Sunday, 31 July 2016

Busy week (30)

As usual, here are a few photos from this week.

On Monday we were at Forest School and then met with some friends at a lovely park for a picnic. Finn had a great time (I didn't take any photos).

I can't remember what we did on Tuesday which means we probably didn't get up to much! I do remember that Finn was very job-oriented in the morning and loved helping me around the house.

I sorted our homemade colour tablets; he wasn't interested in the sorting but made some thoughtful observations when it was all done.

Looking at a history timeline is always fascinating. The focus this time was on the shift of the continents at different points in the history of Earth.

On Wednesday we went to the last session of Mini Professors before September, which was all about weight and density. Finn was interested in the experiments but I feel he would have got more out of it if fewer children were present. With large groups I always feel that the focus shifts from the point of interest to whose turn it is next, waiting in a line, making sure you get your turn... which is a shame because the science experiments and discussion are interesting and all the children end up missing out. Anyway, Finn is keen to keep attending the sessions so that's what we'll do! He also gets a nice playtime afterwards with his little scientist friends at the park nearby.

On Thursday we met at the arboretum with our home ed friends, Finn loved observing the peacocks, playing chase with friends and climbing the low trees. 

Duplo are definitely his favourite toy at the moment. He can spend hours building structure after structure, completely engrossed in his task.

He has been feeling a bit emotionally wobbly recently and I think he is realising that big change is coming soon with the new baby being due at the end of the month. We get all the expected baby voice, talk and behaviour; he often needs to be near me so I put his table in the kitchen while cleaning up so he could play with Gloop as he used to do as a toddler. I think he even looks more babyish in the photo below! 

He also has moments when he is super confident, like on Friday afternoon. We went to the soft play centre and he played with a little girl for close to two hours without paying any attention to me at all!

Saturday morning was cinema day! Finn has been very excited about seeing the new Ice Age film and had a good time. In the afternoon he went exploring with his daddy on their bikes.

Montessori inset designs with daddy on Sunday morning.

We have a new maths game called "I sea 10", which is really simple but really fun. The idea is to make number combinations to make 10, but Finn is really not at that stage yet so we have modified it to make simpler sums. It's a competitive, fast game, which really excites him!

On Sunday afternoon we went Geocaching. Finn helped with finding our way using the GPS on the phone.

 We found a geocache!

That's it for this week!

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Busy weeks (27-28-29)

I haven't been able to post updates about Finley's days in the past three weeks as our laptop was away for repair. I was able to still take photos though so you're getting a real feast today!

Forest school on Monday mornings - playing with ropes, making a pulley contraption, cooking popcorn on the fire, fiddling with bits of wood, playing hide-and-seek between the trees...

Recently Finn has been very interested in large numbers (You saw his infinity book in the previous post). I showed him how to use beads to match quantities to number symbols; he was very pleased! We took turns asking each other for bead quantities, practicing such vocabulary as unit, ten, hundred and thousand.

He has been noticing and making patterns everywhere! 

Improvising a yoga pose after working very hard on his magnet construction.

 Climbing to the very top of a hay bale pile at a nearby farm.

Picking our own raspberries and tasting a few.

Shadows with daddy at bedtime. 

Learning to sew buttons. 

Daddy showed him how to make 3D shapes with paper.  

Finn turned 4 and a half and got a small trampoline to celebrate! 

A rainy day obstacle course... 

Which later on turned into a rollerblade training ground.

Finn is so into chapter books that we always have a few going at any point. We needed more bookmarks so made a few and decorated them with watercolour paints.

 One of Finn's latest read is The Enchanted Wood by Enid Blyton. We have since read Sophie's misfortunes (Les malheurs de Sophie) by La Comtesse de Ségur (in French), and have started Charlotte's Web (our 3rd or 4th time), Les petites filles modeles (Comtesse de Ségur), The Secret Garden, and The Enchanted Wood again. Who knows which ones will be read to the end! I don't think it matters, as long as he's enjoying books.

 One morning Finn asked me the sum of 18 + 18. I encouraged him to find out by himself using glass pebbles. Then he asked to find out the sum of 36 + 36, which we did with the glass pebbles again. However, 72 + 72 was too many for our pebbles and we had to use the beads! Finn was so excited about it all that he wanted to keep going, adding sums to themselves. We got stuck at 576 + 576 though as we ran out of beads!

Reading the Beano with friends at the park.

He attempted to make a bubble snake! Fun!

 I have been taking him to a new class called Mini Professors. It's a kind of science club for children aged 3-5. We have been three times now and the topics have been maths, rainforests and shapes. Finn loves the hands-on experiments and it gives me a bit of a break planning activities (not that I plan that much) during the last stage of pregnancy.

 I made more "beads" (out of paper and cardboard) so Finn would be able to keep working on his sums.

 I think here he was exchanging 10 tens for a hundred.

Interestingly, while the only difficulty in adding large numbers with the beads is remembering the various steps, Finn is still a way away from mastering simple additions. I thought he would enjoy using the small number rods to figure out some easy sums of his choosing. He did but not as much as the bead work.  

That's it for the last three weeks!

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Busy week (26)

We had a great week, when even though my energy levels are starting to plummet on some days, Finn makes up for it by being super energetic, boisterous, and full of ideas and projects.

The start of the week was marked by Finn and his daddy building "the highest tower" morning after morning before Chris heading to work. Can you see the tiny tower next to Finn? I thought that was so cute next to Chris's tall one. When I looked at it closer I realised that even though it looks small, it was actually quite well thought out. Finn used quarters and halves to make wholes and he made sure it was symmetrical all round.

The next day, he used the blocks to work on fractions again. I love those blocks!

I gave Finn a step-by-step drawing book to see if he found it appealing. In retrospect I think he is much too young for so much direction, and needs to explore a lot more by himself first. He enjoyed the book very moderately and was so silly I decided to take the book back and keep him away from it for another couple of years. Mummies also learnt through trial and error!

Free drawing is much more interesting when you're 4.

He started making books with blank paper and staples and decided to make an "infinity book"! He has been very intrigued by the idea of infinity recently and can't quite get his head around it (who can??) I'm letting him explore by becoming his assistant and writing all the numbers EVER under his direction.

Playing with a solar energy model we made from a kit.

A year and a half ago I would have been so nervous seeing him do something like this and I may have tried to stop him. Taking a step back and observing has proven so worthwhile though, and I have become much more relaxed knowing that I can trust him to know his limits. 

I'm glad I have learnt not to interfere as I would surely have spoilt all the fun!

Yes, children will fall! There weren't any glass shards on the floor and he wasn't swinging above a river full of alligators so I wasn't too worried :)

His interest in big numbers (stemming from his infinity book) led me to realise he would very likely be interested in a Montessori lesson I had been holding off for a while: The introduction to the decimal system. The idea is for the child to get experience on how quantities relate to one another through a hands-on approach, as well as some new vocabulary such as unit, ten, hundred and thousand.  

We played a simple bank game so that Finn would hear the new words many times, where we took turns asking each other for specific quantities (eg. Can I have three hundred? Seven units? What have I got here?) He spontaneously used the beads he gathered to make a picture on the mat, which I thought was a great idea.

That I copied when it was my turn. I'm sure the pictures kept him engaged for longer than he would have been otherwise.

Planting spinach seeds with daddy at the weekend.

More work on the infinity book (we're currently up to 190, number names included!)

Making a contraption with gears.

And we released our butterflies!

Have a good week!

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