This must be one of the perks of the job, depending on your view of perks. Mind you – this is just one of my jobs, being of that modern-day ilk of women. I like moonlighting, and I like an excuse not to be sat doing table stuff. I have had an unsettling feeling brewing with the gradual deterioration of Indi’s behaviour of late, with his modus operandi being avoider, rebel, arrogant know-it-all and mealtime clown. But the worst habit is bedtime whiner and general rest denier and preventer. I may have invented some words here. So I have been reading various blogs, and even hardened unschoolers appear to have this magical ‘table time’ that is so elusively successful in my house. We get the basics done, but often this is after 20 minutes of histrionics, and grappling at sanctions. Still, having discussed with Daz, the need perhaps for Indi is a wee bit of structure. I felt we were structured, but when faced with a smorgasbord of activities listed everyday to have a stab at in any order, plus my desire to just ‘let him play’, the result was inconsistent, with too much wrangling, cajoling and persuasion. We now have a ‘table time’ of our own, which we will approach in the morning (when we are in), making a relaxed way through his maths, music, writing, stories, reading and anything else that takes our fancy. In the afternoon, like today – there is the freedom of play, exploration and projects (though Indi is yet to grasp the idea of projects, he already has a mini project of his own in the form of ‘zoos’ – though it is unconventional in its outcomes!)
I have to thank a home schooler in East Hants for informing me of yet another marvellous benefit for us educational rebels – visiting Marwell for just £5 per child, with free ‘teacher’. I have been on two home school Marwell trips, and both offered amazing discounts, but when I was informed I could register as an educational establishment and pay a nominal fee per child, I was astounded. It was cheaper to come here for the day (disregarding diesel) than go swimming at our local pool. Cool or what. Indi has been making zoos in our house for the last two weeks, and was elated to be going again, with his little bro this time (I had excluded Eti from previous trips to make life easier to be honest) and was keen to be zoo keeper in charge. The only downside as you have to pre – book your day. And the day just happened to be the rainiest, windiest most unpleasant day you can ever imagine. We were so prepared – wet weather gear, anoraks, wellies, hats and scarves, but that wasn’t quite enough to keep the damp chills at bay, and by 3pm my aching, freezing, wet and getting – heavily pregnant body was screaming with disdain.
The animals behave in a different way in the rain, many of them staying inside, so we were able to see them really closely, and they were very interested in us, seeing as the place was understandably empty!
We picked up some knowledge about different types of penguin, about the animals of Madagascar, and about the definition of a ‘primate’. Indi is enjoying the discoveries of the Order of the Species and I feel like each exploration, whether on YouTube, in a book, in the wild or in a zoo, gives him something new that stays in that brain of his!
I am acutely aware that my body is signalling me to slow down.
After taking Indi to his swimming lesson after returning from the zoo (thank goodness for grandma and grandad taking Will to his) I felt I was in a haze of tiredness I could not pull back from. When surrounded by four males all with different needs, I just couldn’t deal with it. Days out are going to be few and far between in the next year, as I must give myself a chance to rest, and then recover from the arrival of the fifth male!
The good news was that when we got back to ‘table time’ today – we felt ready, and it was a breeze. Then we played zoos upstairs, watched a video on Elephants and ordered a hippo for his ever – increasing collection of creatures. And we built a Lego city…and now we’re at gym. It’s all gonna be ok….