Friday, 6 November 2009

Films, drama, singing, piano-playing...

This has been quite a hectic week for us. We saw some films as part of the
national_schools_film_week , the first time we've taken part in this as we were away last year, and the Steiner school A used to go to (unsurprisingly!) never participated. It was very easy to book (online), they had no problem accommodating home educators.
On Monday we saw Kirikou_and_the_Sorceress , a fantastic West African film about a little boy born with the ability to walk and speak. Very different from the usual Disney/Pixar films we're bombarded with.
Tuesday Granny took A to see The_Secret_of_Moonacre , which they both seemed to enjoy.
Yesterday we saw The_Spiderwick_Chronicles , which I found a bit scary, although A didn't. Quite fun though.
Kirikou was definitley my favourite, A says Spiderwick was hers.
A also watched The_Cat_Returns , at home. I only saw tiny bits of as I was too busy to sit and watch it, but it looked really good, and A really liked it. We've seen a few of these Japanese animation films now, and love them.

A is having a great time at her new drama class, and they are preparing for their Christmas show next month. Its so good to see her enjoying drama again, she's been in various drama groups since she was about six and always loved them, but there was a bit of a gap where we couldn't find a suitable one, until a local class started up this August. One of her best friends goes as well, and they usually get together after class for a while, so thats a good arrangement for all.

A has also joined a choir, which I'm delighted about because I've been encouraging her to do this for ages (she has a great voice). Its at her old school, so she knows most of the people already, and is a mixture of adults and children which I think is really good. I drop her there and wait in the car - there's no way you'll get me singing (it would be very unpleasant for all invovled) - which is ok as I get to catch up on some reading for an hour or so.

And... I have managed to find a great piano teacher who lives just round the corner from us! I've been trying to find someone to give A piano lessons for months - asking around a lot etc - so its fabulous to have found someone so near. (I'm having to borrow the car every week for choir now as that is ten miles away and we have to get straight back for drama the same night, so I really didn't want to have to borrow it another night for another class.) The piano teacher seems very direct and clear in his approach, but in a gentle way. He doesn't 'talk down' to A, but treats her as the intelligent person she is, and already seems well aware of her tendency to panic when she gets things wrong, reassuring her that she's doing really well. She's only had two lessons so far, but I'm really pleased with how its going, and more importantly so is she!

Workwise, things are going well so far, although I still have panicky moments where it all feels out of control. I'm struggling with time management, but I knew I would, and I also know I'll get there and become more organised as things progress - I'll have to!
Trying to sort out the official stuff like Housing Benefit has been a bit frustrating (again - I knew it would be!) They like all the information to fit the boxes they have to tick, and want definite figures for earnings etc, which is all a bit impossible if you are just starting out as a freelancer! So I'm doing my best to give them as much as I can, hopefully it will all get sorted soon, as its highly unlikely I'll make enough to pay all my rent at this stage. That is the ultimate aim of course, but it will take a while to build things up.

Today was the first day this week we could just be at home, so we had some maths and English this morning - we've been working on place value for maths and A has struggled with this. I think its getting a bit boring for her going over it again and again, I've tried to find different ways of explaining it to make it clearer, but then I worry I'm making it even more confusing by explaining it differently! But I've found some games in this book which a friend gave me a while back that might help. For English A chose to use A Ladybird 'Grammar and Puctuation' workbook that Granny gave us (strangely I cant find a link to it!?). As workbooks go it wasn't bad, and A seemed to focus very well with it. In between all this 'sitting down learning' stuff has been much drumming and other percussion type noises going on in the kitchen, which is always good :0)


Hannah said...

It's great news about the singing and piano lessons.
I thought the Spiderwick Chronicles was really scary too, especially that stabbing bit when the monster looks like the Dad.

K said...

Yes - I think that bit might have freaked a few kids out!!