Saturday, March 30, 2013

Week ending 31 March

I felt like I'd run out of steam and enthusiasm this week so it is reassuring to see how much good stuff happened anyway.

We are learning lots from raising and observing these guys!

We finished Great Expectations! I'm a little relieved since I don't find Dickens the easiest to read aloud. Miss 12 really enjoyed it though and it lead to some good discussions about aspects of life in Victorian Britain, why Dickens used so many words, as well as to comparisons with Oliver Twist. I know a relative has Bleak House on DVD so we may look at borrowing that in the future.

Miss 12 was especially busy creating wonderfulness in the kitchen  - Waffles and Blueberry Sauce, Goan Fish Curry, Passionfruit Melting Moments, Hot Cross Buns (3 dozen on Good Friday! - we did give some away), Moroccan Strudel, a Cocoa Cola Cake similar to this, and homemade pasta with pumpkin sauce.

We watched  episodes of  Kingdom of Plants, Earthflight, Jamie's 15 Minute Meals and a British real estate programme - we love looking at all the houses and picking which one we'd like to move into.

We've played plenty of games as we attempt to carry on from our game day and play all our games by the end of the month. Cadoo and the ever-popular Ticket to Ride are still getting plenty of use. Among those that haven't been played for a while the most popular seemed to be Loot and Carcassonne - especially the time we played with four expansions at once. (I hope these links are actually useful - the sound on our computer wasn't working so I had to go on look alone.)

We saw a fantail on our backyard. Although these birds aren't rare we do not often see them in our yard. They are among our favourite birds - they seem so cheerful flitting about and flicking their tails. We smile every time we see them.


We completed the first unit in Middle School Chemistry and Miss 12 likes it and thinks she'll stick with it for a while. She claims not to like science - or at least anything not nature related - so I'm pleased she seems to be enjoying this. We've had a few false starts with chemistry related resources recently.

The first interdisciplinary clues arrived for our Mystery Class project. It was good to see we were on the right track for all of them and we were able to narrow  down the location for a couple of them. Always satisfying!

We  (mainly Miss 12  - I just had to pull the string extra tight on occasion when her arm wasn't up to the job) finally got around to making a twig photo frame that I pinned ages ago. Miss 12 has used it to display one of her favourite bird photos.

Miss 12 was able to train five days this week - only an hour or an hour and a half each time. She enjoyed it but I'll be glad when her rehab is deemed over and she is back training with her regular squad and we only need to drive there three times a week.

We started looking at the art of Norman Rockwell. Miss 12 recognised his self-portrait from a book she read a while ago. I was delighted when I stumbled across an activity tying a Norman Rockwell painting in with April Fool's Day. I know what we'll be doing on Monday!











We made it to the coast to do a survey for the Marine Square Metre project. Dh came along with us which was nice - he's working pretty long hours these days and doesn't get to join in with the fun stuff as much as he used to. Identifying and counting all the lifeforms we found was tougher than I thought . There was a lot of life in our square metre, including literally thousands of barnacles and mussels. The crabs were Miss 12's favourite. As always it is amazing what we see and learn when we slow down and really look.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

A Day in Our LIfe

When I was new to this homeschooling business I enjoyed reading Day in Our Life type articles. ( Note I said articles not blog posts - when I started homeschooling we didn't have a computer at home much less Internet access - I'd hate to survive without them now). So I thought I'd write one. In some ways this is a typical day (as much as we have typical days!) and in some ways a very atypical day but this is how it panned out.

7am-8am All systems go this morning. I have to wake Miss 12 (and in doing so am reminded of one reason why I'm glad she doesn't go to school - over the past six months or so her body rhythms have really changed and she is no longer a morning person), eat breakfast and get us both out the door by 7:30ish. She has a private coaching session to help with her return to sport after her broken arm and her coach suggested this time. Am so glad we don't do this every day.

8-9am We arrive early - morning traffic wasn't as bad as I'd feared.The coach arrives shortly after us and before long she is warming up and stretching. I go upstairs to watch and do a bit of reading. The session turns out to be a good one since I can see her confidence starting to return (she broke her arm while training and is understandably apprehensive at getting back on the horse so to speak) and some of her moves are starting to come back which is good. On the down side I can see what a long way she has to go and how the lack of mobility in her arm is hindering her from doing some moves. We book another session for later in the week and luckily he offers us an afternoon slot.

9-10am Miss 12 chooses to do an exercise in her Latin programme (the decision to do work through a Latin course this year was hers). Then she asks me to read Great Expectations aloud. She uses the time to do her physio exercises and do some knitting. She's working on something that I think will turn out to be a lap blanket for snuggling under on the colder days that are fast approaching.

10-11am Next she opts to do maths to "get it out of the way". A maths programme is something we (especially her Dad) require - the actual programme is the one she picked from the choices we made available. I catch up on emails, start the laundry and help where needed. I also mark Mr 15's maths. He works independently and mainly from textbooks  (a long story - which I might go into in a separate post if anyone is interested - but the decision  was reached after discussions between him and us) with plenty of free time for pursuing his passion which seems to be technology, especially computers. Then they play a quick game of Ticket to Ride.

11-12 noon Game over and Miss 12 reads about knights and chivalry and then decided to write a summary. I encourage her to work on one piece of non-fiction writing each week but she chooses what to write about. I mark Mr 15's vocabulary exercises and he learns (hopefully) that it is a good idea to read all the instructions carefully before answering the questions! Miss 12 opts to do a couple of quick sentences from Michael Clay Thompson's Practice Voyage and adds to our giant wall map - she is colouring in a country and locating its capital as the mood strikes. Recently a friend of Mr 15's was in Sri Lanka - she loved the photos of him patting and riding elephants so she decided to colour Sri Lanka. We had a good discussion about why different reference books listed different cities as the capital.

12-1pm Miss 12 and Mr 15 make quesidillas for lunch. They read the newspaper (sometimes Miss 12 does some word puzzles in it - not sure if she did today or not) and then play another game of Ticket to Ride. Dh joins in. He works mostly from home at the moment and this is one of the advantages. More physio exercises for Miss 12. Mr 15 gets in some computer time.

1-2pm Miss 12 and I have some errands to run. Along the way we stop at a great bookstore so Miss 12 can choose a book. It is National Book Month here and as a promotion vouchers for $5 off any book have been distributed. She likes the look of three  books and it takes her a while longer to finally pick just one. I then steer her towards a section of books on Anzac Day. It is next month and we don't really have any good books on  the subject. Her choice here is much simpler. When we get back Mr 15 is busy with his science.

2-3pm Miss 12 goes to her room to read - Sense and Sensibility, Bird:The Definitive Visual Guide, The Doomsday Machine and an issue of Learning Through History. She always has several books on the go at once and prefers to read just a chapter or two of each at a time. Very different from how I like to read! Mr 15 goes next door to the neighbour's (an older man who has more tv channels than we do and who likes company) to watch sport. There is an international cricket match on and, surprisingly, we have a chance of winning. I go online to the library catalogue and order some books I spotted at the bookstore.

3-4pm I test Miss 12 on bird calls - she correctly gets 14 of the 15 I played. She tested me yesterday and I didn't do as well. She heads into the kitchen and starts work on  the Goan Fish Curry she is cooking for tonight's dinner. Then she bakes Passionfruit Melting Moments. She mostly works alone but needs help with a couple of things - one she has never done before and another she can't manage because her arm is still not at full strength.

4-5pm I help Miss 12 with the dishes - breakfast and lunch as well as the cooking ones. Mr 15 is back from the  neighbour's and gets ready to head out again. He volunteers once a week  with the most junior section of our local Scout group. Once the dishes are done Miss 12 goes to the computer to work on some more stories.

5-6pm We prepare the vegetables, cook the rice and finish off the fish. Mr 15 arrives back, followed shortly thereafter by Mr 20 , a postgrad student. He has had a frustrating day due to problems with the university's supercomputer. No sign of Miss 18 - an undergrad student. It is the final week of the first quarter and she has a whole pile of assignments due plus two major tests so I think she is staying later to squeeze in a bit more work.

6-7pm We eat then Mr 20 heads out again. No  scintillating dinner time conversation - the guys are too busy looking craning their necks to see the computer screen which is displaying a ball by ball commentary on the cricket match. (In case you care we were a ball away from a win - instead 5 days of play ended in a draw - cricket is a strange game!) Miss 12 and I play a game of Thebes and then she does another set of physio exercises. I spot Mr 15 with his Economics text.

7-8pm Mr 15, Dh and Miss 12 play another game of Ticket to Ride (we got this at the start of the year and I don't think there has been a day when someone hasn't played at least one game). She ices the biscuits she made earlier and puts some of the photos we collected on our errands in the frame she wants to hang in her room. Miss 18 arrives home looking rather tired and frazzled. To help her out Miss 12 and I volunteer to do her paper delivery round tomorrow.

8-9pm We play a game of Bohnanza, she copies out the fish curry recipe since she wants to make it again and then we settle down to watch Kingdom of Plants.

9-10pm Tv show over with a few phsyio exerciseS in  the ad breaks then bed for Miss 12. I stay up a while longer to chat with Dh and Mr 20 when he gets in.




Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Week we Lost Some Pets

* It was a bad week for our pets this week. On checking on the frogs one morning we discovered one was alarmingly still. Poor Tiny Tim was always small and did not seem to be as good a hunter as the others. Not sure if this was the cause of his demise or not. The next morning we noticed our budgie was having difficulty moving, seemed not to be eating aand was otherwise not himself. A trip to the vet revealed a large, non-treatable cyst. Since his quality of life was so obviously compromised we opted to have him put down.  In between the sadness and backyard burials we did fit in a lot of fun learning. Some highlights: -

* With the arrival of the sunrise times on the spring equinox we were, with the aid of a few simple math calculations, able to calculate an approximate longitude for each of the ten mystery classes. Combined with the work we've been doing over the past few weeks on changes to the photoperiod in each location we also have a fair idea of the approximate latitude. We're looking forward to the culture clues that we'll get over the next four weeks which should allow us to narrow down and eventually pinpoint the exact location of each of the mystery classes. A couple of the classes reported major changes to their sunrise and sunset times this week. Miss 12 quickly worked out they must have switched to daylight savings time.



 The worksheet on the top left shows our records of the daylight hours for one of the mystery classes. The graph on the top right is a record of the photoperiod of all the mystery classes plus our home city. It is the light blue line, second from the top and we are losing about twenty minutes of daylight every week - rather depressing to have it brought home so starkly each week. The worksheet on the bottom shows our calculations to find the approximate longitude for one of the classes, calculations that only work with data from the (Northern) spring equinox.

 * We took a look at feudalism and worked through some of the resources from the Education and Environment Initiative of the California Environmental Protection Agency .  An odd source for resources relating to European history I will admit. I like to mix things up  from time to time just to expose Miss 12 to a variety of viewpoints and a variety of learning materials. This was rather workbooky but we liked the approach of looking at feudalism explicitly in terms of the control and management of resources.

* Following on from our library adventures last week Miss 12 finally made a decision on what to cook. First up, helped by the fact that we had some passionfriut that needed using was a Tropical Passionfruit Slice. She also made Double Chocolate and Blueberry Muffins and, just to prove that she does cook healthy food as well, planned a fish curry for next week.

 * We celebrated World Poetry Day by reviving Poetry Teatime, something we used to do on  a weekly basis (many years ago when all four were still learning from home). A couple of hours reading and discussing poems while drinking hot chocolate (and eating the Double Chocolate and Blueberry muffins which were delicious still warm from the oven!) was a great way to spend the morning.

* We watched an episode of David Attenborough's Kingdom of Plants. Some fascinating stuff - but secretly I think we still prefer animals!

* Mr 15 played his last cricket match of the season and had one of his best games. I'm kind of pleased the season is over because dh goes to watch every game and a cricket game lasts all day - they are typically away 9:30am until 5pm. It'll be nice to see  it more of dh (and Mr 15 too) at the weekend. To celebrate we ordered takeout. This is something we do every two months and each member of the family gets a turn choosing what to order. This time (to no one's surprise!) Mr 15 picked upmarket pizza.

* Miss 12 and I had our game day. There was no way we could play all our games in a day but we did get through about 20. Our favourite - apart from the currently very popular Ticket to Ride - was Cadoo. We laughed so hard we cried - particularly at each other's acting efforts. My vampire and her pin-the-tail-on-the -donkey efforts will never be forgotten! Cadoo has been  sitting on our shelf for ages and she doesn't recall playing it before. I'm sure it will be getting more use in days to come. We'll also try and get through the rest of our games over the next week.

* We went on another bird watching expedition and were rewarded with seeing another new species (at least to us). No photos because it was a distance from where we were. The binoculars picked it up just fine but the camera not so much. Also, it was resting with its head tucked under its wing the whole time which doesn't make for a great photo! We were also able to identify several birds by call alone so our work on learning bird calls is obviously having some success.

* We're puzzling over how to stop one frog in the tank eating all the food. One of ours is a much better hunter than the remaining two - he notices the flies first and normally gets them on his first attempt. Today he got four of the six flies we put in and tried to stop the others from getting the remaining flies that he clearly didn't want or need. At the moment another tank looks like a good idea.

 * Miss 12 had fun with a virtual owl pellet dissection and was delighted to earn the rank of Bird Barfologist with  a certificate to prove it ;-)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Distracted Week



I’ve felt very unfocused, distracted and out-of-kilter all week. Some of it was heading out of town and not getting back until late on Monday, part of it was car trouble, part of it was news of yet more uncertainty regarding my husband's job , part of it was unexpected uncertainty over our housing situation, part of it was agreeing to take on some urgent volunteer work at the last minute,  and  part of it was considering the merits of a job I’ve been  unexpectedly asked to apply for. Anyway, in amongst all this some good stuff still happened.

* During a hopeful detour on our way back from our trip away we saw a Kaki in the wild! Apparently more people have climbed  Mount Everest than have achieved this so we feel rather pleased with ourselves. Rare though this bird is I still think tracking one down in the wild was easier than climbing Everest!

The rare Black Stilit or Kaki


* On our drive home we stopped at an information centre where we learnt more about hydro-electricity. I loved the fact that the stop was at Miss 12’s request and that she insisted on reading ever last word on every information panel. Much of our nation’s hydro-electricity is generated in this part of the country. Damming of the rivers is one of the factors in the decline of the Kaki. This made for some interesting conversations – how do we balance the needs of people against the needs of wildlife? What sort of power-generation is best?

* We’ve been learning patience as we’ve watched our newly developed frogs hunt down the live flies we’ve put in their tank. The first one took an hour to catch and I’m not sure who found it more difficult – the watching audience or the hungry frog itself.

* An unintended nature documentary on the mating behaviour of water snails (while watching our frogs hunt flies)!

* Miss 12 has continued to spend a lot of time writing at the computer. Lots of stories that she apparently starts but never finishes  (I’ve offered to take a look at some if she wants some suggestions on how to get unstuck but she hasn’t taken me up on the offer. I think she is all about the process rather than a finished product) plus emails to a friend who has moved away.

* We started work on a personal maths dictionary to define those terms and record those processes that Miss 12 finds tricky.

* We wrote Pi day poems – about birds of course. Miss 12 composed one on the Black Stilt while (at her request) mine focused on the kiwi.Of course we made a pie (pumpkin) too

* We watched a bird documentary – Winged Migration -  and also began watching a tv series about birds, Earthflight.

* We took part in a fundraising and promotional event for Miss 12’s sport club.

*We listened to a You Are There episode on the Norman Conquest. The audio quality was less than perfect but it did add a different dimension to our history studies. We’ll make use of more of these I suspect.


Thursday, March 14, 2013

A Good Week



* Overnight one of our Monarchs hatched but got entangled in a spider web and died. When we discovered it the spider was just beginning to wrap it up. Miss 12 loves Monarchs and hates spiders so we opted to rescue the butterfly for further research. We dug out our jeweller’s loupes which we prefer to magnifying glasses and studied it up close. Amazing how much more you can see. This led to an extended period of looking at the world close up through the loupe – an old chrysalis, the sunflowers, dead skin cells, our frogs and tadpoles, the cat’s fur, parts of our sunflowers …

* Following on from marking Charles Dickens’ birthday last month and listening to a podcast dramatization of Oliver Twist we began  Great Expectations as a read-aloud.

* We spent a lot of time doing physiotherapy exercise to try and strengthen Miss 12’s arm after she broke both the radius and ulna just before Christmas. The good news is we can move to fortnightly appointments from now on – the bad news is we have more exercises to do at home.  The eat up a fair amount of time but Miss 12 does realize how important it is to get as much function back as possible, so she’s very diligent about doing them without being reminded.

* We spent an afternoon at the library doing some mini-library adventures. After browsing through the cookbook section we couldn’t decide on just one thing to make that day. We bought a couple of books home and plan to make a few things from them over the next week. Since she has a fairly unusual surname Miss 12 didn’t think there would be anyone with her surname in the catalogue system. She was surprised to find several entries and even more surprised when she realized they were all her relations – her dad, an uncle and a cousin. We then checked out my name and she was surprised to find I featured – a good reminder that I once had a life somewhat different from my current season as home-school, stay-at home Mum! (As an aside I have to remember to find one of my books - booklet really - off the shelf at home for her to read). We had all sorts of fun going through baby name books – deciding what our new names for the day should be, planning what to name (and not name) any children we might have (which reminded me of how surprised Miss 12 was to be asked if she was pregnant when she was in hospital with her arm – I don’t think it ever crossed her mind that kids her age would be) . Funnily enough when we went to read a biography from the children's section we independently choose to read about the same person  - Hans Christian Andersen. Different biographies but same subject which led to some good discussion about what was and wasn't  in each book and why that might be. Miss 12 was mortified when I also choose to read about Justin Bieber. I, however, was surprised to learn that he was born in the same city (and therefore probably the same hospital) as two of Miss 12's older siblings. Our other favourite adventure was to browse the travel sections and plan a trip somewhere. We ended up going on safari in South Africa and a walking tour of New York city.

* She spent some time experimenting with Tagxedo and came up with an owl based one she was especially happy with.

* We began working on our goal of being able to identify eight birds by sound alone. It is surprisingly tricky (although that may just be me – my hearing is not what it used to be) but we are making it as simple as we can by initially picking birds that sound very different from each other.

* We’ve also spent some time hunting down resources to feed the continuing interest in birds. We’ve now got a good list of books, videos, websites, organizations and activities to dip into over the next few months.

* Miss 12 did a Starlab course through the local science museum . I was going to join her but it was a hot day and the star dome was reportedly very stuffy. So I ended up chatting to an old friend whom I hadn’t seen in a long time.

* We attended a cultural extravaganza celebrating all the different ethnic groups in our city. Lots of food to try. After last weekend we decided to stay away from Asian (or at least Chinese/Japanese) and try new things. We decided an Egyptian vegetable stuffed bread was our favourite but a Serbian chocolate nut-cake came a close second. We were amazed at how very different a Polish scone was compared to the English ones we are very familiar with. Of the cultural displays we saw Miss 12 was especially fond of a Russian peasant dance featuring a mother hen and her very cute chicks.

* The opportunity arose for Miss 12 and I to take an overnight trip to see the world’s rarest wading bird.- the Black Stilt or Kaki. Miss 12 has been busy helping to cost out the trip, plan the itinerary and make the necessary bookings.

* A tour through the Kaki bird hide where we learned all about the massive conservation efforts to save this bird. At one stage there were only 23 birds known to be left.  Today eggs are gathered from all known nesting sites and hatched and raised in captivity until the chicks are between 3 and 9 months old when they are released back into the wild. The goal is to release one hundred birds each year but sadly, after two years more than 75% of those released are dead – despite a massive effort to trap and kill the main predators. Given this is just one of our endangered bird species the scale of conservation work that is needed across the country as a whole is fairly mind-blowing. It was great to see the birds up close (two infertile females are kept in an aviary where the public can get a close look at them), get to hold broken eggs, dummy eggs (used to encourage the bird to keep laying), stuffed chick and predators, plus seeing the juvenile birds in the distant aviaries via binoculars (because these birds are young and will be released back into the wild they are housed further away from the public area).

Sunday, March 3, 2013

An Asian and Avian Week



This has been a really busy week. 

 * Miss 12 is a keen amateur birder.  The Glossy Ibis is a rare visitor to these parts although one apparently visits a local wetland every season. I read online that he’d been spotted for the first time this season so we decided to see if we could track it down. After two hours we’d spotted many species and been frustrated by a couple that we couldn’t identify before they flew off, but the Glossy Ibis was proving elusive. A worker told us where he spotted it a few days earlier but still no luck. Somewhat dejectedly we decided it was time to drive home but I did pick a route that took us past a small watery area just outside the wetland. As we drove past I happened to spy … some long brown legs. A quick U-turn later, a walk up the side of a reasonably busy road and success! That curved bill and choclately brown colour is pretty distinctive. Since it was on the far side of the pond and we couldn’t get a great view we drove into the neighbouring sub-division for a better look.  This area was hard hit by the earthquakes and there were lots of abandoned houses and the roads had me wishing we had a 4wheel drive.  But it was worth it.

We didn't get great photos but you can see the Glossy Ibis in the centre behind the pied stilt.

* Miss 12 wants to learn Maori this year. My job is to help her find suitable resources and I’ve been struggling to find things that work for us. We just finished one short course that introduced us to a bit of basic vocabulary and helped with pronunciation and we’ve now got a second that goes over some of the same ground but covers some new material as well. Slowly but surely is working for now.

* Miss 12 asked if she could write an essay on the Jane Austen novels she’s been reading – so far Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion, Emma and Sense and Sensibility. Umm -  of course you may. So she has been planning,  selecting quotes, drafting and redrafting. She even asked her older sister (who is studying for a degree with a minor in English) to make comments and suggestions. I’m looking forward to reading it but as yet she’s not 100% happy with it and isn’t willing to share yet.

* We hired a pedal boat and pedaled our way down the river that runs through our Botanic Gardens. Pedal boating was on Miss 12’s summer bucket list. It was fun (once we got our steering sorted) but surprisingly hard work when we had to battle against the churn of a whole group of canoes and kayaks.
* We watched the final episode of David Attenborough’s Africa series. This one was a behind the scenes look at the making of the series which was fascinating, but Miss 12 and I both preferred the stories of the animals themselves.

* Miss 12 is slowly savouring Bird:The Definitive Guide.
 

* We had a very cultural weekend. First up was a trip to the Chinese Lantern Festival. Highlights were the Shanghai Starlight Acrobatic Troupe, the dragon and lion dances and of course the lanterns themselves.



* The following Day was Japan Day, first held a year ago to commemorate the major earthquakes that rocked both our countries the previous year.  Miss 12 got to  try her hand at calligraphy and coloured and folded a cute little doll in a kimono. She had to settle for just watching the rice pounding since her arm has healed enough for her to wield the mallets yet. She also made a nezuke (a small pouch for holding pills or other small personal items that was pinned on to the sash of a kimono). Since it was Hinamatsuri (also known as Girls’ Day or Doll’s Day) the large, well-labelled display of dolls was especially relevant. We also saw drumming, a tea ceremony, manga drawing, plenty of beautiful kimonos and sampled lots of delicious food. A custard cream pastry was Miss 12’s favourite – not nearly as sweet as those we are used to.
 


* We finally got to listen to the next episode of Oliver Twist. We found a BBC podcast – a 10 part dramatization as part of their school radio service with a new episode available weekly. When we belatedly first discovered it the first five episodes were available so we listened to one daily. Then we thought we had a week’s wait but it turned out it was a two week wait. I think there must have been a mid-term holiday in the UK. Still the wait was worth it – we’re both finding the series to be a good adaptation.



* We’ve had seventeen Monarch butterflies hatch in three days so we have been busy tagging them as part of a citizen science project to help find out more about their wintering over behaviour. This year Miss 12 did some tagging herself – last year she was too hesitant and afraid of damaging them so I had to do the labour.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

March Learning List



Inspired by Susan and her girls over at Learning All the Time, Miss 12 and I have got into the habit of compiling monthly lists of fun learning ideas. Not things we have to do but things we want to do, or at least things we want to remember so we can see if we still want to do them when the time comes. This months’ list  includes attending a Chinese Lantern Festival, attending Japan Day and attending Culture Galore (more cultural displays and more food ..what can I say). We also plan on learning to identify eight birds by call alone and doing some online owl pellet dissections (if we lived in the US we’d definitely buy the kits and do the real thing). We’re going to mark Pi day (by writing a pi poem and probably making pie as well) and World Poetry Day. We’ll do some citizen science (tagging Monarch butterflies and exploring a marine square metre and recording everything we find there). There is a Starlab course to attend which will be followed up by plenty of stargazing. We’ll do some mini adventures in our library and possibly buy a book to celebrate national Book Month. A 30 Day photography challenge will be completed and Great Expectations will be read aloud (and maybe even finished but I’m not sure about that). A couple of craft activities are planned and then the month will end with more food – International Waffle Day, a Cocoa Cola cake to mark the founding of a certain company (actually just a good excuse to make a cake we’ve meant to make for a while) and of course much hot cross bun making over Easter. I’m tired just thinking about it all …but nobody says we have to do it all.