Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Regaining Strength

Sunday the family continued to recover from the tough week - tough mentally as well as health wise. We didn't go to church as we figured we were probably still infectious.

Yesterday we had a chat with Joshua about his learning, and how he felt it was progressing. We had decided previously to give him the autonomy in chosing how/when/what to learn, but with the proviso that we'd check up with him now and again and share how we felt about things.

He seemed to feel that maybe he hadn't done as much as he could have, and seemed down about "all the playing with lego" for example. We had a good chat about how it WAS part of his growing and learning. We discussed engineering, concepts, problem solving, "blue sky ideas", inventions and the like. I said to him that all he needed to do was push himself a bit further - make connections, challenge himself.

Shortly afterwards he showed us a new model he'd made. It was a water irrigation system!
Modelled in lego, the idea is to show how water can be drawn off from a river (at high water/tide etc), taken, down the slopes through the pipes, until it reaches a slot where it goes into a storage tank.
This water would then be used for crops/gardening etc.
This was exactly the sort of thing that we meant! He's very good at coming up with new ideas (I think most kids are, naturally) so I want to encourage him to "invent". He isn't necessarily the sort of kid to go out, grab some wheels, a few nuts and bolts, and actually make something. But he can certainly draw it, talk it, model it.
He's also made a decision to try and find at least 15 minutes reading time each day, on the geography syllabus book, and the science workbook that he has. The way I explained it to him is that he has already the building bricks of knowledge, of those subjects. These he has gathered through his reading, watching documentaries, surfing etc.
Now he needs the mortar to hold them together, in the "shape" that can be recognised (by him, as much as others) as "knowing" geography. Does that make any sense? In other words, if he decides to take the exams in those subjects, he will know that what he knows, is what he needs to know. And if he doesn't, well he still has that confidence and knowledge base.
Not sure I've explained that as well here as it is in my head!
Anyway, I'm proud of him, and of the way he's working this through for himself.
The boys continued today with yet another layout using the coca cola cups! They continue to amaze me with the different ways in which they have used them. Today they had them in Samuel & William's bedroom, set up in a series of forts, and then manned by their soldiers. Again, it was a very complex game. Later on they set up Mousetrap, but have played a game of their own invention using the board/characters.
I love watching the range and depth of their imaginations grow. Its what you see in little kids all the time - but sadly they lose so much of it when they go to school. Those that don't (like my brother) get comments on their reports like "needs to spend more time working and less time day dreaming"... Why do we do this to our children? Why can't the state school system work harder to find a way to let children be children (give them the freedom to grow ;0) ) - because they'll learn even more that way.
Yesterday evening we had the maternity tour of the Princess Royal. The unit seems well equipped enough, but as Roarke commented afterwards, seemed just like "another ward" and didn't seem to have the special atmosphere that we'd found both at the old All Saints in Chatham (where I had Joshua and Samuel) and at the newer Medway Maritime (where I had William). There was no close, women together type of feeling, whereas previously we've always found midwives and other maternity staff to have a special kind of attitude and cameraderie with the women that they deal with.
The midwife doing the tour, when I asked, said their minimum time for you to stay was 6 hrs after birth, and not to release overnight - though they would consider invididual needs. Good, I said, as my shortest record so far is staying only 50 minutes after the birth! (that was Samuel!) And I was released at 9pm at night!
We also went out yesterday and invested in a new pram/pushchair. We have an old pram that was second hand to us 9 years ago, and a 5 year old one (William's) which Mum uses here for Thomas. We decided we quite reasonably did actually "need" a three wheeler, as HE tends to mean a more cross country run for any baby in a buggy! Negotiating stairs, parks, woodland walks etc is definately the job for a three wheeler!
By the grace of God, we ended up being able to get one (last in line, clearance) that was over £70 cheaper than the cheapest one we'd decided to compromise on!
So now our bright red Urban Detour Glacier (!) is sitting in the corner of the bedroom...
Off to Sheffield at the weekend for the EO OCM and have realised I need to take my maternity bag as well as my notes with me just in case... trying to resist the temptation to pack the baby car seat....

1 comment:

Emma said...

Glad that you're all on the mend, both physically and emotionally Ann.
Wow at you leaving the hospital after 50 minutes...I really want to be out within 6 hours, all being well. I loathe staying in hospital and can't sleep or get any rest until I get home. I'm also uncertain about any food they may offer so I'm taking some supplies of my own!

Anyway enjoy the last few weeks counting down :-)