Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Weekend

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.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Autumnal Equinox

Papacrow got an early trip to the bank in this morning straight after breakfast with Fluff, they also picked up a new sports bottle that he needed. At table time today Petal got out the little sewing kit that was one of the things she got in Hobby Craft with her birthday money last month, and she and Dot had a lot of fun with the scrap box - Petal can thread needles now, not sure how that happened! Necessity I suppose, as I was busy with Fluff who was doing lots of work with his diary and review book, and then reading various things out loud as requested. Roo and Wig got on with their diaries, review books, handwriting practice and both seem to be enjoying their new English books which is good. Roo continues to work on his Botany colouring book and both continued work on their local history essays and did some Conquer Maths. Petal also did her diary with a little help, and some geology - looking at the different origins of rocks and how to identify them.

Fluff, Petal, Dot, Hoofie and I then saddled up and went to the local zoo to meet up with some Home Ed friends and have some lunch. There was a definite nip in the air confirming the change in seasons, but the sun was lovely and really quite warm.

We got back and Papacrow had finished his edditing for the day and we caught up with each other and did various bits of house work while the kids enjoyed various screentime. Papacrow and Hoofie then cooked pasta bake while I took Fluff to football with my laptop in tow, to get some words in on the latest book (yes, I've started another one. I'm a glutton for punishment!). We also picked up his new kit which we had ordered the other week.

After dinner and baths there were lots of stories, and Wig and Fluff had bit of Minecraft for a treat - Wig got it yesterday as one of his birthday presents (he is 11 now! 11!)

Papacrow and I enjoyed University Challenge and Only Connect before trotting off to more editing and writing respectively.


Tuesday, 9 September 2014

You know you're doing something right when...

One of your loads of washing, on a busy catch up day, is ENTIRELY made up of dressing up costumes!

It goes all quiet so you have a nose around to see what they're all up to and EVERYONE has their nose in a book, even the baby.

You buy a particular work book (on request) and it's devoured in a couple of days.

They'd rather play tea-parties with the downstairs girls than watch tv.

When they DO want to watch tv, they're clamouring for classic Star Trek.


Tuesday, 2 September 2014

I went down to the allotment today at about 4.00pm, just me and Hoofie - it was warm, sunny and blissfully quiet, just what I needed after a fun but extremely full on day of a return to full table time, Middle East essays, craft projects, a library trip and three extra children - phew!

It certainly seems to be getting warmer again, I wondered if it would - when the last of August is yucky then often we have a bit of a St Martin's summer, so fingers crossed...

We're looking to bound into the history of our town and local area now, that should be fun.

Monday, 1 September 2014

Welcome to Autumn!

I do love autumn, my favourite season. Plenty to harvest, not too cold yet but a relief from the heat and humidity of summer, and still some sun and warmth. Perfect.

Nice day today. Exasperating at times but still full of the good stuff. Breakfast was its normal smorgasbord of porridge, toast, cereal and books - we also discussed and wrote the menu and shopping list.

After breakfast I took Fluff, Petal, Dot and Hoofie and we did the weekly food shop while Roo and Wig did their table time and Papacrow helped them with their study on the middle east that we are finishing up from August. I got back, dropped of the kids and headed straight back to the supermarket as I had discovered, on getting to the till, that I had left my purse at home. *Sigh.*

I will say that Sainsburys were exemplary - they couldn't have been kinder and didn't make me feel silly or naughty or anything! Petal had fun spending some of her birthday money on some very delectable fluffy bunny slippers, new princess wand (her old one has bitten the dust) and a toy phone.

Lunch is always pleasant just after shopping! Papacrow went up to get some more words in on his latest project, Roo settled down to Conquer Maths, there was Magic and reading and Dot, Petal and Hoofie played with tea sets and real tea! Well, Jasmine loose-leaf, so herbal infusion really, but they had fun. Saurus went off to his college enrolment day and then to his friend's house for a sleepover.

It was too windy and chilly for our planned Home Ed meet up on the beach so that was cancelled and instead we saddled up and went to the allotment where the sun came out and we were surprisingly productive! We picked a few more raspberries, blackberries, tomatoes, courgettes (green and yellow) and butternut squash. We un-netted the peas and got string up for them instead, weeding as we went, and even picked a few pea pods - most of which got popped and scoffed down then and there - delicious! We tied up the french beans and picked LOTS - there are so many, hurrah! Still loads to come off when they get a big bigger and some still flowering. The corn is looking great, as are the parsnips, and the strawberries are flowering again - not just one or two but quite a lot of the bed! We'll see how that goes, I still have to sort out the runners which are heading into the squash which itself is running into the strawberry bed as they are next door to each other, so there's a bit of a West Side Story dance off going on at the moment. We had a nice chat with the C from the allotment next door, and she gave us some runner beans to try - apparently they are vastly superior to shop ones (which none of us like) so we'll see!

Home again for free time - they mostly descended on screens while Papacrow and I cooked and tidied with Hoofie's help. Dinner was pasta bake which included allotment beans and corgette, followed by left over birthday cake. Then baths, lots of stories, Wig and Hoofie built a lovely train track and after everyone else - including Hoofie - were all in bed (by 8.30pm, not bad going at all) Roo and I settled down to the new series of Only Connect. Wonderful!

Yesterday, it is worth noting, Petal had her birthday party with about twenty odd little friends and associated parents - much fun was had by all :D

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