Anyway, my decision to take the cheerful route of denial was doubtless helped by Youngest writing me his first ever note. He has written things before: his name in birthday cards, and words in lapbooks if I have done dotted lines for him to trace over. But this was the first message he has ever written to someone off his own back...
(it translates as "I love you Mummy" - just in case you couldn't work it out) Having a heart-melting message of love first thing in the morning really is a great way to start the day!
Youngest really got stuck in today - he did several pages of his Phonics workbook while Eldest read yet another book (How to Cheat a Dragon's Curse), and Middle and I spent a lovely half-hour or so reading through some poetry books that we have, taking it in turns to read the poems that we particularly enjoyed aloud to each other. He has a naturally good sense of rhythm when reading poetry, and it was good fun.
Then to my delight, Youngest and Middle chose to play Scrabble together! I had my doubts as it's the full adult version and they've only just started learning to play - but they were keen, so I let them know I was available to help if needed. They actually needed very little help, I was really impressed. Youngest needed a bit of help spelling certain words, but he was really good at spotting words that could be made with the letters available. And it was good Maths practice too: not just adding up the scores (which Middle did brilliantly), but also working out how many new tiles to take each time to make a total of seven - great stuff. They didn't play to the end of the tiles - just until they had had enough - and that was fine. Happy Mummy!
Following that I asked if they'd like to do some painting. I know: more mess - but we haven't done anything arty together for ages, and I thought it would be fun to play some classical music (they chose the Nutcracker Suite), and paint while we listened - painting either a representation of how the music made us feel or painting pictures that the music made us think of. It went really well and was interesting how different the interpretations were.
Eldest painted a new image for each movement of the music
Middle painted one picture (of a field with sheep, seen from above), adding different bits with each different part of the music
Youngest stared off with the green grass, blue sky and black 'outer space' above - and then added more abstract shapes as the music changed
I wanted to join in, but I was quickly needed to take photos, deal with the music CD etc, so didn't finish my painting properly
Middle was engrossed and carried on painting afterwards while Youngest found a pad of dot-to-dot puzzles and completed the lot, and Eldest disappeared off to do some drawing...
Middle's 'Snake with a full belly'
When they asked to watch TV this afternoon I said I'd like to choose the first programme - we watched 'Curious Cat' (recorded from the BBC2 school zone early in the mornings) and learned about sewage, steel and electricity. They watched a bit more TV of their choice afterwards (Penguins of Madagascar) and then Middle and Youngest played Globetrotter on the Wii again while Eldest disappeared for some more drawing!
Eldest's Clone Trooper
Super Battle Droid
So the house may still look pretty messy, but that was a lovely day of home ed. The mess will always be there to some degree as long as we live here, but rather than fret about what needs cleaning, I would much prefer to have a day like today, focusing on enjoying my boys and noticing their achievements, however small. That said, should you bump into the tidy-up fairy and not need her services yourself (!), feel free to point her in this direction...