Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Playing with Plays

This morning before breakfast I found Emily curled up on the settee, frantically writing away. She carried on for about another half an hour and then told me she'd been writing a script. And what a script! It was absolutely brilliant! She'd written a complex five page playscript with a storyline involving the warrior cats; six characters, both funny and sad, and with lots and lots of emotion in it. I loved the way she'd obviously thought hard about how it would appear when acted rather than just writing it in a story style. For instance at one point she had this:

TIGERCLAW (hissing loudly): I did NOT kill Redtail.
(miaow quietly, not looking Bluestar in the eyes): I may have scratched him, though.

She had characters interrupting one another, and when the main character had to say something awkward that he'd been avoiding saying she had added the instruction for him to speak "all in a rush."

I was very impressed! We acted it out a few times each taking different parts, and she couldn't wait to write another one - so she did. And this was before "work" had officially begun.

Eventually, sat down "properly" at the table - darn those home educated kids doing educational things before breakfast just for the fun of it - we carried on with our English work looking at settings. Emily chose one of the picture books she had when she was younger and we discussed the differences between books for young children which don't describe a setting but leave the pictures to do so, versus books for older children or adults which are either without illustrations or with just a few black and white sketches. Emily then chose a scene from the book and re-wrote that page for an older audience, adding in lots of scene setting and descriptive details.

Spelling was next. Think we're going to have to get a little more structured with spelling. Emily loves "English" - whether it's something she's doing off her own bat or "proper" work - but her spellings skills, even though very good, can't now keep up with the imaginative, really great stuff she wants to write. This morning, for instance, she was, not surprisingly for a seven year old, struggling with words like abandoned and adventurous. I think we'll start making a note of spelling rules as we come across them and start looking at more complicated groups of words and patterns rather than being quite random about it, which I suppose we have been so far.

The morning was interrupted by an Anglia Water van going past at high speed blaring something out of its loudspeakers. Couldn't tell what, but that question was answered minutes later when we discovered we had no water. Poooeey. It finally came back on about half past two by which time me and Jon were desperate for a cup of something!

After lunch Emily did some maths puzzles, rather reluctantly it has to be said, but she did them. Then we had fun for a couple of hours trying out some new cheapy keep fit equipment - a gym ball and a blow up wedge thingy. Prompted much hysterics from both of us! I couldn't believe how hard some of the exercises were, actually. All that rolling about on a ball looks pretty effortless but it certainly wasn't!
There has been lots more neopetting going on too, especially since Emily has now decided she *HAS* to get the secret lab map. For which she'll need approx 450k points. Okkkaay.
Yesterday evening Jon and Emily went off to their art class and came back with these beautiful daffodils. Emily's first is in traditional still life style, Jon's is a much looser impressionist style which Gary (teacher) very much liked:
Gary kindly brought Emily a fabulous book to borrow last night. It's called the Art Pack and it's an interactive guide to art history and theory with lots of pull out tools, colour wheels, perspective grids and so on. Very nice!

Well, back to work for me. Jon and I are still feeling rotten - he's lost his voice completely which has made for a quiet if rather lonely day for me and Emily!


Elder Faery said...

I just wrote a long comment that disapeared! But what I was saying is that I always make sure I am focused before I read your blog. I want to be able to take in everything that Emily does because she does so much! Here we can see how her individuality shines...I wonder how it would be for Emily in school...because it is certain that in many cases she would be brighter than the teachers! I'm going to read up in your archives to find out if Emily has ever been to school. If you haven't detailed about your choices to home educate, I would love to hear about it. x

Nikki said...

Thank you for such a lovely comment! Emily did go to school, she attended the whole of the reception year at infants. It utterly destroyed her self confidence, sense of fun...well, really it destroyed her, full stop. And her particular teacher was an absolute disgrace to the profession. We haven't always found HE easy by any means, but overall we're certain we've done the right thing for Emily and it's been a fantastic 18 months getting our little girl back! She's still not very socially confident, but we're getting there :-) Thank you for passing by, elderfairy. xx

Elder Faery said...

It is hard to imagine that Emily could have been low in self confidence because she is so balanced now. I'm sorry that she had that experience in the school and I am really happy that Emily has such supportive parents! I have put you as a link on my blog because I think your lives could be an inspiration to many. xxx