Sunday, 24 July 2011

Follow the numbers

Jack loves getting awards. Whether it be for crazy dancing or entering competitions on TV he'll go to any length to earn whatever material is being offered for his efforts. It doesn't matter if he comes first, just so long as he gets something that he can take away.

He came across one of many book in the house that Helen and I purchase in the hopes of encouraging him to learn. This one was a perfect find because it's numbers and letters book aimed at the 4 - 5 age group. He's been learning some of this stuff at school nursery which is what peaked his interest.

So we set to. Jack started with the numbers 1 - 10. I wasn't surprised when after just a few pages Jack started to lose interest. He pressed on till number 3 and then announced that he'd had enough. I tried to encourage him to go on but it was no use. So we packed up the book and he wandered off. The next day he mentioned the book again.

I want to do a little more learning.

Encouraged by this I grabbed the book and we had searched for number 3, it was right after 2 as it turns out. But this time I noticed something.

Jack... There are certificates in this book you know.
Yes. It's a piece of paper that we fill out and then you can show everyone proof that you've done one through ten.
I want it.
Then you've got to get through all these pages.

You've never seen such determination in a 4 year old. After a solid hour we reached the certificate. For those of you unfamiliar with the 4 year old attention span, any task that takes more than 5 minutes, especially when there's any amount of frustration likely to occur, will never be completed. We filled out the certificate and Jack proudly showed it to every visitor for the next week. He even bragged about it at school.

Well done son.

He's also since earned the lower-case alphabet certificate. It took him 3 days.

Sunday, 17 July 2011


Today we released our butterflies. We've raised them from... larvae I guess, they were just little caterpillars when they arrived.

There's a conservation project for Painted Lady butterflies going on that's been advertised on TV recently. When Jack saw the advert he just had to give it a try. So we placed and order and two weeks later we received a box containing all we needed (including 10 1cm long caterpillars) to raise a flutter of butterflies.

So, we set to. Basically the instructions were to put the little tubs somewhere where the temperature was relatively warm and didn't vary a great deal, then wait until they cocooned after 7 - 10 days. Then move them into the little netted habitat, feed them as then started to hatch, and wait another 7 - 10 days until their wings dried and then release them.
We watched eagerly as they grew, at a somewhat alarming rate, and cocooned one by one. The cocooning process was weird. We tried and tried to catch one in the process but they're crafty. We got down to checking every five minutes but as soon as we'd turn our heads they'd be all candied up.

The butterflies finally started to emerge, between them they took so long that we had to release them in two stages.

Every time we see a butterfly outside now Jack checks the color hoping to see one of ours. We have yet to actually see any Painted Ladies out and about, I suppose that's why there's a conservation effort going on, but Jack hasn't give up hope yet.

Sunday, 10 July 2011



I was lying on the floor. Jack was sat next to me. We were talking, I don't recall what about.

Jack: Daddy go to sleep.

So I did, not going to pass up the opportunity. Almost immediately he pounded on my chest with hist fist.

Me: Ow. Why are you hitting me?
Jack: I hammered you to wake you up so I could tell you to shut up.
Me: but I was sleeping.
Jack: Yes but you were talking. Shut up.
Me: I was answering you.
Jack: Just go to sleep, no talking in your sleep.

So I did, this time making sure not to engage in any conversation.
I kept one eye open slightly and watched Jack hover over me with fists ready.

Me: Ow. I wasn't talking or anything.
Jack: You were laughing. Sleepers... Sleeping people don't laugh when they're sleeping. Now go back to sleep. But don't talk, or laugh. Just... Just do nothing. (Jack pronounces 'Nothing' as 'Nuffint')

I went back to sleep, trying to achieve nothingness.
Me: What was that for?
Jack: Nothing.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Celestial Bodies

Jack has been going on at every opportunity about the most recently learned subject at school. He came home itching to tell me everything he knew about Venus.
Gradually the week passed and each day he'd come home with a new planet to talk about.
So I thought I'd video some of it.


Whilst I was setting this up he learned about 2 new planets.