Posted in home education

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She insisted on wearing her rainbow dress again today. 

Here she is, looking very fierce, complete with rainbow umbrella and her chimpanzee in a sling. This basically sums up our day. 

She also had fun reading some of our comics to herself (this one is Adventure Time). She keeps asking me to show her how to read, which I’m taking some time to think about to see how we might approach it if we did. 

We also played with a huge new batch of play dough I made. She kept coming back to it all day. I think she likes that she can squish it up and start again, so spends lots of time experimenting. She does find it challenging making the image in her mind match what she is able to produce physically, so part of the time away from it is calm down/processing time. Which I actually think is really valuable.

So, nothing much happened and we were home a lot, but also lots happened, in a way. Quietly busy.

xXx

Posted in home education

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Shadows are SO AWESOME!  

Aeryn likes hiding hers inside mine! We talked about what shadows are and how they’re made and why you can’t see hers separately if she’s stands inside mine. 

Learning, learning, all the time!

xXx

Posted in home education

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Today we went to a baking workshop! Aeryn is still a bit under the weather and was very much in need of a nap, but I was quite surprised she managed to stay asleep when I got her out of the car with the noise of the home ed kids running around the hall!

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We just made a simple bread recipe. Flour (organic stone milled white flour from the local windmill, provided by the session host Julie), water, salt and yeast. That was it. No sugar, which surprised me as I was always told you needed to feed the yeast when you make bread, but it rose just fine without it, as it turned out.

Julie is a big follower of The Real Bread Campaign, which advocates for the use of these 4 main ingredients with only natural extras such as oils, seeds etc, no preservatives or other chemical agents.

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Aeryn was still very snuggly after her nap, and decided our dough needed a cuddle before we could let it rise. Or is that “kneaded” a cuddle. Eh? EH?

I use to be funny before kids.

Okay, so I wasn’t all that funny then, either.

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She was quite proud of the “T-Rex” bread roll we made together! It’s pretty hard to see the shape now she’s risen and cooked, but there are two legs, two arms and the head has an open jaw, hence, the two burnt circles. You have to squint a bit to see it…

The main thing is she had fun making it with me, and eating it with me!

xXx

Posted in home education

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It’s a Thursday! Already! That means… home ed free play meet!
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We headed to a park we haven’t tried before, in West Bridgford, Nottingham. It was great! They had a brilliant sand pit which Aeryn loved, but I had to improvise her bucket and spade as it seems NOWHERE sells them in March! So we got a £1 scoop and £1.50 tupperware pot and made do! (She loved them both!)
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Aeryn really liked building sandcastles with me and then instantly destroying them, either with her stick-flag, or simple bashing with the spade. And then building them again. She really enjoyed collaborating with others in the home ed group to build new castles and did really well sharing her new bucket and spade and borrowing from others!
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We had to really wrap up because it was quite chilly, but we still had a great day.
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The sand pit also had several structures and equipment to manipulate the sand in new ways, which were pretty cool!
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The rest of the park was great, too! Aeryn used this hut to play shops with me – we bought tea and bananas and oranges back and forth, and I had to pay with imaginary money and then on card. Contactless, of course. I find it so crazy that her conception of money is such that contactless payment is just completely normal!
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As usual, she also loved the swings!
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And I was REALLY proud because she conquered this huge tube slide by herself! I had to help her up the bottom step to get into the structure as it was just too high, but she still went down the slide by herself at least 10 times! Her waterproof trousers really helped her slide quickly, which she loved!
She’s spent SO long not quite having the confidence to try things like this, where she isn’t certain of the end point or it’s dark inside or there are other children also waiting for a turn. But she’s really turning a corner and learning to take more risks! It’s awesome.
It’s also great because usually I get dragged up these things to have a turn with her! But it’s becoming much harder to do that with bump and my one turn on this thing today really pulled some of my stomach and back muscles. I don’t want her to miss out because I’m becoming more immobile so it’s WONDERFUL that she’s finding her confidence!
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xXx
Posted in Family and Parenting, home education

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Today, we played in the fountains. It. Was. Freezing.

Aeryn loves making footprints. She found it really interesting that dry feet don’t make prints and wet feet do, and also that the footprints dry out after a while! Lots of scientific thinking going on without needing to label it as such.

We talked about it a lot and I explained all the science and used technical vocabulary like evaporation, but really life and learning just keep on happening, regardless of whether we trying to learn or not!

She also loved playing with the water jets…

… and getting soaked in the deeper rapids! 

It was a good thing I had 2 pairs of spare trousers. Plus, cloth nappies don’t get waterlogged and hang down like disposables do!

We also met a tiny friend! Meet Ladybird! She was one of the spottiest ones I’ve seen for a long, long time, most of the ones from my childhood has six spots maximum.

She had a crawl on our hands. Aeryn’s was so gentle with her and really fascinated by how she looked and felt. We almost had a meltdown on our hands when she flew away, Aeryn was enjoying that quiet moment so much in the middle of the fountain. We ended up heading for a drink (and a full outfit change!) at Starbucks (a 15 second walk away!) to warm up.

I asked her to smile for the camera before we went so I was in at least one photo, so she did this!

It was a really nice day, made better by a gorgeous gift I got this morning.

Ben got me a bola. It’s a pregnancy necklace, apparently traditional in Mexico. It’s on a long chain so it hangs over your bump. There is a tiny bell inside which the baby can hear in utero as the pendant moves. When he’s born, the sound is meant to help him feel calm and settled as it’s familiar from the womb. Ben can also borrow it so when he’s holding him, the sound will help him know it’s safe.

It’s completely beautiful and I love it. Plus Aeryn keeps running over to shake it so her brother can hear! Which just makes my heart explode, to be honest. She’s just the sweetest thing when she wants to be. She’ll be an awesome big sister.

xXx

Posted in Family and Parenting, home education

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Today, Aeryn got everything out to play at once. Our living room is an absolute mess. But the stuff she was coming out with was so awesome!

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There was an elaborate imagined plot about a bathroom trip the animals were trying to make, but the couldn’t find the toilet and had to adventure to find the policeman (lying under the easel!) to help give them directions and get them over various obstacles. They spoke to each other in different voices. It was involved and epic and lasted an absolute age. I just love watching her imaginary play.

 

Her easel is still showing some of her drawings, too, which have taken a huge leap in the last week or so. Here we have a baby on the left and two women on the right. She gave the women hair with yellow chalk, but left the baby bald. She very conciously drew heads and bodies and various features like eyes.

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It’s like a switch has flipped recently and she’s suddenly realised she can use marks to represent things!

xXx

Posted in home education

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Today felt like spring had truly sprung! 

We ended up doing two separate park meet ups. The first with a mum’s group I’m part of through Facebook, the second a home educators free play group. 

Aeryn really loved both meets. She’s quite happy to go off by herself and get on with playing now, and even approaches other kids she doesn’t know and waves hello sometimes.   

 She did have one small upset. Another toddler cornered her and got right up in her face. She wasn’t violent, just extremely imposing and Aeryn was completely physically stuck in a corner. The girl’s mother didn’t intervene so I ended up lifting Aeryn out of the way after asking if she needed my help. 

I try not to intervene in toddler social interaction as much as is sensible. The best way to learn about how to socialise is to socialise and try to make friends. But toddlers are very little and need guidance and help to know how to get along. 

Personal space needs to be learnt, sharing needs to be learnt, turn taking, assertiveness, co-operation. Aeryn didn’t feel she had the tools to get herself out of the situation and needed my help, so I helped. In retrospect, maybe I should have asked the girl to move or offered her some help to make different choices, but hindsight is 20/20, of course. 

Hopefully this is the start of a whole summer of blissful play days outdoors. First with Aeryn, layer with Aeryn and her baby brother.

xXx

Posted in home education

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We found a plasma lamp today! And so started an awesome scientific, sensory exploration in our tent. 

Aeryn was completely fascinated. To be honest, I was, too! I love these things! I can’t wait until she’s older and we’re really into home educating to research exactly how they work together! 

The tent setting really added a fun dimension. She brought lots of her stuffed animals in to show them and found it really interesting that the plasma was attracted to her fingers and not theirs. Her scientific thinking and testing was really amazing to watch. We definitely need to do more science and sensory activities now she’s older!

xXx