Stay at home Tuesday (not going far Weds)

We’re struggling even more this week than last time I complained, the old hayfever nightmare.  You name it we try it, alternative and regular therapies.  At best they take the edge off.  Sam spent Monday night in my bed whimpering every time I got near to dropping off because his throat is so sore, bless him.  Last night was better but not much.  My throat hurts too and have a muzzy, sinus blocked, sleep deprived head.  I’m not a fan of summer.

It’s a tricky time of year.  We could do with school holidays starting now, with the necessary change in routine Jack being about brings, the hiatus from home ed activities and other clubs and ideally a prolonged break away.  We could down tools and have a break at home but in reality I know that it would lead to too long a break and cause more problems in the long run than it solves in the short term.  Voice of experience here!  The ideal would be a half way house, that Sam would get completely engaged in a project of his own interest and we’d just go with that.  But he’s completely unmotivated.

We’ll muddle through, we always do.  Hopefully a few weeks of a few trips away from home will help rejuvenate us (assuming of course plans aren’t scuppered by rail strike). Looking for positives I don’t get a crisis of confidence any more.  I know full well that it is external factors upsetting our balance and by September we’ll be cruising again.  I also know what doesn’t work for us when we hit this block (well lots of things that don’t work, I’m sure there are more to discover) and am getting better at finding what does.

General grumble aside, the days aren’t a total right off.  There are always rays of sunshine.

Sam has spent a lot of time this last week or so on live Mathletics.  In the past he has always stuck to the first couple of levels which were well with in his comfort zone.  He has however with encouragement gone up to level 3 which is probably about right – 3/4 being his level.  Today he has been playing level 5 and actually doing a very competent job.  But it was the change in attitude from a year ago or even a month that astounded me.  He tells me that he’s addicted to level 5 as it is “a proper challenge and sometimes he even gets two wrong and it is not like level 2 where he only makes mistakes from trying to type too fast!” Wonder where my little perfectionist who would wobble and strop when he didn’t get 100% and refuse to try again went?

I’m doing a FutureLearn course on Propaganda and Ideology which is really interesting.  Motivated by that and current politics I dug out a book on Human Rights I’d bought a while ago.  It’s a real beauty, covers the articles of the UN Declaration of Human Rights as a picture book illustrated by famous illustrators.  Gave rise to lots of discussion.  Will hopefully find the motivation to follow up (I’ve put a post full of links on the FB page if anyone is interested).

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We’ve also been doing some more hands on maths but the camera appears to have gone awol (presumably it is in Jack’s room) so something to come back to.  A bit of charity shop, skate park, seeing Grandad pottering.  I’ve tried to interest him in some computer programming with only limited success.  We continue on the Rainforest reading.

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Our Favourite Christmas Books

Sam has always been a why? how? that doesn’t make sense… sort of child.  Christmas and the ‘magic’ around it has always baffled him a bit.  I get the impression that he has always wanted to believe but never really has.

He used to struggle with the whole idea of fiction.  He understood the idea of it not being true but didn’t really get why people would bother with it if it wasn’t true.  He’s always preferred fact based books.

About 4 years ago I started looking for book dealing with the science of Father Christmas, after a search I came across this one in a little book shop on the IOW and instantly fell in love.

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It is a truly beautiful book.  Not only is it beautifully illustrated but the content is amazing.  Presented as a non-fiction book it comes up with some wonderfully inventive ways to explain some of the trickier aspects of Christmas magic.

My favourite parts are the explanation of some of the equipment fitted on to the sleigh and the revelation that the Northern Lights are the elves having a disco.

Its a perfect blend of fact and fantasy, after all the best fiction has an element of truth and believability.   4 years on Sam still picks it up all year round.

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Copies have been hard to get (although Amazon now has copies) and for a couple of years I have been trying to source a copy as a present.  Having found it on Amazon, I found a companion.

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Not as good as Santa Claus but still very, very good and comes with an Elf Diploma.  Lovely books for children outgrowing the 100’s of Christmas story books.

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