Life, aside from being extremely busy, is very peaceful here, back into the rhythm we all find comfortable and comforting. The girls get their stuff done first thing (currently we’re doing lots of maths, verbal and non verbal reasoning, spelling, grammar games and reading practise) and then, with that done by 11am or so, we’re able to do other things. We’ve gone back to the work diary idea, where we use a planner to add 4 “must do” pieces of work to each day we are at home, plus music – this Dodo Academic Planner is perfect; each day has 5 boxes, (for family members), but it works really well as a prompt box. The facing blank pages is where we work out weird maths stuff, keep a note of unusual stuff they do, what they read etc. They have one each and love them.
We’ve been doing some of the Primary Maths Challenge papers as Amelie is sitting it next week. It has been going… averagely….
With the endless round of dancing (4 shows currently being rehearsed!) talent shows, school shows, panto, TKD, gym, rugby and goodness knows what else, evenings and weekends are full and it helps to keep the days calm. Fran is so busy we hardly see her She’s happy – and doing fabulously – but it is a major change for us all. She’s trampolines there now, badmintons, has been chosen for the school dance show, has had decent grades from all the first round of tests she has done and her teachers seem to like her. She’s enjoying it very much indeed. I love that it is working for her, I can see she is totally at home there – I just miss her company.
Moving to the new gym club has been a good decision, despite my anxiety. Fran went back pretty much at the point she left off, Amelie is perhaps still not being stretched as much as she’d like but is happy and Josie went back to a 90 minute class and found herself moved to a 4 hour a week class. She LOVES it. Somehow my little squidgy baby girl who didn’t like trying new things has turned into this poised, lean beauty who goes off and does stuff without a backwards glance.
There is loads of music happening. Fran is doing grade 3 cello next term, Amelie grade 1 violin, Josie is learning recorder and Maddy has moved on to strumming on the guitar and is working away at flute. I don’t think any of them will ever be world class, but I love hearing the sound of it – I do wish I could persuade them to practise the way the music teacher asks though… Amelie in particular seems to regard most pieces of music as a race
This week we’ve been doing animal study. They’ve each been drawing an animal from the Draw Write Now books and then looking up facts about the animal and typing them out. I have to say, while the SWN books were a guilty purchase a long time back, they’ve been so worth the money. We use them LOTS, even now.
Maddy took the whole thing a step further. She drew her armadillo in the style of Picasso, her blue heron in the style of Van Gogh and her mountain goat in the style of Monet. This involved her voluntarily sitting reading art history books for ages, which seemed like a result
Amelie did an arctic fox and a giraffe.
Before we started our Art etc sessions, none of my kids would have produced work that good. They all either had perfection issues, or using colour issues, or using media issues. Now they go for pastels or whatever quite confidently. It’s been a hugely good things.
We plan to carry on with this for now and then hopefully do a ‘animals around the world’ project later on, to pull it all together with some geography and David Attenborough watching while I feed a baby.