Thursday, 15 September 2011

Welcome to September

In my last blog post, I talked about how we stopped our academic lessons when our Whit Half Term started back in June. We also moved house and had a busy time when we moved into the new (to us) house.

We found that the previous occupants had been doing a lot of science experiments. There was bacon grease in the grill pan and not a trace of mould in it, and that sat for at least two months, so I guess mould doesn't grow in meat fat (being vegetarian I didn't know that). There was dog food in the same cupboard as rice (some people think that it's OK to have animal food in the same cupboard as human food, again, I shudder).

We had no choice, we had a battle on our hands, we fought what I dubbed 'The Bleach Krieg'. Krieg is the German word for war, and bleach is the English word for bleach. Our experiment was to see how much cleaning it took before the new place felt clean. In case you want to know, it took nearly 40 hours of cleaning. The previous occupants didn't even vacuum the place when they left! You know those places that you go into and you need a shower when you leave? That's what this place was like! It was filthy beyond description!

L still had home ed activities, such as her weekly drama group, monthly history, weekly piano lessons, monthly book group and all those things finished in July. She has also been going to Latin and Ballroom Dance lessons and is really enjoying herself. This coming Sunday, she has her first medal test, she is going for Bronze in both Latin and Ballroom.

M my little one who is now 5 years old, started to go to something that is similar to Brownies/scouts/cubs called Church Brigade that takes place at our church. The leader said she did really well, up until 10 minutes before the end, then she decided she was ready to go home. ('I want to go home now,' she said with a pout.) L goes there too so that's probably why she did well.

We started back up with our lessons the end of August beginning of September and I organised a 'Not Back to School' bowling session followed by a picnic in the park. According to the BBC there wasn't supposed to be any rain that afternoon, it said 'sunny intervals' and it showed clouds but no rain. We got dumped on but that didn't dampen our spirits. In fact, everyone laughed at me for believing the BBC ;)

We went to Warwick Castle in August and it was really fun but the one thing I really really wanted to see was a source of disappointment. Oh well, I guess you can't have everything. I was looking forward to seeing the knights joust. They made the jousting into a pantomime with cheering for the obvious good guys and booing the obvious bad guys, oh and don't forget the horrible music!

The Birds of Prey demonstration was excellent. The man was very knowledgeable and talked about where he took the birds he had to train them. He had a buzzard and three eagles. We were nearly hit by a low flying bird who didn't have the knack just yet, he was only two years old! He also told us that the birds don't actually like him. They only like the bag of food that he carries on his shoulder and that's why they keep coming back to him. So folks, a bird of prey is NOT a pet!

I do appreciate my friend taking me to Warwick castle even though I didn't properly thank her that day, I'll thank her here, Thanks A! Warwick Castle was a place I wanted to go to since L was 7 years old. I was not allowed to go on her school trip because school insurance doesn't cover women who are 'in the family way'! The next year her year group didn't go to the traditional Year 3 school trip which was a trip to London's Science Museum because her Year 3 teacher was also 'in the family way'. At least I had taken L myself, when I was 'in the family way' and after M was born so she didn't miss out at least :-) All her school mates did miss out that year though :-(

We started back to our lessons and we are having a difficult time getting back into the swing of things. Actually that should say 'I am having a difficult time getting back into the swing of things.'

I gave up my typing job back in June and then in August I was offered work through someone else. I took it and I have also made a contact for my own business that I am trying to start up. My website is nearly ready to go live (I hope).

So what have we done lesson-wise? We did a session or two on knights and castles to get M ready for Warwick Castle. M is reading various books to us and L and I have started reading books on King Arthur (Thomas Bulfinch and Tim White), and Ivanhoe. We have also started reading 'The Brendan Voyage' by Timothy Severin, which is a true story written by a man who recreated the vessel that St Brendan used to cross the north Atlantic from Ireland to America (a leather boat). Timothy did this with four other men. This is our Geography book. I do have to find the map of their voyage and print it off.

L has just taken off and done over 30 pages of Math in a book that I had for her. We are doing the experiment where you change the colour of a flower by adding food colouring to the water. So far the red food colouring seems to be winning and my yellow food colouring only changed one petal a little bit, the purple food colouring is a close second.

M knows her numbers and recognises them and can count to 100 but she's not interested in writing them or adding them up. Guess I have to use something that will catch her attention (candy). We are working on the fine motor skills, which will come with time.

I need to get going now and crack on with my day, so until next time, be good and if you can't be good, be careful.