009

Bumble-Bees and Beaches

On Tuesday morning we found out "what bees eat". Well, I was pretty sure it was pollen but you know when you start doubting yourself and you think you are really quite dim and that you should know the answer...? No? I guess I'm alone on that one then! Hee hee.

Anyway, we looked on-line to investigate this burning question to discover not only that they did eat pollen and nectar but they were also related to Hornets and they (the Hornets) eat smaller insects as well as plant-produce! It lead onto a clip on You Tube of 30 Hornets slaughtering a 10 thousand strong colony of bees! They are quite formidable insects but the Bees really put up a fight. We halted the clip quite prematurely as it was becoming somewhat barbaric. And that was all before breakfast! We printed off a factsheet too... It has a great picture of a Bee on it!

After brecks the girlies made clay models of Bees which they have since painted and they used reference books with Bee pictures in them as a guide.

When we were looking for the Bees in the books we found out lots about many other species too, particularly wasps (there are SO many different ones) and their killing and eating habits. We also looked at and discussed Lion Ants. They make conical hides and wait for prey to fall in... great!

Before lunch the girlies put on a show for me in the garden. They took it in turns for one to sing whilst the other danced with ribbons on sticks. It was all done to the tune of twinkle twinkle little star... Milly made up her own words and much of them related to the Bees we were studying all morning.

Hettie was given a lovely Peter Rabbit floor Jigsaw puzzle for her Birthday and they set too with this. There was an unusual amount of co-operation from Milly though at one point when they had completed it, she really did want her own space to do her own (much smaller with fiddly bits) Jigsaw puzzle. I think Hettie is learning to allow Milly some space.

As they were doing puzzles I was preparing a small picnic to take to the beach at Mersea. I told them when I had finished and it was a great surprise for them... and it was a complete privilege too as I really think hard of Martin at times like this. He's stuck in an office and we're sitting on a beach, the sun is hot and there are only a handful of bods on the beach... A real sigh! Martin would love the calmness as did the girlies as they ate most of their lunch in silence. A nice time for processing all they have done that morning.

After our nibbles, we wandered further towards the water to do some 'treasure digging' in the sand! I asked them to hunt for different coloured stones. Milly asked "how do we know which direction the wind is blowing?" We did the wet-finger-above-our-head-method... "that direction, Milly" pointing towards the beach huts! Well... there wasn't a weather vain nearby!

We had a lovely afternoon at the beach and this continued at home when Milly's pal from school came round for tea. There was no awkwardness as I had anticipated and they played as though they had spent the day together... fabulous.

In the evening, Milly and I read a page each of one of her books.

The day was peppered with moments of art but for the most, she was 'at play'... and exceedingly happy.


Thursday, 4 June 2009

Bloggs and my intentions

Just a very brief posting to purely remind myself to GET TO BED EARLIER!

We have had an incredible week so far and I have been documenting it... On paper with the intention to post it here. I will get round to updating our blogg and certainly before we go away.

It has been mostly a very mellow home this week with one exception (well probably a few more to be honest) of Hettie choking on a penny and, thankfully, swallowing it! Poor girlie... So now commences the search for the penny when she has spent a rather-large-one herself... eye watering stuff you know! Milly did get very upset about it at the time but all is well now... just have to wait for the 'goods' to turn up now!

Milly maybe really lucky and see the penny again herself when the Tooth Fairy visits. Yes, she has her first wobbly tooth! Alot of excitement here I tell you.

On the good news side of things, Milly has been sleeping so much better and as Martin put it "she doesn't have her little worries anymore". I hope that's the case anyway because whatever it is, she is a happier little girlie all round.

Letter went off to school on Wednesday so we are hoping at least to receive some acknowledgment from Mr Young and confirmation of Milly's de-registration.

I AM going to bed now... Missed my swim tonight so will be aiming to belt out some lengths next week!


Monday, 1 June 2009

Dreams and Times Tables

On waking this morning... the first morning of 'Officially' No School... I opened my bleary eyes recalling the dream I had. I had already had an unsettled night going over in my head what I would say to the Head Teacher, Mr Young about Milly's absence from school. My stomach was churning with the of emotions and concerns for Milly's pals who all seem a bit upset but also because we had a BBQ in the evening after Hettie's birthday party on Sunday and alot of very good chilled beer was consumed. Nonetheless, my dream... moving on: I called Mr Young a told him that Milly is now being Home Educated to which he replied (IN MY DREAM) "well, she won't learn as much as the others do in one week of school" to which my reply was (and I WAS very nice when I did reply) "You're right. We will just be taking longer to cover what she wants to learn, so it's ok..." At this point Hettie and I were woken by a seemingly well-slept and Mellow-Milly asking Hettie if she'd like to come to her room and play and "morning Mummy kiss kiss cuddle." Hmmmmm lovely!

As I laid there listening to them chattering and playing I texted Martin and I don't mind sharing the content with you (well, my Homeopath got to see it too!): "...Actually lost alot of sleep last night as the whole home ed thing is now SO real I'm actually feeling quite sick. I dreamt of telling Mr Young, not a positive response from him but good come-back from me. The support from different angles will start to be sought now as I am sensing a little 'floundering' from my corner! Will Hettie allow me time with Milly, will Hettie's needs be met too... It's all about more juggling and being organised and I'm actually now quite scared but excited... It's all a process we will all be going through and helping each other with. It's a real test for me, of my patience and commitment to their learning and of course parenting! Biggest job I've ever had! XX"

But you know how last thing at night and first thing in the morning things are just magnified. As the morning progressed I noticed so many positive things that would have gone by-the-by on a 'normal' day! The whole house was be-calmed and chores still got done, Milly had time with me and so did Hettie. It just seemed to tick-over beautifully.

I thought I would tentatively attempt a little routine by suggesting that the first thing Milly does in the morning is dig out a work book (you know the Gold Stars ones with phonic, maths etc) to do a couple of pages each morning. To which she very calmly suggested back to me that she would "...just grab these art books and do come copying if that's ok, Mummy!" Well, that was just fine. And she made a beautiful Lion Badge before breakfast and there was NO demand for telly either. Hettie was happy to draw her own thing and try to felt-tip in the art books but Milly soon (very grown-up-like) told her not to!

We all went to Dawn's this morning and whilst I was in the toilet with Hettie (dealing with her bottom issues and NOT mine thank you very much - hence the trip to Dawn's) when I overheard Dawn ask Milly if she was happy that she doesn't go to school and if she misses it and how will she learn now that she's at home. I winced a bit but then heard Milly's reply "...I love being at home and not school and I don't miss it and I can learn by hanging upside down..." the toilet was then flushed but I got the idea that she is happy.

Milly and Hettie created a person today in the garden using hoolie-hoops, bean bags and other outdoor play things, they had a space hopper race, Milly did her Music homework and getting mighty good at notation reading, she was asking SO many questions today about random things and the first of the day was "what do bees eat?" and "what does antagonise mean?" and it went on through out the day at various points and I quickly realised that what brilliant opportunities both the girlies have in learning to 'find out' for themselves. Mum bought them a fantastic children's dictionary and thesaurus (more for the older child but is brilliant for any age I would say) which is incredibly detailed with some pictures and diagrams too. We have yet to set up the PC in the lounge so reference books like these are invaluable.

We had a nice relaxed story today together, some more books from Mum (another great resource centre from Maldon hee hee) about Puzzle Castle and Puzzle Island with searching for characters and doing the puzzles through out the story (hmmm title kind of gives it away).

Milly had Music class in the afternoon which she enjoyed and saw her pals too.

This evening we were out in the garden doing our ten times tables (a very gentle introduction anyway). It wasn't planned I just thought on the hoof whilst we were watering. I tend to count in seconds the amount of time I water the plants, say the pots, they are 5 seconds, tomatoes and other fruit, veggies and herbs 8 or 10 depending on how dry it's been and 10 for the courgettes. We all counted to 10 per plant and Milly kept tally of how many courgette plants there are too. There are 12 and we counted 10 seconds for each. That's 120 seconds in total we counted this evening on the courgettes. This may be a good learning method for number bonds? Well, that's what I would like to think... I maybe wrong but then that would be another good lesson for the girlies to learn... Mummy is NOT always right (I'm never gonna live that one down am I ;-)).

We rounded the night off with our usual story together. Milly and I then read a page each of a library book (only way she will read to me) and she drew some more pages of her book "Chiply the Chick". It features Charlie and Lola and is all her own doing. She has the makings of a JK Rowling I tell you. I'm planning my retirement already... ;-) hee hee.

Off to bed myself now... well after on-line food shop. Sweeter dreams for me as Mr Young just does'nt do it for me (he is a very nice man though!).