Monthly Archives: February 2009



Ok in exactly one week Tiger will be six-six!!!!! Wow I remember when he was absolutely tiny, 5 1/2 pounds….time is flying…..It was Grandad Pete’s birthday today which we celebrated with cake and candles as well as cards and some pressies.

This morning we went to the scrap store in B’ham but they didn’t have plastic bottle tops so I’ll have to try and get over the scrapstore in Worcester.

We (dh and I) met up with a couple of HEers at the art gallery and talked with their education officer who is going to put together an intro to the art gallery day which we will then hopefully follow up with workshops and stuff.  So all in all good!

Otherwise we’ve been up to bridge building and finding out a it about some, playing in the snow, making cakes (with aunty Sarah), writing note, lots of drawing, making paper, building with knex, building with Lego, stitching, lacing, bits of story of the world, Singapore maths, reading, reading, watching DVDs with popcorn, walks, soft play, playing emergencies, dressing up, making jigsaws, playing games……

It seems that this time of year gets me thinking so I’m off to consider autonomous education; pushing things like maths isn’t working and I just don’t want to push however I want the basic skills to be there how do you get that to work?  Tiger is well aware of the need for maths-paleontologists need to be able to use maths, change, working out how much carpet you need etc etc but he still doesn’t enjoy it-which I find hard because I love maths! 

I think that we need to get out more, a lot more and that this should be more of our daily lives.  I also want dh to be more involved, not that he’s not involved in the boys because he is, and they love him and doing stuff with him but after a week at weekends it often feels to me that the weekend is filled with a walk, swimming and a whole heap of TV and video games and I’d like more….well stuff to think about….


To plan or not to plan…that is the question!


Well up until now I’ve essentially planned out the skills that are coming up next with some idea of what I’d see if they’d been met, the occasional idea and suggested things we could do based around them; also having a theme or topic that we had agreed on-although I have pushed for different themes.

I tried something a little different in January, still had the plan but thought we could take a story or a book and work around that for a week or 2 then move onto another story-had a bit of fun with Fizz the Fire Engine and The Greedy Triangle.  I’m trying to be more led by the boys but find that Richard either will go along or I’m pushing for something but getting him to agree-really it’s my idea though and I want the impetus to come from them. 

I’m concerned about the amount of screen time Ot would have if left unchecked too.

I need to find a balance-I also need to find balance at the weekend as it seems to be a time when I don’t do much with the boys and they watch a lot of TV-they watch too much TV i think that the off at 9 rule may need ot be at the weekend too!

Having planned out the rough idea for the project in school I’m now concerned that for the 6 weeks I’m working 0.5 however it shouldn’t be a problem if we manage it correctly-we will need to utilise weekend time and  I need to get the boys into a routine plus have themes/ideas for what Sarah can do with them all on the days she has them (maybe cooking gardening 3d modelling game playing jigsaw puzzles drawing-science challenges…I need to think and plan and resource so that they can do it and it’s productive not screen time or playing with each other all day-not that there’s anything wrong with the playing together simply that there needs to be some extending of horizons and ideas and stuff-hopefully the weather will be warmer then!

I need to think…….



Well, yet again I am starting over with Blogging.  I will attempt to sumarise January, as we have already crept into February. 

Christmas was good, Ben’s first and we all enjoyed. We’ve been fluctuating wildly and can’t seem to settle into a routine however despite this learning is still happening so maybe I need to chill a little. 

Elliot’s reading is coming on, he’s sounding out and blending and increasing his sight vocab but really on his terms.  We’ve started the purple series of books from rm and he’s doing well.  He’s progressed well with his number/maths too….he gets this ….a lot!  Education city is still a firm fav. but surpassed by the wii, ds and sonic/Ben 10-Ot has managed to find ways to get to google type in searches and download games to his lap top not bad for a 31/2 yr old!

Richard is slowly getting there with number (other areas of maths are a doddle)  I worry that I’m putting him off maths by insisting on something every day but otherwise the ground he has gaied will be lost because it’s not quite learned, not quite known yet.  His reading is fab, although he is not really using phonic skills when he encounters a new word-preferring to ask- and sometimes mispronounces e.g. San Francisco. 

Both have done some good drawing and painting I’d like to do more of this.  Richard has started trampolining and karate, with badgers and beavers planned for next week.  Elliot has started swimming and Richard is swimming with his arm bands off.  Both are enjoying new clubs.  Ben is crawling and standing and trying so hard to talk and make himself understood.

That’s the very brief summary-the bare and bring bones of it all.

November (and the end of October!)


Monthly blogging-that’s all I’m managing, at best!  Lots going on, 2 week focus on Africa in dh’s school went well, lots of great stuff.

Half term was fab and relaxing andwe’re 2 weeks into November.  We went to see the mummies at B’ham museum in half term and  put off a trip to the sealife centre as the queue was too long!

Tiger likes the jobs board and likes choosing somehting to do, Elliot likes it because Tiger does but his really just reminds me of things we could do.  As always they can say no but generally because it’s a choice and interspersed with lots of playing together (ice road trukers and the like!) it’s good.  They b oth also like earning marbles so they work as a team to get enough marbles for an end of week treat.  Now I want them to be intrinsically motivated and to do it just because they should so is this right?  Well, all I can say is that it’s a physical thing, and they respond to that, putting it in their tub, I remind them that when they do something kind or follow instrucitons or do without being asked then they can get a ‘good feeling’ about themselves…..but I have to say on a wet and windy evening when they’re tired and so am I it can make getting the toys away and the like much easier and less stressful all round! 

Lots has been going on, Tiger has learned to

add numbers, he can add 0,1,2,3 to any number pretty much and can add any set of single (poss. double and a single if one of the numbers is not bigger than 4 or 5.)

double numbers from 1-5

Use near doubles to add for 1+2, “+3, 3+4, 4+5, 5+6 and reverses…..also has a set of rules/questions he goes through to apply which means that when he knows more doubles he can use it with larger numbers too.

ID and can give e.g.’s of verbs, nouns, adjectives.

Count backwards from 20

Write sentences, and is beginning to use connectives with support

about Sargon the Great and Hamurabi

Talked about God and Christians and beliefs, prompted by various people at the door.

about foliated and non foliated metamorphic rocks

the meaniing of the term permiable/permiability and impermiable.

the meaning of the term friable.

some uses of common rocks.

to add actions in 2 create a story

to draw pictures and use different packages within the 2 simple software (which is fab).

to access games on the Wii (borrowed from my sis.)

To write numerals 0-9

To write all upper and lower case letters correctly formed (still asks for some reminders or gets sandpaper letters to help him if he needs to.)

some colours, numbers and days of the week in SPanish.

To name paralallograms, rhombus, trapezium, cylinder, cube, cuboid, cone, pyramid, prism.

a little about Cheops and hte great pyramid.

about mummies, and mummification.

to make an egyptian style necklace.

to name and ID the continents of the world on a map.

to peel carrots

TO use a knife and fork unaided.

To sort using venn, caroll, tree diagrams and tables.

the 3 different types of roack and a little bit about how they are formed.

What’s going in in our madhouse?


Well, Mighty Zulu Nation were fab, the 2 week project learning more about Africa was good fun and the children, staff and community got a lot out of it-hard work though!  Pictures to follow!  Highlights were Zulus, the food, capoiera, theatre workshops, dance, art work, the whole lot really :0)  Displays and corridoors look fab!

Half term was great, really relaxing and generally lovely.  Didn’t get up to that much really, trick or treating, visited the mummies in B’ham museum, went to soft play, did lots of playing.

We’ve started using a ‘jobs’ board, where I stick up various ‘jobs’ or ‘activities’ which we can choose to do and that’s going pretty well with Richard-Elliot it’s a bit harder as he can’t read well enough yet-but it’s a reminder for me of stuff that we could do which is good so I just ask him and we do it.

We’re generally remembering to do speling time, nuber card practise, sight vocab every day which is good.  Also we’ve discovered a new piece of software which is fab called 2simple…more on this later!

Some of the things RIchard has done (since Ocober half term)

Learned to add actions in 2create a story

Learned what foliated and non foliated metamorphic rocks are

Learned doubles of numbers from 1-5

Learned to use near double to add

Counted backwards from 20 reliable

Learned to add single digit numbers (where 1 of the numbers is not greater than 5 e.g. 9+5, 4+6, anything add 0,1,2 or 3)

learned the meaning of the word permiable

found out about the properties and uses of some rocks

found out about Sargon the great and Hamurabi

Knows and can ID and give e.g.’s of verbs, nouns and adjectives

Can use and create venn, carolle, tree diagrams and tables (with some help).

These are teh things on the jobs board but there are more…

Elliot has:

learned how to count to about 16/17.

Can order digits to about 12

Can write number 1,2 and 3 with some support.

can count backwards from 10.

Can match upper and lower case letters and knows the difference between sounds and names of letters

Can sound out simple short words

Can recognise over 15 sight words.


can sit up and crawl amongst other things and has earned the nickname growler!!!!!