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Stir Up Sunday · Monday November 27, 2006 by Abbie

We started the day in the usual way, with me reading aloud to Ram. Only we didn’t read in bed as long as we usually do. I had been awake since five, so when Ram woke at 8.30 and I crawled back into bed with him, I was a bit tired. I started to fall asleep!

So we got up for breakfast (his first and my second) and carried on reading until we finished the book, just before lunch.

I would normally recommend books that we are reading, but I am not sure I want to make a general recommendation of the Red Dwarf books to home educators. They really are adult books and there are some things in there that I wouldn’t want Ram to know about just yet. But the beauty of reading aloud is that you can leave bits out. I am getting quite good at doing this now. I can scan ahead quickly to see if there is something that I feel is unsuitable. Then either leave that bit out entirely or change a few words.

I don’t mind Ram knowing that two people are making love. After all I am hoping that one day he will do the same. But I don’t feel he needs all the details just yet, especially details from a science fiction comedy that runs close to the edge! But I find that just saying ‘they made love’ is all that he needs from the book.

I know of someone who did the same with a Harry Potter book. And the kid noticed when she read it herself a few years later. ‘Hey Mum, you left that bit out when you read it to me!’ But usually when they are old enough to read these books to themselves, they are old enough to understand why mum left a bit out!

The other books we have out at the moment are what I call my festival books. Today is Stir Up Sunday, and we always make our Christmas puddings on that day, making wishes as we stir.

Then I dip into ‘Festivals Family and Food’ and ‘Festivals Together’ two books that were recommended to me years ago. ‘Festivals Family and Food’ covers all the British festivals, from Candlemas and Mothering Sunday, through Harvest, Hallowe’en and Guy Fawkes Night, to the festivals of December, and even includes chapters on birthdays, rainy days and convalescence, and sweetmaking!

‘Festivals Together’ takes a more international look and covers cultural and religious festivals from all over the world. It has stories from all over the world that you can read aloud with the family, as well as recipes and craft ideas.

Anyway, back to Stir Up Sunday. Usually cooking is part of maths, especially as I was only doing a half recipe. But Ram had just started playing with the Lego Harry Potter computer game, so I let him off this year and measured out everything myself. Then I called him in and gave him the choice of reading out the ingredients and having me find them on the table (I had laid it all out in little bowls ready measured) or me reading them out and him finding them and adding them to the big bowl.

He chose the latter, and was actually much better than I thought at recognising all the ingredients! I guess you could think of that as a home economic exam!

His co-ordination is getting better too and he is starting to get the hang of stirring without spilling.

But we got to the end of the list and he couldn’t find the last ingredient; eggs! Yep, I had run out of eggs! I had had the last two for breakfast, and The Milk Man doesn’t deliver our eggs until Monday so we decided to leave it all stirred up with the alcohol in it, and add the eggs tomorrow when they come.

The lesson learned there? Don’t eat your eggs before you have stirred!

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