Monday, 12 January 2015

Cats, Canute and Colourful Imaginations!

The boys got all of their scheduled work done really quickly this morning, so we did an extra activity as well - the only problem was, that then led to something else, and it all ended up taking AGES!  Never mind, they're off playing again now while I write this post.  It made me realise though that some extra activities lead too easily into even more extra activities, so to try and choose more closed-ended ones next time (if that's at all possible)!

Anyway, we had started (after a group snuggle in bed with a bit of Bible) with MathsWhizz for Eldest and Middle.  They were thrilled last week to discover the new 'jump' feature that allows them to jump to the end of an exercise if they get the first several questions correct with no mistakes - happy boys!  I discovered an ipad app at the weekend for Youngest. He didn't want to play it over the weekend but was more than happy to do it for his maths lesson!  It's called Todo Math, and although most of the questions are very easy for him, it is helping him to learn to form his numbers, which he had been struggling with, so that's great!

After Maths came Art, and a lesson from Deep Space Sparkle called "Cat and Bird", inspired by the art of Paul Klee.  We read the book "The Cat and the Bird", and then sat down with our black oil pastels, trays of watercolours and drawing instructions.  The DSS lessons always work well, and this was no exception.  Youngest took a couple of attempts to get the outline in proportion, but it was plain sailing from then on.  Mummy even had time to have a go too...

Eldest's Cat and Bird

Middle's Cat and Bird

Youngest's Cat and Bird

Mummy's Cat (I forgot the bird bit!)

When the boys had finished their art (all at different times), they went to do some of their Viking sticker books.  I had been really pleased to be able to get them a different one each, and they seem to be enjoying them.  (If you want the links, they are these: Youngest's, Middle's and Eldest's).

...and that was this morning's schedule finished - by about 11am!  We could have stopped there, but as they were all sharing snippets from their sticker books I thought we could read one of the Viking stories that I had earmarked when I was planning in the holidays.

So we read from a great book on "Kings and Queens" (Tony Robinson) about King Canute (or Cnut), with a postscript about one of his earls, Lord Leofric who promised lower taxes if his wife, Lady Godiva would ride naked through the town.  The boys were delighted and horrified - and we agreed that Leofric was a very silly, rude man, and joked that I wouldn't do it if Daddy told me to do it - in fact I might even just say he could do it himself.  Of course Youngest couldn't resist this mental image, so when I asked the boys if they could write/ draw a bit about King Canute, Youngest had to first draw a picture of Daddy naked on a horse.  For the sake of propriety I won't post it here, though I think it will be treasured - especially as Daddy was, shall we say, very favourably represented!!  Following that were several representatons of Canute by Youngest: one completely naked, one as a zombie, one as a little boy, and finally one as the king, shared here alongside his brothers' work...

Youngest's final version (he dictated the writing bit)

 Middle did his writing and illustration on separate sheets of paper...

Eldest struggled to get going, but I think he did just fine!

So that was a lovely exercise, even if it took quite a bit longer than expected, what with nudity-induced hysteria and discussions about why Canute tried to stop the waves etc - and when we read the acccount of Canute & the waves in Wikipedia with the empasis on Canute's claim that only God had the power to rule the seas, the boys started talking about the people in the Bible who did what Canute couldn't, because God was with them - among those being the account of Moses parting the Red Sea. So as it was now lunchtime (when Mummy gets to choose the first TV programme), I fetched our "Prince of Egypt" DVD, and we watched that.  The film finished at about 3pm, and at first I felt a bit awkward about having "made" the boys do a full schoolday's work, when we usually aim to leave afternoons for their own choice of activities, learning etc.  None of them complained though (except for a bit earlier when they got stuck on how to start their Canute writing), and really it was just such a lovely time with the boys in PJs/ onesies, and us all snuggled upon the sofa to read etc, there's just no comparison with school.  Good times!

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