Happy Sausages

We’ve had such a varied and happy week!  I feel so proud of their attitude to learning, to each other, and to our general family life.  Part of me wants to march back to their old schools and stick two fingers up to their old headmistresses, ha!

We’re still battling the nits unfortunately.  M managed to pass them on to me and I unwittingly passed them back to M again!  Who knew that nits don’t always make you itch?  I didn’t!  I’m all clear again but I’m still having to regularly comb through M’s hair.  It has meant that she missed out on a sleep over at a friend’s house (his Mum didn’t want to risk it just before school starts, fair enough) and an HE meet up.  So we’ve pretty much been in quarantine ALL week.  And it’s been lovely!  The girls have been engaged, occupied, laughing and learning.  I would have expected cabin fever to kick in by now but it hasn’t.

During one nit session, D was marching up and down chanting the 10 times table!  She’s really getting a grasp of numbers and how to manipulate them.  It’s amazing to see, especially as it’s mostly mental arithmetic at the moment.  She will just go quiet for a while and then say ‘Mum, did you know that 3 lots of 4 is 12 and 2 lots of 6 is 12 too?’  So this week she’s just starting to get a handle on multiplication.  I downloaded a Numberjacks Times Tables app which she loves.  Minecraft is really helping too – lots of blocks placed on blocks so she begins to see patterns: she said “so 3 lots of 3 are 9?” after a making a square window!

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She is also soaking up knowledge through Netflix – it is incredible what she has absorbed from watching Go Diego Go: she keeps spotting animals and saying “hey, that’s a red eyed tree frog!”.  The other day we were reading a book with a parrot in it and she said “that’s not a parrot it’s a scarlet macaw”.  I’m just waiting for her to start speaking Spanish now…  We started watching The Magic School Bus today, which is fantastic too and right up D’s street: the children in the story travel into space, into someone’s digestive system, under water etc etc.  Even M was pulled into watching it.

For D’s Love Bombing day she chose to do have a space themed day but today she decided she couldn’t wait for her special day and she wanted to do the activities now!  I had two prepared already.  The first is this book, Older Than the Stars – it is fabulous!  As you go through it, you learn how all the particles that were present at the big bang are part of us now.  M really enjoyed listening to it too.  We had a great conversation about death afterwards (no, really).

The other space activity I got out for D was this constellation geoboard.  I didn’t have time to print the constellation sheet off so we just started on our own.  She loved it!  Here you can see she’s made Taurus, The Big Dipper and Polaris, Orion and the Sun using pins and rubber bands!

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After D had finished we went straight off to her new swimming lessons, which she was initially scared about but was ecstatic after the lesson because her teacher had chanted her name while she swam :).

Now for M, who has been going from strength to strength this week.  She’s had to battle with nits for starters – highly frustrating and boring but she’s managing really well and is beginning to understand the importance of regular combing (she doesn’t seem to mind the itching and didn’t really grasp why we had to get rid of them!).

The biggest thing in my mind this week is to do with a book about pet rabbits that she borrowed from the library.  She tried on two separate occasions to read it and each time struggled with the words and got too angry to continue.  I was amazed that she even tried twice.  I was astounded when she picked it up a third time!  This has NEVER happened before.  I sat and offered to help her read it and both girls were rapt the entire time.  You can see where this is leading… M has now made a lovely list of the type of rabbit she’d like and what we’d have to buy to keep one.  There is a strong possibility that we will be getting pet rabbits.  I made sure to praise M afterwards for overcoming her anger at the book and she beamed at me :).

The other rather large story for M this week is that she now knows the truth about Santa.  One morning she asked me “why are all the Christmas presents from everyone we know and not from Santa?”.  I told her it was a long answer and that I’d talk to her about it later.  Meanwhile, I rushed off to consult like-minded people on Facebook.  Little did I know it would spark a thread that went on and on and on… Anyway, I gleaned some good ideas from it and had a little chat with her about it.  To be honest, I’ve never wanted to do the Santa thing but when M was 2 or 3 she insisted that he was real even when I said I didn’t believe in him.  Tsk.  So I probed further with M about her thoughts on Santa and she guessed herself that he wasn’t real, she didn’t even seem too bothered.  A great big cheeky smile appeared on her face when I told her I bought the presents and hid them around the house… wonder what she is planning…

In other news, I have been spending a lot of time with M creating food cans for Sylvanian Families,  Good God it’s fiddly but we’re getting there…

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M’s also been setting up obstacle races for D…

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And playing dominoes…

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Making a floating island in Minecraft and playing on an Escher inspired app called Monument Valley.  M has solved all the puzzles and finished the game in a day!

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What, I think, has helped the most in our family life this week is that we’ve had a re-jig of our structure.  Not that we really had much structure, but I realised after 4 nights of D not being able to go to sleep that she really needed a later bedtime. However, this also meant that M would miss out on her special evening time with me because they’d be going up at the same time, and D would miss her morning special time because she’d be getting up later.  So we’ve now arranged it so that they both have an hour to spend just with me each day, doing whatever they want.  D doesn’t seem too fussed about special time, probably because she is more vocal when she needs attention than M, and also because she’s younger so is used to sharing me anyway.  However, M is really thriving on it.  She beams whenever I mention it and I think it’s also helping her anger.  So perhaps lack of attention was the problem all along…

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18 thoughts on “Happy Sausages

  1. Hi! An American friend of mine lent us two Magic School Bus books a while ago and the boys both loved them. One was about dinosaurs and the other about the ocean. I keep meaning to find some more as they really are fun ways to learn. I think I will find the series as well – was it on Netflix Lucy?
    Oh nits, nits evil little blighters aren’t they. I remember my eldest getting them and passing them to my hubby and me. We were at Centre Parcs on our last day. I thought My eldest had a sweaty head from his bike helmet but when I looked closely it was like Jurrassic Park – honestly! His head was teaming with wiggling, dancing leaping biters. Yuck. When we arrived home after our return journey I made my hubby buy a silly amount of liquid nit death and I made us all stay up until 2am as I combed it through our hair.
    Looking back I think I may have over reacted a little! Do you think?

    I love reading about your HE journey and the girls are thriving.
    Thanks for linking up Lucy . #homeedlinkup

    Oh and Santa – what do you mean he isn’t real? You’ll be telling me there’s no magic next:)

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    1. Ha ha! I’ve taken the no chemical route so far and just using the Nitty Gritty comb. It’s v good so far but a bit laborious! As for overeacting, i bet it did the trick!
      Yes, Magic School Bus is on Netflix, I think your youngest would love it 🙂
      No, Santa is not real, there is no magic and no tooth fairy either. 😉

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  2. Sounds like a lovely week you have all been having.
    My sister in law swears by combing through hair with the nit comb every hair wash even when there are no nits, and obviously daily when there are, and using Tea Tree oil to shampoo with as they hate that smell.
    I think that love bombing is a great way to consciously spend time together. Something you may also find interesting is a really great book called The Five Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman, it has the general premise that people receives love in different ways (five categories – words of affirmation; quality time; giving/receiving gifts; acts of service and physical touch) and learning to communicate love effectively to each other means learning to speak their love language, even if it is different from our own. If your ‘love tank’ is full, then there is generally more peace and lack of frustration. It’s really worth a read if you haven’t already.
    It is really great to read about your adventures and how naturally they flow, it encourages me that when mine get big enough to really begin our home ed journey, that an unschooling approach can work!

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    1. Thanks for your comment! I’m not sure I could cope with nit combing at every wash but I’m definitely going to start using some tea tree oil! Thanks for the book recommendation, I will have a look at it.

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  3. What a lovely week, although I definitely feel for you re nits. It makes me itchy just thinking about them! We use the tea tree oil, conditioner and nit comb route. I hope you get rid of them soon!

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  4. The Older Than the Stars book looks both cute and amazing at the same time. I can see how it would lead on to great conversations. Love the constellation geoboard. I will definitely be stealing that one. Bummer about the nits.

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  5. I love the look of Monument Valley. We love Escher and my kids love Minecraft – win win! I seem to pick up interesting resources and inspiration from all of your posts, come to think of it. Thank you! So pleased to hear things are going so well in your household. 🙂

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