Thursday, 15 March 2007

Rainbows, Science and Dog Dirt

The last few days have whirled past in a flurry of activity. Here is the quick low down.

On Wednesday morning Hermione and Lily went to the Tees Valley Home Educators meeting at Natures World. There had been over thirty children there again with lots of organised activities. As it is National Science Week this week there had been a number of experiments. Apparently the chocolate egg tasting one (designed to help us discover things about our senses) had gone down a treat with Hermione and Lily. The meetings have been so successful that from now on they are to be fortnightly as opposed to monthly - excellent news.

When the girls returned they chilled for a while and then we did some 'normals' followed by a story. Well, I say story but actually it was a poem.

I liked the poem and the illustrations in the book are beautiful but I think the way it is set out caused it to loose something. Turning the pages each time between the lines of the poem, pausing to look at the illustrations, resulted in it having no 'flow'. The girls listened to it once but we not wildly enamoured by it. I won't get it out again for a while. It is one of the FIAR texts. It is suggested as one to use for a short or review week. It lasted fifteen minutes here.

Not content with the excitement of 'Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening' we picked up our clipboards and headed on off up The Avenue to carry out a survey into the incidence of dog dirt, litter and broken glass. Sadly we didn't have to go far to find lots. Lily in particular was very enthusiastic about this. We returned to the kitchen table with the data and drew a simple bar graph. I had drawn the basic outline and the girls counted their tally marks and coloured the appropriate number of squares.

Later in the afternoon they headed off to Rainbows for their first time. They made a bunch of flowers from crepe paper, played games and sang songs. They appeared to really enjoy it and were enthusiastic about going back. There had only been about a dozen girls and five leaders which is excellent.
Later Hermione and Nana finished the first in the Secret Seven series. Hermione is really into the story and has been writing 'SS' on bits of paper all over.

On Thursday a braille alphabet card arrived from the RNIB. I did call the libraries but they don't keep braille books as standard and apparently would have to order them in at great cost. The lady at the RNIB was very helpful when I explained why I wanted some and has sent some bits and pieces. I am going to locate the blue tac within the next few days and stick the alphabet card on the playroom wall so they can have a feel whenever they like.

This morning we messed about and did more 'normals.' Normals consisted of lots of bingo today - word and number bingo. They also both tried word searches for the first time and they were a big hit, particularly with Hermione.

We then made scrap books with card and ribbon. Hermione decided to reproduce a story from a comic in hers and Lily made up recipes.

I called The Gala Theatre and booked tickets for them to go and see My Secret Garden next week. I called around the libraries to see if there was an abridged version we could borrow as I think it would be nice for them to be familiar with the story before going to see the production. They didn't have an abridged one and all the full copies were out on loan. I ended up going to Waterstones in Durham and buying a copy. I only hope they get through it before next Saturday. I also bought some wooden pegs to make peg dollies to re enact the 'Lentil' story when we start it next week and some felt for making dolls. Lynn has posted more patterns which look really cool. The girls might like to give doll making another try.

While I was out Nana read them a book about the life and achievements of George Stephenson. Hermione is enjoying this series about famous lives. She has had Florence Nightingale, Louie Braille and now George Stephenson within the last week.

The catalogue arrived from Sonlight yesterday. I think I will look into Horizon Maths. I like the sound of it. We also got information through from CBeebies Spring Watch and the Fair trade Indian tea Party Fundraiser Pack. Not sure where we are going with this one yet and would like to get Red Nose Day out of the way first. On that note I think I will go to bed and psyche myself up for our cake selling efforts tomorrow.

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