Category Archives: May

Home Time

We do seem to be spending a lot of time at home at the moment, but in fact all we’re missing from our usual routine is our Tuesday mornings out at M’s art class.

On the way to Brownies I probed the girls as to how they were finding home ed at the moment: is there anything they would like to change, are they happy, would they like to go out more/stay in more etc…?  M decided she would like to try the pottery class again – we finished it a year or two ago, mainly because D had had enough and M didn’t want to go without her.  I think she’s so used to doing activities without D that this is no longer an issue though.  She also commented that she doesn’t have a best friend but when I asked her if she’d like to meet more people she said she was happy with the friends she has. 🙂

D on the other hand has a best friend (also D) and they are like peas in a pod.  She also told me she is happy with the friends she has and added that she would rather never go out again.  Hmm.  That one isn’t really possible since M now loves new experiences and going out.  The difficulties of balancing two differing needs.

Currently, D is totally absorbed in all manner of Stampy YouTube videos.  Thanks to a lovely commenter on my Facebook page, we have discovered Stampy’s Quest to Kill the Ender Dragon – D has now watched all 24 videos and has continued with the other following quests.  She has also watched Stampy’s Wonder Quest channel which we found out about from a commenter on my previous post (thank you!).

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Today D has not moved from the position above and she is in seventh heaven.  J was flummoxed as to why she wouldn’t play with him in the garden (the weather was gorgeous today) but she was adamant that she wanted to continue soaking up Stampy videos.  She was utterly miserable yesterday after being dragged out to Woodcraft Folk so it was nice to see her feeling happy and comfortable in herself.

It was tough for her yesterday – she had to come with us to the class but she was pretty much upset the whole time until the class finished and she could play with her friends without being ‘bossed about’.  I brought her books to read and her iPad to play on but nothing really soothed her.

Meanwhile, M is LOVING her two classes (Brownies and Woodcraft Folk) – she really gets a lot out of them.  We’re still playing a lot of Minecraft on our iPads together and she’s also been creating a few things with some Washi Tape she bought this week, including this teeny tiny chair!

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Preparations are under way for family visitors in a few days, we’re very excited!

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Stampy Love

Well, Minecrafting has continued apace since my last post.  It shows no sign of abating just yet either!

D continues with her love of Stampy, to the point where no other films or programmes are being watched.  She is currently on video number 117 and I think there are 270-odd so she’s got a way to go.  The other day I was thinking about how much she fully immerses herself in interests for a long time, to the point of obsession and almost to the exclusion of all else, and then gradually resurfaces to move onto the next interest.  In the past it’s been Go Diego Go, Dora, My Little Pony, Kung Fu Panda and countless other films that have been on loop in this house, not to mention the books she has read over and over again.  M, on the other hand, tends to have many things on the go at once and she dips in and out of each of them – she’s always engaged in what she’s doing but needs variety.  Always chalk and cheese those two!

D has also (unfortunately and hopefully not permanently) gone off our Woodcraft Folk class.  The past two weeks she has only joined in a couple of games and spent the rest of the time on my lap, moaning about how bored she is.  When questioned by the ever-lovely and patient leaders she explains that she doesn’t like being bossed about (!). Fair enough.  She doesn’t understand why everyone can’t just turn up and do whatever they like so I explained that a lot of these children like the games and if they just wanted to play with friends then they can do that on a play date – I’m still not sure she understood why anyone would want to be ‘bossed about’.  M adores going but isn’t ready for me to leave her there so D has to tag along.  Next week I plan on taking D’s iPad with us and I’m a little nervous about whether there will be any respectful understanding of a child who would prefer to sit and listen to Stampy rather than join in…

This is M and D playing with friends on the way home.  🙂

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The girls had a loooong swimming session with J at Guildford Spectrum on Thursday, which gave me time to do some cleaning and play on Minecraft.  Yes, I did.  I’ve really got into it recently!  M and I play quite a lot together – we are of similar organisational minds so one of us will be farming, the other cooking, or we might build something together.  D joins us occasionally and runs around making us laugh and eating all the food. 😀

We’ve been turning up the difficulty a notch in the past week, which means we have to fight mobs.  Initially D found this too frightening but we swore to protect her so she tried it out and declared it to be not so bad after all.  M built a wonderful world with all sorts going on in it, even a trading post!  But unfortunately she deleted it by accident. 😦  She was totally gutted but recovered a day later and is now happily recreating it all in a new world.

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M is also taking a great interest in doing meal preparations with me (chopping, peeling etc).  She doesn’t tend to like the finished product but she loves the smells of the herbs and veg as we go along.  She’s also really interested in tidying and cleaning.  She really likes a tidy room which puts a bit of pressure on me to put Minecraft away and do some work. 😀

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The love of Minecraft continues… It’s been reignited by our being able to play multiplayer across our iPads which has made such a difference in how the girls (and me) play.

We’ve been working on projects together in each other’s worlds: the girls particularly love the wooden house in their Minecraft Construction book – I must have helped them to make it at least 10 times over the past couple of years but this is the first time we’ve been able to actually build it together.  D asked me to help her make it in creative mode, which meant I could lay the foundations and start building upwards, and she could then continue once she understood the pattern.  We finished it in under an hour – it would have taken at least 3 hours previously.  M then wanted me to help her make it in her world in survival mode – this was obviously much harder because it involved a lot of tree chopping but it was great to be able to do it together.

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Typically, our bedtimes are spent playing Minecraft or Terraria together too.  Last night M and I dared to increase the difficulty rating slightly to fight some mobs (and get bones so we could then tame a wolf and get a pet dog) – D found it too frightening and left the room. 😦  She was placated with watching Stampy while M and me continued playing.

D has gone nuts for Stampy, we all have to some extent but D has watched him for hours and hours whereas M and I have our limits!  His early videos contained a bit of swearing which the girls were intrigued about so we chatted about the words he was using, what they meant and why he was using them.  They took it in their stride. 🙂

Stampy has even inspired D to make her own gaming videos.  We don’t have whatever software you need for this so she asked me to film her playing a few of her games.

Coming off the back of Minecraft there has been lots of ‘how do you spell this?’ and ‘what does this say?’.  For D in particular I can see that she could begin picking up words from it – more so than if I was sitting and reading to her actually.  She has quite a strong fear of failure so it would be nice if it just ‘happened’ like that, rather than her sitting down and trying to learn to read.  To be honest, I think she knows more words than she lets on – she was reading whole sentences 2 years ago but now says she can’t read… hmm.

We’ve stopped going to the library at the moment – D doesn’t like going any more because ‘they’re too quiet’.  Even to the point where she stands outside the door while M and I are taking books back, ha ha!  Ah well, our library has a really good selection of books online (much better than in the actual library) so we don’t have a need to go there at the moment.  You can also download read-alongs so I got a couple of D’s favourites for her to look at on her iPad.

We’ve all been quite poorly with heavy colds since getting back from Spain so there’s been a lot of sitting around and tiredness.  Yesterday however, we made it out to Wimbledon Common.  It was glorious as usual and we had a good hour’s walk before the girls’ legs got tired.

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We would usually have attending M’s art class on Tuesday morning, but she appears to have gone off it?!  It once was her favourite class of all but it seems nothing is wrong with the class per se, just that she’s ready for something different.

We tried a ‘schooly’ type class in Kingston recently.  M responds well to a structured environment (whereas D definitely does not!) so I thought it would be a good thing for her to try.  Unfortunately it really didn’t go down well at all with M – with her information processing issues she really needed more attention and instruction than the teacher (an HE mum) could have given her.  Plus, she was learning about something totally new which meant she was struggling to understand a lot.  I’m so glad D and I stayed in the room because M got very tearful at one point and although she stuck it out to the end, she gave it a 4/10 so we decided not to go back!

It gave me renewed respect and gratitude for her art class and brownie leaders who do so well in making sure she understands and is happy.

April/May Catch Up

And I’m back in the room.

Can’t believe I left 6 weeks between posts!  I just haven’t been in the mood and lost my blogging mojo for a while so this post will be a quick update on all the things we’ve been up to and then hopefully I’ll be in the mood to blog more frequently again.

We’ve had 3 lots of visitors – cousins & grandparents.

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D had a birthday party – she’s 7!

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The following week my parents took us to Spain and we happened to be flying on D’s birthday – she got a special mention from the pilot over the tannoy and he then invited M & D into the cockpit where he spent a long time explaining how he flies the plane. 🙂

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We had a fabulous week in Spain – the girls swam everyday; there was a gorgeous park next door to our complex with free range bunnies, peacocks, turtles, ducks and chickens.  M took the time to write more entries in her home-made Spanish dictionary, and she did a bit of artwork, creating this 3D hand we found here.

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On our return, we’ve had quite a few table activities going on – M has nearly finished her Sylvanian Family food and D has been creating (or directing me and Grandma) to make clothes for her toys using new fabrics and a sewing kit she was given for her birthday.

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D has created quite a few things recently – a Lego instruction book on how to make her ‘Moon on a Stick’

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She made a book about Cute Twitchy (her toy rabbit):

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And she has just started a new book which details her happy memories and dreams 🙂

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M has been gardening quite a bit – she loves helping me to prune our hedge at the front and we weeded her patch of garden together.  She really wanted to get a Brownie gardening badge so we planted lots of flowers and herbs to meet the criteria.  While we were preparing for the badge, I realised she had enough craft to get her craft badge too, so she showed all her achievements to the group this week and got the two badges she wanted. 🙂

There has been a lot of Minecraft and Terraria – we got the girls an iPad each which has enabled us to play multiplayer, which the girls are LOVING.  They frequently ask me to join them in their worlds – we’ve been adventuring, mining, killing mobs, making obstacle courses, playing hide and seek, building houses, structures and getting lost.

Here’s me enjoying Minecraft 🙂

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