This week was an exhausting one – it was filled with the usual (and unusual) learning and a fabulous trip to Greenwich to the Maritime Museum, but was also marred by the illness of our lovely kitten, Flash. I feel like I need a week’s rest to get over this one….
Here is what we did – arranged by subject, as usual…..
Maths: W surprised me by counting in twos and said she had learned it from D last week. This is another example of the children teaching each other, without my input, I suppose. I love that this happens on a regular basis and I love that the children gain so much just from being together and talking.
Another way that the children learn together is from our daily board game session. We play board games every evening after we have tidied the away the mess of the day together. This week, we played Monopoly Junior a lot. In this game, W will happily add up the rent on her properties when she has more than one. I haven’t ‘taught’ her how to do this – she has just learned that she needs to ask for money from one of us and needs to work out how much to ask for. It takes her a few moments, but allowing her to do this for herself means that she is included in the game as much as any other player and gives her a sense of achievement too.
At one point this week, W asked to buy some accessories for one of her toys with her pocket money. We bought it together online, so she read out the numbers from a bank card for me. Her understanding is growing about money, especially that if you spend it on one thing, it can’t still be there to buy something else.
Sport: At Rainbows, W learned about the Olympics and what the colours of the flags represent. She coloured in her own flag and wrote her name on it and then she drew a picture of her favourite sport (swimming).
Social: Also at Rainbows, W learned some new songs and a game called ‘On the deck’, which she really enjoyed. She mixes very well with the children there and plays happily with them before the session starts too.
Another opportunity for socialisation came at our regular meet-ups, where she saw her friends and had the chance to just play for a few hours.
On the train, W played with two children, aged 8 and 9. They showed each other gymnastics moves, played noughts and crosses (which she had just learned to play) and played with toys together. After that, W chatted to their grandparents as well.
It makes me so proud to see W developing her social skills like this. She is very happy to talk to children that she has just met and comes across as confident and self-assured. A reminder that our teachers in school were right – we were not at school to socialise – we socialise through life whenever we want to!
History / Geography: We visited the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, where W really enjoyed learning about boats, battles, kings and queens and everything in-between.
There was a giant map on the floor and we spent quite a bit of time walking to different countries of the world and talking about how far from each other they are. We also discussed notable things about the countries – such as Tokyo being the most populous city, which she has learned before, but now she could see a giant example of where it was in the world.
I do love this Museum – there is so much to do and so much to see. In the daytime, it is not crowded at all and the staff are so helpful too.
We also visited Queen’s House in Greenwich, which W loved. She asked me to read every information section about each room. She learned about the house and what it was used for over time. She learned about the art in the rooms and also the design aspects. All of this information was gained from the little plaques on the walls and from the knowledgeable staff there.
We talked about the steps in the house being worn down in the middle and had a mini-lesson ourselves on erosion.
We talked about the different roles and responsibilities that monarchs had had in the past and how that had changed and then W also asked about their staff and what they did.
She is very interested in the Royal family and asked again how succession to the throne works. She still doesn’t seem impressed at the fact that one is born into the role and does not ‘earn’ it.
Science: We looked at a huge propeller from a boat and learned how it made the boat move. We then related that back to the cruise ship that we had seen on the Thames last week.
W was lucky enough to go inside a traditional windmill – not working, but all the equipment was there. We talked about how it was used to make flour.
Also saw a beached anchor – related it to how it is used on boats (specifically Capt Turbot’s in Paw Patrol)
W asked in conversation why brothers and sisters can’t marry and that lead to a discussion on genetics and mutations, in simple terms!
Later in the week, W asked to learn about types of cloud, so we looked them up on the internet and she was interested in the different types and their names. She learned a tiny bit about how they are formed, which we can build on when she is older.
Later, we went to the vets again with our cat, Flash, as he had been very poorly indeed. W learned about dehydration, infections and antibiotics. At the vet’s we saw posters on the wall about kidney disease in cats and saw a picture of the kidneys, learned about their function and also saw an ultrasound of kidneys.
I have tried to shield the children from how serious Flash’s illness was. He became so seriously ill that he could not even lift his head. I had been giving him tiny amounts of water in a syringe every hour day and night as he was not able to drink either. I had washed him as, of course, he wasn’t able to use the litter tray. The poor thing had just been in his bed, not moving apart from constant involuntary shaking.
It turned out to be a serious infection and thankfully he recovered over time and started to eat after around 5 days. The children were worried about him, but none of them knew that he could have died. To see him so poorly and to think that we could have lost him was very hard indeed.
I think the best thing that I have seen this week is Flash playfully batting his brother on the nose, proving that he is starting to get his strength back!
At dinner, W learned from my partner about blood pressure and why low blood pressure makes you dizzy and can give you a headache.
Play: In the Maritime Museum, W played with me in the mini fish market, making up prices for the products and selling them to me.
W and D played many games as we traveled in the car this week. They came up with games such as car spotting, pretend computers and vets (using soft toys as patients).
Literacy: At one of our regular meet-ups, W asked me to help her make a menu for her pretend café. I wrote the menu for her, but asked her what the letters in some of the words should be. She then went around the people and asked them what items they would like from the menu.
Later that day, W wrote a card to her Grandfather for his birthday, all by herself.
On the train later in the week, we made up a story together, which she loves to do. I usually make up the first part, then she says what happens next and we continue taking it in turns to create the story. It is usually very funny, though I’m not sure how much the commuters enjoy our raucous laughter….. but that doesn’t matter, because the point of all this is to have fun. Isn’t that even the point of life? We are here for such a short time, we should enjoy it at least!