Friday, 20 June 2014

Painting and Poetry

I've been tired today.  A flare-up of pain that I thought was gone has discouraged me a bit.  I do like to find the silver lining in every cloud though, so I decided if I had to be home taking it easy, at least that would give the boys and me the chance to do some learning together (we've been out a lot this week), and as the boys had done all of their required Maths and English for the week, that left this morning clear for 'fun stuff'.  I confess, I went a bit overboard with ideas that I had been storing up for a while...

We started with some painting, as we hadn't done any for ages, and we all enjoy it.  To be honest, Eldest wasn't keen to start with - he was just in a funny mood - but he did get into it.  We took inspiration from a "Terrific Toucans" project that we found on the Deep Space Sparkle website, looked up some photos of toucans on Google, then drew our outlines with black oil pastel.  Outlines complete, we painted in the colours and finally went over the lines with black paint (using fine brushes).  We were all really pleased with the results!

Youngest's toucan.  I now regret not taking a photo before the paints came out as you can't see all of the details now, but he had a great time - and no prizes for guessing that his favourite colour is green!

Middle's toucan - I love how carefully he coloured in all of the different sections!

Eldest's toucan - so full of character, I love it!

Mummy did a toucan too!

The toucans were quite quick and easy, so we went straight into the next activity: I read chapter two in "Kings and Things" to the boys.  Now that we have 'finished' the Romans, we went on to the chapter about the Anglo-Saxons.  After that Eldest wanted to know more about King Arthur, so he found another book on the Saxons but was disappointed that King Arthur wasn't in it, so we had a quick browse online before he lost interest (will see if I can find some better books).  Youngest was still drawing pictures of Boadicea - he was very struck by the story of the beautiful lady who killed herself - and obviously hasn't quite got the message that we have finished with the Romans for now!

Next, as Daddy was home, we went on to Mummy's next 'great idea'.  The boys love telling Daddy how well they are doing in various things, so I had decided to put this to good use next time he was home, which happened to be today.  Inspired by Brave Writer, and her "poetry teatimes", I pulled out some books of poems, and the boys and I chose some to read to each other - then I asked the boys if they'd like to write a poem each to read out to Daddy after lunch.  Normally they would probably not have been keen, but with Daddy as a potential audience, they went for it...

"If I was a poop
I would swim in the toilet
I would get flushed to the sewer with my friends
I would swim out to the city and show myself
And all the people would get gross-en-ised"
by Youngest

"If I was a bee
I'd feel so free
I'd fly and flee
And drink all your wee, and then
I'd fly and flee all over again
Then I'd eat a pea"
by Middle

"It runs around in the night
But's never here when it's bright
It has prickles that are sharp
I wonder if it'd like a big carp
Don't come close
Or give it some toast
It's not very tall
but it can go in a ball.
It's a hedgehog!"
by Eldest

For our poetry recital we asked Daddy to come and sit in his big armchair with home-made refreshments (smartie cookies that Middle and Youngest had helped me to make after they wrote their poems)  The boys stood up one at a time and read out their poems, to rapturous applause, and then the poets got to eat their smartie cookies too!  It was a lovely time!

By this point I was becoming aware that our morning had been heavily parent-led.  Not that there is anything wrong with that necessarily - and the boys certainly seemed to enjoy all of the different activities - but I do like them to have opportunity to follow their own interests too, so I ditched any further ideas that I had up my sleeve (they will keep for another day), and sent them off to play.  Youngest went straight for riding his bike, Middle made video films on his camera, and Eldest found a pile of quite simple history books to read through, before downloading a program to help him make minecraft animations.  And that left me with time to catch up on my blog - hooray!

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