Today was better :) The outcome of my thinking was that perhaps I needed to lay off the "Let's do some work" approach and concentrate on the "I'm your mummy" part. I thought that perhaps some of the battles and tears were derived from me not understanding why they wanted to be at home. Yes they need to be educated, yes they need to learn, but maybe I need to be mummy for a couple of weeks - after all we are quite new to this.
I wrote a note to the boys and hung it from their main light last night so that it was dangling on a level with LB1's face. It said "Don't get dressed. Come and have stories from mummy instead."
He didn't see it!!! Ha. So like him. He arrived by my bedside fully dressed proudly proclaiming that he'd got dressed, brushed his teeth and made his bed. Bless him. They did eventually all assemble in my bed, then I brushed my teeth and they all disappeared again but after a bit of fraughtness on my part we did manage to do some reading together. I read the beginning of The Magic of Reality to them (a bit over the head of LG and LB2 but they did try) and then we continued with Framed by Frank Cotterell Boyce which is such a lovely book (and I do love attempting a Welsh accent!) We started it a while back but the references were a bit lost on the tiddlies. As research, over Christmas, they watched 9 episodes of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on Netflix and now seem to be enjoying it a lot more :)
Anyway mid chapter we moved downstairs, started breakfast then without really noticing moved on to a bit of drawing and writing...
LB2's picture of his toys - The Gruffalo, a purple stegasaurus and green dinosaur.
LG's picture of Fifi (of Flowertot fame)
LB1 starting his "Instructions for building a Snowman"
First draft - no tears but a lot of frustration.
It wasn't exactly idyllic but it was fairly painless for a change. I managed to potter in the kitchen and prepare tea while they were busy. We listened to our Percy Parker times tables (2, 5 10) which is so ridiculously catchy we were soon all singing it. Then at 12pm I gave them a couple of hours to run around and blow off a bit of steam. Normally we would be out and about but with the snow and because we were due to go to another talk this afternoon we stayed in and crashed about a bit. I insisted on a bit more sitty down stuff at 2pm and got out our maths workbooks whilst Lucy played on Reading Eggs. (The maths stuff was downloaded from here and we're finding it very good so far.)
LB2 flew through his maths and really settled down well to work this afternoon. I will have to remember the trick of not saying the "w" word to him before lunchtime. LB1 on the other hand was very down, negative and full of "I can't do it"s. I sat next to him and helped him through each question. He could do most of them very easily indeed but it seems that any new format upsets him or rather throws him and he finds it so easy to doubt his own abilities and give up. So far there hasn't been a single piece of work he hasn't declared as Rubbish. That's something else I need to look at and work on as until we can unblock that I'm worried he won't really be achieving his potential.
Then at 3.40 we headed off to town again for the talk. LB2 seemed keen to come and as last night the lecture theatre was only half full (presumably put off by the weather) I thought it safe to take him along. Sadly the lecturer had a very strong accent and while it was very interesting I think LB2 couldn't really understand enough of what he was saying and so became a bit fidgety. Still LB1 and I enjoyed ourselves!
So overall not a bad day. We made some progress and I felt a little bit better.
Oh and note to self.
One kilo of rice does not fit in the slow cooker. <face palm>