Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Not at school

So we spent the first Friday that the kids had off from school in the park.  We were supposed to take a picnic but after making packed lunches all week I couldn't face making another sandwich so we had lunch at the park cafe instead.  They played for hours and spent quite a bit of time in the sandpit... the little ones made a fort..

 and the big ones planned strategic manouvers based on specific scenarios that they took turns to make up...

 Daisy made dessert when we got home.  She planned what she was going to make, drew her shopping list and then went shopping with Crush to get all her ingredients and this is what we had... 
Strawberries in a melted ice cream sauce with ice cream, raspberry sauce and chocolate.  The melted ice cream certainly gave it a unique flavour that I'm not sure I want to try again lol.
 Then on Sunday we went to the centenary celebrations of the Leicester AERO (flying) club.  It was a blissfully warm day and very enjoyable although the kids were disappointed to have missed out on the free flights as they got booked up so quickly each time.

Replica of a WWII Doodlebug
Replica of a Lancaster or Spitfire [depending on which one of the kids you spoke to].

Lots of helicopters to look at.
Kids had an interesting chat to the glider pilot who explained how the glider flew and how to pilot it

A restored WWII Lancaster plane that did an amazing fly by right over the heads of the crowd.
Playing with the 'blues and twos' in the police vehicle.
We went to the fun day as Lego has expressed an interest in becoming a pilot for quite a while now and we did have a lovely day.  The best bit was that the boys got to chat to some really interesting characters including old pilots both private and from the RAF... it was really strange listening to Lego chat to a retired RAF pilot about the qualities of Hurricane planes [or it is jets] that the gentleman used to fly. 

The kids did lots of recapping at school last week and as it's not 'full time' I have had to supplement a lot of their learning with further explainations; especially for Sprite as he has trouble remembering what he has done during the day because of his dyslexia.  He is not enjoying his time at the academy as much as the younger two and has been feeling ill quite a bit... I think that this may be a masking technique because he is finding it difficult to deal with his dyslexia as at other times he is so enthusiastic about what he had been doing.  So we are having to give him quite a lot support at the moment but we are hoping he will settle in soon.

Daisy and Crush come home every afternoon amazed at everything they have learned... like we have never done it before! Hmmpf...

Now that it's getting a bit colder I am planning to start a project with them to do on their 'day off'.  I want to teach them about the human body; I have been planning this for a while and have lots of fun, hands on, learning activities for them to do so hopefully they won't see it as even more 'school work'.

Friday, 7 September 2012

Strange things happen at sea....

and on land too! For the last 6 months or so I have been feeling really tired, physically and mentally. It's mostly because of all the running around I have to do and my hypothyroidism; I am apparently, still supposed to be taking it easy but after being almost house bound for more years than I care to remember I can't seem to be able to slow down. It feels like defeat. Or a step backwards. Apart from that with 4 children (5 including my husband) it's difficult to slow down isn't it? Anyway, during Ramadan, having at least acknowledged an issue with my health and the impact it had on the family, especially the children's education and my deen, I made lots of dua (supplication) asking for help in this particular area. I was thinking along the lines of more energy, more time, a house move, some inspiration to be able to organise myself  Fly Lady style and remain healthy too.  I wasn't sure what I wanted or needed; only Allah ta'ala would be aware of that so I left it in His hands.

Then, out of the blue, the children got a place in a new local Islamic School on a flexi-school basis.  The school is managed by the children's old tutor.  Knowing about my health issues she phoned to let me know about their new venture as she thought it might be beneficial for us.  At the same time Allah ta'ala made the finances available for the kids to go.  How could I refuse?  I nearly did? I really, really dislike everything about school, even Islamic ones, but a friend pointed out that it would take the stress of educating the children away (apart from Lego who still studies at home with me as he is too old to go) and give me some time to rest.  So, two weeks after the phone call they have completed a week and so far are really enjoying it mashaAllah.  They go for 4 days a week from 8.45am-1.30pm; they start and finish the day with dhikr and pray the mid day prayer together before coming home.  They do Math, English, Science and ICT daily for the first 3 days and then on the last day, instead of Science and ICT they do PE and either Art & Craft, History or Geography.

Sprite is a 50/50 about going but I feel that's because of his dyslexia; the other two are loving it.  I am still a little uneasy about sending them and my heart drops every time I see worksheets in their bags.  However, at least this way I can continue doing what I want to do with them without stressing so much about it all. I can also rest much more. It also means that I can concentrate more on helping Sprite with the issues around his dyslexia God willing.  It means, inshaAllah, that I can have more time to focus on them when they are at home.

This week I have really missed my children being around. I have missed being a part of their learning. I miss seeing that little sparkle they get in their eye when they 'get' something, or have done something that they really enjoyed. I miss watching them discover. But this isn't about me, it's about them.  So while they are enjoying it I shall stand back and let them continue.  I do, however, harbour a hope that I will be able to take them out and home educate them completely again soon.  We will have to wait and see.