Sunday 13th to Wednesday 16th February
Another catch up I’m afraid. It’s been hard to get on the pc since Leo discovered the Dav Pilkey site!
Dani took both kids swimming to our local pool. One of P’s old school friends was there so she pottered around happily. Dani and Leo played catch with a ball and jumping off the big floats. By the time I got home everyone was pretty tired and kids a bit scrappy with each other.
The theme at our HE group was the South Downs. We have some new members at the mo so kids are all adjusting to having more people around. People brought various things to do and we all went for a walk to see where a bus stop has been cut into the edge of a downland field. Kids all took a bit of chalk and we spotted flints here and there.
Pearl had a go at an experiment to show how mountains and hills were formed by the collision of big land masses. This involved the slamming together of two slabs of clay, and it worked quite well. Leo took little notice of the theme but just before the end he sat down and traced a lovely picture of a blackbird and all the accompanying text. But he was pretty tired by then and very frustrated by the paper moving around. Both he and new friend burst into tears at the same moment as their respective pieces of work let them down!
The session ended happily with a circle where the kids suggested some of the things that are a good or bad idea at the group, and how we all try to take care of each other’s feelings. We have done this before with the kids and wanted to re-visit it now we have new members. The kids also suggested themes for coming weeks. These were wonderfully varied – drawing horses, Victorian crime and punishment, electricity and magnets, robots, dinosaurs and lots more.
We had a quiet evening at home. Pearl and Dani played a game in her ‘Vile Victorians activity book’ and then P and I played Connect 4. Leo was pretty settled on the computer as usual. At bed time Leo and I read ‘Frog and Toad together’ – taking it in turns to do a page each until he got tired. It’s interesting to see his reading skills develop. Pearl learned to read so fast we felt a bit like we looked away for a minute and missed it! Leo reads a lot these days as we go about the place. He was very chuffed to figure out ‘staff only’ in a shop the other day. But he has also started to try to read books and comics independently. Yesterday he came to me proudly to say that he had read ‘Come on. We must help him.’ What was interesting was his explanation of the process – ‘first I though it said com on, but then I realised it must be come on!’
Leo went over to my mum and partner’s house for a special visit - his cousin B went too. B is three months older than Leo and they have always been close. I think they had a lovely time – both came back clutching cuddly bunnies they had borrowed.
Pearl and I had a quiet day doing things she chose. We watched a lot of ‘Roots’, went for a scoot around the streets, did some maths from a book and then made a zoetrope from the ‘Vile Victorians activity book’.
Dani went off to work today and the kids and I set off to the Booth Museum for a special event – the ‘Zoolab rainforest roadshow’. We saw, and had the opportunity to handle, a giant African landsnail, a big black millipede, a madagascan hissing cockroach, and an American corn snake. The woman doing the show said she couldn’t provide a rainforest snake as they are either poisonous or too big. Pearl and Leo touched or held all the creatures and I astonished myself by touching the snake – something I didn’t think I would want to do. P and L were great - listened and were careful and respectful with the creatures. I thought it was a bargain for £3 per child and nothing for me.
While we were at the museum Leo read the word ‘Neotropical’ from a display of butterflies. Pearl was very impressed – which I think meant a lot to him.
We met up with Dani and I handed over the kids and set off for work. They came home for a rest and warm up. It has been very cold here today. After a bit of computer time, comic reading and hangman they went to capoeira. It was a very quiet week because it is half term here. Dani thought that Leo felt a bit exposed as the group was smaller and his efforts were more visible – but he stuck with it. Pearl showed me a new move (banana!) when I got home.
This evening Dani and the kids watched a documentary about a mummy exhibition that we went to see at the British Museum last year. This was very good and inspired Leo to construct a tomb on the bookshelf in the kitchen. It had a label saying ‘BIWE’ - BEWARE! He let me look at all the contents when I got home – mummified rubber duck, canopic jar with grisly toy heart in it and a lucky charm (Incredibles fridge magnet!)
Pearl also watched a documentary on the history channel this evening about crime during the second world war, so I think Sky tv is starting to look like a good buy.