Friday, 28 May 2010

Playing Catch Up... Again!

Have been having trouble logging in to Typepad and have had to install Fire fox in order to gain access to my account details and dashboard!  Still at least we are now up and running and so here is the account of last weeks shenanigan's:
Monday we visited another Home Edding family not far from us and then made our way to Brockhole National Park for a picnic lunch, a walk around the gardens and a load of fun at the adventure playground.  Our visit was topped off by well deserved ice cream and cup of tea in the cafe.

Don't worry Pip was crawling around the bottom, she hadn't actually come down the chute!

Benedict having some much needed outdoor activity, needless to say he had a hypo shortly after this picture was taken... ah, well!

Ah, five minutes peace whilst Pip munches on a chocolate button and ponders the life, universe and everything!

Tuesday was a home day and still working with the week's theme of "Activity" we had a day of active building, jigsaw making, clay modelling and a first for Pip finger painting.

Raisin snack time after building the den for the teddies!

Close up of a clay model car.

The scene in full.
The finished masterpiece!

Wednesday was a trip to The Quaker Tapestry and lunch with Nanna H.  After lunch we bought much needed trainers and sandals for Benedict and our bargain of the week was an almost new game from the charity shop, a book on how things work and a lovely summer top for Pip.
The rest of the week was another episode in damage limitation as rising blood sugars meant increased periods of poor concentration and fatigue.  Despite this Benedict continued to plough his way through his reading scheme, devise intricate pen drawings, usually machine orientated! and build copious Lego constructions.
I'm glad we had an "Active" week it did us good to break from our usual routine of loft work and house work!

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Garden Growth

Finally life is bursting forth in the garden, a combination of hard work on Dave and Benedict's behalf and the blessings of periodic sunshine!  Last weekend we managed to eat our meals outside and although it meant a lot of carrying items from the house to the bottom of the garden, the tidy up process post meal was a breeze; no sweeping of dropped debris, instead we  left a treat for the birds and compost items were dumped straight in the compost bins! 

In the raised beds and borders we have:beans, courgettes, cabbages,cauliflowers,carrots,chard,fennel, potatoes and peas.
In the greenhouse we have: lettuce, chilli peppers, sweet peppers and tomatoes.
The fruit trees look like they will also be generous this year so all in all we should have a reasonable harvest to fill the table and spare the purse!

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Round Up Time

We've had a busy week in the "school room" in the loft and Benedict has achieved quite a lot of work.

Monday 10th May -

 Benedict wrote the numbers and corresponding words from 40 - 60.  His handwriting is much improved and he has worked hard at keeping the letters neat and on the line.

He drew a small picture of a boat and accompanying sea creatures.

Read " The Victorian Adventure" from The Oxford Reading Tree Level 8.

Practical Life Skills: organised the recycling, swept the dining room floor and cleared the table after lunch.

Independent reading after lunch - Benedict chose a diabetes information book which is solely geared towards children with the condition.

Independent writing - Benedict wrote a letter home as an evacuee during The Second World War.  His writing deteriorated and concentration waned towards the end.  He was very tired both physically and mentally.

Benedict has worked incredibly hard today and I am very pleased with all his efforts.

Tuesday 11th May -

Peculiar BM's all day, swinging from one extreme to the other.  Despite this he did manage some work - he copied out the evacuee letter with correct grammar and spellings, practised this weeks spellings, read "The Surprise" from The Oxford Tree Scheme, constructed a complex marble run creation and made a picture scene with modelling clay.

Wednesday 12th May -

Drew a picture to accompany the evacuee letter.  In it he added barrage balloons, an anderson shelter, sandbags, gas masks and an incendiary bomb.  He was able to describe in detail the function of each item.

Mathematics - Tens and Units using cuisinaire rods.  We listened to the Times Tables soundtrack game.  He needed a lot of help from me but we had great fun!

Copied numbers 60 - 80 and their corresponding words whilst listening to "The Junior Jug Band - Songs to Sing".  The tape was sent to us from our friend in Canada and when he'd finished writing he did his own jive movements, the rhythm was quite infectious!

Using numbered cards as a visual prompt he counted in 2's, 5's and 10's.

Read "William's Mistake" from The Reading Scheme.

Thursday 13th May -

Today should have been our Home Ed Group meeting but due to a lack of numbers it was sadly cancelled.  The lady who runs it had put time and effort into organising a theme for the day and I felt for her that, only two of us had bothered to reply to her e-mail stating we wished to attend.  Benedict was very disappointed and asked could we do something "fun" rather than stay at home.  We had a treat lunch at our local "Frankie and Benny's" and then paid a visit to the shoe shop.  Pip was lucky she got a pair of slippers and shoes at less than the cost of her first pair!!  We couldn't find anything for Benedict so I think we'll have to look further afield.

All things considered it has been a good week!

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Another Odd Day

Blood glucose levels still unstable and affecting Benedict's health and learning abilities.  Despite poor concentration and fatigue he applied himself to the tasks at hand and the following  were accomplished:  more practise of the two times tables, this time we are using a deck of cards to help reinforce the process, he read The Rainbow Machine from the Oxford Tree Reading Scheme, we worked on this week's spellings, writing practise was a huge success and he helped with cleaning, sorting and tidying, all part of practical life skills.

After lunch he had a rest as he was feeling unwell.  The remainder of the day has been devoted to lego creations and helping in the garden.

Odds and Evens

Not a mathematical concept, although it is next on our to do list!  The title refers to our activities these past two days.  Today has been an odd day; Benedict's blood sugars have had more of a swing to them than, the orchestrated polls of the up and coming elections!  As a result we've gone with the flow and although we didn't tackle what I'd set out to do, Benedict achieved quite a lot:  hand writing practise, spellings, helping to paint wooden slats for a garden trellis, reading everything and anything, drawing and designing his own railway network.

Yesterday was more of an even day:  using the cuisinaire rods as a practical tool Benedict tackled three pages of his maths workbook.  It was interesting to see how by using the rods he was able to tackle concepts that previously would have had him floundering.  It was like watching a Eureka! moment and confirmed once again that, the rods have been worth every penny. 

After the maths session, Benedict read The Vikings, which is part of the Level 8 series from The Oxford Reading Tree Scheme.  Although I would classify Benedict as an independent reader, he will read anything and everything given the chance, he still enjoys the stories portrayed in this scheme.  All credit to the authors as they have been able to provide a scheme that not only supports early reading but does so in such a way that captivates the reader's interest and enthusiasm.

It was then time for our tea break.  Benedict had a run in the garden whilst I pegged out the washing and had a welcome brew!  By now it was eleven o'clock so in out last hour before finishing formal lessons for the day, we tackled the new list of spellings, counted in two's and played the clock face game and Benedict drew pictures and wrote accompanying messages on his work.  Any written work completed by Benedict is read by me and together we look at the spellings and any corrections are usually written above the appropriate word in pencil.

As a reward for all his efforts he watched Redwall with big sister Sara.   I think he found the storyline quite challenging as there seemed to be several twists to the plot.  I think a second viewing might help him and maybe spark an interest in reading the books of the same name by Brian Jacques.  The remainder of the day was spent in the workshop hammering and tinkering.

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Happy May Day

It's the first of May  the heating is on and it's raining outside!  The sun did put in a brief appearance this morning and I was able to snap some of the colour in the garden:

It's been a fairly typical Saturday, Benedict had dancing this morning and after lunch whilst Pip napped I gave the downstairs rooms a long overdue clean.  Dave, Benedict and Sara delivered items to the charity shop, bought groceries and health supplements.  Our meals have been: mixed vegetable quiche and greens for lunch, mixed vegetable colcannon and jam tarts for tea.  All in all a productive yet peaceful day.