Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Just wanted to share...

In a culture where being social and outgoing are prized above all else, it can be difficult, even shameful, to be an introvert. But, as Susan Cain argues in this passionate talk, introverts bring extraordinary talents and abilities to the world, and should be encouraged and celebrated... This is another great talk by TED, you can watch the whole talk here.  I would love to know what you think about this topic!

Saturday, 10 March 2012

High expectations

In general, do home educating expect their children to achieve a much higher standard of work than would be expected of them at school? Guilty as charged your 'onor.  I hold my hands up to being a bit of a perfectionist and I must admit that I do expect my children to also aim for perfection too. I am a high achiever and expect them to want to achieve too.  I often feel that they could do better! I don't voice it of course. But they must be able to tell by my tone when I praise/talk about their work, mustn't they? Actually, I hope that they are too naive/young/inexperienced readers of body language/vocal tones to have noticed!  This week somebody made a big deal out of some work that Lego completed.  They thought it was fantastic and mentioned every little piece of detail in the work that they liked and Lego mentioned that I had given him some 'constructive criticism' about the work.  His words made me blush and made me realise that I don't praise the children enough for their work and that I expect too higher standard from them.  This person is a teacher and gets to see what kids his age are producing regularly so I guess her opinion counts.

So, I am having to rethink my home ed efforts {again! but being able to continually assess and redress home education is one of its many blessings}; especially my expectations of the children's work but it's difficult when you have nothing to compare their work to?  Although I do know when they are trying and when they're not.  Should I be pushing them to achieve more or should 'good enough' be enough.  The men in my family  have always been laid back [to say the least] and they are boys after all {I don't have the same issues with Daisy}so if I didn't push them would they ever push themselves? Some would argue that it doesn't matter what they achieve academically; but don't they need these pieces of paper in order to compete in the job market? I was always of the opinion that they didn't have to be little geniuses but that they should always, for the most part anyway, do their best. Who am I trying to please anyway? As a Muslim I should be walking the 'middle road' in all that I do; but finding a balance isn't always easy and I've definitely gone off track with this one. Sorry, I realise that this post is all over the place and probably contradictory in places but it's just the way it's swirling around my head! Which can be incredibly messy lol!  I'll stop now or I'll be blathering on forever!

We have also recently discovered that Sprite is dyslexic.  Poor thing, he knew he was 'different' but hid it away because he just wanted to be normal...with hindsight I can pick out little signs along the way but didn't see them until recently.  It explains lots of things.  Aspects of his behavior that I couldn't quite understand, and he of course couldn't explain, were just ways of him 'hiding' his difficulties. The way he speeds through worksheets because it's just copying and filling in the gaps [mostly] but struggles when he has to reword things or do his spellings etc. I just hope that I can 'step up to the plate' given what's written above lol.

Anyways, other than all this we have been back in the kitchen...
We've been making healthy snacks to take with us on our many trips to the other
side of town for their activities /madressa etc to save on some money and
calories (for me specifically on both counts) that are usually spent on take away
- this one is fruit, yogurt and crunchy oat cereal. Yum.
The kids love to bake and this week we have been experimenting
with the icing bag for the first time too.

This is a word game - much like scrabble and connect 4 combined - that we got
at a charity shop and the kids have been using the tiles just for spelling practice lol!
Cuisenaire rods have also been a big hit this week...

as did the putting together of the raised beds for our new garden layout.
If you need stuff for your garden I would highly recommend you visit; it has a ton of good quality very reasonably priced items.
Lego has started to dig himself out a trench for somewhere quiet to sit he reckons...boy is he going to be
disappointed when it all gets filled in during next weeks gardening exploits!
This is a poster Lego made for one of the questions on his English this is the extra effort I'm talking about.  Yeah!
We also {eventually} got round to planting our seed alhamdulillah.
We have lots planted for our first round and are actually planning on growing
in rotation so that we always have fresh food available... we'll see eh! lol.
I have decided, after discussion with Lego and hubby, to pull Lego out of GCSE Maths as I feel it was going a bit too fast for him and he was beginning to get overwhelmed.  All of the other students in the tuition group are older and already studying/studied the subject in school so the tutor is really running a revision class; this means that Lego isn't actually being taught the topics which has left him at a bit of a loss; poor thing.  He is continuing with the KS3 Math and GCSE Science inshaAllah.

The other 3 are doing well, praise be to Allah, and are doing a play in their tutor group on Monday so I'm off for an early night ready for a day of wig and mask making tomorrow...enjoy your weekend folks!

Friday, 9 March 2012

Library Homeschool Group

We've had a couple of meetings at the library group since my last post; the first of which we all got to don white cotton gloves {oh the excitement they caused!}and handle lots of interesting things...
A Homepride Man  (scared the life out of me when I was a nipper, lol!)
Old Newspapers
Wafer Press
Rocks & crystals

Hippopotamus tooth
Lions Claw
Hippopotamus tooth
Mammoths tooth

Dogs skull
Baboons Skull
Caimen Crocodile Skull

Inside view of a shell

The kids just loved this session and were thrilled to be holding real skulls and stuffed animals (yuk!).  Daisy was also dead chuffed that the librarian, following a question from Daisy about how the scanner thang worked, let her check out all the books and explained what was happening everytime a book was scanned.

The following week the kids had the launch of their photography project which sadly marked the end of their  work with the museum for now!

The launch was a great experience for the children with speeches and local authority dignitaries and some lovely grub, the kids were bowled over and really enjoyed the afternoon.  However, despite all the lovely displays - that included their photographs; which was the whole reason everyone was there - my kids were obsessed about that fact that I had worn a pair of platform shoes {I never said the 70's was renowned for it's style} like the ones on display and that my father had worn a pair of the crepe soled shoes also on display {he was a teddy boy back in the day, lol}and would depart this knowledge upon anyone who would listen...including the dignitaries lol.  There were also some craft activities for kids and mums to do and I got to try some block printing...I just mentioned on a sisters blog that I would love to have a go at block printing and praise be to Allah I now had the opportunity.  It was great fun but I don't think I'd better give up the day job just yet lol; here is my humble effort.

Smash It!






This is a 'smash/junk journal' I made recently.  I have contemplated making one of these for a long while but this is my first attempt at actually doing one!  I really enjoyed making it and will definitely be making some more, they would make perfect gifts! The idea is that they can be used to paste in pictures/tickets/memorabilia from trips etc. as well as having space to journal/vent if necessary.  In this one I also included patterned pages for photos etc, lined paper for writing and acrylic paper for painting/sketching.