Home's cool, so Home School!

Hi. This is Romy's Home Education blog. Read about her adventures here...

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Thursday, September 29, 2005

Yet another disaster befalls our intrepid heroes...

Hold on to your pants... You just couldn't write this.

Yesterday morning the plumber finally rang to come and do the hot water cylinder. "Hurrah!" I thought. He didn't come himself though, but sent his 17-year-old gimp assistant. "Never mind" I thought. "I'm sure he knows what he's doing." W R O N G ! ! ! ! He's here for two hours while Roo and I are doing school work. We hear him using a blow torch on the pipes. Fair enough. We smell a burning smell. Nothing registers as I assume he's done this lots of times before. Then he says he needs to go off and get a part so Roo and I race upstairs to the loo before he comes back. OOOOOHHHHH MYYYYYY GODDDDDDD!!!!!!! This is what we found...

Not to mention this...

The complete eejit had blow-torched the pipes directly onto the wooden cupboard behind and set fire to the wood and everything in the airing cupboard above it (all our towels, tissues, toilet rolls, etc.) In a panic he'd dragged it all out and doused it with water and it had burned the carpet to a crisp!!! I was speechless with rage, but not for long! I rang Colin at work spluttering and fuming, then rang my Mum to tell her. I just couldn't believe it. The worst thing was that he was obviously trying to hide all our stuff because all I saw at first was a pile of towels. It wasn't till I moved them that I realised they were covering up lots of charred toilet rolls and stuff. We only have one towel now that isn't burnt.

I rang the half-wit's boss and told him to get round here to see what had happened, but of course it wasn't until Colin came home (cancelled meetings) and rang him again that he actually came. He had a foul mouth in front of Roo which I wasn't very pleased about, and wasn't very apologetic. He sorted it out and asked what we wanted to do about it. I felt like saying "Sue the arse off you of course!!" but he offered to not charge for the job (which would have been about £250-300.) My Mum has given us some off-cuts of nice quality lino that will fit our tiny bathroom, so I suppose all we have to buy are new towels. A lot less than £250. Ho hum.. The only thing is I'm mad at how it's affected Roo. About a year ago she had a few worries about house fires. I think she'd seen something on T.V (damn that thing.) It took her a long time to stop worrying that we'd have a fire and now this has brought it all back again :o((( She didn't want to go to sleep last night because she was worried and she won't go to the toilet on her own because she doesn't like the burnt carpet. Poor thing. I'm just so angry that we were sitting down here completely unaware of this and the house could have been burning down. Roo is six and she knows what is flammable and yet this doofus obviously thought that blow-torch flame + wood and tissue = ok!!

Anyhoo... We finally finished the Europe puzzle. Here's Roo putting in the last piece:

And she made a lovely indoor "Fun Box" for the pigs. Here they are enjoying it for a moment before they all jumped out and Roo was disappointed.

So yesterday whilst the moron was trying to burn the house down we did lots of maths from a workbook, weighed the two little pigs for the project and Roo wrote up a few sentences about how she made the "Fun Box". Colin also got the 3rd issue of Funny Bones for Roo, attached the spine and ribs and read the magazine to her. Oh yes, and Romy also got her second tip on her orange belt at TKD. That means only four weeks until Yellow Belt!! Nana and Grandad came to watch her lesson last night which she was v. v. chuffed about ;o)

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Poorly Custard... Again!

Roo has yet another cold. It started yesterday morning. Not too bad this time although it is the third one she's had in two months. At the moment she only has to stand in the same room as someone with a runny nose and *bam* she gets it.

Romy is reading a "How to care for guinea pigs" type book at the moment and reading out instructions to me about how to make an indoor fun box for them to play in. She needs to use her problem solving skills now to find something suitable to make it out of and think of things to go in it. We've been taking it easy like this today and yesterday as she's not felt up to sitting down to do loads of work. Mind you, saying that we did start doing a bit about telling the time yesterday. However, Roo got the hang of it really quickly. I showed her different times using a teaching clock and she picked it up straight away. We then used some great analogue to digital worksheets.

Other things we've been up to: Spent a long time today doing that map of Europe 500 piece jigsaw on the table whilst listening to Morrissey, Keane and Alison Moyet. Still haven't finished it but we're having a break. We started doing it on Sunday night on the carpet but had to give up as it wouldn't fit together properly on there. I almost screamed when we took it to pieces as it had taken us soooo long to do so little! We read ten chapters (!) of a new Enid Blyton book I got from Oxfam book shop in Brigg when we went on Saturday. It's called "The Children of Willow Farm."

Romy dragged herself to Taekwondo last night as she knew that her head and hand guards would finally be here. She wanted them in red so we had to order them, as they only had red foot guards at the time. She's waited about two months for them! Here she is looking mean... Don't mess with this grrrrrl!!
Also got round to listing some stuff on ebay yesterday. Need to raise some cash to buy Roo this for Xmas. Need to sell a whole lot more. In fact, who'd like to buy a whole house full of junk?? LOL. Must go. Have to help to cut up and sellotape a cardboard box to make the guinea pig pen. This must count as Design and Technology eh? ;o)

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Horsing around.

No bad news over the weekend (touch wood, lol.)

Went to Bransby Home of Rest for Horses today as they had a gala open day. Was v. packed. Not much fun dragging Tilly around and apologising every time she stuck her nose up someone's bum! Ooh, just thought - for anyone reading the blog for the first time Tilly is our dog, not our child, ROFL. Here's a pic off Romy with a horse...

Romy is wearing her tie-dyed t-shirt in the pic. All the stuff turned out really well. I just managed to take a photo of it all newly washed and put on the line the nano-second before it began to rain and I had to bring it all in again!

Yesterday we went to Brigg to the farmer's market. It was ok apart from the stench of ostrich burgers and being accosted by the pro-hunt army, who tried to thrust a balloon into Roo's hands. She fortunately had the good sense and presence of mind to run like the clappers away from the old woman, LOL. Spent loads in a really nice fruit and veg shop there. Thought I'd picked up a bag of coriander but when I went to pay, the bloke said "Ooh, chervil. That's a very under-used herb. What are you going to do with it?" Doh! So of course I had to act all nonchalant and say "Vegetable stew" all the while hoping against hope that that wasn't a stupid answer ;o) Picked up a leaflet for the Woodlands Farm organic vegetable box scheme. If they deliver around here that will prevent any further blushes in that department, lol.

Friday was spent working hard in the morning and running around like a maniac in a pub play area during the afternoon. (Romy and Emily, not me!) Roo also went to her swimming lesson afterwards. She still wasn't tired that night. I honestly don't know how she does it!

Did a Real Age survey yesterday. Apparently I'm only 29, not 31. Cool!!!!

Off to do a 500 piece jigsaw of Europe we found for a pound on one of the stalls at Bransby today. Thought I'd got a good deal until I realised that most of the Eastern European countries have different names now :o/

Just a funny pic of Toby sitting in my scarf before I go. He's soooo cute!! Romy took it, hence no head. Though it's really better that way ;o)

Thursday, September 22, 2005

The latest installment of "A quiet life with the Smithsons/Simpsons."...

Seeing as though we seem to be lurching from one catastrophe to another recently, we were pleased to get to 9pm without any bad news. All that changed however when Colin's Dad rang to say that his Nan has been rushed into hospital and is on the coronary care ward. Okaaaaay... I wonder what tomorrow will bring?

The home education wheels continue to turn amid the chaos, lol. Today we finished the last six pages of the money skills book. Looked at giving change from 50p and different ways of making a pound. We then played a "Race to a pound" game whereby we took it in turns to roll a dice and collected the amount (1-6p) As we collected more money we had to swap coins for the least number, e.g two fives for a ten, etc. Romy got to a pound first which she was very pleased about. I'm really chuffed with how quickly she's picked it all up. Will have to keep up with it when we go to shops from now on.

We read and did the activities in the first Percy the Park Keeper magazine/pack that I bought a pile of at a car boot sale. We also did loads of tie-dying using a Dylon kit I bought off eBay. We started out doing a couple of Roo's tops and a t-shirt for Colin but having lots of dye left over it soon spiralled out of control and we got carried away dying tea towels and hand towels ;o))) Romy thought it was great fun. We need to leave the items overnight and see how they turn out tomorrow. If they're any good I'll post a photo tomorrow. If not, we'll just forget I ever mentioned it, ok?

Looked after a friend's baby for half an hour this afternoon. He found Roo utterly hilarious as she climbed on all the equipment at the park and made silly noises. Wouldn't it be great if we all found the world as funny as an almost-one-year-old?

The shop at the end of our road finally got the second edition of Funny Bones magazine. So our skull now has a top to it but only has half a brain until next week, lol. I can sympathise with that ;o)

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Ok, so what next???

Woke up at 5.20 this morning to hear Tilly thrashing about. Colin got up to tell her off and shouted through to me that she was having a fit!!!!! Bejeeesus. We sat with her on the landing until she came through it, by which time she was foaming at the mouth. Then I freaked out because her back end was paralysed. She kept trying to get up using her front legs but just ended up going round in circles. She weed everywhere too as she obviously had no feeling in her rear. I'm glad Colin was so calm because if I was on my own I don't know what I would've done :o( Romy woke up and was scared too. Bless her.

Tilly's fine now. Rang my vet friend up (she knew there was something wrong as I rang at 8.30am, lol.) She said it was nothing to worry about. We only need to take her to the vets if she has more in close sucession. She said that she may only have one or two a year, in which case she won't need medicating. It's a scary thing to witness though :o(

Still no sign of plumber, so no hot water in the forseeable future. *Grump* *Grouch* *Grumble*

Actual work done today = not v much. Did a few worksheets about using deductive reasoning (a bit like logic puzzles for kids.) Also Analogies: "paint is to brush as ink is to..." Roo did really well and got the hang of them straight away. I always love doing that section in IQ tests. Also gave the baby piggies their weekly weigh-in. Both have put on 75g in a week. Toby now weighs the same as 'Hair Do' did last week. If you're interested that is, lol. We're going to do graphs and other data interpretations when we've finished the weighing schedule. I find it's quite easy to bring in every subject when doing projects. All the time Roo thinks she's doing a guinea pig project, when in fact she's doing maths, English, geography, etc. :o)

Better go. Have to play Bratz trump cards. Oh joy!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

The Bionic Dog!

Took Tilly to get micro-chipped today. She made no fuss at all. It was done for free as part of a council scheme. We registered 'The Tillster' and got a doggy ID tag for her collar and the free micro-chip. I well and truly defy her to get lost now. Might put her on the conveyor-belt at Tesco's next time and see how much she's worth when scanned ;o)

Went swimming with Emily and Nikki this afternoon. There were more life-guards than swimmers at one point, lol. Roo practiced swimming 25M without stopping. She can't quite manage it yet as she keeps needing to stop to take a breath :o) She needs to do that to get her Dolphin level 2 and 25M badges, so we'll keep practicing. We also went to our local art gallery. There was a very scary exhibition of photographs of people with faces on the backs of their heads . It gave me the creeps so Gawd knows what Roo and Emily thought of it. Another exhibition was just bizarre; all computery screens with data on them and a shelf with a book, cactus and toy on it. This apparently "depicted the artist's physical embodiment" or some such utter nonsense. Phooey!

Still no hot water :o( Plumber said it will cost about £250!! Have no choice though. Waiting for him to put in an appearance at some point.

Making great strides in the guinea pig project. We looked up on the trusty 'net what types pf GP our three are. We then printed out the pictures and descriptions and Romy made a page for each piggy with a couple of sentences, e.g This is Pip. He is two-and-a-half years old. He loves cucumber. Lol. We also made some stained-glass type pics of piggies on acetate using permanent markers.

Maths: more money skills. Want to get this book out of the way before we start on the next topic (which may be 'time'.) We did 'giving change from 20p. Also did some Sudoku puzzles.

Art: Did some wax crayon pictures and painted over them. Also lots more colouring in and dot-to-dots.

Been disappearing under mountains of Playmobil which we've only just managed to persuade Roo to put away after three days so that we could vacuum. With a nice clean playmobil-free floor she was able to in-line skate up and down the room (chased by Tilly.)

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Raining in the kitchen (!)

Ye Gods! It never rains, but it pours as they say. On Friday afternoon on the way out to Roo's swimming lesson I spotted some water on the kitchen worktop. Now, in our house you're lucky if you can actually see the worktop under the piles of junk that mysteriously find their way there, so a bit of water was neither here nor there. I wiped it up and thought no more about it. However (you knew that was coming didn't you?) As Colin was making the tea later that night he suddenly shouted "There's a leak in the roof!" The bleedin' hot water tank in the bathroom had sprung a leak, flooded the airing cupboard and the water was slowly making its way through a lovely hole it had made in the kitchen roof.

All this was noticed at 7.30pm and to cut a long story short we had an emergency plumber out. Although he didn't find his way here until 1am!! Roo stayed up until he arrived and then promptly fell asleep on me on the settee. That girl has some stamina ;o) That was paid for by our insurance but the new tank we need won't be. Poo and Wee!! Plumber Man said it'd cost about £300 :o((((( Being my usual optimistic self I thought "oh well, we'll at least get a new kitchen ceiling out of it." Been waiting for almost eight flippin' years as it was unfinished when we moved in and has never been completed. But, oh no. That would be far too much like good luck as far as this 'Annus Horribilis' has gone so far. Looks like they'll just repair it and we'll have to pay £100 excess anyway. May as well just buy a plaster board from Wickes and DIY. Oh, and wait for another eight years, lol.

So, we're off to my Mum's in a bit. Am going to have a nice hot shower and hair-wash whilst there. Just been v. frugal and bathed the dog with her medicated shampoo using only two kettles full of boiling water (along with cold of course!) God knows when we'll be able to get the hot water back, so apologies to any who come near if we offend the nose ;o) *Swats away the flies*

Yesterday, we went to visit various in-laws in Gainsborough. Colin's Nan (who's nearly 90) is not very well. She's decided to go into residential care after managing to look after herself amazingly well up until now. Made me feel a bit funny when we saw her all confused. Very aware of everyone ageing. ("Stop the world, I want to get off!") Yesterday I was a teenager, today I'm 31. How the heck did that happen???

Last night I had some bizzare 'therapy' in the form of "colouring in." I bought Roo some nice brush-tip felt pens the other day (cheapy from Tesco.) I can't abide crappy felt pens. You know, the ones that work for about the first two strokes and then dry up or rip the paper. So it was nice do do some colouring with Roo with some really good pens. The thing is, she announced she was tired half way through our pictures and went to sleep. I, on the other hand carried on until I had finished my picture and, oh what the heck, finished hers too ;o) After that I swear I put the colouring book away and did some more grown-up stuff; a tsunami puzzle and read some more of Too Close to the Falls. It's a brilliant memoir about a girl who grew up in the '50's near Niagra Falls. Nowadays she'd be labelled as 'gifted' and 'hyperactive' but at the time her doctor "prescribed" full-time work for her at the age of four!! It's not sad though. She had a happy childhood, although extremely odd. I love reading memoirs and autobiographies, but sometimes they can be truly shocking and depressing. (Dave Pelzer?) This makes a nice change.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Jumping on hay.

The reasoning of a six-year-old never ceases to amuse me. I was in the bath earlier and heard Roo going down the stairs. "Ooh, something soft to land on" she says. A split second later I hear a pop and "whoops!" It was only a big bag of hay we'd just bought from the garden centre for the piggies!! ROFL :o) Actually RIBL (roll in bath laughing, which is what I was doing.)

Seem to have done loads today and yesterday so forgive the bullet points:

  • Trained dog not to eat new guinea pigs.
  • Been to taekwondo lesson.
  • Had my eyes prodded at opticians.
  • Been for a family walk in the dark last night.
  • Been beaten at cards repeatedly by a child :o(
  • Started a guinea pig project. Copied picture of a GP and labelled the various parts. Created a GP wordsearch for Roo to do using puzzle maker
  • Done some subtraction practice.
  • Two more pages of the money skills book about various ways of making up 20p.
  • Talked about coins. Looked at the pictures on each coin. Waxed lyrical about the first time I ever saw a pound coin (when my Stepdad brought some home in his wage packet.) Also discussed how 5p, 10p and 50p have recently been made smaller and how £2 coins have only recently come into being.
  • Roo and Daddy sat at the table and did some acrylic and water-colour paintings.
  • Weighed Willow (nick-named "Hair do") and Toby using the kitchen scales for guinea pig project. Made a chart so that Roo can update their weight gain over the next six weeks.
  • Updated scrapbook diary about getting Toby and finishing the reading voyage.
  • Roo did a volume experiment at the kitchen sink under her own steam, seeing how many small containers of water would fit into a big one.
  • Did some worksheets (maze, odd-one-out, codes.)
  • Made up our own code after doing the last worksheet.
  • Did 24 (!!) pages of a reading skills workbook.
  • Danced around the room to some LOUD music.
  • Emily came to play for the afternoon.
  • Used Roo's new felt-tips and gel pens to make some joint pictures.
  • I made a start on reading Kris's blog from the beginning!

Phew! Also managed to do a bit of my Aromatherapy work whilst Colin and Roo were doing the painting earlier.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

And then there were three!

Right. This is definitely the very last piggy we're getting, lol. We travelled to Kris's house today to pick up Toby (previously known as Toblerone!) He's soooo cute. Here's a piccy of Roo with him, Willow and Pip.
It was lovely meeting Kris and her family. Romy got along famously with her three girls. Especially the eldest, who's the same age as her and who Romy has decided is her New Friend :o) Tilly our dog nearly frightened their rabbit to death but apart from that little incident the meeting went really well. The pigs are all getting along brilliantly. There's been nothing but purring and chattering since we got home. The two babies haven't got the hang of jumping in and out of the cage yet, so Pip can come out if he feels the need for some peace ;o)

Anyway, Romy had a lovely suprise in the post this morning. A package from her home ed friend Katie, including some lovely scoubies she'd made for us both. Bless :o)))

We went to the library this afternoon and Romy finished the reading voyage thing. She got her certificate and stuff. We filled in her scrap book diary about recent events and Roo made the second issue of her Pets magazine; "Cats" complete with coupon to send off for a free cat food sample ("Kat-O-Meat: The Tasty Treat!") She is currently editing the latest issue "Guinea Pigs" (What a surprise, lol.) Colin is fashioning the cat and guinea pig charms from tin foil. They're the free gifts to collect with each issue ;o)

Earlier Roo was playing a brilliant game of explorers. She packed herself up with sandwich, cookie and pringles and put the camera, binoculars and note book in her back pack. She then went around looking for wild animals (dog and guinea pigs along with toy zebra and hippo) and writing them down in her book along with drawings and photo's.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Meet Willow...

We have a new addition to the family. A new 12-week-old baby piggy called Willow. Here he is looking tiny next to Pip.

We really didn't like getting a new piggy so soon after Squeaky died but Pippy seemed so lonely. He'd already had a few days on his own while Squeak was ill. The pet shop almost wouldn't let us have him as they said he would fight with Pip. How wrong could they be??? Pip LOVES Willow to bits. Not in a Father/Son type of way you understand, oh no. This is more like an Oscar Wilde/Bosie set up. Yay, he's out and proud! :o)

Kris has offered us another baby pig. We'd already got Willow but we've decided we've got room for one more, lol. This one will probably be tiny compared to Willow as he's only 4 or 5 weeks old. I tried to do a close-up of his funny hair 'do' but it's a bit blurred:

Didn't take him long to work out how to jump on top of the hay rack :o)

Anyway, apart from piggies, what have we been up to? Well, on Saturday we went on a steam train trip around Corus steel works with the lincs home ed group. Here's a pic of Roo (far left) with the other kids.

Daddy was able to point everything out as he's worked there for the past 12 years :o)

Today, we've done more on money skills (introducing 10p, giving change, counting on.) And some English from a work book. Roo also made a magazine about dogs complete with free dog charm and treat (which Tilly nicked and promptly wolfed down as I was reading it!) She also made some Bob the Builder cakes with Daddy while I went out for an hour with my friend Theresa who was in desperate need of a "get it all off my chest" chat. She also tried really hard at taekwondo today. We were really proud of her!

Sunday, September 11, 2005

R.I.P Squeak :o(((((

Ok, so at just before 9 o'clock last night Squeaky passed away on my knee. It was very sad but very peaceful. We were going to take him to the vet at about six as we knew he'd had it, but I'm glad we didn't have him euthanaised in the end. He died on a nice, soft cushion on his Mummy's knee.

He had stopped even taking water or baby food with a syringe. It was just pouring out of his mouth and he wasn't swallowing. I had a bit of a cry when I finally realised this was it. He was so weak he wasn't even moving. I took a photo of him before we had to go out at 1pm:

When we came back he was still there on the settee. I tried a few times to get something into him but he couldn't manage it. As the evening wore on we all had a cuddle and let Pippy say goodbye (his brother.) Here's Romy having a cuddle:

At about ten to nine his breathing became shallow and then we realised he'd gone. We all had a cry and a cuddle. Romy let him have her football boots box as a coffin and we laid him on the towel he'd been on for the last four days. It was hard getting to sleep last night. Roo and I stayed up talking and drawing till midnight. She drew a lovely picture of Annie, our old dog as an angel, so I added Squeak with a halo.

This morning we buried Squeak in the garden and I made him this headstone. Romy wanted to add this little guinea pig ornament to it as she thought it looked like Mr. Squeak.

We're going to have to turn down Kris's kind offer of a baby female piggy I'm afraid. We did think about it a lot but with Pip being male, well... Put it this way, we'd either need a new cage or lots of homes for new baby piggies! We spoil our pigs as they're indoor ones so I'd be too fussy about new homes and end up keeping them all myself and be overrun :) I think we're going to get a new baby male asap. Don't really feel like it at the moment but for Pippy's sake. He seems so lonely all by himself :(

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Life at the piggy hospital.

Couldn't blog last night as Blogger was down for maintenance for an hour by the time I'd prised the mouse out of Colin's hand :o)

So anyway, what did we do yesterday? Well, I seem to have two distinct yet correlatory lives at the moment. I am Vetinary Nurse Woman, AKA Homeschool Teacher Mum. My own life was swallowed up somewhere approximately six-and-a-half years ago, lol. Not that I mind :o) Spent a long time trying to syringe feed Squeak who is now refusing all food and water. Even his favourite; cucumber cannot tempt him. Colin came home from work at dinner time (lunch time if you're not Northern ;o)) to take us to the open surgery at the vet. He shoved a great big osciloscope down Mr.Squeak's throat for ages. It reminded me of when doctors pull your baby about at check-ups and you want to say "Leave them alone. Don't be so rough!" LOL. Anyway, he claimed he needed his teeth rasping down and that's why he'd been ill. So he was taken in for sedation and teeth rasping down-ness. I remain unconvinced as his teeth had been checked at the beginning of this malarkey and were fine. I think it's more a case of them overgrowing because he's not eaten properly for over a week. Ne'er mind... Who am I eh? I personally think the vet hasn't a clue, but of course they can't say that so they send you off with something each time. He's still around this morning. No better, but no worse. So we'll have to see.

Ooh, for any fellow home edders (who've managed to read this far, lol) you may not know about the Film Education site. You can order free educational CD-Roms for various films and if you click on events you can order free tickets for films being shown in your area for National Schools Film Week. We also have free tickets for the new Barbie Pegasus movie, which you can get by going here.

Yesterday we continued with four more pages of the money skills workbook, which must be out of print as I've just spent ten minutes searching on Amazon and Scholastic to link to it. We then did two more pages of the Mental Maths starter book.

After a break we played a dictionary game (Romy's idea.) She wanted me to say words so that she could look them up in her Dick 'n' Arry and read me the definition. We then sat down with a piece of paper between us and thought about what palindromes we could write down. We got the simple ones such as MUM and DAD but we had to go to http://www.palindromelist.com/ to find really good ones like "Ah, Satan sees Natasha." Good eh? On the theme of reading things backwards I decided to show Roo something that me and my Mum used to do when I was a kid. We wrote down and pronounced our names backwards :o) You should try it! I'm Lezah Nospmis and Roo is Ymor Noshtims. Althought Colin's name sounds better with that surname; Nolic Noshtims. Tee hee. We did loads of friends and family with much hilarity and giggling. Romy then began to make up surnames like Waddletims. It sounded even better backwards; Smitelddaw. Sounds like something from Harry Potter.

For Art & Design we did something we'd seen on Art Attack (thank God(dess) for Neil Buchanan, lol) We made a posh monogram from our initials. We added lots of swirls and flourishes to make them look 'royal'. Very nice they looked too. Romy then had fun practicing her signature.

At the shop we spied this new Funny Bones series whereby you can make an almost life-sized skeleton with bits each week. Impulsively I bought it, so we now have a human skull on our dining room table. Nice. The magazine means that human biology will be taken care of for the forseeable future. However, it does mean that I'll have to pay £3.99 for the next umpty nine million weeks until the damn thing's complete. Knowing us though, we'll end up with a useless torso with one lung and a small intestine ;o)

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Poor Mr. Squeak :o(

We've spent much of the day caring for a v. poorly guinea pig. He just doesn't seem to be getting better. He's lost more weight, along with all interest in food. Now, normally this is one greedy piggy, so we know he's really ill. Bless him. I've been giving him water today by syringe and Romy had the brilliant idea of getting him dandelion leaves and groundsel from the garden. He managed a bit of those, thank goodness.

This morning we did a few more science experiments. Roo made a ramp and sent down five different vehicles three times each. She measured how far each had gone and wrote it down in a chart. She correctly predicted that a smooth floor would enable the vehicles to travel further than on the carpet. We then did a light experiment. Roo collected various materials from around the house (plastic, wood, fabric, tissue, paper, etc) and shone a torch through each. She wrote down whether each material let light through or not. We also did some work on weather symbols and Roo read a map and wrote down the weather in each country of the UK. Finally, she completed a worksheet about what we need to be healthy, to have energy, to sleep and to keep clean.

Romy and Daddy have just made these lovely icing sugar sweeties from this book that our friend Denise gave Roo:
Just off to ring vet friend Megan now about Squeaky as our vets seem to have no clue :o(

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

We've not lost the momentum yet ;o)

Second day in and we're still working our socks off. Not bad, lol. English maths and science today. Briefly:

  • English. Worked on recognising the difference between fiction and non-fiction; joining pairs of rhyming words, including those spelled differently, like kite and height; a farmyard crossword; a poem in which Romy had to fill in the last word of each second line.
  • Maths. Did four pages from "Mental Maths" starter book, including some interesting work with coins. This led me to dig out a money workbook I remembered we had. (We seem to have a whole school's worth of resources. No wonder the house is always a state!) So we did some work on 1p and 2p coins. The mental maths was done while Roo was playing on her slide. I was asking her the questions as she played. Great :o)
  • Science. Looked at how people are the same and different. Roo drew a picture of herself and then me and we compared our height, weight, eye colour, sex, shoe size, etc and worked out that we were more different than similar! Looked at the differences between winter and summer using the same scene but with Roo adding different details for each, such as birds in the sky, different clothing, etc. Did some magnet experiments to discover what is and isn't magnetic. Wrote all this down in a chart. Identified dangers in a kitchen scene and explained to me why each thing was a hazard.

Colin is working late tonight so it's just me and Roo again. We've scooped all the leaves out of the fish pond three times today. We have a moulting tree behind our back fence that drops thousands of leaves in our garden each autumn, grrr... Played cars and garages and now we're off to watch "How Clean is Your House?" It always makes me feel better ;o))))))

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

A very productive day.

Wow! We seem to have done lots of work today. Loads of art first. Romy made me a gorgeous love-heart thing with lots of nice stuff written in it about me. We drew round our hands and added details like rings, fingernails, knuckles etc. On other ones we drew little character faces at the tip of each finger. V. funny :o) We then experimented with some cartoony special effects; like how to draw things moving, etc. Also how to draw different facial expressions. I then remembered something I did at school when I was little, so we had a go. We took it in turns to draw random squiggles on a page and then swapped paper and tried to turn each other's squiggles into pictures. Romy showed some real imagination. I was impressed.

After all that art we did some maths. Fractions to be precise. We coloured in different fractions of shapes and explored the ways they were the same, e.g half a square is still half a square whether it's cut diagonally or horizontally/vertically. We also looked at how, for example 1/2, 2/4 and 4/8 are the same.

Onto English; we did some work on suffixes. We had a list of 20 words and five suffixes to choose from. Romy tried them all out and added the correct one to each word. We then did some work on tenses. Roo had to decide whether sentences were past, present or future. Finally we did a worksheet on putting words in alphabetical order. She had previously used her dictionary to look up words to write about me. (All nice, thankfully, lol.)

Whilst Roo was working on all this I was sorting out various photo's, postcards, leaflets and momentoes from our various trips, activities, etc over the summer, sticking them into her scrapbook diary and writing about each thing. PHEW! She's now got three large scrapbooks stuffed full of memories of only the past 12 months. And people worry that home educated kids get no socialisation!

Physical education was taken care of by taekwondo, lol. And I also managed to fit in a bit of tidying up this evening, washed the pots thrice, administered various medications to the dog and guinea pig, cleaned out the fish, read Roo some library books and blogged this. Just call me Superwoman :o)))

Monday, September 05, 2005

Back in time...

Autumn beckons, so back to work tomorrow. Just time today for an educational trip to Gainsborough Old Hall. We went along with some other home educated children and we all learnt a lot. That's what I love about home ed. I'm learning almost as much as Roo ;o) We had an excellent guide who was dressed in Tudor costume. The kids got to dress up in outfits too. Romy was Lady-in-Waiting to Emily's Queen. They both looked gorgeous as you can see:
They then got to take part in a make-believe banquet:

Much fun was had by everyone. The jester was particularly good!

Back to 2005 and we had to take poor Mr. Squeak back to the vets when we came home. He seems to have deteriorated. He's lost more weight, gone off his food (unheard of!) and has bad diarrhoea :o( The vet has put him on antibiotics. Now, the question is this; do we give him his pro-biotics at the same time as his anti-biotics? LOL. He also gave him an appetite stimulator, so fingers crossed...

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Wedding bells and vets bills.

We'd planned on taking Tilly to the vets this morning as she has developed some sort of skin condition but we ended up taking one of the guinea pigs too. We're quite worried about him actually. He's started making strange noises and huddling in the corner. He's also lost weight. Admittedly he was overweight before but it's totally unexplained so it's a bit worrying :o( The vet didn't know what was the matter but did that usual vet thing of sending you away with something anyway. In this case, worming medicine and pro-biotic powder. Ho-hum... Just a bit worried 'cos they can go downhill so quickly, so we'll have to keep an eye on him. Here he is having a cuddle with Romy:

Today was also the day we went to the wedding of Romy's Rainbows leader. Suprisingly she didn't seem to mind little girls in green tabards descending upon the church uninvited (by her!) Another of the Rainbow women thought it would be a good idea. Okaaaay... I really didn't want to go but my friend Theresa made me promise on pain of death to be there as she had said she would take Abigail (her daughter/Roo's friend.) So go we did! Only three kids turned up, so we felt a bit silly. Another one turned up afterwards to have her photograph taken though. Here's a pic of them with a rather bemused looking bride and groom, lol. Roo is on the far left.

And here's one of Roo with Abigail.

Needless to say we've done nothing but play weddings since we got home. Poor Tilly is currently being dressed as a bridesmaid and being shouted at for treading on Romy's incredibly long train, rofl!!

Friday, September 02, 2005

Britains youngest Archaeologists?

Yesterday Colin took Romy field-walking with Emily and her Dad Jon. They had to mark out muddy fields into sections and then search each piece for artefacts. They found loads of stuff, but unfortunately the museum got to keep all of it :o( Romy did however come home with a stonking great horse-shoe that looked very old. She looked so cute coming through the door clutching it, covered from head to toe in mud with a big grin on her face. She had a great time. And of course, what kind of Mummy would I be if I didn't have a lovely warm bath waiting for her to strip off and get into?

While they were busy finding treasure I stayed here to sort out some junk. I finally de-cluttered the table ready to begin some 'school' work next week. I also made a nice pile of 'work pending' so that we won't be at a loss about what to do. It's been nice to have this break because we're both now raring to go! We're going to make lots of xmas crafts this year too. So anyone who knows us; be prepared for some re-cycled rubbish for xmas, rofl!!

Marking out the sections.

Time for some work...

But still some time for play and friendship:O)