Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Technical frustrations, and other animals

Today we managed some inventive ways to learn. The boys have been playing with a set of animal figures, given to them by a home schooling friend. They have created islands, mountains, and habitats for them using duplo and video boxes (yes, it was as messy as it sounds!). Samuel has been doing habitats in his science this week, so it has tied in nicely. The boys didn’t recognise the names of some of the animals (written underneath each figure) so we dug out some books, and looked them up. We learnt about the kookaburra, manatee, lorikeet, takahe and dugong. Joshua found that some of them came from Australia – tying in with his project. We found that the lorikeet was from the same family as the parakeets that visit our bird feeder every morning. We also looked up the lynx and the boys learnt it was from the cat family, and read all about the hippopotamus – establishing whether or not it breathed under water.

We looked at habitats, the definition of mammals, and amphibians. We then looked at their colours. I suggested a learning game: each animal has developed its own camouflage that suits its habitat. I’ve challenged the boys to find a “habitat” in the house, where they can put each animal, where it will be camouflaged. Roarke and I will then try to find them all.

Tomorrow being the first of June, we are starting the “Homes Fit for Birds” survey for the RSPB. We will spend an hour once a week looking for selected species in, or flying over, our garden. June we will be looking for birds, amphibians and hedgehogs in July, and insects in August. I intend for us to follow the theme each week, looking at the different species and tying in as much related learning as I can.

Today has not been a very positive day in other ways though. This morning we heard back from our estate agent, who seems to be saying that the viewers of the house feel that it would need enough money spent on it that they wish to take £10,000 off the asking price :-(
Of course, the house is mid-renovation, so it is not as if we didn’t expect that ourselves, however the estate agent HAD said that it wouldn’t be an issue. To date we’ve had pretty poor customer service out of them – with unreturned phone calls etc – and the whole thing is getting us down.

I chose to take this as an opportunity for God to show His power, and grace, and am asking our church to pray for a miraculous sale which enables us to clear our debts, and bring some investment into this new house.

Poor customer service continuing as a theme, our broadband has still not happened. Apparently, the installation was cancelled yesterday (due to construction issues) but no-one felt it necessary to actually tell us! As you can imagine, we have demanded an explanation, apology, and recompense and await their (ntl) response.

It is so particularly frustrating as both my eldest boys use the internet considerably for their learning, as it helps us deal with their particular issues and styles of assimilating information. With the work needed here at this house, and at our old house, I have less time at the moment to be hands on with the boys, and this makes the lack of the internet even more noticeable. On top of all this, it means that neither Roarke nor myself have been able to do anything with our online businesses for some time now.

I would value your prayers about the sale of the house – and for broadband!

1 comment:

Steph said...

What a wonderful hands-on way to study animals! I will pray for you on the sale of the house.