Firefighters, Colourscape, Go Diego Go and Alchemy!

I’m confused, we’ve had Go Diego Go on so often this past week I feel like I could be a South American living in the rainforest too… D now knows ‘si, por favor’ and ‘ayuadame’ (help me) – small beginnings!

I must start blogging more often so I don’t end up writing these huge posts, so apologies for the huge post but here goes…

We finished the Pompeii plaques:

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We had a busy day last Friday – first to Epsom fire station for a tour with our local HE group.  The girls were reluctant to go but soon changed their minds.  The firefighters were really friendly and showed us their uniforms, the kit they use and the truck.  All the kids got a go with the hose too!

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From there it was a quick bite to eat in the car and straight onto Clapham Common where we met with another HE group to go to Colourscape.  It was an incredible experience, and quite indescribable!  We learnt lots about light, colour, heat and sound.  Unfortunately it’s finished now, but I would love to go back and cement what I’ve learnt.  I’m not sure how much the girls picked up but they certainly enjoyed it.

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On Saturday morning, J managed to convince the girls to go to their Judo class.  They weren’t too keen on going but came back full of excitement as the teacher seems to appreciate them being there and their obvious skills.  J told me the teacher frequently used M to demonstrate the moves to the rest of the class!

After Judo, M had her first rehearsal for the ballet production she’s taking part in.  She had rehearsals all day Sunday too and then afterwards her friend T came to play for a few hours.  Meanwhile, D was having fun at the South Bank with her cousin.

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We had a chilled morning on Monday and we spent it reading, watching Go Diego Go, The Powerpuff Girls and playing on the iPad.  In the afternoon it was back to Clapham again for the girls’ favourite class of all: pottery!  They were thrilled to be back and ran in happily, leaving me free to read in the church yard, which I love.  The girls also had a good run around in there churchyard beforehand too.

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Tuesday was spent playing M’s current favourite game on our tablet – Alchemy, while D continued to watch Go Diego Go.  The premise is that you begin with the four basic elements: earth, water, fire and air, which you then have to combine to make new elements.  There are 390 to make in total!  We quickly became unstuck and lost track of how we had made elements, which ones we had combined already and which ones we hadn’t.  So I decided to start writing what we’d done in a grid, which M adored!  I then realised there would be too much data to put on paper so I created a spreadsheet.  M has quickly grasped how it works and can be seen merrily beavering away at it from time to time.  I’m not sure which she likes more – the excitement of finding a new element or the data collection… she is so like me :).

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Finally, someone took notice of the British Legion WWI poster I stuck up in the kitchen a few months ago!  D asked very sweetly if I could tell her what it was about so I got out my Usborne book of The First World War that I bought for myself a few months ago.  I still need to read it through as my understanding of that war is so pitiful!  We began talking about Archduke Franz Ferdinand and who shot him which led onto questions of ‘why?’, whether the killer was a ‘goody’ or a ‘baddy’, and D poured over the pre-war maps of Europe and the British Empire.  It felt like a very successful and thoughtful bit of learning, and even M picked up a bit as we were still chatting about it in the car later on in the day.

The girls then watched The Chronicles of Narnia and before we knew it, it was time to go to M’s ballet class.  We raced out the door and didn’t have time to put on her leotard or tie her hair up, but the teacher didn’t seem to mind too much thankfully.  M’s friend wasn’t at the class that day but M still enjoyed it and came back home longing to practice in the lounge.

Wednesday morning was more of the same – Go Diego Go (what a surprise!) and Alchemy.  We had quite a few tears from M as she is struggling with her moods again: she gets into a huge black cloud if anything goes ‘wrong’ which then taints the rest of the day.  Rather than seeing it as a moment which didn’t go well, she seems to think that if ANYTHING goes wrong then the whole day is ruined.  I’ve tried so many approaches to try and help her but I’m fast running out of ideas and patience, argh!  Still, she is getting better and better at trying things again once the mood has passed.  One thing that helped today was doing a bit of baking: she cheered up enormously and I’m beginning to wonder if doing something sensory with her hands like gloop or baking helps her in some way?

She also cheered up at the thought of going to Morden Park again this afternoon.  We met up with our local HE group there and the girls ran around playing with the other kids and M got to do a bit of her favourite foraging!

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We’re off to visit my parents in Nottingham after our climbing class on Friday so the next post will be written from there!

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5 thoughts on “Firefighters, Colourscape, Go Diego Go and Alchemy!

  1. This looks like such a fun week! Colourscape sounds amazing, I’d never heard of it before. And I’m 100% with you on the data collection thing, I love spreadsheets… It makes sense to me that doing something sensory with her hands might help M; I had some cognitive behavioural therapy for my own emotional issues once and one of the things they taught us was to find sensory stuff which we could use to sort of “reset” our emotions – the physical sensations distract the brain from the emotional tangle. I haven’t explained that very well but I hope it makes some sense. Have fun in Nottingham!

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  2. Hi Lucy, I just wanted to let you know that I have nominated you for a Liebster Award, because I really enjoy the honesty of your blog and find it very inspiring given that I intend to HE my children who are still only little. If you want to accept, and there is absolutely no obligation, then check out my post http://wp.me/p3MeKt-eY for more info/instructions.
    Keep going, your writing helps build no end of HE/Unschooling confidence.

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  3. Oh and in response to this post, I was going to suggest that you and M create a couple of ‘go to’ sensory/tactile/messy/physical activities for when she is frustrated. Much like how journalling or going for a walk can clear the air in your head when wound up, something physical like a punchbag or creative/messy like throwing paint around (in a safe and designated space) can be a real help. Baking is great, or making playdough/salt dough etc. Hope that you guys have some breakthrough.

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