Pearlie went off to Kids' Club, where she had a great time playing a highly secret game with friends. I think it's good that she gets a chance to play with a group of kids when we're not around. Sadly she left a mother's day card there and was distraught when she realised she had forgotten it. She really hates it when things like that happen and will never even discuss how to sort the situation out – she just has to rage, strop off, calm down and then come back calm. Ho hum…
Dani went to the parent's meeting – where they discuss rotas, funding and stuff. I think that went well!
I took Leo off to the shoe shop, as he had complained that his shoes felt a bit tight. He had, indeed, grown a half size. I bought him some very jazzy red trainers – after much faffing around with different sizes. How can it be that they use the magic machine and decree that he is a 12G and then end up selling us a 12F with an insole because, apparently, they are a 'bit too roomy'. I hate shoe shopping for the kids – we've had so many bad shoes sold to us in so many different shops. We don't bother taking Pearlie to get measured any more – we do it ourselves. Anyway, fingers crossed that Leo's trainers will be ok…
In the afternoon Dani took the kids to the park, where they were very excited to find a new hammock swing in the play area. They got a chance to have a good play with it before the school kids came out, and they headed home. Pearlie was very, very happy to be running around in the park again. She really misses that in the cold weather.
Dani was at work all day today. After some discussion we decided to get the bus to a branch library we have never used before. I really like just setting off on the bus with the kids. Pearlie has an incredible memory and she likes to look out the window and say 'we came in here on X day – do you remember?' or 'we waited at that bus stop when Leo was four – remember?'
The library was good – quite a reasonable stock. Leo was happy to find a Ricky Ricotta book he hasn't read before – he finished it by bedtime. Pearlie checked out the Tintin stock and borrowed a book on 'Avoid becoming an aztec sacrifice'. I borrowed a Ngaio Marsh on cd (for listening on the bus to work) and 'Lighthouse keeping' by Jeanette Winterson. I used to love Jeanette Winterson but haven't read any in years. This one was very enjoyable – I've already finished it. Being able to read around the kids is one of the best things about them getting older, especially now I often have a child next to me on the sofa doing the same thing.
We also borrowed 'Ice Age', which we had never seen. We watched it over lunch and all enjoyed it – even though the plot was pretty thin… Pearlie, in particular, loved it – she really enjoys slapstick and she cackled through much of the film.
After the film I did a Sudoku from a puzzle book that lurks in our puzzle books box. Pearlie finished off a 'cross numbers' puzzle that was half done in her book. She is very strict about not using a calculator, except to check things. She says it is 'cheating' and wants to work things out mainly in her head, or using a paper method when she knows one or I can teach her one. She enjoys adding and subtracting in columns on paper now – using the borrowing and carrying methods I was taught and have shown her. She told me how useful it is to know your square numbers by heart up to 15x15, as she does and I don't!
While we were puzzling away Leo found a 'story pad' he had bought in the Early Learning centre some time ago. It is paper with a blank space at the top for a picture and then a few ruled lines underneath. He wrote a very dramatic story of several pages, all about a dragon called Morfalax, an ice age, and a volcano. This had a beautiful picture on each page and some lovely use of language:
"The Morfalax awoke from his icey grave"
"20 milion degrees screamed Morfalax I've got to migrate west"
"A streem of lava poured on his house but the Morfalax punched his way out"
He doesn't really use any punctuation, except the occasional full-stop, and he still uses a mixture of upper and lower case letters. But he read it to us with lovely expression so we were able to follow the story.
Pearlie amused us this evening by getting a 'Round the World Snap' game from her room and effortlessly sorting the game into flag, country and capital cards in a few minutes. We often buy things like this because they match an interest of Pearlie's but they are never very satisfying for her. This game only had 12 countries and she needs something much more worldwide. Mind you, then the rest of us would find it impossible…
Busy day tomorrow, so better get some sleep.
Oh, just wanted to mention a wonderful moment of autonomous learning that occurred at the museum on Tuesday – that I forgot to blog. Leo bought a calculator in the gift shop and played with it as we wandered from gallery to gallery. While making a brief loo stop he asked about the 'divide' button and I gave him a quick example of sharing 8 biscuits between 2 people. He got this immediately and proceeded to do a series of division sums on his calculator – checking them in his head. A nice example of learning happening where we happen to be.