Today has felt a little more productive – we seem to have spent less time trying to keep Littlest out and off tables, cupboards, etc.. We began this morning with a short story on Leonardo da Vinci (Anholt), which arrived in the post and Bee and Mip both did a bit of reading from their reading scheme books. This is being very controversial. We have both read/heard of enough examples of children learning to read on their own, especially after age 7 or so and believe this to be the best way. But, it is also very hard knowing that having your children reading young is how people measure good education and it is easy to feel very pressurised. I have borrowed the beginning of the Peter and Jane series from a friend and have been using it very cautiously with Bee for a few weeks. Today I started Mip, because he seemed just as interested, if not more so, than Bee and in fact seemed much more confident reading today than Bee does. (Likewise with maths Mip is on a level with Bee, if not ahead.)

We also read chapter 4 of Swallows and Amazons today and the boys played lots of games pretending to be swallows, camping etc.. Which is very funny as my best friend from primary school years and I spent much of our time playing at being Amazons.

We did our usual mental arithmetic at lunchtime – mostly addition and subtraction up to twenty and we are working on the two times table. And Colourstrings in the afternoon. We still get our own private family lesson. Another boy joined, but gave up after two weeks, so it is just us again. Bee was dragged there reluctantly – he said he wasn’t feeling well as he had another wobbly tooth, but he seemed to forget all about it when we got there and enjoyed it nevertheless.

Toddler brings home education to a standstill……

We have already found we can only read atm while Littlest is asleep as she climbs up onto the sofa and tries to join in by turning (and tearing) the pages, and today the boys had to give up drawing at the table as she kept climbing up onto the table and tipping everything off. She gets too upset if they go upstairs or down to the basement without her, so in the end I resorted to putting on a DVD while Matt put all the chairs up on the table and work surfaces to keep her off them. I don’t remember it being this complicated with the boys…..

After lunch she slept and we read chapter 2 of Swallows and Amazons. I’m not sure if Bee is quite ready for it, but we seem to have a bit of a gap atm. We’ve tried him (twice) on The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, which would be just right for him, but he finds it too scary. (This is the boy who watched Veggie Tales at a friends’ house and said it was scary!) I can’t find anything which seems to fit just right. So far S and A is going down well, given his interest in ships.

HE feels slow, but other areas are going well. We’ve pretty much re-established bedtimes at 8pm (9pm for Littlest) with everyone up by 8am (9am for L) .That feels much better than the much later pattern we were in, and Littlest now has a predictable sleep in the afternoon so I can plan the day in advance. And the house project really is heading to the end. Maybe another month of work for our decorator ( 2 afternoons a week) and some finishing off bits for us to do. We’re still clearing stuff out of the cellars, and sending it off to the charity shop, but again, we’re getting towards the end of the “stuff”. We’ve found a cleaner too, which helps a lot.

Littlest is One Today

Granny and Uncles Jay and Jon celebrated her birthday with us.

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Last week we went willow weaving again – fish this time.

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Bee with his picture of Old Ironsides (USS Constitution), which is still one of his favourite topics of conversation or for him to draw or even for them to play. Plus a picture of the boys driving a convertible (car).

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There are a couple more picture on flickr itself – click on the flickr thing on the right side of the page.

Monks Wood

Sunday we went for a therapeutic walk in Monks wood. All four children fell asleep on the car journey down, so we took the opportunity to drive around the villages in the North Huntingdon/South Ramsey area, where we would like to move to if Matt’s work stays in the Huntingdon area. But that is all very unsettled at the moment.

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JJ has been a bit wobbly recently, particularly first thing on a morning. Lots of lying down on the floor and wailing and leaving us to guess what is wrong. But, aside from that he has been having a toddler-book-fest and spends all day bringing us Spot, Maisy, etc. to read to him. None of our boys have ever really attached themselves to a teddy (although Bee had Elaine, his doll), but today JJ has carried his big (about half his size) panda around with him and when he was not carrying it, he tucked it up under a blanket.I realised this evening that he has attached himself to Panda because Maisy has a panda.
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Littlest is on her feet. She has been walking for about 3 weeks now. She is starting to point and to wave (after someone has gone out the door) and loves to climb. She has discovered how to climb from one chair onto something else, so I keep finding her up on drawers, tables, etc.. She is oh so pleased with herself!

We are trying to establish a slightly more conventional bedtime routine. At the moment bedtime seems to be anytime from 9pm to midnight! I would prefer it to be 8pm. However, this requires the discipline of me getting up early to wake the children up early, and that is always the difficult bit.