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 28, 2006

Science and seaside jaunts.

Here's a dragon sandwich Romy made for Colin the other day. The scales are pumpkin seeds :o)

Yesterday we decided to do lots of science experiments. Most of them seemed to call for vinegar, which, typically I had thrown out the day before whilst having a clearout of the kitchen. Doh! Anyway, quick trip to the corner shop sorted that one out and on we went. The first experiment was a magic water fountain (to demonstrate air pressure) Here's Roo blowing into the tube before standing back as the water shot out.
Then "static snow storm." Romy rubbed a balloon on her hair and then held it above some little polystyrene balls to make them jump up.
Then we copper-lated a nail, which I was most pleased with! We put 15 copper pennies in a dish. Here's Roo covering them with salt. We then added vinegar and after 20 minutes the pennies were shining like new. We took them out and put a steel nail into the solution. After another 20 mins it came out copper-plated. Amazing!
Then came an even more exciting experiment. The home edder's favourite: a volcano!! Here's Roo about to add vinegar mixed with red food colouring to a glass of baking powder...
...and the resulting 'eruption'.
We also did some maths (de-ciphering codes and doing sums to find out letters.) And English (words ending in 'ddle' and 'ttle' and adding 'dge' to the end of words.)

Whilst Colin was bunging stuff in the attic he came accross a load of baby clothes so he brought them down and we had a sort through them. We put them into girl and unisex piles and I've washed a load of vests and sleepsuits. Romy had a whale of a time making a baby clothes shop complete with signs and leaflets advertising it. Colin and I had to come several times to 'buy' loads of stuff, lol. In bed we all played Junior Dingbats and Roo was inspired to make some up of her own (e.g drawing a bat and a man for 'Batman.' She did some quite complex ones which had Colin and I flummoxed!

Today we went out and bought Roo a Brownies badge book as she's hankering after getting some badges for her sash. Apparently this pack 'doesn't really do' badges. Hmmm, Roo's not very pleased about that. She can, however get some herself by working on them at home. She should be able to get her swimmer and advanced swimmer ones signed off by her swimming teacher tomorrow.

Came home and did lots more maths and English and Roo made some puppets and put on an impromtu show:

Tonight we went for a drive and ended up at the seaside in the dark! (Well, Cleethorpes anyway, lol.) Roo was most pleased and Tilly went for an unintended swim when she half fell into the sea. She was most displeased ;o)

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


Not really been up to anything exciting over the past few days really. Just bits and bobs. Over the weekend we went to taekwondo, to a farmer's market to buy veg, played board games, went to my Mums' and tried to watch The Sound of Music but the DVD wouldn't work. Romy is really into it at the moment after watching that How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria on tv. She's dressed as a nun as I type whilst playing with Emily upstairs. Makes a change from Fairies and Princesses I suppose. As long as she doesn't run off to a Nunnery one day ;o)

Colin has a week off and the darling is doing lots of tidying around the house. It's like having an invisible tidy fairy :o) He's earning tons of Brownie Points, I tell you ;o)

We were all on tidying duty yesterday morning as our Midwife, Chris came round. Everything was fine and dandy despite my womb size being 16 weeks instead of 14. Hmmm... Baby is the right size as the scan said so. Maybe I have a high womb like my Mum. Apparently doctors always though she was a couple of weeks further on than she was.

Anyway, in between tidying and chatting to the Midwife Romy managed to get some Maths and English done and then we went to Tesco's for chips and beans in their cafe (aren't we posh?) Bought lots of lovely, healthy food while we were there, so Baby is pleased, lol. I even ate a grapefruit for breakfast this morning, healthy or what???

Romy had a bit of an epiphany the other day. She realised she could write a story purely for the enjoyment of writing it, without worrying about spellings and stuff. I am SO pleased for her!!! She started writing a story about a mermaid going to a fancy dress party on Saturday and she's been writing it non-stop ever since. It's fantastic! To see her enjoying writing instead of it being a struggle (because she's a perfectionist who get's cross if she gets a spelling wrong) is just brilliant. She's also been doing some fairy recipes with both written and illustrated instructions.

This morning we went to Colin's taekwondo lesson and Roo took some work to do. Her teacher was highly amused to see her doing her 'school' work there, lol. He told Colin that Romy will be graduating this time round as she's finally cracked the complex third pattern "Sam Jang". A bit more work after a trip to the library and now Emily is round to play.

Romy has also started a collection after noting that some of her friends have them. Hers is going to be buttons, which is rather annoying as I've just got rid of a load of them. Typical! Brownies tonight, and we're going to ask about swimming badges. It seems that you can just get your swimming teacher to tick off what you can do and then you can have the badge(s.)

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Photographic walk.

Did lots more English, maths and other stuff yesterday morning and then Romy went to play at Emily's for the afternoon. She had a great time and made a lovely tree collage whilst there. We picked her up and went straight to taekwondo where Romy got her blue tip for techniques. She only needs her black tip to get her green belt now.

Here are the stained glass cards we did yesterday. Romy's is the giraffe one that hasn't photographed properly :o(

This morning Roo got a lovely card in the post from our friend Amanda. Her very talented boyfriend drew it especially for Romy. It's the fairy pox! Roo is much happier having fairy pox than chicken pox, lol.

This afternoon Roo and I went for a nice, long walk across the field to the pet shop to get guinea pig food. It was boiling but very windy too. Not good lugging a 5kg bag of food home on my shoulder, lol. Anyway, we took the camera and I told Roo to take a photo of anything interesting on the way that took her fancy. These are the excellent results. She has quite an eye for detail (and the absurd!)

Huge web!

A beautiful flower.

Er, a post box.

Bobbled pavement.

Vandalised swing.

Graffiti on slide.

Says it all really, doesn't it?


More consumerist rubbish.

Abandoned and lonely gas cylinder.

The lovely steelworks :o(

Halloween display at the pet shop.


Giant scary mouse cat beds.

Some more maths and English when we got home and Roo also took ages making a brilliant pet shop complete with proper signs like Buy One Get One Free, lol.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Crappy day.

Romy woke up with a cold which must've sneaked up on her while her immune system's been 'down with the pox' bro'. Then I get a phone call from the supervisor of midwives at our local hospital asking whether Friday at 10 would be ok for my scan... 'Finally' I thought! So I said yes, not knowing whether Colin would be able to make it. Turns out he can't have the morning off as he has some training thing that's been arranged for six months and he can't get out of it. Poo! He's not very pleased. Also the woman said "One adult only" when I asked if Roo could come. Double poo!! God, how I hate the red tape of hospitals. What harm would a seven-year-old child do sitting on someone's knee. It's not as though I'm bringing six kids, or even a toddler. Grrrr.... It's all to remove the pregnant woman's power. It's the same at the birth; one person only. They know that that one person is going to be tending to you so won't have time to play hell up with them and question all the interventions. Bah! It's times like this when I thank Goddess I'm booked with independent Midwives. And a huge sloppy kiss to Colin for doing extra teaching jobs to help pay for it. He's one-in-a-million really :o)))

Anyway, trust my Mum to jump in and save the day just as I thought I'd have to ask someone to look after Roo and go on my own. She has said she'll come with me and either look after Roo in the waiting room or (hopefully) get to bring her in if Roo can do her Puss-in-boots from Shrek eyes, lol. Thanks Mum!

Anyway, all this should have gone on the pregnancy blog really but by the time Sunday comes hopefully this'll just be a distant memory and I'll have a nice piccy to put up :o))

As if all this faffing about wasn't enough, Tilly decided to get hold of one of one of Romy's squeezy bottles of poster paint (white) and chase it up and down the stairs. Luckily we found her almost straight away, but not until she'd punctured the bloody thing and got paint all over the hall, stairs and landing carpet (and her nose.) I chucked her outside shouting "You bad girl!!! I'm fed up of you, you idiot!!" Hope the neighbours didn't think I was talking to Roo ;o) "Hello, child protection services? Yes, my neighbour keeps her child away from school and locks her outside screaming at her like a banshee." Lol.

Somehow we have managed to get loads of work done today and yesterday, including:
-Loads of PSE (or whatever it's called) All about me poster inc family, personal details, portrait, things I like, three wishes. Listing the play equipment at a local park and then designing your dream playground whilst keeping safety in mind. Design a campaign poster for your local playground to stamp out drugs, bullying, litter, graffiti, vandalism, etc. How green are you? Answered a quiz on recycling etc and had to write definitions for the following words: Biodegradable, Recycle, Ozone Layer, Organic.
-Art: Made a lovely stained glass card for Nana using glass paints and acetate.
-Maths: Rounding up and down to the nearest ten. Ordering numbers. Multiplication showing the different ways of writing each of the five times tables, (e.g, 5x5 = 5(5) = 5+5+5+5+5+5 = 15.)
-English: Spelling/writing words ending in nt, pt,xt, lk, lm, lp. Comprehension questions about a story. More ending sounds. Practice with joining up writing at the proper places. Choosing the right word to finish sentences.

Romy's pox are really healing up now. No more 20p bribes as the one near her mouth has dropped off, lol. She was glad to get back to taekwondo last night and is unbelievably excited about Brownies tonight, lol. It's been nice to get out of the house at last!

Friday, September 15, 2006

On the mend.

Romy's pox are getting nice and crusty now. Well, most of them are anyway. There are still one or two huge blistery ones. She even has one on her eyeball now!!!! Is nowhere safe??? There's one particularly nasty one next to her mouth that she's soooo tempted to pick at as it's "hanging off by a thread Mummy!" I'm bribing her with 20p a day to not pick it, lol. She might end up with a pound by the time it drops off ;o) It's a good job I don't have to pay out for each one!

Since Monday we've been reading a Fun Day Fairies book each day. We'll be reading Sarah the Sunday Fairy in a bit when Colin goes out. Blimey, if I'm not sick of these crappy fairy books!! I find myself screaming inwardly and worshipping the likes of the wonderful Lauren Child whenever reading one of the sodding things. For some reason, even though Romy's more than capable of reading them to herself I simply have to read them to her as I 'do good voices'. Damn! :o)

On Friday Roo watched a couple of really good schools programmes. One was about Gandhi and one about Nelson Mandela. She couldn't believe that even when I was in the last year at comprehensive Apartheid was still in force and Mandela was still in prison. She was fuming with the injustice of it (that's my girl!)

Last night Romy and Colin had a painting session. Roo did a lovely self-portrait (complete with pox!!) in pastels. It's fab, but too big to scan. Other than that we've mainly been playing with Playmobil. Went to town yesterday and my Mums' today. Oh, and Roo really enjoyed watching The Vicar of Dibley last night. The one where she has to eat four Xmas dinners, lol.

Off...to...read...last...fairy...book...now.... NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Itchy Scritchy Scratchy!!

Roo's pox are much better today. They've started to crust over which is good, but not according to Roo as now the itching has started in earnest!!! I'm going to put her in a cammomile and Lavendar bath in a minute, poor love.

Yesterday Roo and I had loads of fun on the floor making this mad collage: It's a narrative on the juxtaposition twixt good and evil and relies heavily on the crinkle effect (we found the paper crinkler and couldn't resist crinkling everything before it was stuck on in other words! ;o)

Last night after Colin came back from taekwondo we went out for a drive. Romy and I were sooooo cheesed off with having been stuck inside for three days it seemed like heaven! We had the windows open and Roo sang along to cheesey music until we got back at 10pm. We had the works; Steps, Kim Wilde, Shakin Stevens, The Darkness, Toni Basil!! It really cheered Roo up. We even got chips and mushy peas on a tray. Heaven! Better go and soothe some pox (and untangle some hair!)

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

A veritable plague of pox!

We woke up today to at least twice as many pox as yesterday :o( Here are a few pics of the poorly patient:

Unfortunately last night we found loads inside her mouth! No wonder she doesn't feel like eating, poor thing. She says it hurts to swallow (had to buy her some ice-cream, lol. She only managed a tiny bit though.) She even has them on the palms of her hands/fingertips, scalp, inside her ears and on the soles of her feet! There must be hundreds of the bleeders :o(

Roo did have three nice surprises yesterday though. In the post my Mum had sent her a Get Well Soon card with two scratchcards inside. She won a pound on one of them! The card had a giraffe on the front and my Mum had written "Chicken Pox" and drawn an arrow to the giraffe's spots. Roo thought that was really funny. Also in the post was a lovely parcel from Emily. She had sent a card and a mermaid book to cheer Roo up. The postman asked if it was her birthday, lol. (She didn't have any pox on her face then!) Another lovely surprise was Abi calling round on her way to Brownies. Romy was really sad that she couldn't go to the first one back after the summer. She'd had all her gear set out since Saturday! Abi had brought her a home-made card and a Fry's Peppermint Creme bar. Bless! To say that Romy's hardly eaten anything for three days, she didn't half wolf that chocolate down, rofl.

Roo has been a bit bored but we've been reading loads of books, looking at the atlas and Roo has been doing some arty/crafty stuff from an Art Attack magazine. Still not getting much sleep (me.) Colin came home to find us both fagged out on the settee yesterday! Tilly had another fit last night just to add to the general malaise of the household...

The latest on the patient...

Last night Romy fell asleep on the settee and when I took her up to bed her temp was 40.1!!!!!!! Crikey! Not much sleep for me again last night then. I gave her some Calpol and after an hour it was still 39.8! After another hour it had gone right down to 36.4 - Bizarre! I finally fell asleep then (after covering her up, lol.)

This morning we've found loads more 'poxeses' in the oddest places; hands, armpits, lip. Poor baby :o( She's watching little kids' programmes at the moment and then I guess it'll be another day on the setteee reading books :o) Bless Roo, she was worried about not doing any work until she realised that if she was at school she would have the week off anyway, lol. She's not up to eating much at the moment either. Yesterday she only has soup and a bit of Innocent smoothie. Today she says food makes her feel sick. She can't be that ill though; she's watching 'Big Cook Little Cook' and they just said "Milk comes from cows" and Romy shouts "Not all milk!!" Rofl.

Meanwhile this picture really cheered her up this morning. I'm expecting a get well card from my Mum for her in the post too. That'll cheer her up no end. Thanks for your comment too Nikki :o)

Monday, September 11, 2006

Chicken Pox!!!

Just worked out what's wrong with Roo. She showed me a 'spot' on her neck this morning. Thought nothing of it but has just shown me another that looked just like a tiny blister, so I lifted up her top and there are loads of the little bleeders!! Well, there you go...

Poor Roo :o(

We're having a day off work today because Romy is poorly. We were on the settee last night when she suddenly said she felt really hot. She was burning up! To cut a long story short I didn't get to sleep until half four this morning after constantly checking her temp, putting on and taking off her quilt, putting a damp flannel on her head, etc. At 4am I cracked and gave her some junior Nurofen (hate medicines) and within a few minutes her temp was normal and I finally got some sleep.

She seemed as right as rain this morning but her temp has since gone up again, so she's currently lying on the settee watching Wind in the Willows and drifting off. Poor little sausage. Her temp has only got up to 38.8 but compared to my almost reptilian 36.2 she's really hot.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Ann Kronheimer.

It's ages since we've done any of Romy's illustrator's project, so yesterday we decided to do a picture each from Linda Chapman's 'My Secret Unicorn' books which are illustrated by Ann Kronheimer. They haven't scanned very well unfortunately, but here are our attempts at Lauren and Twilight:

Colin was out teaching First Aid all day yesterday, so we did these pictures then. We also read some more of the book. When Colin came home he took Roo and Tilly out to the park for a while. I finished my book and had a bit of a tidy up. We then went out to the pub for a meal and for Roo to have a play. Bought some ice-cream on the way home and had it with cake. We all felt as sick as dogs by then :o(

Today we've cleaned out the fish and disinfected the piggies' cages. I know, we lead such an exciting life!! Off to my Mum's in a bit :o) Oh, and Roo brought me a highly nutritious breakfast in bed this morning; a chocolate soya milkshake, toast and cake, rofl.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Tilly's shoe fetish.

Hope I don't get Googled on that!

This is Tilly's bed as seen this morning when Roo and I got up. Quite an impressive collection eh? Luckily she no longer chews the damn things, just feels the need to hoard them! Just one of her many 'eccentricities' (read: mental health problems.) If she was a human I swear she'd be in a Home for the 'differently abled.'

The stash briefly consists of:
-Football boot (1 x size 3)
-Slippers (2 x size 10)
-Barbie sandal (1 x size 2)
-Work shoes (2 x size 10.)

Note the poor severed limbs from Charlotte the spider plant too. *Shakes head*

Friday, September 08, 2006

Cooking up a storm!

We've had a full day of baking today and I've only just finished the mountain of washing up!! Here's Roo trying to resist the chocolate cakes next to Colin's scones (which were boring in comparison, lol.) There's grated Maya Gold chocolate on top!
Just one, please!!!
Some decent sized cookies topped with a rather indecently sized one :-O
In between all that we've been to the shop (had no icing sugar, doh!) Romy has made various plasticine models and has drawn a lovely picture for the baby of a baby fairy on a toadstool using pastels with "Welcome baby to our world" on the back. Brought a tear to my eye! I'm so irrational at the moment. Things make me cry/angry at the drop of a hat.

Talking of pregnancy, I'm currently reading this book. It's utterly fascinating. I got it from the library a good while ago and have renewed it a couple of times. Only just started reading it though and it's really unputdownable! It's hard to believe the conditions Jennifer describes so vividly are only from 50-odd years ago. Shocking!

Better go and wash my hair before Roo's swimming lesson.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

The Tooth Fairy cometh... (for the ninth time.)

Last night at taekwondo Romy was finally so fed up with her wobbly tooth that she bravely asked me to pull it out for her. So off to the toilets we went (thought it might bleed a lot so needed tissues!) It was ok though. No fuss whatsoever and a big grin when it was gone. I think she was just about cheesed off with not being able to eat anything other than soup, poor thing. Anyway, she put it in her tooth fairy box and we went out to the shop. By the time we got back Herself had been already, leaving a pound! Dunno how she manages to be so quick, lol.

Colin is still reading Roo The Hobbit and at the moment we're reading various My Secret Unicorn books borrowed from Abi. Roo did lots more work this morning before going out for the afternoon with Emily to a soft play area (which she came back from tired out, hungry but very happy.) I was looking for some science worksheets this morning and came accross the Homework Helpers site. I looked under Year 3 and 4 (Roo would just have started year 3) and was shocked at the simplicity of the work! There was one called "What gives off light?" and you had to tick boxes next to pictures of a lamp, tree, torch, bed, etc. Another one asked what light could pass through and again you had to tick the boxes; window, wall, etc. OMG! Had to look under Years 5 &6 to get anything worth attempting. Even that stuff was easy. I'm not saying Romy is ahead in everything but she'd be bored stiff in science class at school, that's for sure.

Briefly, the work we did this morning then:
-Identifying which part of a plant different foods come from (i.e, fruit, flower, leaves, stem, roots.)
-Sorted minibeasts into a Venn diagram and a Carroll diagram (sure we've done this before. Deja vu, lol.)
-Sorting foods into fruit/not fruit and whether the seeds were edible or not.
-Basic food chains, producers and consumers. Putting them into right order, e.g wheat-mouse-owl.
-Using keys and flow charts to identify different plants. All this is supposed to be ten-year-old stuff!!!
-Lots of spellings using the consonant blends ff, ss, ll, ct, ft and lt.
-Repeat addition/multiplication.

Tomorrow we're having a baking/craft/art day. Have a few things up my sleeve, such as a vegan chocolate cake, scones and a mosaic picture (non edible, lol.)

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Successful first day :o)

Well it's three o'clock and we've just finished 'work' for the day. And what a productive day it's been! Here's what we've managed to get done:

-Roo got started on her taekwondo project by printing out a map of South Korea, a map of Asia and one of the world. She then marked the country on the latter two maps.
-She coloured in a South Korean flag and learnt about the significance of all the various symbols. There were questions to ask about the origins, meanings etc too.
-Romy found some TKD clip-art pics using Google images, printed them out and stuck them down to make a front cover, which she then laminated.
-She drew the symbol for the Twin Tigers academy that she attends.
-In geography Romy did two worksheets about map reading. They involved plans of towns (American unfortunately) which Romy had to answer questions about using compas points, directions, grid references, drawing in shortest routes and learning about intersections, etc. She really enjoyed this.
-Maths: Romy did two pages of a workbook colouring in patterns on a number square and counting in 3's, 4's, 7's, 10's etc.
-English: Two pages of spellings using 'sh' 'ch' 'th' ans 'st' sounds. Also read me some of a reading book that is way beyond her age group. No need to worry about her reading then ;o) And her writing is really coming on. Just as I said it would if I left her alone, lol.

Romy's having a well earned rest now watching her programmes before TKD tonight. That's P.E then! Just glad she's not starting at the scabby Junior school today like her friends :o)

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Work Tomorrow!

Poor Roo. She's had a bit of a bad day today. She got up too early and I think that skewed the day a bit for her. She's had a few tears, mainly about her bottom canine that is very loose and has done nothing but bleed tonight. I've read her a whole "My Secret Unicorn" book to make her feel better. Bless her :o(

I haven't had the best of days either really. Theresa rang and asked if we wanted to go to the park this afternoon, so off we toddled the 1 1/5 miles there. By the time I got home I was in considerable pain with my Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction. This is the first day it's started in earnest. A momentous day, lol: 11 weeks and 2 days pregnant. Here's to the next 29 weeks ;o)

Anyway, Romy had a good play with Abi today and with Emily yesterday so tomorrow it's just the two of us. The table is clear(!!!) and we're down to some work. We can't wait. Romy is planning on starting a TKD project, rofl. I'll see what I can do education wise. Her wish is my command! I'm thinking; the history of TKD, geography including South Korean flag and map, computer skills researching and printing stuff out. I'm sure I'll get plenty of maths and English in there too. Yes, the rest has done me the world of good. I'm planning on having Monday afternoons as a play day with Emily (assuming she's free on Mondays) tues, Weds and Thurs 'working' and Friday as an arty/crafty/baking sort of day. We'll see how it goes. The best laid plans and all that...

Sunday, September 03, 2006

A weekend of achievements.

We were really proud of Colin on Saturday. He got his purple belt in Taekwondo. Now he's the same as Romy ;o) Here he is doing one of the patterns he had to perform.

Also on Saturday Romy finished her reading mission Here are their certificates...

So what else have we been up to since Thursday? Well, we visited friends for the afternoon. Romy played manically with Abi for a few hours while we chatted. Abi's back at school on Wednesday, so we're off round again on Tuesday afternoon. Talking of school; Romy's really raring to get back to some work. We've decided to start back on Wednesday too. Will have to clear the table, lol. Even though we've been having a rest this summer, she's still been learning loads and doing 'work'. The other day she started a story in an exercise book, she's been doing lots of plays for me, both rehearsed and improvised. There's been tons of reading this summer too and she's been emailing her friend Bethany.

Following on from the Medieval day at Gainsborough last week Romy and Colin have been very busy making a tabard and a flag with a coat-of-arms on that Romy has designed. He bought her some fabric paints today and they've been busy painting the dragon and bear that Romy wanted. Will post pics when they're finished.

On Friday Romy went to football with Emily. She was a bit upset when she returned as two boys had been bullying her. They kept saying she was rubbish apparently. Grrr... This is one of the major reasons why I never sent her to school. I hated that when I was a kid; if you're not the best at something you have no right to be doing it. I remember hating P.E at school for precisely that reason and it put me off sports for life :o( Luckily we've never come accross anything like that at TKD or swimming. Mind you, I think it's something about boys and football. Most of them seem to have really pushy fathers who've had them playing as soon as they could walk and tell them they have to be the best at all costs. Vicarious living anyone?

Anyway, we've had a lovely day today. We went to my Mum's and had a lovely Sunday dinner and then tonight Roo had a phone call from Bethany. They ended up chatting for over an hour!!!! Romy and I have had the mother of all Girl's Night In's!! Here's my girl getting ready to watch Dirty Dancing for the very first time. Note the snuggly quilt and the plate of vegan chocolate squares... Perfect!!! We're off to bed now to read and chatter :o)