Saturday, August 13, 2005

Catching Up

Forgot to blog the last few days. It's been very busy, and still is.

Thursday: went to the museum with Hazel and Romy, to make masks and fans. Emily was a bit disappointed to find it was just plastic masks with felt tips and had been billed as 'Venetian Masks' so she was all set for designing fancy shapes over the eyes only, complete with wings, feathers and heaven knows what. Instead of which it was absolutely packed out and there was hardly anything left to put on the masks by the time we got a place. Those horrible plastic full face ones always remind me of Hannibal Lecter. But anyway. She made a goldy Hannibal one and we had an interesting discussion that evening about why full face masks always look rather sinister, because you can't see the expression behind it, so it's hard to tell whether someone is friend or foe. Tied in nicely with some discussions we've been having about emotions in famous paintings.

We also got a proper look round the Medieval Machines exhibition, this time with no TV cameras present. Bits of it seemed to be missing, but Emily enjoyed having a go on things, and loved having Romy there too. After which we went to a newly opened park for a play, and a bit of a meltdown from Emily when she stubbed her toe and saw blood. Bless her. I can't see her going into the medical profession, somehow. Park had a lovely cycle lane section. Must go back once the kids are back at school and get past the stabiliser stage on Emily's bike.

Yesterday: lots of maths and English in the morning, and Emily and I played for hours on the Zoombinis pc game in the afternoon. I LOVE Zoombinis. I think it's a really clever concept. Parts of it are challenging for me, lol, so I'm sure it must do kids the world of good in stretching their logic and mathematical concept skills. After which we made some fairy cakes with strawberry butter cream filling. Yummy!

Today: this morning Emily's spent ages tracing things from a costumes through history book, and designing her own extensions to those costumes. Since it's weekend again, I'm stuck at the PC trying to work to deadlines, but she and Jon have just gone out for a long ramble in the woods, in the pouring rain, lol.

We've been spending a lot of time thinking about how to approach "education" in the year to come. Need to spark Emily's interest in things that aren't history related (in the interests of a "balanced" education!) but that's proving tough at the moment. Also, the whole workbooks issue.....increasingly coming to the conclusion that they're pretty pointless. We have tons, and Emily will work through them, if asked to (which is far from every day), with more or less resistance depending on her mood...but recently she's coined a catchprhase which just about sums it up, I reckon. Once she's finished whatever I've asked her to do in the workbooks she says with a long suffering sigh "NOW can I get on with my life?" She had me in fits the first time she said it, it was really funny, especially with the tone and facial expressions to go with it. But she certainly has a point!

She's not learning anything new from maths or English workbooks. OK, she's practising what she knows...but once she knows it, she knows it, and I don't think kids need endless practice once they've got the idea. The workbooks are boring for me, boring for her, and achieving....I don't know what. They are handy, though, for giving you an idea of roughly what she "should" be able to do at any given time. We would like Emily to be roughly at the same stage as her schooled peers, simply because we personally would feel irresponsible if she was not. That's not a slight on any families who do things a different way, it's just our personal feelings about our own daughter. So, we'll have to find a way of making sure we're progressing with basic skills but without the workbooks. Dunno what that way is, at the moment, but I'm sure it'll come to us eventually.


Jayne said...

you can probably do every aspect of education via a history theme.....all of life is in there,maths languages,science,geography,art,cookery......
I mean ,great she is enthusiastic,for me that's what H.e is for/about!!

stef_n_dawniy said...

when it does come to you will you share it with us because we feel much the same at the moment .... in fact not sure how I feel today:)