There are a few quotes about learning starting from home and it's so so true I think; home is the place where the mind and body is most at peace. A place where things can be freely contemplated without worry.
Last night, I went to check on my older girls upstairs as I heard they were still talking even though it was nearly 11pm! I discovered that they were talking about one of Newton's theories. Chiara has been learning about gravity and she understood that the moon is gradually moving away from us so started to ponder: are we moving towards or away from the sun! I love my kids!
Monday I got my dates mixed up and thought I had an appointment midday. It turned out it was an appointment for the next day! How busy my brain is at the moment.
As we were out early I decided to to give the girls a treat - we went out for lunch. We all had pizza, apart from Harmonie who ate garlic butter pasta! She can't get enough garlic in her at the moment, bless her!
This kite is much more simple than the sled kite design, I worked on with my girls nearly a couple of years ago now - it also involves less complicated maths; it is a great kite for younger children to make.
It still flies we'll just more like 10 - 15 metres high as oppose to the sled kite that I believe reached 100m when my eldest, now 12 years old, made hers a year or so ago!
The last few days have been ok. Everything heading in the right direction and life is getting into a routine for the girls who seem to be more settled.
Honi was had a few of her 'moments', but we're getting there. It must be hard for her at the moment with all those feelings tucked up inside her and finding the right way to vent it. I am trying to help. Trying to explain that she's not alone and that we all care lots.
A friend of mine found a photo on the web as something similar to this. I found this Pin on Pinterest with a link to the two different patterns but not the stem.
So this is how I made mine, it is my very first pattern so I hope it makes sense.
sc Single crochet
dc Double crochet
hdc Half double Crochet
Sl st Slip stitch
Chain 46. from the second chain stitch in from the hook sl st.
Chain in sc next chain stitch (dc chain 1 four times in same stitch) miss a chain stitch, sc.
Repeat until end.
Roll it up and sew together at the base to make a rose.
Stem and leaves...
Second chain stitch in from the hook slip st.* Sc, hdc, dc, 4 dc in same stitch.turn slightly so the rest of the rest of the chain goes out to form a stem from the leaf. Dc another 3 times in same stitch. Dc in next st. Hdc in the next, sc then sl st.
Sl st all the way back to the chain (what will be the stem) sl st through the first chain from the stem and then chain 16.
Slip st in second chain from hook. Repeat from * but instead of chaining 16 at the end, chain 35.
Second chain in from hook sc, sc all the way up to the first leaf, sc into the base of the leaf. sc all the way the the next leaf, sc into base of second leaf, single crochet all the way to the end.
Tie off and sew to the base of your flower, with the leaves closest to the flower.
You are finished.
Neaten off the lose thread by weaving through your crochet.
I have been thinking of more ways I can help Harmonie with her learning. She gets bored so easily and drifts off into a land of daydreams and story telling. I don't want her to think that is wrong but I do want to help her to learn more maths and to read. She's very much a kinaesthetic learner so I got thinking.
My 4 year old is crazy about Lego so I came up with a few ideas the other night to do with that and this is one of them. Here's how to play...
What a weekend. I was happy Valentine's Day. I didn't expect to be but I was. Honi had been super sweet. Look what she gave me this valentines...
I bought the girls what ever they wanted for lunch from Boots. Something they always want to do but I usually find a way to feed us all for under £2.
It was so lovely to see all the girls so happy.
I treated them all to a box of Dairy milk chocolates - you have to love Poundland! They all have my heart after all. Honi ate all of hers in seconds after I told her just one before dinner. Guess what?
She couldn't eat all her dinner: she was too full! You have to laugh.
Sunday I got round to making Harmonie a pirate eye patch! I've been meaning to for a while, she now wants me to make her a pirate hat! I hope I'm clever enough!
If you want the pattern click on the photo for the link.
Honi liked it too so I made her one, they were ever so quick to make.
Monday The girls mostly got on with workbooks. They were all a bit grumpy today. When they were finished I asked Harmonie if she wanted to do some science with me. She was very excited indeed. When I offered her the chance to make bath bombs she was even more excited.
Most of the time she was asking if she could eat it, recognising that a lot of what when into the bath bomb was in fact edible. The lavender oil filled the room. It was lovely and had a wonderful calming effect on the rest of the day.
After popping out to the shops and munching down some crumpets I did something I had planned, I played a new game with Harmonie I had made up the night before. She's great at knowing her numbers 1 - 9 but struggles much further. I never had to try very hard with maths with the other girls but they are all different. It did make me think of a more hands on fun way to practise it rather than just writing in workbooks.
I came up with this...
I have been working on a way to help Harmonie recognise her numbers more and teach her to read the numbers too.
She loves Lego so I came up with this little game.
It's simple but fun. Click on the above photo to take you to how we did our maths activity.
The day ended in the bath, enjoying the fizzy bath bombs. The laughter was beautiful.
So, it's Valentine's day. Valentine's day will feel very different this year. I probably wouldn't think about it too much but my girls get so excited about these things, my 7 year old in particular! Honi was asking me all about it.
Then she worried about me. She worried that I would be sad this year. Quickly she made me a card - I wasn't allowed to look - and then a few days later, out of the blue she came up to me and said:
Although there is some structure to the way I educate my girls, I have learnt over the years that people, children or adults, learn better when they have a choice and when they feel in control.
School takes all that control away. Assignments are set and when and where you do everything is also mandatory. It has to be in such an institute as a school as there are so many children and so few adults. Their creativity and curiousity quashed. Their minds told what to believe and not taught how to seek information for themselves.
I was working with my four year old the other day on her maths and we started looking at, adding one and taking away. I could see, she needed more practice and thought about turning it into a game!
This is the game we made and here's the instructions with a free printable spinner too if you'd like to try it out for yourself.
What you will need for this game:
A short pencil
7 pieces of Lego. We used a studded pieces .
A piece of paper and another pencil - this is optional.
Thin cardboard - cereal box cardboard works well.
Print out this spinner. Stick it to some strong cardboard. Cereal box cardboard will do.
Cut it out.
Push your short pencil. Very sharp pencil through the centre. Be careful not to hurt your fingers, a good idea is to have some sticky tack the otherside to take the impact.
Now for the rules of play...
First person to play rolls the die.
The number on the die is the number of Lego bricks to use top build a tower.
Now spin the spinner.
If it lands on a + you add one more brick, if it lands on a - you take a brick away. How many are left?
Now the second player takes their turn. Who ever has the tower with the most bricks at the end of their turn is the winner.
Repeat for as many times as it remains fun. Best out of 3,5,7 etc.
Harmonie and I took this one step further, for extra number practice, she used her paper and extra pencil to write down each sum. This was great practice for her and she really enjoyed it and it also helped to remember scores.
This game gave Harmonie new maths vocabulary to become familiar with:
We had a week of illness last week. Sore throats, chesty coughs and fever mostly. It hasn't been much fun but we have been occupying ourselves to take our minds off it. And this is what we've been up too.
Of course there have been the workbooks when they've felt able. But the highlights for us this week have been...
So we are settling in to our new routines and since the day my husband moved out, although there is heartache, peace is quickly being restored in this house.
The girls are sleeping better and bickering a lot less; there is less war and more laughter. We've had, what seems like, endless bouts of colds and flu bugs, it is January after all, but still this house is a happier home.
I have had to be strong and make choices that I thought and hoped I'd never have to make. I do know one thing: I am doing what's best for my children. My girls are beginning to open up more to me again and Honi's frustration and anger levels have decreased, which has been such a blessing.
I have recently found out a little about why Honi acts and reacts the way she does. A friend whose child is diagnosed with autism, pointed me in the direction of things she has found to help her child. I researched into it, thought hard and it's really helped my Honi!
My Honi is such an amazing person (of course I knew that already)...