Thursday, 2 December 2010

Letting go.

At what point do I finally say that I Home Educate three of my four sons?
At what point do I change our description in the sidebar of our family?
At what point do I not feel the responsilbilty of David's 'education'?
At what point will I feel reassured that this is the right thing for him?

He gets up just after eight, gets dressed, eats breakfast, brushes his teeth, feeds the rabbit and goes to school.
I pick him up from school at half past three and we drive home. I usually attempt to ask him what he has been doing that day, but I am greeted with a blank, tired look and he says, I don't know, I can't remember. I resist the urge to say, but you must!!!!, and instead prompt him with the little infomation I know about his day. In numeracy? What did you you do for maths today? What about Literacy? Did you do any reading or writing today? And after lunch? Did you practice the play today?
Then, once home (it takes only 5 minutes in the car but virtually impossible to walk) he slopes off to play on the computer or watch something on iPlayer, or goes out to play or round his friends house.
And thats about it. I feed him and read before bed but the contact that I have with him now is minimal. I take him to swimming club and we talk in the car, but essentially I have less than 2 hours contact with him a day.
He seems ok. He seems happy enough. Except on the mornings when he doesn't really want to go, or on the days when I pick him up and he is more deflated than usual. Reasons for the exceptionally low mood is usually one of five options.
1. It is too hot in the classroom.
2. He has a headache.
3. He's fed up of the other boys messing around and not doing as they are told.
4. It's boring.
5. He hates not being able to read and going in to another class for maths.

And then I have the day when he came out and said that he wished he hadn't asked to go back, and didn't want to go tomorrow.
Or the morning that he got knocked over by the dogs and got all muddy and his mood dropped to the floor.
Or the morning when his friend's mum forgot to pick him up, and he was going to be late, and he stood there an ddefiantly said he wasn't going.
Deja vue.
But so far, it hasn't taken much for me to turn it around and remind him that it was his choice to go, and some days he does enjoy it, and he has been given an amazing opportunity by the head teacher in a lovely little school and she really does have his best interests at heart, and it is unlikely that he will get this opportunity again. I tell him that he has to give it his best shot, otherwise he will always be left wondering.
But inside I am in turmoil. Inside I am screaming. Inside I want to tell him what I really think.
But I don't.
He has to work this out for himself.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Winter is most definitely here.

I have been walking the dogs on my own most mornings after dropping David at school. It has been a much needed time and space for me. Not to mention the physical excercise! Last Monday was so beautiful I couldn't resist taking lost of pictures of the frost, sunshine and the mist creeping across the reservoir.....

Then on Tuesday it was a complete change. Still cold, but hardly any view at all. Just the fog obscuring the view across the water and the sun trying to shine through the cloud cover and creating dramatic and dark images.

Winter is most definitely here.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

A whole month has passed.......

and the season table is nearly ready for this little chap that I made a few weeks ago.

and just in time for halloween, Tom found this poor wee little fellow....

He is a Natterers bat and apparently not very common according to the Waraickshire Bat Group that we reported our find to. The man was very pleased to come and collect it as they don't have a specimen of this type.

A lovely sunny walk in the woods. We have been doing a lot of this recently, but on this day there were some lovely views of the sun through the trees.

So what else have we been doing?

Well, David did a distance swim with the club a few weeks back and he swam 56 lengths in 50 mins!!! 1400m!!! Thats nearly a mile!! I find it quite amazing, seeing as I struggle to do 30 in an hour!

He has also been away on cub camp, except they didn't camp, they went to Bristol and stayed in a youth hostel. He had a lovely time despite initial nerves.

And then the day after he came home, he decided he wanted to give school another try!!!! And in less than 2 hours of the conversation, we were visiting a lovely little village school, with a lovely head mistress who took an instant liking to him and asked him if he would like to stay that afternoon. And so he did!!!

He has settled in well, as he already has lots of friends there from cubs. He is coming out smiling and going in willingly.
We are on day 6 today I think, so I'm not holding my breath. Although I guess it was two and a half years ago that he tried before and that was at the school of inflexibility! We shall see. The honeymoon period is not yet over, so I'll not be changing the sidebar description of us just yet ;-)

Saturday, 9 October 2010

A fragrant and colourful Saturday.

This morning we went for a walk in the woods and spotted fungi all the way around as is usual for this time of year.
There are just so many this year, presumably because it has been so warm and wet recently. The colours of the fungi range from some beautiful pastel rose pink, to creamy yellow, sea green and almost lilac to grey, ochre and the wonderful speckled effect of the parasol mushrooms. We also saw a stinkhorn in all its white and dark green glory and a whole trail of curvy, funnel type ones in light brown.
Then home to put a couple of tops that i haven't been wearing because of the stark white/cream colour of them. I chose a terracotta brown from the local hardware shop. Ok, so it isn't a natural dye, but at least I bought it locally!!
Well, needless to say, as I should have well known, that as there may have been slightly more than the weight if material reccomended, they turned out salmon pink!!!! Oh help!!!!
At least the other projects that David and I have been working on have turned out the right colour....purple and amber, with wonderful fragrances of lavender, sandlewood and honey.
The house smells lovely. But the washing machine is on again :-( with my attempt to rectify my ridiculous error! Dark brown dye this time....fingers crossed!!!

Monday, 4 October 2010

Because there are times that only blogging about the good things will make you feel better.

Will on our walk this morning. We snuck out with the dogs by ourselves to walk around the reservoir. It was lovely being just the two of us. We don't often get the chance.

These are sitting beside me right now on the table. Hazel wood threading blocks and buttons. Cut and drilled by Jonathan, sanded by myself and David and oiled by me with a little help from Will.

A rainy morning spent doing puzzles on my bed under the watchful eye of the cat. He likes to oversee these things!

Wooden pieces with lovely pictures. Will did the whole boxful. About 12 in total, I think.
Ok, so this next one isn't wooden, but it's great isn't it? Hands up, who remembers 'Ivor the Engine'? Didn't he have a little dragon that lived in the funnel?

And these. Compare bears. I bought them last year and they get played with quite regularly. Will loves to line them up!

And some fungi pictures. I love fungi and can't resist taking photos of them. Like noone has ever done that before! The first two are the ears that Will found on a trunk. Remarkably like the BFG I thought. The same type as the mouse ears we found last autumn but a different shape for some reason?

And look at the vein like markings when the sun is shining through it!

Jonathan's brain fungus.....hmm, slightly smaller than last year. Should I be worried? Maybe I should inform the LEA? What do you think?!

David and Will doing cave paintings in front of the fire on another grey day. See? Rainy days are definitely good for some things!!

This picture isn't quite so good but it holds the memory of a lovely walk with David one Saturday morning not so long ago. It is a beautiful big oak that has lost a branch in the wind. And what a branch!!!

And David's ladybirds he found on yet a different walk. I've never seen so many in one place like that before! Any ideas why?

So I can push those negative thoughts that keep crowding my head space out of the way, so that these good ones have room to spread out, because there are many. Its just that the negative ones are so much more powerful and strong.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

A couple of funnies.....

Just love this one!!!

I suppose one could have argued that they were not yet passengers, but we had actually bought our tickets at this point.

I don't think our little Louis is a rule breaker like the rest of us!!!

And this? I just couldn't help myself!!!

Den building at WEHEC

A few pictures of the den building that Tom and Jon took part in at Home Ed camp in Wales with Paul. I'm not sure who took them. He also took them on a bat walk and did some small mammal trapping, and so he had the pleasure of the company of all my boys at some time or other during the time he was there!!

A few pictures from our holidays in Wales.

I didn't actually take many photos while we were away, as we seemed to be actively doing things and my camera or phone was always somewhere that I wasn't, but there are a few.
This first one is the labyrinth made with stones and branches in the afternoon, and then tea lights in jars to light the way in the evening. The centre piece was a beautiful wigwam shape made from willow and covered with some kind of tisue paper I think. It was lovely. We all walked the labyrinth while singing an earth song. Beautiful.

David and Louis walking in the river. This was our regular walk for the dogs while at HE camp. Usually twice a day at least! So gloriously peaceful and beautiful.

Will on the stepping stones having a little taste of the water. This year he could do the stepping stones by himself after the first few times, whereas last year he needed almost lifting from one to the other!

This is Will on the bridge in the village (hamlet). We always stopped here for him to drop pebbles in, and to watch the ripples and waterfalls over the big rocks. He loved the way the sun light flickered on the water.

Will's felted hair piece!! lol

Will and his jellyfish made from an old bottle and cut up plastic bags. He also made a fish to his own design the next day. The very lovely ladies from CLAS (Creative Learning And Support from North Wales) lent us the things he needed to make it back at our tent.

We stopped in Llandovry for lunch on the way back. The boys instinctively all got on the four seater roundabout. It was lovely to see.

Daddy managed a spot of painting at the bunkhouse. Will of course wanted to join in.

Our miners...



and David.

This is Big Pit where they went down the mine shaft. The full 90 metres!!! Even Will!!! I stayed on the surface as I have a habit of passing out if I go underground!!

And these have to be the biggest puffballs I have ever seen!!!!!

And this is the one indulgent photo that has to be linked to this post here. They saw Hadrians Wall and we saw....

I think it was probably more impressive. It was a garden wall about 20 feet high!!! We walked along it on a footpath in the middle of nowhere. Very imposing.

More photos later, just as soon as I find the camera lead!!

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

We have returned......

from beautiful sunny(mostly), mountainous Wales with its rocks and rivers and waterfalls, to grey skies and flat landscapes.

to a mountain of washing, so big that I just simply do not know where to begin.

to a very untidy house...did I really leave it like this? oh yes, thats how we live. I forgot. Impossible to live any other way with all these boys around the place!

to a lovely little parcel. 2 sweet boxes inside another box. The contents carefully packaged in that straw like stuff. Not telling you what is in there, it will spoil surprises for certain people, who may or may not be reading.

to chickens, seperated into two runs before we left so that there would be no scuffling, all jumbled up like a pick'n'mix!!!!

to a nerve racking trial for David for the local swimming club, which was a success!! Despite not having any Speedo style trunks and having to buy them last minute and then realising while waiting on poolside that he had indeed, forgotten his goggles!!! None available to buy at reception (did you ever hear such a thing?!!!) but luckily the secretary of the club had a spare pair in her bag! Phew.

to some ripe tomatoes and a number of cucumbers almost ready in the garden.

to the pre course module for my Doula course in October!! Nerves rattling as I type!

to normal, everyday life at which I am not so good.

I will survive.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Off to Wales...

The second Home Ed camp this year and a week for the Survival Family to regenerate.
See you all in a fortnight or so xx

Friday, 20 August 2010

Softly, softly.

Last week, we went to visit this lovely Alpaca farm. It isn't too far from us and I have a sneaking suspicion we will be visiting there quite regularly from now on!! The wool is so lovely and soft and the colours are just gorgeous.
The lady in the shop was lovely and spent time talking to David and answering his questions. She helped me to find some wool for a couple of little projects and then directed us to the nusery field where we saw some baby alpacas.

Aren't they cute?

I wonder which alapaca donated the fleece for these?

I'm sure it wasn't this little fellow, as he was less than an hour old!!!!