Friday, 18 September 2015

Thursday Home Day :: Friday Sick Day

We had hoped to attend out usual home ed group today but a combination of ongoing pain on my part and a failed mobility scooter for Dave meant we stayed at home.  Naturally we were all disappointed but in true family fashion we made the best of our circumstances :-)  Pip had a go with her Singapore maths text and work book and enjoyed her lesson.

After lunch both kids watched the Wonder Quest programme on you tube whilst I lay down for an hour with a hot water bottle and waiting for analgesics to take effect.  After my rest time, Pip and I made scones together and these were enjoyed as part of our afternoon tea:

 Pip's job was to read the recipe and de code the numbers in grammes, she did a great job and here she is measuring carefully 300 grammes of gluten free flour.

Afternoon tea was followed by quiet time and Pip worked on a treasure map jigsaw:

Benedict struggled to settle to anything, we have been having continually whacky blood sugars and combined with pre-teen hormones and growth hormones, tempers have been a little frayed of late ;-)

The information evening at school was a total nightmare ~ parents were not allowed to air their concerns and basically it was a lecture from the head and staff members to inform parents of the many changes throughout the school.  Every day the numbers of unhappy parents muttering in the playground increases and some of the punishments meted out to the children are bordering on the barbaric; humiliation seems to be the current favourite of the month :-(  I am in the processes of writing a complaint based on the worrying so called "faith" changes and this will be copied to the chair of the governors (a priest), the head of the diocesan education centre (a canon) and the bishop. Needless to say the stress of it all, coupled with our daily difficulties tipped me over the edge and I suffered the worst migraine attack ever in a very long time.  The likelihood of Pip being withdrawn from the school gathers momentum daily, but we are waiting to see what response we will get after having raised our concerns.

We are off to visit family tomorrow ~ the kids miss seeing their grandparents and they miss seeing the kids.  We also get to hang out with Mary-Grace as Kath has to cover at work for staff shortages, not great for her since she already works a full week but nice for us :-)

Happy Friday Evening San x 


Monday, 14 September 2015

Sonlight Curriculum

This curriculum is an epic fail :-(  Benedict and I worked our way through scripture study, an introduction to world history and by the time we had read fourteen pages of the first chapter in The Golden Goblet, we were losing the will to live! Benedict was supposed to answer several questions pertaining to the chapter and neither he nor I could remember what had been read!!

The Sonlight Advisors however were extremely helpful and via an online chat conversation, it was agreed that I would return the core curriculum.  Thankfully we had paid extra for the love to learn guarantee and so will be refunded in full for the returned items, phew!  We are keeping the Singapore Maths books as these are a hit, so at least we have a win on something.  So it is back to the drawing board for me and I will be using the National Curriculum as a guide.

 To be fair the books themselves looked to be interesting but the curriculum also consisted of the weekly lesson plans.  This learning programme is not cheap and so a return is our best option.

Friday, 11 September 2015

An Up and Down Week


I completed my second swim session and spent most of it blowing bubbles under water and gliding!  It was quite a revelation to realise that, blowing out did not equate to an ingress of water in lungs and potential drowning :-)

Benedict had two friends for tea this week, Ollie on Tuesday and Roland on Wednesday.

Benedict has worked on maths problems this week.

Our Sonlight  curriculum arrived this week and Benedict has been busy reading one of the set books, of which there are many!  He is a happy boy :-)  I also escaped an import duty and for that I am eternally grateful.

We attended our Thursday Home Ed group and the kids had a great time, taking apart old machinery and building a den and fire pit in the woods.


Benedict attended diabetic clinic on Thursday morning and his blood averages are back up to 9.3mmol/l which is 78% and therefore way too high.  Overnight basals have been increased and he will be retested in a month.  He is currently experiencing a growth spurt and this has wreaked havoc on blood sugar control.

Dave was feeling unwell on the car journey from the clinic to the home ed group and so a motorway service stop was the order of the day and bang went the budget:


I have been in constant pain for weeks now and it is very wearying.  In addition I also had a really bad head this afternoon and crashed in bed for a few hours.  Dave was a stalwart and not only collected Pip from school but managed to make the tea with the help of the kids.

The school is having a Roald Dahl appreciation day I wonder if the new head will be going as this character?


Monday, 7 September 2015

First Day ~ Grade Two

Pip started back at school today under a new headship.  The school had an open day yesterday which I attended and I'm glad that I did.  The heart and soul has been ripped out of the place :-(  It has been replaced by an obsession with testing and targets, stupid unnecessary reward systems and break time detentions for anyone not wearing full uniform.  The school has had an unwarranted repainting and is now decked out in a ghastly red and cream colour scheme that is reminiscent of an institution. If I was looking for a school this place would not be my first choice.  The only saving grace is the fact that Pip's teacher is truly lovely and that her best buddy Beth was anxiously waiting for her in the classroom.  A sad day!

 Still Smiling.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Minecraft Workshop :: Swimming

This is a middle of the night posting since I am experiencing insomnia!

On Tuesday we visited Rheged for the "Raspberry Pi" computer coding workshop. Sadly the original event was changed last minute but both Benedict and Pip did spend some time in the computer labs with team from Lancaster University.  They were each given a design brief for a Minecraft world, Benedict created an apple orchard for the farm and Pip designed a farm house.  It was our first and only family outing of the summer! 

 We were quite excited and thought we were following a Tiny House until we saw the rest of the loaded items on the truck! 

 Hmm, definitely not a Tiny House and more of your regular build home, ah well!

 "We're not scared of the Enderman!"

 A Baby Ender Dragon.

 Benedict pretending to be scared of a creeper.

 It's amazing what you can do with several cardboard boxes, some paint and sticky backed plastic!  Blue Peter would have been proud!

 Concentrating Hard.

 I did ask why he was coloured all in blue to which she replied, " He's wearing diamond armour!"  Doh, mum!

 Where are Ben and Pip?!

Yesterday was Wednesday, not normally an eventful day in the 22 Household but:

This view and ...

... curly wet hair can only mean one thing!  Yes, I attended my swim session, the first time in over twelve years :-)

There was only myself and another lady attending and Helen the swimming instructor was just lovely.  I hadn't forgotten how to swim backstroke but I had remembered how much I absolutely hate going under the water and getting water up my nose!  I also practised treading water.  The half hour went all too quickly and although very overtired and sore (my back is jammed again) I will be back again next week!  

As an interesting side note when I woke first thing and was struggling with pain, I thought " I cannot be bothered to go swimming today."  But then I remembered stating my intention here in cyber space last week and most importantly the reason why I want to be confident in the water, which is to be able to take the kids swimming and so in reality there was no excuse!  I'd like to think that I also practised what I often "preach" to the kids and that is, if you've made a commitment you have to follow through :-)

Friday, 28 August 2015

Tea By The Sea and Other Stories

Pip completed her second swim intensive for the summer and the challenge was deep water confidence, she did very well and swims like a fish :-)  I have also set myself a challenge and that is to overcome my lack of confidence in the water and so I begin an improvers' class next Wednesday!

Pip has been ploughing through the read, write inc phonics books and has now finished set two and is moving on to the third set.  She also completed an assessment for Singapore Maths.  The test consisted of twenty questions incorporating a variety of mathematical concepts, number bonds, addition, subtraction, word puzzles, shape, size and sequencing.  The test was split into two parts with a significant rest break in between.

 The level of difficulty increased as the test progressed.

 Funny stories with Quentin Blake style illustrations.

Whilst Benedict was at the gym with Shein this morning, Pip enjoyed some quiet time with me and chose an interesting set of stories for her quiet time:

A real family favourite!
As a reward for all their efforts ( Ben sat his math assessment when he came home) we decided to buy fish and chips for tea and eat them at the seaside:
 Making the most of the sunshine.

 Tastes much better in the fresh air and a bonus for the parents no washing up!


Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Roasted Chick Peas :: Visitors :: Retinal Scan

I saw this recipe on Frugal Queen 

Really simple and tasty roasted chick peas ~ drain and rinse a can of chick peas, place in a bowl and add a glug of olive oil, a good helping of black pepper, a sprinkling of sea salt and 1/2 teaspoon of medium strength curry powder.  Great as an addition to a salad meal but these would make an alternative healthy snack option to crisps.

Kathryn and Mary Grace visited for the day and as always their visit was a welcome change from the usual house related chores:

 Get ready now ...

... and blow!

Benedict overcame his nerves and went for his retinal scan today.  He is very wary of new procedures and quite rightly so, since he has had all manner of unwelcome tests as a result of the diabetes.  This test will now be performed yearly so that any changes in his eyes can be identified and acted upon:

 "Mum!  Not snapping again!"

 He did a great job keeping still, let's hope that the results are good.  I think they should be since his bloods although not always within target range have been reasonably stable.