Monday, 5 August 2013

Day 54 - Plays & Plankton.

The weekend passed by with whirlwind like speed. We played, laughed ,slept and shopped ourselves through Saturday once Paul returned from work and on Sunday Paul and I spent the morning digging up the garden and filling the skip. My back bore the brunt of the heavy work and rendered me immobile for the rest of the day. I spent some time contacting various museums and parks to arrange group activities for the local home education group and I had quite a lot of success. Many group members seem excited to attend the events once the actual dates have been set. The boys relaxed playing with new toy cars bought by Paul, games on the television, violin recitals of movie themes and lots of drawing. Theo also wrote two lovely poems and Tristan learned how to spell 'boot' with some crudely cut out letters. The weekend ended for Paul and I with a great sense of achievement at having finally levelled the garden despite the nagging lower back pains. 

This morning was a little difficult as after lying in bed all night my back had locked and left me hobbling around the house like an eighty year old! Theo is always an absolute angel if I am ill for any reason and really cares for me. We had to visit the library to return books and visit the shop for bread the prospect of which was not very appealing given my poor back. Theo organised his brother making sure that they were both dressed suitably for the rainy weather and he took charge of bag carrying on the way there and on the return journey. I am lucky that he is such a tall boy for his age in these situations as he can be a huge help with physical activities. 

At the library the boys were presented with badges by the librarian which made them both very happy. They chose one book each and Theo also booked on to a library workshop later this week which is based on the Creepy House Reading Challenge. 

Theo was given money and asked to buy food to make a healthy dinner. He decided to buy carrots, swede, onions, potatoes and beef to make knights food (casserole to the rest of us). He fell off the healthy eating bandwagon and bought some chocolate mouse as well but he did try to balance this out with a portion of grapes. 

Back at home I asked the boys to chose their favourite fairy tale and work together to perform a play for me. Theo has reached the end of the first chapter in his English Galore Park book and this task is from the extension task section. I was delighted that they jumped at the opportunity with much enthusiasm. I gave them half an hour to rehearse which they chose to do in their bedroom.

The performance began with both boys shouting 'Jack and the beanstalk' whilst holding up a title page. Tristan was dressed as Jack and performed his lines exceptionally well for a three year old, I was stunned that he was able to remember any to be honest. Theo was the grandfather, the monk and the giant. Each character had a different voice and way of moving on the 'stage'. Theo had brought props including a toy cow, a couple of chairs,magic beans and a big green leaf for the beanstalk. He had written the script down which surprised me and referred to it once during the performance. I was bowled over by their ability to put the play together so quickly and to perform it so well. It was an absolute pleasure to watch and I applauded for quite some time whilst they took several bows.

I made lunch and let them play a game on the television for fifteen minutes as a reward for their great performance.

After lunch and a group read of the newspaper I printed out a photograph of their performance. I asked Theo to stick this into his English exercise book and to write a little piece about how he had written the script and acted out the play. 

I gave Tristan a bowl full of cornflour in the absence of salt and sat with him whilst he drew the letters from his name in the flour. We went on to draw the word boot and cat. We moved from the bowl to his workbook and traced various letters.

I put Tristan on a maths activity on the iPad after cleaning up all the spilt flour. I sat with Theo and read through the introduction to chapter four in his Maths book. He went on to work through part of the first exercise very diligently showing his workings out for each question. Paul has ordered two Maths activity books to supplement his current text book which should arrive later this week.

The boys had a break and ran around playing with swords and cushions. The weather was grim today plus my back was far too tender to run about in the park with them today. 

I set the table up with craft materials and cut out two boots similar to Mr Magnolias boot. The boys returned to the table and I asked them to design their own fantastic boot. I read the story to them and both boys joined in . Even though the book is a little young for Theo I wanted him to sit and listen because it is written in verse which is important for his poetic development. They really enjoyed designing their boots. I asked Tristan what he thought happened to Mr Magnolias other boot and he replied that he must have 'lost it in the park'.

Tristan put the letters to spell the word 'boot' in the correct order independently. He can say the letters phonetically and then blend the sounds together to make the word. He understands the difference between letters and words. 

Theo went to his desk and worked through the next exercise in his Science book about habitats. He exclaimed that 'hermit crabs are disgusting' and began to tell me how they feed and all about their habitat. He was very interested in plankton and sea anemones reading various facts out loud. He was very keen to learn about various rock pool creatures. Despite all the pertinent information being in the text book he went on to the Internet to find out more facts in order to answer one of the questions. He also found a piece written in today's newspaper about endangered bats and their declining habitat and he stuck the clipping in his exercise book. We will use this to discuss environmental issues for geography and science this week.

Tristan made a story up by using stickers in an activity book. He also traced more letters in a wipe clean alphabet themed book. 

There was some sinister piano played whilst I made dinner. We decided not to have knights food tonight as we have decided to use casserole making as one of tomorrow's learning activities. Theo and Tristan are looking forward to preparing the meal tomorrow. 

The boys played with Paul for a while when he got in from work before retiring to bed. They had milk and lay chatting to each other whilst I ironed clothes in the next room. They talked about Jack and the Beanstalk for quite some time. I am very pleased that they enjoyed working together so much and impressed that Tristan is able to engage in activities of this nature. 

My back is still sore which will probably prevent any long outdoor activities from occurring tomorrow. I have quite a few plans though which will keep them very busy from English projects to sewing so I doubt they will have time to miss the park too much.

Prudence Clarke