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Reading - Til the Cows Come Home! · Wednesday November 15, 2006 by Abbie

It’s Wednesday here, and the day has started just as it always has, reading aloud! I get up before Ram and catch up with a few things like email, then when he wakes, I crawl back into bed with him and read, sometimes for a couple of hours.

Ram is very oppositional so I can’t use the usual teaching methods that you would find in a school. Most of his learning is from life experience or from me reading aloud to him. By reading aloud together we can then discuss what we have read during the day, and I can see whether he understands it or not.

However, the book we are reading at the moment is called The Number Devil – a Mathematical Adventure by Hans Magnus Enzensberger. This one book where he is ahead of me! I keep wanting to slow down and go over the equations but Ram get rather annoyed and wants me to keep going!

It is a fantastic book, where a number devil visits a young boy in his dreams and tells him all about numbers. But instead of using the stuffy old terms he uses different words that would appeal to young people. So we are now talking about rutabagas, vroom numbers, prima-donnas, unreasonable numbers, and numbers that go on and one “until the cows come home.”

Ram always takes time to wake up in the morning, but this morning he was quite excited and ready to get going because it is his birthday later this week and his best friend, whose mother just happens to me my best friend, is coming to stay with us for a few days. She is also bringing her younger bother. As they are home educated too, it means that we have the freedom to have these little trips to each others house. Because education takes place all the time the children won’t lose out on their education.

One of the important things about home ed is helping children to learn life skills. So this morning we made up the beds for our guests. Ram may not remember but the more often I show him how to do hospital corners the more likely he will remember one of these days!

He also decided to clean the basins and bath, and even mopped the stairs! This is real progress, and also shows how excited he is about them coming.

After lunch we went off to our local small town for our weekly shop and swim. I am always on the look out for interesting fruit and vegetables and today we found an 12 inch white radish! We will look that one up, and decide how to prepare it. Sadly Ram will not eat it because he has a problem with trying new foods, but I know one day he will try new things if I keep offering them to him but without pressuring him to try them.

We also went to the sweets and magazine shop. We decided when Ram was quite young that I would always buy educational things and anything to do with reading, and he would have to pay for toys. In a way I wish that I had been more specific, because the Horrible Science magazines and Futurarama and The Simpsons are costing me lots! Luckily he has gone off The Beano and the Dandy.

We had the swimming pool mostly to ourselves again. There was one other home educating family, along with a few babies and their mums. We have never organised a home ed swimming session, but the home ed families just seem to come out of the woodwork. Well, out of the changing rooms actually!

Ram has never had swimming lessons but has managed to teach himself pretty well. Today he suddenly broke into a passable front crawl complete with breathing! Of course I made the mistake of saying ‘Well done.’ He then refused to do any more!

He is now much better at reading to himself, so he settled down to read his magazines when we got home, before watching Blue Peter together. Why is it that home educated children still have to watch afterschool telly?

I have never done a blog before, and I wasn’t sure I would have the time, but Ram thinks it is a good idea and is quietly watching an old nature video while I am doing this. Afterwards we will watch last night’s Horizon, then up to bed to do some more reading.

Yep, reading till the cow’s come home, or at least until I fall asleep.

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Bath Time · Thursday November 16, 2006 by Abbie

I was right last night. I read until my cows came home and fell asleep in the process. But Ram was too excited to go to sleep and even after the lights were off and I was fast asleep he was still talking to me. He couldn’t understand why I wasn’t answering him, and eventually started shouting at me to wake up!

Of course it is the other way around in the morning. I am wide awake and he is fast asleep. But I am not so cruel as to wake him by shouting at him! I find that letting him wake naturally is always the best otherwise he will end up getting up on the wrong side of the bed, a phrase which is very perplexing to an Aspie, as he can only get up on one side of the bed because the bed is against the wall!

We finished reading The Number Devil this morning and started discussing it before we got out of bed. I asked him how many unique handshakes there would be if he and his friends shook hands when we picked them up from the train station. He replied one. Because he would never shake hands with anyone!

Then I asked if I made one bun for the first person, two for the second, and so on until the fifth, how many would I have to make. He gave me the wrong answer, then suddenly said, ‘Oh sorry, I left you out!’

With answers like that, you can see how normal questions and answers that you would use in a school setting just wouldn’t work!

We were then trying to work out some factorials. I kept making a mistake so I got my calculator and left it with him in bed while I got dressed. A few minutes later he shouted with joy. He had found out that the biggest number that you could get the factorial for on my calculator was 69. Anything above resulted in an error message!

I think Father Christmas is going to have to put a better calculator in Ram’s Christmas stocking!

The excitement waiting to go to the station for his friends was almost too much for him. But not too much to hop from one end of the house to the other several times, alternating his foot each time! This is one of the exercises that we were given to help with his co-ordination. But if I asked him to hop he would refuse. I guess I should invite his friends over more often!

The excitement heightened when our friends got off the train. Ursula the mum, Banana and Sheepy (the children chose those different names to protect the innocent!) were tired but as soon as they got into the back of the car they got up to their old tricks. They were all trying to out do each other with witty sayings, taking things literally, and generally being very annoying. Luckily they would quiet down when asked, but it wouldn’t last long.

It is lovely to see two children, especially of the opposite sex, being so happy to see each other and really enjoying each other company. And they even let Sheepy, the younger brother, join in occasionally!

Never to miss an opportunity to educate, we had a lesson in etiquette over supper. The usual bottom burps came up and we explained to Sheepy, the youngest, that it was rude to be like Bart Simpson and say, ‘Wow, that was a good one!’ even if that was what Ram was doing. We were able to discuss the appropriate phrases to say, why we say them, and how different families say different things. The fact that Ram can explain to Sheepy what we should say makes me realise that it has all sunk in even if he doesn’t say it!

Then we went onto how to hold forks and knifes and use them for eating. Ram is still very awkward and chooses not to use cutlery, Sheepy is getting much better and Banana, being the oldest by a couple of months is getting very good.

Now, onto the bath. I gave up giving Ram baths many years ago. He had a full scale meltdown when he was four and I had to stop. There is a saying in our house, you have to pick your battles! I found that boys can be pretty much self cleaning. Mind you, we do go swimming once a week!

But puberty is looming. Because many children on the autistic spectrum find it difficult to cope with change, puberty being one change that you can’t avoid, we decided to start planning ahead. Last year on his birthday he started washing his hands every night. It took many months but now a year later it is automatic. So this year he will start having a bath once a month, then next year I am hoping to make it a bath once a month and washing at the sink once a week, then the following year a bath once a week and washing at the sink each day when not bathing, and so on. Hopefully before he starts to really smell he will be in a routine of keeping clean.

And as today is the night before his birthday, he chose now to have his bath! We had the usual discussion of displacement of water, and the usual jibe at me for displacing more water than him! But he also enjoyed playing with his old toys again. We talked about how he didn’t like getting out of the bath and why he had that awful meltdown all those years ago. I then went downstairs briefly to set the video, and when I went back up he was getting out and managed to dry himself enough to put some clothes back on! We will work on pulling the plug some other time!

He is now playing happily with Banana. Luckily she too has read The Number Devil so there is lots of talk about numbers. Hopefully before long we will be able to usher them all to the appropriate beds with the right mums and books. All three kids are having books read aloud to them, and all three books are different!

And because it was bath night Ram will smell even sweeter to his mum!

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The Tale of Three Birthdays · Sunday November 19, 2006 by Abbie

I can’t quite believe it but Ram was 10 on Friday! Everyone under 12 in the house was very excited and woke early, and everyone over 12 wanted to sleep a little longer before having to get up and tidy the house!

We have never had the type of party that only children come to. I guess if Ram went to school then I might have fallen into that way of doing things. But because home educated children are so good at mixing with children of all ages, it just seems natural to invite whole families. That way the parents get to have a good time too.

On the Friday we had six children ranging from nearly six to 16, and their parents. We didn’t do games this year, but just had a lovely supper with everyone round the table enjoying the chat. Ram came up with a great idea for the cake this year. He requested individual muffins so that everyone could decorate their own! It was great fun, not only for the children but the adults too! Sometimes I think adults should have a chance to have some fun too!

Afterwards the four younger children went off and played goodness knows what. There was a mixture of schooled and home educated children, but that doesn’t seem to matter to them. They all got on well. And by having a mixture of ages we adults knew that we could trust them to not do too much damage!

One of the older teens stayed with the adults for a cup of tea and one went off baby-sitting. The Dxh was here, but we let him go after supper as he had some important software to write. I think he finds these family get togethers too much! Because we have a household where we don’t make divisions between children and adults but give everyone an equal space, the rest of us, regardless of age had a lovely natter.

Then we had another family round on Saturday. Normally they would have come on the Friday but the mum had a stroke a few months ago, and I knew that it would be too much for her and the family to come round after school.

Ram didn’t mind that we had less on the Friday and an extra bit on the Saturday. He understands that we have to make allowances for other people, even on our birthdays!

In fact, I think it is important that children learn about charity, both small c and large C. And the best way for them to do this is to watch their parents do this.

I do some official volunteering for a national charity, and he knows that I have to spend some time every week doing that. But he has also learned about small c charity. The neighbourly stuff that communities seem to have lost over the years.

We used to visit an elderly gentlemen while waking the dog and feeding the village ducks. At first Ram didn’t understand why we went to see him every day. But by explaining it he slowly began to see why we were doing it.

So not only do I visit my house bound friend that had a stroke once a fortnight because she is a dear friend and I want to do that, I am also using it to show Peter how charity begins at home with friends and neighbours and it isn’t just all about donating some money to a good cause.

According to research in America, 71% of grown up home educated children participated in a volunteer community service activity compared to 37% of adult Americans. HSDLA-Home Schooling Grows Up

But unless I show Ram how to do that sort of thing, because of the autistic way of thinking he will never notice other people doing this and may never think that visiting an elderly person or a sick friend is a good and useful thing to do.

So he had no problem with having to have a second party. Well, he wouldn’t, would he!

Today, Sunday, he is going to get another surprise. He is obsessed with Lego Bionicle and wanted all six of the new models. So far he has received four of them from his friends, but I have saved the last two for today. We have four little cakes left so after lunch I will bring them out, complete with candles, and sing that song again for the third time. Then he can have his last two Bionicles and Ram, Banana and Sheepy can decorate their cakes until the cow’s come home while the two mums have a rest!


Ducks, a Radish and an Appleseed · Monday November 20, 2006 by Abbie

After the hub bub of the birthday parties, and as Sunday afternoon was dripping with glorious sunshine, we decided to take the kids to the village duck pond to visit what we call our ducks.

Two years ago a pair of ducks from the village pond came over to our garden pond for a little privacy and space to mate in. The duck laid four eggs and then dropped dead. It was quite sad to watch the drake wonder around for a couple of days looking for her. She was just not fat enough to lay successfully.

But the four eggs were put in stasis until a broody hen on the farm next door was able to sit on them. She managed to hatch three of the four eggs and when the ducklings were big enough they came to live on our pond.

Ram had a wonderful time caring for them and it lead to all sorts of educational opportunities. As we were unsure of their sex at first, he gave them names that could be either. Petra turned out to be female, and Fred and George, after the twins in Harry Potter, were male. We called them the Duckleys!

Come October they flew to the village pond, but in the spring Petra walked back to the farm with Fred and George and they raised another nine ducklings! We think that all the care and attention Ram gave them allowed them to be healthy enough to breed successfully. We helped the farm folk to take them back over to the pond when they were big enough, and now consider them to be ‘our ducks.’

So over we went with a pot of food for each child. But they were very agitated and wouldn’t come near us. The children explored a bit and found and identified some prints at the edge of the pond. They identified them as dog, and between them they pieced together what had happened to scare the ducks. In talking to another villager they found that they were right! So good observation skills there!

Then just before tea we got out the big radish. As usual I got onto the Internet first and looked up as much information as I could. Then we sat around and smelled it, and tried to guess what it was. I then told them that it was a Chinese radish or a Diakon. We peeled it, and they all had a taste of it. Then we talked about the best growing conditions.

This wasn’t like a teacher teaching a class, but more of an informal spontaneous conversation, only I happened to know a little bit more about it than they did. Next time they see one in the green grocer they will know what it is, and will probably tell anyone close by all about it.

While they were all sitting round the table waiting for supper, which included the cooked radish, the kids started singing. As Ursula and I both spent time in North American summer camps where it is common to sing a grace before eating, we broke into a grace called ‘Johnny Appleseed.’ Johnny Appleseed

Oh good, I thought. Another educational opportunity! I thought we could tell them who Johnny Appleseed was and maybe even look it up on the Internet.


Ram and Banana immediately started telling us about The Simpson’s version, complete with a description of all of Bart’s pranks!

Oh well, I guess two successful educational outcomes out of three isn’t bad for a Sunday afternoon!

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Recovering From the Stress · Wednesday November 22, 2006 by Abbie

The house has returned to normal, what every that is!

Ram has managed to hold himself together the last few days, but it was getting to harder for him to do so. Yesterday he couldn’t manage to see his friends off from the train station. Banana was very disappointed as the car trip to the station is part of the routine of saying goodbye, and Ram realises this, but just couldn’t manage it.

Someone once asked me how do you know when a child on the Autistic Spectrum can’t handle something, or when they are just saying something to get out of doing something they don’t like.

I always look to the physical reaction. When Ram was smaller he would have meltdowns where you could see that he had completely lost his self control. He didn’t want to have them, but equally couldn’t stop them. But now that he is older he has more control over meltdowns, but he still has a physical reaction. He goes completely white! You can see the blood drain out of his face. He doesn’t moan or rant and rave, he goes quiet!

And quiet he is at the moment. He is curled up on the sofa watching videos of the old Transformers Beast Wars cartoons. He isn’t even playing with his Bionicles! The stress has caught up with him and he needs some time to get it all out of his system. Sometimes he even comes down with a fever at times like this.

How do I know he isn’t putting this on today? He has decided that he doesn’t even want to go swimming! Not only that he refuse to go to the veggie shop even though we have completely run out of carrots, his favourite vegetable!

I know better than to try to do anything with him while he is like this. Children under stress can’t learn effectively. It is better to wait until he has recovered before tying to do anything constructive.

So I get an afternoon off. And a good thing too, as I accidentally dumped a box of cereal onto the floor of the larder! I will be able to clean it up before the mice send word out to the fields that there is a free meal on offer!


Thank Goodness for TV · Friday November 24, 2006 by Abbie

My boy is coming back to me! After a Wednesday lying on the sofa watching Beast Wars videos, on Thursday he started to play with his Bionicles again.

He still needs to chill out though. He is very tired and is sleeping late. He adores his friend coming but having contact with extra people for a week takes a lot out of him. Last night he burst into tears because he was so tired. I reminded him to wash his hands. We have a schedule up on the wall to tell him what to do at bedtime, but I have to remind him to look at it sometimes. He walked over to the sink and then started crying. Eventually he was able to tell me that he was afraid that washing his hands would wake him up and make it harder to go to sleep and he was really tired and wanted to go to sleep! But he finds it difficult to tell people things like this. When he can’t express himself he starts to cry.

Now, on Friday, he has finally finished watching the Beast Wars tapes. I think this is part of his Asperger’s; once he starts watching a series he has to watch it right to the end!

He found a tape marked MIB and thought it might be Men in Black. But when I put it in and scanned through it we realised that it wasn’t. One of the items on it is about making monsters for films like Walking with Dinosaurs. He decided that looked really interesting so he watched that, and is back making Bionicles with a vengeance!

Each Bionicle has a mask which has a different power. He has just showed me one that has the Mask of getting what you want. He explained that it is also called the mask of boredom because if you always get everything you want then you get bored with things. I hope he remembers that at Christmas time!

This evening we carried on with the number theme. One of the times when Ram is quiet and receptive is when we sit down to supper. We always listen to ‘the funny thing’ on Radio 4 at 6.30. This evening was The Now Show and Ram thought Dragon sausages were really funny!
Name Warning on Dragon Sausages

We often finish eating before the programme finishes, so we do something while listening. This evening I started cutting out some mathematical models from a Tarquin cut out book. Tarquin Books Ram can’t manage scissors very well yet, but is starting to get the hang of helping me glue. So I get to do the cutting, and he can do a bit of gluing and playing with the model!

I find that all these physical ways of looking at numbers really helps him to understand them much better. And I am starting to get the hang of them too!

Later this evening it will be the wonderful Simpsons again. Love them or hate them, it is a great way of getting reluctant kids to learn, although I do have to sit with him and explain things.

We will also set the video for Every Wondered About Food, which is on in the middle of the night on BBC 2, as part of their Learning Zone. We often record things like this to watch later. It is a bit like cooking meets physics, but without all the silliness of Mythbusters or Brainiac – Science Abuse!

There are so many educational programmes on these days if you know where to look for them. I would imagine that home education is different now from what it was before the days of TV!


Dadday · Saturday November 25, 2006 by Abbie


Saturday is called Dadday in our house, as that is the day the Dxh comes for a family day. He also comes on Tuesday, but that is for different reasons, which I will account on a Tuesday.

We find that on Saturday there is lots of opportunity for purposeful conversation. Today was no exception. While dxh was emptying the dishwasher, and I was getting lunch ready, and Ram was in the background keeping low so that he wouldn’t have to help with the dishwasher, we were discussing the former Russian spy that sadly died of Polonium 210 poisoning. Dxh wondered if it was a heavy metal or not, so Ram asked what a heavy metal was. The periodic table was then discussed and I reminded Ram that we had looked at the one in the Usborne encyclopaedias that we had.

He went off to get one off the shelve and have a look at it. Interestingly though, he chose to get the history one out! It seems that one thing had lead to another in his mind and he wanted to look at the dinosaurs!

You just never know where you are going to end up when you start a conversation!

The afternoon was spent all together but not doing all the same thing. Dxh was installing some lights, (he is a registered electrician now, for the purposes of the company he is a director for so it is safe to let him do that!) but Ram wanted to watch a DVD. Ram’s second choice was for me to read aloud. As we were reading a book based on the Red Dwarf science fiction comedy programme, and the dxh and I were great fans of it, we actually had a nice afternoon, with me reading aloud to keep both dxh and Ram happy. Unfortunately Arrow the dog is now deaf enough that she gets nothing out of it!

I was also hoping that Ram would learn a little more about electricity. He did, but not the sort of thing that I had thought he would learn. He was helping his dad pull the cables through the wall into the understairs cupboard where all the electrical equipment is. When Ram crawled out he proudly said that he made sure that he held the cable away from end. Dxh praised him and said that normally that is the most safest way to handle a live cable or a cable of unknown status, but then gently pointed out that the wires were not yet connected to anything!

So he learned about safety but didn’t quite manage to understand which way the electricity was flowing!

We then gave ourselves a well earned rest by watching the DVD of Nanny McPhee. I find that Ram sometimes gets more out of watching the special features, especially the ones that tell all about the making of the film, than watching the film itself!

Unfortunately I am not as ugly as Nanny McPhee so I am still having problems getting Ram to go to sleep on time, get up and get dressed himself, and to say please!

I am now searching the Internet for the original books by Christianna Brand to see if I can get any hints and tips! Or maybe I should contact Emma Thompson for makeup tips!


Stir Up Sunday · Monday November 27, 2006 by Abbie

We started the day in the usual way, with me reading aloud to Ram. Only we didn’t read in bed as long as we usually do. I had been awake since five, so when Ram woke at 8.30 and I crawled back into bed with him, I was a bit tired. I started to fall asleep!

So we got up for breakfast (his first and my second) and carried on reading until we finished the book, just before lunch.

I would normally recommend books that we are reading, but I am not sure I want to make a general recommendation of the Red Dwarf books to home educators. They really are adult books and there are some things in there that I wouldn’t want Ram to know about just yet. But the beauty of reading aloud is that you can leave bits out. I am getting quite good at doing this now. I can scan ahead quickly to see if there is something that I feel is unsuitable. Then either leave that bit out entirely or change a few words.

I don’t mind Ram knowing that two people are making love. After all I am hoping that one day he will do the same. But I don’t feel he needs all the details just yet, especially details from a science fiction comedy that runs close to the edge! But I find that just saying ‘they made love’ is all that he needs from the book.

I know of someone who did the same with a Harry Potter book. And the kid noticed when she read it herself a few years later. ‘Hey Mum, you left that bit out when you read it to me!’ But usually when they are old enough to read these books to themselves, they are old enough to understand why mum left a bit out!

The other books we have out at the moment are what I call my festival books. Today is Stir Up Sunday, and we always make our Christmas puddings on that day, making wishes as we stir.

Then I dip into ‘Festivals Family and Food’ and ‘Festivals Together’ two books that were recommended to me years ago. ‘Festivals Family and Food’ covers all the British festivals, from Candlemas and Mothering Sunday, through Harvest, Hallowe’en and Guy Fawkes Night, to the festivals of December, and even includes chapters on birthdays, rainy days and convalescence, and sweetmaking!

‘Festivals Together’ takes a more international look and covers cultural and religious festivals from all over the world. It has stories from all over the world that you can read aloud with the family, as well as recipes and craft ideas.

Anyway, back to Stir Up Sunday. Usually cooking is part of maths, especially as I was only doing a half recipe. But Ram had just started playing with the Lego Harry Potter computer game, so I let him off this year and measured out everything myself. Then I called him in and gave him the choice of reading out the ingredients and having me find them on the table (I had laid it all out in little bowls ready measured) or me reading them out and him finding them and adding them to the big bowl.

He chose the latter, and was actually much better than I thought at recognising all the ingredients! I guess you could think of that as a home economic exam!

His co-ordination is getting better too and he is starting to get the hang of stirring without spilling.

But we got to the end of the list and he couldn’t find the last ingredient; eggs! Yep, I had run out of eggs! I had had the last two for breakfast, and The Milk Man doesn’t deliver our eggs until Monday so we decided to leave it all stirred up with the alcohol in it, and add the eggs tomorrow when they come.

The lesson learned there? Don’t eat your eggs before you have stirred!


When Learning Doesn't Appear to be Happening...But Is! · Monday November 27, 2006 by Abbie

When I reflected on Monday I felt a little down as I couldn’t really see anything taking place. Sure, we finished up the Christmas puddings, and we finished watching the commentaries on the Nanny McPhee DVD, but then Ram went on and watched some films light on knowledge, such as Spy Kids 2! He was in what he calls default mode, and just watched mindless pap.

Then I remembered that we had started a new book that night in bed. As much as I would like to post a link to this book I am afraid I can’t. It is sadly no longer in print. The author in question is M.E. Atkinson, and the series is the Lockett family books. There were written in the 1930s. There are 13 of them and we have managed to buy on the second hand market 12 of them so far.

Unlike Enid Blyton and others, for instance Arthur Ramsome, M. E. Atkinson’s books seem to have lost all popularity, despite being very popular in their time. We did find a reference on the Country Life website to a review of one of her books that was billed as the best book for Christmas, better than Blyton!

This could be because unlike Blyton et al. Atkinson doesn’t seem to have a society or family members to keep the home fires burning, and her books have never been reprinted. Although according to the book dealer that we bought the most recent ones from, that may be about to change as she is becoming more read by middle age women who are collecting the books of their youth, enjoying rereading them, and pressing for republication!

So what is it about these books that has made me paid way to much for them? They are very educational!

First of all there is the grammar and syntax. After a run of reading some modern books it was nice to get back to proper sentence structure and having all the tenses matching. I can’t help but think that reading correct English to a child can only help them learn correct English. But these books also have dialect where necessary, so that Ram is learning the difference between dialect, and correct usage.

Then there is the historical aspect. This series is a later one, having been written just before and during WW2, but we have read some of her books from earlier than that too, and they give a great picture of how children used to live. Interestingly, she always has a mixture of children. One family is titled, but the father died so it is the child in the story that has the title. But this child is portrayed as a normal well balance child. Then there is the nice middle class family, the Lockett family, and then some poorer children, who are orphans being raised by an elderly grandmother. But all three families are normal! In fact that is one of the reasons why I like these books; there are no really screwed up children, no divorce, drugs, teenage pregnancy, rape, or any other unsavoury things. Just plain normal children that get up to mischief, but even that is accidentally rather than deliberately. I don’t have to leave bits out or change words, I can just read and enjoy them!

The books are also well researched. We have had the description of a long barrow and what it was used for. That is useful for us as we have one in our village! As the children in the book are pretending to be looking for moths and find that another character used to collect moths I have a feeling that we will be learning more about that, and as there is one chapter whose title is in Latin, I think we will be learning a little of that too!

But best of all, this particular book, Mystery Manor, is turning out to be a gripping ghost story! Unlike modern books, it is a long book too, so we can really get into it. Four hundred and seven pages long!

So just when I despaired that Ram learned nothing today, I find that he did learn something! And even if over the next few days he appears to be doing nothing worth while during the day, I know that for a couple of hours in the morning and another hour in the evening he will be learning quite a lot!

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Education From the Man's Point of View · Tuesday November 28, 2006 by Abbie

Tuesday is respite day for me. Dxh comes for the day to play with Ram, while I rush around shopping, gardening and going to appointments.

At the end of the day I asked if there was anything educational that I should put into the blog. I got a quick and simple answer: ‘No.’

And yet when Dxh arrived this morning there was something. Before I left I heard Ram tell him all about the BBC programme The Accidental Angler. Ram recalled the episode from two weeks ago, and I was able to see that he understand what had happened.

So whilst I cannot speak for the rest of the day, I do know at least one purposeful conversation took place, and I am sure there were many others too. Dxh is a bit of a maths whizz, and Ram often comes out with snippets about numbers that I haven’t covered with him!

Ram is like a sponge and it is easy to forget that he is learning all the time. Perhaps the Dxh’s public school background is stopping him from thinking outside the box and seeing that.

Then there was our ghost story again. It is starting to get very scary, especially when reading it in bed at night. Ram says he doesn’t like the new Jackanory, because the graphics are distracting and they don’t let your imagination do its work! He also says that I read books aloud better than anyone in the world.

That’s my boy!



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