Last Sunday, Jon’s father was taken to hospital by ambulance early in the morning with an angina attack and what turned out to have been a minor heart attack. He’s still in hospital – they said he could go home on the Monday, but he chose to stay until he could have another angiogram done, which is due to happen on Tuesday. So not a lot is getting done at this end, as one of us needs to go to the hospital each afternoon.
So: not a lot of home ed has been happening, although we have made a serious start on Emily learning French. Hrrmph. I speak Italian, German and French fluently, with good Japanese and Spanish….and French is second from bottom of the ones I’d like to teach Emily, beaten only by Spanish which, as a language, I absolutely loathe. I’d have much (insert large, very large amounts of much-ness) preferred to teach her Italian, Japanese or German….but hey, it’s her choice. I spent ages umming and aaahing over a French textbook and yet again struggled to find something modern which wasn’t covered in cartoons. I really wanted something grammar based, as I believe that’s the key to really getting to grips with a language. If you have a solid understanding of the grammar right from the beginning, you can construct your own sentences intuitively, rather than just mimicking and then getting lost when the context or tense changes. Eventually, I settled for Living French – quite old fashioned as language course books go, which is probably why I like it. It has grammar and translation (both ways) exercises right from the off and although the CD is somewhat minimal that doesn’t matter if the teacher has a reasonable grasp of the language. Anyway. Emily seems to have really taken to it. We struggle with consistency in this chaotic household, and you really do need to be fitting in regular learning slots if you’re going to get anywhere with a language. One lesson now and another in twelve days time really won’t do. Fortunately, we’ve managed to get into a fabulous routine with her daily violin work, so we’re hoping to be able to do the same with French.
On Thursday, Emily and I went off for a much deserved day out to Burghley House, which was absolutely wonderful. It was further than I realised and took us nearly two hours each way, but the house was stunning. We were only sorry we couldn’t take photographs of the inside and the amazing painted ceilings. There was hardly anyone there, so we had plenty of time to talk with the guides. We had a picnic in the garden of surprises too, amid a howling gale!
Other than that, there has been some violin, some riding, lots of reading, some Gramps computer work and some bits and bobs, but it’s a fairly quiet time home-ed wise while we try to cope with hospital visits and a huge writing project for a US client which is taking priority over every other sort of work. We’ll get there.