Thursday, 16 June 2011

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June is a Busy Month

This month, has been a bit of a break, but not really. This month, we are moving to another house. We are packing up our troubles in our old kit bag and smile, smile, smile. Sorry about that folks, I burst into song there. We have been working like busy beavers packing up our house and in two days we move (yikes!).

We finished up our academia before the Whitsun half term break, which in our town is for two weeks, and in others it's one week. It is nice that we are able to carry out our move without having problems with falling behind in our lessons.

M is reading words here there and everywhere, and has a story about an old woman who shares her name. It's a folk tale from Chile and she's enjoying that.

L has two books from her book group to read and she is an avid reader (I always find her with her nose stuck in a book, not that I'm complaining because reading opens up so many doors).

She had her radio show this month and we took our flat travellers to the radio station. This time I remembered to get pictures outside of the station but forgot to take pictures INSIDE the studio where they sit with their microphones etc. When I remembered, someone else was doing their live show (as opposed to pre-recorded).

My girls have been real troopers about this upcoming move and I have had some support from my friends. One friend has helped me immensely by collecting L to take her to her various activities which saves me from having dead time and that has been fabulous. I can pack rather than sit around waiting for an activity to be over to that I can rush home to pack.

Yesterday we went swimming because I organise swimming sessions where people can just come and swim for fun and splash around in the pool. I don't do lessons though. It combines exercise and some social time for the kids. Yesterday they were playing ball games in the pool and chatting and just having an all round fun time. I always find after being in the water that I am more relaxed.

Last night L and I went to her little part time job (an hour a week) and I have to supervise her because of her age, actually, I help her. Last night it was actually creepy being there. It was only the two of us in the whole building last night, usually M comes along and we go during the day. Don't anyone tell L that I found it creepy, OK? Is that a deal? Or will you use that tidbit of information to blackmail me?

I suppose that is a bit rich, isn't it? Confessing in a public place that I found it creepy to be in an old Victorian building and having to convince my daughter that it was fine to be there. I'll have to hope she doesn't read this :p

She is learning responsibility from this job, and of course teamwork because I help her do the job. I am training her in it actually. She wants to buy herself an expensive electronic toy and so this opportunity came up. She will learn so much from having this experience. She will learn how to save money for what you want and that if you are able, it is better to work for your money. I know some people can't work and are dependent upon help from the government but that is not her situation at this time, she has no obstacles to working.

She has a few more things left to do this year, there is her monthly history group, which has two more sessions, the one that was supposed to be this week had to be moved due to circumstances beyond the leader's control. She also has one more session of book group and the person who runs the book group is my friend who has so kindly helped me by collecting L and taking her to her activities (she also has children who participate in the same activities so she was going anyway). Thank you so much and you know who you are!

She has her radio show each month and again that is such a fabulous experience because she is learning practical skills for real life which I think are transferable to all situations. Planning, teamwork, expressing yourself on a particular subject and of course going on the radio and having people tell you that they heard your show is confidence boosting.

She's been enjoying it a lot and I am proud of her for everything she's doing.

M is a little sweetheart and she comes out with the funniest things but of course I am not allowed to laugh at the funny things she says. She wasn't trying to be a comedienne, she makes an observation and it is the funniest thing but we are not allowed to laugh at what she's said. If you laugh, you are set straight immediately! "It's not funny! Don't laugh!" That of course makes me want to laugh even harder so I am biting my lip a lot these days.

She isn't in as many activities as her big sister but that is simply down to her age, she's still only four years old and do can't do a whole lot as some activities are for 8 and up.

She is going to try Latin and Ballroom dancing like her big sister does. The dance school runs a class for little people. I think they take them from three years old. So she will try that one, and they mix Latin and Ballroom dance with party games so that it keeps their attention. At the school they assured me that they don't put pressure on the child and will just let the child come into things when they are ready. The dance school owner told me that they will invite the child to participate for the dances, but if they don't want to, they don't egg them on because they know that will put them off wanting to dance. She said usually after about 3 or 4 weeks the children who prefer to watch at the side start participating.

I got to watch L's class last Saturday (I was playing hooky from packing) and thought, wow that looks like a lot of fun. They do have adult beginner classes. I may end up being known as 'Salsa Sue'. I'm not sure yet though. I have never taken dance lessons ever in my life. I'm actually quite *ahem* uncoordinated. I can walk into a door frame just passing through a door so I dread thinking of what could happen on a dance floor where you have to wear high heels (anything higher than flats is 'high heels' in my books). The other thing I don't do anymore is play soccer with children. I have also had the misfortune of injuring children I've played soccer with :-( poor little guy, he got the ball square in the face. I felt sick after that.

Back to M, she is going to try this dance class, she did try ballet and tap and modern but unless her big sister was helping out, she didn't want to go to the lessons.

She is getting used to being with other people for some structured activities and not having L or myself around and I am pleased with that. We go to our local church and they have Sunday club, she goes to that and is coming out of her shell there. Each week it is with different team which I think can be to her benefit. This summer she will be old enough to go to Holiday Club which is on for a week. L will probably help in her group and I will run the games for the whole operation. I used to do that in my younger years as a day camp leader. For two weeks at time, my partner in crime (colleague or co-worker type of partner in crime) and I ran holiday clubs in different areas of our county. We did sports and crafts with the children and I can't remember if we had them for the whole day or for half days. I think it was a full day. I did this before I went to university, so that was a while ago (I think it was the week before last).

I do like leading games and sports even though I am a big klutz. You know what they say, those who can do, those who can't teach. So I fall into the can't and teach category! I used to coach a soccer team and I can't play soccer very well at all but I coached a team of 4 year olds. At that stage of the game it's more about crowd control than it is about actual skills! My partner coach had the skills, I was just chasing the balls around or was it the 4 year olds?

I'll be busy over the next while, but will pop in to say a few words if possible we won't have regular internet connection so I don't think I will be able to do a whole lot on here.

So until next time, I bid you a fond farewell.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Goodness! It's Been a While!

We had Easter eggs and a Royal Wedding and oh it was fun! We had a wonderful day that day and the weather was glorious too, the perfect day for a wedding!

We have been doing our usual stuff, L went to History group, and she worked on a circle journal (hopefully two more swaps and we have hers back!). She finished reading Animal Farm by George Orwell and said she didn't understand how the pigs could talk to the humans and then why they started to walk on their hind legs. She also didn't like what happened when Napoleon took over because suddenly it wasn't fair!

She worked on her other History session that she went to in May. Piano lessons are of course regular (weekly) and she's been practising in between those, in fact she does better at practising than I do!

She has drama every week and her monthly radio show. She's done two episodes and the next one is on Monday (6th June). Getting ready for the radio show involves a lot of different skills, team work, research and then of course being on the radio show involves learning about how a radio station works.

L finished her German book (hooray) and is nearly finished her French book (hooray - it's due for September) and has two more monthly History sessions left (hooray). She has also been going to her weekly dance lessons and fortnightly swimming sessions (arranged by moi).

She also goes to a monthly book group and has read books for that. She read the sixth book of the Skulduggery Pleasant series and that was a whopper of a book!

M has been plugging away at learning to read and we are working through her McGuffey's Eclectic Primer which was written in the 1800's. She is doing really well with that book. She is also starting to sound out other words on other things like books or computer screens and flashcards. We are also reading The Bobbsey Twins, I managed to get 13 books by download for next to no money and I read those to her. She's been working through a Math workbook for children who are a year ahead of her in school and does very well with it. That's not due to me pushing her but down to her understanding Math concepts. The reader is available to read online here. We have the actual book though. In fact, I was so impressed with the book that I bought the whole set (there are 9 books Primer, Pictorial Primer, First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and then an Eclectic Speller but that's not a reader). If it's good enough for the old fashioned schools, it's good enough for us!

We have finished our artist and composer studies and it feels good to see that through!

We went away for a few days to visit a friend who lives an hour away and that was great too. We have finished our own home lessons because I follow a 36 week curriculum year but we are still doing all of our other term time activities which will finish up in July. Then we ceremonially took down the timetable :-) She then saw that it really was finished.

A few days ago, we went to Ordsall Hall, and that was fabulous, it is a haunted Tudor mansion (funny thing though I saw WAY more than two doors). I will blog about that on my Flat Traveller blog though.

So, until next time.