Sunday, 21 August 2011

A Cupcake Party

It's been a lovely week full of fun and learning (autonomous of course ;) ) and as usual Sunday has been a home day of doing nothing very much other than plodding around, reading, doing a few jigsaws and a bit of lego. We had a friend stay for the weekend which the boys were so excited about the few days before. I'm sure he was fed up of their attention by the time he left today though lol!
There was a 'party in the park' at a local village that we had planned to go to but completely forgot about so Hayd decided he wanted to have his own party. This, he said, would consist of selling homemade cupcakes from a homemade cupcake stand. So i was assigned to the cupcake making. 12 were made but only 10 made it to the cupcake stand for some unknown reason ;) ha ha!
Hayden wanted to make the cupcake stand so he got together some wooden poles that he had for woodworking and used his hammer from his real tool kit (more on that in a minute) so nail together the poles into a stand. He wrote a sign saying 'Haydens cupcake stand' to place on the front. His writing is getting soo much better and he really seems to enjoy it when he does it. I really think its because HE is choosing to do it when he wants to, when he needs to do it to progress with things he wants to do. I love this organic, natural way of learning without anything being forced or any coercion. He sold the cupcakes for 20p each to daddy and his friends and took great delight in counting how much he'd made at the end!
Hayden loves using his tools, he has a real sense of purpose and such focus and creativity when he doing woodworking. People are often shocked when they realise he has been using 'real' tools, child-sized though they are. 'What if he cuts himself or hammers his fingers' people say horrified. I always say 'well if we had not shown him how to use them safely, if he had not watched daddy use his time after time and seen how to do it, then maybe he would cut himself, and afterwards im sure he would be more careful in future so as not to do the same again'. Children need to be able to explore and risk assess for themselves or they are likely to have trouble even as an adult with these things. If we keep them away from things, never show them how to do them then are much more likely to sneak off and try things when your not looking and really hurt themselves from lack of knowledge of how to do these things. Children are fantastic at exploring safely, and learning their own limits if they are given the freedom to do so. We can't wrap our children up in cotton wool, it does more damage than good, and it sure takes the fun out of life. If we do, and then throw them out into the world not knowing how to risk assess or using their own instincts then surely there will be problems! If we give them the space to explore, equip them with skills to do so by setting an example, learn to trust in them, and then step back and watch them navigate and discover their world then they will thrive. Of course there are accidents along the way but they are part of life, learning experiences and they usually dont make the same mistake again!
Anyway, im looking forward to quite a quiet week next week due to lack of money mainly and a tired out mama. Time for a cocoa and back to reading 'Simplicity Parenting'.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

spinning and archery

We had a few quiet days at the end of last week as Hayden stayed at his nannies for 2 nights. He had such a lovely time and didn't miss us one bit i dont think! On one hand im sad about that as being his mama i want him to want to be with me always, but at the same time im happy he's confident and secure enough to do so. It was quiet around the house so we got on with some jobs and wandered over to the park with Artie. He loves to go on daddies shoulders at the weekend and nuzzle daddies neck and shower him with kisses, its so sweet.
We had a picnic with the home ed group on Sunday and for the first time it included the daddies too which was nice. Cake was shared, playing was done and it was lovely to meet the daddies so often talked about at group.
There was a Friends of Taunton fun day at French Weir Park where local clubs showed off what they are about and gave out information to gain more members. Hayden had a go at the climbing wall, we all did archery (i was terrible!) and the bigger boys did a bit of sword play which they of course loved! Hayden and i both had a go on the lovely spinning wheel, and I found out about a knitting group in Bridgwater that im now hopefully going to join, maybe ill actually get somewhere with it then!
Today was our usual home ed group meet, at Fyne Court this week. We spent about 6 hours there, walking, playing in mud, making leaf beds and houses and generally enjoying everything mother nature has to offer. Im going to be a little sad when winter draws round and it'll be too cold to stay out all day, so we're making the most of it now.
Looking forward to a home day tomorrow consisting of washing, playing and just being.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

A new name

It has been a fair few months since my last blog post. On that last post i said i would start blogging regularly but of course i didn't. It was not because i didn't want to or even that i didn't have enough free time to. I couldn' put my finger on why, why i just couldn't face doing it.
A few weeks ago i read a book called the Unschooling Handbook by Sara McGrath, as i wanted to get a view on that style of home ed and because after talking to friends about unschooling i felt it was what we were already doing/wanting to do. It was a wonderful, comforting and reassuring read. I always worry that i do not do enough with Hayden in the way of educational things, even though i know its not what he needs at this age i still panic sometimes that i should be doing MORE MORE MORE.
The unschooling handbook helped me ground myself and really helped me to identify with what i want our home educating life to entail and what i want for Hayden. Until now ive been feeling a bit like a fraud, like im not really doing home ed properly for some silly reason. But after reading the book i feel refreshed and at peace now, like im in my own skin now and have found my niche, on my outlook on home ed and our life. We're unschoolers, not homeschoolers and that goes for the whole of our life not just our home education (hence the change of name). Because unschooling is a lifestyle. A wonderful, scary, fulfilling and exciting lifestyle and im now proud to say it. And only now do i feel able to blog about our life.
Let the blogging commence!

Friday, 6 May 2011

may day and general fun

We try and celebrate quite a few festivals and seasonal celebrations throughout the year in our house. It helps us keep in rhythm with seasons and is good fun. So on May Day we read about the history of the day and some related poems and songs in our 'Festivals, Family and Food' book and made a may pole which we decorated with a few ribbons and some crepe paper. Then we danced around it singing a may day song which the boys both loved, they giggled their heads off. We also had a little barbeque in the garden and both boys enjoyed helping daddy turn the food over and move it from the barbeque to the plates. Arthur gets so much enjoyment from helping with things mummy and daddy do, hes just as happy helping me peg the washing out or chop up the vegetables for dinner as he is to play with toys.
We havent been doing a lot this week, im very tired all the time at the moment and our car is on the blink so we've been taking it even slower than usual.
We have started going swimming again, and i didnt realise how much the boys have missed it until they were in the water again having a lovely time. They are both confident in the water, Hayden loves going under and diving in etc and arties happy to float around with mummy and splash about in his armbands.
Today we have been at home and Hayden has done his Nina and the Neurons magazine from cover to cover and really enjoyed it. His pencil control is getting a lot better and his forming of letters is really good. He can write quite a few letters from memory now and all of his name without being shown the letters which isnt bad seeing as ive never pushed it and just helped him do it when he has the interest to. We read lots of stories today cuddled up in bed, Artie is getting so much better at sitting for stories now and getting engrossed in them. I havent read to him as much as i did with Hayd at his age but he is just as interested and has as big a love of books as his brother.
Hayden finally used the magic giant bubble wand he had for his birthday from my friend Mathilde. He loved making up the bubble juice and making huge bubble tunnels and artie was enthralled watching and popped quite a few. Recently we made our own bubble wands using toilet roll tubes to blow through, and also ones made from string and straws which were great fun and he wanted to use those again today too.
Looking forward to a relaxed lazy weekend to end our lazy week, hopefully involving messy baking fun, stories and lots and lots of cuddles.