Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Rounding up, navel gazing and stuff...

After deliberating whether or not to even read The Mozart Question, we ended up reading it and going to see the theatre production. We enjoyed it. It was sparse in comparison to most theatre productions we see but the strength of the story and the talent of the actor made it possible I feel.

We enjoyed it so much that we stayed for a post show talk. I need not have worried about how it would be portrayed to children. It became apparent that in advance of staging the production they had put a lot of thought into how children learn about traumatic events, and how at younger ages some things are best explored through the imagination as opposed to stark and potentially deeply distressing facts.

We went along to The Great North Museum and visited this guy - a life size Tyrannosaurus Rex.

He was accompanied by hundreds of absolutely fascinating things, but I have to say, I did not enjoy the visit. There were screens with moving images on the floor and ceiling. There were background sounds playing all of the time and lots of visitor activated sounds (push button stuff) which was incredibly loud too. Call me old fashioned but the noise, special effect lighting and screen just over loaded my senses and distracted from what I really wanted to see. There were times when it felt like being in a really naff nightclub - flashing lights, loud noises and strange specimens.

We have been strawberry picking and we have also dug up a lot of potatoes from our garden. Delicious.

Hermione is almost ready to wrap up the Tudors. We have covered all of KS2 national curriculum on it and much more. It's only recently that I have looked at the national curriculum and I wish I had done so much sooner. It's very reassuring. As for KS2 anyway it certainly is just a thin covering with wide brush strokes - this and that but not a lot of detail. I suspect there will be lots of areas where it just won't be detailed enough for Hermione's liking. When she's interested in something she likes to find out all there is to know - which can't be a bad thing!
We have spent literally hour on end jumping these waves - with friends and just us. Summer is well and truly here and we're loving it!

Seeing how both of the children interact with the sea really rings the changes in their confidence since last summer. Watching them the other day Craig ad I were just thinking about possibly buying Hermione one of those small surfboards - a body board I think it's called. She would love that.
We visited Newby Hall and for the first time I got to wander around the sculpture park. It was absolutely amazing. I was awestruck by some of the sculptures. They are all for sale and I would have dearly loved to have brought some home with me but alas that will be for when I win the lottery - which could be a long way off considering I never play it.

It's not entirely clear from the picture but these willow horses were life size.

I've had many deep and meaningful conversations with Hermione, who has spent what seems to be an incredible amount of time of late swinging from her favourite tree, and pondering out loud whether Macbeth was truly evil or was he just weak and corrupted by the witches and Lady Macbeth.

We have compared and contrasted creation and evolution quite a lot. That is one of her favoured debates these days. I've even been questioned about Mary Madeleine and whether or not she did actually give birth to Jesus' child.
Hermione and Miles have discussed about how the earth was once thought to be flat and that people may fall off - but later it was found to be round - 'but then do we ever really know?' she said.
Oh, they make me laugh and sometimes they take me by surprise. I don't always have the answers they are looking for, but that's one of the great things about our situation - we have the time to sit and ponder life in a way that those with tighter schedules don't.
A university friend caught up with me recently and we talked about the downsides of our own education. We both concluded that the youth of today have way too little time for navel gazing and that it should in itself feature on the time table. Call it processing, observing, formulating one's own ideas or whatever - it's certainly a very under rated process and one which we concluded could have enhanced our learning experiences greatly.
Blinkin Blogger! Squashing evrything up again!

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