Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Annoying habits!

One thing I notice during this time of the year is all the parents getting overly excited about getting the kids back in school and I often get asked 'how do you cope with the kids all day, every day?'.

Let me tell you, I feel the same way sometimes. I have those days when I think to myself that I could just pick up the phone and register them in a school, just for a break.

The twins are not without their bad habits that drive me crackers, 

Turning the TV over incessantly, bleep, bleep, bleep , bleep, bleep for every channel they surf over, it makes my blood boil, I can take it for a few seconds but after what feels like half an hour of bleep, bleep, bleep, bleep, my nerves just cave in!.

Olivia will sit and tap, tap, tap, tap her feet constantly, she loves her heels on her shoes and likes to make sure she can hear them, I get that, but when it comes to clonk, clonk, clonk up the stairs, stomp, stomp, stomp where ever she walks, she is soooo heavy footed, in January when I stayed with my sister for a while it drove her potty too, so I know it isn't just me, stomp, stomp, stomp, every time she goes up the stairs. I now realise why Ballet classes are important for little girls from the early age of 2, I shot myself in the foot there not providing ballet lessons.

Clothes on the bathroom floor, oh my word, every time I walk into the bathroom I am faced with a Mount Everest of clothes just strewn on the floor, this drives me potty, I can be nice and remove the pile as I walk back down the stairs but half an hour later I can walk back in and 'bingo',a new Mount Everest on the floor staring at me like it's jumping out saying 'hi, did you miss me'.. 

This goes equally with the 'are your clothes in the wash' irritant, I can ask and ask and ask the kids ten times a day, "are your dirty clothes in the dirty wash basket",  I may as well be talking in Swahili as they will always say "yes" yet miraculously on a Sunday when I just start to think 'great I can have a day off washing' and there is only one sock left in the washing basket, I ask those dreaded words, "are you really sure you have no dirty washing in your room"', then 'bam' half an hour later my kitchen is swimming in washing from all the washing they 'forgot' to bring down, and back to swimming in dirty washing I go!.

These are just a few of the things that drive me potty, every day occurrences, there are plenty more such as when you spend time lovingly folding their clothes like a manifestation of a piece of art from 'The Fabric Of Art' exhibition at the National Gallery, all to make it easy for them to carefully pop into their drawers and a day later popping your head round the door and all those clothes you folded lovingly are now strewn all over the floor looking like Tracey Emin has been let loose in there'..

Oliver with his 'Verbomania' as soon as a film comes on that I eagerly waited to watch all week, rambling on in his dulcet tone, explaining to me exactly what is happening like he is the new beta test of 'subtitles'.

These two have plenty of annoying habits and no I don't cope with them but I do accept them because quite frankly, I have no choice!.








Sunday, 20 August 2017

How we use strewing in our home education!


 
I often get asked how I manage to home educate the twins. It is a very big question to answer, as we do countless things that contribute to the twins education  it is very difficult to summarise all of it in a few sentences. However, breaking it down there are a few aspects or things that I do frequently that I have found really beneficial to us as a home educating family.

One of them is “Strewing”. No, not the kind of strewing where the kids empty all their drawers of clothes and throw them all over their bedroom floor when I ask them to get dressed, although that is one version of strewing.

Strewing, a term said to have been coined by Sandra Dodd, in a home education context is the art of allowing your child to discover something you have casually left out for them to discover for themselves, providing a resource in a way that allows a child to discover it for themselves and learn naturally from it.

Sometimes the 'seed does not work out, but other times it develops nicely, my trick is to ensure my cover is never blown, I know I am successful when they delight in telling me all about it.

A recent example is my painting a flower post, I found a youtube video of a lady painting a flower, by accident, I knew Olivia loves drawing so I said to her 'look at this video it's so cool.. she looked and she looked some more and the next thing she is painting flowers and asking for new paint brushes and painting equipment, for Oliver it was a book I saw in the charity shop, an old fashioned book on how to draw different figures, he didn't seem interested at first because there was a lot of writing in there, until I pointed out the Dinosaur pictures in there, he then went on to spend the next few days drawing faces and copying different techniques out of the book reading it as he went along, Olivia also took up some time drawing faces from the book.

This allows a strong, authentic learning experience without it being marred by an arbitrary agenda or stunted by frustration. 

Other examples might be again as I demonstrated in the Shel Siverstein post, where I left a book out after reading aloud and the next thing you know Oliver has his head stuck in the book. I might leave other books out or games lying around like chess. I may suggest a day trip to see something interesting like the Magna Carter and their curiosity runs wild and they end up researching for themselves what it is or like another post I wrote about our trip to a play about the Peterloo Massacre coupled with a trip to their favourite art gallery which happened to have a debate about contemporary art.

They learn organically, I plant the idea and they take it from there. It does not always work however, there are many occasions that I may suggest something or leave something around that they show no interest in at all, many a time things just flow and happen naturally.

With strewing I use resources to meet the educational and developmental needs of the twins in ways that are best for them; a kind of intensely tailored personal programme of learning. At the same time it is free from toxic stress and pressure that often discourages children from exploring something fully, with the fear that they will ‘get it wrong’. Another benefit is that it is a great way to engage several children of different ages with one resource; perfect for families with multiple children.

We strew all kinds of things in all different ways. We like working in subjects or topics, and strewing makes it easy to provide interesting resources that target specific areas of learning (depending on the age of the child think buttons/ counters/ LEGO/ something cut into pieces for maths; magazines /interesting stationary/ new books for English, etc).

Strewing can also be outside the home. Reading and playing games with posters in a doctors surgery playing spot the letter or find a fact, Pausing by a bus stop to look at the timetable may stimulate an interaction about time, or perhaps a socially-focussed discussion about lateness, or a more politically centred exchange about public services. Going to a new playground with different equipment is perfect for developing new physical skills. Booking a holiday or short break somewhere new opens up a world of learning potential and resources, from unfamiliar accents, to maps, to new food and landscape. 

Topics for us is one of the ways I can strew endless novelty into the twins path; so much so in fact that it would be almost impossible to stop them learning constantly.

One of the main points is that I do not present strewing ideas in the hope that the twins learn from them, I leave them out in the hope that they will enjoy the idea and it is a bonus if they do learn something from it.

The point of strewing is to open new doors to new ideas, to feed interests and hobbies, to provide  resources structure and information and sow seeds of potential. It must be presented in a way that is 100% willing participation. 

My job is not to be a teacher but more of a facilitator, I’m listening to their questions, watching their interests, and recognizing their potential. I’m not sitting down with lesson plans in mind or an objective to teach them certain skills. Instead, I’m filling their environment with opportunities to discover their world and allowing them to show me what they want to learn.

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Book of the week - Where the Sidewalk Ends






We fell across this book by accident while looking for poetry inspiration for our infrastructure project, the poem we came across contained in the book is called 'Where the Sidewalk ends', (see Infrastructure roads poetry).

The poem is an adult poem, one of very few adult poems in this book, the rest are all silly children's poems, for instance my favourite one is 'A Running Giraffe'. because it is funny and imaginative and makes you laugh out loud.



The book is funny and full of creative and imagery flair, not only is it entertaining for the adult kids but also entertaining for the smaller kids too.

When the book arrived I read a couple of the Poems out loud to myself and the kids overheard and came running to listen to more, giggling along to each poem.

When I had finished I put the book down on the table to make a coffee, only to come back with Oliver eagerly reading away to himself. Bingo, what a great book, it must be to have inspired Oliver enough to pick it up.

The bonus to this book  is that Shel Silverstein has a great educational website to go along with his poems, packed with fun and games.

I purchased my copy of the book on ebay (click through here) as it was the cheapest place I could find to buy it, used of course but still in great condition.

This book brings laughter and smiles all round, inspirational enough to spend the rest of the day making up silly poems after reading it.

Shel Silverstein was one of those authors that broke the rules not just with his grammar but in life too, as before he wrote the children's books he wrote for Play boy and rubbed shoulders with Hugh Hefner.

Here is a little bit about his history..

The surprisingly sex filled life of Shel Silverstein

Despite his controversial lifestyle and works, he should be on every households book shelf, he was an award winning, witty, cheeky and mischievous, artistically talented and not afraid to challenge boundaries.

Shel Silverstein has many works available I think there are about 11 children's books that he produced and they are classed as classics and they can be purchased on eBay (click here), it has been said these books shaped many a child's growing up years and continue to inspire the next generation of poets.

I will certainly be having a rummage through the eBay listings and seeing what I can lay my hands on, Shel Silverstein has definitely earned a place on our bookshelf!.

I am so very grateful to our 'infrastructure Project' as although not really related, we would never have discovered Shel Silverstein without it.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

A day of cultural enrichment

Today was a day of cultural enrichment as we attended the people's history museum were we watched a one man play about the Peterloo Massacre, as today 16th August is the anniversary of the day of the massacre in 1819 where 60,000 people demanded the vote and were attacked by cavalry, 18 people, including four women and a child, died from sabre cuts and trampling. Nearly 700 men, women and children received extremely serious injuries. All in the name of liberty and freedom from poverty.

According to Nick Mansfield, director of the People’s History Museum in Manchester, 
 "Peterloo is a critical event not only because of the number of people killed and injured, but because ultimately it changed public opinion to influence the extension of the right to vote and give us the democracy we enjoy today. It was critical to our freedoms."
Historians acknowledge that Peterloo was hugely influential in ordinary people winning the right to vote, led to the rise of the Chartist Movement from which grew the Trade Unions, and also resulted in the establishment of the Manchester Guardian newspaper.

The Living History Performance was something new to the museum but it was very well received by the audience, we certainly enjoyed it and will be going back next month for Black History Month.

To learn more about the Peterloo Massacre you could wait for the new feature film currently being made about the event or watch the short clip below!.


 

We went on from there over to Manchester Art Gallery were we attended a fabulous debate entitled 'But Is it Art? 

This was a debate between two Gallery guides John Ward and Rebecca Eastment moving round the Gallery starting with Manchester’s very own and recently acquired Duchamp’s Ring.


This was an entertaining debate, bicker and argument spectacular based around Duchamps Work and other pieces of contemporary work around the Gallery, focusing on the value of contemporary art, even Banksy's work particularly 'Love is in the air' which is aptly situated right next to my favourite painting in the whole gallery which is William Etty's masterpiece The Sirens and Ulysses



 All in all a very lovely day!...



Monday, 14 August 2017

Drawing Flowers

Today Olivia and I were looking into Van Dyking, the technique used to paint onto canal barge boats, we were soon distracted and found this fabulous video showing some techniques of drawing flowers.

Olivia and I were so suitably impressed that we had found a new technique and  I thought it was worth a share.

Do take a look at her other videos, they are worth a watch.

 

Infastructure - Roads - Poetry

Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein

There is a place where the sidewalk ends
And before the street begins,
And there the grass grows soft and white,
And there the sun burns crimson bright,
And there the moon-bird rests from his flight
To cool in the peppermint wind.

Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black
And the dark street winds and bends.
Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow
We shall walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And watch where the chalk-white arrows go
To the place where the sidewalk ends.

Yes we'll walk with a walk that is measured and slow,
And we'll go where the chalk-white arrows go,
For the children, they mark, and the children, they know
The place where the sidewalk ends. 
The kids liked this poem, we discussed the language used and looked at the theme of colour used in the poem to make descriptions, such as 'the grass grows soft and white', Oliver decided the poet was describing diseased grass and coupled with the line 'Let us leave this place where the smoke blows black and the dark street winds and bends', Past the pits where the asphalt flowers grow,  the poet must be describing a place that produces the asphalt for the roads to be constructed hence the description of Asphalt flowers, the asphalt flowers being a metaphor for a description of no flowers just asphalt. where flowers should have been before mining. and the feeling that we get from the poem is that people just wanted to leave that grim mine.
The kids were very observant whilst looking at the poem and came up with the conclusion the poet was American, because of their use of the word 'Sidewalk', they also decided that the use of colour within  the poem was a great way to use rhetorical metaphors.

We then decided to go and look at what other people were saying about the poem and see what analysis others came up with.

We found that we where way off the mark in our observations about the poem, we were looking at it in a literal sense, but we were right with a couple of things those were the fact poet is American and the use of metaphors and rhetoric within the poem. It turns out the poem is about children's imaginations and how far away adults are with their imaginations, essentially telling adults to go to the place where the children know, for adults to see the world like a child, to find the joy in life that children have.

The poet in this instance is using descriptions referencing a state of mind rather than in a literal sense.

This was a great lesson in Rhetoric and Metaphors.

It always surprises me how engaged the kids get with this kind of thing, they really enjoy learning about the use of language.

There is a mission on now for them to come up with a poem of their own we have also purchased the book to have a look at his other poems, the book is aptly entitled 'Where the Sidewalk Ends' by Shel Silverstein.(click through to purchase from ebay)


https://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/710-53481-19255-0/1?icep_id=114&ipn=icep&toolid=20004&campid=5337839575&mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.co.uk%2Fsch%2Fi.html%3F_from%3DR40%26_trksid%3Dp2057872.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0.H0.TRS0%26_nkw%3DWhere%2Bthe%2BSidewalk%2BEnds%252C%2BSilverstein%252C%2BShel%26_sacat%3D0

Shel Silverstein also has some great educational resources to go with his writings (click here) there are games, puzzles, audio's and printable on his website for you to explore, with a wonderful poetry workshop downloadable kit, the kids are using this to help them come up with a poem of their own.

Infactructure - Transport - Canals

We watched a video by the lovely late Fred Dibna who introduced us to and told the story of Canals, you can see this video below.




We visited the National Waterways Museum at Ellesmere port where they had a horses at work day!. The kids learned about the horses and the families referred to as 'the boat people'.

We did go to this event to have a focus on the Victorian tunnels and how they were constructed, but sadly they were very much not what we expected and were pretty modern in their design.



We have visited quite a few Canals such as Standedge Tunnels you can find our short review of the place on our educational days out page. The place served a better purpose as in terms of the Victorian construction of the tunnels as it is the longest canal tunnel in the UK and has some excellent examples of the engineering that went into building it. As it was a while ago since we last went we may take another quick trip to refresh what we learnt when we were there.

Anderton Boat Lift is excellent for demonstrating the locks and so was Caen Hill Flight of Paddle Locks



Apart from learning about the locks and how they were constructed, we learnt about the horses that were used to pull the Canal Boats and the families that worked on them.


We also looked at the important work of the Canal and River Trust who look after the waterways to protect and enhance the historic and natural waterways.

What we did find interesting was the fact that it was the Romans that built the first canals although they were used for irrigation, although they did build navigable canals that linked rivers which increased transportation inland by water.

The kids are now getting on with coming up with some poetry for their canal experience and are creating pictures for our wall mural .



Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Discovering Infrastructure

We have been using infrastructure for our latest project. Discovering everything that makes the country tick over seamlessly.

Olivia kicked off the project by looking at transport, she was quite amused at penny farthings and said she can see why they never took off, although they did look fun.

We have a visit to the recycling centre planned in September and a trip to Fiddlers ferry arranged in November to look at the coal fired power plant, during October we are visiting Muncaster Castle so we will try to fit in a visit to Sellafield whilst we are over that way.

We found this great interactive map (click on the link below to see it in action) that shows the infrastructure of Greater Manchester so they learned  lot about our local infrastructure.

http://www.neweconomymanchester.com/our-work/planning-housing-environment/greater-manchester-s-open-data-infrastructure-map


We have decided to make a wall mural with the different parts of infrastructure that we choose to look at, so far we have transport, recycling and power and utilities to go onto our wall mural. 

We took a trip to M24 Art Supplies in Middleton to find some scrap art materials that we could use to create our mural, what a lovely place, the people are friendly and very helpful and they have crafty workshops during holidays where the children can make and take things along a themed line.

We are comparing and contrasting UK infrastructure with other countries too, looking at less developed countries and understanding why this may be.

This is another long term project that we will incorporate some maths into as well as history and some science and other cross curricular topics.

Considering I just wanted to work on their writing skills this has turned out to be much more so far.

One example is graphs, we are looking at the types of vehicles on the roads, counting as we go on our road trips, to then put into different graphs and turn that into a piece of art, I loved when we did the pi Skyline building art work so something on those lines will be equally as much fun, here is a video below of how to do it.



We have started to work on some poetry, for this we are looking at the different types of poems with the theme of Infrastructure, for example limericks and acrostic poems, looking at some already created and making our own silly poems.

The children have enjoyed learning about buildings and the changes they go through and why, learning how infrastructure changes over time and what differences these changes have made to peoples lives, how some fight back against change and how some changes have discourse attached.

We are very much looking forwards to the heritage open day and will make sure we take advantage of places we wouldn't normally get to go to. Looking at how churches played an important part in UK infrastructure and how they are used today for tourist attractions so still play an important role in our infrastructure.

The point of this exercise is to look at things in a different way and see the worth in things that we would normally take for granted but are in fact an integral part of our lives using writing practice, research practice, maths, history and other subjects to cover their basic literary and maths skills.

Working on our writing and imagination skills and learning about how these things work and what kinds of jobs people do whilst looking after our infrastructure, the science and the history, there is so much to learn from this topic of infrastructure, it is an exciting topic to cover and I am sure it will expand as we go along, I have already decided to add in a visit to the medical museum and the broadcasting museum to our list of places to visit to look at the medical side of our infrastructure and communications infrastructure, it is a topic that can expand and grow over the next year!

The great thing about using this topic is that the kids have been very proactive putting their own ideas into the mix and doing their own suggestions, for example Olivia wanted to find out about transport and wondered where the first bike began and this lead to her discovering the penny farthing she then suggested making an art piece of a penny farthing. So this is wonderful that the kids are taking the lead in what and how they are learning.

Friday, 28 July 2017

Encouraging a love of reading in children: Raising Kids Who Read.


https://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/710-53481-19255-0/1?icep_id=114&ipn=icep&toolid=20004&campid=5337839575&mpre=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.co.uk%2Fsch%2Fi.html%3F_odkw%3DFirst%2BAid%26_sop%3D12%26_fspt%3D1%26_mPrRngCbx%3D1%26_oac%3D1%26_osacat%3D0%26_from%3DR40%26_trksid%3Dp2045573.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0.H0.TRS0%26_nkw%3DRaising%2BKids%2BWho%2BRead%252C%2BDaniel%2BWillingham%2B%26_sacat%3D0


I recently read this book called Raising Kids Who Read: What Parents and Teachers can do by Daniel T Willingham. > You can buy it here <

The book provides practical solutions for cultivating a love of reading that lasts into adulthood.

For me it is important that the kids love reading, our house is full of books and we spend a lot of time reading books, the kids love reading, especially Oliver.

This book resonated with me as some of the techniques he talks about I have done with the twins and I can tell you categorically that it works.

The science-based approach in Raising Kids Who Read applies to kids of all ages.

Education expert Daniel T. Willingham's Research-based, concrete suggestions to aid teachers and parents in promoting reading as a hobby Age-specific tips for developing decoding ability, comprehension, and motivation in kids from birth through adolescence Information on helping kids with dyslexia and encouraging reading in the digital age Debunking the myths about reading education,

In the book William's suggests to parents to not just give commands, but ask a lot of questions to show that the purpose of language is to acquire new knowledge, not just communicating one's own wishes. 

There are many familiar ideas that I have always put into practice such as family reading time, having lots of books accessible around the house, using silly voices and changing names, letting the children choose their own books,  magazine subscriptions. For us it was the Free Lego Life magazine which they love, this is for children aged between 5-9 years old and they receive 5 copies a year, my two love the arrival through the door of their Lego magazine > FREE LEGO MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION <

This is not a book about teaching reading, but about trying to create reading habits, it is an informative, smart, and yet simple book!...




Big First Aid Lesson 2017

 
It is almost time for the yearly Big First Aid Lesson 2017.

The Big First Aid Lesson 2017 is an engaging show hosted by a well-known personality and school children. It will include practical elements, animations and interactive activities that will give thousands of young people life saving skills.

This years theme is a Bonfire night theme, to join up and take part click on the st Johns Ambulance logo below.

https://www.sja.org.uk/sja/schools/big-first-aid-lesson.aspx


For some books on first aid for kids click here >Children's first Aid books< (Flat Stan First Aid Guide For Younger Children is my favourite), you can get that here > Flat Stan <

For first Aid Supplies click here > First Aid Supplies <

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Explore Learning Creative Writing Workshop!.




We went along to a creative writing workshop today, run by explore learning.

Explore Learning run drop in sessions (no booking needed) for their Maths, English and 11+ exam preparation sessions.

The great thing about Explore Learning is that they are voluntary OFSTEAD registered, which means if you are a single parent and work 16+ hours a week or you are a couple working 30+ hours a week, some of the tuition cost is covered by Working Tax Credits, they also offer a limited number of scholarship places which gives a 50% discount to parents receiving Income Support of Job Seekers Allowance in addition there are other various ways to get help funding the tuition sessions which you can find on their website.

Explore Learning have branches all over Greater Manchester and beyond right across the country in various towns and cities.

The twins really enjoyed the session today as it was very play based and both commented on how much they enjoyed it... I watched them in the session quite closely, the group was a small group of 7 children and the twins were the only ones home educated.

They took part joining in with the team work involved with great gusto and made their own considered contributions to the group.

This was the first time I have witnessed them in a formal school type class setting and they looked right at home, there was no shyness or trying to shrink into the background, they took lead roles within their group and were focussed throughout the session.

Once we got home I asked them what they thought about the session and they both said they loved it, in fact they loved it more than Badgers.

Badgers is the only other school type formal learning environment they have been in and have enjoyed going for the past few years, although parents are not allowed into any of the sessions so I have never witnessed how they get on in there.

I asked why they enjoyed it more than Badgers and they said it was fun playing the game, at Badgers it can get boring.


I was a little taken back by that because the only game I could see was a theme of an  animal detective and trying to get him home, this was brilliantly done, the game element was very subtle but obviously very powerful in it's delivery. It certainly made an impression on the twins.

I have looked across the web at some reviews and it seems they have a good reputation and get good results.

We have signed up to have a free session, so I will update on our verdict and let you know if we partake on a paid subscription.

I would love to hear what you think if you have used them or alternatively follow the link below to learn more!..


http://bit.ly/2o5F26p











Monday, 24 July 2017

Summer Holiday Educational day trips


I hate School holidays as it get so busy everywhere you go, but I also love it for the amount of extra learning events that go on.

We usually slack off around July and enjoy ourselves without focusing on learning too much, but as we are very autonomous it is now inbred into the kids and they tend to spend most of their time naturally finding new topics and ways to learn every day, so it is hard to switch off but we go all out during August and take advantage of the myriad of learning opportunities that spring up to keep the school kids entertained during their long summer break.

Strangely enough we generally find that most of the events are lightly attended if they contain anything educational so we find them not too badly overcrowded.

I started to post a load of day trips with an educational slant onto the group page but there are so many that I decided to collate them all here in this blog post to keep them all in one place, this makes it easier for me to keep up with, you can also click through and get to the booking forms for each one and I will update the list as I become aware of other events, if you pop along to any and we are there and you see us, give us a wave....



July 2017 


 August 2017 
 September 2017

October 2017
November 2017














Monday, 10 July 2017

Writing practice!

I have been looking for some new creative ways to encourage the twins to write.

They are very good with their reading skills and have picked up a lot of the basics of recognising punctuation from the more advanced books they read.
 
We talk a lot about the structure of books and have learnt about the components of what makes up a book, from the front and back cover formats to the  introduction page and indexes etc and we do a lot of dictionary work to correct spelling or find alternative words and meanings.

Their knowledge is growing but their writing skills I feel are lacking as they are very reluctant to write at the moment, I am sure this is just down to a lack of confidence as the knowledge is there, so I have been looking for some creative ways to encourage them to put pen to paper more often.

I purchased the Diary of a Wimpy Kid book for them to have a look at the format of a journal which I am hoping will encourage them to start to write their own daily journal.

I also came across a website that enables the user to send postcards across the world called postcrossing which entails sending and receiving postcards.

We have also talked about writing to their favourite person and sending them a letter, Olivia picked the Queen and Oliver picked Dr Who.

I also found some writing prompts websites that are very useful when they decide they do not know what to write and have writers block, these are great to also give me ideas on what themes we can use whilst thinking of some creative writing ideas.

We have also played the game where one person says a word and writes it down and then the next person carries on and says a word to follow and then writes it next to the original word and so on and so forth taking turns creating a funny story.

I purchased a great board activity called Sentifix Sam at the Seaside to create sentences, the game helps the child by providing words on Multilinks and there are some great teaching ideas included.

I am looking for more great ideas that will allow the twins to write in an non-pressured way.



Sunday, 9 July 2017

Book Of The Week The Magic Faraway Tree


The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton

We decided to read this book after a recommendation by Brian Cox that I found whilst looking for some good reading inspiration.

Joe, Beth and Frannie as they move to a new home next to an Enchanted Wood, follow Moonface, Saucepan Man and Silky the fairy as they discover which new land is at the top of the Faraway Tree each day.



Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Book Of The Week The Chocolate Dog



This is a lovely little book and not one I would normally have picked, but Olivia insisted so we went with it and it was a nice little read.

It would be a great story to read to someone who was expecting a new brother or sister, this was a nice book with a few adventures.

Lots of navigating feelings around having a new sibling arriving from frustration at having to share a room to feeling left out and abandoned at having a birthday party disrupted, but it also investigates the support and understanding that is given to the little girl from family and friends by the parents giving the girls a last minute holiday before baby arrives and the family friend who arranges the birthday party as mum is hospitalised to give birth to the baby.

This story investigates the confused feelings surrounding becoming the middle child and no longer the youngest or the baby in the family along with growing up and becoming more independent by going away on camp without the family.

This is a nice book that does bring to the fore confusion about where a growing child in a family belongs and that sad feeling of not being wanted and the family efforts to ensure those feelings pass swiftly on.