Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Summer hols

It's the 2nd week of the holidays, and there is plenty to do around our area. They give out a brochure of activities, many of them free or not to expensive. The suggestions of sailing, wrestling, doing a spot of archeology and making a time capsule were not met with enthusiasm. They really want to just met their friends and chill out! So I think there is a time to just be, especially when you've been at the desks of schools for a great part of the year.
However the 2 younger ones have been to an indoor ball games camp, and have actually enjoyed this, and they are booked for more swimming lessons, as M especially needs practice. But only 1 and a half weeks in, S actually admitted he's had enough of the hols, and is looking forward to learning about more Swedish kings! (he's already read one book this holiday about 1)

Other things going on: strawberries are being consumed.... (One of the few types of fruit and veg Biryani will eat. At the moment it stands at: Carrot (raw), granny smith apples (skin off), broccoli (v occasionally), avocado, and of course bananas). Actually now I write it down it's not too bad for a 3 year old.

'Someone's eaten them all' - these delicious fruits disappear as quick as sweets, mashaAllah..

and the marbles are out, it must be Hz's nap time

and it naptime must be over as they've headed outside...

A few pics..

The bush outside our building's front door, where bees have been gathering. if you stop and watch and listen you see so many bees and hear so much buzzing!

Dandelions and ladybirds, or as Biryani would correct me 'ladyBUGS'.

Elderflowers with their distinctive scent behind the swings..

and a rearrangement of my kitchen shelves, revealing DH's love of pickled garlic, and olives that have given me matching storage jars.

It's not always the end product!

There was a lot of enthusiam to build this caterpillar, but after the frantic painting of toilet rolls, the interest wained. I would like to encourage a 'starting what you finish' approach, but sometimes I just let them enjoy the process of it, sticky fingers, mixing colours, spilling water, it's all part of the fun!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The UK wants to be like Sweden, now Sweden wants to be like Germany!

I've been a bit away from the politics of home ed and what's going on in the UK. My head was completely spinning after last years attempts to get permission here, and never quite recovered. I'm getting the idea that a Bad man is making lots of potential problems for families in the UK. So almost in the same few months the Swedish gov wants to make home ed virtually illegal here, here is a translated article about it.
It seems that other than having an infectious disease, or having extreme behavioural problems (which has happened with one boy in S's class, who now receives his education at home with their teacher visiting after school hours), they want to make it impossible to home educate on any philosophical or religious grounds. So if I think my children are not accessing their potential and could do this better at home it's tough luck!
I cringed to myself at S's development meeting the other day when his teacher was wearing a T-shirt saying along the lines of: 'Everyone has the right to education from a Qualified Teacher'.
So (un)educated are these Swedish bureaucrats that they will refuse to look at hard evidence that for most children, Home education either equals or surpasses that of schooling.
Please feel sorry for my keyboard it's bearing the brunt of my anger.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Some midsummer pictures..

I wanted to take the kids to pick some wild flowers reminiscent of two years ago. I also thought as the weather was so nice that a long walk would be some good exercise as well as much more inspiring than a car or even bike journey. You can notice so many things as you walk along, so many topics of discussion come up. Adventures also happen such as 10 tonne trucks having to swerve as they fail to slow down adequately as we cross a zebra crossing, phew, poor M had told me to wait but I thought I had judged the deceleration of the lorry well enough. For myself yes, but not for M pushing a buggy. I will inshaAllah listen to him in the future!BTW H only pushed a buggy now and again when I wanted to take photos and at one point when M was tired. M never complained, but H found it a bit much walking for nearly an hour (with a break) and then again home. S had stayed at home with his Dad. Anyhow, M was pleased with the flowers and especially liked the playground we found on our way where we had a break from walking. He wanted to go again today, on foot!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Things rarely turn out how you plan ...

It may seem we are going completely against the grain with H's education. Once I had finally realised what home education really was, I was more than enthusiastic to get going with it. But oops, you find you're in the wrong part of the world to let this be possible without a European court battle in Brussels. Secondary level, don't even go there!

H has always been interested in maths and has recently got going with reading. DH and myself have thought for a while he might find the work, especially maths, in the pre school class not enough to stretch him, and he could get bored.

His day care teacher was quite in favour of just letting him be in the preschool class, where it is mainly play. Islam says 7 years is the time to start more formal stuff, and H is just 6.

So he was tested by the special needs teacher and she agreed he was ready, only he needed to practise writing a little. (he has always been averse to drawing anything that resembled anything other than scribbles until fairly recently, and he's left handed)

But in the end, it was H himself who really seemed keen to get going with 'proper' work. He says he likes homework and wants to go straight into class 1. So I think I am being consistent in that I am thinking of what he wants first and foremost. It's funny that in the UK he would be considered a late starter (I started myself age 4!)

Anyhow I hope and pray he will maintain his enthusiasm for learning












Sunday, June 07, 2009

Sanity is barely being preserved..

Hz is coming on in leaps and bounds, and my heart is often getting to miss a beat aswell. He is taking more and more steps, and can deliberately throw a ball (and anything else in his hand)
Here was a typical sequence of events:
Grabs kitchen roll (mother tries to find somewhere, with great difficulty ,to put it out of reach)
Plays with toaster (mother unplugs said electrical device)
Plays with plughole where electrical device was formerly plugged in (mother watches out for forks or other metallic objects that could produce fatal results)
Watches sister play with a ball (mother has a 30 second breather)
Tries, in vain, to reach the magnetic letters on the fridge (ha ha, mother had already realised you’d try that one)
Watches mother carefully put hot milk and muffins in the restricted area of the kitchen table, which for this point in time, is out of his reach.
Knowing there is no point going for the snack, turns attention to the Swivel sweeper (hoover thingy), to carry on with mission: its destruction.