Wednesday, June 15, 2005

It's Amazing What Getting Up Early Can Do....

Up really early this morning as Jon had to get the post office for 8 before taking Grandad to the dentist. The morning's usual faffing about was therefore over and done with much, much sooner than usual, so we got lots done today.

Emily read the first two chapters of The Actor, The Rebel & The Wrinkled Queen to me, which prompted much discussion about the role of women in those days. We tried a page of maths about giving change from a pound. I'm sure she was happy with doing that a month or two ago, but we got in a bit of a pickle with it this morning, so we raided the piggy banks for some real money, which made it much easier, and obviously much more fun. This was swiftly followed by some work on verbs, adjectives and adverbs. Normally by this point it's well and truly lunch time, but because we started so early today Emily decided she wanted to do a fairy castle collage, which she (and we) were really pleased with.

The plan of doing a bit of maths and English in the morning and project work in the afternoon is working quite nicely again now we've got back into a bit of a rhythm with it, so this afternoon it was back to Tudor land. We read You Wouldn't Want To Be Ill in Tudor Times with much hilarity, and looked on the net for information about herbal cures. Emily then worked really hard on being a village wise woman, producing a scroll with her made up cure for the plague on it, whilst animatedly wrestling with the dilemma of the day: if she presented the cure to King Henry and he wasn't cured, it would be off with her head (assuming he lived long enough to give the order). But if he was cured, would he think she was a witch and order her execution anyway? Eventually she came up with a solution....and added a bit to the bottom of the scroll making him sign to promise not to have her executed. Now why didn't any of his wives think of that? Doh!

Having finally established that witches weren't always old hags with crooked noses and green scaly skin, that most of them were innocent 'wise women' and that paganism and witchcraft are still alive and well today, Emily's showing a real interest in herbalism, spell work and so on. As well as looking at the history of the witchhunts, we might later in the year investigate paganism as a separate project I think. Maybe we can also arrange to be looking at our tarot cards, drawing up an astrology chart and mixing some herbs when an LEA bod happens to drop by, lol.

Meanwhile, Jon had found a CD of medieval music which sparked Emily's interest, so then it was off to the net again to look for more. We found a page of midi files to listen to, but sadly couldn't find any video clips featuring Tudor dance.

Finally read some of our library books about Henry and Elizabeth I. I was just reading a short introductory bit about the Armada when Emily interrupted me to say "I know - that's when she made her famous speech, the one that goes 'I may have the body of a week and feeble woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a King, and an English King at that!'" We haven't "done" anything about the Armada yet, but she'd remembered that word for word from talking to Jonathan about one of the David Starkey DVDs she's been watching. It never fails to astonish me what an appetite she's got for knowledge when something really captures her interest. I can just imagine her disgust if she were at school being forced to cover things like ancient Egypt and the Tudors in half hour bites to someone else's schedule.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Welcome to the Blogring, Nikki.

We've done the tudors recently too, and Anna particularly liked the David Starkey DVDs ... we have A Man for All Seasons sitting on the shelf to be watched soon too.

Look forward to reading more, and getting to know you a bit! :)

Sarah from tworedboots/Just another morning here.