Sunday, 28 August 2011

Roll on the new term!

Homeschoolers don't have to follow state school terms, but Charlotte made it clear she was doing no school work while her friends weren't.  I can't say I blame her.  Anyway, she's been to Scarborough for a week with hubby, while I stayed at home to look after the dogs.  We're going to have to pack in a lot of serious work in the first couple of weeks in September as Charlotte and I are taking samples of her work to the Education Department at Durham in mid-September for them to look at.  I received a letter from them approving our proposals for Charlotte's education, so I was happy about that.  By law, we're not complied to show Charlotte's work to the local education authority, but I see no reason not to co-operate with them - the more support the better as far as I'm concerned, and it will keep me on my toes and prevent me from becoming lackadaisical about her education.  Lackadaisical - now there's a word!  I had to google it to see that I spelled it properly. :O)

Meanwhile, I finished reading 'The Intruders' by E. E. Richardson.  I'm looking forward to going over it with Charlotte as I feel sure she will enjoy it.  I liked it so much that I went on to read two more of E. E. Richardson's books, 'The Devil's Footsteps' and 'Soul Trade'.  Brilliantly scary stories - real page turners!

While Charlotte's been on 'summer holidays', I've spent some time thinking about picking up my degree again with The Open Univesity, so I've registered on a third level Children's Literature course that starts at the beginning of October.  I know I'll be taking on a lot, what with organising Charlotte's lessons as well as my own study, but I find I work better under pressure and seem to get more done that way.  The set books are an interesting mix - from 'Junk' by Melvin Burgess which is about squatting, drinking and drug taking amongst teenagers to Beatrix Potter's 'The Tale of Peter Rabbit'! 

I've just finished 'Junk'.  I could hardly put it down and read it in two days!  It's the story of Gemma and Tar, who run away from home at the age of 14.  They get in with a crowd of squatters and it isn't long before they start taking 'soft' drugs, leading to all the rest of it.  Each chapter is told from the viewpoint of a different character.  I found that really fascinating to get an insight of things from the different people involved.  When they first get into the drug and party scene, they make it sound so good and I thought to myself, "Uh-oh, there's no way I'm letting Charlotte read this", as it is a book written for young people, teenagers, young adults, or whatever is the politically correct term, but as the characters tell their story the reality becomes more clear..... well, you'll have to read it for yourself!  I've given it to Charlotte to read because I think she'll enjoy it and it will give her much to think about.  It's given me a lot of insight into the relationship between parents and their children.

I've got lots of lesson plans and projects lined up for the beginning of September, for Charlotte and I to work on.  One highlight for the new term is that we don't need to splash out on a new school uniform!  

Looking forward to reading this AGAIN! :)

Monday, 15 August 2011

If dogs were our teachers.......

Academic subjects are important, but we often need guidance in other areas of life.  Human beings needn't always be the best teachers in life skills.  What if dogs were our teachers?  These are just some of the things we would learn.

When loved ones come home, always run to greet them.   

Never pass up the opportunity to go for a joyride. 

Allow the experience of fresh air and the wind in your face to be pure ecstasy. 

Take naps.

Stretch before rising. 

Run, romp, and play daily. 

Thrive on attention and let people touch you. 

Avoid biting when a simple growl will do. 

On warm days, stop to lie on your back on the grass.

On hot days, drink lots of water and lie under a shady tree. 

When you're happy, dance around and wag your entire body. 

Delight in the simple joy of a long walk.

Be loyal.

Never pretend to be something you're not.

If what you want lies buried, dig until you find it.

When someone is having a bad day, be silent, sit close by, and nuzzle them gently. 

Woof, woof!

Thursday, 11 August 2011

"It wasn't me......."

The other day I was quite busy doing this and that round the house, so I was happy to discover that hubs and Charlotte had decided to make some pancakes.  Happy..... but not overly optimistic, going on previous attempts.  However, they seemed to be doing things correctly this time.  They had the kitchen scales out and were measuring quantities instead of just pouring things in straight from the packet.  Oh yummy, might get a proper pancake this time.  I continued with what I was doing and waited to be offered my share.  I did try to look pleased when Charlotte handed me my plate, but I couldn't decide what the objects before me were more akin to...... an illustration of amoeba or an anaemic liver!

 I wondered at the strange colour.

"We put pink food colouring in," she said looking pleased at their ingenuity.

As Charlotte looked on awaiting my appraisal, I hesitantly broke off a small piece to try.  As I maneuvered it round my mouth, it seemed to have what I imagined to be the consistency of play dough and it tasted of....... well, nothing really.  I looked apologetic and handed the plate back to her.

"Well anyway, it was dad that made them," she said taking the plate away to add the portion to hers, which she ate in her bedroom determined to look as if she was actually enjoying it.

Hubby, meanwhile, was in the kitchen wiping up spilt flour and cleaning utensils.

"That was horrible," I told him.

"It's Charlotte," he said, "She gets overexcited and pours stuff in too quickly."

I smiled to myself - neither of them would accept responsibility.