Yesterday I took the children to Sudeley Castle for a day of fun in the sun! It was a PE class with a difference as we climbed trees, scaled the fortress, took on the assault course and generally wore ourselves out!
Before all that though was the usual struggle to get them out of their pyjamas. Wren preferred to mess around with an oversized pair of specs while Jenson was engrossed in LEGO.
We did eventually make it outside, all be it they were still in their pyjamas. Somehow, and I'm not quite sure how, but they both ended up getting dressed in the back of the car. It didn't matter. It was the perfect day for a drive in the country with the hood down - home ed life at its best!
It was a lovely drive over to Sudeley. I chatted to Jenson about where we were going and the different villages we were driving through. There was one particular moment when we were driving through Prestbury and I was telling Jenson all about the village. He asked if they spoke a different language, to which I chuckled and replied no. He then asked if they speak a different language in Turkey and I said yes, they speak Turkish.
By this point we were approaching Cleeve Hill. He'd gone quiet and then blurted out, "Bonjour!" It took me by surprise to say the least but once recovered I asked if he knew what the word meant. He replied, "Hello!" I was astounded and more than curious as to where he had learnt that word. As I waited, eyes slightly wincing, expecting to hear that dreaded word, I instead got, "Peppa Pig!" So there came about a very impromptu French lesson where even I surprised myself with how much French I knew! I taught him the following words and phrases, some of which I'm sure is quite inaccurate! Hopefully some of it sank in on some level though.
Comment t-appelles-tu? - What is your name?
Je m'appelle Jenson - My name is Jenson.
Quel âge as-tu? - How old are you?
J'ai 6 ans - I am six years old.
Ca va? - Are you okay?
Oui, ca va bien merci - Yes, I am okay thank you.
Et toi? - And you?
Lapin - rabbit.
Chien - dog.
We also counted to ten: un, deux, trois, quatre, cinq, six, sept, huit, neuf, dix.
As I spouted out more French words than I ever thought I knew, I felt like a fountain of knowledge! If Jenson wasn't impressed by his Mother's French then I certainly was. Those next ten minutes or so were simply wonderful. We were all giggling and joking how we would talk in French to Daddy that evening!
When we arrived we made a bee line straight to the adventure playground. Being a school day we had the place pretty much to ourselves. I know people harp on about how important it is for children to share blah blah blah, but sometimes it's really great when they don't have to continually compromise. We bumped into a friend by chance which made the morning even nicer.
After a quick lunch break I managed to convince the children to take a walk around the rest of the castle's grounds. Jenson took charge of map reading. He was keen to find the Roman picture he had seen last time he was at Sudeley with my sister. He also wanted to find the fish pond. He did pretty well at finding both, even Wren assisted at one point!
We had a super time playing hide and seek in the living willow maze. It's a beautiful structure that has grown loads since I was last there a few months ago for a photo shoot.
This is the Roman picture Jenson had been talking about. Turns out it was a mosaic and so it prompted a conversation about the Romans and what kind of people would have had such beautifully decorated floors. I explained very rich people used these as a symbol of their wealth and power to which Jenson replied he wanted to make a mosaic so that we could be rich and buy more LEGO!
We explored the dungeons, which Wren hated, so quickly moved on to the gardens. Jenson enjoyed rolling down the banks and pretending he was the dungeon master. Wren wasn't keen on the dungeon game, which involved skeletons jumping out at her from every bush, so instead occupied a spot near the fountain, well away from Jenson the Jail Master!
We moved on and eventually found the fish, who were very grateful for a feed. Not sure we were meant to feed them but the children loved watching their wriggly bodies slip and slide over each other.
We rounded the day off back in the playground, where the children enjoyed doing 'cuddle slides' together. Throughout our time at Sudeley Jenson showed great maturity and good listening skills. I'd even go so far as to use the word sensible!
We got home at about 2.30pm and all had a snooze on the sofa for an hour. I then received a text from a school friend asking if we were around for a playdate. Ten minutes later and Jenson and Henry were running around the garden naked with the sprinkler on full flow! I have no pictures as they would have been too indecent to share!
Wren meanwhile was happy playing on her own in a large bucket of water and snuggled in the rabbit cage.
An afternoon playdate turned into an evening of adult entertainment in the sunshine over a few bottles of wine. The children didn't go to bed until about 10pm and the adults even later. But that's one of the brilliant things about home schooling - if the kids want to stay up because they're having too much fun with their friends, then they can.
Today has been a very quiet day of down time while I work and catch up on these blogs. I've started to take one day a week as a work day, meaning the children have to find a way to occupy themselves without killing each other and destroying the house. Is it working? Sometimes. Will I continue? Yes. We've got to find a way to make home schooling work alongside my work. I don't think I'll be able to keep up with Jenson's LEGO obsession otherwise!