Day 34 – Summer (term) is here!

It was the start of the new term today, although we were still all at home, except Tracy who was at work. I rolled out of bed very early and got in about an hour of work before the children surfaced, in fact I had to wake them. They were both breakfasted and dressed by 0840 when I started their school day with checking they were ready and knew what they were doing.

Back to School

Alexander had five new tasks set for him on his homework app, as well as four from before the holidays. He was really good at getting on with it and planning his own workload, I only had to check a couple of times over the day that he was actually working!

For morning break Alexander made bread dough and left it to rise until lunchtime. He’s been doing this frequently over the last couple of weeks. So he had flatbreads for lunch, and then used the remaining dough to make a small loaf.

Alexander made a small loaf at lunchtime. (Photo: James Kemp)

Lucy was following the timetable we did for her before the Easter holidays. She stuck to it across the morning while I was on a number of work calls. She read a book (Captain Underpants), did Purple Mash maths, and also the PE challenge where she has a sheet to do a set of exercises every day and record how many she can do of each in 45 seconds (per rep).

Rotten Romans

After lunch I spent two hours with her for two lessons, one on her topic (Romans) and the other on botany (AKA gardening). She had to write three questions to research, and she was really quick, they were:

  • When were the romans around?
  • How many Roman emperors were there?
  • Were the Romans involved in democracy?

She then decided to eschew the pile of books that I have on the table and look for her horrible histories Rotten Romans. She realised when it wasn’t on the shelf that she’d taken it to school and left it there. So she fired up the laptop and hit a search engine. She found the answers to the first two questions easily (from 753BC) and about 70 emperors (although she wasn’t impressed when Alexander asked if that was Eastern or Western). The third question was a bit trickier, and we ended up with a philosophical point about absence of evidence not being the same as evidence of absence, and how hard it is to prove a negative.

Lucy then did a timeline of the first eight emperors on a piece of paper, having decided that it was possibly too tricky for her to do in a slide show on the computer. Next time we have topic on the timetable we’ll be doing a Roman timeline, and Alexander and I have already suggested that while it might start at 753 BC it ought to include the three Roman Empires and go up to the 19th century.

Botany (AKA Gardening)

With the Romans played out we put our shoes on and went into the garden. The first stop was into the shed to see the seedlings that have sprouted since we planted them about two weeks ago. At the time we forgot to label them, mostly because I couldn’t find the jar with all the labels. So we had a look at them and tried to identify them. The onions and the lettuce were easy to identify, the former had one round leaf, and the lettuce had a pair of rounded leaves. The peppers and tomatoes are very similar looking, so we weren’t quite sure which were which, although it’ll be easier in a week or so when the tomatoes start to develop their distinctive leaf shape.

Lucy writing the labels for the seedlings we planted a couple of weeks ago (Photo: James Kemp)

Lucy decided that the plants needed some more water. So while the watering can was filling up from the almost empty rain barrel, she wrote the names on the plant labels. Once we’d finished watering the seedlings, not forgetting the sunflowers on the patio, we put the labels in.

There was only one more thing that Lucy wanted to do. She wanted to write on the patio doors with her new chalk pens. So I showed her how to do mirror writing so that what she wrote could be read from the other side of the window. I gave her a quick demo and she got stuck in.

Lucy practices mirror writing on the patio door so that we can read it from inside the house. (Photo: James Kemp)

It was three o’clock by then, and Lucy informed me that school was over. I went back to work for a couple of hours while Lucy played with the lego bungalow that she’d built.

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