Friday, 23 October 2009

A Nature Detective Poem by Milly:

Milly found out what it was like to be a poet. We went out to the woods with friends the other day and searched for adjectives... All about leaves. We then wrote a concrete poem about them using the words we collected... Here is Milly's FIRST ever poem... Written all by her self... Can you tell I'm so proud:

Green and
Brown leaf
blew across
a field. I saw
it. I looked
on my nature board. I
said it was a

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Yes... A tree that says 'Oooo!'

Hettie making 'Dust Angel'... Well, what else are you to do with it!

And to continue with Science...

Yes, it has featured quite heavily over the past couple of months. In particular Fungi!

Both the girlies are members of the Nature Detectives which sends a weekly email with a challenge to complete... Always an outdoor activity which is great as I always consider it Milly's PE lesson! With science, literature, art and maths thrown in for good measure. Hettie is dropped off at Playgroup (sounds cruel as I type that... she does LOVE it though... I say, convincing myself) and Milly and I meet up with friends at our local woods to execute the challenge of the week.

All the children have their clipboards and pencils ready... it's always great to see them so excited and eager. I sometimes forget that we are all there learning.

The night before, I print out the worksheets for the challenge which go into Milly's clipboard and we set off. Most recently it's been about Fungi of course being that time of year. Hettie was out of sorts that particular day but it didn't stop us having some mouldy fun at home. Hettie was sleeping for most of the day on the settee so we took advantage of that and had some one on one time together (in between mopping vomit and talking about what makes us sick and all the other things that go with puking!)

We decided to grow some mould of our own and using the worksheets we found three pots with lids and Milly found three different things she would like to grow mould on! Cheese, Bread and a slice of Banana with the skin still on. She wrote out her predictions and the different locations where she wanted to grow the mould (airing cupboard and on top of radiator) and how many days it may take for the mould to grow etc. We discussed fungi in some detail and then did a bit of art, slicing the bottom off a mushroom and putting it on a piece of paper with a glass over the top of it! After a couple of days it produced a beautiful spore print. During the day Milly played in the garden for sometime making lots of 'muddy' things and digging stuff up! Later that day she wrote a book on line (a little help from me)... this was fantastic and was interrupted by poor Hets having a vom! Milly soldiered on though and completed it and had great delight in printing it all off. The link try it it's really fun!

Milly stayed on the PC for sometime after that using the Mouse Studio programme to create a birthday card for a friend. Then a random question flew my way as I was cuddling Hettie "How does our skin heal when it has been cut, Mummy?" So out came the Body book (with the scary picture on the front) and we looked at lots of pictures of horrible skin conditions and we talked about how it heals... we also googled it.

Milly also helped me write my book 'Nanny doesn't have a Garden'... Soon to be published whenever I have time to complete it and persuade Aunty Bren to illustrate it!

It was a lovely day and of course she too spent parts of the day looking after Hettie with me. She fetched towels and cleaning things and all that whilst covering her nose and mouth trying not to puke herself... Now that's dedication!

A tonne of stuff and more...

Hard to know where to start when it has been soooo long since we last updated the blog! The journey so far has taken us from embracing the autonomous route to tentatively trying the structured route to just throwing it all up in the air and doing buggar all... which of course takes back to the autonomous place again! It's both exhausting and rewarding at the same time and I have since discovered how following an organic path often leads on to a structured feel anyway.

One occasion (one of many I must add) comes to mind; Milly has developed an interest in Bones of the human body. We have a one foot tall model of a Skeleton, 'Mr Bones' to you and me. He was given to the girlies by Nanny and Grandad. We are learning a bone a day (or when either of us remember). It was a passing suggestion made by me which was taken up by Milly very eagerly. Milly will often remind me (usually when I am upto armpits in preparing breakfast/lunch/tea) or I will (usually when she is engrossed in Diego-'Spanish Lessons, Mum!) Either way it is always met with GREAT enthusiasm and if it's a bone that I don't know the name of (and there are a few new ones there I am sure) Milly jumps up and gets the reference book from the book shelf. It's a huge book and there is (for a child) a gruesome picture of a skeleton partially covered in muscle and flesh! She can't bear to look at the front cover but will still get it... eager or what!

When we had gathered our first dozen bones I suggested that we start a list of them and she can do a tick-list everyday going over the bones she has already learnt to which I was swiftly put in my place by Milly then stating "No, I shall write out the names of the bones and stick them on to Mr Bones where the correct bones are, Mummy!" My jaw did drop as I mentally nudged myself thinking 'well, there it is... she's really starting learning to learn herself!' It was a really good feeling to see how she did that and how strong willed she was to do it too. She could have easily just gone along with it...

We are continuing to learn from Mr Bones... Hettie of course joins in and is learning how not to manoeuvre Mr Bones' leg joint too far in the wrong direction! An Osteopath in the making?