Saturday, January 28, 2006

Wobbling on

Can't really believe it is the end of the week again. It's been quite a tough one here, with Dani suffering a streaming cold, everyone a bit sick of the cold weather, and me having a tricky time at work. Ho hum, roll on the summer. Mind you, there have been good bits too, so let's see if I can remember them.


Dani went to work all day and started to feel rough… Leo went to the grandmothers' house, where he made things and played cards and apparently did a lot of writing. Pearl and I made great strides with the knitting frame – drilling holes and gluing in pegs. Pearl is really enjoying this project – making it clear when she wants to work on it and exactly what help she wants. As she is only eight and very slight she obviously needs help using tools, but she has a damn good go. We were amazed at how hot the drill bit got when we were working – and talked about friction. Pearl also noticed that the bit turned four times for each turn of the handle and we discussed cogs with Dani when she got home – mechanics not being my strong point.
Pearl had been looking forward to seeing an old school friend in the afternoon, but unfortunately she was ill. I had got all keyed up for being in the school playground - funny how it feels so awkward. Anyway, we put it off for a week.


Dani went to work for the morning. Leo settled down to do a series of dinosaur dot to dots in a lovely book he has. He got the book for his last birthday and has been working through it very carefully.

Pearl declared a wish to do one of the cross-number puzzles in her book. We worked on this together and it was good. Leo even joined in with a couple – 'how many minutes are there in three quarters of an hour?' which he answered no trouble – and then another more challenging one for him 'what is 100-33?' He thought for a long time and guessed 97 and then 77! The questions are varied and I managed to sit back and let Pearl do things her own way.
It was good for me to really let Pearl think and not just jump in with some method I've been taught. An example:

The question was 738 divided by 6. Pearl wanted us both to work on it and compare answers. Pearl thought for a long time and nearly got it right – just a small error at the end. I showed her my method and she explained hers, which was fascinating for me. Here is Pearl's method:
600 divided by 6 is 100
Then consider the other 100
96 divided by 6 is 16 with four remaining
Add that four to the 38 and you get 42
42 divided by six is seven
Add the 100, 16 and seven and you get 123 – that is the answer
The only mistake she made in this was in the final addition, which she made 122.
Now, I can show Pearl methods I was taught and in general they are fine, quick and of course useful. But what Pearl loves to do is dive into a question like this and really think about the numbers.
She was thrilled to find that the clue 'a multiple of 37' turned out to be 333 and that playing with the calculator revealed that, in her words:
"The 37 times table has 222, 333 and 444 in it!"
We worked through the whole puzzle – about 1 and a half hours of thinking and talking.

Leo was happily engaged in the hallway making nests of baby dinosaurs and battle scenes for most of this time. He is very concerned with babies at the moment and enjoying casting himself in the role of protector.

I went to work for Wednesday afternoon and the kids played quietly while an ailing Dani dozed on the sofa. Later she roused herself to take them to capoeira.


Started Thursday with a silly argument with Pearlie about getting ready to go out! When she finally did go (to her HE bigger kids group) she had a good time preparing a display for an HE event, taking photos and writing something about being home ed. When I got back from dropping her off at group Leo and I played with his plaster of paris. He is really enjoying this again at the moment. We made dinosaur casts and a 'fossilised' egg.

Pearlie went round to the grandmothers' in the afternoon, where she did some French and played cards.

Leo and Dani did some pocket weaving - another idea from the 'things with string' book that we have borrowed from the library. Leo also made a lovely poster with yet more accurate spelling on it.

When I got home from a long afternoon/evening at work Pearlie and Leo played a wild tickling game that ended in tears and both kids going to bed miserable.


We really needed a quiet day today – so we did our best to have one. Dani staggered off to work with pockets full of tissues. I've got a suspiciously aching ear and Pearl has complained of a sore throat, so maybe we are getting ill too.

The kids and I got up slowly. Pearlie has been brilliant about taking her turns to feed the guinea pigs recently, so I left her washing out their bowls and went and had a bath. Once we were all up Pearlie requested that I read them both a ghost story before we left for the library. I read them one from this book, about a building that used to stand just behind our house – very spooky!

The kids settled down to read as soon as we got to library. I read a lovely book that talked me through the bayeaux tapestry. Pearlie was busy with a book of accounts of climbing Everest and Leo read three chapters of a story book about a dragon. We went home with some books, audio tapes and a board game.

In the afternoon Pearl, Leo and I worked together to tidy up the kitchen. Both the kids were really great and we got it all done together. Later, when Dani was home, we played the game we'd borrowed from the library – it turned out to be a rather odd sort of lotto.

This evening we had a minimally attended meeting of the adults from our weekly HE group. One of our three year old friends from the group has had an accident ice skating and broken her leg – poor little love. Our kids are already too scared to go skating after seeing the aftermath of a hideous finger accident in another child a few years ago.

Anyway better get some sleep – working all weekend and Dani has to get up to get the kids to trampolining.


Nic said...

Sorry to hear about all the illness - hope you are all feeling better soon.

Sounds like you managed lots of high points this week anyway :-)

Jax said...

I do like the sound of that things with string book. Looking forward to piccies of the finished knitting frame.

merry said...

Now, it's Fran's lack of ableness to come up with a method like that that has worried me this week. It isn't so much whether she can do the sums, more that i'd like to think she could she she knows how to set about it.

Does that make sense?

Allie said...

I know what you mean. I think Pearl is actually better able to come up with methods than I am. I just learned the ones I was taught and didn't think too much about them. Because Pearl manages to hold the idea in her head (e.g. I'm dividing!) she can think her way around problems.
I was always anxious as a child that I would forget the method and then be clueless. I am finally more confident with arithmetic as I am doing it without any pressure and it is just playing. Maybe Fran was just a bit panicky because she knew this was stuff she 'should' be able to do?