Saturday morning started with H making us crease with laughter when, after breakfast, still in pyjamas, she decided to go out in the garden, which was still covered in snow. She ran off to get her boots, or so I thought, but came back armed with her crocs… We watched her go out of the back door, pootle about halfway down the garden, before she stopped, uttered the immortal words ‘uh oh!’, than ran straight back in again. She stood in the middle of the kitchen stamping her feet, before announcing ‘Freezing!!’ and running out of the kitchen. B and I could do nothing but laugh. I told my mum the story over the phone and she thinks I’m a cruel mummy for letting her go out like that!! Blah – she’ll learn!!
We had a quiet morning, B took himself off to find any remaining snow to fulfil his snowboarding addiction, and came back grinning, full of stories of being watched with awe by lots of kids with their sledges!
E discovered a board game she got for xmas, but hadn’t played with up until now, called the alphabet game, ‘fun for all the family’ it promises…it’s turned out to be a big hit, and is thoroughly educational too – what more could you ask?!! It involves thinking of an answer to a question e.g. ‘can you think of a yellow fruit?’, then you have to stand on the first letter of your answer. E and I have been taking it in turns to read the questions, but she quickly got fed up of asking us to read her questions for her, so has now moved onto picking up a card and making up a question herself. She’s come up with some good ones!!
They’ve both been reading books on and off all day. One book we got out of the library has been a big hit, and I’ve read it to one or other of them more times than I care to remember! It’s a retelling of little red riding hood called ‘Little Red’ by Lynn Roberts. We’ve borrowed a book of hers before, rapunzel, it was very odd! They have a definite twist on the tale, but are fun to read, and the kids obviously love it. Interestingly, one of the books I bought this week for E was Sleeping Beauty, but it was the ladybird version. I don’t think I’ve read it all the way through yet to her, it is dry and tedious – really not fun to read from my point of view, and judging from the reaction from the girls, not that brilliant to listen to either. This all fits in nicely with my recent bedtime reading material: read with me, an apprenticeship approach to reading, by liz waterland. Think I’ve already mentioned it on here somewhere – it’s all about letting children choose their books, rather than sticking to the dry, keyword reading scheme books, which teach kids to read, but by decoding, rather than because they are learning to enjoy and understand their meaning. This evening (sunday) there was an equally interesting programme on BBC4 ‘Just Read with Michael Rosen’, where MR takes over a primary school and gets the children, parents and teachers to actually ‘enjoy’ books, read to their children, even if they can read themselves etc etc. Lucky kids had loads of visiting authors to pique their interest even more!!
This has made me all the more keen to avoid the reading scheme idea, tempting though it is. I think if E is still not reading by the time she is 10 I may rethink my idea, but for now I’m happy that it may take longer than her school-counterparts will take to learn to read, and I’m hoping it will be a more interesting and enjoyable journey for us all.
We made the random decision last weekend to paint a pretty hideous dresser (sorry to any family members who may read this and disagree with me!) we adopted and have been using to store a lot of our playroom stuff in. We bought lots of colourful pots of paint from B&Q last weekend, mostly tester pots, including some glitter paint and chalkboard paint, with the aim that the kids could scribble on it etc. This weekend I set B to work, and he and E have done an absolutely fab job! H did try to ‘help’, but I had to distract her away in the end as she was a little too free with her artistic license!! It looks 100 times better, and much more at home in the room. E has already christened it with her chalk collection! It’s still not finished, B has got over enthusiastic and wants to go back to B&Q for more colours!! I couldn’t find my camera today to take a pic, but will hunt around this week for it and post one later!
Sunday we decided we needed to get out of the house, so dragged ourselves into town, as after inspection of E’s feet, and finally managing to let us cut her toe nails, realised she is probably due a new pair of trainers. Her former school shoes are the right size, but not really right for the time of year, and wellies aren’t suitable for all occasions! She had a complete breakdown in Clarks when faced with 3 possible choices, so we retreated for lunch to calm down, then tried a different place, where they could only produce one choice – phew! They are better than the others too, as these ones flash!! B refuses to be seen with her in them, claiming she is only a small step from chavdom!!
I think I’m entering the nesting phase, as have an overwhelming urge to sort our house out. I made a start on our bedroom this morning, by emptying the floor of our wardrobe into a black bin liner and asking B to decide whether he wants to keep any of it!! E then advised me that our bathroom needed cleaning, and requested a cloth and some spray and set to work! Go girl!! I was eventually driven to ‘help’ after watching her push the same dirt around for quite a while. She eventually got bored and left me to it!! One clean bathroom – tick! Meanwhile E had made a start making her room ‘pretty’ which involved lining her teddies up on the windowsill. After a hormonal outburst, B decided to undo his recent furniture shuffle in her bedroom, and it looks much better – I can even walk in the door without having to squeeze between bed and drawers as before – I knew I was right…probably didn’t put my argument across as calmly as I could have done though…