Sunday, May 22, 2011

Life of Late.

Haven't been doing much blogging lately, just haven't been in the mood, no reason really just because. I haven't taken that many pictures lately either but thought I'd post the 1 or 2 that I have taken and give a quick update.

Niave has taken up hockey after inheriting her sisters old hockey stick and shin guards and acquiring a new ball from dad. She is rather keen and is quite a good shot (for a 5 year old!), I fear for my glass panelled front door.
There are so many things that she is exposed to or knows about at her age that Abigail had never encountered at the same age. At 5 Abigail had never heard of hockey, nevermind learning how to "dribble" and "stop", second children (or 3rd or 4th!) have a huge advantage in many ways over their oldest sibling who is the pioneer on many fronts and in many situations. I just think how different Niaves first day of grade 1 will be in comparison to Abigail's, it was probably her second time ever at the school whereas Niave knows the place inside-out!

Abigail is enjoying grade 3 and doing well. It was the best decision to keep her back a year, the difference is remarkable. She was awarded Student of the Week last week for "good work in numeracy and literacy and asking questions when needed" (the latter part being a huge step for her).

They had a cakeless cake sale on Friday, the girls could purchase an empty cake box during the week, decorate it and return it on Friday morning for judging. Two girls per class would win a cake to go inside their box.
A closer look:

We made a plate of teatime treats out of plasticine and decorated it like a table set for tea. (I say "we" because plasticine is quite hard, especially in winter, so it took a lot of work on my part to get it to a mouldable consistency and to mix the colours needed. Therein the difference between the R9.99 plasticine and the R59.99 Crazy Clay!)

That's it for now, I'll try not to be so scarce this time:-)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Easter Break.

This year Easter fell right at the end of April and right in the middle of a whole string of public holidays that we have in South Africa so we ended up having an 11 day "holiday" that wasn't actually a holiday with only 3 official school days off - all the others were weekends or holidays of one kind or another.

We didn't get up to anything too exciting, the weather wasn't great and I had 2 sickish kids and I was still working on the 3 "official" days so in between we spent time at home, took in a movie, watched a wedding and just "hung out"!!

The first long weekend was the Easter weekend and I'd decided that I wanted to do something different this year now that they can both understand and not just let it be about chocolate eggs and bunnies. We don't emphasise the bunny part much anyway but there is a fair amount of chocolate consumption that is associated with Easter.

I spent quite a few nights trawling the Internet for ideas/activities from a Biblical perspective about Easter, it was a near impossible task until a school mom put me onto a site that had a whole heap of links to great blogs and sites with wonderful ideas.

I'd left it a bit late but I managed to find some activities for school as well as some for home.

The first activity was for Good Friday - a Resurrection garden, I made 2 crosses out of tongue-depressors (big sucker sticks) and we got 2 containers and filled them with soil, then they searched for things to put in their gardens along with the cross and a potato with a piece cut out to be like a tomb with a stone in front. The idea was actually to fill it with beautiful flowers on Easter Sunday but we forgot! But the enjoyed making them (although Abigail totally unhappy in this picture for some reason!), Niave made about 5!!!

Easter Sunday was a cold, wet day so the activity that I'd planned to do outside had to be done inside, it was my adaptation of the Jellybean Poem which is a poem about the crucifixion/resurrection that is simple and easy for children, it is based on 8 colours. I tied 2 of each colour in various places around my parents house and then sent them off to find just 1 colour at a time. If they found a different colour they had to leave it there and look for the right one. When they found it they had to bring it to be exchanged for a jellybean or sweet of the same colour. When we'd found all the colours we read through the poem together.

The last activity (of which I have no pictures!) was also colour related, based on the Wordless Book it uses colour to symbolise 5 things about the death and resurrection of Jesus. I "copied" a friends idea to use beads and we made "key-ring's" that they could hang on their bags, however the threading proved a little tricky as the twine was too thick for the beads so my mom and I ended up doing those!

It was good to move the focus away from the commercial/secular view of Easter and bring in fun ways for them to remember and understand the real reason for Easter. Next year I'll start planning sooner and hopefully get some more activities organised.

Tuesday was back to school and tomorrow is the start of the first full 5 day week in I don't know how long, but another 4 day week is ahead and not long after that a 3 day week - chaos I tell you!!