Saturday, 25 June 2011

Roll on summer...

I say roll on summer because time of year is usually crazily busy with end of year or end of term things going on. I am usually ready for a break anyway, but here we are again. At least we had a bit of a break (see other blog)  Unfortuneately, it meant the Meister had to forego a few things. Book club,  history club, Zion Young Performers, 3 or 4 workshops in preparation for the Manchester Day Parade, and home ed drama, which her brother missed too, along with Scouts. But I do believe it was worth it.

Luckily, History club was rescheduled and we got to do the Roaring 20s. Very fun making a flapper type dress, and learning the Charleston, while reading about Britain's industrial decline, the General Strike of 1926 (once again topical) and the Stock Market Crash in the US in 1929. We were both sad to miss book club, since the book this month was My name is Mina by David Almond. Luckily, we know several people who have read it already so we still get to talk about it. And the Meister got a signed copy for taking part in a live interview with the author organized by the Zion Arts Centre. (As much as anything is organized there, as they are so disorganized!) The important thing for us, is that The Meister and her friend enjoyed themselves...just a shame there weren't any other kids there. :-(

Other big things...The Changeling has a job. She has finished her first year of her college course in Photography and is working for the summer for a photographer. She got 7 Distinctions and 2 Merits, which is pretty damn good. :-) And I think she is motivated to keep working hard. (Except for the hangover she has today) :-o

Also, the Boy has turned 15. For some reason, this seems a very big deal. He has so grown up in the past few months. He now spends all of his time with musical instruments, unless he is fitting in the occassional game of Magic or DnD, or helping me out, which he does a lot. :-) The big birthday present was a banjo, which he had asked for relentlessly for several weeks. Thanks to Hobgoblin, and with a contribution from Grandad, we managed to get a decent 2nd hand one. I am quite enjoying the sound of the banjo in the house, and hoping he doesn't forget to practise his piano!

The Babe has been seen in the company of smaller babes, and I now realize that she is a toddler. She is looking like a real person, and is very good at letting us all know what she wants or doesn't want, even without the aid of language. Still breast feeding, but not so much with the sleeping! Or so it seems. :-)

The Meister is getting all political, protesting the cuts in Chorlton, as well as getting all theatrical with the Manchester Day Parade. She and other home educators can be seen here!

Home educators growing the future! (That's what it says on her back.)

This is the Recyclops, who came to our rubbish ridden world, and started eating all the trash, and turning it into fertilizer and, in her pooh! She was lovely! Thanks to Emma and Sophie and their hard work. Apparently, they are up for it next year, which I really don't understand. :-o

Friday, 3 June 2011

Words, words, words...

I like words. This is something that I am hoping to pass on to my children. So I have been 'doing' some English with The Meister and The Boy. We started by looking at literary terms; to date we have covered imagery, metaphor, simile, symbolism, and personification. So we have been doing a lot of poetry, which is something they like playing around with anyway. I don't want to ruin poetry for them, by taking it apart, but we do little things, like looking at Robert Frost's Birches and picking out the metaphors and similes.

Whenever we look at poems though, we always go off on tangents. This is the thing that reassures me that I am not coercing them - that even though I am introducing a bit of structure into our weekly learning, they are still interested in it. The Meister and The Boy each have been looking at poems by different authors, comparing American and British poets, looking at 19th C and 20th C poetry, and really just gaining a familiarity with poets and their popular works. The Meister undertook to memorise The Road Not Taken (and we hear it whenever we are out walking and come to a fork in the road) and The Boy has undertaken to memorise all 18 stanzas of Poe's The Raven. He is up to 6 or  7 now. I am already impressed. I was supposed to do Edward Lear's The Jumblies, but I copped out with The Owl and The Pussycat, which The Babe really likes. :-)

Our main resource is Classic Poetry, a collection by Michael Rosen and various books I have around the house.  We see things we like, and I usually search the internet for related topics or poems or examples. We read to each other, and last time we talked about personification, we wrote some as well.

 The Boy and The Meister working (at the kitchen table!) writing their poems.

The Changeling, who decided what we were doing was interesting enough to join in. 

And The Babe, who wouldn't be left out, and had to have her own notebook and pen.

But I am not allowed to post their compositions on here. :-) So instead,  I will treat you to  A. A. Milne's Disobedience, which we have all memorised.


A A Milne

James James
Morrison Morrison
Weatherby George Dupree
Took great
Care of his Mother,
Though he was only three.
James James Said to his Mother,
"Mother," he said, said he;
"You must never go down
to the end of the town,
if you don't go down with me."

James James
Morrison's Mother
Put on a golden gown.
James James Morrison's Mother
Drove to the end of the town.
James James Morrison's Mother
Said to herself, said she:
"I can get right down
to the end of the town
and be back in time for tea."

King John
Put up a notice,
James James
Morrison Morrison
(Commonly known as Jim)
Told his
Other relations
Not to go blaming him.
James James
Said to his Mother,
"Mother," he said, said he:
"You must never go down to the end of the town
without consulting me."

James James
Morrison's mother
Hasn't been heard of since.
King John said he was sorry,
So did the Queen and Prince.
King John
(Somebody told me)
Said to a man he knew:
If people go down to the end of the town, well,
what can anyone do?"

(Now then, very softly)
W.G.Du P.
Took great
C/0 his M*****
Though he was only 3.
J.J. said to his M*****
"M*****," he said, said he: