Thursday, 30 October 2014

October Book Log

New to me

Still Life, by Edward Ian Kendrick
Incredible. Really, really good. Easily his best yet. And he hasn't properly released it yet so I can say no more!

Emily Feather and the Chest of Charms, by Holly Webb
I seem to be making a habit of finding new series at number 3 only to discover that no 4 will bet the last! Still, this was great, the relationships between everyone in the family were well done, the child protagonist was sensitively and believingly drawn.

Jo's Rag Bag by Louisa M Allcot
I thought I'd read this before but I only recognised one story so I'm shoving this in my 'new to me's! Borrowed from a friend it was a delight.

Emily Feather and the Staircase of light, by Holly Webb
Last in the series of four about an adopted child in a family of fairies. We finally get to find out more about Emily's birth mother, and to be honest, I found it a bit of a let down. It was sensitively handled but I felt that a teenager was so... overdone? It had seemed to be leading up to her mother being magical in some way too, which wasn't the case.

re-reads

Teddy Robinson Omnibus by Joan G Robinson
An old friend, I dipped in and out of this throughout the month.

Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie
It was a rainy day and I needed a murder mystery! This is an old favourite, so easy to slip back into. The first person narrator - the middle aged vicar - is just so brilliantly done.


Sunday, 26 October 2014

The weekly round up

Monday I was working in the morning, so Papacrow did table time with lots of flash cards (letters, numbers, common words). In the afternoon I took Petal, Dot, Fluff and Hoofie off to the park with the big lake and the sandpit to meet up with some Home Ed friends. There was a brief shower but otherwise, lots of nice sun.

Tuesday was wet and windy with the tail end of Hurrican Gonzales, so we stayed in. We had little nieces S & E and did various diary entries, work books and flash cards table time. We also read lots of stories, did lots of free drawing and painting and watched March of the Penguins. Later in the afternoon when the nieces had gone home, the weather had calmed down so we all went out the library, getting a great haul of books, Hoofie's choice this time being 'Masie Makes Gingerbread', also one from the library shop on the space race/programme. In the evening Papacrow and I watched Sabotage, a recent Arnold Swartzenager film that was surprisingly good.

Wednesday we had planned to go to a museum in the next country which had lots of rocks and geology (Petal's latest interest) but it turned out to be a lot further away than I realised so we went to the zoo instead, making the most of our membership before it runs out. I went up in the afternoon to do the first draft proof read and Papacrow did some table time and flash cards. In the evening, Papacrow, myself and Saurus played Ars Magica with some friends.

Thursday and after breakfast we fitted in some table time, catching up with dairies, writing practice and workbooks before going out to the last tennis lesson of the year - a bit drizzly and chilly but we survived.In the afternoon I edited madly, Papacrow led and assited with table time, essays and other projects and took them to their grandparents for dinner.

Friday - phew, a happy busy day punctuated with rain showers! Cousin P's school had an inset day, so we had him from 8.30 to 4.00pm which was lovely, Fluff, Petal and Dot all love playing with him. We had a leaisurely breakfast, a little table time and helped/discussed various things with Roo and Wig before I took Cousin P, Fluff, Petal, Dot and Hoofie off to play at another home ed family's house, dropping off Papacrow on the way to pick up money from some work the other week. The other home ed family's youngest is helpfully a clothes size smaller than Hoofie, so we could pass along all the clothes he's just outgrown! We headed back for lunch and I rushed off for ballet. I got back and they were enjoying the Lego movie, the older ones were finishing off a few bits with Papacrow's help. I showered and Papacrow did some editing, the kids played a little minecraft, I took Dot to her ballet lesson with the laptop in tow so I could get on with this first edit and tidy up. I dropped her back, Aunty A came to pick up Cousin P, I took Petal off to her ballet, again doing some editing. We picked up Roo and Wig from youth group on the way back. After dinner, Papacrow did the baths and they settled down for the first episode of the new season of Agents of Shield, I went and did the weekly shop, and with lots of birthdays coming up I took full advantage of the Sainsbury's half price toy sail!

Saturday had karate in the morning, and lots of washing up, for me at least, in the afternoon, and yes, the clocks went back in the night.

Sunday was warmer and fine, so we went to the allotment and did some tidying up and digging over. In the afternoon I ran round tidying up madly, and went out to two different supermarkets trying to find cheap printer paper! Achieved it in the end, we also managed to get a good Elsa costume for Dot to wear to Wyntercon (local comic convention next weekend.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Random Snippits

We've been utilising the laptop and tablet more, Angry Pigs turning out to be an awesome game for logic and construction, just as good as the logic robots we were using a while back.










Petal drew a picture of brain the other day which looked really good - left and right hemispheres and everything!

Dot is very interested in tummy buttons at the moment. Everyone she draws has one, larger if they are older than her, smaller if younger. We've had several discussions about mammals and how babies grow in the womb and taken a look at our usual books including on from the library called 'Mummy's having a baby' which had a really good level of information, I thought. Explicit and detailed but without all the extra connotations and so on that aren't really appropriate just yet.

Roo is reading a lot at the moment, also independently seeking out and watching documentaries, like Brian Cox's latest. We've toured a few schools and the local college, he's picked out the school he wants and we've got him on the waiting list. Now we'll just have to see.

Wig's attitude is still fluctuating up and down a bit, but he is still adamant he doesn't' want to pursue school, so we adjusting and juggling and trying to find the sweet spot. We're getting there! He's certainly producing some good work, his english comprehension is excellent.






Fluff has had a bit of volatile week, even had a day where he didn't want to do any of his work book based stuff which is not like him at all. He's probably growing, I think. He continues to love football and is doing well at his academy.

Hoofie is increasingly interested in dinosaurs, we have dragged out all the old plastic ones and the many books we have. He also loves Peppa Pig with a passion - mostly because George has a dinosaur toy, I think - and anything to do with trains, a subject we also have PLENTY of resources on, which is nice. He's showing a lot of interest in tennis and karate too, he's obviously thinking about it...





 

Last Week Round up

Last Week:

Sunday morning was taken up with a damp visit to the allotment where we found two huge butternut squash waiting for us and about four more that will hopefully be a good size by the end of the week. We also harvested our sweetcorn and then took it home and ate for lunch which was pleasant. The afternoon had housework, tidying, cooking (roast pork dinner, courtesy of Papacrow) and baking (lemon drizzle cake, courtesy of me) and various chat and planning for the week and month. After dinner we rather excitingly had powercut which meant baths by candle light, then thankfully the power came back on in time for us to watch a bit of Country File and the Strictly Results show. We were surprised that Simon was in the dance off and relieved he stayed in. Jennifer is lovely, but we didn't mind waving goodbye to her!

Monday and off we went to another school tour. I wasn't as impressed but maybe my expectations were higher this time. Everyone was very good, particularly poor snotty Hoofie. Home for lunch and after that we table time and various chores. Papacrow was out at a work site all day, but was to take over the pasta bake making while I took Fluff to football. I also took the laptop and got some words in. In the evening Hoofie was up as he had a late nap so we watched some quizzes and the new Gotham which wasn't bad.

Tuesday was a full on day - Papacrow was up and off to work and we had our two little nieces for the day. We did table time and went out the park and library, getting back for a well earned lunch. After lunch there was tidying and stories and more table time including various online maths and memrise. Papacrow got back to help with dinner, the kids enjoyed some tv and minecraft and cousin W came round to play with Roo and Wig. This cold seems to be going round properly now with everybody getting croaky and snotty so it was beds fairly smartish after dinner and a hot bubbly bath.

Wednesday - poor Papacrow succumbed to a hideous cold and stayed home as there wasn't much to do on the job he's on at the moment anyway, due to a structural problem discovered yesterday. I went to work so the rest did some fairly relaxed table time and project work, and watched some of the new Brian Cox documentary, Human Universe. Papacrow crawled off to bed when I got back, I also felt pretty awful and it was dank and damp and rainy so we stayed in and got all the playdough out. I worked with the younger ones on making balls and sausages, and then thumb pots and coil pots. We also did many jigsaws and some reading before playing minecraft and watching Pepper Pig and Maggie and the Ferocious Beast. After dinner Fluff, Petal and Dot watched a film and Roo, Wig and Papacrow played some playstation and watched some wrestling.

Thursday - we all managed to scrape ourselves up for breakfast eventually, and I took everyone to tennis. It was dry, reasonably warm and we even got a bit of sun! Home for lunch and I went upstairs to write while Papacrow did table time. Then everyone went off to their grandparent's house to play with their cousins and have dinner while I went to the dentist for a root canal fill and prep for a crown. In the evening Papacrow and Saurus went to the cinema and I got some more words in.

Friday - the morning was lovely, actually. Roo and Wig got on with their table time in their rooms, and I did lots of letter and flash cards with Fluff, Petal and Dot - Petal is spelling out words! Whoop! We also went through baskets and got various old projects out and did some more work on them, like their hand made cook books. We also did diaries and popped to the allotment. At lunch time Papacrow helped them make omeletes from the recipies they had been working on, and I went and got petrol and went to ballet. The teacher said I had good turn out in the grande rounde de jambes!!!!! Back and popped in the shower and we did the sorting and folding, I cleaned the bathroom, there was a big tidy up and Papacrow folded the bedding. People relaxed with screens and playstation - Hoofie's choice was Frozen and we all sung along! I sorted Roo and Wig out with money for youth group and then took Dot to ballet along with my laptop I took her hope and helped Petal get ready and then took her to ballet. I got some more words in while Petal danced then we picked up Roo and Wig on the way home where Papacrow had cooked dinner. After dinner I took Roo to the local college for open evening, and we went on to do the shopping while the others had baths and watched Epic. Then it was home and Roo and Papacrow helped bring the shopping up and put it away, everyone got to bed, I got Hoofie to sleep and to bed, and now more words beckon...

Saturday was all about karate in the morning. Roo and Wig went off next door for a sleep over with their cousin, and I took the rest to my mum's house where they played with Cousins P & J and my mum, my sister and I had a good chat. Papacrow went off to the pub to celebrate his brother's birthday in the evening, the rest of us enjoyed Strictly and Doctor Who.

Sunday we got some housework and tidying out of the way in the morning, then I took Petal along to her grading along with my laptop, getting in some words. Home for lunch and various screens and chores and then I took her to her ballet lesson, again with the laptop. After dinner, baths and beds, Wig, Roo and Papacrow watched the Doctor Who they had missed and some wrestling, while I got lots of words in and actually finished the book, which was satistfying.


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.


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