Yesterday morning we headed over to Rossmore library for our weekly Home Ed group, knowing that it was likely to be a very quiet one, as so many people had said they couldn't make it. As it happened, nobody else went, so we pottered about reading copious amounts of books before going home again.
In the afternoon, Jude helped chop the vegetables for dinner, and had a little play on the iPad (right in the kitchen doorway!). We tend to go with a Montessori approach to household tasks with the children; when they show an interest, we make it possible for them to genuinely complete tasks with real tools, rather than offering them plastic or toy alternatives. So, yes, that is Jude, age 2, helping to chop carrots with a very sharp paring knife. We've found that this method breeds a real respect for tools, and Grace at 5 is now quite confident to chop a variety of vegetables, under supervision, but independently.
We had a friend over for the afternoon and Shabbat dinner, so she was put to work by the children playing "horsey", tug of war and board games.
Today we had a quiet, chilled out morning, followed by an afternoon in the sunshine at one of our fabulous local parks. We really like this one; it is a real climbing park, and both girls are definitely climbers! They rejected shoes within about 30 seconds of arriving, which is standard for our household, and they really do seem to be able to climb better without them, even though they are both in barefoot shoes. We have a saying; "dirty feet are a sign of summer" - it is very rare to see them with shoes on as soon as it is warm enough not to!
We did have a scary couple of minutes where we lost sight of Jude for a moment, and spotted her at the very top of a rope web designed as a ladder to the wooden fortifications, which were a good ten foot high. Having had to help her over the final "lip" at the top several times (as Grace is doing in the first photo), this was somewhat terrifying - Luke ran to the top of the netting via the ramp, and I ran to the bottom in case she fell. By the time either of up got there, she had casually succeeded in getting over the lip and had wandered off elsewhere, leaving me in a lot of pain for the rest of the day. I don't recommend running at 32 weeks pregnant! It was one of those moments where we question the wisdom of not being "helicopter parents" and letting the children explore their limits and boundaries themselves, but so far, neither child has stepped outside what they are confident doing; both will often turn back if they think they can't manage something, but equally, they will attempt and succeed at things that we would assume would be beyond them.
Grace and Luke have just finished reading "James and The Giant Peach" at bedtime.