Tag Archives: Spanish

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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A Week in the Life of a Home Educating Family: Tuesday 2015

We’re still a bit poorly here but things are warming up a bit 🙂

If you missed the previous days, please click on the links below:

Sunday and Monday

8am

I come down late again after a bad night with D.  She was awake for 2 hours in the night because of her cold.  The next 2 hours are a rush of putting food together for our morning out and getting dressed and breakfasted (the girls have art class on Tuesday mornings).  D doesn’t feel well enough to go so J offers to look after her at home but she says she’d rather sit in the car with me.  So she chooses a pile of books and I pack a few activities.

9.45am

We set off in the car for art class but after 1 minute M says she feels sick!  We deliberate for a few minutes as to whether to continue our journey but in the end I decide that because we’d be out of the house for 3 hours it wouldn’t be good for her to be feeling ropey for all that time.

10am

The girls settle down to their screens: Endless Spanish for M on the iPad and Mario for D on the Nintendo.  Then we watch Princess Bride.  This was the film we were supposed to see at The Barbican yesterday.  They both liked it – yessss!

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12.00

We watch it again!  There was a lot of explanations of phrases, jokes, immunity, gigantism and the whole plot.

1pm

I did some cleaning and D helped me mop the floors – she loves that job.  She then did a few more stitches on her sampler.  J goes out to work.

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2pm

When the film finishes, M plays on Animal Crossing: we’ve learnt how to time travel so she goes back to Halloween, which she missed because we were out at my sister’s party.  She has to figure out puzzles to win candy.

3pm

Spanish is definitely the theme of the day: D picks up words through Dora and M continues to play Endless Spanish.  M is so pleased because she’s learnt about 15 new words and is deciphering the words she hasn’t learnt yet.  She’s also learning the sounds of the Spanish alphabet.  I invest (£9!) in an in-app purchase so she has more words to choose from.

3.45pm

We have to go out to the vet’s for Morris’ myxomatosis injection.

5pm

Back from the vets and I start to cook dinner.  Morris is peeved and won’t communicate with any of us so M goes off to practice her Spanish.  D wants to do her sewing but I can’t help her at the moment so she watches more Dora instead.

6pm

We’re back in the car again and on our way to Brownies.  It is possible to walk there but it’s dark and wet so we drive.  We discuss hurricanes and try to remember the different wind levels from our How the World Works book.

6.30pm

Back home again and D declares it’s wonderful for us to have some time alone together.  Hilariously, she then puts Dora back on.  I make her some Nutella on toast while she watches.  We then watch My Little Pony together and D delightedly explains the plot as we watch.

7.30pm

Out in the car again to pick M up from Brownies.  M is so excited because she’s got a new badge – World Traveler.  She had to count to 10 in Spanish, make a passport and write a postcard. 🙂

8pm

It’s time for their bedtime stories – the day seemed to go so fast!  D chooses to play Lumino City instead of having a story so we play together for 20 minutes and then I read Heidi to M.  I leave D playing on her My Little Pony game, while M plays her current favourite card game: solitaire.

It is now 10:50 and the sausages are still awake!  Time for us all to go to bed.  🙂

Spanish and Hibernation

We’ve gone into hibernation this week, which suits D: she has rediscovered the joy of Go Diego Go and Dora the Explorer, so she’s back on the sofa soaking up Spanish words and animal facts.

All our classes finished last week so we had a full free week. We’ve had a few pyjama days, which always go down well but mostly I think the girls (M in particular) have enjoyed getting into activities without having to stop to get dressed and go out!

On Saturday, Jeff took the girls to Box Hill for a run-around.

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Meanwhile, I spent HOURS in Wimbledon, finishing off my Christmas shopping. I also couldn’t resist buying a gorgeous book on colour which I’ve wanted for ages (our art shop is a dangerous place to go), How the Grinch Stole Christmas and some new posters for our bedroom wall. It’s a good place to put them as the girls are more likely to be mooching around and gazing at them at bedtime (I’ve already spotted M muttering bone names while studying the skeleton poster). I also got one on telling the time – which (to be fair) M had actually asked me if she could learn, but then had a melt down because (to be fair) the poster is badly designed and she was blaming herself for not understanding it.

On Sunday, we had Jeff’s Mum over for lunch: she is teaching him how to cook curry so while they were busy in the kitchen, we began listening to an audio of A Christmas Carol (thank you, Pru, for the idea!) while doing activity books.

On Monday, D began teaching Spanish to M! She made up a game where they would run round and round the bed and then jump while saying the corresponding Spanish words! :D. This was the beginning for M getting hooked on learning Spanish too and during the week she has even been spotted watching Dora the Explorer (a once hated programme!). D has continued with her story telling and has also begun singing made-up songs while playing air guitar, which are unbearably cute. Yesterday she told me she wants to be a singer and a cleaner when she grows up. I asked her what happened to wanting to be a scientist, so then she added that to the list. And then I reminded her that she also wants to be a bee-keeper so that was added too!

M made up two new biscuit recipes – unfortunately she has lost the first one she made up (could that be, perhaps, because it was on a silly scrap of paper which she refused to write up into a book?!!) so she has baked twice this week – and written one of the recipes down in a book :).

D spent some time on Reading Eggs but I had a feeling that the interest in it is waning so I’m not sure we’ll renew the subscription in January. She had a go on Teach Your Monster To Read instead, which was way too easy for her but I felt she needed a bit of a confidence boost so it did her good to sound out the easy words and she loved playing it.

On Tuesday, I pushed M to finish one of her Christmas presents (she loves starting projects but not finishing them!) so that we could get it into the post along with D’s present for Aunty S. They’re both fantastically well made – D was shown how to construct this tree in pottery. M figured out how to make Santa ‘spring’ from the page by using a piece of concertinaed card behind him, all by herself (sorry, I forgot to take a picture!). So we had a short bike ride to the post office and back and afterwards they made up another Spanish game!

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On Wednesday, J was playing YouTube videos of Nat King Cole and explaining to the girls how badly he would have been treated because of his skin colour. It’s always odd talking about racism and sexism or any ‘ism’ with the girls because they are quite naturally puzzled by people’s behaviour when it is so nonsensical! M made the link back to Nelson Mandela who J had talked about when he died recently.

It was the dreaded bath day today. D loves her baths and will spend hours in it just making up stories and playing with the water (in fact, I have to schedule it in to the day so I’m not forced to get her out before she’s ready); M on the other had hates it. Not the actual bath/shower, but the getting in and out. It is always a miserable time for her. I’ve noticed a lot of extra sensitivities creeping in to her life lately, and the coldness she feels before and after the bath is one of them. I made a decision that day to let her control her bath-times from now on. She is a little unsure about this as she knows she doesn’t want to be smelly but she also hates baths and showers so we’ll see what happens.

The girls’ Aunt Sh picked them up later in the day to take them to a Santa show at Wimbledon theatre. She took them last year and they adored it so she decided to take them again this year (she always takes them to the theatre rather than buys presents). They still loved it and were very pleased to be given colouring books so sat and coloured when they got home.

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Thursday and Friday were both very similar (I had planned to meet an HE friend at Wimbledon Common on Friday but the early morning rain put me off and her car was in the garage so we cancelled) in that there was LOADS of Spanish going on and lots and lots of writing being done by M. She baked some lovely cakes and wrote the recipe down in a book and she also began a Spanish Dictionary!!! D has been helping her by telling her the words she doesn’t know and yelling from the sofa when a new word comes up in Dora.

The only other thing of note that has been happening this week is the girls learning all about mating and instinct from the bunnies… from Morris in particular…

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A Week in the Life of a Home Educating Family: Friday

This week has been very odd and I’m not entirely sure it was a great week to report on as it seems to have been quite a nonentity!  Next week looks much more exciting I can assure you…  At least you’ve seen how mundane it can be as a home educator, ha!

What I love about our life though is the little things: the tiny sparkles of funniness throughout the day; the joy I have in learning together with the sausages; the joy I have when they have learnt something for themselves; and the overriding fact that they are 100% happier at home than at school!

I’m not sure I’m going to continue my daily blog into the weekend: we have a big family lunch tomorrow (J’s parents have been married 60 years!) and M has two playdates on Sunday so I probably won’t see a lot of the sausages…

If you missed the previous days, please click on the links below:

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

7am

I come downstairs and write my previous day’s blog.

8am

D comes down and has dressed and brushed her teeth and hair.  I love this new phase of hers as it’s so hard to get her dressed later in the day.  She watches Go Diego Go for a little bit and amazes J (who is now awake and working) with her animal knowledge.

9am

M comes down and we have breakfast and get the bunnies out.

10am

J gets the girls working on anniversary cards for his parents.  While they’re busy, I grab a shower and clean the bathroom.  When I come out, D is in the bedroom doing some colouring.  She tells me that the Spanish word for Grandma is Abuelita!  I love that her head is filled with random facts.  J leaves for work.

11am

I make myself a coffee, M is just finishing her anniversary card.  She has copied their wedding photo and done a lovely job.  Then she starts on Minecraft.  We can hear D upstairs, she’s singing with an American accent at the top of her voice.

12

We leave for Wimbledon Common.  I’m amazed that the girls want to go, usually it’s very hard to get them out of the house.  They must be feeling as cooped up as me.  M loves exploring off the beaten path and we find a bush with 2 rosehips left on it, 2 dens made out of very large branches and a huge fir tree.  We end up at Putney Heath where there is a lovely wood and we play Sausage Spotting which is similar to Where’s Wally.

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Spot the Sausage…

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2pm

On the way home we look at the large houses in Wimbledon Village and M wonders why you would want a house that large.  I suggest that it’s to do with status and explain what this means.  This then leads on to whether having an unnecessarily big house is a good or bad thing: M is very interested in social justice.

We then drive past a woman in a burqa, which sparks a discussion on what the point of it is.  I try really hard to remain impartial during these discussions rather than imprinting her with all my views but I think I failed on this one!

We get back for lunch.  We have a quick game of Monopoly: M is convinced she’s going to lose (even though all evidence points to the contrary) so we stop and she watches Mr Tumble instead?  She hasn’t watched it since she was 2!  D watches Dora on Netflix for a while but soon stops to help me complete a 500 piece jigsaw we bought last week.  M also helps and D tells us both about a tomato frog that can be found in Madagascar – who knew?!

5pm

M decides she wants to bake: she begins making up a recipe using molasses sugar, flour, butter and vanilla.  She calls the biscuits Madagascar Mix-Up.  She really does find this sort of sensory activity therapeutic: it makes her so happy!

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6pm

The happiness doesn’t last as she can’t wash the greasiness off her hands and it begins to stress her out.  She walks off in a huff, unsuccessfully slamming the lounge door.  I have to say though, her mood this week has been amazing compared to the last fortnight when she was becoming very hard to communicate with.  Luckily, she recovers quickly and comes back in to taste her biscuits and decides they need icing.  We spend the time up to bed watching Dora the Explorer (D told us that ‘lo hicimos’ means ‘we did it’ and ‘mochila’ means backpack’.

8pm

I read another Rainbow Magic book to D and M listens too – they were both fascinated by these fairies a year ago and I can see the interest remains!  I read a fair bit of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire but I can tell M isn’t in the mood to listen.  There is quite a bit of bickering between the sausages and I advise them to keep away from each other before I head downstairs.  Luckily, I know they’re sensible girls and they will keep themselves to themselves.  Usually they’re good friends but they can get on each other’s nerves which is pretty normal and healthy, I guess.

So endeth another week in the Sausage household!  I am looking forward to J being around at the weekend, and to a change in our dynamics: he always shakes us 3 up a bit. 😀

Cans, Climbing and Codes

Well what a week it’s been…  Thank goodness for this blog – it helps me to have perspective and see the week as a whole rather than just good days and bad days…

There have most certainly been a few lows this week, M has been SO grumpy!  Lots of rudeness to me and D, lots of ‘I’m bored’ comments, followed by huffing and shoulder shrugging at all suggested activities.  Humph.  J and I are sure she needs more structure but she is unwilling to try.

Anyway, as I said before, it hasn’t been all bad, and here is a round up of all the activities we’ve been up to over the last week:

All 27 Sylvanian Family tin cans have been finished!  Wowsers that was a long job.  They look brilliant too.  M made a start on the cereal boxes which involves making a net using a set square.  She got very angry about it and gave up but I live in hope that she’ll want to try again as she seems more willing to have another go these days.

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The girls have really got into writing coded messages to each other, and to me.  M made one that had tiny symbols and pictures for each letter of the alphabet, which D loved decoding, but mainly we’ve been using a simple number/letter code.  It’s great for spelling practice and D wrote out all the letters of the alphabet in order, in capitals, which I’m not sure she’s ever done before.

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Games have continued on the iPad.  This week’s favourites have been Farmville (for M) and Slice Fractions (for both girls).

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M started a new climbing course at White Spider in Tolworth.  It’s fortnightly and she gets to experience climbing and bouldering and also has the chance of working towards climbing certifications if she wants to.  She managed to climb to the top twice!

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D was of course thoroughly bored while all this was going on, although there is a lovely climbing/play castle there too.  She made a comment along the lines of “why is it all about M?”.  So after I explained that she needs to tell me if she wants to do something particular inside or outside the house, we decided to write a list of all the activities she would like to do.  Telly was at no.1 so the next morning she merrily sat down to watch TV… ok…

On Saturday, J got the chance to see Arsenal play Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium and he took M along with him for her first football match!  She really enjoyed it and was in awe at the size of the stadium.

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Recently, D decided that she would like to learn a language as she was worried she wouldn’t be able to speak to people when she goes to another country – ahhh.  I asked if she would like to learn French (as we’re going to France next year) or Spanish like Go Diego Go and she immediately chose Spanish.  Phew, I have to admit I’m not a fan of learning French as nobody speaks it except the French – Spanish would at least be a bit more useful!  We tried a Duolingo app which had been recommended to me but it didn’t really suit D.  She decided to continue learning from Go Diego Go :).  She has learnt an awful lot of Spanish from watching it – she knows ‘amigo’ is ‘friend’ and today we had a little Spanish conversation!  I was trying to get her upstairs to ‘de-nit’ her hair so I said “vamos” and she said “por favor, no”.  Ha!

M made gloop, one of her favourite activities.  I suggested it, thinking it was soothe her during one of her angrier moments and I was right!  I also slipped in the fact that it is a non-newtonian fluid while she was happily playing…

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M is also very interested in Vi Hart on YouTube – if you’ve never heard of her then have a watch, they’re fascinating videos!  Whether or not M takes in the maths involved, she loves Vi’s doodles and it inspired her to start doodling her own, humming like Vi Hart while she draws…

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M has also started to like classical music – I’m still sticking it on in the background while they play and it seems to be sinking in.  The other day I put Peter and the Wolf on and M was talking about the different instruments being played and describing the characters.  I couldn’t believe it!  When I first started HE I wondered how on earth children would learn this stuff without it being taught to them, but it seems they just do, you just have to provide them with the opportunity to experience it.

The girls decided today that they were going to make cards for their cousin, M.  While they were working I decided to read the latest Aquila magazine to them, fully expecting to be booed off at any moment.  But they actually listened to me talking about Pompeii, volcanoes, tectonic plates and the Ring of Fire!  So after they had finished I got them going on making a Pompeii inspired name plaque which they really enjoyed…

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And lastly, our enormous sunflower has flowered!

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