I cannot believe another two weeks have gone by. My original plan would have had us having a week off this past week but with the way things have worked this summer and the timing of when we could go away not happening now till August we have pushed on through. There was a reason why we only work 4 or 5 weeks on then a week off normally and I was reminded of that this week come Thursday. We had been doing well and then Bob hit a wall with maths on Thursday and with life in general. His brain was on overdrive and he simply could not sit and take another thing in. So he took himself off to bed with a book and with our new fractions board and kept a low profile for the day. On Friday he bounced with that on edge bounce he does when his brain is in over drive, whirring and processing. He simply cannot keep going with new learning or staying still. He needs that time to let things percolate and to sift ideas through in his brain and allow it to settle before we move on. He is still whirring away, sifting through all he has being learning.
Over all though we have had a good pattern going with lessons in the morning. A big plus to our days has been the evening and morning routine charts I made for the boys of activities that have to be done around the house within a certain time frame. It is teaching them time management, reducing my asking twice for things to be done, they are getting better at drying dishes and we are reclaiming our evenings. It also means that we are all ready at 9am to start lessons and generally there has been a good attitude toward lessons with both Bob becoming more confident in working independently on set tasks and Zog who is working on basic numeracy and is joining in with spelling. He has also wanted to start to learn to read so we are working on basic letter sound familiarity with him at the moment and as he has been around Bob doing it all he is picking it up very quickly. I realised this morning how far he had come with his reading as he was my companion for the weekly shop today and he was in charge of ticking items off the list.
For various reasons we have missed out on getting to Pitville the last two weeks for Nature Wonderings but a week ago we redeemed the afternoon and took our picnic to the local nature reserve by our house. We had great fun exploring the reserve which has sprung into life in all its richness and fullness of natural wonder.
Bob would still rather not have to write with pen and paper and so for spelling we have come up with salt writing and chalk on the patio as well as the tiles from the All About Spelling material that we use. We have also introduced the Life of Fred into our maths times which we are loving and it is a treat to hear laughter through maths lessons. I had been hesitant to get the Life of Fred despite the number of people recommending it but it is so far proving to be worth the investment.
Between Life of Fred and reading Coot Club while listening to classical music we have had some wonderful relaxed afternoons that have been finished off with everyone colouring in a nature picture similar to the secret garden style pictures and in that mix some great conversations have flowed.
Last weekend the boys took part in a music concert in Gloucester with their choir, singing two songs which they loved doing and continue to sing and act out at home with Kanga following along action perfect. This Saturday the boys and I went along to an event at the Cheltenham Music Festival where they were caught up with some amazing music and paintings of Romeo & Juliet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
As Zog begins to seek more structured lessons it has been a good to see how the coming year will look when both boys are doing formal learning times and how we include more family focused learning around art and music. With Zog’s love of writing and ability to hear sounds and so spell I actually think project work of certain subjects will work well as he will not be needing everything done for him.
Bob’s highlight of the last two weeks is without a doubt getting his first lessons in using a proper saw with Grandad as Grandad and he built a Bee B&B that he wanted to build having watched Springwatch and following on from on of our Nature Wondering sessions on bees.
Another project very much inspired by our creative Zog is to build out of lego maps of the world which they all love to be a part of.
Most material for the year ahead has arrived and I am now wondering when the time will be carved out so that I can get ahead and prepped to keep all of them busy and to keep us on track in the year ahead.
I know that throughout the past two weeks there have been moments when I have stopped and wanted to jot something down to reflect on but because of the way the past two weeks have been that has not happened and I can now only recall in general rather than the specifics. I think we are all ready for a break but there are another 3 weeks to go before holiday time.