Thursday, March 29, 2007

An Up & Down Week

It's had its highs, but it's had rather a lot of lows too. I've been very upset/depressed about lots of things and have spent much of the week in tears, and managing to upset everyone else too. Oh well, even if I am a crappy mother and wife, at least I'm honest about it.

Grandad broke his glasses over the weekend, so I spent most of Monday and Tuesday on the phone about them, taking him into the town centre to get them fixed and then going back again to pick them up. Have also spent ages on the phone trying to rearrange his diabetic clinic appointment. He's been given another appointment for the first of May, although we only went last week. It's clearly a mix up, since he's meant to go every 6 months. But he's keen to go every six weeks. Figures. Emily's tap exam happens to be on the 1st May at 10 am, while his appointment is on the 1st May at 9.30 am. No prizes for guessing which is apparently supposed to take priority. Meanwhile, STILL no word on Emily's new glasses. They're now due next Tuesday, but it's been I think over a month since our appointment and this is now the fourth time we've been told they're due in only to find out they weren't. Starting to lose patience. It's a shame, after I was so impressed with the actual appointment.

Emily was very poorly yesterday and today. We've spent a while curled up on the sofa watching films, notably Snow White with Miranda Richardson and Jack & The Beanstalk: The Real Story, both of which came free with a paper last week, and both of which were really enjoyable (although 3 hours for J&B was pushing it a bit!). We also watched Haunted Mansion with Eddy Murphy which was entertaining too.

Hopefully, Emily will be better tomorrow. On Saturday she's got two rehearsals for her yoga show plus the show itself, so we could do with a big health improvement in the next 24 hours.

Let's see, what else have we been up to. Well, the release of the cover art for the Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows book caused a stir of excitement, and we've spent a long time discussing clues in the artwork and an even longer time reading newsgroups and stumbling over yet more fascinating theories.

Workwise: Emily's done more latin, which she's really loving. In geography, we've been looking at plate tectonics and the ancient pangea super continent. Emily spent a long time on this Mountain Maker, Earth Shaker simulation and got a good grip on that, making notes in her geog notebook as she went along. She also tried her hand at a pangea jigsaw puzzle.

In history, we studied ancient European megaliths, which was very interesting. Emily's dying to go to Stonehenge. Personally, I'm just dying to go anywhere south of Lincoln. Anyway, Emily made her own little stonehenge from a kit we had, so it now has pride of place on her altar under the Ostara tree. She also filled in more relevant dates on one of the History Odyssey timelines and wrote about the theories behind stonehenge.
Maths was lots more percentage work and Emily also created a lovely page in her notebook with some of the percentrage rules and information. She wrote letters to Kate and her Mum in Poland, which I guess counts as English. A bit. The cat grass Emily planted on Ostara has grown amazingly well, so we've given that to the cats now. Not that they're that fussed, mind. Think they might like it better if we put it outside. At the moment they're looking at it with "What do you think we are, nuts? Grass doesn't grow on the living room floor...." faces.

No science this week, although we have abandoned the Great Science Adventures book. Just too fiddly. By the time you've faffed about building the little books, there isn't much time left to actually DO anything. We're going to go with the Real Science 4 Kids curriculum instead. I love that it's split into chemistry, physics and biology and that it jumps straight in with all the correct terminology etc. Emily's been wanting to learn "real" chemistry for ages and jumped up and down with excitement when the poster of the periodic table arrived yesterday. Strange girl.

I get the distinct impression that we're breaking some unwritten rule of UK home education by actually wanting to follow a structured system. I hardly ever post on newsgroups, but from lurking on some of them you'd think anyone NOT trying really hard to be autonomous was guilty of some henious crime. Well, whatever. It suits us, and it's actually working really well so far, with what limited time we've been using it given the constant interruptions and distractions. I feel a whole lot better about our days education wise, and Emily seems to be enjoying it, so that's what counts.

So, having got the education side of things sorted, if I could only start feeling better about everything else, we'd have cracked it. Sigh. Tomorrow we're off out for the day in an attempt to improve everyone's mental (if not physical) wellbeing.


Elle at Ellesfuntimes said...

Educate how you feel is the best for everyone in your family. It seems, talking to families in our local group, we all do things differently and plan our days to suits the children's way of learning. I've found we've changed our work habits a few times in the short time we've been at home doing this, and I'm sure we'll change again as the children change their views and learning abilities. You're doing really well, and certainly doing a lot more than us at the mo! Elle

Chimp Mama said...

I am a structured HEr and I feel that it is a 'badge of shame' and that you always have to explain yourself.