Summer Update

It’s been ages again since I’ve updated this blog—where does the time go?? We’ve had a quite summer since my last update. The kids finished July with a play date almost every single day. We also went to a few make-and-takes at some of the museums.

One museum was very good, and we’ll be going back. I liked their display and I even liked their trail, which is unusual as I’m mostly against them. (For those of you without smaller ones these days—the museums are putting up pictures around the displays for the kids to find—but I feel it distracts them from looking at the actual displays.) So, at this museum instead of having the kids look for a picture of a bird or some stuffed animal-their trail is abstract pictures of the displays. It really makes the kids look at the objects on display, and not just running round looking for a silly mouse picture. It even made me look hard for them—they were really well done, or I’m just getting slower in my old age!

We haven’t scheduled much for August as in the way of play-dates, as I think we’ll all enjoy some home time—I know I have, as I miss the ‘good-old’ days when we could stay home together and not have to run round to classes. They’ve been playing as they do, have done some painting and have really started to play with their Lego’s in earnest now. Hazel is very good at making things like houses and cars now. I’m enjoying catching up on some things, learning a few new things and watching the two of them play all day together—they never tire of each other and rarely ever need any guidance on finding something to do. At the moment the two of them are in Hazel’s room, as they have been for almost two hours now reading to each other—well, they are looking at the books together. Hazel is reading to him what she can and teaching him some words. Kieran truly loves this as he can be read to all day and still not be satisfied, and this has boosted her reading level quite a bit as she enjoys being the big girl reader. We’ve visited the library weekly and have about 30 books out at any given time. I’ve even borrowed a few for myself and have read three of them. Cannot believe I used to love snow days as I always used to call them a ‘two-book’ day—as I’d read at least two books in a day, never mind 3 in three weeks. Most of the books have been non-fiction (rare for me), a few nutrition books and Imperfectly Natural Woman by Janey Lee Grace.

We have rented two videos—Top Hat with Fred & Ginger and Celtic Tiger with Michael Flatley. I just wanted the kids to see tap dancing in action, as they’ve seen ballet, but never any professional tap dancing. They really enjoyed the dancing sequences. The funniest thing is—in Celtic Tiger there is a bit of a strip dance—the kids loved it! They thought it was so funny and asked to watch it a few times!

Education—thought I’d add a bit of that as this is a HE blog, and I haven’t mentioned anything in ages! We’ve spent more time this past month on workbooks/structure than probably the last three months combined—and that still isn’t much! I am much more organized as to what we will be doing and am gearing up to spend more time with structured activities. There really is so much to do—and I can see why some people are spending a few hours a day on it

Hazel is enjoying her reading. She is learning the vowels and their long and short sounds—which is helping with her reading. She is also doing well with her numbers. She is counting well into the 100’s, is doing so by 2’s, 5’s, 10’s and has realized she can count by 100’s as well. Addition is coming on—she has caught on to the answer patterns if I write the plus tables in order—so I have to move the order around to make sure she’s adding and not just filling in. She loves patterns! She has a new maze book which she had half finished within 20 minutes of giving it to her. Her handwriting is improving all the time—she has a neat print so far, and when she concentrates the letters are very uniform in size. She has started to write sentences and mini-stories on her own. Her independent spelling has been very good so far.

Kieran is coming on very well. He is starting on the beginning sounds of words and is enjoying it. His counting has come on in leaps and bounds—and he is enjoying some basic addition. Writing is starting to come more naturally to him, as is drawing. When Hazel was his age she was drawing and writing all the time-Kieran is just starting to want to write things down. We’ve had worksheets for the letters of his name and are now starting the whole alphabet—he is eager to do them, so that’s always a good sign. His first words that he asked for help to write this past month have been: chips and beer! (No—not the usual fare here, we were playing café!) His sister has taught him how to spell ‘love’ and ‘daddy’. His other new hobby is cars—he has most of the logos memorised and enjoys looking for new ones. He built a Mercedes car dealership today with Legos.

Decorating: Well the stairwell has been stripped and plastered by Michael. Hopefully tomorrow the man will be here to install a Solartube in the upstairs middle room. We aren’t too sure if they will be able to put the large one in as Michael has realized that we have beams and a water tank in the way—but the man is coming anyway to try and get it in—so hopefully he can do it. Then we’ll plaster that room and then we can start painting those two areas–then strip our bedroom out—progress!

I’ll be back later to blog about our long weekend away!

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