Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Loving Learning

Emily's had a fab couple of days. Yesterday we finally made it to the Eygptian exhibition at the local museum. There wasn't as much there as we'd thought there would be (ever optimistic, lol) but Emily did enjoy it and even played a few games of "snake" with the children from the inevitable school party that was also "visiting" or rather with the school party that was being rushed through lest they actually become interested in anything and delay the teachers' lunch.

Here's Emily in front of the cat mummies:It was back in February/March 2005 that Emily did a huge Egyptian project (some pictures of which are here) - but she's never lost her fascination with this civilisation and seemingly hasn't forgotten anything she learnt back then either. She had a good chat with the museum attendant - he started off talking to her very slooowwwly and in quite baby terms and adjusted his attitude rapidly when he discovered that she actually knew rather a lot about the things she was looking at, lol. She told him about having booked to go the 2007 Tutankhamun exhibition in London, too.

We had a mooch around the rest of the museum too, although that's becoming rather over-familiar as we've been there so much this last year. Emily did have renewed interest in the WW2 bit, though, and made a list of interview style questions she wants to ask her grandparents in readiness for a WW2 project at some point soon. Should be interesting, as she'll have three very different viewpoints and experiences from them - my Dad was a child in Lancashire, my Mum was a child in central London (who wasn't evacuated and whose father worked finding emergency accommodation etc for those made homeless) and Jon's Dad was a young man farming in Wiltshire, so that should really help her understand a broad picture of what it was like. Here she is in the Anderson shelter:
Back at home after lunch, Emily spent a long time yesterday afternoon sorting out her ornament shelves. She has so much stuff in her various "collections" now! She has seven floor to ceiling shelves in her room just for special things, and barely room to move on any of them! She got everything down off the shelves, cleaned and dusted and then reorganised it all into themes. She now has a history shelf (the historical crafts she's done as well as Egyptian and Tudor ornaments, archaeology she's found etc), a fairy shelf, a gemstone shelf, a cat shelf, a wildlife shelf and two more general shelves which are housing a budding unicorn collection among other things. Phew! Now if only I could interest her as much in clearing up the rather less exciting and definitley non-speical storage areas of the room, lol.

Then it was off to yoga where they spent some time working on breath techniques and centering as well as the normal pose work. I love the way that class is run. It's so refreshing to find something that's not all about who can get to the next level fastest or who has the most medals/rewards/exams under their belt/other status symbols. They pay a great deal of attention to the whole child, not just the physical aspect of it, and learning about the history/philosophy of yoga is just as important as finding out whether or not you can put both feet behind your ears ;-))

Today Emily's done a huge amount of work. Up bright and early she finished off the last of her year 3 maths workbooks. Wel, finished as in we've finished with them, not as in she's done every page in every book. When she's actually in the mood for maths, she's well capable of everything there plus much more, so I think we'll look for something slightly more challenging.

The body project has moved on in leaps and bounds today. We've been looking at the heart and circulatory system. To much hilarity this morning, we tried out our heart rate monitor system, which is a watch type device along with a chest strap which has electrode pads in it. Emily and I both experimented with our resting heart rates, heart rate after one minute of exercise, two minutes, how long it took to return to normal after exercise, etc. Emily's results showed that she's remarkably fit, which is all good :-))) especially since she's not a stick thin child. Mine, um, didn't show the same.

Emily drew and labelled a very complicated diagram of heart anatomy with coloured arrows to show the flow of blood to and from the lungs and the rest of the body, and wrote answers to loads of questions about the heart's function, veins, arteries and capillaries, the components of blood (as in red blood cells, white blood cells, plasma and platelets and what each one does) and much more besides. We also talked a lot about how to keep your heart healthy - she's going to do a poster about that on Friday, and she also wants to do a diagram about how blood clots on Friday, as well as cutting out the lifesize heart to go on her skeleton. Then it'll be onto the brain and nervous system :-))

In between the major work on the body project, we also did a lot of French, revising the colours Emily learnt the other day, and learning numbers up to ten. Played some fab bingo games with the numbers. A certain home educated young lady is having a ball at the moment. She seems to be lapping everything up and constantly coming back for more.

Tomorrow Emily's out at tai chi in the morning and drama in the afternoon; in between she and Jon are having an art session so she's really looking forward to that!

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