Friday, September 09, 2005

Much Better

Started bright and early with some of the M-word. Yes, it was maths time again. Emily was perfectly happy about it this time round, and spent ages working with our loose change and conquering the art of giving change from a pound. We did this months and months ago, and I thought she had it down pat, but then a few weeks ago she claimed not to know where to start. Today, we started with simple amounts like round tens until she was eventually confident with random amounts like 37p and 62p. Not a problem in the slightest.

I think part of the problem with maths though is that Emily often can't see that it's relevant to her at the moment. Yes, yes, I know, we all use maths of some sort every day, so they say, but, well, a six year old doesn't. Not really. Not the adding up, subtracting, times tables bit. Sure she measures ingredients...but weighing and measuring have never been a problem. She has a use for telling the time, and again she's pretty good at that. But she doesn't really have a practical, real world use for the arithmetic side of things, unless we're going out somewhere and she can pay for something. So I need to find ways of making maths have a point. Not a pretend 'let's play shops' point, but a real point. Hmmm.

Anyway, maths passed pretty well considering, so we moved onto English. Emily impressed me with her spelling again - you see, she can see the point of spelling. She likes to write, and she writes a lot each day of her own accord, and she understands that if the words are spelt correctly, it's easier for her audience to understand. And she has experience of the frustration caused by not being able to read her own mis-spellings, which was a big prompt too, I think. Then Emily asked to go back to looking at the handwriting books we had when we first started HE. We dug them out, and she chose to spend quite a while revising and practising the various letter joins. Ha - she can see the point of neat, fluid writing too. I'm sensing a pattern here.

This afternoon we got back to our art project, and read about Matisse. Emily spent ages designing and working on a picture using cut outs, as Matisse did in later life when he was too ill to paint. Her resulting "Six Dolphins in the Waves" is quite striking :-) Tomorrow, whilst I'm catching up on deadlines, she and Jon are going to carry on with Matisse and Emily's going to choose a subject to paint in the "fauve" style, with weird colour choices. I think she's really getting something out of this, and it's interesting and enjoyable for us too, which is a plus.

Forgot to blog this about the kittens - on Wednesday morning, both Emily and I independently noticed that their baby blue eyes have gone! Our kitty binks now both have golden eyes. Our babies are growing up already :-)) In a break for retail therapy yesterday, we went to petsathome and bought an enormous crinkly tunnel for them with hanging toys in it and cut away holes. Cost £20 but it IS huge and they DO love it; it's now Juliet's preferred sleeping place. Romeo, meanwhile, has taken to sleeping in the box of printer paper behind the desk. As you do.

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