Fairy Books, Swimming, Painting and Algebra

We’ve had a lovely few days of HE – it’s been busy, but in a relaxed sort of way.  However, I’ve been too tired to write it all up in the evenings so here’s what we’ve been up to in the last 3 days…

On Wednesday we went into Wimbledon to get passport photos of the sausages.  We bought paint and plaster of paris from the art shop (I love that place) and we had an obligatory stop at the coffee shop before heading for the library.  I think we were in there for about 2 hours in total!  I was very pleased to have made it as I would love to make regular visits there but we never seem to find the time.  I read lots to the girls, but most amazingly M read for about half an hour to D!!  She never usually wants to read by choice (school has killed her love of reading stone dead) so I was really proud of her.  She chose a Rainbow Magic Early Reader book and read it with ease.  She decided she only wanted to read fairy books so I helped her scour the shelves for them – in the end she had 25 (!!!) books.  While they were reading I got a chance to go through the library’s information section which I’ve never looked through before.  I managed to find a book on Russia and one on fossils.  Laden with books, we went back home on the bus.

We had about 1 hour to get lunch before heading out again to David Lloyd to spend a bit of time doing our workbooks and then it was off for a swim.  I got into the pool with the girls – I feel I’m doing a pretty good job of overcoming my hatred of swimming pools!

On Thursday we spent the morning making cakes in readiness for M’s birthday celebration at our Stoneleigh group.


D spent a bit of time on Reading Eggs (she’s now on level 9!).  I’ve just bought another 6 months’ subscription to take her through the last 3 levels and wouldn’t you just know it, she’s now decided she doesn’t like it anymore and it isn’t fun.  So I politely told her she will be finishing it as I’ve paid for it!  I think she’ll be ok though if I sit down properly with her while she does it – she might see it as special time then.

After some lunch we headed off to Stoneleigh for our HE meet up.  D actually occupied herself for almost the entire time which was great.  One of the Mums made Jamaican dumplings with hot chocolate which was greatly appreciated by everyone, and we sang Happy Birthday to M. The cakes disappeared in a flash.

Today we began by attempting another colour wheel – M wanted to see if she could merge the colours together completely so we had a go.  She spent a long time mixing the colours and is now fully versed in primary colours and how to mix them!  D decided she wanted to paint a rainbow instead and did a lovely job of washing her brush between colours.  This is a good example of how different ages can get something out of the same activity.  They were both learning about colour but at different levels.

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After D had finished her rainbow she remembered how we used to see a rainbow on our kitchen floor when the sun shone through the water filter.  She asked to see it again so I explained how the sun isn’t strong enough in the winter.  We had a look at our wallbook and I read to her how Newton discovered gravity and how light contains all the colours of a rainbow: D wished that she had discovered something like that.  Then she pointed to a picture of a skull and I read to her about how Gray wrote a book on anatomy that’s still being used by medical students today.  D thought it was very kind of him to write it :).  Having absorbed all that she ran off to play with the balloons.

After lunch I took the girls swimming again.  We did workbooks in the café beforehand: M covered compound words, adjectives, plural endings and dictionary practise; while D did some adding and subtracting using a number line.

We got back from swimming and I made the girls dinner and then we watched the Winter Olympics opening ceremony.  M was very huffy about it to begin with (I’m calling this phase the sarcastic sevens as she is definitely starting to get an attitude she didn’t have before!) but then became very absorbed in it.  I’m glad as I’m hoping to start a lapbook on it next week.

The girls did the sweetest trick at bedtime: they ran upstairs and said I wasn’t to come up.  There was a lot of whispering and giggling and when I was eventually called up I found them in bed together with their eyes squeezed shut, trying not to laugh.  They’d brushed their teeth and put their pyjamas on without any cajoling from me – now that’s the kind of trick I like!

Little things:

I was recommended an app by someone on Facebook which teaches algebra in a very fun and easy to understand way.  It’s so good they don’t even realise it’s maths.  M has now completed all 100 games and finished the game this week!  I had to learn it alongside her as it is many, many years since I did algebra…  This was the final equation that she solved:


D has completed about 25 of these games and this is what her latest game looks like.  I love games like this and the sausages have no idea how clever they’re being by playing it.


I had an interesting chat with M at bedtime: we got to talking about why everyone doesn’t do HE and when I explained that some parents actually like going to work because they love their job she seemed quite puzzled!  So I said, wouldn’t you like to have a job where you got to tinker all day?  She said no, it would be too much hard work.  So I suggested she could work in the library and she squirmed with pleasure at this.  Then she asked how she would get a job there and I explained about CVs and she asked what she could put on her CV…


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