R and R

So far it’s been a plodding along kind of week.

We had to come back from Wales when we did because I was running an Usborne event on Saturday morning. Knowing the boys would rather sleep we gave them the girls the option of coming or not and they both chose not, so Bob came with me and we left everyone else dozing. It was busy enough that we put Sort-out Saturday off to Sunday and relaxed when we got home with some gentle family type things (trip to the park and so on). Bob is working through grammar with H most evenings, while I coax J through a little German so he won’t be completely new to it when he goes in November. We also have an English as a second language IGCSE textbook and workbook for H so will slot that in soon, ideally alongside a first language
equivalent for J.

On Sunday we all went to church, making the most of gorgeous weather to walk there. J is now on the laptop rota so needs to come along from time to time to keep in the loop, as it were, and H was persuaded that Catholics are allowed to attend services in Methodist churches, even if it does mean getting up earlier than he might like 😉 We’ll also offer him the option of going to Mass with some Catholic friends of ours, but that will mean an even earlier start!
In the afternoon everybody picked a Helpful Job to do and did it – excellent stuff! We’ve started to watch Great British Bake Off – a good replacement for Celebrity Masterchef so that fitted in nicely too.

By Monday I was feeling that we really did need to get a bit of work started, so looked up some extra information about Blaenavon and gave each child the task of writing up our visit in more or less detail, according to ability. We found a Time Team episode about finding the lost viaduct which carried trams from Blaenavon to Newport and all watched that and J researched more into the theory behind blast furnaces. J and H also worked through the BBC Bitesize pages on the Industrial Revolution, which both of them knew a little about, but mostly not going as late as the ironworks so it filled a gap nicely. Meanwhile the girls and I went food shopping, since that hadn’t been a priority for Bob while we were away 😉

Today we did a bit more History and I suggested Maths, English and Science to the boys, but I’m not convinced any actually happened :/ The Beans popped in to collect some Tudor bits for their Spanish daughter and then after lunch we went to a church centre cafe where J and H are hopefully to be doing some work experience and volunteering. We need to find them plain tee shirts and black trousers and they’ll get a few days of training then they’ll go on the rota to cover alternate Saturdays. It’s unpaid, but they’ll get lots of experience (alternating between kitchen and waiting) and a free lunch, so it’s not such a bad deal 🙂 While we were there we also went to the library, where H (who has told us how much he hates reading) decided that maybe comic books might be worth a look and ended up borrowing two – and then spent most of the afternoon reading them! This reminded me to order the set of 14 Marcia Williams Shakespeare comic strip stories, which I’ve been meaning to do for a while. Hopefully they’ll give an easy introduction before we move on to studying the original texts. We’re also planning to watch some adaptations of different plays, to compare styles and see what works, then maybe build up to actually going and watching a play at the theatre. It’s a while since we went to The Globe and I’ve a hankering to be a groundling again 😉
This evening we very decadently ate dinner in front of the first episode of Twelve Days to Save England, so that H could have an introduction to 1588 ready for his trip back in time in a couple of weeks. He’s looking forward to being on the gate, where they have weapons!