Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Cooking, playing, reading and stuff

Pearl decided that baking was necessary and started making cheese straws before her parents were even dressed. She did this very slowly and very thoroughly and was still busy creating when I left for work. She did the whole thing herself, except getting the hot tray out of the oven. (Note to self: get decent oven gloves.) The end results were so delicious they were nearly all gone when I got home, but I managed to get one.

Dani took over to make 'tigger's spicy biscuits' – about a hundred of them and very yummy.

In the afternoon D and the kids went to play in the park with cousins S and D. They then went to cousins' house for tea and pay-per-view Lemony Snicket film. I believe a fab time was had by all and am sulking that everyone else in the family has now seen this film twice and I haven't seen it at all!

Home ed group theme this week was animals and natural cycles/ changing seasons. It went very well, everyone had fun and we spent quite a lot of time outside enjoying the balmy day. Can't remember all that happened but some highlights:
Completing an animals quiz with P, who displayed an impressive knowledge of animal behaviour in the winter.
P, L and I had a good look at tarantula moults (sheds?) brought in by a family who keep two such beasties as pets. These amazing creatures shed everything – even their teeth. Wonderful opportunity for us all to see something so unusual up close and I learned a lot.
One group member led some yoga for the kids out on the grass in the sunshine. P joined in and really enjoyed this. She is a very bendy bunny!
I had to leave half way through and Dani took over as parent on duty.

In the evening Pearl went to Woodcraft where they are continuing the food theme. She told everyone in the circle that she doesn't go to school, something she's been wanting to say but hasn't had a chance to.

My mum and partner left for two weeks hols today, so our usual routine is suspended. Pearl was streaming with cold first thing and she had a busy morning playing with playmobil toys in the hallway. Leo played with his 'dinosaur egg in the ice' playmobil toy and this led him into an experiment involving freezing a toy in a glass of water in the freezer. He has been hacking away happily at this tonight and I just found him in the bathroom where he told me the best idea was to 'add some warm water to defrost it.'

I went through our box of workbook/puzzlebook things, hoping to weed out some rubbish. Sadly the kids wanted to keep almost everything – even half done stuff that's been there for years! Mind you, P did a sheet of 'secret code maths' that has been there for months – actually just some simple addition but interesting to her for its code link. She decided it would not be suitable as a code for her and cousin S because 'it just came off the internet so anyone could print that out and break the code!' True enough and I think devising ciphers is the bit she likes best.
Leo and I sat down to something from an addition and subtraction book that was lurking in the box. He has been wanting to do a particular page for a while - just because it involves a sweetshop scenario! It was hard for him but with a selection of things to help – coins, number line, fingers, and me – he worked it all out. We discussed his tendency to write numbers backwards. In fact I realised that he often writes two digit numbers entirely in mirror writing – numbers in wrong order and digits backwards. I am never sure about pointing out such things to the kids. If we ever point out a spelling mistake to P (not something we do because she's a kid – we do the same to each other!) she always declares that she knows it is wrong and often volunteers the correct spelling. But she generally doesn't like to either make mistakes or to have them noticed. Leo finds the whole thing rather amusing and is not at all bothered. He may or may not correct himself but today he was happy to cross out his reversals and have another go.
It is interesting to me that Leo often writes his numbers backwards. He used to do the same with text too – often writing speech bubbles with text that started at the person's mouth and went in the direction of the bubble. He never does that now and has only two letters that persists in coming out reversed – s and g. I imagine that his numbers will sort themselves out just as his letters have. His fist pen grip persists but his control is amazing so I guess he doesn't see any need to change. He does hold paint brushes in a more orthodox three point hold, so he certainly can.
Pearl has loved playing with her playmobil today. She has been making big 'scenes' involving drama and intrigue – fire, theft, broken bicycles…

We went to collect cousin S from her school this afternoon and then met up with her brother D, cousin B and his mum. It is very strange to be in a school playground. I felt a bit conspicuous with L who had acquired a colander from a 'please take' pile in the street and was using it as a nest for 'invisible baby viseraks'. He was also dressed in his 'superhamster' t-shirt and quite a lot of mud from the park we'd visited on the way. Pearl and Leo are very fond of this little park at the moment - it offers a lot of excavation interest. I have promised to find out some more information about when the park used to be a bit of railway line to help them in their time teaming!

What are we reading?
Leo finished his Ricky Ricotta book on the day we borrowed it from the library. He has mainly been dipping in and out of a comic since. I am re-reading him the Series of Unfortunate Events book 11 so we remember where we are when book 12 is published this month. Pearl is enjoying the roman mysteries series by Caroline Lawrence, which her cousin S is also reading. Pearl is on book 2 'Secrets of Vesuvius' – Dani is reading bits to her at bedtime but she's reading on herself as she is gripped. I am going to try to read the Ian Rankin I borrowed from the library on Friday but I've just spotted that Dani is reading it as I type! Better go and steal it back.


Heather said...

Have you tried those triangular pencils or the rubber slide ons that you can get? They quite gently encourage a decent penhold. Pip's was a bit wonky but they corrected hers and I would have left it but Sim has a poor penhold and it has effected his handwriting and writing speed and he wishes he had a different one often but attempts to alter it have proved futile.

Also, rummaging round a cookshop recently (as you do) I spotted these ultra cool rubbery pink oven gloves. They were so weird- pink rubber but perfectly oven proof! I would have bought one *if* I'd needed a new oven glove.

Sarah said...

ooh, book 12, thanks for reminding me!

Alison said...

For spelling mistakes or reversed numbers, I say something like "you and I know what that means, but other people might not because the more usual way of doing it is like this ..." which (usuall!) doesn't cause too much affront to my perfectionist children!

Allie said...

Thanks for that tip Alison. I think I used to say similar things to P at one point and it was usually tolerated (another perfectionist!). I had quite forgotten though - so thanks for the reminder. I shall see how L responds to such comments.

I have always taken the line with Pearl that most things written on paper (or anywhere else for that matter!) are there as a form of communication with others and that is why we should make sure they are clear - not for the vague reason of 'niceness' and 'neatness' that was promoted at school. I suspect I have quite forgotten to talk with L on a similar theme!

Di said...

First time I've commented on here ... hello Dani and Allie and Pearl and Leo! The letter/ number reversal thing is interesting isn't it? Polly is just beginning to get the idea of reading and she is very interested in which way round letters go--she turns the books around to see what 'p' 'd' 'b' etc look like upside down. I wonder if there are any scripts where it doesn't matter if you reverse the symbols. Chinese? Egyptian hieroglyphics?? Does anyone know? (Sounds like a potential home ed project ...)

Dani said...

Hi Di!

Nice to see you're still watching! Must catch up properly by email soon. Love to you and yours.