Today I felt like I needed to get the littlies out of the house. I haven’t kept them imprisoned, but after Christmas and then the poor weather, I certainly felt like I was housing a couple of wild beasts. Silliness is reigning at Emerald lodge, and no amount of sanctions, removal of treats, firm dressing downs or raging parent tempers appear to be toppling Mr Silly 1 and Mr Silly 2’s crowns. Poo, bum, willy, mushroom and any other nonsense words are the daily soundtrack. Every task, every story, has an undercurrent of mob rule, from the odd interjection of silly words to the all-out destruction of structure. I have had to wave my white flag a few times this week in order to hold onto my sanity.
Saying that, this morning went well, with some great reading, learning a new piano piece and realising he had to play it ‘staccato’, then lots of self-led investigations of various topics that sprung from my reading of books to the boys. We looked up 221b Baker Street and 10 Downing Street on Google Street View, then watched a London Marathon promotional video and checked out the route the runners took, looked up the Royal Standard flag, and discussed global warming. Indi wrote some thank you cards for Christmas presents, and we used our Learning Resources Grooved Plastic Base Ten Blocks Basic Set
for discussing three-digit numbers, and did some revision of adding two digit numbers. Hammering home place value finally seems to be slipping in, and using a physical resource really helps!
One of our local home education groups hosts a great get-together on a Wednesday afternoon at Paulsgrove adventure play park. We went in September but sadly hadn’t made it since. I think morning sickness coupled with the run up to Christmas scuppered any chances, and the boys also get royally messy at the Wild Tracks sessions they attend. But – I must embrace the cold! I must embrace the mess, the mud, the sand, the wind! And the copious amounts of washing!
Like moths to the flame, the boys were magnetised by the water tap, as were other boys Indi’s age. Older children were busy with their exploits, and there is a wide selection of death-defying slides, lookouts, swings and frames to keep all ages amused. It was just an interesting observation, and one that hopefully doesn’t sound to generalised, but it was clear to see that this particular age of boy seemed to be in their element amongst the elements, digging, building and experimenting; utterly free to absorb themselves in play. It was highly physical, and every face had a look of purpose and determination as routes of water were constructed. There was much verbal communication, sharing of ideas, comprise in what structure and direction they should take next, and a sense of teamwork. No fights (though the occasional misplaced lob of wet sand caused brief distress) and little need for adult intervention. Just perfect.
There is a big indoor area with art resources, toilets, bookshelves and sofas, and a kitchen, where for a nominal fee we could make ourselves a hot drink. Perfect if the weather takes a turn for the worse.
It was soon time to pick up the big bro, and even though there was some upset from the combination of wet clothes and sand as we walked to the car park, by the time we had got home Indi exclaimed without prompting, ‘This was the best day of the year so far!’
Considering it’s only January 6th, we’re doing pretty well then!
Here is the address for Paulsgrove Adventure Playground:
Marsden Road, PO6 4JB
- phone – 023 9222 1527
- term time opening Monday to Friday 3-6.45pm, Saturday 10am – 5.45pm (closed for lunch 1-2pm)
- school holiday opening – Monday to Saturday 10am-5.45pm (closed for lunch 1-2pm)