Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Chinese Festivities Plus Lights, Camera, Action!

Emily had an amazing time at Gainsborough Old Hall on Sunday afternoon with Mei Lin, Jasmine and Natalie. They all made chinese tissue paper lanterns using willow reeds, practised some Chinese writing, made twizzlers, listened to live Chinese music, ate some scrummy Chinese food and received lucky red money envelopes and fortune cookies. Best of all, they took part in a lantern parade through Gainsborough town. Emily was thrilled to be holding up part of the tail of the huge dragon! Everyone who made a lantern has also been invited back to take part in another parade during the Gainsborough Riverside festival in the summer, which is themed around China to coincide with the Olympics.

Here's a photo fest :-)) Starting with Emily practising her Chinese writing:
Putting together the lantern frames from willow:

Yummy food!
Decorating the lanterns with tissue paper shapes:
Getting ready to go out on the parade:

Preparing to set off with the dragon: Across the shopping centre into Gainsborough itself:

Back at the Old Hall after walking their feet off, lol!

Yesterday morning Emily and I got started on some basic algebra, or pre-algebra or whatever it's supposed to be called these days. She's taken to that really well; we've only got as far as solving things like:

x+7 = 20
Take the seven away from both sides of the balance:
x = 20-7
so x=13

(Well, obviously she can work that out in her head, but we've been learning about the logical steps to keep both sides of the balance equal and how to logically write it all out...)

Plus the slightly more complicated ones were x is a minus number, like:

20-x = 14
Make the minus x a plus x by moving it to the other side of the balance:
20 = 14+x
Then solve as above, so take 14 away from both sides:
20-14 = x so x = 6

Anyway. She likes algebra, apparently....so what with that and the enthusiasm for the vedic maths methods, she's finally finding something maths-wise to smile about. Hopefully she'll still like it when it gets much more difficult and she can't do it in her head to begin with...

Yesterday afternoon, I went with Jon to his hospital appointment. He has to go back in a few weeks time for a colonic endoscopy, which doesn't sound like much fun. While we were out, Emily had a fabby surprise. Gramps and Nana gave her their old digital camcorder! Gramps showed her how to use it, and how to use Microsoft Movie Maker with it. She was well away almost immediately and by the time we got home she'd filmed a short "catalogue of cats" piece, uploaded it, edited it to include some posh transitions and things and added titles and credits! Since then we've rounded up all of her old clips from our digital camera and she's now working on those too. This morning first thing, before breakfast, she was outside in all the frost filming the kittens playing, lol. Every time I click the icon to add video to this blog, the whole thing freezes up, but I guess eventually I'll be able to upload some of Emily's masterpieces onto here :-)

Today we've had a good day "working" again, even though we didn't wake up until really late. Rolls eyes. Absolutely MUST start getting up earlier. We've done some more algebra and Emily's spent the rest of the day on Ancient Greece. Specifically, she's been adding dates to her timeline, doing some mapping and finding out all about sports in Ancient Greece and the olympics, including researching the locations where the modern olympics have been held and looking into olympic symbols like the flame and the flag. Emily has also written a newspaper report of the javelin competition as if she were back in Ancient Greece.

Finally today, Emily's been working in The Aspiring Writer's Journal and its companion The Aspiring Artist's Journal, both of which she had for her birthday but which we've only just unearthed (yes, we do live in *that* kind of house!) and which have turned out to be very, very good.

Just now we got half way to yoga before Emily decided she didn't want to go. Fine by me, especially since I've got yet another last minute piece of work to finish, so home we've come again. It's still beautifully frosty outside, even at half past five. Driving through the wooded bit on the outskirts of the village was stunning :-)
Some frosty pictures from this morning of the crystals we have hanging from Emily's and Merlin's little willow tree, plus the slightly insane child outside filming still in her nightie (!) and Severus getting himself covered in frost off the pampas grass.

1 comment:

Elle said...

Love the Chinese lanterns.

I went cold when I saw the algebra. I know it's not that bad but it just reminded me of school and panic set in! I remember thinking "what's the point of using letters instead of numbers" when I was in senior school. Glad Emily likes it - without the fear of getting it wrong there's no reason why children can't pick these things up with ease. Elle