Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A Full Day's "Work" At Last!

For what seems like (and in fact, is) the first time in about eight weeks, we've had a full day of home education today, uninterrupted by any other committments or appointments or errands.

My New Year resolution to get up early has, um, yet to kick in, since we still didn't make it downstairs until gone 10am. Never mind. We'll get there. Just so tired at the moment.

We started off with ten minutes of maths; Emily did some long division sums without incident and was pleased with herself for remembering what to do. We also played a couple more games of the SET card game which Emily adores, and which I'm sure must be very good for your neural pathways or exotic mathematical/logical type-ish brain function thingumy. And it's great fun. Later on today Emily also discovered the SET website and entered all the puzzles there.

After SET, we finally broke open the University of Cambridge Chemistry Set that has been waiting to be opened since last August. Emily was very chuffed with its contents, and we decided she's going to work through all 100+ experiments, in order, making notes and diagrams, observations and predictions, etc, in her science notebook as she goes. This morning she did the first three, which invoved seperating iron filings from sand, mixing oil and water (or rather noting that they don't mix very well) and finding out about emulsions by creating an emulsion of oil and water. Having glanced through the handbook, I think we've already done quite a lot of the experiments, but she's keen to do them again and document them this time round.

Slight break at lunchtime - Jon had gone off to a diabetic eye screening test, but the letter hadn't mentioned the eye drops and not being able to drive. Because it hadn't mentioned it, we assumed they weren't doing that this time, so he'd driven himself. Gramps had to give me a lift to go and collect him in the end, and his pupils are still dilated some six hours later!

This afternoon Emily and I cracked on with some history; we had a brief look at the Persians under Cyrus the Great and Darius, which will lead us (finally) into the Greeks next lesson, which is going to be quite a lengthy project. Emily made notes of what she'd read, completed a map about the Persian empire and added dates to her timeline. We were then going to do lots of mineral tests with her new rock collection, but I couldn't find the sandpaper/steel file etc that I now we have lying around somewhere, so we put that off for a while (aka asking Gramps if he could round up the various bits and bobs for us). Instead, we played with Emily's page a day origami calendar, and we each made the origami from the first five days of January, namely a fox, a nightingale, a dog's head, a dog's body and something else I can't remember. I do find origami very tricky; I suppose I'm not very good with visual instructions - I always find that with assembly instructions of anything. I'd find it much easier if it was in written, text form, rather than diagram form.

At the moment Emily's watching a collection of animated Discworld DVDs with Jon, then later this evening she's planning on finishing her current book, Carbonel. She finally has a reading light attached to the rails of her bed now; she's very much enjoying reading in bed late into the night instead of having to get in and out and turn the light off all the time.

Voldemort and Severus are newsworthy today: their freedom levels increase. We had been taking them out into the garden and staying out with them for half an hour, before trying to "capture" them and bring them back in. Well, needless to say, they were proving increasingly hard to get back in. Yesterday afternoon we braved just letting them go and they played outside for over an hour, keeping Jon company as he was digging a hedge. This morning I let them out in the pouring rain and again they stayed out over an hour with no "supervision", lol. Severus came back in through the cat flap of his own accord (yay!!!!!) and while Voldy didn't, he did come to me in the garden as soon as I went out and called his name, which is a huge improvement. Some kibby pictures from the last couple of days:
Voldemort loves holes!
Severus wonders what on earth his brother is up to:
Both kittens love the trampoline (must take the Christmas/birthday lights down off it soon!) - in the rain they were pacing around it before hurtling into the middle for a fight - think they thought it was a gladiator arena!
Severus asking Romeo for some friendly advice whilst sat on top of Emily's gymnastics beam:
Voldy getting soggy in the rain:
Severus playing hide and seek:
Voldy still getting soggy in the rain and demonstrating why one of his many nicknames is "Fluffball":
Meanwhile, I've reprised an old "hobby" by going back to my post as a meta editor at the Open Directory Project. This is me, merlin1. If anyone else edits there, wave hello!

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