Sunday, September 05, 2010

Happy Sunday...

There was a little bit of confusion as to what our Sunday would have in store for us.  There had been mention of a Not Back to School picnic/bbq on the beach, but due to some people being unable to attend and a not-so-good weather report (which turned out to be a big fat fib!), it was called off and re-organised for a future date.  This meant that we could return back to plan A, which was having friends over to visit in the afternoon.

Reading seemed to be on the agenda for much of the morning. Most of the children could be seen with book in hand at some point.  Although it should be said, in the case of Callum (5 year old), it was a Wii remote firmly held in his.  He is back to the Wii obsession, which goes in fits and starts.  He'll go for weeks not playing on it, then suddenly the interest will be sparked again.  Super Paper Mario is the in thing at the moment. He has completed the entire game once before, but he is now back busily going through it again.

The art book I mentioned in a previous post (Junior Art Pack from Van Der Meer Publishing) has been a huge hit, for both the children and myself.  I have tried to find a link, but the book doesn't display an ISBN number and Amazon doesn't seem to recognise it - although there appears to be something similar sounding with a different cover on the .com site.

The book really is cleverly put together.  Lots of flaps to peek under, a few models to put together, 3D glasses and pop up pages.  Fun for the children - and big kids like me :)  It really does bring art to life, and the workbook at the back is full of ideas and inspiration.  Tiegan has looked at it lots (including today), and Chelsea and myself looked at it together.  This led to Chelsea picking up a paintbrush again (and actually painting, not just putting it down again).  It was nice to see her inspired again.  Don't you just love charity shop bargains?

I'm pleased to announce that Joseph has finally discovered that he does actually like reading fiction books.  The only fiction chapter books he has read previously was when he has picked one to read as his read-aloud.  For new readers to the blog, I will just quickly explain.  We have what we call "family reading time".  At some point on most days, we will get together and I will read outloud - even Chelsea (almost 15 years old) still enjoys and often asks for this reading together session.  The book I read is a chapter book that the children have chosen.  Usually just a chapter a day is read, and all of the children will often sit and listen.  I don't demand that they listen, I don't demand that they even come into the same room, I don't expect them to sit still - they will often play with hama beads, sculpt with playdough, or craft as I read - but we all seem to enjoy the family time together enjoying a story and then talking about it.   After I have read, the children have the choice to read their books.  Sometimes they will read outloud to all of us, sometimes they choose to just read to me privately and we have cuddles as they do so.  Occasionally they will choose to just sit and read to themselves in silence.  Nothing is forced, pressured or coerced - I want to develop a love of reading, not force it upon my children so they hate the sight of books.  This works for us :)

Back to Joseph - Joe is an avid reader, and has been since we got through the initial reading difficulty (due to speech dyspraxia, the phonics method taught in his primary school just didn't work for him).  His love is very much with non-fiction books - history ones in particular.  I haven't got a problem with this of course, but admit to sometimes thinking that it would be nice if he could just get absorbed in a fictional story.  I know as a child I would spend hours climbing the Faraway Tree with Moonface and Saucepan Man, or seeking out mysterious smugglers with the Famous Five.  It was an escape from life for me, a visit to a new world where I could lose myself and be someone else for a while.  I have never said this to Joe, I wouldn't.  I want him to be his own person, with his own likes and dislikes, his own views and opinions, his own interests.  But I do admit to developing a whopping great big smile when I went into his bedroom to say goodnight to find him wide awake and reading - a fiction book - with chapters and no pictures!  We laughed about the *finally* remark I just had to make.  It has been lovely to receive updates on the storyline each morning, and I do hope it isn't a one book wonder - not that it really matters if it is :)

Just after lunch, our lovely guests arrived.  A new to home-ed family - mum, dad, and two boys.  They came bearing gifts of chocolate cakes and juice, so of course they are welcome to return any time ;)   We had a lovely few hours putting the world to rights.   We chatted about home-education of course, our views on the school system, our own experiences, and I discovered that I'm not the only one that has an infatuation with books and stationary.  I'm a happy gal - finally somebody understands me! *grin*  Much fuss was made over Harry kitten, who was almost on his best behaviour, the trampoline was bounced on, trains were played with, lego models were built, and toy cars were raced.  I for one found it a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon.

My evening has been spent family project planners. Life in Tudor Times was first to be thought out - I've done the project outline, now just need to list the resources.  I've also set up a reading book list and a subject checklist - nothing will change for the children, but I will have more of an idea of what they are doing all day and what (if any) subjects I need to think about introducing in some way.  It will be nice to have an at a glance record sheet.  I'll pop details on the Classroom Free website when that receives an update very soon.

1 comment:

  1. busy day .. love guests that bring choc cake too x
    thanks for your lovely comment on my blog.