Thursday, January 29, 2009

Oooh I discovered this site today. Not come across it before!
Well the big girls have just left for Playgroup. Lol it sounds funny saying that. Of course, they are helping out at playgroup (not attending it to play!!) ... but are probably playing as well, albeit with small children in tow! They love going but getting up at 8am knocks them out for the rest of the day. No stamina like myself who can ignore the tired feeling I get and keep going!! But they are younger and not as experienced as myself. While there, they play with the kids, do crafts with them and they take it in turn each week to be in the kitchen chopping fruit and brewing up for the adults. A good bit of work experience I think.

Yesterday we went to our local home-ed social. The kids all had a good time playing magic cards, pool etc. I got to chat about business plans with 2 of the women involved in the new group we have set up. It is important we keep the energy fresh IMO and strive for the next step. I am hoping then by October this year to come off IS as that is when they will want to start making me transfer over. At least I have this year to sort it out. I also count myself lucky that there are 4 of us working together on this with a view to helping others long term. I am thankful that I have older children who can help out with younger ones if I need to be out. It must be so hard if you are a lone parent , home-educating a child who is 7 and you don't have the support network.

Today I aim to be more organised! I have to take J into Manchester at 3pm then to his Junior Strings then hop on a bus to his Beavers. Last week even though I felt organised we ended up leaving too late to get the bus. We got the tram instead which meant we had to walk 10 minutes down the busy road upto the University. I actually prefer that though as travel time on public transport is less. I will just quickly compare costs:
Option 1:
Bus to Manchester
Cost: £3.30 adult ticket and 7op child. Total: £4
Journey time: approx 30 mins.
Afterwards then:
Bus to Chorlton, J ticket 70p.
Total Cost : £4.70

Option 2:
Tram to Manchester
Cost £2.20 adult ticket and 90p child. Total £3.10
Journey time: Tram 12 minutes, walk 10 minutes.
Afterwards then:
Bus to Chorlton, adult £1.70, child 70p.
Total cost : £5.50

Hmmmm so there is less than a pound in it but this is far outweighed by the tram being quiet and not full of school children who are very LOUD in the city (which Jude in particular hates).

Okay so the tram wins. It also means we don't have to worry abour missing our bus or it not turning up as the trams are every 6 minutes.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Oh my gosh you have to read THIS article about the attack on home-education - though he uses the US word Homeschooling. It is a good read but at the same time I am too angry to write much about it just now!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Gah, learning html is not easy. I have this book which is great but I don't understand it lol. I am trying to get on the computer and try bits out but I feel like I am learning a new language and not understanding what is being said or what I am writing! I seem to remember Gill using this book so not sure if that would be easier???
I will carry on though!!
Today's plan (one of many) is to phone my local college as I want to enrol on a book-keeping course but I need to know how much it will cost before I head down there. They didn't seem to know last time I phoned so I am going to try again. It will be on a Monday 2-4pm which is the best time for a course. Not too early in the day and yet not in the evening (of which I only have 1/2 free a week anyway).

The girls are off to do a radio run through today. I had fun helping them come up with ideas for their 20 minute slot and then I tweaked and padded out their script for them last night. I really enjoyed it. I used to do radio myself - I wanted to be a dj till I met some nasty ones at (what was then) Piccadilly in Manchester. It put me off as you had to be super tough mentally and I was only 15 at the time and a gentle soul lol. Radio has changed a lot since then though. When I volunteered at the local hospital radio we had to use vinyl and wind back the record to the start. We also had no scripts so I think today's dj's have it easier. All computer done with producers and scripts. They can just turn up and read it out. Hmmm maybe I should go back into it lol.

We have a day at home today so I plan on doing some stuff with the kids, reading some more html, attempting a bank account form and fitting in 1 hour birdwatching as I didn't get round to it this weekend. We have lots of feeders out in the front garden - 2 of which M made at a bird event a week ago. I hope we have lots of little visitors to them.

Oooh and I must not forget most importantly right now, to do some reading about the latest consultation! That should keep me busy then!!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I am just sooooo cold. I don't have my heating on really hot so obviously I am a little on the chilly side most of the time but gotta keep those bills low!
What have we been up to?
The older girls had to go to a new radio station last week to do some more training for their live show. The local-ish one they used to go to had lost it's funding so they have to go to one on the other side of the city now. They had a great time there though and have been planning stuff to take to a run-through next Monday. It is great that they are independent at travelling. I provide them with bus/tram fare and off they go. I must sort out under 16 passes though.

We had our first trailblazers meeting. I am going to set up a blog to record the stuff we do there though. I have plans for it and am sure to be able to fit it in and the creation of self-employment. I am going to lobby the government to create a brand new 24 hour day in the week so I can get more done. I mean they added a second at new year so it should not be a problem should it??

The girls and I had fun the other evening watching the snooker final. It led to googling after midnight on what snooker balls and snooker cues are made from. Then last nights discussions were of America's new president, slavery and what the word allegiance means etc. Never a non-educational moment here. I was even walking down the main road in Manchester the other week trying to explain the Gaza conflict to J(6)- who asked me about it as there was a loud demo going on outside the BBC. Sometimes I love this city so much. Amazing things are always going on.

The girls are off to a new event tonight run at the RNCM- which is a new group doing musical theatre. No auditions/skill level required just enthusiasm. It also coincides well with everyone elses activities. M is the only one that has anything tonight which is a half hour swimming lesson. I am then hopefully off to a meeting about our social enterprise we are creating - or planning to.
I am also checking out the local college for short courses that might be useful.
Not been doing as much on the computer training as I would like. I have also been trying to teach myself touch typing on the kids BBC website but then was ousted from the computer as all the children wanted a go.

So lots of regular stuff going on and not a dull moment. I am trying to work up the enthusiasm now to fill in yet another consultation on home-education. I think it will be a late night job though as that seems to be my best time to fill them in. Knowing me though it will be done near the deadline but you never know. I will definitely do it though!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

I would like to share with everyone our hectic Tuesday afternoon and why I am grateful for my travel mug!!
Here goes:
At any time after half 2 I start preparing drinks bottles and snacks to take out while shouting instructions to kids to find socks, coats, ds's etc.
I usually then do one of two things: usher A and D out of the door at 2.45pm to walk the mile and a half to the leisure centre or I drop one of them there in the car (only if weather is bad) while the other stays home and waits with the younger ones.
I then pile 2 or 3 children in the car and drive to the leisure centre for 3.20pm. We have to leave here before the school on our cul-de-sac comes out as the traffic lights only allow 5 cars out each turn and everyone seems to get collected by car from the school.

Squash for older kids starts at 3.30pm while M and J sometimes join in with the warm up or play on ds's.
At 4.15pm older kids squash finishes and M and J get their go. I then leave D watching them while I drive A and another boy to the tram station. A then heads into Manchester for her drama group.
I drive back to squash.
Squash finishes at 5pm-ish. I then take D,M and J home - 5.20pm.
I place the oven on low and put veggie burgers in whilst requesting M finds her brownie outfit. D gets dance gear on.
At 5.30pm we leave to drop D at dancing.
Home again at 6.10pm when we eat burger on buns.

Out again in car at 7pm to drop M at brownies. From there at 7.10pm J and I drive straight to collect D from dancing.
Home for 7.45pm.
A texts me when she is on tram on way home and I walk and meet her at tram stop at about 8pm.
At 8.20pm I get back in car to collect M from brownies.
Finally home at 8.50pm with all 4 children and myself back under one roof!!!

It used to be even more complicated as M had swimming at 6pm but I have moved that to Wednesday. I also have to leave D waiting at dancing which is fine as she actually finishes at 7pm but I am dropping M at brownies then.

A is doing her last term of drama as the group only allows each child to do it once as it is heavily over-subscribed so this will be different in March when she finishes.
As you can see I am grateful for my travel mug as I am always taking brews out the door with me and having sips when it is safe to do so.
Food is eaten at different times by different people as and when they can fit it in.

This is definitely the busiest day lol. Thursday used to be hectic as J has junior strings then beavers and I then had pilates/yoga but it is only J who has something on I have to organise now.
I always congratulate myself Tuesday evening when everyone has been to and delivered home from their activities. And no-one is late for anything as I am fantastic at time-keeping.
Go me!! ;-)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Black Eyed Peas - Where is the Love MUSIC VIDEO

Very significant at the moment.

D has posted this photo on our desk-top. J and I adore it and keep looking at it. It probably only appeals to animal lovers though!!
Ooops, a belated happy new year everyone :-)
Today is D's 13th birthday. We have had a nice day of chilling and eating. D has spent LOTS of time playing with her new phone and this eve we are ordering pizza. Back to the new year exercise another day lol

We had a sociable evening last night as we went out to a late new year party. J stayed home as he was a bit off colour but he seems okay today. Consequently I had a lie in this morning till nearly 10am. I don't feel any less tired for it though which means it makes sense to set alarms to get me out of bed early. Back to my earlier alarm tomorrow as I have many projects that need attention. I was supposed to be at ju-jitsu tonight but have skipped it. D is happy though!

I have had to swap my yoga to Monday night now which works out really well as I no longer have such a rushed Thursday and can do the papers earlier. It all seems to be plodding along nicely and things are falling into place .
All the children's activities have started up now. M has moved up to full lengths of the big pool. She lacks confidence yet has the best technique. Her teacher is a darling though and so good with the children and M likes him.
A wants to do more physical stuff so I bought her and D an adult skipping rope and have been encouraging her to walk my Mum's dog. I have also located a free yoga class on Friday's too. I have a a plan to hire a sports hall and invent a game of non-contact rugby that we can all run around and play - all ages. I reckon the game already exists so it shouldn't be hard to work out.

Recently I set up a new older kids home-ed group. I am going to open a bank account and apply for funding so they can do fun stuff like archery, sailing. horse-riding etc. I shall try anyway.

Now D wants to go back on so I will lastly blog a photo of the birthday girl :-)