Finally, we are back into some kind of routine and I have actually made a few attempts to write already this year but after a few false starts I realised it was too early. This is after all a learning blog so it would feel wrong to be writing about our christmas, the Lapland UK visit (amazing by the way!) which set our christmas off to a magical start, the 12 days of christmas nightime walk in the Forest of Dean, christmassy crafts or the boys’ presents. There are plenty of Pinterest accounts and blogs to read about everyone’s perfect christmases! I will quickly mention Boggle, great word game that suits all ages, L uses his sounds better in Boggle than any other game at the moment. Great present! And the IQ games: Little brain teaser puzzles that some friends introduced us to. Shortly before christmas C had been learning about direct and indirect speech and I managed to persuade him to practise this in his letter to FC with a “Mummy says that I would probably like….” type sentence. Santa agreed with Mummy and conveniently dropped some off. Perfect.
For the second year running we are really appreciating not having to get up in the dark, rush out in the cold, come home in the dark and most of all to be able to enjoy birthday and christmas presents as part of our learning time! For the second year running I am asking myself how did I ever manage to get up and out every morning? With proper clothes?? And make up??? I feel like it was a different person!
Our new term officially started with a trip to Southampton City Art Gallery, where we took part in an engaging workshop, learning about some of the pieces and the stories behind them and then recreating a pixelated painting with collage. C was so pleased with his he wanted to leave it there. It is now proudly displayed in the Education room, although I think he secretly hoped it was going to go up in the gallery! I really was proud of them here. They showed that they really do know how to behave in galleries and museums and were very respectful, listening well and offering answers and ideas. Again I reminded myself how lucky I was to be able to be there to see the learning taking place, chuckle at L and is funny contributions, and his seriousness, and admire that C didn’t put his hand up for a couple of questions as he thought they were “quite easy, and some of the younger children probably wanted to answer”. How lovely. He often shows such sensitivity towards others. Maybe not his brother, but certainly other children! The way that HE children mix really is remarkable: Older ones looking out for younger, younger children not feeling intimidated by age, and of course ability never comes into it. HE relationships are really quite special.
We bought C a watercolour set for christmas. Both boys still love to create and we stayed in the gallery drawing Ben Johnson paintings until it closed. Next time I must remember to take a sketch pad myself, I do love watching them but not for over an hour as they sketch!
Our chosen topics for the new term are Star Wars and Thomas The Tank Engine. An interesting mix! I am managing to incorporate animation as the combined outcome. So far so good. We started by thinking about characters and set about replacing the cards in Guess Who. L and I worked through a website that gives a character analysis of EVERY SINGLE Thomas character. Goodness there are a lot! C only replaced about 5 or 6 as his drawings were incredibly detailed, but he did record their key characteristics as he went along. Both boys have learnt some new terms from this work which I’m hoping will be used in their upcoming stories. Stories which will then turn into stop animation productions. I have taken lots of step by step photos which I will post next week if anyone wants to have a go. It was a really worthwhile activity for thinking about characters. Although I am feeling slightly bad that I have planned this for others and didn’t realise just how long it took – sorry if that’s you!