Sunday, 14 June 2015

Jaunts and jackdaws

The other weekend we visited Monk's House, once the home of Leonard and Virginia Woolf. We ambled slowly through the rooms, enjoying the works of art and Charleston-style furnishings.

Sitting room

Virginia Woolf's bedroom

Virginia Woolf's handbound copies of the works of William Shakespeare, featuring her handwriting on the spines

As we have had some sunny weather over the past few weeks, we have been getting out most days. We are lucky to have a large nature reserve nearby, which is free to visit. The best news is that Tom now joins us on our trips. It has been a slow and painstaking process to get him out of the house, as his high levels of anxiety had been mostly keeping him indoors until recently, but he is now able to go out regularly and to attend his new school (mornings only, so far). I love watching him and Charlie playing together. For so long, Charlie was a bit like an only child; he is clearly very happy that he now has his big brother to play with again.

Charlie showing unwavering trust in his big brother here

At home, Charlie has renewed his interest in making Lego films with his Hue animation package. 

Showing his big brother how he makes the films
Wanting a better background for the films, he used some of his Christmas money to buy the Lego bike shop and cafe set, which was heavily discounted on Amazon.

He constructed the buildings over two days, showing great patience and determination, and was delighted with the result.

In our English lessons, we have been concentrating on conjunctions (or connectives). Charlie watched this BBC video, then completed practice exercises from his Galore Park English textbook and from relevant Twinkl printouts.

In Maths, we revised the addition methods we've covered so far, then Charlie completed the first progress test in his Schofield & Sims Addition book.

Charlie's latest Little Passport's delivery focused on South Africa. Each package includes a gift which represents something about the country; this month, Charlie received a bird whistle, which tied in neatly with the information about going on safari in South Africa and all the animals, including birds, that you can spot.

Charlie easily found South Africa on the world map. He seems to know where most of the world's countries are already and Little Passports reinforces his knowledge and fills in any gaps.

In addition to a sticky passport stamp, a boarding pass, a postcard and a sheet of information about the country, each Little Passport package contains a code which you can type into the website to unlock three online activities. I think Charlie enjoys this - and the surprise gift - more than anything else in the delivery. 

Learning about Lesotho

One day, we had a suprise lesson in ornithology, when a dishevelled baby jackdaw, with pale blue eyes and a somewhat punky hairstyle, appeared in our back garden. At first we thought it was injured, but after watching it for a while, we realised that it just hadn't learned to fly yet. Charlie googled 'baby bird' and discovered - greatly to his disappointment - that the advice was to leave well alone if the bird was obviously uninjured and fully feathered. Which ours was. We spent the rest of the day dashing to the window to check on it.  After a while, the mother bird appeared and lingered nearby, whilst the baby jackdaw hopped around the garden, ineffectually flapping its wings. We all cheered when it eventually managed to lift off and flew up into the trees.

You've got to ask yourself one question: "Do I feel lucky?" Well, do ya, punk?

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