Today was a big day as Jenson's friends returned to school after half term and we took our first official step into home schooling. It seemed apt that we should be spending the day preparing for and having a party. Although it was to celebrate Halloween, a part of me couldn't help but feel how fitting it was that we should also be celebrating this momentous day.
After a 10 hour day working at a wedding on Friday, another 9 hours of photography on Saturday, a trip to the NEC to the BrickLive show, aka LEGO heaven for kids, on Sunday and then the tail end of Jenson's tummy bug that evening, I was feeling a bit jaded on Monday morning. The task of what lay ahead of me was daunting to say the very least.
The kids though were great. Jenson in particular was very excited and demonstrated this by enthusiastically tidying up all his Lego. When he's not riddled with tiredness he is an absolute sweetheart. Although his Lego lives in his bedroom, it makes frequent appearances throughout the rest of the house, often cropping up in the most surprising place: next to the toilet, where he's obviously put it down to do his thing and forgotten all about it, in the bath tub, under my pillow, (Lego man sometimes goes there to for 40 winks, I like his thinking) and so on. Mainly, it occupies the majority of our dining table, a side table in the TV room and a set of old theatre steps in our living room. I suggested he might want to move all his precious models that he has spent hours labouring over into his bedroom to avoid the inevitable flurry of feet and fists later.
Soon the pair of them were working together tirelessly to get the job done. At one point Jenson piped up, "Mummy is this teamwork? Teamwork is about helping each other isn't it Mummy?" To which I replied, "Yes Jenson that's right." After spending 20 minutes or so carefully carrying each piece through by hand, Jenson asked for a tray. As he loaded it up he paused for a moment, I guessed he was working out how he was going to carry it. Suddenly he shouted out, "Wren I might need you to help me with this." The picture says it far better than I can. It was still only 8.30am but I thought what a great way to start our home education journey.
The day wasn't all plain sailing. After tidy up time came the Chiropractor which is always entertaining with these two as they went hell for leather on every single swivel chair in the waiting room. A trip to Tewkesbury followed to pick up Simon who had booked his car into the garage to have some fancy tyres fitted, (that's about as technical as I get) and then it was full blown party mode. There was an epic to do list, which with children always takes about three times as long. However, I was determined that they should help with the preparations in order to appreciate the hard work that goes into pulling off a party.
And they did try. We hung up the balloons together, or rather Jenson told me where he wanted them hung. We prepared the food, (their interest in that lasted about 5 minutes) and they helped me decorate the caravan. It was a good effort on everyone's part. Sadly I must admit that Paw Patrol did come on during 'school hours', Jenson did get sent to his bedroom for screaming too loudly and generally getting too overly excited and the pumpkin oranges with celery stalks never got made. At 3pm there was just enough time to get into our costumes, paint the kids faces, and light all the candles. Oh, and of course get a quick pic of the two of them!
The actual party went really well. Jenson loved seeing his school friends and the feeling was mutual. The pictures describe the fun far better than I can. I must say, had I not been home schooling Jenson I doubt I would have gone to as much effort to plan and organise a party. For some reason though, it seemed really important. I had trawled Pinterest for food and decoration ideas, spent serious time finding Jenson the 'perfect' set of vampire teeth, (apparently the ones in all the shops weren't pointy enough) and fretted over what games to play. If Jenson had been at school that day he wouldn't have seen the massive effort. As it was, I hope he was able to appreciate the party a little more. I hope he learnt a valuable lesson about how putting time and effort into something can produce really good things and how hard work pays off.
And finally, the meaning behind Halloween has been added to our learning list for this week, so I'll keep you posted on how that goes!