Friday, 20 February 2009

Nomads and Musicians

My dh is always complaining that because of his work he feels like a Nomad! Well this week we've been thinking about the Nomads who were kicking around in about 10,000BC. So we thought that in true home ed style we should have a go at building a shelter in the paddock and cooking up a feast over a roaring fire! This is the moment when I realised that home ed has really transported me into a kind of parallel universe....never before in my well ordered life would I have even considered such a thing! The children say that I'm "coming on" and "showing signs of improvement" though I must admit the control freak in me keeps trying to get out.

Well the children set to constructing a somewhat precarious shelter and covered part of it with animal skins (...... old dust sheets actually, but you get the point!) Then they made a fire pit whilst I "foraged" at the local farm shop for roots and funghi and "hunted" for a nice rump steak.

Well it was all going rather well until we tried to get the fire going and actually cook on it! In my optimism I had placed a large bucket of water next to the fire pit, but I needn't have worried. It took about 2 hours and a whole box of matches (I mean flints ) to get some thing like a fire going!! Oh the shame of it..........we have HE friends who are experts at such things!

Finally managed to produce something edible but the children concluded that even the Rayburn cooked faster than this and they really didn't fancy the idea of being Nomads! They certainly got an inkling of how hard life must have been for the Nomads compared with our own comfy way of life...........mind you, I'm sure the Nomads were more competent than us at surviving in the "wild" !!! Next time (if there is a next time) we are resolved to make a bigger fire pit so we can actually get some heat into it!! We all stink of smoke now................

Keira continues to demonstrate the natural desire to learn that all young children seem to have. For example she often watches Rhiannon and Jo practising their violins. Yesterday she got a music stand, music (a rather tricky Double Concerto by Bach) and her ukele, perched under her chin as best she could, and she began to play. After a minute she stopped and turned to me saying "can you help me Mummy, I don't know how to learn it!" So we let her have a go with Jo's is a pic - doesn't she look serious!

She so much wants to play like Rhiannon and Jo. I sometimes wonder what to do when children have such big ambitions - surely she is too young to tackle something so challenging (my natural instinct is to get out a recorder ). But at the same time I don't want to limit her through my own preconceived ideas. Perhaps there is a danger that just as we often expect too much of our children, maybe there are other times when we may inadvertently squash their enthusiasm because we think something may be beyond them. As for Keira, it is probably a phase that will pass - but maybe not. Why do I assume that she is incapable of extraordinary things?

One thing I have learned today..........I'm rubbish at building fires.


Carolyn said...

We're on our way!!!!
Jon will be so pleased to be allowed to light a fire with you all!!!
AS for music...well, I'm guessing that if Keira is even half as talented as your other 3 then learning to play violin at the age of 3 will be a doddle...especially as determination is one of her personality traits!!
Go, Keira, go!!

Carol said...

Might be fun to light a fire on the beach! See how the weather holds.

Kristen said...

I wish we could be there with you. We could have a 6 piece orchestra, altough I'm not quite sure if Anna, at only 10 months, would be any good with an instrument, maybe the drums. And, with Andrew's TA experience, I'm sure he could have a fire started in no time. We truly miss you and do wish to see you soon. It would be so nice to not have an entire ocean between us. xoxo

Carol said...

You know you're always welcome would be great fun to be cooking over a fire on the beach with you all. A bit of survival skill training from Andy would really add to the "curriculum"!!!!

Big mamma frog said...

Fire building and nomading? Sounds like you're having a fab time! We've been having more practice lighting fires since we got our storm kettle - no fire, no cup of coffee! I reckon the secret is dry kindling - I have at last found a use for the sports pages from the Sunday paper lol. Glad to hear you're doing ok. Went to Horspath the other day and it just wasn't the same without you guys...

sarah said...

Hi Carol, so great to finally read your blog! Well done. Brilliant to see pics of you all. I'll email soon.... Lots of love,
Sarah K xxxx