We havent been working with our routine so I havent been as purposeful with the childrens activities. It is situations just as these that we have the opportunity to see where the children are really at, what really takes their interests and the whole concept that learning happens, and that education is a lifestyle comes into play.
These are the things my children have been at:
Joshua has been writing, writing and writing. Due to us still only having one computer he has occasionally got onto the keyboard and copy-typed some of his handwritten writings this is because editing and sharing is so much easier.
Joshua has made another battle type board game; quite cleverly he has used a sheet of advertising magnets as his board (it is not only able to be taken travelling but he uses each individual magnet in the sheet as the squares for his board) and for his men he has used large headed split pins with head side down. He slips a coloured piece of paper into the arms of the pins and he has his two teams to play war games with!
Joshua has been reading more on battles and their generals and leadership. He regularly narrates what he is reading.
Jessica is as usual a quiet achiever. She is constantly helping her younger brother and sister; be it helping them get ready or get organised, helping them on the computer or with an art project, reading to Daniel, or helping Nomi with her spelling.
Jessica has started her own blog and is committed to writing and sharing there at least once a week. She has spent some time looking for blogging friends she is getting familiar with other girl-bloggers and their content before she introduces herself and reads their blogs regularly. She doesnt want to just read twaddle even in the blog world. As she is reading other blogs she is becoming aware of the scope of writing opportunities she could include in her own writing.
Naomi has been very busy with her costume for Daniels party. Though the invitation hinted at medieval royalty being the theme she has considered that all that royalty needs someone to make them laugh so she is coming as a Joker (Court Jester). She has made a collar, twirls for her shoes and a hat. We need to finish this costume off together but she has done an amazing job and has a good understanding of working with different material. Her efforts do indicate though that we need to get into sewing and show her the techniques and pattern making conventions (such as seam allowances).
In trying to find out more about court jesters Nomi has done her research. She has found several history picture-reference books on our shelves and has asked Jessica to help her with that research. That has been good for both of them Jess as the teacher and Nomi starting out with research tools.
Naomi is still enjoying Fimo and has made several Parrot theme models. Parrots are still her thing at this stage. She has been reading little bits about them.
Daniel has been struggling a little because he wants to play with the others and yet the others have been busily occupied working on their projects and things. I have talked to Daniel about the need for him to be able to play by himself; sometimes all his family or all his friends will be busy, but more importantly, we also need time by ourselves so that we can be quiet and hear God speak to us. If we are always making noise, always with people it is harder to hear God, and sometimes we cant hear Him at all. This is a big concept and I think I have just started to sow the seed. There has been a change ever so small where he is going off to try and play by himself.
With Daniels speech I have been trying to hear when he doesnt actually voice a whole, complete sentence. I then model the whole sentence for him and coach him through it. It is hard work for him.
We have introduced the game Boggle to our pile of games. Jessica has played a few games already. Daniel has used the cube to put words together he is still struggling with the concept that there are rules to make words; you just dont plonk letters together!
There have been opportunities over the last few days to work on character issues; heart issues. Good Friday service was an opportunity for the kids to give up their chairs for adults. This concept was received differently by different children and made me realise that though we have read of this courtesy and even talked about it there really hasnt been many opportunities to practice it and therefore it did take a few of them by surprise. A good lesson for me as parent, that courtesies and manners etc are not head knowledge it has to be lived out.
There have been relational issues such as finding a way to blend two groups of friends, visiting at the same time, into all playing together. Issues where sharing has been a focus sharing is taking turns, yes, but not getting your turn when you want it! Sharing is waiting for your turn. Sharing could even be allowing the other person to have a really good time with it.
I have put a memory verse up on the kitchen cupboard. Prov. 22:11 He who loves a pure heart and whose speech is gracious has the king for his friend. Nomi in particular has taken it on board to memorise it though eventually I will bring it to the attention of everyone and we will all memorise it. I have chose this verse for the next little while as it fits with so many of not only our studies (Art of Eloquence) but also the issues that are going on in our house niggly things that a pure heart would fix, and bossy things that gracious speech would fix.
Over the Easter weekend we have had people over for a meal etc and these opportunities to give the children a chance to rise to the occasion to bless others. Be it to make the children feel comfortable and help them have a good time or be it blessing the adults by giving them the freedom of conversation without constant interruption.
Joshua had an opportunity to witness on Sunday. Peter had a client call in to pick something up and while Pete was in the shed getting it ready the client asked Josh if the Easter Bunny had arrived. Joshua said, No, but Ive got an Easter Saviour. Client said, Did he drop eggs? Joshua replied, No, but Ive got eternal life! At this point Pete turned up and the man left. We pray that Josh planted a seed for him to think about. Josh was also able to share this testimony at church, which blessed many there that day.
I used the Jellybean story as the childrens talk at church on Sunday. Jessica helped me prepare by photocopying the verse onto envelopes (this was a new photocopying task for her as she hand fed DL envelopes into the copier). Then Nomi and Jess sorted 2 packets of Jellybeans and found the right colours for the poem/message and put the jellybeans in the envelopes.
We also made Resurrection Rolls to share with the kids for Sundays morning tea. Each of the children made a complete recipe/batch. Actually having everyone in the kitchen at the same time, making the same thing was a lot less stressful than I thought it would be (I dont do well with others in my kitchen!) We cleared off the kitchen table (which is usually my control centre not a cooking bench) and with 2 kids each side it worked really well.
Having Peter home over the weekend has been such so nice. Though there were clients that acted as if it was a weekend no different than any other, most of his work starts after Easter each year. Peter spent a large amount of time on Monday gardening each of the children (bar Josh as he isnt well) spent time with Pete dragging pruning (major pruning) to the bonfire pile. Looks like weve got a bonfire coming up!
Peter spent some more time with intense dog training with Domino she is learning and isnt quite so naughty these days. We all watched Peter and so are learning a little ourselves on how to handle her.
We finished our long weekend with Sparklers out on the lawn last night with shouts of Jesus is alive!