Swimming and Slavery

D immediately started to cry when I said she had her swimming lesson today.  She said she was too tired and put her head in her arms.  I told her that it’s the only thing she has to do in home-school and if its her worst thing then maybe she could think of something she loves doing to cheer herself up.  M immediately thought of her chocolate coin maker and said she would let D make coin.  So they set to work!

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To anybody who doesn’t have this toy I wouldn’t recommend it.  It is A LOT of work (for me) and waiting (for the girls) for very little reward in my opinion.  It took 40 minutes to make two coins and the little sausages gobbled their coin in 3 seconds flat.  Then, swimming lesson forgotten, we got to work on our poetry books.

M is in the middle of a masterpiece.  She’s copying The Owl and The Pussycat from a book illustrated by Ian Beck.  She’s laboriously copying every illustration in the book!  She is really really good at it though and hats off to her, I don’t think I’d have the patience for it.  M is very into detail so it’s lovely that she has the time to do work to her satisfaction.

Meanwhile, D was copying out ‘Isn’t It Funny’ by A. A. Milne.  It’s a very cute little poem and just about the right length for D’s current skills.  For me, this exercise is about learning a few poems by rote and hopefully building a love of poetry as we go along.  So I don’t mind that M takes 1 hour per page or that D takes 5 minutes to do the entire poem: I want them to enjoy what they do and do it in their own style.

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I recently read an American blog where they had a Poetry Tea afternoon as part of their curriculum, with the idea being that they sit down together to eat cake, drink tea (or whatever) and read poetry to each other.  I love it!  Definitely going to steal this idea for myself.

After poetry I decided to show the girls how to make butter.  It was a bit random but being city girls it would be nice if they knew how their food is made.  So we got some cream, put it into an airtight tub and shook.

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And shook.

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And shook.  D lost interest but M & I kept it up until all of a sudden butter appeared!  M and I drank the buttermilk and the butter tasted good too.  M said it was nicer than ‘normal’ butter.

Poor J was ill again today.  He slept until 10.30 and once he was awake we got dressed and then the girls ran downstairs to open letters from Grandma that the postman had just delivered.  She’d sent some amazing sticker and activity wildlife books which the girls got stuck into straight away.

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The afternoon was spent at David Lloyd.  There were a lot of tears from D on the way.  I asked her what it was that she hated most about swimming and she said that it was putting her head in the water.  So I said “I think your teacher is very nice and although she keeps asking you to put your head in, you don’t have to do it until you’re ready”.  D calmed down after a while and we spent half an hour in the café eating biscuits and doing the girls’ workbooks.  M continued looking up words in the dictionary (she seems to quite enjoy it) and D was putting letters into alphabetical order.

The girls then had a quick swim together before D’s lesson.  I don’t know whether it was my pep talk or just something that clicked in her head but once she was there she put her face in the water as soon as the teacher asked her to!!!  She also did a couple of doggy paddle strokes on her own, without a float!  M was also storming ahead in her class: refining her front and back crawl techniques.

Once home again, the girls played a bit with J and he set them up some sort of assault course using our two sofas in the lounge.  They went to bed very happy after he told them a ridiculous story based around how smelly my bottom is.  M was laughing so much she could hardly breathe.

I’ve added a new category to my posts this evening: Talking.  It’s so important in home education!  The things I get asked you would not believe.  I must answer about 100 questions a day, if not more.  M was asking all about slavery while they were getting dressed after swimming today.  She asked loads of interesting questions like ‘how did they get the slaves, what if the slaves didn’t do as they were told, do they still have slaves now etc etc.  We had a 5-minute slavery lesson in the changing rooms.

Little things:

1. How enormously generous M is.

2. M saying she would NEVER have a slave, she would always pay them some money.

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