Times Tables and Tears

As usual I started the day with a plan but the plan came to naught – I don’t know why I try to plan at all!  Anyway, in the end we had a very productive day so I can’t complain…

My initial plan was to go out around midday for a swim but the girls had other ideas.  First of all they needed to be persuaded that watching telly all morning wasn’t a good idea.  So then they wanted to do ‘exercises’ on our bed upstairs.  Its a good job none of our furniture isn’t posh as it tends to be used as gymnastic equipment rather than what it is intended for.  A man came to tune our piano today and the girls loved seeing the piano laid bare and pressed the keys to see what happens inside.  D insisted on showing him some of her gymnastics on the sofa and he was politely appreciative.

Later I persuaded D to read me two chapters of her Letterland stories, while M practised her 3 times tables upstairs.  D read really well and wanted to carry on but I thought we should finish before the flops started.  M came down full of joy at having learnt her times tables but when I tested her she again got upset because she couldn’t answer quick enough.  I tried to persuade her that she just had to keep on trying but she got in a huff about it so I decided to leave it for a while.

Both girls then wanted to do some colouring in their Tinkerbell activity books so I took the opportunity of doing a bit of research while helping them to sharpen their colouring pencils.  This site was recommended on Facebook today.  It’s been put together by a couple who have finished home-schooling and are offering a first year subscription of £1 to download their resources.  I didn’t think I had much to lose by paying £1 so I subscribed this morning and then set the girls to work on a couple of the English downloads.

A friend had lent me M’s old school’s curriculum and it said they would be learning the alphabet this term… (WHAT?!!).  However, I have recently been advised that it was badly worded and it actually means putting whole words into alphabetical order in readiness for using a dictionary.  Ohhhh, now I see!!!  So I set M to work on this using one of the afore mentioned downloads.  She had that sussed within 10 minutes.  What she would have been doing for the rest of the term I’m not quite sure!  I also got her started on a bit of creative writing using another download.  She has about as much interest in creative writing as I do… so she completed the task with minimal fuss, minimal interest and minimal creativity.  Hmm, something we need to work on I think.  Meanwhile, D was working on writing her letters in lower and upper case and then working out alphabetical order.  Having been initially resistant to trying something new (as usual), she was very proud of herself by the end.

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I went off to make some lunch and left them to do more colouring.  However, I got distracted by some magnets that had arrived from Amazon and had an idea as to how to enthuse M to learn her 3 times table again.  I made a fish template and then drew around it 12 times on the back of a cereal box.  Then the girls cut them out and stuck different coloured foil on the back.  I pushed a paperclip onto each one, then made a fishing rod using a stick, some parcel string, and some copper wire to attach the magnet.  Then I wrote out a sum from the 3 times table (without the answer) onto the back of each fish.  On D’s I wrote some simple addition and subtraction sums.  The girls had great fun fishing and working out the answers to the sums.  By the end of the game, guess what…?!  M had learnt her 3 times tables!!!  We were all overjoyed and D did a little song and dance around the room to celebrate while M sat and beamed happily.




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