Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Unschooled Timestables

The other day J-Man (10) and I were discussing timestables for no particular reason (honestly- why were we discussing them??).

I commented that most kids his age in school would know their timestables by now, but that it wasn't a worry for me because he was able to work them out, and if he ever decided they would be useful to know quickly- he would work out a way to memorise them.

He said he wasn't sure he could work them out, so I asked him if he could work out 7x8.

Veyr quickly he supplied the answer, and I was mroe than a little amazed.

I asked him how he came to it.

"Oh- it was easy Mum- I just added 16 to 40."

"But why 40?", I asked, because I couldn't think what was obvious about that at all.

"Half of 80", he answered.

We dug a little deeper, and this is what I found.

When presented with the sum 7x8, my unschooled 10 year old multiplied 8x10, halved it, and added 16 which he knew was 2x8.

10 x 8 = 80
80/2 = 40
2x8= 16
5x8 + 2x8= 7x8
= 56

Then he floored me by saying he wasn't any good at maths, it isn't really his "thing".


Hello...just popping in to say "hi" while we visit Auckladn fora few days.

Everything is goign well at the bach except

a) Tombliboo misses his Daddy teribly. He wakes eveyr morning crying, though this morning it was only a statement, "I want my Daddy", then on to the next thing...turning on the lights to see the rain- which brings me to the oter exception...

b) RAIN...oh my goodness, you wouldn't believe the rain! It is daily. I'm not joking. Every day it rains. Some days it rains fro the entire day. No, that's not quite true- it rains and rains and rains, and hten it clears, and you jump up to get your jacket (just in case it rains again) and head to the beach...but before your jacket is done up- it rains...again.

Right now, I find it comical, but I'm sure one day I will want to say words I don't usually say.

On Tuesday, I took masses of clean, but soaking washing (re-spun) to the laundromat to be dried. I bought a clothes horse to try not to have this problem again. We should be ok.

J-Man doesn't care that's raining- he wants to go to the beach regardless, in his jammies no less. I'm not so motivated, but trying hard.

We foudn a swimming pool that is veyr cheap (hooray), and had a blast there on Tuesday...but had to leave before anyone was ready to get the washing before the place clsoed. The only drawback is that under 3's must where a swimming nappy. I said my son wouldn;t liek that, and that he hadn;t worn nappies since he was 7 weeks old, but the rule remains.

We didn't get in the pool for quite some time...every time I got near Tmbliboo with the dreaded nappy, he hiffed it as far away as possible. Eventually (adn sadly) he saw that I was not going to let him in to the pool until he had it on. It still wasn't easy to put on him, but we did the deed, and he lit up like a christmas tree when we got in the water.

I let the kids choose something up to $10 from a shop that day as well...the only condition was that it wasn't food. J-Man chose books...yes that's never-reading son, chose books! Not only that, he read them before we got home! Not only that- he had been humming and haa-ing over whether or not to buy the books or a stuffed panda, and told the sales lady he chose the books because they are more rewarding. She said it warmed her heart- it near stopped mine beating.

Today we visited a Playcntre, and they were very welcoming. We will go once a week, and Tombliboo will ahvea ball (though they did insist he put his clothes back on today when he stripped off). Princess will love it too, and didn't want to leave today. J-Man is veyr welcome, and he found plenty to do, but also felt awkward in parts, not really thining he belonged- especially when he needed to use to bathroom, and discovered toilets made for 2 year olds.

I think it will be a fun adventure. I hoep I can keep my giggles to myself when chidlren are asked to "put on school legs and arms". No, I don;t think I will be able to. I might just need to chat to the supervisors abotu that one...or not. I'll see. I'd like to think we can make a difference there, as well as just having a cool place to hang out and paint and play on a cool playground, etc.

Ben came to visit us last weekend, and the kids nearly toppled him when he waled through the door. I had a neat mother's day, with breakfast in bed love from Ben and Princess. I got gorgeous handmade cards, even one from my husband- turns out he misses me.

Ben took the kids to the beach while I had "a break", only I didn;t really knwo what to do with myself, so swept the bach, adn did the dsiehs and some dinner prep instead.

We went for a drive to a park, and for the kids to buy little treats. It was really nice. Ben is missing us all terribly. I forogt how terribly he does on his own.

I'm amazed I have not felt removed from real life at's fun. I love being with my chidlren, don't miss adult contact at all- though I will enjoy it whenI get some :0)

I've done piles of puzzles, finished a book I started over a month ago, and begun another one I started last year, and never quite got in to. I don't know why I didn't- it's brilliant...Animal Vegetable, Miracle.

J-Man wants to go on here now, so I wil lsign off, and hopefully post again before we head abck to the bach.

We have no internet anywhere there, since the conecctions are so terrible, it takes 30 minutes to upload the mail, and look at the bank statement. So, we live without, and it isn't a problem.

One of my bach dreams was realised this morning when Tombliboo woke up and didn't cry for Daddy, merely said "I want my Dad", and got on wiht things...turning on the lgiht to look at the rain, and get a book.

Then J-Man came in to bed with us for snuggles and Hop on Pop. Princess would have joined us but (bossy) Tombliboo told her to sit in the lounge. The bed it a mite too small for 4 anyway, but 3of us snuggled in the bed, listening to the rain, and reading Dr Seuss. It was lovely.

J-Man has gone back to watching tv with his siblings, I can carry on...

We are eating dinner at 5m each day! I know...crazy! But we don't need to wait for Ben to get home, and so we are doing everything earlier. We are all in bed by 9:30pm most nights, some nights as early as 8:30pm.

The bach is very relaxing, even with a toddler.

We had a power cut one morning, which was disconcerting since the water is on a pump. I'm prepared for next time, sort of, but hope it isn't too regualr an occurrence.

The kids have made a "base" in the sand dunes, where they would like to hang out more if it weren't for the rain. J-Man has colour in his cheeks from all the running in the wind.

I've got a tonne of questions in my head about our lifestyle, and no good answers.

I notice that he needs a project of sorts to be happy- but it must be of his own devising. He is so happy at the moemnt. Just like when he dug the mudbath at home, or the big hole in the front yard. Some sort of purpose beyond the computer seems to inspire him, and the outdoors and the exercise is just what his body needs.

Only he doesn't see it...and nothing I think of grabs him. I'm not sure where my thoughts are heading on that count, but I like how things are now. I don't ever want to dictate to him when he can and cant go on the computer, for exapmple, but I know also how easy it is for him to get sucked in by it. How easy it is for anyone. I can't believe how many hours I spent in front of hte thing when I could.

He's written letters to his best friend, and drawn pictures for no other reason than that he wanted to. He's read 100 pages of Twilight, and invented games to play while we are stuck inside. He's happy, for the most part.

He has moany days too, which drive us all to distraction- but a quick reminder that this is how it is, and we didn't do it to torture him, and he's off finding things to do.

My time is really up now :0)

Friday, May 1, 2009

My Last Hurrah...

For a while :0)

Ben is about to pack up the computers ready for the big move tomorrow morning.

There still seems plenty to do before then...and after then with all the cleaning...but I (we) have done masses.

I wish this could be a loverly long post about all the cool things we've been up to...actually not that many cool things, but we have spent some time with friends, and lots have been happening while the kiddos grow and learn at home.

I can't even add photos for some bizarre reason. I have a neat one of Tombliboo stacking cans of drink...I know, what happened to minimising sugar?

Well, when I have a big job (and what could be bigger than moving out our lives from the last 3 years?) I need Coke. I don't apologise for it, or even wish it wasn't so- it just is, and that's life. I need chocolate too. It would be nice to sit down for a meal some time soon.

So Tombliboo got busy stacking them- he managed to build a tower of 8 coke cans before I got the camera. It was quite impressive. I really didn't think he would get past 5. Then he stacked them according to colour (Sprite and Coke), and then alternating colours. The side-by-side towers...then a big long row. He had so much fun with those cans, it was crazy!

I've got a really cute one of Princess, who has lost both her top front teeth...she looks adorable, and hilarious all at the same time. I've got several of her with some items she won in a mega prize pack on Sticky TV.

It was super mega...she got a Dora packpack, towel, duvet set and dvd, a Diego backpack, towel, duvet set and dvd, Twister, Guess Who, an mp3 player (which is her current fave), pink Lego, a Narnia book, a Charlie and Lola activity book, some Slime, some more slime that glows, a Wall-E soft toy, a BalaNZe Board (which is super-cool btw), and an Avalanche snow-maker.

There's a fair bit of it that isn;t interestign to her, which we will eb able to sell when we get settled, and get her somethign she does want. But it was a massive buzz!

J-Man has been busy making a video clip for his best friend. It makes me cry. I'm not much or a cry-er, but I blubber like a baby when I see how much he adores J12.

So, it's all go. Ben will be at het truck place at 9am, back here as quickly as possible. Grandma and Poppy will eb here too with a van, and maybe a trailer...and then we will load everything up. I've got a box or two to pack tonight before I sleep, but mostly it's all done. Phew!

I more or less emptied the garage today- was very ruthless. Put it all out the front, and before I had even done so there were people to take it all away.

We only have one shelf left inside, and possible a couch...some shelving in the garage which we'll offer to the neighbour's if N doesn't want them...and that's about it.

Oh, there are plenty of dirty tools and so on outside, which will need to be arranged on to the truck somehow. But mostly, it's all under control.

Once the truck is gone, I will clean for a bit, but I think I'll need to take off right away to take the kiddos to a show we have tickets for. It will be a nice break from the monotony of constantly cleaning/packing/tidying/throwing away.

I think I might go to sleep actually.

The truck needs to be back in Auckland by 10:30am Sunday, so Ben will decide if he wants to do a round-trip in a day, or leave early Sunday morning. There'll be a bed for him in Keirkeri (unlike here, lol).

Actually, we have had offers of beds, but I think a night on the floor might be fun.

Then, Sunday morning will be devoted to cleaning as much as possible in as short a time as possible, so we can possibly enjoy some time together before we split.

Ben will be staying with Nana, and the kiddos and I will be heading for the bach.

It's as neat place, right on the's kinda basic, and yet not at all! There's a toilet now!

Mostly, by "basic" I think I mean there's no phone. Cellphone coverage is pretty dicey. We get texts though, so it isn't as bad as it once was (you used to have to drive for a few minutes to stand at some rocks and dial out).

The kids can't wait...they are sooo excited! Not Tombliboo, I don't think he knows what is going on- he keeps telling me about what is missing and saying, "I want to go home", when we're already here.

I'm looking forward to really being with them. J-Man asked where Twilight is. He read 60 pages on the first day we got it but none since. We will eb rading a lto more books, andthat is ezxciting. I shoudl ahve organised hwo we get library access today, but I didn;t...we'll ahveto wing it.

Or get books out hedre and drive a bit further to return them (an hour). Not sure yet...but I am lookign forward to lots of snuggly book-reading.

I have a picture in my head not really based in reality, of us all snuggling up lsitneing to a wodnerful story (read by me wihtotu lsoign my voice, or fallign asleep).

Normalyl Tombliboo steals the book adn hides it, adn the same with it'sreplacement...maybe it will be differnt in a different place.

I'm also imagining that maybe the kids will pile in to my bed (those that aren't already in there, lol) for stories in the morning ,since I won;t be up checking my e-mails (because I can't).

I hope some of that comes true.

I hope I can learn to be a "lazy", not completely, just enough to relax...really relax.

As I type, Tombliboo has gone to sleep early (9pm), and J-Man and Princess are having fits of giggles playing a bizarre chasing game which has something to do with the green slime from her prize pack. Ben is packing up the her computer, and I need to get pack to all my millions of jobs.

Hopefully this lets everyone know what we will be up to.

I hope to add snippets whenever I am able...which really might not be very it's adieu from me for a little while.

You'll be hearing a lot from me when we are settled in our new house, in a new town.

If anyone would like to visit, please do :0)