Monday, 17 March 2014

Playing catch-up

There's an enormous pile of 'stuff' on my kitchen table.  Every time I go into the kitchen I have to walk past it, and it taunts me, reminding me of its presence and my failure to deal with it thus far.  It's a big fat meanie!

You know, blogging can be a bit like housework: if you don't keep on top of it, the backlog can quickly mount up and feel overwhelming!  So I'm not going to worry about all the stuff I haven't told you about lately, I'm just going to do the little I can right now - like this morning when I ignored the intimidation of the kitchen table pile and did what I could at the time to remove some of the bits - eventually I'll catch up!

So lately we've settled back into the routine that we started way back at the beginning of our HE adventure.  The boys do some Maths (mathswhizz) or English (Reading Eggs for Youngest and workbooks for the older two) each morning.  The rest of the day is mostly child-led.  Currently this means a LOT of drawing and game making, reading a huge variety of books - fiction and factual, plus playing on mine-craft/ grid club/ bad piggies (all really good for stretching their brains as long as they don't stay on the computers for so long that they disengage their social skills), and the boys (Eldest in particular who usually claims the remote control) have found some really good programmes lately.  Current favourites are "All Over the Place - Australia" (great for our ongoing backround project in world geography) and "Absolute Genius" - both CBBC.  Youngest's devotion to "Octonauts" from CBeebies has remained, and all the boys also love "Brain Games" and "None of the Above" - both recorded from National Geographic.  "None of the Above" is particularly good, as a science programme that sets up great "man-on-the-street" experiments using every-day equipment then invites people to guess what the result will be.  The boys really enjoy trying to out-guess the people on the TV, and as the experiments often involve massive explosions etc, it's a no-brainer for a house full of boys!  Highly recommended!

We've also really enjoyed the appearance of the sun recently - I'm still a bit restricted as to how far I can walk, but it feels so good to get out in the fresh air again,  with the boys running about, having sword-fights with sticks, spotting birds and other wildlife.  Speaking of which, our hedgehogs finally seem to be coming out of hibernation.  Harvest wasn't doing very well (he's huge - 952g, but off his food) so I sent off a sample and discovered that I need to give him a course of injections before releasing him.  Hedgeling and Hero are doing better - they are now in cosy nesting boxes inside rabbit runs in the garden, acclimatising before I release them for good.  Hiccup is still fast asleep and refusing to wake up.  I did check that she is still alive - she's, just determinedly hibernating still!

My other animal friends - not so alive, but far better travelled - Saxton and friends have been joined by another traveller, called Mungo (he's a mountain gorilla).  Their hosts have been so enthusiastic that I was asked if the travellers could each have their own blog - so I dutifully set them up (click here for Saxton's, with links to the other blogs at the top of his page), and people have been leaving some lovely guest blog posts that have really entered into the spirit of the project... my little idea has already achieved so much more than I hoped - it's great fun!

When we're feeling overwhelmed rather than on top of things, it can be easy to feel down about everything that we're not doing.  For example, I'm aware that I've not set up many invitations to play lately, or done fun art projects etc with the boys.  Of course, having the kitchen table buried in stuff makes it hard to do some painting - but then I looked at how much drawing the boys have done lately, and realised I was beating myself up over nothing.  They are improving all the time,  just by dint of them practising the things that they wanted to draw, over and over.   So I'll leave you for now with some of their fabulous pictures - and hopefully I'll be back soon...

"C3P0", by Youngest

"Kwazii" by Middle

"Flying Koopa Trooper" by Eldest

"Luigi" by Middle

"Rock Star Goomber" by Youngest

"Cat Goomber" by Eldest

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