Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Bean-counting and Mr Men

Imagine adding up your monthly expenditure using only beans? It's how Lyddie and I spent half the morning. We needed to work out how much money there was to spend and she wanted to help. So that's how we did it. Hmm. I'll be glad when she's ready to do it the quicker way! As our fellow home educator Will Smith says: "Reading, writing and arithmetic .. those are the languages of our country." Different country, I know. But same languages - kind of!

So, we worked it out and she decided we could afford yet another Mr Men book, which we went off to buy, amongst other things. I wish she'd buy different books though: I'm not too keen on Mr Men. Their names, their houses, their lives and raisons d'ĂȘtre are based on their main characteristic - which nobody likes! The stories are all based on how Mr Whatever was cured of being Whatever. What I want to know is - what was he after that then? Little Miss Bossy stops being bossy: what do they call her after that? Samantha? And poor old Mr Noisy. He should have just handed ear plugs around for Christmas and had done with it.

But the one I really feel sorry for is Mr Nosy. They hit his nose with a hammer! And threatened to cut it off! I refuse to read it to her any more, it's just too upsetting. She'll have to learn to read it herself or persuade one of her more blood-thirsty siblings if she wants to hear that one again. We got Little Miss Twins today. I dread to think what's going to happen to them. Enforced separate adoptions?!

Charlie and Lola - now there's a good set of books. Lyddie managed to read one of those to the baby this morning when I was downstairs making my morning cuppa. They meet with full approval from everyone - baby included.

Free-range book selection is one of the downsides of autonomous learning though. Here I am, trying to raise my children with good healthy values regarding problem-solving, tolerance and compassion and there's Roger Hargreaves merrily undoing all my good work. And I pay for the privilege! Ah well. It's a good job I don't practice censorship really. There's no knowing where I'd stop.

15 Comments:

Blogger Em said...

free range pocket money is also a downside. Since my house seems to be filling up with horrible tacky little ornaments from charity shops! So hard to bite my tounge and not say "thats soooo horrible!" have managed to at least change it into "I think thats sooooo horrible!" usually causing child to grin with glee and purchase it.

6:18 pm, May 15, 2007  
Blogger Gill said...

ROFL! We end up with things I wouldn't have bought in a million years too.

7:50 pm, May 15, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sometimes we choke on our own principles don't we. lol

8:15 pm, May 15, 2007  
Blogger Elaine said...

Jr spotted a skip outside the now closed oxfam bookshop in Largs yesterday andd as a result we now have a very old copy of the Forsythe saga, copies of private eye, a children's history book and some old comics, sorry no mr men

10:39 pm, May 15, 2007  
Blogger Louise said...

We have the whole set of Mr Mmen bought ages ago from Book People. We do like the illustrations but we also much prefer Charlie and Lola (also bought from BP!) especially the stories. Good ole Book People! Makes buying their books so much cheaper.
Mind you have been thinking of clearing out some books as we get new ones and never get rid of any old ones. Mine just don't seem into the famous five as I was :o(

9:27 am, May 16, 2007  
Blogger Allie said...

I loved Mr Men books as a child - nice and safe and predictable. Hate them now! We have managed to get through the danger years with just a few here and there. Now we have big, fat fantasy books to plough through...

I like a family house to be full of a strange assortment of things. If it is all tidy and clearly of one person's taste I start to get anxious.

11:40 am, May 16, 2007  
Anonymous Lucy said...

No - you'll love Little Miss Twins - Mr. Nosey visits them and is treated quite well...

slight shame in knowing that...

4:40 pm, May 16, 2007  
Blogger mamadillo said...

rofl... I censored dd3 today, refused to register on the barbiegirls website, an avatar-based chat thing... think she just can't read well enough yet, maybe in a few months...

7:29 pm, May 16, 2007  
Blogger Gill said...

Yes, the Little Miss Twins made up for poor Mr Nosy's earlier harsh treatment. But it just confuses me - why is he still nosy, when he was so successfully cured of nosiness in his own story? Never trust a quack cure.. people always return to type.. enforced presonality repression, *mutter chunter..*

Trog is it censorship if you refuse to help with something? When she can do it for herself, will you stop her? If so, I'm not sure I'd call it censorship, as such. Or, well, you're censoring your own behaviour, not hers?

I've always had a rule about climbing, for example. The children were allowed to climb as high as they liked but I would never help them, because I reckoned if they weren't capable of climbing so high then it probably wasn't safe for them to be up there.

And weaning - they get to eat food when they can reach out and grab it and not before. I'd probably include signing up for websites and forums etc into that criteria.

8:29 am, May 17, 2007  
Blogger Allie said...

I only encountered that approach to weaning after we'd done it 'by the book' for our kids. I wish I could have back all that time I spent poking sterilized spoons in faces! Can't believe I used to sterlize the spoon when P was crawling around the floor sucking shoes. Bloody baby books...

2:06 pm, May 17, 2007  
Blogger Gill said...

Ah, the spoon sterilising! Yes, been there, done that! It took me a baby or two to work it out too.

8:57 pm, May 17, 2007  
Blogger mamadillo said...

I was lucky enough to find LLL while dd1 was still exclusively milk-fed so while I did do some spooning it didn't last for long, lol.

And hmm... coercion by omission though I think... I was thinking of the endless 'muuum can you do...'

11:11 pm, May 17, 2007  
Blogger IndigoShirl said...

I loved Mr Men and still do.... but then I love history and Mr Men are so very much of their time.

I feel this way with Enid Blyton too...:0)

11:48 pm, May 17, 2007  
Blogger mamadillo said...

It's OK loving them, I think, for whatever reason, but if your child is picking up messages from them that you disagree with, what do you do?

1:35 pm, May 21, 2007  
Blogger Gill said...

Well what I do is state my personal antipathy to the message. So, reading Mr Nosy, I was splurting: "Noooo! They bashed his nose! Oh poor Mr Nosy! I don't like this book," etc..

Not exactly a pre-planned, considered reaction but I don't have one of those 'be neutral about everything all the time in case you influence their thinking' policies. Maybe I should, but I couldn't swallow my opinions all the time. I'd choke on them! LOL

9:37 pm, May 21, 2007  

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