A little appreciation ….

Today we had a fabulous morning listening to the amazing Halle Orchestra and music inspired by the British Isles at the Bridgewater Hall here in Manchester.

My eldest joined us today also… as a family we love listening to Classical- that is between the usual chart, RnB ..old soul for me and Lil’ Lady loves rock and metal (seriously don’t know how, we don’t play it often.) It is always on in the background when we are working. None of the chldren have ever expressed an interest in playing a classical instrument but I like to further their apprecoation of it. 

I like to show them that Classical music is accessible to all..to be enjoyed by all. As a black person and one who grew up in poverty there was so much outside my scope.. so much I could not access that I craved and as a parent and facilitator in my children’s education it is my job to ensure that their horizons are clear of any obstruction.  My children may never become classical artists but it doesn’t mean they should be shut off from enjoying the beauty of music.  

Who knows in the future it may be their solace, their muse or just a simple way to kick back and unwind… so today was about them gaining a little more understanding and of course enjoyment and the Halle delivered.. 

The Boy came out of the concert upbeat saying he really enjoyed it, particularly the piece by Handal HANDEL Music for the Royal Fireworks: La Réjouissance.. as soon as we returned home he searched the piece out to listen again (big win.)

Lil’ Lady although quietly kicking back and listening inside the concert chatted happily about it on the way home. 

The programme kicked off with;

GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL (1685-1759)

MUSIC FOR THE ROYAL FIREWORKS: IV) LA RÉJOUISSANCE

Followed by Benjamin Britten (1913-1976) The Young Person Guide to the Orchestra (Variations and Fugue on a Theme of Henry Purcell) which was fantastic…

… and a great introduction to the other pieces, another favourite being Karl Jenkins Pallido For Strings: Allegretto.

But what I loved most of all was seeing a young black conductor.. you see nearly everywhere we go we are the only black face/people of colour. When we visited the country park for a forest school day last week we bumped into a black woman with her family and we instantly smiled and let onto each other as of we recognised each other as old friends..which made me laugh because the simple fact was we we were surprised and then happy to see another person of colour .. a black person reflected back at us enjoying a non traditional black space (this happens often and if your another Black person/person of colour, you’ll have probably had this happen to you too fro  time to time.) 

So yes back to the conductor. . as soon as I saw him a big cheshire cat grin spread across my face. 

Why? 

Because it was so important for my children to see themselves and people like me reflected in all they do..all they inspire to do. In spaces they occupy. So that they can see that there is nothing out there in this world that they cannot do if they choose to. So a big thankyou to the Conductor Jonathan Heyward your presence is noted and I am so very thankful for it. 

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World Book Day ….

Japanese…..

The Boy is currently learning Japanese, with tutors few and far between we are using an array of online learning sites and apps. These are our favourites.

A good starting point are these free video lessons.

Irasshai

Lingo hut Japanese

Hello Talk App which allows you to connect with people all around the world and help each other with language learning. We are yet to try this properly but others love it. I’m learning Spanish with Lil’ Lady and will be using this.

Memrise The boy loves the app, and uses it daily. It teaches a mix of recognising spoken language, learning Katakana, Kanji and Hiragana and typing with the romaji input method.

The Boy didn’t like this one, but I thought it was easily accessible Japanese Pod

The Japanese Foundation in London is a wealth of knowledge and resources especially if you want to study at GCSE and beyond. Japanese Foundation

Our hope is that The Boy studies to GCSE level and beyond. At the moment he could only take a half GCSE due to the nature of being an external candidate, however we are not in a rush and I would rather he learn the language for the love of learning it right now.

(I’ve added all the links to the Languages section above in the header for future reference.)

Viking Forest School Day…..

We have not studied Vikings yet abd I was a luttle worried thst wgat knowledge we have wpulfnt have bern a good basis for Lil’ Lady to fo this session today. So last might we sient a few hoyrscwatchung some grwat youtube videos on Vikings thst wrre age appropriate… I am si glad we dud as it gave her ci fidence to join in the Q&A parts of the day.

Thete were lots of questions asked about what we already knew, with more information given..really please that Lil’ Lady was raising her hand – her confidence is growing daily, and her need to defer to me us lessening too.

It was really interesting. The Boy was impressed that our guide was dressed the part. .. 

The morning was full of games to begin…viking strength games plus tug of war, kubbs (like skittles). 

Then they had the story of how Runes came to be and they got to practice writing Runes.

Whilst they got on with games I headed out for a walk. As much as I love sessions like this..I know there is a need for me to give them some space..we met back up for lunch followed by getting up close and personal with Axes and Saw’s and how the Vikings used them. 

How the Vikings used their Axe in battle! 

After supervision with the axe and saw I ventured off again to let them commence weaving and firebuilding… they came out of the session happy and excited  to tell me all they’d gotten up to. Great day had by all again… 

Fabulous Greek Super Learning Day at Manchester Museum… 

Today was Lil’ Lady’s turn at the Museum for a day of Greek discovery. 

We set off very early as part of the city centre had road closures. 

We kick started the day with a self guided tour, an ipad and a  sheet of paper where we imagined we were on a voyage and we had to find items; we took pictures on the ipad. We were supposed to be in groups, however Lil’ Lady ended up by herself.

The artifacts asked for were based around ancient Greek myths, Gods and people as we went on our voyage.

For example 

“In Perseus’ myth, Perseus uses Hades’ cap of invisibility to escape from Medusa’s evil sisters.

Find Something that could turn you invisible on a sticky Situation!”

This was fab as it allowed us to explore our knowledge and recall what we already knew whilst engaging with the different artefacts in the gallery.

After we finished our self guided tour we had time for a snack then we had a Greek Myths storytelling and drama workshop. 

Here the Group examined Greek pottery for inspiration before putting into action Greek Drama techniques to create their own group myth. Using the story mountain/arch technique.

Freeze frame drama …

Artifact handling 

Look how happy that face is…. and then she proceeds to describe how the sword is blunt be a use it got stool in bone when it killed a man… (definatley my child)

The last session after lunch was all about trade.

So after a talk about the 4 city states they’ll be using to do their own trade activity..Athens, Tyre, Naucratis, Kroton. (I was surprised at how far the Greek Empire spread) each group was given a home city, where they had to investigate what they had to trade (traditional ancient Greek artifacts.) Then they were to become the traders of those cities as they went on a journey around the room visiting the different cities to trade. Except they moved around the room like a giant board game…

Getting closer to my city to trade 

And they’ve made it… 

The game was the perfect end to the day. ..Lil’ Lady had a fabulous time and made a few new friends, and enjoyed meeting up with old ones…and I was surprised at her confidence today.. a big  👍 from me too! 

Museum DNA Workshop…

After the safety talk and an explanation on DNA the group got stuck into an experiment – to find out if the DNA on evidence (coins) matched the DNA from a dead body.

They got to extract DNA which The Boy said was pretty cool. 

                    (Transferring DNA)

He also was impressed they had a female scientist conducting the workshop.. 

A little morning Yoga