Saturday, 11 October 2014

Week round up

Sunday We had a leisurely lie in while the kids enjoyed some tv as a treat. Then we got up, had a long leisurely breakfast, and Hoofie and I then took Saurus to his friend's house for a sleepover, ran a few errands and did the shopping. Papacrow took the others skating up and down the pavement and they had the downstairs girls up to play. We had a big lamb dinner (lovely) and after baths we enjoyed some Country File and the Strictly results show - we were very excited when the professionals did a dance to Let it Go from Frozen! But we were sad to see Greg and Aliona get eliminated.

Monday Papacrow was out working. We all got up and got dressed and had breakfast and got stuck into table time. We pulled out some books on the stars and space for our monthly topic and agreed that Star Wars and Star Trek totally counted so pulled some more books on those too! I also ran around and did various phone calls and caught up with the washing up. Wig opted to have his screen time in the morning, Roo did his table time and maths and researched Key Stage 3 science resources and also did the sorting and folding and the rest of us packed lunch and headed out to a home ed friend's house. They have a very exciting garden down a steep hill with cut out foot holds and a home made shed that looks like a hobbit hole and a stream which is the Holywell spring where it's come out of the downs. It was a little bit too exciting in parts - lots of steam drops - so we were glad to come back in when it got too rainy and have some lunch and play some minecraft. We got back in at two-ish shortly before Saurus and had some warming hot chocolate with marshmallows on the top. There was tidying and vaccing and then some screen time before I took Fluff out to football with Dot in tow. She happily watched Fluff while I watched with one eye and got some words in with the other eye. Back and Papacrow was home, hoorah! He and Hoofie had cooked pasta - we were all ravenous and it went down very well. After baths and stories, Fluff, Wig, Petal and Dot all played a little minecraft before going off to bed. WE had to put the heating on in the evening! We spent the morning digging out coats and hats and things too, autumn is properly here.

Tuesday we had our two little nieces. Papacrow popped into town first thing with Roo and ran some errands in between the showers and storms. The rest of us had a leisurely breakfast and lots of free play. We sorted out the library book box but decided to stay in due to the weather, so had lots of stories and some colouring instead. After lunch I went out to the dentist and ran some errands on the way home, getting thoroughly soaked in the process, and got some words in when I got back. Papacrow went off to a friend's house in the evening and I treated myself to a mug cake - lovely! Also did lots of talking and thinking today about table time, projects, balance and our home ed provision in general.

Wednesday - goodness, if I thought yesterday was wet, today was ten times so! All thoughts of going to the allotment were well and truly squashed, or rather, squelched. I gave Saurus a lift to college and then went up and wrote in the morning, Papacrow did table time with them all. They baked flap jack and watched some of a Space documentary for our monthly topic. After lunch Papacrow went up to edit and we tidied, read, played with bricks and rushed out to the library more or less in between the rain. We got a great haul of books and got back in time to play with Aunty A and cousins P and J on their way back from picking up P from school. After dinner, Saurus, Papacrow and I usually play Ars Magica with some friends but the friend who runs it wasn't well so it was cancelled. Instead everyone went to bed with a film for a treat (Wig and Fluff on their psps, the girls borrowed my TV and Roo has the spare tv in his bedroom) and I'm tucked up in the warm cosy kitchen (far too cold upstairs) to get some more words in.

Thursday - a nice relaxed morning of breakfast, reading, some card games and then tennis. It was blustery but sunny and, most importantly, dry! Roo and Wig however, succumbed to cold and were feeling awfully grotty with temperatures to prove it, so stayed home in the dry while the rest of us went. We popped into Sainsburys on the way home for urgent toilet roll (!) and some extra pjs and more socks for Hoofie. Home for lunch and I headed up to write while Papacrow did table time with them all, including lots of stories and flash cards with the younger ones. Wig, feeling much better, pottered off to the library for a book that he had reserved, and then they all went off to their grandparent's house for dinner. Papacrow went off to the cinema in the evening.

Friday morning I worked and went straight to my ballet class after that, so Papacrow led table time. We had some warmer, sunnier weather so they also enjoyed going up and down on the pavement with bikes and scooters which is what they were up to when I got back! Papacrow then went up to edit and we played with playdoh and Nana visited which was nice. Then I took Dot to ballet with Hoofie in tow and had a nice chat with another mum who also does the adult class, so that was nice. Wig took himself off to youth group while poor Roo languished at home still full in the throws of his cold. He did lots of work on his essay today though, as well as using his laptop (it had been in the shop but is all better now, hoorah.). I brought Dot and Hoofie back from ballet, Papacrow came down to make burgers and I took Petal out to her ballet, taking my laptop with me and getting in some more words. Then I took her home, and then went out to get Wig. Phew! I was very glad to get my dinner and managed two homemade burgers with all the trimmings with no discernible effort! After dinner, baths and stories, Papacrow went out to his brother's and everyone else dribbled slowly off to bed. We had some trouble with the internet hub that, amusingly, brought both Roo and Saurus into the front room for a while until we fixed it.

Saturday - hard to wake up as Hoofie, Dot and Roo all had a restless, coughing night. Papacrow took them to karate, I stayed home with Roo and Hoofie. They hung out in Roo's room and Hoofie watched him play playstation and I rushed round cleaning and tidying, phew! After lunch we had a bedroom blitz and then they all relaxed with screens and general play, while I went out and did the weekly shop. After dinner we enjoyed Strictly Come Dancing - it was movie night with Donnie Osmond as an additional guest judge, and then Doctor Who, The Mummy on the Train I think it was called this week - we all much enjoyed it, especially all the references to the previous doctors.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Turn, Turn, Turn

Last week we were still carrying sun-cream every where with us and even using it, now we are digging out coats and wellies, hats and scarves and jumpers. We've even had to put the heating on!

Then we were eating salad and fresh peas from the allotment, now it's all soups and stews and dumplings (yum).

Hoofie has gone up into 2-3yo clothing several months early. Everything was just getting too snug and rather difficult to get over his head, so I got out the next size up convinced he'd be swamped but no- it all fits beautifully. Last week he was in shorts. Now he's in dungarees. Dungarees I thought he wouldn't possibly fit in until after Christmas.

*small sigh*

We are settling into the new academic year of home educating, fine tuning the balance between busy and relaxed, high and low tides, clubs and activities and lessons, sport and music, painting and playing.

Roo is busily looking at local secondary state schools which is an illuminating experience. Certainly they are much better run, resourced and a thousand times happier and nicer feeling than they were when I was at school (and I went to a private one at that). He is definitely favouring the school option rather than college and wants to go as soon as possible

Turn, turn, turn

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Last Week Roundup

Monday - I went up to write in the morning and Papacrow led table time and took them all to a nearby park to feed the ducks, which weren't, apparently, very hungry. We reconvened for lunch and wrote the menu and shopping list together, then Papacrow went up to some editing and so on and I took Petal and Hoofie and we did the shopping together which was nice, the others relaxing with screens and finishing off table time.

Everyone helped bring the shopping in when we got back, then I took Fluff to football with my laptop and I got some words in while Papacrow cooked.

Wig and Fluff played some minecraft with Papacrow after baths and stories, I watched University Challenge and Only Connect with Hoofie, and then he went off to bed too and I got a few more words in.

Tuesday we had our two little nieces over again and after some table time we went out to the park and played some home ed friends and enjoyed the sunshine before going on to the library. We took the local history books back and got a good haul of story books. After lunch I went up to write and Papacrow did some reading with the younger ones while the older ones worked on essays and project work.

Wednesday I worked in the morning, Papacrow oversaw table time and they also went to the park. It's been so hot this week in fact, that we've needed suncream a few times! I got back in time to feed Hoofie and get him down for a nap and then I took Wig, Fluff, Petal and Dot swimming - there's a (VERY) cheap Home Ed group swim on a Wednesday and we really enjoyed it. Roo worked on his essay and Papacrow and Hoofie went to the allotment. We had a nice relaxing screen time after all that - we had earnt it! In the evening Papacrow, Saurus and myself played Ars Magica with some friends.

Thursday Papacrow got called into help the plasterer, we did table time and then went to tennis - Dot in particular enjoyed herself, it's so sweet to watch! Home for lunch and afterwards we finished off table time bits and various project bits before they went round to their grandparent's house for dinner. Hoofie and I watched some tv and played, and I did a few bits of lesson planning, research and paper work. Petal came back early for her ballet class and we got ready and got down there only to find that I hadn't looked at the calandar properly because it wasn't on that day!

Friday Papacrow was working, and we went for a tour round a local secondary school picking up petrol on the way. Mostly for Roo who is deciding where to go for his GCSEs, and also with an possible eye for Wig if at home proves to be not quite right for him as he gets older. We were all pleasantly surprised, the resources were excellent, the organisation good, and sensible, and the atmosphere was lovely. It alleviated a lot of my fears actually, it was nothing like how it used to be, so that was nice! We popped to a supermarket on the way back for a few bits we needed for dinner, then got home for a well earned lunch. Saurus got back from college, I popped out to my adult ballet class and the others watched some Walking With Dinosaurs. I made the pizza dough and then I took Dot to ballet with Petal and Hoofie in tow while Roo and Wig went to youth group and Fluff and Saurus stayed home and played some playstation. Back to change Petal and Papacrow still wasn't home so Dot and Hoofie came out again for Petal's class. Then I took everyone home, and they helped Papacrow to make the pizza while I picked up Roo and Wig - phew!

We had a movie night with dinner - our first move was Legend which was a lot of fun and surprisingly beautiful. I had seen bits but not all of it before. The second was Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds The Next Generation. This a recording of the stage show from last year and was absolutely amazing - the cast were astonishing, the steam punky look of the production was inspired, Jeff Wayne was actually there! Conducting! And Herbie Flowers was playing bass!!! (as he does on the original record.) A very good time was had by all.

Saturday Papacrow was working again and we had a leisurely breakfast and did the sorting and folding before going to karate. I bought some plates we dearly needed (Argos had a sale, hoorah!) and had to rope Saurus and Roo in to help me take them home! After lunch we changed the beds and then settled down to various playstation games and tv. Papacrow got home and we cooked spaghetti bolignaise and meatballs together - Hoofie loves to cook and made the meatballs with me. The evening was taken up with Strictly Come Dancing and Doctor Who.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

September Book log

New to me-

The Case of the Pistol Packing Widows by Caroline Lawrence
This is number 3 in the series but it worked well even with me not having read the previous two. Lawrence has also written the Roman Mysteries series which is good and long so I was congratulating myself on having found another series I liked, only to then discover that number 4 is the last one! Oh well! There were a few first person idiosyncrasies like an ampersand instead of the word and, but I got over those minor annoyances. The main protaganist is really well drawn I thought.

The Magic Years of Beatrix Potter by Margaret Lane
I've been reading this in little bits at the respite job I do once a week. I've finally finished it! I very much enjoyed it, especially the matching up of the book illustrations to the real places.

Re reads -

Caribbean Mystery by Agatha Christie
I just needed a Christie and this is a great one. Mistaken identity, fab supporting characters, glamorous setting, a dangerous serial murderer with an interesting method and Miss Marple is on top form.

Sherlock Holmes by Authur Connan Doyle
Various short stories - I have a complete volume and just dipped in and out one rainy day - perfect. I mean, the plots are often ridiculously melodramatic and often illogical and certainly not very psychologically sound, but the writing is just SUBLIME and the characters unforgettable.

Tuesday, 30 September 2014


Saturday had Papacrow working in the morning while Roo and Wig went with Grandma to help her decorate her church for harvest festival, and the rest of us went to karate. In the afternoon we went into town to do some errends, Papacrow taking the rest home and me going on and doing some more all by myself which was nice. The evening was all about Doctor Who and Strictly Come Dancing, both of which we enjoyed.

On Sunday we went to the allotment and enjoyed the sun. We harvested beans, peas, potatoes, tomatoes, and there were some raspberries and blackberries that we ate there. We bought onion sets, shallots and garlic and did some planning - that was fun! The rest of the day was to do with housework, screens and relaxing, with some TNA in the evening.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Rushing from one rush to the next rush

Busy, busy, BUSY day today. We stripped beds before breakfast, did some good table time afterwards - Petal beavered away at ordering numbers while Fluff filled out a multiplying table and Dot was extremely absorbed in tracing letters and words and even reading a few! Roo and Wig got on with their usual tasks, and we all went to a MacMillan coffee morning at another home ed family's house, where many cakes were consumed and much fun was had by all.

Home for lunch and bed making and finishing off any outstanding table time tasks before the girls and Hoofie and I went off on the ballet run, Roo and Wig went to youth group and Fluff got to stay home and watch TV as Saurus got back from college just in time, phew! I dropped Dot back after her class and got Petal changed before heading back out, then dropping her and Hoofie back just as Papacrow got back from working hard all day and I headed back out to pick up the boys from youthgroup.

Yes, rather tired now!

Thursday, 25 September 2014

The Wheels of Time Grind On

Am slightly gasping at the realisation that it is Friday tomorrow and October next week... I feel a bit like time is not so much slipping through my fingers, but that it's running straight past my front door and never coming in!

Still, to focus on the positive -

Tuesday we had our two little nieces for the day. Papacrow was home and editing and we did table time in the morning. Roo and Wig did lots on their local history essays and Petal, who was playing a very involved spy game the night before, remained interested in spies so we had a dig around and found some books. We went to the little park and played with some Home Ed friends and went on to the library, getting more spy books among other things, with Petal asking the librarian about it all by herself! We had an impromptu fry up for lunch which we all very much enjoyed, then I went up to write and Papacrow helped with the bits of table time that needed finishing off and presided over housework and screen time.

Wednesday morning I was working so Papacrow helped with table time and took everyone to the little park. He then went up to edit in the afternoon and we had a hellacious housework hour with lots of cleaning, scrubbing, dusting, tidying and vaccing! Then Aunty A and cousins P & J came round after school and we went to the little park (minus Roo and Wig) and had a lovely long play. Then it was relaxing with screens and cooking and so on.

Today, Thursday, Papacrow was out working with a carpenter and we had a lovely relaxed morning of Magic games and reading and then we headed out for tennis. It was a bit nippy but still some lovely sun. Petal and Hoofie pottered about and played, the others had their tennis lesson with some other home ed kids and I got to chat about home edding woes with the other mums! I do value that time, we do hash out some issues and problems. The mum who hosts our conquer maths memberships was there and I renewed Roo & Wigs and paid for Fluff to be set up with one of his own.

Home for lunch and then we knuckled down to table time, accomplishing quite a lot, surprisingly! Roo and Wig are finding their new english books are stretching them a bit but I'm quietly confident they are both up to the task, it's just a case of building up their endurance. They both understand the questions and concepts perfectly well, and can answer them, it's constructing a proper answer of a decent length with care to detail such as spelling which is challenging, mostly because I'm asking that they do an entire set of questions (about four or five) each time rather than just one and then another the next day! We'll get there. New essays for both of them today too, so some time was spent on research. Dot did lots of letter writing and Petal is coming on nicely with her reading skills, while Fluff's maths is really quite good and his reading fluency is getting better and better.

We then had a good tidy up and they all went next door to their grandparent's for the rest of the afternoon and dinner while Hoofie and I went to the allotment and picked blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, peas, beans and tomatoes. None of the berries made it home I'm afraid, but there weren't a huge amount in our defence. We also weeded a line of early potatoes - the foliage has all died off, not sure what's happened there. The turnips, parsnip and onions are all looking good though. Then it was back home, and Papacrow was home. He and Hoofie hung out and cooked and I took Petal to her extra ballet lesson.

Wig, and to a lesser extent Roo, remain a little grumpy about various things, particularly table work. I understand and sympathise, and we have discussed whether school would be better. Wig rather thinks not (although Roo is leaning that way for next year rather than college) so we are discussing various different strategies we could try to help things to go smoother. I'd already being thinking of how to divide the older and younger ones up into shifts, as I can't help everyone all at the same time, so one thing we might try is Roo and Wig having their free and screen time in the morning while the other do table time and projects and so on, and then after lunch, Roo and Wig doing table time with me available to help while the others had free play and screen time. We'd have to work round tennis etc of course, and still get park trips in but it is an idea, and we're going to think about it and discuss it over the weekend and maybe try it next week.

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