Sunday, January 23, 2005

Thrushes and other things

Yesterday, P. went to trampolining and after that I couldn’t interest either child in anything ‘educational’ for the rest of the afternoon. In fact, she did trampolining on our bed for most of the time, while Leo just mooched about.

Just when I was starting to worry, both of them went for fantastically educational activities all day today.

Leo searched for and printed out a rattlesnake page from Enchanted Learning, and did a lovely picture on the computer. P. did Sylvanians most of the morning.

At lunchtime, out of the blue, Leo remarked, “The numbers that use just one symbol only go up to nine.” We had a brief conversation about how when there’s a 1 at the beginning of the number it stands for ten, so eleven is 10 + 1, twelve is 10 + 2, etc. L participated sagely in this discussion until he lost interest, so I stopped talking.

After lunch we went to the Pavilion Gardens for a RSPB birdwatching event, with our 7 and 3 year old cousins (and their parents). I had no idea what this would be like, but it was great. We all made bird feeders out of apples and sunflower seeds, then the girls set off determinedly to find birds, while the boys applied equal enthusiasm to chasing pigeons.

On the way in, we spotted a blackbird with white flecks round its face and neck. P. mentioned this to one of the people from the RSPB, who told us that only today he had learned from a man of around 60 that there was an albino blackbird living in the gardens about 50 years ago, and there had been blackbirds with some white bits there ever since.

We saw the song thrush chicks that have just hatched out in the gardens (unusually early – it was on the telly), and followed them around for ages. We spotted blue tits, starlings, and green finches in the trees. P. was wonderfully chatty with the RSPB people. Even Leo was pleased to have seen birds he hadn’t seen before, and they were both thrilled when I bought them RSPB membership which resulted in enormous amounts of free stuff – magazines, stickers, even a book!

We went and played at the cousins’ house, then came home. When A. got in from work she produced a video of ‘The Ballad of Big Al’, which she had bought in town. We all watched that after tea, then decamped downstairs where P. and A. conquered level 3 of Zoombinis, P. did most of today’s Set puzzle, and L rearranged his dinosaurs and chatted away about their habitats and habits.

P. is reading Vicious Vikings in bed, and is desperate to make Viking soap out of conkers.

Off to the home ed group tomorrow, snow permitting…

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