Home's cool, so Home School!

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

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Sunday, January 29, 2006

Our Purple Princess :o)

Here's our proud little girl wearing her new purple belt and XMA top. Taken by even more proud Mummy :o)))))

What a busy weekend! Let me think... Friday we spent the day doing more Medieval stuff. Then Roo had her swimming lesson after which we had to race over to Grimsby Auditorium (hair still wet but wrapped up warm!) to see The Nutcracker ballet. Ain't we cultured?! Didn't understand any of it but it looked very pretty and Romy loved it. I'm a bit working class you see ;o) Very glad we went though. Roo was in bed VERY late that night and had to get up extremely early (for us!) in the morning, for Saturday was Taekwondo Graduation Day! Bless my Mum again for kindly coming along to cheer Roo and Colin on (and also look after all the stuff whilst I video'd :o) Romy did us proud again showing off her skills with the Kali stick and nunchucks, sparring, doing the Il Jang pattern and her XMA display. Phew! Colin did really well too getting his orange belt. He has a gift for doing the weapons (misspent youth making his own nunchucks, lol.) Here they are proudly wearing their new belts:

Here's Roo getting her certificate and a 'high five' from Master Turner. And what I thought was a rather touching picture of her and her new friend watching the goings on :o)
The graduation went on all morning and then it was home for a super-fast change of clothes before Roo went off with Colin to the Archaeology Club at the local museum. There was a lovely surprise waiting for her at home though; a card from Emily and a beautiful friendship necklace made with a tumbled stone that she'd made with her own fair hands!

At the museum they learnt about the preservation of artefacts by examining three pieces, drawing them and noting down any marks of deterioration before suggesting what could be done to preserve their condition. Romy used a light meter, a humidity meter and a microscope to look at an Anglo-Saxon ring. She was also allowed to look at (but not touch) a Saxon cloak pin/brooch with fabric still intact! She had fun and came back with lots of worksheets and info but had trouble staying awake at one point apparently, lol. It was a long day!!

Today we've been over to Gainsborough to see Colin's Grandad who's 86th birthday is today. We then dropped in to see Colin's friend who's wife has just had a baby. Back at home Roo has been packing her TKD stuff for tomorrow night in her brand new PINK bag that we got her as a graduation present. She's really chuffed with it!

I know I'm overdosing on photo's in this post but I just have to put this one up of Willow (or Hair Do as we call him.) We called him that as a baby because of the rosette of hair on his head little knowing that he'd end up looking like THIS!!! The photo doesn't even show the extent of his fur. It's about four-or-five inches long! He doesn't like being combed though. Do you ever comb your 'monster' Kris?

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Pants rant...

Ooh, kid's clothes manufacturers make me soooo mad sometimes. Don't even get me started on the Playboy clothes that eight-year-olds go around wearing (aaaaaarrgh the girls just think it's pretty pink stuff but surely their parent's know it's a porn company!!!) The other day I bought Roo a set of three pants (aged 7-8.) They were those shortie style ones. When I opened the flamin' things I realised they had stuff like "Boy magnet", "High maintenance" and "Spoilt rotten" written all over them! I was fuming. Who wants a six-year-old walking around with knickers on saying "boy magnet"??? Grrrrr.....

We spent a great day with my Mum yesterday. In the morning we went to the swimming pool and Romy showed off her skills to her Nana. After picking up some stuff for lunch and washing my hair we went off for a rather chilly walk to the nature reserve down near the Humber Bridge. We took two loaves of bread for the ducks and swans but the poor things were ravenous and we could have done with about twenty loaves! At one point we felt as though we were in a Hitchcock movie as we were followed menacingly by hungry seagulls circling above our heads. Eek! We managed to shake them off and sought shelter from the spitting rain in the old ropeworks art gallery. There were some lovely things on display but, of course none were affordable to plebs like us, lol.

Today we've had lots of fun looking through the books we got from the library. Romy has done all the poses in the kids yoga book "My Daddy is a Pretzel" and we've read from Alfred the Great to King John in this fantastic book. Romy has done her handwriting practice, compared maps of Europe from Medieval times and the present day and learnt all about costumes through the ages in an excellent book that starts in the dark ages and finishes in the 1990's.

Off to TKD now. Got two very busy days coming up!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Medieval madness!

Romy has been devouring every book she can find about medieval life, knight, castles, etc. Unfortunately we don't have much. Just two books about castles which we've read back to front several times and a few bits we've found on the t'internet. If any one knows of any good sites with worksheets on, etc I'd be most grateful as it looks like we're gearing up for an enormous project ;o)

Anyway, promted by complete lack of resources Roo and I traipsed off in the freezing cold to Ashby library and totally cleared them out of any books remotely related to the Middle Ages. I then had to carry the whole lot back home with frozen fingers, (aaaargh!) We also sat and read about ten books while we were in there.

Yesterday we found some good stuff on the BBC schools site. There's a great Flash thing on there that tells you all about prominent people from history. We learnt all about Elizabeth Fry, Florence Nightingale, Mary Seacole and Pochahontas. All amazing women! We got a book from the library while we were there about Florence Nightingale so we're looking forward to reading that.

Romy is at Rainbows at the moment. When she comes home we're off to stay at my Mum's again. Tomorrow we're going to go swimming at Barton pool so that Roo can show off her swimming skills to her Nana. She hasn't seen her swim since she first started her lessons a year ago.

Other educational stuff we've done today/yesterday include reading a childrens atlas from cover to cover, designing and printing some coats-of-arms at the V&A museum site, drawing a picture of a Medieval Joust, researching the Smithson coat-of-arms, translating the latin motto that goes with it ("Esse quam videri") and reading lots and lots of stories.

Better go and pack!!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Romy the Ninja!!

Yesterday was so cool at taekwondo. Roo actually got to break a board... twice!! We were soooo proud. She did a front kick and a turning kick. She's also been picked as part of a small group of four to do a nunchuck display at the graduation. *Blub* :'-)) Saturday at 10am at Ancholme leisure centre in Brigg if anyone fancies coming :o) Can't wait!

We went for a reeeeeealllly long walk yesterday in the countryside with Tilly. Well, we weren't planning on it being that long but by the time we got back we'd been out for 2 1/2 hours and I was knackered!! Tilly flaked out for the rest of the evening (Hurrah!) I had a long soak in the bath and then when Colin went for a bath this happened. Bless her ;o)))

Had a lovely two-hour phone conversation with my old friend Amanda last night. T'was almost midnight by the time we'd finished, lol. When I came downstairs Colin asked me "Did Amanda have anything to say then?" "Um, not much." I replied, rofl. I love being a woman. You can chat for two hours about 'not much.' ;o)

Off to my Mum's in a bit for Sunday Dinner. Yum!

Friday, January 20, 2006

Churches, Castles and Mother Goose.

On Tuesday night Romy went to the Plowright Theatre to see Mother Goose with her Rainbows group. She was on cloud nine when she came out. She absolutely loved it. So much so that she's desperate to see it again. It's on until Saturday, so we'll have to see :o)

Whe we picked her up from the pantomime at 9.15pm Colin took us to my Mum's in Barton-on-Humber where Roo and I stayed the night. I took this Romeo and Juliet for kids book to read to Romy as we were meant to be going to see the Shakespear for Kids production of it today at Grimsby Auditorium. However.... I read it to Romy, warned her it didn't have a happy ending and still she almost burst into tears at the end. Bless her. So I had to spend the next half-an-hour making up a story about a fairy with a happy ending, lol. The next day Roo asked me why it had a sad ending, so we talked about how life isn't always happy and jolly. She said she understood this but thought that all stories should have happy endings. Hmmm... I'm inclined to agree with her there. I don't much like books and films that leave you feeling bereft. There's enough crap in life so I think we'll stick to escapist books for a while :o) Anyhoo, the upshot was that Romy decided she definitely did not want to go and see R&J at the theatre. So that's that. We arre however going to see the Nutcracker ballet there next Friday. Our home education group has managed to get tickets for only £5 instead of £3o+!!!!!! I've always wanted to go and see a ballet. Can't wait.

We spent a very enjoyable day at my Mum's on Weds. We tried to go to the museum but found it was only open on Fri, Sat & Sun. There was a lady in the office who came out to speak to us when she saw us looking though. She said there was a school party in there at the moment. I decided to be cheeky, "Oh, my daughter is home educated. Could we come in and have a look around then?" No, apparently. We couldn't disturb them. Grrrrr...... I won't type what I felt like saying to her. So Romy had to be content with the rather less educational activity of playing in the wet, muddy park next to the museum for a while. Humph.

After a quick look around the charity shops of Barton we made our way to St. Peter's Church. This turned out to be extremely interesting and educational. Phew! We learnt all about the periods the different parts of the church were built (the tower dates from Saxon times) and lots about the mass excavation they did in the eighties. They found thousands of Saxon skeletons. It's all on the web site. Romy's imagination was really caught by looking around the graveyard though. She liked reading what century people had lived in. I think we might go back there another week and make a chart of people's age, sex, etc and speculate about what happened to them (disease, war, etc.) Fascinating.

Yesterday we went to a new play area in Scunthorpe called Cheeky Chimps with Emily and Nikki. Roo had a whale of a time. It took me a while to get over the shock of paying an extortionate £4.50 to get in though!!!!!!! It's a good job I've only got one child!

Today we've been busy making a castle (well starting to) from a plaster of paris kit. It was only £4.99 from Netto. We have to make squillions of bricks from moulds and them stick them all together. Only thing is the instructions are rather thin on the ground and of a pictorial nature. It didn't even say how to mix the plaster so I had to look up the ratio of plaster to water elsewhere. Hmmm... should be interesting, lol.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The hardest decision to make :o((((

I hardly know how to write this, so I'd just better do it... We've decided to find a new home for Tilly. We feel like complete failures and there have been many tears and doubts but there are many good reasons for the decision. It isn't just a whim. I am so not the sort of person who does this, but then Tilly isn't your normal everyday dog. She has special needs that we just aren't catering for properly. We have neither the time nor the space that she needs so she's frustrated and boisterous (well, that's the understatement of the decade!) Colin and I are so stressed it's unbelievable and I know it's not helping my arrythmia. Romy has fought it all the way but, bless her, yesterday she finally realised that it would be the best thing for Tilly. She's been so grown up. I'm really proud of her.

We got her a year ago when she was only five months old. She was born on a farm in Devon and her parents are working sheep dogs. She was the runt of the litter and has a few disabilities (epilepsy, cateracts, deformities) and was going to be put to sleep. She is a wonderful dog. She's brilliant with Romy and the guinea pigs but she just wants to be off running and playing and we don't have the time to train her like she desperately needs. She's so intelligent it's unreal and would be capable of anything. Agility or flyball would be perfect.

Anyway, I rang a Border Collie rescue place today and the lady said she'd pass Tilly's details on to a woman in Scunthorpe who finds homes for BC's. She said she may already have a home waiting - gulp. It feels real now. After weeks and weeks of talking about it. I feel like crap, but oddly at peace. I know it's the right thing for Tilly and we've done the best that we can. She'll be so happy with other dogs and working/playing. She'll be in her element. Just feels crummy to be one of those people who gives their dog away :o((((((( Ho-hum... I can't imagine what we'll feel like when the moment comes to hand her over.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

This week's goings on...

Had quite a busy week again. Romy has shown a big interest in castles and other medieval type things so we've done quite a bit of castle stuff. We read an Usborne book showing the insides of castles and what each bit was for. Romy surprised me by knowing 90% of it already though. Probably because she has a lift-the-flap castle book that she loves and has read to herself several times. We then found a site where you can print off castle pieces to put together, so we're in the process of trying that out at the moment. Here's Roo painting the pieces brown.

We've stuck them onto cardboard and they're waiting to be cut out and turned into a castle now... easy! Ahem ;o)

We made a lovely Hama bead fairy using a set my Mum bought Romy for Xmas. It took ages but is well worth it I think. We got stuck in making some bread on Friday too. We used the organic multi-grain flour we bought from the windmill at Kirton a while ago. It was a bit out of date but tasted great anyway. Once again Roo was in raptures at being able to get her hands in... ...And the resulting face bread buns were lovely. Here they are before going into the oven... We've done loads of reading this week too. We finished Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and then moved on to The Twits, Esio Trot and The Giraffe, Pelly and Me. We've now started Matilda!!! Phew!

Whilst house-sitting at my Brother's while he had his new kitchen put in we managed some spelling, handwriting, maths and reading (a rebus book - great fun trying to decipher!)

We made a sun-catcher from a kit that I got for Xmas. Here's Roo painting the leaves on our new trampette (which is the best fun ever!!) We've also had a family camp-out on the living-room floor this week. Well, I had the settee which has been surprisingly comfortable :o) Roo and I even had a midnight feast one night while Colin was asleep, lol.

Yesterday after her TKD class Romy and Colin went to Scunthorpe museum to their Science Club. Romy had a great time and there seemed to be lots of other home educated kids there. It was two hours long and they did loads of experiments. She came home with lots of stuff! She made some fossil castings out of plaster of paris: Did some chromatography (seperating felt tip colours using filter paper and water,) Made a paper flyer: Made a pinhole camera out of a crisp tube. Made a hot air ballooon from a plastic bag and hair dryer, made a battery that lit up a bulb using vinegar and salt water (?) Created static electricity with polystyrene plates, aluminium and wool (here Roo is getting an electric shock!) Romy is absolutely gagging to go back. She has an archaeology club meeting to go to in a couple of weeks there too. Should be good.

Today we went to Lincoln to pick up a dog guard for the car that someone was offering on the lincs freecycle group. The hilarious (not) thing is that Tilly managed to escape from it three times on the way home. Grrrr....... After picking that up we carried on to Nottingham to visit my Grandma and Aunty. Haven't seen them for about six months so that was nice.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

2006: The Story So Far...

Hmmm, haven't updated for ten days! That's not because nothing's happened. On the contrary, we've been quite busy but I've just had some "away from the computer" time. So what have we been up to?

Well, New Year was spent at my Mum's as planned. We went down to the Humber Bridge at midnight to see all the fireworks being let off across at Hull. It was fantastic. Romy wasn't quite so enthused though as you can see by this photo ;o) Bless!

We had a lovely meal at my Mum's on New Year's Day and later went round to see my SIL as it was her birthday. On the 2nd we went to Emily's Snow Queen party which was flippin' fantastic! Nikki had put so much work into preparing it. Here are a few pics of Roo enjoying herself immensely.

On the 3rd we went round to see our friends. Romy had a ball playing with Abi before she had to go back to school the next day. (Is it me or was it early this year? I thought it was normally the 8th or 9th.)

Then on the 4th it was time for the dreaded Cardiologist appointment at the hospital. I don't know what I was expecting him to do/say but I was mortified when he prescribed Beta Blockers. Anyone who knows me will be aware that I HATE medication and don't even take asprin/paracetamol. So I was crushed to think that I'd have to take these pills that do 'things' to your heart. Things weren't helped when I picked them up from the pharmacy only to read on the box "For the treatment on stable chronic heart failure"!!!!!!!!!!!!! OMG, why do they have to do that? It's enough to scare you half to death. That isn't what I've got but it's scary to read that on medication you're going to take. I felt totally numb for the rest of that day. We went to TKD and I just sat there like a zombie trying to decide what to do. My Mum (thank the lord for her in times of crisis) suggested I go and talk it over with the GP the next day, so that's what I did. And very nice she was too. She explained a bit more about the tablets and laughed when I said I didn't want to know what the side effects were as I'd imagine I had them all so I'd got Colin to read the leaflet instead. She said that was sensible actually. I just know that in my current vulnerable state I'd be constantly on the look-out for all the side-effect symptoms, so it's better I don't know. I felt really weird as I took the first one. It was just like "what am I doing???" Unfortunately though, I don't feel I have much choice as I've had this arrhythmia every day for five months or so now and even though it isn't life threatening it's very scary. I've had a few since I started taking them but yesterday there was just one barely noticeable thud and today nothing so far, so fingers crossed. The only thing now is that I'm mildly freaking out about my slow pulse. That's one of the effects of BB's; they slow down your heart rate. It's now 50-60bpm!!!! slightly bizarre as it used to be about 75-80ish. Anyway, can I ask that if anyone has any horror stories about BB's can you please not tell me. I feel bad enough as it is ;o) Hopefully if all goes well I'll be coming off them in 6 months time. Ho-humm...

Anyhoo, so the 5th was a visit to the doc's which Nikki kindly took me to and watched Roo while I was in there. Emily and Roo also had a good play with Romy's Xmas Playmobil and Doggy Daycare stuff. On the 6th Roo and I had a quiet day in reading and watching the Price Caspian video that Denise gave us. We've started The Voyage of the Dawn Treader now but it's a little bit hard going so we're interspersing it with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Roo was back to her swimming lessons that evening and I totally lost it with the dog in the car on the way. I just burst into tears as she was annoying me. Poor thing. She was the proverbial staw unfortunately. I think I'd bottled thinsg up over the past few months as I don't cry that often. I then made a total numpty of myself by sobbing softly on the poolside to my wonderful friend Theresa throughout Roo's lesson, lol. I felt much better for it though and we were laughing by 6 o'clock (even though I had to get Roo dressed looking like a red-faced freak afterwards!)

That night Romy was sick about 20 times. She started at 10.30 and didn't stop until 7am!! Poor little sausage :o(( Needless to say I did my Mummy 'thang' and woke the nanosecond she stirred and had the jug in front of her before she even retched. I find that sixth-sense of motherhood so wonderful and amazing. I wouldn't miss a second of it for all the money in the world. Obviously there are much nicer aspects to being a Mummy, but to give your child comfort when they're ill is something they'll carry with them for life.

So on Saturday we slept in late and had a quiet day for Roo to recouperate as we had a christening to go to on Sunday. Needless to say she recovered quickly in the way that only children can and here she is dancing with her second cousin:

And so back to work yesterday and today. We've managed some origami, some reading, spelling, maths and hanwriting so far. Tomorrow and the next day we have to go and house-sit for my Brother and SIL so will have to take some stuff to do there. Here are our origami efforts and a little picture of Toby that I couldn't resist putting on. I'm sure he'd be mad if he knew such an undignified picture of him was being published on t'internet, ROFL.