Generally I like slow starts to the day, waking up when I have slept enough and warming up to the day gradually. So naturally Monday mornings are one of the earliest starts of the week . . .
The younger three headed off to their weekly multisports session - today they played Unihoc - the group is well attended and provides a team-sports aspect that we might struggle to source otherwise.
Whilst they were out L did some book-work, manipulating negative numbers, comparing post 1914 fiction, beginning his ICT course. The text comparisons are a bit tricky, there is so much left to the interpretation of the reader, but he's getting the hang of this sort of thing now. Once more I am struck by the fact that he is picking up things readily that caused so much stress a few years ago, and it's pretty reassuring to feel that we read the situation right in backing off from English as a discrete subject for him. His vocabulary has exploded in recent years, as have his descriptive skills and deductive skills.
When the hordes returned we were still nose down in "Of mice and men" vs "A kestrel for a knave", so the others barrelled upstairs and explored a new game on their tablets.
After lunch A did some book-work, three sets of maths exercises based on addition and doubling again, work on capital letters and punctuation, Oz phonics, food chains and predator / prey in science, and then read me a book.
Unfortunately I had planned to invite J down next, but he made it clear he had no intention of doing that, but M didn't want to disrupt the planned order. So I was faced with trying to talk J down from the top floor or talking M out of a meltdown because I was messing with the plans (M was happy to work, just not before J.) I decided to work on M, because he was already with me on the ground floor. It felt like a catch-22 situation, both of them wanted to work, just not before the other. Neither of them were happy with *not* working. Eventually I got through to M, there was a little shouting and a lot of stress, but we stopped just shy of meltdown.
Once he got going M was really happy and focussed - sometimes it feels like he needs to have a grumble in order to get down to business - I say to him he needs a good storm to clear the skies :) We looked at place value in decimals and sequences using decimals, "words ending in vowels" (possibly the oddest page of work I've seen yet!) and then pluralising those words, flexibility and properties of materials, and some handwriting practise.
When M was done J came down happily, he did well and was very happy. We looked at symmetry - another thing that seems to have been introduced in the books we skipped, but again it was easily mastered even though we were looking at complex shapes. Then we looked at 3d shapes naming them, counting vertexes, edges, faces etc. We tackled pronouns - a slightly tricky topic for a lad who struggles to keep he / she sorted, but he got the idea and was able to switch out nouns for pronouns with ease. He also tackled food chains, but looked at seed dispersal too. A chapter of the Life of Fred rounded out the afternoon, and off he skipped happily to hunt down his brother.
Most of the rest of the afternoon passed with the younger three playing together and occasionally asking L for help with things. Later on A's friends knocked for her and she went out to play.
We had an early dinner (well, early for us!) and L has gone to one of his weekly roleplaying sessions. The lucky whatsit has FOUR regular gaming groups, three weekly and the last fortnightly.
So, A is still out, I need to go and recapture her soon, in our bedtime story (!) America has just declared her independence, and the children were aghast at the idea of a tax on tea.
Tomorrow we are having visitors - some of my most favourite people :) And that wraps up today really :)
Oh, one last note - I have called time on the plum leather. After three days drying it still wasn't right. Not sure what to do with the gooey treacly stuff it became, and not sure if I'll try again!