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It’s still Pokemon

It’s still all Pokemon here. Although we have managed to fit in a few other things over the last couple of days!

Sunday was Pokemon, in Sutton in the morning for some shopping and pokegyms/pokestop spinning and then in the afternoon we went for a walk around Nonsuch Park to see what Pokemon we could find. It has been good for Pokemon in the past but not so much at the moment. We did catch 2 or 3 new Gen 2 ‘mons each but it was mostly boring basic Gen 1 stuff. We had a really nice walk round though.. we went to the woody side and the kids had a great time running and jumping though mud and over logs. They really are happier when out and about in woodland 🙂

On Monday we had an early start for the Recorder lesson. Unlike last time when the kids didn’t get ready in time to park at Morden Hall Park and walk over, this week we managed it and had a lovely walk through the park. The weather has been so nice over the last few days its great to not need a big thick winter coat suddenly. We caught some Pokemon (I got the Wobbaffet that ran from me on Saturday) and took in the sights and sounds of the lovely morning.

The Recorder lesson went well and the kids are really playing well. After the lesson we stayed and chatted/played for a while, then walked back through Morden Hall Park, collecting more Pokemon and battling gyms, towards Morden and a trip to Lidl for treats before heading home.

In the afternoon Ben did a Reading Eggs lesson and then we went for a quick walk through Sutton High Street to spin pokestops again!

Today has included a library trip and more Pokemon at Morden Hall Park. We went to the library this morning to return old books and get new ones. Jasmine also did some research on Egypt for a Brownie Thinking Day task and she typed up a few bullet points on the computer while we were there. We emailed it to me to print at home. There was Pokemon on the way there and back!

This afternoon we met friends at Morden Hall Park for Pokemon and running/playing/general getting muddy play!

And this evening Jasmine had Brownies, where she read out her facts on Egypt. She was very happy with herself 🙂

 

Gotta catch ’em all again

So the last two days of our lives have been dominated by Pokemon Go and the new Generation 2 pokemon release! When it released late on Thursday I knew that we’d be busy collecting for a few days, but I hadn’t realised quite how much we’d manage to do!

It is amazing how quickly the kids can get dressed, clean their teeth and do all the other morning jobs that normally take ages (and lots of nagging!) when new pokemon are released and we were out of the house well before 11am yesterday! We absolutely loved having shadows on our pokemon “nearby” again (having all completed the Gen 1 Pokedex over the last month) and it was so exciting finding and catching new pokemon.. kind of reminded me of when we first started playing and it was all new. We walked and walked and over two hours later realised we should stop for lunch at some point! We bough a random selection of food from a supermarket and ate in a local park where there were three lures on a group of pokestops. After lunch we set off again and did another 2+ hours of hunting. We got home some time after 5pm, and we’d walked around 15km in total!

We had caught 22 new pokemon…  Sentret, Furret, Hoothoot, Noctowl, Ledyba, Spinarak, Chinchou, Lanturn, Natu, Xatu, Marill, Hoppip, Aipom, Wooper, Murkrow, Dunsparce, Sneasel, Swinub, Piloswine, Remoraid, Mantine and Skarmory. I also managed to evolve Blissey, Slowking, Espeon and Umbreon and the kids hatched a Slugma and evolved a Porygon2.

Yesterday evening was spent quietly recovering .. well for me and Gordon anyway, the kids seemed fine!

Today I wasn’t sure whether to go on another big hunt, or have a quieter day and go tomorrow instead. But with the 6 hour lure event finishing today, and the big two claiming to be “fine” after yesterday, we decided that Jasmine, Thomas and I would go into London while Ben would stay at home with Gordon who had some work to do on his motorbike.

We left the house at around 10:30am and got the bus and tube to London Bridge. We walked from there to the Tower of London and immediately found 3 new pokemon! So we grabbed some takeaway lunch from Costa and stayed around the Tower for a while. As we finished our food we spotted another new pokemon a short walk away so went to find that, found another at the same time and then walked back to the Tower to find more! In just over an hour we’d found Sudowoodo, Gligar, Snubbull, Phanpy, Teddiursa and Octillery. I also hatched Pineco and Tyrogue.

I was also keeping an eye on trackers and fb/discord chats about sightings and discovered that Hyde Park was a Houndour nest, so we decided to get on the tube to St James Park and walk over to Hyde Park next. The last 2 times we’ve been to London pokemon hunting we said we’d go to Hyde Park but never actually got there, so this was quite an achievement! And both Jasmine and Thomas really liked it. We didn’t see much as we were pretty tired by this point so we stayed close to Hyde Park Corner and didn’t venture far, but using Pinap berries and tracking we got enough candy to evolve Houndoom reasonably quickly. We also found a Skiploom and a Cyndaquil (which the kids caught but it ran from me.)

Thomas declared he was far too tired to walk back to St James Park (and to be honest I was getting that way too!) so we got on the tube at Hyde Park Corner and once back at Morden phoned Gordon to come and pick us up from Morden Hall Park. We had just enough energy to get to the park and catch a Shuckle and a Wobbaffet (again not me as it ran).

Back at home we really were tired this time! While we’d not covered the distance we did yesterday we’d still walked around 9/10km. So this evening was a very quiet affair! We each did some evolving – I got a Crobat, the kids got Azumarill and Crobat and Gordon did Umbreon, Espeon, Azumarill, Quagsire, Politoed and Crobat. We watched TV, I read Harry Potter aloud and the kids went to sleep in record time!

So as you can see, the last 2 days really have been taken over with Pokemon Go! So much so that it is now 11:30pm and Gordon has just taken all our phones out as I spotted another “shadow” on our nearby!

 

 

Half Term days

For the first time ever I am blogging from my phone, while waiting for the kids to have their fill of Pokemon TCG at the local library club! The club is on every Thursday evening but because of Beavers and Cubs we normally can’t go. This week is half term so no Beavers or Cubs .. it’s Pokemon instead!

It’s been another reasonably quiet two days. Yesterday we saw a friend and her son L. He goes to school so we only see them in school holidays but the kids love getting together. It’s an old neighbour of ours and we’ve known them since Thomas and Jasmine were just months old, so the kids have grown up together. While us mums chatted the kids played mostly Lego Ninjago and running around the house!  Jasmine and Ben also did some Crayola Colour Explosion colouring. Ben got a book for his birthday and they’ve both been loving watching the  patterns appear.

Our friends stayed for lunch and L told us there was a new Dragons series on CBBC, so I set that to download and record ready to watch later.

After lunch, once our friends had gone home, we went for a Pokemon walk. It was the last day of the Valentines event so we were keen to get some distance on our buddy and make the most of the double candy while we could. We also took 3 gyms and caught a wild Muk!

Later in the day we watched 2 new episodes of Dragons Race to the Edge, I read Harry Potter aloud, quiet reading for Thomas and Jasmine and bed.

Today we had a very slow morning. The kids played Lego for a while and about mid morning Jasmine asked if she could do a Pokemon TCG battle online. She is nervous about doing it by herself as she is always so worried she’ll lose, but I was free so I sat with her and she managed to win the first battle, meaning she had enough coins to buy a new deck, and she then won 2 more battles to finish her daily challenge (that she’s had for over a month now!)

This afternoon we went to our HE group and the kids played outside for the whole time. It was quite quiet at group today so there was a really nice calm feel to the group… not that it is normally not but it was just so quiet today that it was more noticeable!

And this evening is where we are now .. at the library playing Pokemon TCG. I’m not sure it is quite what Jasmine and Ben expected … Jasmine did ask at one point if it was JUST Pokemon! But they’ve all enjoyed a few games so I think it could become a frequent holiday event for us.

Lego, Pokemon and a Party

Firstly, my most exciting news is that my laptop is fixed 🙂

I’d love to say my lack of laptop was the main reason I haven’t blogged all weekend but while that definitely had something to do with it, mostly I’ve just been too tired in the evening and not wanted to sit at an old computer trying to make sense!

So, a quick catch up is in order.

Saturday saw us enjoying mostly a quiet day playing Lego, Pokemon Go and then late afternoon we went to Messy Church – arts and crafts at a friends Church. On Sunday we met up with some friends for a Pokemon Go walk at Crystal Palace Park. I’ve wanted to go there for ages.. we drive past it every so often on our way to and from other places but haven’t ever got round to going. Until now anyway! Its a really nice park, loads to see and do. It kept the five children occupied for about two hours despite the cold! And there were plenty of Pokemon to catch too 🙂 Highlights of the walk were the old Palace, the dinosaurs and the maze. Some of us even managed to complete the maze without cheating! We’ll definitely be going back.

Yesterday was all about Ben’s party. These days I try not to say the word “party” as it sets the kids off hyper, so we just have friends round for making pizza and watching a film. It suits us and the kids enjoy it.. although they still get hyper! So anyway, yesterday morning was the Big Pre-Party Tidy! Gordon and I spent the morning cleaning, tidying, hoovering, icing the birthday cake (at least I’d made that over the weekend!), turning the breadmaker on and off to make 3 lots of dough, stretching and cooking 15 pizza bases (!), and generally doing all the stuff that needs doing when you’ve got 8 children coming round for a party! The kids, despite our best efforts to get them to help, stayed out of the way and played Lego all morning! We were still at it after lunch, and the kids returned to their Lego.. we finished just as the first guests arrived!

The afternoon was taken over with a house full of 11 children, 1 toddler and 3 adults.. 14 pizzas made, cooked and eaten, a Pokemon film and lots of episodes watched, and generally fun had by all 🙂 Thomas had one moment towards the end where it all got too much for him but he got through it and was soon back playing with everyone.

Once everyone had left Ben built his new Lego models and we all did some quiet reading to calm down before bed.

Today has been a much needed quiet day. We went into Sutton this morning for a bit of shopping and Pokemon Go but the rest of the day has been spent in the house just relaxing. I made heart shaped cheese scones as a Valentines Day lunch, which everyone enjoyed 🙂 The kids have all played more Lego, Jasmine and I have done some colouring, Thomas and I played some Pokemon TCG online, I made dahl, chick pea curry and coconut rice for dinner (which didn’t go down very well.. Gordon and I enjoyed the curry but the rice was slightly weird!), we read Harry Potter aloud before bed.

 

The 7th Birthday

Its a quickie today for a few reasons.. I’m not on my laptop as my cooling fan is broken (or something like that) so I’m using the kids PC and I don’t like it! I’ve already spent half an hour just trying to remember my WordPress password and eventually I resorted to resetting it, the space bar on this keyboard is rubbish, the keys on the keyboard don’t feel right so I am struggling to type.. well you get the idea!

So today was Ben’s 7th birthday! I think he’s had a good day.. he definitely liked all his presents 🙂 He got some Lego Nexo Knights sets and a Pokemon TCG deck. I didn’t make a cake for today, (I’ll do that when I finally get round to organising him a party next week), but I made birthday cookies instead and they were delicious!

Other than birthday things, today has been the normal swimming and forest school for the kids. Thomas recently switched to the morning forest school group and today he came home and told me he’d really enjoyed it 🙂 This is huge as last week I wasn’t sure I’d get him back after half term. So that made me much happier 🙂

Jasmine did well in her swimming lesson again and did some more good diving (well, not really diving as she only started learning to dive last week, but she’s making a good start!)

Gordon, Thomas and I managed a 3.5km Pokemon walk while the others were at forest school this afternoon.

To keep it real I also feel like ought to be honest and mention the moments of meltdown and shouting we’ve had today as both boys struggled with the birthday idea.. but it was only a few moments really and a few calm words helped them both.

The day ended with Harry Potter aloud, excitement as we saw a Chansey on the Pokemon tracker I use, disappointment after Gordon went to get the Chansey but failed, and in the time it has taken me to type this Gordon has taken my laptop apart and discovered it is too broken to fix and needs a new part 🙁

Waves of Learning

Day 2 of the #100daysofhomeed challenge, and day 2 of me blogging again 🙂 I actually started writing this blog five hours ago but didn’t finish in time and then got caught up in dinner, chores, Brownies drop of and collection and general evening shenanigans! But the kids are in bed, lights off now so I can finally sit down and write.

This morning started with me filling in our weekly planner and then Thomas helping me get today’s dinner in the slow cooker. The kids have chores to do every day – I put out a selection and they choose what they want to do – and Thomas really loves helping me with meals. Tonight was Bean Stew so he peeled the carrots, opened all the tins and drained the beans and then added them to the slow cooker and got the spices out of the cupboard. He never wants to add the spices in case he adds too much!!

Once we’d done that Ben completed a lesson on Reading Eggs while I tried to get logged in to Khan Academy on the new PC. I totally failed as I couldn’t remember any passwords or figure out how to reset them, so Thomas had to wait for Ben to finish and then he did Khan Academy on my laptop where the passwords are saved. We haven’t used Khan Academy for months… it goes in waves like that in our house .. we’ll use something every day for a while and the nothing for months. But that definitely doesn’t mean the kids aren’t learning. In fact today Thomas was doing the section on multiplication in 10s, 100s, 1000s etc and was flying through. Most of the questions had been multiples of 2, 3, 4 and 5 and he knows those times tables. He came to the question “90×90=?”. We have talked about the 9 times table and I have shown them how to do it using fingers, but they’ve had no “formal” teaching/learning. We do also have a times table poster up in the house. So, back to the 90×90 question.. before I’d even had time to suggest I help him he said “Oh that’s easy, its 8,100”. I was gobsmacked!!!

EDIT: Since I wrote this i have discovered that it *may* in fact have been a total fluke as, while chatting to Granny (who is staying with us for a couple of days) when I mentioned 9×9 being 81 Thomas interrupted and said No, 9 add 9 is 18! So it is entirely plausible that he got the sum wrong, mixed the number order up and therefore fluked the answer!!! Either way, he got the right answer and I am still impressed 😉

So, back to today, after Thomas had done 20 minutes on Khan Academy Jasmine also wanted a go so she was next. She worked on strategies for addition and subtraction and understood it really quickly. She also did a few larger addition sums (100s without carrying) and then because I needed to make lunch and she won’t do it without me, she turned Khan Academy off and asked me to write some sums for her on paper! And she worked through them all really happily and confidently 🙂

After lunch we went to Morden Hall Park to meet up with friends, Pokemon and play. We had a lovely walk round before our friends arrived, listening and identifying bird song, trying to spot the Heron nests and of course, catching Pokemon. When our friends got there we met them in the playground and once everyone had had several turns on the zip wire we walked along the new boardwalk.

Back at home and it was general play, dinner, Brownies for Jasmine, Pokemon TCG online for Thomas, drawing for Ben, TV, Harry Potter aloud, quiet reading for J&T and bed.

 

In rain and (sun)shine…

This week has been good. We’ve been just the right amount of busy I think. On Tuesday we spent the morning at home and I managed to get some Maths done with all three kids. We used Khan Acadamy after a conversation a few days ago reminded me how much the kids enjoyed it. Thomas did basic multiplication, Jasmine did some 2 digit addition and Ben did some early maths addition. They all really enjoyed it so I will have to remember to use it more.

In the afternoon we met up with some HE friends at Banstead Woods for a woodland/Bluebell walk. It had been raining in the morning and the forecast wasn’t great for the afternoon but we were really lucky and the rain held off for the whole time we were there. The kids had a great time with their friends and we saw lots of Roman Snails.

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On Wednesday we had the usual two friends over in the morning and Forest School in the afternoon. As we arrived at Forest School at 1pm the weather took a dramatic turn for the worst and it absolutely threw it down! Even Gordon and I had to shelter for about 15 minutes before running back to the car as we would have got soaked! When we collected the kids two hours later they were dripping wet through to their underwear, despite all wearing full waterproofs! They weren’t bothered though!

On Thursday morning Jasmine and I went to the hairdressers for our hair cut. In the afternoon we went to HE Group where the kids made a simple record player from paper and a pin, made playdough soap, did some painting and played with their friends.

In the evening I took Thomas to Cubs and he joined in every activity again 🙂 He did have one moment during some “fitness” training (basically, football training) where is wasn’t happy because he didn’t score a goal, but other than that he did great!

Yesterday we started the day with a trip to the library. I was mostly aiming to renew all our books rather than get more as we are on holiday next week but Thomas reminded me that he had read a couple of his so we took them back to swap. We ended up taking out about 6 new books for him and Jasmine to read! He can’t get enough books at the moment, now he is confidently reading short chapter books.. I think he is averaging two or three a week at the moment! After the library we went to a local playground to meet a friend. Jasmine and Ben played on the equipment and did some bug hunting while Thomas sat and read one of his new library books!

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Yesterday afternoon Thomas had his swimming lesson. Despite spending most of the morning saying he didn’t want to go again he took my pep talk (about swimming being an important life skill) to the letter and swam several whole lengths on his back with no float 🙂 He was so excited and you could see his confidence soar! Now we’ve just got to tackle swimming on his front!

 

Sunny days

Last week ended with a couple of really nice days. On Thursday morning the sunny weather called the kids into the garden and Jasmine decided she could climb the tree! She has spent years watching Thomas do it, never being bothered herself.. but all of a sudden she wants in on it too! In the afternoon we went to Home Education Group where Jasmine and Thomas did French, the kids all played outside with their friends, we all joined in the science (put a marshmallow in a vacuum and see what happens), and they all did some painting too. It was a busy session!

In the evening Thomas got Invested at Cubs 🙂

Cubs1We spent Friday with Granny and Grandad. We went to the garden centre and Thomas had his swimming lesson.

On Saturday we went to Headley Heath. It was a beautiful sunny, hot day and we managed just over 5km over a couple of hours. We explored parts of the Heath we haven’t been to before, although I was surprised to realise how little that was and that we already know most of it pretty well. We found  some stunning carpets of blue and had lunch in the shade of a huge tree.

HH1 HH2Yesterday was another glorious day and we had some friends over for a BBQ. The kids played in the garden while the adults chatted in the shade. It was a wonderful way to spend a sunny Sunday!

Today we managed to fit in Reading Eggs for both Jasmine and Ben before their swimming lesson. And then this afternoon a lovely friend watched the kids for me for an hour so I could fit in a short run and then I stayed for a cup of tea and a chat before heading home for dinner and kids baths.

Finishing April, starting May

May? Is anyone else wondering where January, February, March and April have gone?! I really can’t believe it is May already!

Back to last week though, when it was still April. On Thursday we started the day with some maths.. individual table time still works better so I did one after the other. Thomas wasn’t keen at first so he just worked through the Star Wars workbook. Its pretty easy for him but he enjoys it and the pages he did revised the 3 and 4 times table, and counting in 50s and 100s. Jasmine is keen on measuring at the moment so I found some worksheets for her. We also did the 3 times table and I think she has finally cracked it 🙂 Ben also did his Star Wars workbook, pages on place value and more than/less than.

In the afternoon we went to HE Group. Jasmine did French but Thomas was being very disruptive so I had to take him out. I think it is because we haven’t done the work at home recently so he is going into the class unprepared. I need to fix that because when we put the work in he does enjoy it. Hopefully I haven’t left it too late to turn it around.

The science activity was ink printing, which Ben and Jasmine enjoyed. Other than that, the kids played with their friends.

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Thomas had Cubs in the evening. I am still staying with him but this week he joined in every activity, even the games! He did really well 🙂 And he is, finally, getting Invested next week! The leaders all told me how pleased they are that he is finally joining it. I know it will take a while still but he is enjoying it and, really, that is all that matters!

On Friday morning we went to the library to change books over, then over to the new larger toy shop in Sutton to feel Lego Minifigure bags for the figures the kids wanted! After lunch Thomas had his swimming lesson. He did great for the first 10 minutes but then a small group of school children came into his lane, which seemed to throw him a bit. He spent the next 10 minutes refusing to do anything his teacher asked him. Finally his teacher (who is great!) got him back and the final 10 minutes were pretty good again, although were mostly on Thomas’ terms. We’ve agreed that next week they’ll work on a “one for Thomas, one for James” (teacher) philosophy to try and get Thomas to do some swimming on his front as well as his back (which he prefers)

Yesterday we went to the Morden Hall Park May Fair. Its a tradition for us as we’ve been for the last four years I think! We did all the usual things but this year Jasmine and Thomas got to go on the petrol Quad bikes rather than the electric jeeps – they were so happy! And we all had a go at some target shooting at the Reach the Core stand with a longbow, crossbow and a ballister.

z 2 z 3 z 4Today has been a quieter day spent mostly at home. We did nip out into town for a bit of shopping after lunch but other than that it has been a Lego and garden kind of day. Gordon cut the grass for the first time this year. I did my first workout of Couch25k week 8.. 28 minutes of running. How can just 3 minutes extra seem so much harder?!

Bank Holiday tomorrow and we have no plans. I’m thinking bluebells .. maybe? I’ll let you know what we decided in a day or two!

Out in nature

We’ve had five children (my three plus two more) and two mostly nature-based days yesterday and today.

Yesterday morning the kids all played Lego and Jasmine re-potted her beans into larger pots. In the afternoon I had arranged a social meet-up at the local ecology centre with some of our home educating friends and we had a great time. We saw sunshine and snow showers! And lots and lots of wonderful creatures.

In the pond we found tadpoles, water boatmen, pond skaters, sticklebacks, damselfly larvae, dragonfly larvae and a water scorpion. Elsewhere, in the woodland, we found toads, common newts and a couple of slow worms.

Ecology Centre 1 Ecology Centre 2I’m not sure what excited the kids more; the snow or the creatures.. I’d like to think it was a bit of both! It was definitely different, pond dipping in mid-spring in the snow!

Today the kids played games this morning (Uno, Snakes and Ladders, Mastermind and Guess Who) because Thomas didn’t want some of his Lego models played with. We also did some crafts – Ben made a bed for his Furby and there were other crafts going on that included googly eyes and glitter! – and everyone played with the Geomag. Thomas made a diamond and one of our friends made a pretty cool helicopter!

This afternoon the kids all went to forest school and Gordon and I did some shopping and then went for a quick walk through Nonsuch Park. Back at home there was some more crafting involving more glitter, more Geomag play and finally some TV.