Friday, February 08, 2008

Dani took the kids to Kids’ Club yesterday – and stayed as she was the rota parent. The play worker had brought in some clothes to use as costume. The kids put them on, imagined characters and acted out little scenes with each other. Dani played chess with someone who didn’t want to join in. Leo had a little wobble when someone backed into him and he fell into the sandpit. But things were resolved ok in the end.

Meanwhile, I was filling nasty looking cracks in the walls in our bedroom – prior to slapping on some sunny, yellow emulsion. I’m painting over a very bright green colour that Pearlie chose a couple of years ago. Sadly, it looks like it will need three coats to get rid of the green glow from beneath! I listened to my tape of Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads monologues. I love them. Then I embarked on a nice long Dorothy Sayers, which should tempt me back to work over the next few days. I know it inside out but love to listen to a story – even when I know who done it!

Pearlie had to pop out in the afternoon – to take a film to the chemist for developing. She decided to get a bus home and stayed on a stop longer than she intended. She really enjoys getting out and about under her own steam. When she got back my mum popped in and they talked about regular ER verbs a bit.

Leo is spending quite a lot of time on the internet these days – watching tv shows he’s missed, and browsing around various Golden Compass sites. He has made several alethiometers now. He carries one round in his rucksack whenever we go out.

Oh, according to a woman on TV just now, children love to be tested and the ‘developmental’ approach to young children’s learning has been responsible for terrible ‘delays’ in children’s learning in the past. Damn, she’s gone now and I don’t know who she was. Perhaps I don’t really care. Apparently they need serious teaching at an early age and then they’ll learn to read. That’d be all of them, no doubt. Because, of course, children are an alien species which share one personality and have one clear set of needs. Aaaaaargh! Perhaps I should tell Leo he really shouldn’t be able to read at all. Oh, yes and Pearlie, who was frantically muttering “B..A..T!” to her reception teacher when everyone was supposed to be chanting “buh, buh, buh” while the teacher pointed of a picture of a bat. Yes, they should have learned just when it suited other people – probably in the same half hour as everyone else in the class. And the following day everyone could be tested to check they’d learned – and everyone would pass – and then the job would be done. OK, so maybe I’m exaggerating, but honestly, these people get on my nerves with their loopy control freak stuff.

Anyway, Leo is now nearly at the end of the Subtle Knife. He is reading these Pullman books with little breaks from time to time when he gobbles up a quick Alistair Fury book. Pearlie is reading The Painted Garden, but is also spending loads of time doing number puzzles again at the mo – like sudoku and kakuro. She’s massively into rummy at the moment and plays against an invisible opponent in bed at night – as well as with anyone else who’s willing!

I made a big, fat chocolate cake last night. I also finished a surprise Mother’s Day gift I’ve been making for my mum.

Dani is spending a lot of time thinking about the local authority’s current consultation on their EOTAS policy. I’m feeling a bit dangerously angry about such things at the moment. A friend has been stopped twice in as many months by the truancy sweepers. They insisted in her name and address on both occasions – even though they were the same people! I hate the whole idea of the sweeps. And, frankly, if those people have to send out the police to catch kids back into their damn schools then that’s their problem and nothing to with home educators going about their legal business. Someone locally expressed her unwillingness to give her name and address and was threatened with being taken to the police station. It really does smack of harassment – especially if they are going to stop the same people repeatedly.

Kids are off somewhere being silent. I’d better go and get people roused as we’re off to home ed group where there is going to be some Chinese food and I’m showing people how to make little paper dragon puppets - in honour of Chinese New Year, of course.

Oh, and Pearlie came home from Woodcraft last night with a full list of all the Nestle owned brands. I was aware of most of them but not all. We had a good discussion about where we are buying our food. We do avoid Asda already, but I am increasingly feeling that Tesco is crap. Pearlie is keen on using the co-op more (as they support Woodcraft) but I don’t think they deliver. I like Ocado (of course!) but the prices would require a serious re-think of our food budget. All interesting to think about and discuss, anyway.


Gill said...

Did you comment to Pearlie on the wisdom of calling one's teacher a bat? ;-) Remarkable skills of perception in one so young..!

I love listening to stories too and very rarely do. Another one of the benefits of working in a library, no doubt. If I ever had a job to go out to do I think I'd like that one the best.

"..children are an alien species which share one personality and have one clear set of needs," Yep, aaaargh!

Actually, do any of them like being tested? I thought I did as a child, but only so that I could be reassured I was doing ok (or otherwise) and hopefully get some of that adult approval I craved so much.

Allie said...

I liked tests when I was little because I was usually able to do very well with little effort. Then I'd get praise, of course. By the time I was doing final exams for my first degree I was SO drained, though. I never took a year out, so I guess I'd spent about seventeen years being regularly tested. Kids these days have many, many more tests than we did. I don't doubt that some of them cope with that fine - but many more don't. Personally, I think I got hooked on the approval and then later (when I didn't really care about being approved of) I was so far into the whole thing that I couldn't imagine another way of functioning. It's not like they offer kids a choice about being tested, is it? Without choice you can't assume that people are really enjoying anything.

Minnie said...

Thanks for mentioning the Nestle list. I didn't know half of these products were theirs..doh! The list is huge. Blimey.

The Little Hitler led truancy sweeps are my pet hate. Total harassment.

alison said...

I hate Tesco. I don't think they'll be content until every single bloody shop is a Tesco and they have put everyone else out of business. We have about 7 or 8 (one Extra, several Expresses, another Extra about to open on Monday) in our 100,000 population town. Far more than anyone else. There's a secondhand car dealer at the end of our road who was made "an offer he couldn't refuse" by Tesco and sold them his land. He's renting back from them atm until they put in a planning application to build another shop there.

I'd rather shop at Asda than Tesco.

Allie said...

Asda is part of the Walmart empire - a union busting company. That's my objection to them. But Tesco is certainly crap too. We have a wonderful local service here that brings you food from local independent shops. We used it when P was little but found we spent so much money we had to stop. It wasn't really the food prices as much as 'other stuff' like toilet rolls and so on. But there has to be a middle road we can afford hat sits better with our consciences!

'EF' x said...

It's the same where we are, we have the big supermarkets to choose from or the littler groups doing the co-op organic type stuff.

I think it boils down to personality. We really wanted to shop with the groovey eco type group that market the healthy food, but the people we met who were fronting it really put us off. So now we just try to buy as little as possible from anywhere and weave our own toilet roll from dried nettles lol. Well, it's a dream of ours anyway.

Em said...

my middle road is get staples from friend that runs food co-op (she orders from Infinity who are based in your town I think.) so tinned goods, flour, loo rolls, washing up liquid, pasta, that kind of thing. Then I get most of the other stuff from local co-op. Then once in a while I do an online tesco shop to top up other things we go without in the meantime. This is a bit more expensive, but not as expensive as using waitrose, or just the co-op (although we'd struggle with that as it isn't huge) and means we rarely run out of loo roll, since we buy it 36 at a time.

alison said...

Oh yeah, I know the reasons to avoid Asda! But I hate Tesco's cancerous growth much more.

Sainsbury's seem ok still, and have some local stuff (Buttercup was very excited to find brie in there that she'd got from the Farmers market). And I use Lidl a lot too. Atm, I am trying to shop without the car (so you're a step ahead of me there, lol!), so that's Sainsbury's in the town centre for bulk-buying milk and bread, the market in town, Lidl, and the Farmers Market. Should walk a bit further down the road and use the Coop more I guess.

I've looked at Infinity before, must have another look ...