Tuesday, 27 April 2010
Anyway, if I could I would blog about fantastic life-enhancing moments, lightbulbs triggered in my children's brains, the huge educational and emotional leaps that they are making. Instead I find myself documenting the gritty dregs at the bottom of the wine glass of everyday life.
So here we go. Yet another non-earth-shattering moment in the life of a home educator...
Conversation in back of car today:
girl 2 : do you know what cows drink?
girl 2: Guess.
dd: I don't know.
girl 2: Milk. They drink milk.
dd: Hmmm. I don't think so. They eat grass. I don't know what they drink.
girl 2: They drink milk and it's the milk and the grass that gets mixed up and comes out as... milk.
dd: From their boobies. Cows have a lot of boobies
girl 2: Uh huh.
dd: I wonder how many bras a cow needs. It must be loads and loads.
girl 2: Gras? what are gras?
me: She said 'bras'.
girl 2: Bras?
me: Yes bras. Because cows have lots of boobies so they need a lot of bras [why am I entering into this inane conversation?]
girl 2: Oh.
dd: And that's where their milk comes from.
girl 2: Milk. Yeah. That's what cows drink.
And they wonder why childbirth turns mother's brains into that greeny-purple slime that you find at the bottom of the fridge.
Monday, 26 April 2010
Then I came indoors...
dd1: 'I've got a tricky question.'
me: 'Uh huh?'
dd1: 'Do Postmen go on aeroplanes?'
me: 'Well I guess when they go on holiday they might fly there and then they'd have to go on an aeroplane. Does that answer your question?'
me: 'Why did you want to know?'
dd1: 'Oh, no reason. Just thought I'd ask.'
One of the weirdest things about parenting is that you spend your day being propelled from in-your-face-disgusting reality to non-drug-induced surreality and back again.
I've decided that if I ever write a book it should be titled 'Do postmen go on aeroplanes...I don't know dear, but there's a helluva lot of dog poo in the back garden.'
Thursday, 22 April 2010
making play dough creations with friends:
Warhammer creations, encouraged by ds1's friends sleeping over:
At the natural sandpit with our week-long visitor:
Runner-up in the Ice Cream Beauty Pageant:
I spend a fortune (about £27) to take two small children to the wildlife park. What do they want to do...
...And pat a goat. Hey! We can do that for free at the local garden centre. The clue is in the title of the place - 'WILDLIFE centre' Argggh! Anyone interested in seeing some WILD LIFE?
And later in the week...more ice cream (at the park) after going round a little museum with the grandparents (which the kids declared as 'boring' - the museum, not the grandparents).
A trip to do a home ed 'art' workshop at Waddesdon Manor:
All about the paintings of Sleeping Beauty, by the painter Leon watchamacallit:
A fab workshop with a wonderful good-with-kids workshop leader (makes a pleasant change), which actually inspired my kids to put pen to paper:
Yep, I took a few more photos, just to record the event. I repeat, PEN to PAPER :
Ok, so they were rewriting the story of sleeping beauty as 'Sleeping Beauty learns to swear', but hey ho, but did I mention they were putting PEN to PAPER. (By the way, I think the above is a picture of a time machine).
Making 'Clay Man' out of the natural clay she found at the sandpit:
Thursday, 15 April 2010
I'm sure Youtube has plenty of evidence, but all I can say is that Robyn Hitchcok is the definition of aquired taste. He looks like a camp, overweight professor with bad taste in clothes. His music is sort of beat poetry set to Sgt Pepper, having a punk day trip on a very bad hangover. And if that makes you curious, just go google him.
The bad thing about staying in the same town for more than 20 years is that sometimes your previous (in my case b.c.) life leaps out at you when you least expect it. Last night I was approached through the dark of the venue by some guy who I vaguely recognised. He said 'You might remember me...Glastonbury 1993? You were there with M.' He then continued to tell me all the bands that had played at Glastonbury that year (as if that would jog my memory...yeah).
Er...excuse me but that was 27 years ago. I can't even remember what I did last week, let alone twenty-bloody-seven years ago! What is this, Master-bloody-mind??
Of course I remember M, but did we really go to Glastonbury together? Gawd knows. I'd like to think that perhaps it was the recreational - er - pharmaceuticals that have made some of my past years a bit fuzzy round the edges. But no, alas I have always had a terrible memory, for faces, places, times, and - er - pretty much everything. I have lived most of my life inside my head either thinking about what is past, or what might happen in the future and somewhere in the midst of that I have always failed to notice what is happening in the present.
I was shocked to see another blast from the past at the gig last night. A girl (woman now I suppose, though she looked the same as 25 years ago) who dated one of my friends at Polytechnic. I remember her distinctly. She worked at Virgin Records (or was it HMV?). They dated for about 6 months or more. They had a humungous drunken row on New Years Eve that I was a witness to (she phoned the police - I tried to mediate - ha ha). Oh joy. Don't you just love those new years eve's of your twenties? Anyway if there's one thing I learnt from their relationship it is that if you are going to sleep with more than one girl at a time, don't choose a girl whose name begins with the same letter as your other girlfriend. One slip and oops!
Ah well, perhaps back to normal blogging tomorrow...
Wednesday, 14 April 2010
Yep, rank armpits, at full strength.
I thought at first it was the flannels (all sort of crunchy where they have dried in a screwed up state), but no. Perhaps the bath toys?. No.
So I can only assume the smell arises from the mysterious chemical mix of 3 weeks of dirt, dog hair, nail clippings, lego pieces and congealed toothpaste.
Monday, 12 April 2010
A snippet (for those to lazy to read the whole thing):
"Look, for instance, at daydreaming. It's hard to imagine a cognitive process that's less suitable for the classroom, which is why I was always castigated for staring out the window instead of looking at the blackboard. In a culture obsessed with efficiency, daydreaming is derided as a lazy habit or a lack of discipline, the kind of thinking we rely on when we don't really want to think. It's a sign of procrastination, not productivity.
In recent years, however, it's become clear that daydreaming is actually an important element of the creative process, allowing the brain to remix ideas, explore counterfactuals and turn the spotlight of attention inwards...
...Of course, daydreaming is less helpful when we're supposed to be learning our multiplication tables, or studying for a standardized test. In such instances, the lack of focused attention is a classroom failure, and not a potentially useful state of mind. The danger, however, is that we're teaching our kids a very narrow and stultifying model of cognition, in which conscientiousness is privileged above all.
The solution, I suppose, is rather banal: we really do need arts education in our schools, if only to give kids a break from this one-size-fits-all model of thinking. Because sometimes we need to daydream. And sometimes we just need to let it all out, even if we haven't raised our hand. "
So, next time I take a wrong turn in my car because I'm daydreaming, I can just put it down to having a very creative brain.
Friday, 9 April 2010
6 yr old: What if the world was made of one really really big bottom?
7 yr old: You'd have to mind out you didn't fall down the crack. That wouldn't be very nice.
Conversation overheard while at wildlife park from two girls (probably age 4 and 5yrs) in the company of a small toddler who was most likely named Dan:
Younger girl: I'm going to marry Dan.
Older girl: No, I'll marry Dan. You'll have to marry Alex. Because you do realise, don't you that you can't marry your own brother.
Toddler (Dan): [silence...as he waddles off, nappy slowly sliding down the inside leg of his trousers]
Sunday, 4 April 2010
It wont win any awards for tidy sewing, and certainly no prizes for style or design, but it was worth it for the pleasure of cutting up that skirt.
And also this morning, the habitual 'easter egg hunt'.God I so hate doing it, but the kids love it. Best part was making the little easter egg cards for the treasure hunt (especially feeding them into the laminating machine). But that was 6 years ago and the pleasure has long worn off.
So each year I salvage the egg cards from the back of the home-made-jams-and-other-forgotten- things cupboard and tie them around the house and garden.
I deserve at least 3 easter eggs for being an obliging mother and an oscar for being able to fake such convincing Easter enthusiasm.
Friday, 2 April 2010
[to which ds1 answers 'Well if I wire it up to this socket here, it'll definitely be live.']
But of course our ventures into the National Curriculum are entirely accidental - or should that be incidental - or unintentional - either way, when we do accidentally do accidentally do it, we do it HOME ED style.
Yesterday ds2 suddenly decided to take an interest in stamps. Thankfully I just caught him as he was sticking them in very firmly with double sided sticky tape.
'Er...I think we'll get some stamp hinges.' Says philatilist mother.
Poor child didn't account for maternal enthusiasm...
'Oh look there's a whole box AND a shopping bag of stamps here to soak, sort, classify and stick in' (says mother with cheery grin).
Four hours later....still going...(Yoo Hoo! There's still another sackful of stamps over here)
And joined by sister, who also wants to sort and classify small things (hama beads, and shredded pepper offcuts in coke bottle lids):
And ds1 follows in the criminal footsteps of his mother...