Too Much Structured Time?

According to a recent report, kids are spending too much time attached to technology or in structured activities.

I submit this in response.

This mornings activity is a few hours of soft play whilst I sit happily knitting. BeanPole has her own ideas about what she wants to do this morning, and not even 40+ screaming kids is going to interfere with her enjoyment of dragons!


And the nomination goes to…. Me!

How cool! I’ve been nominated for a versatile blogger award (click on the green button thingy on the right) by the lovely claudiabette. It’s a bit surreal thinking that people actually read my rantings! So, thank you lady from the other side of the world!

I need to pass on the love an nominate some other blogs and as such, the following are my favorites right now:

Seems I need to do a bit more reading… 15 seems a long way off. But this’ll do for now.

And now for 7 things about me… Err. Seven. What, that I haven’t already blogged about?

  1. I got married at 25 whilst pregnant with our second child. (Ok, that’s quite dull)
  2. LSH asked me to go with him to get his tattoo done (full shoulders) instead of out on a date. He was trying to impress me so got the whole thing done and coloured then promptly passed out when I went home! (How could I turn him down after that!)
  3. I have very little time for people who won’t help themselves (loads for people who try their best, no matter what that may be)
  4. I believe in doing your best so much it’s tattooed on my forearm!
  5. I suck at any computer game that requires me to be stealthy – I am a natural warlock (aggro magnet)
  6. I’m messy. Properly teenager bedroom messy. And yet verging on OCD about other things
  7. Sometimes I worry that I’m not as clever as I think I am / appear to be. So I’m signing up for a PhD just to prove it to myself and test what my actual limits are as my last tutor knocked my confidence quite severely.

Writing Books With Kids

So, this holiday’s plan is to get BeanPole writing more creatively. Her reading is years ahead of her actual 8 years, but she is painfully scientific.

The bribe for writing is that she must:

  • write the story
  • create the characters
  • draw the characters and backgrounds

Then I will help her:

  • turn her story into an ebook
  • use scratch to turn the story into a game
  • create a website for her where people can play the game and read her book

This is a project and a half, but should be fun! It’s also giving me some ideas for lesson planning for next year!

Today’s plan is to write out the main story notes, characters and talk about how the story is structured. This does mean Beanpole gets to use her tablet for something other than temple run!


On High Brow Literature?

The first rule about book club is, you ought to actually read the books.

I try. I really do. It’s just my brain is wonky and starts making the characters real. And then I want to kick their backsides for being wet and wimpy.

There have been several books though that have had me laying on a pile of blankets like the Neverending Story.


In most cases, people have disagreed with me on whether these books should ever have been published in the first place. The women in book club are awesome people, and it’s for that reason that I have stuck with it. The books that have caused the most controversy have been some of the best I have read in years. They are hard work and quite often have content that looks at the more unpleasant side of life (the red tent is a novel not to be read after eating!). But they make me think. More recently, I have snuck off into the naughty corner to read other books like The Psychopath Test (Jon Ronson), The Antidote (Oliver Burkeman) and my latest It’s Not Rocket Science (Ben Miller) which looks at all the exciting bits of science. I added to this Things I want to Punch in The Face (Jennifer Worick) for a bit of a giggle.

In the eyes of book club, I am a literary hussy. I keep giving myself to the boy books and ignoring my prim girly books that I should in fact be reading.

This month I made it my mission to actually read Bread, Jam and a Borrowed Pram. It was a good story, and historically it seemed quite accurate, but I couldn’t help feel that there was a distinctly girly gloss over it. While it was not ‘chick lit’ (which makes me want to gouge out my eyes with spoons), it left me feeling blah. I’d burn a bra in support of the women in this book, except I like my bras, and they don’t come cheap…

Despite the cleavage and heels, when it comes to my brain, I’m not only a nerd, but a bit of a boy. I do feel the need to trip up the whimsical heroin and let the zombies eat her, because I’m questing for the sci-fi sword, or learning about how cool it is to blow stuff up. There’s a world of adventure out there.

I am Finn, and LSH is my Jake.