Monday, 23 January 2017

Monday Musings

Well we are 6 months in to being a family of 5 now and life is pretty hectic! Needless to say, this is the reason the blog has been a little neglected. I'd like to get back to blogging regularly and keeping a diary of our days again. They are so busy and varied! I know I will regret not having the record to look back over in years to come! So my aim is to update a few times/week with what we're getting upto each day. 

I love Mondays! I love every day really, thinking about it, each for different reasons. 

Today started much like every other day at the moment. Mirabelle wakes first and I feed her in bed. Usually Asher wakes and joins us soon after, closely followed by Eden. We enjoy a chat and cuddles all together before Asher starts to get restless and I kick them out of bed 😂 Recently I've set Eden and Asher up with morning routine charts to be getting on with while I get Mirabelle and I up and ready after Luke's left for work. This is working really well! It means by the time we sit down for breakfast at 8am, we're all ready and dressed, beds made, and Eden's done her copywork (handwriting practice) which she doesn't need me for. She's really keen to learn 'joined up' writing at the moment, so she is following a cursive handwriting practice booklet. 

At breakfast time, we do a family character study altogether, based on bible passages, and this week we're looking at temptation. The past few weeks we've looked at peace, harmony and getting along, and it has been helpful with the sibling relationships! Slow and steady, chipping away! We also do some memory work over breakfast, learning bible verses and favourite poems. We only recite each verse/poem once per day until it's learnt, and review previous ones once/week moving to once/month. We've been using this method for over a year now and the system works really well! 

After breakfast, for the next 45 minutes Eden does her independent work (maths and spelling) while I spend some time with Asher. Today, we started a new lapbook project for Asher on cooking. He really wants a 'chef badge' for his badge blanket (which I've ordered thanks eBay), so he is going to complete a cooking project to earn it. Today when starting the lapbook we made a pocket for his recipe cards, he picked his favourite foods to write on paper wooden spoons to keep in there, he did some colouring and tracing letters to decorate his lapbook, and we discussed cooking verbs using a poster printed off twinkl. He ticked the verbs he has already had practice with, and we've identified which other skills he can practice this week when we bake. I have a few recipes planned! Just need to get organised. 

At 9am Mirabelle went down for a nap and we swapped - Asher did a farm magnet book while I read to Eden. Today we covered history continuing to read from 'Our Island Story' in chronological order. Last week we covered King John and the Magna Carta (new stuff for me! Don't remember learning any of that in school!) and today we picked up with Henry the Third. I love learning history through stories - it brings it alive and makes it very memorable! 

Our usual snack time at 9:30am with poetry and some family-friendly read alouds. We're reading Eugene Field's poetry this term and are really enjoying it. We also read Frog and Toad's 'Cookies' story - which fitted in nicely with Asher's baking project and also our 'temptation' focus this week. And we read Tree in the Trail, of which we've been reading a chapter/week since September. The slow pace gives us time to ponder and fall in love with the book, getting to know it over a long period of time. We are nearing the end (2 weeks left I think!) 

After snack time we watched an episode of French with Serge (BBC French programme for 5-10 year olds). We watch an episode/day, and repeat through. As I pottered in the kitchen, I overheard the kids sweetly singing along to the songs - proud moment. 

After French the kids are allowed a bit of tablet time. I only have maths and literacy apps loaded onto their kindles, so they do some extra practice. They love the Dragonbox maths app at the moment - number bond practice from what I gather.

We've usually covered a lot of subjects by this point! I love the efficiency of home ed. It's amazing what can be covered in 10-20 minutes of focussed time 1:1 before the mind wanders, at which point we have already switched to a different topic and are feeling 'fresh' again for tackling a different subject, using a different area of the brain. Usually it's about 10:30am by now, so we have another hour or so before lunch. 

I've been trying to make use of our conservatory more, it's great for winter nature study as its warm, close to the garden and is uncluttered apart from the nature table and nature books. We recently bought a table for in there and today we brought out our nature study journals and I sent the kids into the garden on a mission to complete some winter outdoor activities from the Handbook of Nature Study monthly newsletter, which I find very inspiring and motivating with simple ideas for getting the family outdoors and enjoying nature. Mirabelle and I stayed warm inside though ha! She was so smiley! She loves sitting with us and joining in. Eden and Asher's favourite activity was hanging ribbons on the tree and watching them blow in the wind. Eden did some lovely drawings in her nature journal. She started it 2.5 years ago and reached the halfway point today, it is a very special book!
This afternoon the kids had their gym class. I watched Asher do a forward circle on his own on the bars and he came out of the lesson bursting with enthusiasm and energy, feeling proud of himself. He's nearly got his badge 6 and 5. Eden did forward rolls on the high beam today, something she hasn't done before. She's working towards badge 5 and 4. 

Back home, the kids watched a couple of episodes of Magic School bus while I made tea, and over tea finished reading the first of the Life of Fred maths books 'apples'. We all love Fred! Looking forward to starting the next book (Butterflies). We also read Ruby and Leonard's birthday surprise twice, at Asher's request (another cooking story). He enjoyed finding the mice hiding in each page. Mirabelle sat in her high chair and mostly ate for an hour haha! 

This evening Eden went to choir. Asher and I had an impromptu game of throw and catch using juggling balls and a fishing net! Fun! We then read two Harry and the bucketful of dinosaurs books before bed.  

Busy day, many proud moments! As always!