Pirates, Science and Maths

There’s been an ongoing pirate theme this week (which ties in with us continuing to read Peter and Wendy) as D has begun an imaginary game that she plays daily, which is about being a pirate in Neverland, finding treasure and firing at other pirate ships.  I’m not one for imaginary games but this one is quite easy for me as I am basically the ship that D sails on.

To give her an idea of what an actual pirate ship looks like, we went to visit the Golden Hinde today (Sir Francis Drake was just a fancy pirate, after all).  It was so tiny!  J and I were amazed that he managed to sail around the world and plunder Spanish gold in a boat half the size of our house!

It was a fleeting visit as we had to leave the ship before the school parties arrived but it was fun while it lasted.

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After that, we walked over London Bridge (admiring the sights as we went) to see the monument that was built to commemorate the Great Fire of London.  J declined to go up as he suffers with vertigo but we three climbed the 311 steps to get to the top.  Hmm.  Altogether it was decidedly creepy: the viewing platform was covered with a wire mesh rather than a proper balustrade like at St Paul’s and, although we couldn’t have fallen through it, it made us feel decidedly wobbly about being up there.  Also, the spiral staircase was quite narrow and dark, which added to the creepiness!

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We got back home early afternoon and now I’m pooped but the girls are very lively – M is upstairs making a den for all her toys while D plays on Monument Valley on the iPad and chatters away.

The rest of the week has been spent:

At our HE group, Curious Minds: the girls decorated and made paper aeroplanes and played with shapes on an overhead projector.

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Lots of reading with D: We’re into another sleeping phase now where D gets up early and M falls asleep late, meaning that I can get some quality time with both but I don’t get a lot of quality time to myself!  However, it is probably a phase that won’t last and once the nights get lighter I think they’ll both be staying up later again.

So in the mornings, I’ve been doing lots of reading with D, before M gets up.  She loves pouring over the Maps book, looking at the different continents, the varying popular childrens’ names, mountains and volcanoes.  It’s tying in nicely with what we’ve learnt about Earth’s tectonic plates in How the World Works.  We’ve also spent some time figuring out how the earth turns on it’s axis and how that affects the seasons.

We also looked up Germany in our Maps book after the girls had watched all three Chronicles of Narnia films.  They had a few questions on WW2 (including whether I was alive then!) and I was very tempted to take them to the Imperial War Museum this week but I just wondered if D might find it a little upsetting (recently we visited Postman’s Park in the City of London, which has little tiles in it that commemorates those in history who died saving others: I got tearful reading the tiles out to the girls and D found it difficult to cope with the sadness of it all).

I also showed her Usborne’s See Inside Science, which is a lovely step up from her current science/space books.  It includes a basic introduction to space, life, DNA, periodic table, atoms, molecules and cells.  She seemed to enjoy it and I learnt a lot too!

Over the weekend, J did a mammoth amount of play with the girls – there was Judo and a trip to Battersea Park on Saturday (they were out of the house for 5 hours!) and then swimming with 2 of their friends and their Dads at Guildford Spectrum.  During which time I caught up with a lot of housework and did a bit of reading on Aspergers.

M has spent a lot of time on Animal Crossing this week (although she did have two days break while we waited for a new charger because Morris had eaten the old one!).  I’ve been noting down a few of the things she has been learning while playing: reading new words and 4-digit numbers; percentages; colloquialisms; telling the time; learning types of fish, insects and dinosaurs; saving up and patience (it’s a slow game).

There isn’t any artwork to show this week: both girls are still working on their Van Gogh masterpieces in their art class – I can’t wait to post them up, they’re INCREDIBLE!  Instead, I’ll end with a bar chart that I helped D to make: J got all her soft toys out and got her to count them all and we then made a bar chart with the results.  Natural maths at it’s best!

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