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!schooling 0000L06z-13z

posted on: Tuesday, 12 November 2013 @ 8:46am in

[minor pseudonymising edits during Drupal to hugo migration for all the good that will do now]

We had one day where the smalls played Maths Seeds and 8yo found himself a doco about octopi (or at least the bit I saw of it had an octopus glooping through a “maze” of clear plastic pipes) just because it was fun. We had a kerbside collection recently which meant there were a lot of people kerbside collecting, including JJ who picked up an outdoor setting, three tubs, a shelving unit and two working monitors.

The 8yo white 24" iMac has finally died so JJ is now sharing the netbook with 4yo. The extra monitor has been hooked up to it and JJ had also wired up a seriously old 5.1 sound system we had that had some wires snap and we never quite got around to repairing it (then I bought new speakers).

Then 8yo decided that the cardboard boxes he’d been pretending was a “supercomputer” in his room simply didn’t cut it and ran up and down the house moving his laptop from the computer room into his room and wiring up the extra monitor. He then ran an unused and inoperational router into in just for decoration. Then he asked for the speakers and I said they were rigged up to 4yo’s laptop so he’d have to ask JJ. JJ was fine with him taking them but they had to do a run to get some cables, and then the speakers were rigged up to 8yo’s computer. They watched their nightly doco in 8yo’s room on the “big” screen.

8yo and his 'supercomputer'

The bigger screen is currently facing 4yo’s bed - maybe should have snaffled some from kerbside

We recently adopted a friend’s mum’s dog as she was moving to a place where she couldn’t have dogs. 6yo overheard me joking about how the dog could be like an early birthday present and she then decided the dog was hers. She’s been right into looking after him with the playing and the feeding and the training and the grooming (he’s a spaniel, and I often have to redo the grooming but the main thing is she does it) and generally making me feel proud of her maturity and responsibility. They do almost everything together down to watching tv (sometimes I pretend I haven’t seen him on the couch) and she got a bit snarky with me once because I told her he couldn’t come with us to the butcher (mostly because it was inside a shopping centre). JJ isn’t terribly happy about the dog sleeping on the end of 6yo’s bed but she wants it that way so he’s fighting a losing battle.

The girl turned 7 recently and one of the presents she received was a block of modelling clay. A monster has been created.

7yo making a tea set with air dry modelling clay

The tea set didn’t end up looking like this, she decided she wanted 5 cups, a teapot and a jug and in the initial build the cups were too big. She was quite excited at the prospect of making a tea set they could actually use, despite the fact they can use either of the Green Toys sets she already has

The kids chose to go to Scitech for the attempted-weekly-go-somewhere-interesting and after playing with the usual exhibits 8yo found the main exhibit (which wasn’t exactly hard to find but you know) and proclaimed “It’s fun in there!” on one of his trips out. It was very hard work pulling him out to eat lunch (he was helping build an igloo-shaped shelter at the time) despite him complaining the loudest on how much he was starving before we’d hit our destination. He found the Makedo section where he built a cardboard R2D2 with the help and guidance of the lovely staff member (in the unlikely event someone who knows someone actually ever reads this thing, I did give them permission to use a photo of it on the website, he asked and I said yes and he took photos on his phone and he said something about going to get a release form…and then 4yo happened and I ran off).

8yo sawing cardboard with a Makedo tool

I think I need to get some of those Makedo tools

Cardboard R2D2

Complete cardboard R2D2 which could also possibly pass as a Dalek. The boy is as bad as me, everything he does has to be epic.

He also made and refined racing cars (didn’t get photos unfortunately) and managed to win most of his races. While 8yo was doing that my little quiet achiever was quietly achieving as per usual. We had some fun with cut up paper cups and a wind tower, and then she got onto making paper planes and seeing how they flew in the “range” that had been set up for the purpose.

Looking up paper aeroplanes

Making paper planes!

4yo was all over the joint as per usual, his favourite thing was what looked like an interactive contour graph: a sandbox filled with sand-type stuff that had contour colours projected down onto it. You could build hills and valleys and then spread your hand over it to make it rain.

Playing with an interactive contour map

Playing with the interactive contour map. Entertaining is repeating ‘stop throwing the sand, just push it gently and build with it’ at four under-5s who are quite intent on throwing it at each other while pretending that they’re just building with it :)

We also managed to catch a Science Theatre show (which was great!) and 8yo asked a lot of questions at the end (two of them were more “confirm or correct my information”). I was quite proud of him for being patient and waiting his turn and not hogging the Q&A. He did ask the most questions as he was the oldest child in the audience of not many. The volunteers were quite enthused with him which was cool, he got told to “keep being curious” as he came out the door.

Due to the wearable cardboard R2D2 and the fact I wanted to get home before 4yo got too tired and required carrying, I chose to leave an hour earlier than planned to avoid school rush. At 6yo’s request we went through the “Discovery Shop”, I said she could get whatever and pay me back later. 4yo wanted a torch so I got him one mostly to stop him from stealing JJ’s all the time. 6yo and 8yo chose sea monkeys (sorry, I meant aqua dragons) and seeing as I’d been intending on getting them a setup each anyway as part of homeschooling resources for next year I didn’t make them pay me back.

Our trip home on the train also got a few smiles.

On the train with cardboard R2D2

On the train with cardboard R2D2

8yo has started his bottletop collection again and the bigs bought Skylanders starter sets with their saved up pocket money (8yo got Giants, 6yo got Spyro’s Adventure) so now they’re also saving up to collect the figurines).