When I asked the girls to get dressed at 8am this morning and the answer was ‘no’, my heart sank. I thought this would be another day when not a lot gets done. I enticed M into the bathroom with the promise of new toothpaste and then subtley suggested she get dressed and she robotically complied! D followed a few minutes later. Then I chirpily suggested that we go downstairs and ‘crack on’ with some work. Again, ‘no’ was the answer. So I decided not to push it any further and announced I was going downstairs to make dinner (yes, I do sometimes make dinner at 8am). All of a sudden I had two little helpers! The little sausages topped and tailed my beans for me… and then happily cleared up the mess afterwards?! Wowsers.
After that little blip this morning it was full steam ahead. First of all, M wanted to learn how to tie shoe laces. This is a recent thought of mine: to get them learning life skills bit by bit. If we’re going to be together all the time then they will have to start being more self-sufficient so that I can concentrate on more important things like… J would say Jeremy Kyle… I would say more home ed planning. So yesterday I put posters up on our home school door saying that if M can tie her shoe laces 5 times then she will get her favourite chocolate as a reward. Previous to this M has been very resistant to learning how to tie laces but now she has new boots with laces it’s become a bit of a problem. So the fact that she was asking to do it was amazing… and then she’d mastered it within 10 minutes!!! Meanwhile, D (who cannot be bribed to do ANYTHING) has been asked to do a zip 5 times for her fave chocolate. I calmly stated that I don’t mind doing her zips but if she wanted to try then she would be rewarded. This made her very cross indeed. She was even crosser when she did her body-warmer zip up. Strange girl.
After the cross face had gone, D got on with Reading Eggs and M started on her poetry book. I’m not a poetry lover but what I did love when I was small was writing out poems in a little book that my Grandma made by covering an exercise book in gift paper. We would draw little pictures next to them and try to learn them off by heart. It’s a bit Michael Gove but it’s a nice way of doing it. Anyway, M has completely taken this task on board and her first poem has become a work of art! It’s lovely to see her painstakingly writing in her best hand and copying the drawings so wonderfully. She has chosen The Owl and the Pussy-cat. I will take a picture of it when she’s finished.
D’s reading is going from strength to strength! She read her 6th Summer Reading Challenge book with ease today, so tomorrow we’ll be going to the library to collect their medals! She also did a bit more work with her beloved Arithmasticks.
Then we had a snack and D asked if she could watch Tinkerbell: The Secret of the Wings. Woo! So both girls sat down to watch it while I got our Peter and the Wolf activities ready and had a coffee. It’s amazing how much time there seems to be in the day: that the girls can relax in front of the telly for a bit while still leaving HOURS left in the day for learning seems amazing to me.
Peter and the Wolf went well and the girls enjoyed it (lots of screaming in the film again, always a sign of enjoyment haha) but I did feel that it reached a bit of a dead end. So I’m going to ask on my HE Facebook groups for any ideas for stretching the topic further. We watched the Disney animation, then I got the girls to stick down the characters onto a board and match them up with their instruments while they listened to the Peter and the Wolf CD. They enjoyed doing it but it didn’t seem to lead anywhere if you see what I mean.
D was getting tired by this point so I fell back on something I hadn’t planned to do today but something I knew she would LOVE – drawing body organs. She is not a normal 4 year old. I had bought a roll of easel paper a while ago so I rolled it out on the floor and got D to lie down on it so I could draw around her. She loved this and decided to dress her body in a leotard and tutu. Then she proceeded to stick on her organs. We got as far as lungs, wind pipe, stomach and liver and then we ran out of glue! I also drew around M and she has done her usual level of detail down to the pattern on her socks! I have pegged them up on my twine and will post a picture when they’re done.
While I was sorting their dinner I set them up with our new acrylic paints to finish their diyas off. They look so lovely, I can’t wait to see them with lit candles. As the kitchen table was covered with painting equipment, we ate dinner in the lounge and watched Pocahontas for the first time. There were lots of questions about Native Americans and spirits and death!
What a huge day it’s been, and a very successful one, activity wise! We didn’t get out today but the girls did have a play in the garden so they got some fresh air. We’re out and about over the next couple of days so it was nice to have a whole day in.
P.S. I’ve just realised that M seems to have ‘de-schooled’ – there was no apathy or anger about learning today! Hooray!
P.P.S. There has also been a break-though with her bedtime routine: yesterday she asked me if she could move into her own room (up to now we’ve been co-sleeping) so for the past 2 nights she has slept on her own with no mention of feeling lonely and no tears about missing me. I can hardly believe it!!