Friday, November 10, 2006

Time's Ticking Away

Six weeks until Christmas, seven weeks until Emily's 8th birthday. Can't believe how quickly this year is moving. I've been bouncing around ideas for Emily's Harry Potter party this week and it feels like only a few weeks ago I was dreaming up plans for a Snow Queen 7th birthday....then I was desperately searching for snowflake-y stuff, this time round I'm wondering where I can find 30 unbreakable potions bottles from, lol. Ebay here I come.

It's been a busy week, predominantly ballet dominated. Not long to go now on that front - exam is on Tuesday afternoon next week and hopefully they'll allow the kids a bit of fun dancing in December before they want them all to knuckle down for the tap exam in the New Year. Emily's done umpteen rehearsals with her music at home and went to yet another practice at the studio last night, with more to come on Saturday and Sunday.

The new term for yoga started on Tuesday night; they're busy preparing for a demonstration and parents' event before Christmas. They're getting very into pair work at the moment which prompted fits of giggles audible right the way down the corridor, lol. Emily and Jon have also been to tai chi this week where they were taught a past life regression meditation as well as the normal tai chi work. Emily was fascinated with that and has been asking lots of questions about past lives, reincarnation and related matters. She didn't quite "get" anything when she tried the meditation first time round, but she's keen to try again when life is calmer.

On Wednesday Emily and Jon went off to Hemswell Antiques centre for the day. They came back laden with stuff including a Harry Potter rug, a Harry Potter jigsaw and, best of all, the BBC cover to cover edition cassettes for Chamber of Secrets, Prisoner of Azkaban and Goblet of Fire parts 1 & 2 - all of which were brand new and sealed and far, far cheaper than I've ever seen them anywhere else.

Education wise we've been, um, well, ballet-ing. Does that count?? Oh, no, wait a minute, there's been some maths. Quite a bit of work on angles, drawing them, measuring them, recognising them etc. And today we managed quite a lot of history. Continuing with the Romans project, we've been looking at the origins of Rome and the extent of the Roman empire. Emily told me the myth of Romulus and Remus - I was going to read it to her, but she stunned me by recounting it to me before I could even start. She just soaks up information....from a sponge. She looked at maps of the Roman empire at its height and filled in her own map with the latin names of countries and important cities. She also answered loads of questions based on a roman timeline such as how long did so and so rule, how old was this person when they died and so on, so I guess that counts as maths in disguise.

We've also started work on something I've been wanting to do ever since we took Emily out of school - The Big History Timeline as a visual aid to see easily where periods like the iron age, the Vikings and so on fit in chronologically and how and where they overlap. With the aid of big pieces of card, little craft clips, various drawings and illustrations, a piece of string and the bookcases along the length of the dining room wall, we now have a colourful timeline up covering Egyptians, iron age, Romans, Anglo Saxons, Vikings, Normans and Tudors - these being the major periods we've studied so far, albeit some in much greater depth than others. Each card has illustrations on it as well as the approximate dates in question. Think we might add a vertical dimension to it by making drop down timelines for each period in detail, to hang from each card. Eventually. We were going to add to the long line as and when we study other periods/civilisations, but Emily's really, really, really keen to add to it NOW so we may take a temporary diversion to add cards for things like the stone age, the Aztecs, the middle ages, Stuarts, Victorians, the two world wars and so on. It won't be hugely practical to keep it where it is though. Years ago I saw on someone's blog that they had made a timeline going up/down their stairs so they could walk up and down through history - loved that idea, so might pinch it. Thank you, whoever you are!

And some good news; just heard that the press agency job I quoted and sampled for last week is going to go ahead as they really liked what I'd done :-))


Elle at Ellesfuntimes said...

Well done on the Press Agency job!

We have a timeline in our front "work" room which we've added to each time we finish a relevant topic. Kids love doing that bit, drawing the picture, adding some dates/info and putting it in the right place along the line. Like the idea of it going up the stairs, may try that out.

BTW, do hope the ballet exam goes well.


Nikki said...

Thanks very much for your good wishes, Elle. Emily's not the only one who'll be glad when this exam's over! :-)

Elle at Ellesfuntimes said...

Got your message about the boat. It was really good fun and the company gave us lots of teaching on the locks, although they can vary from canal to canal, the ones we used were of the traditional gate style. I had a short spell of operating the boat, but P always did the navigating through the locks as you need to be quite strong to steady the boat (by pulling on a rope) when the water rushes in/out of the lock. Having said that, there were a couple of times when K was able to keep the boat in one place when P had to help me open the gates (on my first lock). We often had other boat uses help to push open the gates, and the kids were certainly up to helping out. All the best. Elle

Alison said...

So how did the ballet exam go?

Nikki said...

Thanks, Elle, will have to get Jon having a look at some brochures.... :-))

Alison, thanks for asking :-)) It went very well, I was more nervous in the end than Emily was!