Friday, August 20, 2010

Busy busy little bees...

I love my life :)  I know it has it's ups and downs - a whopping big downer being the fact that Lee has lost his job again - this time because the company he worked for is on the verge of going into administration. But, I can't help but think that I have so many things in my life to give gratitude for, that the job situation is a minor hitch in the grand scheme of things.  Yes I know, a pretty important one, I agree - but it's not the be all and end all, and it won't be forever. It's just a bloomin' good job I'm not at all money orientated!

We seem to have been really busy recently, but now I've come to write about it I don't seem to have much to say.  That won't stop me from rambling though of course - but regular readers of my blog will know that's just my style.  I must get into the habit of blogging daily again. Maybe then I wouldn't have to rely on my one brain cell so much ;) Right, let's make a start...

I do know that the children have been doing their own thing for a large chunk of the time, as per usual.

This has meant lots of reading for Tiegan (I worry when she doesn't have a book in her hand now!).  She is still enjoying the Enid Blyton books, but she is broadening her horizons so to speak.  Every time we go to Newton Abbot, we visit the Oxfam bookshop and she usually finds at least one new title to bring home with her.  As soon as we return home, out comes the book and that's her for the rest of day - sprawled out on the sofa with her head buried within the pages.  She has been reading a fair few human-body books too - that seems to be one topic that she can't shake an interest from.  Experiments have been performed, comparisons have been made, and pictures have been drawn, all relating to the human body theme.

Both Tiegan and Callum have found a renewed interest in Playdough model making.  Lots of role playing games take place when the Playdough comes out, with characters being formed, character voices created, and scripts planned out and written.  Very often Callum will play at being a cafe owner too, creating food items with the Playdough and serving them to us on a plate - bowing rather grandly as he does so.  I'm not sure where he has got this bowing idea from, but it sure is cute!

Sometimes he doesn't have the playdough out to play his baking and serving game, choosing instead to raid the kitchen until the lounge looks like this...

Who needs toys?

He has been 'writing' lots too - he loves helping me to write lists - whether it's to-do lists, shopping lists, or future plans.  I admit that his style of writing is very unique at this stage and I sometimes struggle to understand what he has written.  He knows and can identify each letter with ease, and he can draw the majority of them very well, but the going from one side of the page to the other is something he just isn't interested in doing at the moment - which is fine, but it does mean that words are split and the letters forming them seem to dance and jig around as they jostle for room on the page :)

Callum has also been using numbers - mainly adding and subtracting, just within general conversations.  He has been asking to play more mathematical based games - card games, counting games using manipulatives such as buttons and beads, cuisenaire rods, etc.  Ooooh, that reminds me, I must buy a new set of rods, a couple of ours seem to have gone walk about.  We did purchase a new toy till this week and that has been used a great deal.  All of the children have been getting involved in some form or another. I love listening to all of the conversations that they share whilst playing shops, their imaginations are wonderful. I often get stopped in my tracks by something I overhear and it makes me smile to myself .  'Play shops' is such a fun learning tool too, with money handling, role playing, addition, subtraction and multiplication.  Sometimes percentages are included when there is a 'sale' going on - they are learning so much without knowing it.

Joseph has been reading history and football books in the main, he has also been helping in the garden a lot. He helps the others with any maths questions they have, maths really does seem to be his thing.  I don't mean at a genius level or anything, but it is something that seems to come pretty easy to him.

Chelsea has found an interest in World War 1, and she has been doing her own project on that.  I had no idea actually until I returned home from the shops one day and was bombarded with "Did you know" facts :)  I like the effort that the children put into projects and topics that they are interested in, and the fact that home-educated children can delve as deep into a subject as they wish to do so - they are not just doing as much as the curriculum dictates due to time constraints.  Sometimes my children will just skim the surface of a topic, leave it for a while, then return back to it with renewed vigour when their interest returns. It seems to work well for them.  Their minds are always fresh and eager instead of switching off with boredom.

We have had a few nice days with friends, with them visiting us here at home, or us meeting up out and about.  We had a lovely day with a H.E group at Dawlish Warren last week.  The weather was good, the organised talk informative, and the beach fun - it's always nice to catch up with friends and enjoy the sunshine :)

We returned to Torquay's Dinosaur World last Sunday I think it was, and purchased their Explorer ticket at a fabulous rate so we can return often.  It was very quiet again (excellent for us, but sad to see because of the obvious financial survival viewpoint).  New things are being added to the place all of the time, and it is getting even better - with a cafe area being set up in September.  I am in the process of arranging a meeting with them regarding what they can offer home-educators :)






Baby T-Rex

Been taken for a ride...


Now let's talk about today.  It has been a fabulous one - plain and simple :)   Yes it was raining, and in August, that really shouldn't be allowed, but that didn't matter - in fact as strange as it may sound, I didn't really notice.  It wasn't what I refer to as 'wet rain' lol.  I had an appointment in the morning that went really well, then we headed straight out to replace wellies and find new waterproofs. Fortunately that didn't take too long, and we were soon on our way to Cockington in Torquay.  Sadly we got stuck in traffic and arrived much later than we planned, but luckily still on time for the organised walk with the Torbay Coast & Countryside Trust.  The walk was very informative, and within such gorgeous surroundings we couldn't help but enjoy it!  I learnt a great deal, and I know the children did too - both the history of the area and some of the flora and fauna it hosts were discussed.  Callum absolutely loved it, striding off and leading the way - despite not knowing where he was going  :)  Even the usually very meek and quiet Tiegan was all chatter, nattering away to the guide like I have never heard her before! The lovely lady is now very well clued up on the antics of Harry the cat and mad doggy Kira.    Some of our lovely home-edding friends attended too - in fact, home-educators were the only ones to turn up, I'm guessing many families were put off by the wet weather.   Even so, it was a record number for the walk apparently - with 16 of us in attendance, plus the guide.  As always it was lovely to see the children so at ease with one another, and a new home-educating family joined us too.  It was a really good day with lots of smiles and laughter :)  Sadly I didn't take many pictures of the day due to the rain (those that know me will know how precious my 'baby' (i.e) half-decent camera, is to me and how I daren't not risk it getting wet!)  The guide did open up the Gatekeepers Lodge for us though, so I sneaked a quick (and therefore poor quality) photograph in.

The cottage at Cockington

At the end of the walk we left the other families in the cafe getting warm, whilst we headed off to the beach.  Yes, in the rain :)  It was at Callum's request.  Visiting the beach was obviously something high on his list of priorities for the day, as it was requested right from word go in the morning.  He was more than happy to go to Cockington first though, the thought of seeing his friends being the big draw there, but as soon as the walk was over and done with, it was back to the beach idea :)   So, to fulfil my little man's desire, we made our way to lovely Brixham, and had a brilliant time!  The section of the beach we went to is pebbled, not sandy.  The children took their nets to see if there was anything they could find...

Cheap and Simple fun


Father and Son

Simple things bring such pleasure.

Beach Visit

We had a walk along the front harbourside, and admired the garden display that had been built by volunteers. We also investigated the crabs and fish that other families had caught using their crab lines.

Brixham Harbour

Brixham Mosaic

Brixham display - created by volunteers

Anchor information

Created by Volunteers  - Brixham

A stop off for a takeaway dinner on the way homes = a very happy mummy, and very happy full up children :)


  1. So good that you are able to have fun and relax during a difficult time. We went through it when our oldest were six and four and I was pregnant with son three. It is so hard having that financial stress, but on the other hand, Bruce got to have time with the boys that he never would have otherwise had, and we still talk about what a great time we had that year (other than the hour I spent every day walking with my friend and crying). But it all works out. I'll be thinking of you.

  2. I hope your husband can find a job he enjoys soon. We're in the US and the job market is tough here, too.

    It looks you had a lovely day nonetheless! I love educational "field trips" and exploring so it would have been a perfect day for me!

  3. Glad you are all doing well, sorry to hear about the job situation though. You are not alone, Dave has been out of work since Pip was only a few weeks old, mind you the MS problems he has at the moment, prevents him from looking for work. We can both see it is a grace that he his home at the mo.
    Thinking of you
    San and all xx

  4. Sorry about the job situation, hope that he is able to find something really fast.

    I remember the stage of constantly having my nose in a book, and them mostly being Enid Blyton as well, ah, such happy memories, and how lucky she is to have such an encouraging and understanding family to support her - it would have been my dream at her age to be able to loose myself in books for days at a time and have a constantly replenished supply. I always fancied myself as Jo from Little Woman - up in an attic somewhere, surrounded by books and able to write away to my hearts content!

    Looks like a great day out - definitely made the best of the bad weather!