To my daughter


To My Daughter

 

Delicate dancing girl

you spin your silk around my heart

and twist your

baby fingers

around its chords

 

Floating fairy girl

you sprinkle smiles around the house

and leave your

laughter lines

in every room

 

Little Leora girl

you shine your light into my life

and sparkle

boundless joy

into my days

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Just a little something

A few days after my Prince was born, and my life was changed forever.

A few days after my Prince was born, and my life was changed forever.

This week is pretty jam-packed busy for me. We’ve got cousins visiting from Wales, so all the family is together most the week. That’s ten children, three sets of parents and a grandmother or two. Totally fun!

As I don’t have time to write I thought I’d just share a poem I wrote recently in my Open University ‘Creative Writing’ course.

 

To My Son


I thought I knew love:

How it sparks, ignites, alights

consumes the mettle of your soul

till vaporous you float,

like a firefly drunk on nectar.

 

I thought I knew what loving meant:

To give yourself entire,

tsunami of selfless devotion

rising high, empowered

by a deeper force within.

 

But when you held me in your heart the day we met

I knew nothing.

I was breathless, drowning in unknown waters.

Then you caught me, filled me, taught me:

Incomprehensible mother-love.

This rain is such a nuisance…

"This rain is such a nuisance..."

“This rain is such a nuisance…”

We’re just a little bit wet here in the UK this winter! With the recent flooding causing havoc and distress, I thought I’d lighten things up and share with you a poem my Grandmother wrote, reflecting on the days of Noah and the flood. At least things are not THAT bad here… 🙂

[NOTE: this poem may not be suitable for children due to references to the sexual immorality which was prevalent at this time in history.]

 

Après moi

Let me tell you of my neighbour –

He is such a funny man.

He doesn’t fit in.

For ever since I can remember

He’s been working on that crazy boat of his.

And he never comes to local celebrations –

He calls them sin.

He’s cold and dead and thoroughly a bore.

Why, only last month when we had a riot

– the Nephilim had come –

You do remember, don’t you? – Those little virgins –

We made them dance and then dismembered them.

Hilarious fun!

Why, that old fool! He didn’t have the sense

Even to lock himself up in his house,

To stand aside.

My dear, he tried to interfere, harangued us

Mouthing of God – and oh, my dear, the biggest laugh of all –

He cried!

And have you heard? He keeps predicting floods

He says we’ll drown!

Here we are, six days’ journey from the sea!

And although it’s getting wet down here

– This rain is such a nuisance – up the hill

It’s fairly dry, in town.

Just look at that monstrous structure!

It’s taller than the temples

And longer than the creek.

He’s closed the door now, locked his family in.

And my dear, they say he has a zoo –

We saw some creatures going two by two

Into the boat last week.

– But about that feast that we had planned for you –

An indoor orgy’s all we’ll get together

In this inclement weather…

Story time = special times

One of the joys of parenting is reading to your children! As a child I was an avid reader, and it’s something I hope my kids will enjoy for the rest of their lives too. From a homeschooling perspective reading is a great activity, being useful for learning all kinds of skills. Reading to your child helps them appreciate literature and begin to learn to read themselves, as well as introduces new ideas, develops creativity and improves attention span. As your child begins to read alone the benefits continue, incorporating spelling, grammar, plot and thought development, rhythm, rhyme, confidence, speech, vocabulary, and much more!

Prince reading a library book to Princess.

I haven’t always read with my kids as much as I wish I had, but we are making up for it now! The library is a very short walk down the road for us, which is such a blessing. We regularly go and read there, as well as bring a bag full of books back home. Prince is becoming quite a capable reader, and will often sit and look at the books alone. Princess, who admires her big brother no end, loves to sit with him and listen to him read. This is one of my favourite thing to watch!

Last week we started our first chapter book together – Charlotte’s Web. Princess finds it harder to sit for long, but Prince easily enjoys listening to me read two chapters each day. I love the quality of the language and the depth of the plot – it’s just right for their hungry intellect to soak up and learn from. It’s also a special time for us to be doing something together – almost like going on an adventure! The time we spend snuggled on the couch reading will be precious memories for me, and, I hope, for them.

As well as reading many children’s books written in rhyme, I like to include some classic poetry in our reading. We really enjoy A. A. Milne’s poems: When We Were Very Young and Now We Are Six. These have always had a special place in my heart, and have captured Prince’s interest from early on too. Some of our favourites from these are ‘Forgiven’, ‘Lines and Squares’, and ‘Sneezles’.

Prince’s illustrated ‘Lines and Squares’ print out.

A great place to go if you are looking for ideas for books to read to your children is Ambleside’s book lists. There is a whole curriculum on this website, but I like to use it as a place to find ideas. They usually recommend good quality products, so I don’t have to waste time reading through things myself first.

If you’re looking for a good resource to help your child learn to read I recommend the Jolly Phonics products. There are workbooks, reading books, teacher guides, activity guides, DVDs, games and more. You don’t have to follow it a specific way (although you can), but rather you can pick the bits you like best and mix them with your own ideas, and your child’s own needs, strengths and weaknesses.

Do you read to your children? They say it’s never too early to start, and they are right – I wish I had started earlier. But it’s also never too late! Find a lovely book, cuddle up with your kids and start reading 🙂

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