Monday, January 09, 2006

Isn't It Lovely When It Works?

We've had one of those "Oh, so *that's* why we're home educating!" days. One of the good ones to look back on during the not infrequent moments when you seriously consider ringing the school.

Up bright and early, so the playroom/stock room was cleared of its boxes and ready for me and Emily to sit down together by 9 am. Which in itself is a bit of a minor miracle. First up was maths. Emily completed a YR 2 mock SATS test with absolutely no fuss, and got all but one question spot on. The one she got wrong was a telling the time one, so that confirmed our need to revise that. I was pleasantly surprised at how well she did, so I think we're safe to move on to some KS2 type maths stuff imminently.

Next we did some English, and Emily's task for this morning was to write a mini-story. She had to pick a fairy tale and write it in exactly 50 words, no more, no less. This came from a KS2 English book, but it was pretty tough. Emily chose Sleeping Beauty and I went off to make a cup of tea. By the time I came back she'd written a side of A4 and was still going, bless her. Really nicely written too, but I think the point of the exercise had somewhat bypassed her! I didn't have the heart to ask her to cut her written version down to 50 words, so instead she dictated a shorter version to me, with much discussion over what words and phrases were absolutely necessary, and which were not. In the end, the dictated version got to 60 words, and Emily then took it and ruthlessly pared it down to the required 50. A very good effort, I thought. I'm keen on this as a skill - probably I suppose because I have to write to strict word counts all the time and I wouldn't be able to do so without having an eye for either padding or cutting as required.

Meanwhile, Juliet caught her very first mouse! She left it outside the door (unbeknown to us) and came upstairs for purrs and nuzzles, very pleased with herself. When Jon came back from the post office and opened the back door, she ran to it, picked it up, trotted in with it, proud as punch, and started "playing" with it. We were somewhat torn between "awwwwww!" and "euuurrggggh"! Grandad was swiftly called upon to take the poor little deceased creature away. Still, if you have cats, you have to be prepared to deal with their habits. They're only doing as nature intended, after all.

Back upstairs it was time for a break, which Emily spent playing on Pharaoh, which she had for her birthday and ***loves*** (as do I, not that I get a look in).

After a break, she did some more English work, this time on word ending and vowel combinations. We then tried the first lesson from the Year 3 Music Express set. There was a song about a tortoise compared to other animals, and we had to discuss how the music expressed the tortoise's characteristics, as well as clapping the rhythm and other assorted bits and bobs.

And then we had lunch :-))

More Pharaoh playing, then we settled down to some art. Emily tried out the new posh watercolour tubes Nana and Gramps gave her. On rectangles of watercolour paper, she experimented with making washes, and with dry on dry painting, and wet on dry too, and we talked about how to store the brushes properly (as opposed to whacking them carelessly back in a drawer like we normally do...).

After art, it was time for science, and Emily had a ball mixing citric acid, bicarbonate of soda, starch, vanilla and food colouring to make some bath bombs. Have a picture of the scientist in full flow on the bathroom floor, but blogger doesn't seem to want to let me upload it, so I'll put it in a separate post after this one. We also did an experiment with putting the bicarb and acid inside a balloon and placing a pipette full of water in too, sealing the balloon and then squeezing the pipette so the stuff fizzes and inflates the balloon. All good.

Hmmm. Doesn't sound like that much now I've typed it, but we've done a lot today and it's all been a joy. Going to work really hard to make every day like this. I think half the secret was that I was properly prepared and knew exactly what we were going to do, rather than scratching around looking for resources and thinking up ideas on the spot.

Tomorrow morning we're off the opticians for Emily, the library, in search of a gymnastics mat and to the doctors, so it's a "morning off". Just had a lovely phone chat with the Mum of one of Emily's ballet friends, who has invited her round to play and tea later this week, which she's really looking forward to. The car's been at the garage all day being serviced and having its MOT, so that's another chore to cross of the list.

Yep, things are definitely looking up. :-)


Sarah said...

Doesn't sound like much?!! It bloody well does! Sounds absolutely brilliant :)

June said...

It sounds like a whole heap of stuff, give yourself some credit there :o)