Joth and I have been building up to the election for some weeks now, trying to create a frensy of excitement amongst the boys. It has worked to some degree; they chant “We want change!” with something like feeling, and say things like “Down with the nanny state.” We haven’t taught them how to make petrol bombs yet but with home education being what it is, they could probably tell us. I’ve just had a thought about how we could have engaged the boys even more – we could have put a bet on the result. That would have got them going.
Not that we were trying to tell the boys what to think, on the contrary. We just have been trying to give them an overview. We even looked at the leaders telling us their manifestos on Youtube. Oscar got a bit disillusioned after a while though, particularly after David Camerons speech on being different. “But mum, he’s saying just the same as everyone else.” As usual it is when trying to explain proportional representation or The House of Lords to the children that I realise either how little I know or how crazy it all sounds. I learnt an awful lot whilst trying to keep up with Labour’s recent attack on home education but what I really learnt was how incredibly difficult it is to fight the system and how amazing so many of the home educators were to tackle it so brilliantly. There were people who must have devoted every waking minute to the fight.
I found this site very interesting. It matches your opinions to the political parties and gives you your best match. I agreed with myself so that’s nice to know. We are very much hoping for change here and I think the most lasting change would come from a complete shake up of the political system.
Other small changes have been happening here, most notably in terms of politeness. I’m not sure where Anton has got the idea from(?!) but he is saying thank you for everything. I could almost worry that he’s becoming a downtrodden child who has to feel grateful for every little thing but he makes sure I don’t have to worry about that for long. He was wanting to take a particular bag out with him today (the brown paper one that looks like he’s on the scrounge) and when I found it for him he looked directly at me and said “Ffank you mummy for giving me my bag.” Oooo, I could just eat him – he’s so utterly gorgeous.
I feel Oscar and I are really getting on well again. Funny how sometimes I accuse him of not listening and then sometimes when we have a deep chat about things he really takes it on board and is so thoughtful and grown up in his reaction. He said the other day after a bit of an upset when he and Lucas were playing Halo on the Xbox, that he didn’t want to play it any more because it gets him all annoyed. I can see how it works. They get really excited about playing the game, and the game is such that they are pitted against each other and of course it is distressing to get killed! The only way it wouldn’t be upsetting was if they weren’t too bothered about winning or losing, but if they weren’t bothered they also wouldn’t be that excited about it. Hmmm. Does anyone out there know any exciting but non aggressive games for Xbox?
There was also a tricky moment today where after Lucas had spent most of his spare time making, painting or carrying/cuddling his new “Blood Angel Sanguinary Guard” Warhammer figures that had arrived in the post this morning (he is now in 2 weeks debt with his pocket money – he never quite makes it so he has any money), he and Oscar then played a game and Lucas found that there were some strange rules that meant his figures weren’t nearly as powerful as he’d hoped. He was devastated. I couldn’t interfere though even if I wanted to because I don’t understand any of the rules – it’s so complicated, and even if Oscar dumbed down, the friends they play with would play by the proper rules. My heart just goes out to little Luc-ey though as he just never seems to have quite the understanding of all the rules that Oscar does (who glues himself to the massive 400+ paged enormous hardback tome every night) and they never seem to work in his favour. Thank goodness these moments are few with a lot of fun in between them.
Oscar made us a lovely pudding tonight which they ate after Kung Fu. I love having a supper or hot pudding just before they go to bed. It feels comforting. We had hot chocolates and marshmallows with shortbread last night over a game of Monopoly. Joth was working but came to join us later and the game got an awful lot sillier and more fun when he did. Tonight though Oscar had cooked “A bit of soil and Engine Oil” from the Roald Dahl’s Cookery Book. He doesn’t need any help these days (except with the clearing up!) and just leaps at the chance to cook which I just love to see.
Lucas always looks ahead and plans his day and discusses when he’s going to do his practise which I think is really good going for 8 yrs old, and we are in such a lovely frame of mind with our home education at the moment. Ideas and work are flowing. We’ve added dictation to the mix for Oscar every day to get his handwriting flowing. I think that he finds thinking about what he is going to write and then writing it quite a lot to do at once! so I’m hoping that by doing a bit more handwriting he will find it comes more automatically and that he can focus on the content more. Again, it’s one of those things that takes 10mins a day but can be so valuable. I’ve ordered several books on Dyslexia from the library to see if there is anything valuable I can glean as I don’t feel I’ve really found anything to help yet. Most searching on the internet seems to focus on helping Dyslexics to learn to read but Oscar can read and write fine – it just hasn’t come as easily as other things he does and it takes him a bit longer to get things down on paper and his spelling isn’t great.
On the subject of change again, I had my first little chink of time without Dante since he was born (when I wasn’t working). I’d just fed him so Joth risked taking him to town with Anton while Lucas was at his tutor session. I had many plans for my hour and 10 mins: laminate the book Lucas made for Anton, look at my accounts, book our holiday, make a vegetable bolognase, clear my desk, empty out as many of Anton’s bags as I can and rehome toys. And no, it wasn’t a realistic list. I didn’t really manage to make a dent in it although I did manage to book a holiday, courtesy of Tesco clubcard once again. Yes, we sell out so we can go out. Tesco can rule the world if we can get a week on a French campsite. I hope it works out. The last time we went for a week in a caravan in Brittany with small children it rained all week and we said we’d never do it again. So we’re going for a week in Brittany in a caravan with even more small (and small-er!) children. And as far as tidying goes, the house has once again imploded beyond all recognition and all toys are in Antons bags which he occasionally turns inside out in random places. I’ve got the girls coming round tomorrow night so I will try to make a dent in the tidying tomorrow. Now, that would be a change.