Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Trains of Thought - and more from the Nestbox!

As I mentioned on Facebook today, one of the fabulous things about home education is the randomness of our days.  It is true that we have a little structure, but there is still SO MUCH space for the boys to choose what interests them, and just follow natural conversations wherever they lead, as interest dictates...

For example, today a conversation prompted by Spongebob took us to researching the origins of the phrase "Davy Jones' locker" on Wikipedia, and to Youtube to see videos of sixties band the Monkees (lead singer Davy Jones) singing "Daydream Believer" etc.  I'm pretty sure there are no lessons being given in school today on that particular group of subjects, but I love following natural trains of thought, driven by interest, that follow a natural path of curiosity from one subject to another, however tenuous the link between them appears to be when written down!

Eldest wasn't around for that particular conversation - for him, today has been mostly about books: he started off reading Minecraft manuals, and then read through How To Seize a Dragon's Jewel in one sitting. After that he came downstairs to play with a visiting friend, and the two of them ended up doing a "Rotten Romans" jigsaw puzzle that Youngest had started earlier.
*nb, Please don't think that all the resources that I share on this blog are purchased from Amazon.  Not that it matters where I find our resources, but I wouldn't want anyone reading to think that you have to have a huge disposable income to be able to afford fun resources.  That's not true at all - I simply share Amazon links because it is easy for me to find the products there, to share here in the hope that people may be inspired.  Amazon is not always the cheapest place to shop (although you can pick up some great second-hand bargains on Marketplace).  I also recommend libraries, car boot sales, charity shops etc - I simply can't link to them!*
Anyway, Youngest is still very much into the Romans.  He loves doing his Romans sticker dressing book with me.  We sit down together so I can help him read the instructions as to which character needs which clothes and why... they are great for any child who likes sticker books :)  He couldn't wait to do the puzzle either, which I picked up in a bargain sale.  It's 300 pieces, so I thought we'd probably take a few days to do it.  Between Youngest, Eldest and his friend though, it is mostly done already!

Meanwhile Middle found another bargain book that I picked up - this time not on the Romans, but on a theme that I know he loves, and in a format that is perfect for teaching literacy skills without it being a didactic lesson.  It is called Lego Star Wars Madlibs, and he had a lot of fun filling in the blanks to make his own story.  As you can see, toilet humour is still a favourite with him!

Oh, and not to forget that Middle and Youngest spent quite a while outside practicing throwing balls into the basketball hoop, and teaching themselves stunts on their bikes. Youngest likes trying wheelies, and Middle - my reserved Middle who takes time finding his confidence and shies away from anything dangerous - has shocked me by becoming rather adept at standing on the bike frame while steering his bike!  Proud doesn't quite cover it.

Of course, no account of our day would be complete this week without mentioning our blue tit nest.  All seven babies are still doing great!  A few of them are now opening their eyes, and I've taken some more screenshots for those who were kind enough to express an interest since I shared our baby bird news - I'll leave you with the pictures for now...

seven little faces :)

Mummy blue tit doing rather a lot of squishing and shuffling, to tidy/ expand the nest

(with apologies to those eating) upside down nestling producing a poop sac for the parent bird to remove from the nest

middle right: look at those pin feathers!  and just below the feathers: open eyes! :)

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