Ramble ramble.

I’ve got a gazillion this to catch up on blogging wise. Oh how I miss the olden days when I could blog at 5pm each day about what we had done. I’m caught between feeling we do nothing and seeing what a huge amount actually goes on around here. There is masses of conversation ed goes on these days and, while I haven’t been looking, the girls are beginning to find ways of actually educating themselves too. While I spend half my life fighting Amelie, for example, she still manages to do things like read several chapters of an usborne book on world war 2 and then give me a very effective round up of how it started. I miss that I don’t get to fully indulge her the way I did with Fran; life just seems to get in the way of that kind of interaction but at least she is the kind of personality, like Maddy, who will just get on and find out about things. So long as I supply the book at the right moment, she does read it.

Currently all of the are very excited about the idea of reinacting in Tudor costume next year. As this will involve sewing a lot of Tudor clothing by hand, I have said they have to learn to sew to do it themselves. We are therefore practising sewing. A lot. This is good home education, I guess, if not the home educating in grand project style of the olden Puddle family days. I bought a felt projects book and they’ve been making little things from that. All of them are getting better at stitching and have been looking at our various fashion books to find out more about Tudor fashion, although they know a bit from friends already Reinacting this year. Apparently I want to dress like a Tudor too. Who knew?

Tudor Groovy Girls. There is a range in there, Manhattan Toy ;)

Maddy is deeply involved in a long story she is writing. Having read all the Lemony Snicket and a hunger Games books she wanted to do a fan fic of the latter but has got embroiled in a story about three detective cats. As you do. I’ve noticed lately she is asking for spellings far less, which is a great sign. Mostly when she does now, it is for confidence. I need to encourage her to write a bit I think, as well as type, to boost that if she can. She has moved on to Harry Potter books but may not emerge from her 3DS (saved up for since Xmas) for a while :lol:

Amelie is showing considerable effort to work harder. This week I have given her some new ‘normals’ books including English for ‘more able students’. She seems to like the kudos of this, or possibly that it revolves around fixing mistakes in the language of the book. Can’t see why this appeals… :lol: :roll: the two maths books also stretch her a bit. One involves planning a planet for aliens and one has complicated stuff like comparing electricity prices and adding up how many bills you have to pay and how to make your money stretch to all the essential and non-essential things you might need to buy. I do tend to think education could use a bit more of that sort of thing in general. Lord knows I could do with knowing some of how to do all that. Budgeting, finding the best deal, working out ways of saving money etc. is something people really need to leave school or education having a concept of, rather than learning the hard way. It would be interesting to know whether it is taught in countries with lower personal debt.

Mind you, I don’t know why I think the education system might do that. Fran has to sit a ‘functional skills’ paper for English next week. This is the one that was about Big Brother and Dragon’s Den last time. This functional skills paper does not… and I quote… have to be answered in sentences. God save us from idiots and exam boards.

Josie is reading loads, playing on something called Magic Town that I need to review, sewing beautifully, doing times tables in her very own special book, sounding out words everywhere even if she hasn’t read them before (we have a workbook with fake words in it, she can spot them, she thinks it’s a stupid idea… Can’t say I blame her!) she wants to do a farm project.

Maddy made birthday biscuits. We pretend this saves money but really it just means we eat more biscuits.

And oh, I could write endlessly about Ben but will save it and I need to write about amazing dancing shows, catch up on two gym comps, a weekend with cousins and a trip to see my sister and a visit from my dad and going bowling and how doing a history gcse is going and whether I will last longer than 6 months feeding a baby who unlatches every 15 seconds and that I made a quiche and no one expired…. But family life leaves no time for blogging all the small things any more and besides it is more interesting to spend the spare seconds trying to learn a new job and save a few children from poverty and make pretty things with daughters while dandling a baby boy and enjoying kissing his head. I’ve no energy for anything else. It’s a good job I’m not trying to save any!

Hm. Someone asked me what my blog is about yesterday. Not much or possibly too much I think is the answer. How days go past and I feel like nothing is done I don’t know. This barely scratches the surface.

So that is a short Puddle round up brought to you late at night in the dark. Good night :)

 

Thank goodness for structure.

Well, if I’m strictly honest, thank goodness for structure AND Groovy Girls, since the younger two girls are spending a quantity of every day playing with them. Who would have thought that ‘groovy girl gym’ could be such an enduring game???? I’m not complaining though, they are so eager to get back to playing together that they both speed through music practise and all their work every morning at great and productive speed and then, so long as food is served up regularly, that’s the last I see of them. Luckily both of them are very happy with their ‘normals’ and so are putting in a good bit of work, Josie is reading more by the day and loving the drawing stuff we are doing and Amelie is reading lots so even if life needs to up its interesting level by a few notches, I don’t think either of them are unhappy with their lot.

Josie is ADORING being a 4 hour a week gymnast. She’s coming on in leaps and bounds there and loving it completely. Last week she did a forward roll on the high beam without any help, she’s cracked her round off and her beam cartwheel and all she talks about is gym. She’s even learning her first routine :D

Amelie is getting ready for a competition next week; she also got a highly commended in her grade 2 ballet and came top of the class. She was very thrilled with her prize :)

Maddy on the other hand is being a complete dream just at the moment work-wise. She’s incredibly diligent when she’s inside her comfort zone and she’s pushing through verbal reasoning, non-verbal reasoning, maths, comprehensions and various Galore Park books she wants to finish off. While not desperately exciting in content, the CGP KS3 science books are giving her lots of jumping off points and meaning she can talk and do stuff with Max. She’s really liking the physics we have started at our WedEd days too, which is great. She’s deeply absorbed in the Lemony Snickett books just now, which is keeping her quiet :lol:

I’ve started a new tack with maths, which is to work Maddy and Amelie together on topics. I’ve got a list of everything KS2/KS3 on it and we are ticking them off using various resources, from Maths Drills sheets to Galore Park and I’m just pushing each of them as far as they can go with the topic. It’s been a relatively painless way of doing things so far and, now that school is on our peripheral vision and I know they could all suddenly tumble in that direction, I’m happier knowing they’ve got age appropriate skills under their belt. Josie is still in that weird ‘maths is a game I play with numbers’ stage and as she’s working like a trojan at reading and maths will be easier once she’s got that skill, I’m leaving her to her games with it for now.

Fran is back at school and while the novelty has certainly worn off now, she seems to be enjoying it okay. She’s finding the geography hard, not the content but the question and answer style and the concept of revising for tests. Sport Science really suits her though and is inspiring her to have some form of career in that after she has gone as far as she can with dance. She plays in her first school netball game tomorrow (don’t ask me how, she only started playing 3 weeks ago) and I continue to get positive feedback about her. Learning to get homework done in plenty of time and use time wisely is still a challenge, but she is getting the hang of it.

This week she also got to choreograph her own new gym routine – and pick the music for herself from scratch. She absolutely LOVED doing that and the dining room was a dance studio for most of the week. And she scraped a commended in her grade 3 tap, despite it being the dreaded Miss H as the examiner and totally screwing it up. So she was passably happy.

As for me… well :) I’m still here. Still knitting a lot. Doing the 366 Photo project over on my other blog. Reading a bit. Gestating. Trying to remain sane.

Piece of cake :/

Conversation Ed

Last week Fran handed in a science leaflet she had to write looking at health issues and ways of avoiding them or managing them. One element was smoking; I smiled when I saw what she’d written, which included lots about how the government couldn’t ban it because it would become an illegal trade in tobacco and how they needed the tax revenue to support the NHS and so it needed to phase out gradually. All those conversations, talking through the whys and wherefores have paid off; she may be a bit of a dizzy wotsit at times, but she’s learned to question and think and not just accept one view. It makes me very proud of what we’ve achieved.

***

This morning we had to drop Fran at school, something that thankfully doesn’t happen often. It’s only the second time the others have had to waste time on the trip. On the way, Fran mentioned a recent story about the government planning to ban forced marriages. We all got talking about the difference between forced and arranged marriages and how an arranged marriage might be handled in a thoughtful, sensitive way (I know several people who have had exactly that type of marriage) and when it might go less well. We discussed the relationship pitfalls of a marriage that doesn’t start out with naturally developing ‘love’ and how it might or might not work, using an example of one of them marrying the son of a close family to test it out. We talked about trying to see a whole picture and a culture and not just rejecting instantly something which is different to what we know, as wrong. Then we talked about honour killings, relationships that breakdown, families who might prize pride above love and why that might happen. We talked about Sharia Law and the impact of that on lives and culture.

Little Josie, drinking it all in, said “You mean in some places in the world people always think that it is the lady who is wrong?”

We were home by 8.15am.

***

At dinner tonight Josie said she likes all the fairy tales except the Ugly Duckling because it was boring and there was too much pecking and not enough other stuff. I told her about the meanings in the story, about difference and self worth and confidence and self belief and being your own person and fitting your skin. Maddy chipped in with bullying and thinking you are important in your own small world and not acknowledging that different is good. She said she sometimes feels like the different one in her musical theatre class. I said that well, perhaps she was or perhaps only she saw it that was but one thing was for sure, she had one of the most beautiful voices of all those kids and that was her special gift.

Josie said “I thought it was just about pecking!”

***

I really love home educating. I love having a family. I love just being with these people I share my home with. They fascinate me.