Tag Archives: Diwali

Indian Elephants

This morning was quite an early start for me and D: she woke me at 6.15 (though compared to the 4.30am starts when she was 2 this is NOTHING).  First of all she asked to watch Tinkerbell but then after 20 minutes of it she wanted to do her Tinkerbell activity book.  Fine by me!  We covered writing, spelling, adding and subtracting – all before 7am!

M appeared then and wanted to join in so we all went to sit in the (freezing) front room to carry on the activities.  Then we had breakfast.  I love the way there are no time constraints on home schooling – you can pack a load of stuff in before 7am and then chill out for a bit.

M is much better today though still full of cold so I thought we’d keep it light today.  I needed to get rid of a load of water filters, printer cartridges, batteries, clothes and shoes for recycling so I thought I’d tie in a bit of education with it and got the girls watching ‘Come Outside’ on YouTube while they ate their breakfast.  The episode they watched was all about rubbish.  Once we’d watched that we headed out to the post office.  FRESH AIR!!!  The girls posted their letters and we got back without a single grumble.  Then we got straight in the car and headed off for the recycling bins and then to Tesco for more recycling.  Of course we then had to reward ourselves with a trip to the coffee shop.  We learnt that Costas in Tesco is closing next week to make way for Tesco’s own coffee chain: Harris & Hoole.  I’ve never tried their coffee but I’ll probably find less ‘reasons’ to go to Tesco when Costa’s has gone.

When we got back we started work on a new craft which is linked to our India/Diwali project: making ceremonial Indian elephants out of milk bottles!  I got the idea from here.  Once the first coat of paint was on they were left to dry while the girls did a bit more work in their activity books.  Then it was time for the girls’ lunch and I fancied listening to a bit of pop while I prepared dinner for tonight so I bought the Now 00s album and we had a bit of dance around the kitchen.  I feel no shame in buying these albums… you can’t beat a bit of pop.

The rest of the afternoon was spent with the girls making an ENORMOUS den in the lounge while I made lists (I love lists) and did some research for future projects.

The girls managed to finish the elephants before bed – I love them!

Now I’ve got to sew turn ups into M’s new Judo trousers, ready for the class tomorrow… Hope you all have a good weekend x

Not Going Out… Again

Last night there was MORE sick so all plans were shelved again today.  M was very tired this morning so after a lot of faffing around, the girls watched Peter Pan.  D wanted to watch another film straight after but I persuaded them to get dressed first – it was almost midday at this point!

Once they were dressed it was easy to distract them by suggesting we write letters to Grandma to thank her for the stickers she sent a while ago.  M was getting quite tetchy and upset at the thought of putting pen to paper (she’s also caught a cold, just to add to her misery) so I tried to fire her imagination by showing her letters I wrote to my Grandparents when I was her age.  30 years on, they’re gorgeous to read and at times their content is hilariously ridiculous.  The responses from my Grandparents are so gushing in their adoration they make my heart glow to read them now.

Anyway, D wasn’t the least bit interested in my nostalgia and M was trying to hide her interest under her tetchiness.  So they just got on and wrote their letters.  I didn’t take a picture because I didn’t want to ruin the surprise for Grandma!  D’s handwriting is fabulous for a 4 year old; M’s is good too but is noticeably messier than when she was at school… oh dear.  In a strange way I’m quite pleased as she’s such a perfectionist all the time it’s nice that she’s relaxing a bit and learning to find her own style.

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M then wanted to write a letter to her Aunty S and while she was doing this I noticed how blowy it was outside and got our ‘How the World Works’ book out to show how wind is measured on the Beaufort Scale.  D then wanted to read the rest of the book so we read through the water cycle, types of cloud, currents, photosynthesis and food chains.  D loves fact based books!  I’m not sure how much she understood but she was certainly listening intently.

When M had finished her letter she listened in on the food chain page at the end of the book and I was pleased to see she was intrigued by it – she usually isn’t particularly interested in that sort of thing.  Something to explore at a later date.  She was pooped after all that letter writing so they both snuggled down under blankets to watch Return To Neverland.


All in all a very slow-paced day but I don’t see there’s any point in pushing M to do anything if she’s feeling poorly.  Fingers crossed tomorrow M will be better x

Our M is back!

The girls started slowly today while I did a mass tidy up all over the house (though looking at it now, 12 hours later, you can’t really tell) and then we got going on varnishing our diyas, don’t they look great?  I lit them while the girls ate their dinner (I know, a bit early for Diwali but hey) and the girls were delighted.


After we’d finished them the girls decided they wanted to make cards for J to tell him how much they missed him when he went to work, it was very sweet.  As usual, M spent an hour on hers while D spent 5 minutes, if that.  So I gave D some cutting to do to make a little planets booklet.  She was very pleased with it once it was stapled together, next we’ll write a fact she knows about each planet.

Then we had an early lunch as I planned to go into Wimbledon to get to the library, then buy some workbooks and take them to David Lloyd to do a bit of work there.  It was lovely and quiet in the library and we got the full attention of one librarian who asked the girls lots of in-depth questions about the books they’d read for the Summer Reading Challenge.  I was a tad nervous to tell the truth as it felt like I was the one being tested on how well we’d read together!  Thankfully, both girls responded really well – phew!  The librarian did a sweet little ceremony when she gave the girls their medals.  They got quite a bit of attention from a few of the librarians who all remembered them coming previously during the reading challenge.  It was lovely to see how welcome the girls were made to feel.  Its nice to think this could continue and develop during our homeschooling years.


Then we headed to WHSmith to choose a workbook each.  I thought it would be nice to choose a fun one to make it feel special when we use them while we’re out and about.  So we chose the age appropriate levels for each girl from the Gold Stars series.  The girls were chuffed to have lots of gold stars to stick on.  Then we drove over to David Lloyd, parked ourselves in the coffee shop and the girls got to work on their books.  After the girls had done a few pages we went swimming and then M and I stayed in the pool while D had her lesson.  It upset D very much to see us two having fun together while she had to stay with the teacher.  I’ll have to have a rethink next week as to what we can do as I don’t want to put D off having lessons when she’s barely begun to learn to swim.  The swimming teacher is very nice and was encouraging D to have a go at putting her face in the water, D just said ‘no thanks’.  Ha ha.

I noticed another change in M today, and now I think about it, its been happening for the past few weeks but was so subtle that I didn’t notice: she doesn’t wake up grumpy anymore!  She’s had morning grumps as far back as I can remember so it’s really lovely to see her sunny face when she comes downstairs.  She’s the sweetest, gentlest, most generous girl and it’s great to have her back again.

Diyas and Rangoli Patterns

This morning I woke up feeling grotty, I think two broken nights in a row have done it.  I didn’t start feeling back to my pleasant self until after lunch.  However, we did get some things done in the morning: a bit of reading, a bit of Reading Eggs, and lots of playing and putting make-up on.

Before lunch I read the girls our new book on Diwali that had arrived.  We’re planning on visiting Leicester during the Diwali celebrations so I thought they might be interested – they were!  The colours and the lights look so exciting!  I had an idea to make some ‘diyas’ (pronounced ‘dee-yaz’ I think?!) out of some air-drying clay I’ve had in the art box for years…


We also had a go at making some rangoli patterns.  Again, both girls really loved doing this – they’re both so into their art!  I’m thinking that if I can tie any subject matter to art then I will have no problem teaching them anything!  After lunch we hopped on the bus into Wimbledon to buy acrylic paint for our diyas.  The girls chose the colours – aren’t they beautiful?

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We went to the library after that as I decided that the Dr Seuss book that M wanted to read for her Summer Reading Challenge was too hard.  So I chose a slightly easier read for her and sat in the library and read it.  Then we chose our next books in the challenge.  It remains to be seen whether D will complete the challenge as she has zero interest at the moment and no amount of certificates and medals will sway her!

J came back from work not long after we came home.  The girls were delighted to see him and he set them up in the paddling pool again.  However it seems to have run it’s course already as they were out of it after 15 minutes.  Then the girls watched telly while we treated ourselves to a Lebanese take-away: yum.

All of a sudden both girls decided they wanted to write a letter.  So I got them some paper and pencils and helped D to spell hers out.  It was her bedtime but I didn’t want to discourage her as she was so keen!  It’s really well written but I don’t have a picture of it yet.  M also did a wonderful tessellating pattern of hexagons while I was putting D to bed: I’ll upload that tomorrow too.

I am shattered!  Night x