Friday, February 29, 2008

Earthquakes, Crafts, Friends & Classical Education Ponderings

Ooops - got a bit behind on the blog updating again! It's been a busy nine or ten days since I last posted here. Let's see.

Last Thursday I went with Jon to the GP; it was a very reassuring appointment, actually, with the doc confirming that his diabetic control is overall excellent and it's just the new tablets that needed their dose adjusting. He also said soothing things about the changes at the back of Jon's eyes, which was a big relief. A positive visit indeed.

On Friday last week Jackie and her girls came round for the day. She did some more vedic maths with them (they love that - maths is suddenly fun!!!!) and I did some fresco painting in Ancient Greek style with them all, using wet plaster of paris. The weekend was spent in the usual blur of deadlines, although Emily had a great time making secret Mothers Days things and learning new katas at karate.

On Monday morning we got up really early (for us) at around 7am and we were downstairs ready to roll by 8.30. Emily did a brilliant day's work including maths, English, spelling, geography (learning about the geography of North America) and history (Alexander the Great). We also did about an hour's yoga together too. Have started doing some yoga every day with Emily, which we're both enjoying. It's not helping me lose any weight, but I do feel more awake and flexible.

Soon it was time to go out to the psychic circle, which I'm now attending as well as Jon - and which Emily is totally thrilled about as it means she gets a really long night's play with Mei Lin and Jasmine every week, lol. Jon and the rest of the group did some more Reiki work on Monday night while I and another girl who haven't been Reiki initiated practiced tarot and oracle card readings. It was good fun and well past midnight before we dragged Emily away from her game (don't those girls ever get tired???) and started off home.
Was extremely tired on Tuesday morning but we were up early again to pick up Hazel, Romy and Tansy for a couple of hours at a wacky warehouse soft play centre. Emily and Romy seemed to have fun, while Tansy showed off her ever so nearly walking skills. On Tuesday afternoon, after much deliberation over whether she really wanted to go or not, I took Emily to yoga - only to discover that the group had been told last week that this is the last half term the teacher's going to be running it. So the decision has been made for Emily, effectively. She's going to carry on for the next few weeks until it ends, but then there won't be a class any more. I'm not quite sure whether she's sad or relieved about that - probably both.

Another very late night for Emily on Tuesday night.....yes folks, that was Earthquake Night. Emily and I were lying in bed talking when it struck, and Jon was in the study working. One of the weirdest experiences of my life, I think. We're only about ten miles or so from the epicentre, as the crow flies. It was extremely unnerving, to say the least. Poor Emily was really frightened while it was happening; it's funny how time slows down, isn't it? It couldn't have lasted more than ten seconds but it felt like an absolute age. Still, once it was over it was quite exciting in an odd way. Emy and I got up to join Jon and we looked to see if it was on the news (it wasn't, yet), opened the door and listened to all the alarms going off, joined the rest of the street gawping out of windows, checked the house for damage (none, thankfully), checked various websites about earthquakes and played hunt the kittens for quite some time. They'd both hidden and it took us ages to find them and coax them out. Oddly enough, both Jon and I had been talking about how weirdly they'd been acting around midnight that night - they were going completely nuts running up curtains and so on. Maybe they sensed something was about to happen. The older cats weren't really bothered.

Wednesday was a decidedly odd and not very nice day. I was really upset about something and spent much of the day in tears, which also set Emily off into tears too. Felt utterly horrible for making her cry, which developed into a horrible vicious circle of wails and upset from both of us. Things looked up considerably in the evening, though. Jon gave me another Reiki session, specifically aimed at healing me emotionally, and it felt incredible. He also charged a plaster and I've been wearing that since; it's really helping.

Speaking of Reiki, Jon has also been giving my Mum some treatments for the problems she's having with her hand; apparently it's had a remarkable effect and she's really, really pleased :-)) Jon's being looking after his own health too and has lost eight pounds since his hospital appointment on the 18th! I haven't lost any weight at all (*cough* put some on, actually *cough*) but I do feel better for doing some yoga and eating more sensibly.

Yesterday Jon and Emily went out to tai chi and I spent most of the day writing an astrological synastry report as a gift for friends who are celebrating their ruby wedding anniversary. On and off we also spent a lot of time on ebay; we've been clearing out lots of "junk" recently which has largely been selling very well, strangely!

And so to today: Emily and I spent the morning trying out some craft ideas from this fantastic book: Felt Wee Folk - it's full of beautiful ideas and the figures are really easy to do. We hope to build a little collection of them for each season, but today we started out with a simple boy and girl, followed by a wizard from Emily and a red-head Queen from me.



This afternoon, Emily's been doing some more work on her North America geography section, which is proving very educational for me too, since neither of us could initially find Mt McKinley and I had no idea it was in Alaska....

There have been two not very nice bits to today, though, one concerning our bank and the other concerning a psycho American woman. A phone call from Royal Bank of Scotland: they wanted to know if we had used our RBS business credit card yesterday to pay £840 (????) to Travelodge. Um. No. But someone had. Somehow, our credit card details have been stolen. This is very, very alarming since the actual credit card has never been out of the house - in fact, it's never been out of the desk drawer. So whoever it is must have been able to get the credit card information from one of our online usages of it. Not a good thought. Anyway, the bank is dealing with it and has cancelled that card to send us a new one - but it wasn't pleasant.

As for the psycho American woman: she emailed me yesterday, very rudely and aggressively, wanting to know why a CD she'd ordered a couple of days ago hadn't yet arrived. Um. We're in the UK. She's in America. Slightly unreasonable expectations of delivery date she had there. Anyway, I gave her the "royal mail international signed for" tracking number and the date of despatch. I also told her that I didn't appreciate her tone. I no longer tolerate being "spoken to" like that by customers; I just can't stand the arrogance of some people and I refuse to be treated like that. Boll*cks to "the customer is always right" - no, often they're not. So this afternoon she emailed back. My goodness. Talk about hysterical and unhinged. She claims to have sent a message to 67,000 (yes folks, that's 67 *thousand) "new age groups" telling them not to deal with us, and she's also threatening to come round here when she allegedly visits the UK in a fortnight's time. This woman clearly has "issues", shall we say. And I didn't even know there were 67,000 new age groups, so good luck to her with that one. Too much time on her hands, perhaps?

Anyway; the whole tone of the email, apart from quite clearly coming from someone unstable, was aggressive and threatening. I've set it to delete her future emails from the server, after having sent her what I hope was a very condescending and patronising but still polite reply (I do a mean line in "icy" when I feel like it), but it does wind me up. What do we do to deserve this kind of rubbish? Naturally she'll put in a paypal claim in due course claiming not to have received the item, which will take up yet more of my time. Some people really, really need to find a hobby.

On a nicer note, Voldemort has been a cutie today. He found a feathered peacock figure in the dining room, climbed up high to get it, brought it down and carried it out into the garden, through the catflap (quite some feat, the size of it), and deposited it in his hiding place under the hedge. We eventually got it back (and Emily put is somewhere safe) but then Voldy came in miaowing and systematically searched the whole house, room to room, so obvioulsy looking for "something"..... it was very funny. Both kibbies have also been playing with bubbles, as has Romeo. All very adorable and the perfect antidote to obnoxious Americans.

I've spent a lot of time over the last week or so pondering our home ed situation, yet again. I'm still extremely fed up with people who home educate telling me that Emily does too much "work" and people who don't home educate telling me that she's getting no education at all.....but I'm slowly learning that it's not my problem. We're happy, Emily's happy and anyone who isn't simply doesn't count. However, I do worry about our lack of time. By the time we've seen friends, taken Grandad all over the show and Emily's been to things like tai chi, we only have two and half full days a week in which to "do" stuff. I've been reading back through Well Trained Mind and looking at the website and trying to get my head around how to fit all the things both I and Emiy want to do into our tiny time schedule. Following the classical education model, I think Emily must be finishing up the "Grammar Stage" now and entering the "Logic Stage". History Odyssey, which we've been following for about a year now is Logic Stage, but we're struggling with finding something science-wise that we like and that fits the principles of classical education, which I do feel is a very good fit for Emily's likes, dislikes and learning style.

Emily and I have looked through various ready made curricula such as Noeo Science, but have decided to do it ourselves via the How Nature Works book, as recommended in TWTM. She wants to do biology this year, rather than chemistry, so that's what we'll do. I'm also struggling to fit Latin back into our limited time, although we both really want to get back to it. Emily's been suggesting that it would be better if we had a proper timetable (not down to the half hour, but along the lines of Monday morning: Latin and Science, Monday afternoon: Maths, English, Logic...and so on). I've found loads of wonderful sounding classical education timetable suggestions online - but they all assume you have a full five day educational week at your disposal. We don't have. If we started out with a timetable like that, even for those 2.5 days, I'd give it less than a week before Grandad demands to be taken somewhere unexpectedly and NOW (as happened on Monday afternoon this week) and throws the whole thing into chaos again. Will have to ponder a great deal more, but it looks as if getting up early is going to have to figure into the equation somewhere! Alas!

1 comment:

Elle said...

We had a similar situation with our credit card just a couple of weeks ago. It's quite un-nerving isn't it. Luckily the bank were on the ball and had cancelled the card and sorted all the problems out very quickly. Guess they're getting used to dealing with this kind of fraud these days.

Glad you had a good mother's day - lovely present from Emily to you.

Elle