Wednesday, 7 March 2007

Snowdrops, crochet and a duck called Ping

Over the past couple of days Hermione has spent quite a lot of time with Nana perfecting the art of crocheting a chain. Her chain is now over six feet long. It's quite slack in places as she has a rather unique technique but it is ok. Now she has mastered the chain my mum is going to start introducing her to a basic stitch.

The weather has been bright and spring like the past couple of days and we have spent a fair bit of time replanting all the snowdrop bulbs which we dug out to save them from a run in with the JCB when it came to do a spot of landscaping last week.

My mum now has wellies and a rake and decided today to make a real start on the area which is to be lawn. After a couple of hours work it was hard to see much difference and she was worn out. She thinks perhaps we need to hire a rotivator. I don't know what we need, I just know we can't afford to spend much right now. An action man is what we need.

Last night Hermione went to Woodcraft Folk for the first time. I was really looking forward to it and very optimistic. The website makes it sound good but sadly it was nothing like the website. It turned out to be a hall full of boys running riot, on the rampage, playing at pushing each over and generally hurting each other. Hermione had attempted to join in but was quickly overwhelmed by the situation and became tearful. I am really disappointed. I really didn't imagine it to be like that.

I am hoping to find some other more suitable organisations. Although she goes to dancing classes I would like her to go somewhere on a weekly basis which does not just involve listening to the instructor - somewhere where she can get to know other children and build relationships. I feel that the local home ed scene isn't meeting her social needs at all. A friend recently explained that one of the main reasons why she left this area was because the social interactions and opportunities for home ed children in the area are not 'positive' and 'nourishing'. I agree. I would like Hermione's social life to be regular, consistent, predictable and also managed in the sense that there are set rules that the children of the organisation must stick to and those rules are upheld. I don't want Hermione's social life to be affected by what may be going on in the adult home ed community. I don't feel that is acceptable and I've made a decision to try my best to integrate more into the local community. To this end I have made further calls about Rainbows (although don't hold your breath because I have been barking up this tree since last December), I've emailed a friend about Beavers and I have contacted Badgers (junior section of the St John's Ambulance) and they are going to send out a pack of information. In the meantime we will hopefully continue to see our good friends as often as we can.

Today we made a start on Five In a Row. We are starting with The Story About Ping.

I am amazed at how many issues you can bring out of such a short and on face value simple story. I read the story and it went down well - the first thing Hermione said when I finished was, 'I'm having that one again at bedtime'. We then discussed discernment, how all is not always as it seems. There was talk of why we shouldn't jump into a river even if it looks inviting, shouldn't step on frozen ponds, shouldn't smoke, take gifts from strangers and so on. We also talked about taking responsibility for what we do and the consequences of our actions.

We then went on to talk about the Yangtze River upon which the story is based. We talked about where it is, how it is over 4,000 miles long, how in places you cannot see the other side it is so wide and how it flows past all kinds of things on it's way out to the East China Sea. We talked about the problems that exist with flooding along the banks of the Yangtze, how the people of China built dams to try to stop flooding and considered how it may feel to live there.

After chatting we looked at some pictures of the Yangtze at different stages and stuck them up on a large sheet of paper which I had stuck up in the playroom earlier. This is to be the gallery for our works on Ping. We looked at locks lifting boats and dams.

I had traced a map last night showing China, the Yangtze and the East China Sea. Both Lily and Hermione were keen to make one of there own so they did.

After this they painted a huge picture of the river and we looked on the Internet and printed off pictures of Chinese boats and buildings to stick on it.

All in all I am really pleased with how today went. The downside, if I can call it that, is that it does require a lot of preparation. One of the main reason I was drawn to some sort of curriculum is because I was struggling to sort everything out the night before. I don't know that this curriculum is going to help me in this respect but I am very impressed so far. It may just be that I have to get quicker at preparing :-) I am at least aiming to prepare the 'normals' a week in advance and just once a week in future. That should help.

1 comment:

Helen J. said...

Hi Claire

just wanted to say how much I am enjoying your blog :)

Must update mine and sorry it has not been more regular


Helen x