March’s Achievements

Hmmm, probably not too many…

  • Worked on building planters to grow vegetables in and finished off the re-seeding of the “lawn”.
  • Found several carpenters to quote on the cellar staircase.
  • Started to plan the shop-front conversion
  • Sent on a desk and various sets of drawers to start the shop clearing process.

Not sure where March has got to. We certainly don’t seem to have achieved much. Benjamin has moved into Isey’s bedroom, which seems to be working. I thought he would be sad to leave his old room, but as soon as we started sorting his new bed out he announced that this was his new room. His old room is nearly ready for Joel. I am not sure that I am ready for Joel to move out of our room yet though! It seems a long way down the corridor.

This last week we have been focusing on getting the boys to do their tidying up at the end of the day, putting their laundry away, laying the table, clearing the table etc.. It has been a very uphill struggle. It doesn’t seem to come naturally to them.

Joel is on his feet more and more, and trying to join in with B and I’s games much more. He is starting to try to say things too. Things like ‘gone’ and ‘down’.

And part of the month has been spent being uncertain on what H.E. ‘philosophy’ to adopt. I have re-read some John Holt and looked at some curriculum stuff and ended up back at Ambleside Online and Charlotte Mason.

We have been inside far too much. It just takes so much effort to get everybody coated, toileted, booted and out. Desperate for some warmer weather to come and inspire us again.

This week

Quite like last week really. Benjamin continues to spend lots of time drawing, “writing” and spotting letters everywhere. Isaac continues to fall apart at every opportunity (I don’t know where he gets it from – M). Joel has spent the week trying to climb into the oven and toilet, plus climbing onto windowsills via sofas. All very precarious, but he is just so cute!

Benjy continues his interest in the stars. Has spent quite a bit of time this evening looking at Celestia (computer program for looking at stars, planets and zooming around the galaxy, created by NASA) on the computer with Matt.

Joel hasn’t yet attempted to try walking again.

Parties and Puzzles

We had a nice day today. Saturdays are always nice when we don’t do any house projects. This morning was the NCT sale, which I went to while M looked after the boys. Came back with assorted bargain clothes for the boys and a very complicated looking jigsaw puzzle of the space shuttle and hubble telescope. Explained to Matt that it would be a few years before B would be ready to attempt this, so put it away on a shelf. M removed it and took it off to the kitchen and after two hours of work, it was finally done. (See photos – click the flickr banner on the right of the page.)

This afternoon we all went to Sam’s 5th birthday party. They had hired a village hall and a ‘reptile experience’. A couple who rescue reptiles had brought along with them a large tarantula, three snakes (the longest was about 15 foot), a chameleon, a blue-tongued skink and a tortoise. All of these were available for the children to touch, except the tarantula. Apparently he was very fragile, so only Sam got to hold him. Most of the children were happy to touch them and nobody seemed to be particularly alarmed. I was surprised that, after initial feelings of panic in myself when the tarantula and ridiculously long snake appeared, I was able to come back and look at them relatively calmly! Anyway it made for a fascinating birthday party and we all enjoyed it very much.

What else? Benjy and Isey moved from pretending to be Alfie and Annie-Rose all the time to pretending to be Christopher Robin and Winnie the Pooh. Benjy is constantly asking about words and letters and trying to write them. Although he was very insistent the other day when I was showing how to write a ‘P’ that I was doing it wrong!

Isaac has been very difficult this week. He seems to always be doing things he shouldn’t be doing and not responding when called etc. In fact the main part of my week has been trying not to be constantly negative towards him. Some days I seem to spend all day saying ‘Isaac I said no…’, ‘Isaac you are not listening…’, ‘If you do that again…’, etc. He seems to be potty trained – it didn’t really require any effort on our part.

At intervals over the last few years I had mentioned that having a cat would be nice. It has always met with mutterings about allergies and general disinterest. Now B has mentioned the idea and suddenly we are ‘looking into it’. I think there is a certain amount of favouritism in our house (actually it is just that my thinking has had to go along a journey – M).

We are also looking into how to progress the shop room and the cellar and thinking about how they could be used for Home-Schooling purposes. They are probably of a size to be able to get a group of about ten children or so together, so I have been thinking that we could (for example) find a french teacher and share the cost between several families. Also could get several families together for science or art projects. Ideas to ponder over…