Saturday, September 24, 2005

Roman poster, jelly babies and digging


I took Pearl over to the grandmothers' house, where she did baking (scones) and delivered a present she had made for a friend. The friend in question is a friend of my mum, a person Pearl has met once, but with whom she was evidently taken. This friend collects dragons and Pearl had made her a dragon from Fimo and a lovely hand made card. One of the things that HE has encouraged in Pearl is an 'any age' approach to potential friends. We occasionally worry that she doesn't have a big group of eight year old girls to befriend and meanwhile she is happily spending hours making a present and card for someone she just happens to like, who is in her sixties.

Dani and Leo spent a lot of time on 'dragon studies' in the park - looking for nest sites, eggs and footprints in the bushes and sand pit. When they came home they made dragon eggs from Fimo and also produced a plaster cast of 'genuine' dragon tracks. At bedtime I read him Ace Dragon Ltd.


Pearl, Leo and I went to the 'drop-in' home ed group. This group is big (well over twenty kids, and many adults) but we all managed to find people to chat to and play with. Someone instigated an activity making constructions with jelly babies and spaghetti. Pearlie was so taken with this that she announced her intention to try for the world record 'highest construction of pasta and jelly babies'. We looked on the Guinness World Records website but I think all the regulations (respected independent witnesses, media coverage, etc.) will probably make this record attempt impossible. But we might make a more informal attempt!

In the evening we worked on completing our Romans poster – a mixture of things we did and information and pictures from books and web. We still haven't attempted to make the crane – not sure if we will now as Pearlie's enthusiasm peaked on our 'Roman day'. But we may come back to it over the winter.


I had to work today – lots of new students arriving on the campus. Pearl and Leo were already excavating in the garden when I left. They were dressed somewhat bizarrely in fleece hats, with scarves tied around their faces – something to do with repelling insects. Later in the day they went to a small local park to continue excavating a site they found on Wednesday on their way to capoeira, when there was no time to do a proper job. I believe they had a fine time and came away with some bits of pot and metal. P managed to cut herself on a big lump of metal but I think she had a tetanus booster at four??

This evening P declared that she wanted to write a report of today's excavation, but was somewhat at a loss about how to begin. Dani helped her formulate a plan; what is the report for? How might you structure the report? Are you going to make notes first? I think this was helpful. P sometimes abandons written projects when she is frustrated by her own lack of experience. She has taken it to bed tonight anyway.

What's being read round here?

Just a quick note on our current reading. Dani is reading 'When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit' to P at bedtime. I think P is probably reading a lot of 'Guinness Book of Records 2005' and 'Horrible Science' magazines to herself. Leo is reading 'Rita and the Romans' to himself at bedtime, after finishing 'Magnificent Mummies' while waiting for P to finish her capoeira class. I have been reading 'Natural Learning and the Natural Curriculum' – a collection of writing by Roland Meighan. Dani has just finished 'In the Company of Cheerful Ladies' and has run out of Ladies Detective Agency books for now!


Sarah said...

I do love your blog. And I love When Hitler stole Pink Rabbit. I'd also be really interested to hear a bit more about the Roland Meighan book, is it any good?

Jayne said...

We have just returned from france where we visited the winner in 2002 of the most ice cream flavours in the guinness book of world records,this has lead to manic reading of the book here too!!

Allie said...

Thanks Sarah! The Roland Meighan book is great. It does repeat itself a bit as it is a collection of columns he wrote for a magazine, but still very good. He writes very convincingly about the 'learner hostile' environment created in schools and how HE differs. I might blog a bit more of the good points.

Jayne - most ice cream flavours! YUM! I think the book is fun for a while but I can't help thinking the whole notion is a bit of a con.