Wednesday, 4 April 2007

Easter break???

What do you do at Easter and Christmas time when you home educate your children? This has never been an issue for us before as learning was 'just living' but now that we do do some sort of structured work, well, what happens at these times?

Well, the plan was to lay off the 'normals' for this week and instead tell the story of The Crucifixion and Demeter and Persephone (very nice account of which can be found in Circle Round - Raising Children in Goddess Traditions by Starhawk Baker and Hill). Neither of these things have happened as yet. Hermione is what you could possibly call a bit, 'up in the air' about spirituality right now. I think on reflection the best thing to do is leave well alone and keep answering her questions as they come. The plan was also to do Easter crafts but this hasn't happened yet either. I thought it might be nice to colour some eggs made of card, laminate them and hang them in the trees in the garden. Hopefully we will get round to this.

So, that was what we haven't done, what have we done?

On Monday Chelsea came to play. She is a friend who goes to school. The girls both welcomed having someone different around for a few hours. Hopefully we will see her a few more times during the Easter holidays.

The harmonicas which Craig bought from a music company in America arrived. I'm impressed. It's really sturdy and makes a pleasant sound - nothing like what I had when I was a child. Hermione also seems to be impressed. I reminded her of the story of Lentil and how much practice it takes.

On Tuesday Soo and Nana took the girls to an art workshop at Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art . The workshop was supposed to be for age 5 - 8 but the girls were the oldest there by a long shot. All in all it wasn't very suitable - aimed more at toddlers than children of their age despite what it was advertised to be. Parking had been atrocious. All in all a big disappointment.

Today Hermione and I joined Education City for a free ten day trial. I thought it might be her thing but she lost interest relatively quickly. We will stick with it for a few days and I'll see how it goes but based on today's level of interest I doubt we will join for the year. Instead we read the Martin Luther King story out of the Famous People Famous Lives series. Hermione was clearly moved and outraged to think that people could treat people so differently because of the colour of their skin. She said that when she grows up she would like to 'change the world' but right now she's going to start by putting up posters. She made a poster which read ' White people must not tease black people' and we stuck it up in the front garden. I'm please she is beginning to develop a social conscious - she is now very aware of issues surrounding disabilities, racism and litter. I'm proud :-)

Once we were finished we headed out into the garden. We planted broad bean and butternut squash seeds. Nana did a row of potatoes and three rows of onion sets in the vegetable patch. The weather was fantastic. The plum, apple, pear and cherry trees all have buds on :-) I'm so excited about the garden coming together. It's a hard slog right now but hopefully it will come together within the next three months.

This afternoon we headed off to Blackhall Rocks. We thought this was a beach that you can get down onto. If it is we couldn't find the way down. Hermione was disappointed as this was the first beach trip of the year and I think she had visions of making sandcastles. After a long hike along the cliff top we gave in and headed for Tweddle Farm. It was much busier than usual but still not too bad. Hermione made a friend and played happily in the play area while Miles munched his way through a portion of chips.

Another video arrived from Amazon dvd rental today, 'Flushed Away.' I'm not impressed with this service and although Hermione is really excited when the post arrives and there is something in there which she perceives to be for her, the reality is she rarely watches them, preferring to run around pulling up weeds and making bridges in the garden. I am going to unsubscribe - at least for the summer - given the opportunity I'd much prefer her to be out in the fresh air making her own entertainment.

Off to see Elmer the Elephant tomorrow. Will report back.

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