I've been a real busy little bumbly bee over the past few days (the voice in my head is actually asking when I'm not a real busy little bumbly bee as a wife and home-educating mama of 5 beautiful beings), but I seem to have been extra busy, ok?
Sadly our usual Monday home-education group meeting was cancelled this week due to the weather forecast. As it turned out we probably could have met and enjoyed a bit of weak sunshine - it was after lunch by the time the promised rain visited - but I wasn't to know that when I cancelled. Thanks weather person for making me look even a bigger fool than usual.
My kiddies and I made the most of having an unexpected day at home, with each of us getting on with our own thing. I love self-motivated and independent big children, it makes my job so much easier.
I can remember these snippets of activity occurring...
Chelsea went to the library, came home and read numerous books. She began painting the cover of one of her art journals with acrylics and glitter, started typing a story on her computer, helped her dad to collect the swings and climbing frame from the house next door as they are moving out and said we could have them, discussed growing up (she was thinking forward to being 20) and having to pay bills and buy food for proper meals. She very kindly cooked dinner, and played with the dog and Taisia. Chelsea also made a delicious chocolate and orange cake that was absolutely yum yum YUM.
Joseph went on the XBox, gave himself a bit more guitar tuition, discussed the horrific Syria situation with me, talked about the Euro finals and the possibility of trouble outbreaks (he had seen the Panorama footage and was outraged), went on the laptop to look at various websites, emailed friends and twitter pals, also helped to collect the play equipment from next door, and he played on the trampoline with Taisia.
Tiegan went to the library with Chelsea, also read numerous books of various genres, played many games with Callum, talked to me about budgeting and shopping, helped me to do a meal plan, had a drawing session with Taisia, tried on her new shoes and loved them, used the laptop to go on various websites, and just generally made herself very useful cleaning, tidying and being ultra cool to have around.
Callum also went on the XBox. He is well and truly back into Skylander mode since the flamin' money wasting figurines needed to play the con of the game became readily available in stores again. He is now counting down the days until the end of the month when he can buy another Skylander for his birthday gift. Callum also did some drawing with Taisia, talked too much about too many subjects to mention, watched a documentary about Komodo dragons then one about Tarantulas and a third one about Ants, he told horrendously bad jokes that made me groan and stifle a giggle, and licked out the bowl of the afore mentioned chocolate and orange cake mix.
Now, what about little Taisia? What did she do?
Taisia sat on her bum and did 'bump' down each step. She then climbed back up to the top of the stairs and did it again. And again. And again. And again. And.... you get the idea. When the joy of that rather treacherous for mama to watch calmly activity wore off she went and found the crayons and drew a little. I managed to grab her for a quick nappy change and wash, and offered her breakfast. She refused the latter, BUT continued on with the crayons and managed to decorate the floor and the tiles of the fireplace with works of baby art (easily wiped off so no harm done, I should have photographed them), whilst I put a load of washing in the machine. Taz then climbed back upstairs again and bumped once more - no, three times more. There were then pleas to be let outside to play, so Joe came to the rescue and took her out on the trampoline whilst I did oh so glamorous tasks that included bin emptying and pot washing. Taisia all too soon got bored of bouncing and chased the cat around the garden instead. I managed to coax her back inside with the promise of food, which she duly shared with the dog.
The dog was very grateful, I was less so.
More stair climbing and bumps ensued (why do little legs not tire when stair climbing? And just whose silly idea was it to get rid of the stair gate?) Taisia then stayed still long enough for us to cuddle and read books together - a lovely moment - too shortly followed by me explaining why the dog may not like having her eyes poked and ears pulled. Taisia decided to wash the dog instead with a cloth, whilst singing nursery rhymes to her.
I'm not sure the dog appreciated it.
Drawing time with siblings followed, then more food eating, food dropping on the floor, and searching for some sort of animal food to feast on. Cat or dog food will do, apparently it doesn't matter.
I needed a quick distraction activity so we stood at the window and watched the rain fall, following the rain drops with our fingers on the glass pane as they raced each other to the bottom. My rain drops won numerous times can I just gloat and mention.
Another battle, I mean nappy change, and Taisia became a sleepy babe. She fell asleep snuggled on the sofa and I was able to get on with what else needed doing - washing, more dishes, laundry putting away, general tidying, etc, - all the usual mundane every day tasks I choose to leave out of this blog for fear of boring you lovely readers.
*Slightly embarrassing account of a lady issue to follow - if male you may prefer not to read this bit*
Lee (husband) came home from work and almost immediately I needed to leave and head to the doctors surgery for the dreaded - definitely not a pleasant experience - Smear Test. I hate those things. I mean, I really really hate them. Not as much as a visit to the dentist granted, but certainly not far behind. Four years had passed since my last one and I couldn't put it off any longer. It is just one of those things us ladies (I use that term lightly in reference to myself) just need to suck up and get on with huh?
Fortunately the nurse was really lovely. Very smiley and chatty, putting me immediately at ease - at least at first. Dear Nursey asked why I had left it so long between tests, and I said because I had had a baby and then just kept putting it off. She asked how old baby was, I told her. She asked if she was my first, I told her she was my 5th. She was surprised (read as shocked). She asked how old my oldest was, I said 16. She went back to saying how gorgeous toddlers are and I agreed and remarked how fabulous teenagers are also. She disagreed. I disagreed with her disagreement. I mentioned that we home-educate and I thought that may have helped us develop a great relationship.
The atmosphere seemed to change immediately, as did her smiley facial expression.
But, but, but....
Is that even legal? I mean, are you allowed to do that? Really? They let you teach your own children? Wow. Oh, you must be a teacher right? (She smiles a relieved smile) No? You aren't a teacher? Oh. What qualifications do you have that enable you to teach your children then? Can they read? Really? You taught them to read? I guess you must follow a curriculum right? I mean, you would have to wouldn't you? You couldn't do exams otherwise. You must have to do exams right? No? You don't have to? Not by law? Are you sure? Wow (looking confused). Oh goodness, do they have friends? I mean, do they see other children? Do you let them play out? Are they allowed to mix with other people? Are you religious or something? Oh hang on, do they have special needs? (Hopeful look appears).
I may be imagining it, but I'm pretty sure I was treated differently than most after that discussion - despite me being ever so polite and answering her questions with a smile. I was very good and I don't think I rolled my eyes once! It all felt very awkward. I wasn't told that the test was over with and I could get up and dressed, or given anything to (pardon the too much information) wipe myself with. I used a piece of the tissue liner from the bed, then had to ask where I could discard it. She just disappeared around the pulled curtain and didn't speak a word to me. When I finally sorted myself out and peered around the curtain she was typing away on the computer (probably reporting me to social services or some such *grin*). I seem to have rattled her somewhat and I'm not really sure how or why.
Oh well, nowt as funny as folk.
I came home and Taisia had awoken. She was very pleased to see her mama and flung her arms around me with cries of "up up UP!!!" She now makes me laugh as she claps her hands with vigour on the last "UP!" as if to make her demand clearer and harder to ignore. We watched the remaining minutes of the England football match together, whilst my damaged ankle swelled to a stupid size and throbbed horrendously. I have no idea what I've done to it, but it isn't showing any signs of wanting to improve.
On to our today.
I have been doing "business stuff" in the main. I did pop out to run a few errands, including visiting a bowling centre to book a home-ed group meeting session there. I came home with a once again throbbing ankle and my eldest daughter shouting at me to sit down as I was in obvious pain whilst trying to fill the washing machine with dirty laundry.
I did as I was told and sat down whilst my gorgeous children either entertained Taisia or did some cleaning on my behalf. Just how good are they?
I still don't want to reveal all the details about the business idea I'm working on, but I will show you part of the logo just 'cos I like it.
I have been working on the website again today, as well as sourcing businesses to contact to see if they want to work with us, putting together ideas for a welcome pack, organising sample packs from printers, and just generally trying to shift things along so it feels as though plans are finally starting to come together. I'm certainly enjoying the process and brimming with exciting ideas and hopes for the future. Hopefully it won't be too much longer before I announce what it's all about.
Before I go, I just want to say a huge big thank you to all those that have taken the time to vote for me in the Circle of Moms awards. I really do appreciate it and still find it rather fabulous that someone took the time and effort to nominate this blog. The last time I checked, Classroom Free was at number 13 so it appears we are moving up the rankings. If you enjoy visiting my little world and want to vote, you can do using this direct link...
Just click on the thumbs up symbol. Voting ends in 15 days or so, and you can vote once a day if you feel so inclined. There doesn't seem to be many UK blogs in the listings and it is a great way of spreading the word to 'ordinary' families that home-education is a legal option in this country.
Of course, you may be too busy to bother voting, and that's perfectly fine too.