It really is, no really! We’re in a permanent holiday state, so although we returned from holiday last week, we’re really still oh holiday anyway. That’s not to say we’re skipping in meadows all week: we have our busy days, our still days, our ups and our downs. But life is pretty good and we know we’re privileged to live such a life.
It’s been a lovely week. LOTS of Minecraft learning together with M – we have finally braved adventuring out of the shelter/mine, made a map, discovered a village, tamed a horse and so much more. We tried and failed to connect to M’s cousin in Minecraft online but we’ll try again soon. J has yet to be convinced of how much learning can be done through Minecraft but he’s getting there. Today he had a little play on it so hopefully he’ll come to accept it’s value over time. He also had a go on M’s Lego Technic Car Racing app and afterwards M was much more ready to join him in a game he suggested (Frisbee) rather than asking to continue on the computer.
D is also enjoying playing Minecraft in creative mode. She builds LOADS of structures and it seems to have replaced Lego as a favourite game… for now. Her love of mental maths continues and she regularly asks me for sums as early as 6am – I have to try very hard to appear enthusiastic.
While all this computer work is going on, I sit and learn alongside them both for a while but I’m also using the time to get rid of piles of accumulated ‘crap’ around the house, catch up on admin and read my novel. The house is very peaceful at the moment and when we’re all busy in the lounge I’ve been putting Swan Lake on in the background. This version is narrated by Angela Rippon and both girls have expressed an interested in it so are obviously soaking it up while they play.
J has also been encouraging his nephew to come over and play before he heads off to university in a few weeks. The girls have loved having him over and he’s been teaching them football skills and playing endless games of hide and seek, pirates and chase.
On Wednesday we met up with our friends from 3 Kids and a Gluestick at Devonshire Avenue Nature Area. Jo had spent 5 hours the night before putting a nature trail together – I was very impressed! M was determined to complete all the cards which included a feather, a hawthorn leaf, a spider and many more.
D lost interest after a while and found a little den under some trees from where she could be heard singing her heart out like Maria von Trapp. M was over the moon because she made friends with another girl and she can’t wait to meet up again next week. D struggled to play with the group and once she’d finished singing she spent quite a bit of time on my knee, asking to go home. I’m assuming this problem will pass as she gets older: she does seem to get too overwhelmed with other children. I had thought this was a group issue but after a friend came over to play on Thursday I’m not so sure. D had been longing for this girl to come and play for nearly a year but after an hour in her company she was soon retreating into imaginary play with her bunnies, and her friend wasn’t very keen to join in. M also had a friend over to play too and they had a great time making a ‘ship’ on the climbing frame and then showing each other what they had learnt on Minecraft.
Looking ahead to September we have lots of new things starting: D will be attending swimming lessons at Dolphin Swim School (we’ve cancelled our David Lloyd membership); we’ll be trying out an HE club in Leatherhead where they’re learning about Africa this term (much to D’s delight!) and there’s a possibility of joining in a Christmas show; M is continuing her ballet class and will be part of an Alice in Wonderland production in November; M is also starting a climbing wall class and of course Judo and pottery will be continuing. I’m also hoping to fit in a visit to London at some point, D is desperate to go back, she loves the city!
Comparing our states of minds to last summer, I would say we’ve all calmed down a lot – I’m feeling less need to occupy them with ‘educational’ activities all day. M still has her moments of fear driven anger when she doesn’t understand something but I think she is gradually getting the idea that it’s ok to learn. She asked me about pollination yesterday and after she got angry at my poor attempt to explain it to her, she then allowed me to show her a YouTube clip with a much better explanation – this is definitely a step forward. Phew!