Monday, February 21, 2011

Next 10 Books

We're on to our next set of books in the reading challenge.  The last challenge almost wasn't completed, until there was a late surge at the weekend.  Dr John chose, as his prize, 10 nanos which are collectable 'things' that you get from the supermarket every time you spend 20CHF.  I have a 'secret stash' that I distribute at random times (particularly if I need a bribe, lol!) and Dr John chose to have 10 from the stash.  Strange really, as he will get them all anyway, and he could've chosen anything else within reason (I was guessing something from the lego Ninjago range).  Still, saves me money ;-)

So, what have we chosen for the next set?  A good mix I hope.  Some new stories, a couple of classics, a non-fiction and a French book.

T'choupi fait du vĂ©lo - Our first attempt at reading a French book.  I'm aware that he won't understand some of the words at first, but I'm using this as the starting point for learning the french sounds.  It may not work.

The Incredible Book Eating Boy - As requested by Dr John.

The Monster Gang - An Usborne Young Reading level 1 book.

The Tale of Peter Rabbit - I always forget that these books are longer than I think.

Freya and Heath are Home Educated - To balance up the American Home Ed book he read last time.

Jack and the Beanstalk - This is the version of the story where Jack collects the goose and the harp etc.

Key Words 5b - We have the whole set of these now, so I am going to try and include at least one in each challenge.

I've Won, No I've Won, No I've Won - A Charlie and Lola book.

Why Do We Eat? - An Usborne Beginners book, a non fiction offering.  Chosen mainly for his current interest in the body.

Chill Out Scooby Doo! - I bought this when we took a short trip back to the UK for my niece's birthday.  Its an interesting inclusion as the English isn't that great in it (a lot of casual language in it, e.g. "Like, shouldn't we be there by now?") but hopefully this will open up some discussions.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Puidoux to Lutry hike

Today was our first family hike of the year. In fact, it was our first hike as a family of four. Pip was carried by Chris Evans in the backpack for the first time and at 11.30 we took the 9 minute train ride to Puidoux-Chexbres station.
Its a walk we've done before, but this time we took a picnic lunch and stopped at one of the picnic tables along the way.
Its a lovely walk through the vineyards, and I think it is really best done between January and April as I find it just too hot in the summer walking on the south facing slopes (I know, I'm a wimp when it comes to the sun!).
We took the scooter too so that Dr John could practice on the flat bits (we're hoping that he'll get his balance enough so that he'll want to tackle his bike in the summer).  As it turned out, my ligaments haven't completely sorted themselves out after the birth of Pip, so the scooter helped me home without the need for the emergency services!

We walked to the north of Cully, through Grandvaux and down to Lutry where we caught the bus home.  Chris Evans wanted to walk into Lutry to get ice cream, but I was done, so he went to the petrol station for a cone when we got home, and came back with some roses and an apple crumble from the bakery.  How romantic!

I never thought I'd say that I enjoy hiking so much.  We always have a great time, chatting away.  Sometimes we do have to ask Dr John to stop talking for a moment so the rest of us can get a word in edgeways, and on occasion he will do something dangerous or silly like climbing around a storm drain, which gave us a heart attack!
I'm really looking forward to warmer weather so we can do many more hikes through beautiful countryside.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

What are we up to?

It has yet again been too long between blog posts.

Our days have settled into something of a rhythm.  Each day sees some reading, maths, and French, and if things have been going well (!) I encourage some writing.

Dr John is a little behind on his 11 books challenge, but he is becoming more confident with reading and is reading more to himself (lego catalogue, magazines etc).  He still will only do odd words outside of his 'official' reading, but to see him decide to read anything is a joy.

I have been teaching him how to tell the time.  I went way too quickly at first, not thinking that the correlation between minutes and the numbers actually written on the clock would be so hard.  Its a great chance for us to use a clock that I made in pottery class that I still haven't put up on the wall, particularly as we only have one other visible clock in the appartment, and thats the digital one on the oven.

French comes and goes in waves.  He had a lesson a couple of weeks ago that the teacher labelled 'fantastic' and declared that he would be flying in a couple of months.  Although not wishing to be too negative I did warn her not to get too excited, and sure enough the following week, although not a bad lesson, wasn't at the dizzy heights of the previous week.  He appears to understand an awful lot, but doesn't speak it.  I suspect this could be down to him wanting it to be perfect, almost the feeling that if he can't get it completely right, he'd better not attempt it at all.

I have still been trying to come up with more creative ways of encouraging his writing.  So last week I asked him to empty the tins cupboard and make a list of what was in there.  This has served several purposes: writing practice, a stocktake for me and then we can use the results to make bar charts, tally charts etc.

This week he has been to his theatre class and I think they have started practising for their spectacle in June. The teacher cam out and asked me what crevette means in English (prawn) so I dread to think what its about!
He went to his atelier too as usual where this term they are looking at exhibitions.  They are making a totem pole.  I love this place and will be very sad, as will Dr John, when he has to stop going in the summer.
He was meant to be going to rugby, which is inside for 6 weeks (only 3 weeks to go, and I'm sure the weather will get worse just as they go back outside!) but our neighbour has been taking him, and I didn't check my phone until just before they were due to leave, so missed the text saying that her son had hit his head and wasn't going to go, so we didn't go, as we would've turned up way too late (one of the downsides of not having a car).
Yoga was, as usual, manic.  Which seems a strange thing to say, but when they come out, they are all fired up, and then get to run around the play place for 30 minutes before we leave.
On Friday, as Pip and I missed her Kindermusik class on Wednesday as we went to look round a house, all three of us went.  Dr John had fun and was helpful and kind to all the babies, even though I could tell a lot of the mums were wondering what a 6 year old was doing there during school time, particularly one wearing an elf's hat!
In the afternoon we went ice skating with a friend who has just started at a montessori school after being home educated.  The school doesn't have sports facilities so has to give the children the whole of Friday off.

And so to the weekend.  This afternoon, Chris Evans is taking the children to the park and the supermarket so I can get on with some sewing without having a little lady pressing on the sewing machine pedal!  And then as the weather looks like it might be even warmer tomorrow, I think we are going for a walk in the vineyards.  Perfect.

When small things lead to danger

I've tried to copy and paste this in its entirety here, but for some reason I can't get the pics to appear, so instead here's a link to a snowshoe walk Chris Evans and Dr John did together:

I hope you enjoy reading it!