Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Quiet Day at Home

Today sees one very tired household here - me from the travelling and general emotional roller-coaster of yesterday's funeral, and the boys from the fun of having a succession of lovely people to play with/ supervise them, plus a late bedtime from waiting up for us to come home.  Happily I had been able to plan an easy day at home day for today, and we have really enjoyed it - it amazed me how much we did, despite just deliberately being quiet at home and not placing huge demands on our time!

We started in PJs with our Bible Study - we are still going through the "Brother Offended" checklist which we are taking our time over (it's more likely to sink in if we don't whizz through it too quickly)  I have started to see some good results from it lately, which is really lovely: like the other morning when Middle and Youngest came to me with a dispute to settle, and I asked them to look for the 'plank' in each of their own eyes instead of the 'speck' in each other's (Matthew 7:3-5).  Both Middle and Youngest were then able to identify their own part in making things worse - and once they had done that, apologised sweetly to each other without me having to ask them.  These precious moments may not be anywhere near as frequent as we would like, but are so encouraging when they do happen!

Folowing our bit of Bible it was time for MathsWhizz.  Both Youngest and Middle struggled a bit this morning - but just as I was thinking they were too tired and we should just forget it for today, they each suddenly grasped what was being asked, and completed their respective exercises quickly - hooray!  Then Youngest spontaneously told me that he wanted to write (dictate) a poem.  I wrote down the words verbatim, so the spellings and punctuation are mine, but the rest is entirely his (and is written in full at the end of the blog post)....  I'm not sure I'd call it a poem personally, but who am I to disagree with the author? 

I asked Middle and Eldest if they would like to write a poem or story with the same title, and they both said they would prefer to choose their own title (no resistance at all to the writing - hooray again!  Middle dictated his to me (no way did he have the energy to write this morning), and I helpe a little as we went along (eg leaving out all of his "and then"s, and prompting him to think of replacement words or phrases when he was repeating himself or unclear).  Generally though it is his work with only a little help from me, but we will have to wait and see if we get a "chapter 2".

Eldest took himself off to his room to type his own story, and then brought it to me to check over (at his request)  I suggested some minor tweakings - just one or two spellings, and a couple of places that needed clarification, but I love it.  He has such a strong voice as a writer, and a clear love of the surreal (those in the know may recognise hints of Douglas Adams, as Eldest and Daddy are currently enjoying "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"together at bedtime)  He is really enthusiastic about writing the next chapter so I think this may be running for a while - I love it when inspiration strikes and carries them along!

Then Eldest and Middle went on Brainpop (Eldest to learn about kinetic energy and Middle to learn about avalanches) while Youngest played with magnetic shapes, both of us very frustrated that Brainpop Jr is so much more expensive that his big brothers' UK version for older children.

Finally, just before lunch (and an episode of Horrible Histories) we had a listen to Elgar's "Nimrod" and the boys all drew pictures inspired by the music (pdf for template of the Music Appreciation sheet can be found in my free downloadable resources page) - I really find it fascinating what they come out with...

It made Youngest think of a house in the field with a dog (at night-time, in the mountains)

It made Middle feel warm and strange - in a good way

It made Eldest think of kids watching deer mating (!!!)

So currently the boys are all upstairs - I suspect Eldest may be writing the next chapter in his new story, Middle is getting dressed ready to go out to his drama club with a friend, and Youngest is playing (as he so often does) with his beloved Playmobil.  Chance for me to chill and sort some photos... I hope you are relaxing too, wherever you are!

The Far Away Forest
by Youngest
There were two kids.
Those two kids were looking for a forest but they just couldn’t find one.
They tried again and again but they still couldn’t find one.
They asked their Mum.
The Mum told them that there is a forest somewhere but you need a boat to get there.
So the kids and their Mum got in their car, and went on a ferry to a forest.
The kids were very excited because they had some kid-axes, so they chopped down some trees that were too old and needed to grow into a new one.
And they got that wood to the paper factory and gave it to them.
The End

(by Middle)
Chapter 1
Lucas was a normal child who made a strange mistake.  It all started when he accidentally dropped his 2DS and it created a dark void and he was sucked in…

He was fast asleep in a bed, and when he woke up he found a chickfire staring right at him, making him jump up in shock.  It flew off outside, and Lucas went downstairs to see his Mum making him breakfast.  He asked his Mum if he was dreaming but she said “You’re wide awake, dear”, so he decided to sit on the sofa and watch TV to take his mind off the chickfire.  His Mum brought his breakfast to him.  It was egg on toast, his favourite.  She also gave him a letter.  It was from the professor in town, and it said,

“Dear Lucas, could you please come over because I’ve got a surprise for you in my lab.  From Professor Brian”

Lucas got dressed really quickly and ran to the professor’s lab.  There in front of him was the professor, smiling right at him, and Lucas asked what the surprise was.  The professor opened a suitcase and inside were three pokeballs.  “These pokeballs have Hedgelett, Bobble and Flant inside” he said.  Lucas just stared at him.  “Go on,” said the professor, “take one”.  Lucas took the one he wanted, which was Bobble.  Then the professor also gave him some spare pokeballs in case he found any other pokemon to catch.  Lucas was amazed.  He said “Thank you!” and ran outside.

He was on his way back to his house, but then he came to a halt and saw the chickfire that had been in his bedroom earlier.  He decided to battle the chickfire so he could catch it, so he sent out Bobble, and told Bobble to use the watergun move on the chickfire.  It was super effective so it did lots of damage, and the chickfire was obviously very tired.  Lucas threw a pokeball and caught it.  He carried on running back home and when he got there his mother gave him a big hug and kiss.  He told her all about his adventure and she said she was proud of him.

So he went upstairs, got into his PJs and put his pokeballs in a drawer near his bed.  He got into bed and went to sleep.

by Eldest
Chapter one: A Very Bad Day

Mr. Rod Deen is a peculiar boy for many reasons. One is that he changed his name a bit to sound like a adult. Another is that at school he spent most of the time standing outside and looking at the tree in the playground (which got him in a lot of trouble). Thirdly if someone’s ball accidently got thrown over his garden fence he would paint the letter F on the ball then give it back.
One day Rod woke up to feel cold sand underneath him. He woke with a start as he got pinched by a crab on the bottom. He picked the crab up and got out his large pen that he kept in his pocket for emergencies. Because to him this was an emergency. Still holding the crab who made it quite clear he didn’t like being held up and stared at by pinching him again, he put the pen to the crab and drew the letter F on it. Then quickly put it down because it was trying to pinch him again. While the crab walked off he remembered why he was here.
It had all started when he woke up earlier that morning. He had woken up to his alarm clock at 4am. The reason why is simply the fact he set it to go off then to annoy himself. Then came breakfast which by the way did break fast when he accidently dropped it on his foot. Then when he just about beat his friend on super space fish 2 when the house got a black-out, so he went to the beach. There on his new raft that he had bought with his pocket money, he decided to take a nap. When he woke for the second time that day he saw the beach,very far away. He thought he must be dreaming so he went back to sleep. When he woke again on his raft he could only just see the beach but still thinking it was a dream he went back to sleep. And the next time he woke again he found himself on the beach I mentioned earlier. Then he suddenly realised (the crab pinch helped) that it hadn’t been a dream - that he was drifting away onto this island that just so happened to not be discovered yet. He knew it wasn’t discovered yet because he checked his map of the world. A sudden feeling came over him and after a very long pause shouted out “I just discovered a new island; I am going to be famous”. Nothing else really happened. No, he didn’t feel scared that anything could jump out the bushes and eat him alive at any moment. Not because he is brave, more of the fact he isn’t very bright.


  1. Great stories/poems. I had no idea Brainpop Jr was so expensive, that's such a shame! I wonder if an email to the UK team might help, or at least it would let them know that a UK version would be good? Have you come across Crash Course Kids on youtube? They don't have a lot of videos yet but they're pretty good, and would probably suit your younger two - and for free!
    R x

    1. Thanks Rachel :)
      I have emailed Brainpop Jr, but have not heard back, so I may try the UK team too. It's such a huge price difference and makes no sense! Will check out the Crash Course Kids - thanks for the recommendation :) xx