One of our more productive days ....

Having started today with our usual 'Heroes' story - looking at John Newton & his great hymn, "Amazing Grace", the winter sunshine tempted us out on a nature ramble. The boys took camera, bug catching kit, Bird Spotter's guidebook and various boxes and bottles in which to keep any 'specimens' found. In fact the walk was rather disappointing on that front - We only came home with a worm, but it was good to spend the morning outside in the fresh air.

After lunch, I helped my youngest son (5) to make his birthday thank you cards. After some frustrating attempts at drawing his Lego dragon, he decided he would prefer to photograph it, so we did that and then we used the computer to put the photo on to a card. He then did some of the writing in the first one. We stopped when he had had enough, and he decided to do another tomorrow.

I then read to my eldest son (9) from our books on Marco Polo and Michaelangelo, 2 characters we are studying this term. A great deal of discussion arises from such reading - Today we talked about the Renaissance and he looked up who was on the throne in England at the times these great men were living in what is now Italy. He and I then read one of our daily poems by William Blake, and he chose a stanza to write into his copybook.

Meanwhile, I worked with my middle boy (7). He had his own ideas about what he wanted to read today, so I read what he chose in addition to a story about a sparrow which was what I had planned, and tied in with the nature walk this morning. He is interested in birds and wildflowers etc. As we read the next bit in the book he had chosen, we came across a few North American animals which were new to him so he looked them up on Wikipedia. Then he decided to make a companion notebook to the reading book which would show all the animals encountered in the story. He cut and pasted pictures from Wikipedia into a Word document and labelled them. He can add to this as the story progresses.

As he worked, I sketched out a large map of Wales and the boys then helped to paint in the sea. We will work on this some more tomorrow as we are off on holiday to Wales soon. We can take the map with us and add pictures, postcards and the names of places we visit.

My eldest son went outside to play with a neighbour, his smallest brother played with his Lego and my middle son helped me cook spaghetti and meatballs for dinner.

In the evening we read some 'Mog the Cat' stories together, which all 3 boys found amusing. When they went up to bed, my middle son produced a lovely picture of Mog. "I think tomorrow I will draw my own cat like Mog, write a story and get it published," he said. Whether he will do so remains to be seen, but this shows you how much can be done in small steps during a day at home together.