Thursday, March 27, 2008
As I've mentioned before, we like to spoil them on Easter and not buy stuffed bunnies but something a little practical in the toy range. This year it was a train table that is a games table and a lego table and a black board in one. They loved it, of course. This is what they found Easter morning.
Now the Bunny is Thumper from Disney. Disney is not normally our thing, but when we were cruising for Easter gifts we saw this and decided it was so gorgeous that Monika had to have it for her very first Easter, and of course it was OK as she hadn't had years of bunnies accumulating needlessly around her cluttering up our house. So this is her first and only rabbit she'll get for Easter, but its pretty bloody special, it's three times her size!
The middle pic is of Nan, Pop and Monika on Good Friday. As always, Andrew makes such a lush fish meal. We enjoyed Salmon steaks, a Rick Stein inspired white fish dish with sour creme sauce, home made fish cakes, chips and vegetables. We get our fish fresh from Island Markets if we don't fish it out ourselves.
For our Easter Feast we enjoyed Porterhouse Steak, beer battered chips and steamed vegetables. Wonderful!
It was a wonderful day for us all, I hope yours was as good!
Reading: Dante was sent back to the yellow level to revise, but he's doing it so easy.
Labyrinth is doing great, she's 1/3 of the way through the red level.
Kai is up to book 3, about 1/3 of the way through yellow level (which is a surprise, he's doing great!)
Raven knows his alphabet, and numbers. Still working on colour and shape.
English: The big three have all been doing sentence structure worksheets. Blah! Worksheets! Reader Rabbit variety, but they love them so I let them do it.
Maths: Andrew was sorting out all of that stuff, and testing the children to see where they are at exactly.
Crafts: Well, there's something.
On Saturday we headed into Spotlight for a free craft session where the children made cards, chicks and little egg shakers. So cute! They were given a kit each to take home to do. That has been going really well. The big three have half stitch tapestry. Then Labyrinth took to hers with scissors and lost her needle, and I am yet to sort that one out. Raven and I sat down on Tuesday and did some "sand painting". We rarely get to do anything on our own and I was sooo happy and so was he. I must make time to do that more often!
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Today I went into Birchalls, a place that gives "discounts" to homeschoolers, but they don't. They don't really have homeschoolers go in there at all. OK. Fine. Whatever. So, I ask will you do "homeschool discounts" at all. She said they would give me the same discounts they give to schools: on selected text books and that was all. mmmm. Disappointing.
Last fortnight I went into a bookshop that in the THEAC newsletter also "offered discounts to homeschoolers", nah, not any more they don't.
They do in Windmill still, I think its 5%. Whoopee! But I guess it's better than nothing, and if it were an expensive purchase, then yes, it probably would be.
The problems arise from several things. Homeschoolers down here lack community spirit. They don't flash a THEAC card around when they do their shopping. Therefore we don't exist. There a pockets here and there, but I've only found small isolated pockets. Thats why I'm trying to get the forum up and running, so I can get a unity in vision and voice for our community.
I know there are non religious homeschoolers down here, but where the heck are they??? They keep so far under the radar its impossible to find them. I'm trying to get the word out there to them, so if you think you can help direct them to T.H.E Forum please?
Besides that disappointment, we had a lovely shopping spree (OK picking up laybys for Easter). Easter is another excuse for buying presents for the children isn't it? That's our excuse anyway. We also got a very decent vacuum cleaner Werthiem (one of the best and costly). Very happy (and eventually we'll have good credit rating from them). We'd love to buy this house, it has exquisite views. I'd build in a pool and I would extend up and out if I had the money.
I would also dearly love to communally build, but Andrew doesn't see my vision, he doesn't see the vision of the gypsy lifestyle either... oh, so sad!
We brought a science reader today on Sharks! Will be a good resource for getting Dante up and cruising with reason (or incentive).
We were too busy for lessons today, but we played "I went to the shop and brougt a..." game. We love that and Eye-Spy. They don't like singing with me in the car anymore. I still sing to the younger two, but the older 3 don't like it anymore!
Even if it is Good Friday tommorrow, I will be giving the darlings lessons!
Well, high dee ho everybody, Q :)
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
Monika got 3 peek-a-boo blocks, Raven a schleich Panda, Kai a dino scheich toy and Labyrinth a Bratz DVD. They had a good day, getting up early, having pancakes, choc milk and custard tart (I had my customary muesli of course!) Then it present time and computer time while they waited until lunch, which was a pseudo BBQ with birthday cake (excavation site in the mud cake), and treats from Nanny and Poppy. Nanny and Poppy gave him an activity dino book, and a how to draw fish book (he adores that), socks, and a DVD (12000 leagues under the sea).
I got my uni books today too! And there was the play and food time at tea time (ended up being Mcdonalds as Monika and I aren't up for much else. Head cold (stuffed up, hot, achy - you know the drill. While they played though, there was some PE milestone breakthroughs, Labyrinth can do a decent cartwheel, Dante has proven to himself he can sumersault, Raven can with help and tah dah, Kai can do headstands! Dante can also climb wide straight poles like a "birthday boy monkey", not to mention Labyrinth climbing onto the equipment up the poles and onto the top bits (naughty, naughty).
All in all, a fairly decent day... I'm going to bed early! Love Ya, Q.
Happy Birthday Dante (will post a pic of the cake tommorrow)
Monday, March 17, 2008
Saturday, March 15, 2008
However, we still did our worksheets on Identifying sentences, writing, and phonics.
Raven did triangles and Blue. Otherwise, the children was fairly free all day to play.
Dante wanted to help me cook tea, so we cooked Chicken Honey Mustard on Rice.
Hopefully tommorrow might be more fruitful. :(Q
Friday, March 14, 2008
Besides getting the children to clean their room (frustration), we did very little this morning before leaving to go to the Little Uns Homeschool Group meet today. It was meant to be lunch, but we ended up just drinking and sheltering from the very hot sun and gusty winds. But it was very informative, and very good to meet others. We met two women and their children, Linda and Polly, Hey I remembered! YAY! There was a boy and a girl around Raven's age group who I really went to the meeting for, so he can socialise with other children of his age so he gets to be less shy... and it's kind of working.
We then had to do some fresh food shopping, ie go to the fish markets, vege and fruit market and meat shop too... and laybyed some really great boots for Labyrinth (boots really suit her), and some slippers for everyone but Dante and Kai, which we will be on the look out for coming up to the cooler months. Boots just don't go for me, unfortunately! Children just seem to grow out of things so incredibly fast, don't they?
We then headed home to do a few groceries and took an alternative route home, where we came across a sign stating baby budgies for sale. So, we went and got one (beautiful colbate blue I think). We are using an aquarium to house him, with natural branches and a plastic toy (which I plan to get rid of in favour of making our own by threading branches and gum nuts together), that will be a great crafting activity.
We may be calling him/her (unsure of sex) Birdy-Boo, in favour of Raven's nick names. (He created Monika's which I won't disclose here...) Any how, I was pleased with today, and finished off with some lovely trout and garlic, fetta, olives, pasta and cabonara chicken salad and some fruit and hot chips on a platter, YUMMY!
The Forum is slowly getting out to people, we handed out flyers today, and plan to do the same thing just keep handing them out to people, leaving them around places and hopefully we might get a following.
Well, more lessons tommorrow, and I'll take some pics of the budgie and the fishies for the forum,
all the best, Q.
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Then the fun came this afternoon. Gardening! I love garden's but before I just haven't been motivated (renting makes me NOT want to put the effort in for someone else's benefit.) But here, we are in public housing so they are not going to make us move in a hurry, so we decided to put in a garden.
First is the Arch.
And the Garden Before:
And the during photos of the children really getting into it:
It's Jasmine that we planted next to the arch, to creep along and up it, we'll be adding more plants to it next week. On the other garden is another Jasmine plant, and we will be adding to that too. Also I'm looking at getting another purple flower to complement those Jasmine plants in looks but not fragrance so much. Jasmine is one of my favourite plants on earth.
Oh, and it was a Lavender bush we pulled out and threw away. I know some people would consider that sacrilege, but I get whopping headaches from the strong scent, so to me its a bane. So, it went. That's the second time it had been pulled. This time I got rid of a heap of root system, so hopefully that will knock it in the head this time.
If I had the money, time and energy I'd love to make a Labyrinth in the back yard, with a Alice in Wonderland type theme going. But, I would only spend that time if I were to buy this house. Plus I want a vege garden and we'll be starting a potted herb garden in the back. We have tomato seedlings on the go at the moment from gardening earlier this week.
I would grow raspberries and an apple tree too. I might anyway. Oh, and stone fruit trees too... yummo.
So, I guess it was a bit of a science lesson, planting, seeding and watering and beginning a garden again. The kids school work is coming along nicely, I just really need to get some uni work on the go (which I have actually) and it will be coming together very nicely for me.
People often ask "how do you have such a large family" and "how can you homeschool all of them?" But honestly, I wouldn't have it any other way, nah ah, not me. I'm a crazy mummy who loves her children and love them around me, learning and pottering around doing their thing as they go!
So, heres to a potential Garden of Earthly Delights, :) Q.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
It would have been easy if our van was behaving herself (on a rare hot day she tends to overheat, poor girl.) So we had an improptu play at the park while she was quenched.
While the Adults debated our Homeschooling situation in the lounge, the children played silly buggers in the shed, with other homespun children! It was great, it was organic and it was educational. Besides the inevitable debating with a particular woman who insisted on being off topic and praise and glory be... it was fantastic.
A homeschooler (who alone advocates in the legal sysem as "the" expert witness on homeschooling in Britain) was visiting our humble island, had so much to say. Her inquiry was why are we so insular and isolated. She had to find us through THEAC, and she only really clipped the top of the iceburg. Somewhat our community consists of a majority of christians, or so it seems. Scratch the surface and I think the island has much to hide in the fact that there are many fellow homeschoolers out there, wanting to be unseen, invisible and therefore untouchable.
She encouraged us to go out and get a support network going, and Andrew and I have decided to put together a homeschool network forum and website for Tasmanians. Its a start, but breaking in through the barrier might be tough (I mean, for heaven's sake we've been at it for quite some time now - 18 months). I hope some Tassie homeschoolers under the radar will join up, be unafraid so that we will be able to become united and strong as a community.
I've seen the way it can run, and by god, its wonderful (Brisbane - the heart of the free homeschoolers who homeschool despite the crap legistration up there!)
It may be a unique place, Tasmania. THEAC does have some Government involvement, but we don't see any of that here. On the face of it we see the veteran homeschoolers who choose to come and visit to check us out see we are cool and generally leave us to it. I've heard of the opposite too, that they are interfering Gets but not in my experience. They have been very supportive, but I have and will flount the law if necessary as I have had to in the past. We should be free to give our children the education they deserve, which is NOT one in an unnaturally structured and stiff environment. I am a fighter for the things I believe in, and I do not give in.
The rules are getting tighter though... my 5 yo is now suppose to be schooled now. 5! Where, O Where has my childhood gone, oh Where, O Where Can It Be????
Well, dreaming of an awesome forum and group for Tassie Networking, Oh YEAH!
Sunday, March 9, 2008
I gave the children lessons, too this morning. We did gardening, we planted herb seeds and tomatoes. We also did a reading and identifying sentences lesson, and a hygiene lesson. Raven toilet trains well with wee, but not great with poo, he's only done that the first time he went potty ever. But, its all early days yet. Monika went forward one crawling step today. I don't believe it is long away at all now (but I wont be holding my breath).
We are looking into martial arts for the children, and we are going to be going along to a homeschool network group twice this coming week (if I but have anything to do with it). Andrew is still med-less, but he's not as tired, just very irritable. He's got an emergency appointment with his psychiatrist early next week. So... I wonder what will come of that?
Friday was dedicated to shopping for books and presents for Dante's up and coming birthday! He will be 7 this year, and all he wants for his birthday is fi... no dinosaurs, erh, what??? Yup, hes wanting dinosaurs, in particular walking with dinosaurs. He told me today he wants to learn about all kinds of animals, and he needs a shed out the back to study them all. I told him he needs to read all about them too. So, we got him a great big book about dinosaurs, a small fact book about dinosaurs, a plush shark, and a large schleich T-Rex.
We have a tradition in our family. When it's a childs birthday, the birthday child gives a present to each sibling as well as getting gifts. So the boys will get a schleich toy each and Labyrinth is going to get a bratz cd. Not sure about Monika yet.
They spent their pocket money on books this fortnight. Labyrinth got an educational book and complementary cd about the supernatural (which she is beginning to heavily get into now), and Dante a book on dinosaurs, Kai got two book World War 1 and 2, Raven a Dinosaur Colour book and Monika a material Dinosaur touchy feely book which they all love. I got a copy of Golden Compass 1 and I'm not ashamed to say it!
Their homeschool money was dedicated to getting knitting needles, and materials for quilting. and pins etc. My mother has kindly donated her sewing machine to us to do it.
Yesterday was shopping day, I got a large piece of craft wood to do an off the page scrapping project, Andrew the materials to complete the Laundry. Fish and veges and groceries, the afternoon was spent at Nans and Pop's house visiting cousin Rueben who shares a birthday with Dante (same day, 12 hours apart, Dante being the eldest).
Looking forward to regaining my motivation and abilities, these meds suck but unfortunately I'm too depressed without them, until next time, Q.
Thursday, March 6, 2008
Earlier in the day we did our usual "hooked on phonics" and Labyrinth is really wanting to plod on ahead, while Dante is soaring, and Kai is getting it very slowly but he is getting it. Maths today (taught by Andrew) consisted of addition and subtraction (1-12 kinds) and he worked with them until the concept clicked. *lightbulb* Labyrinth is doing fantastically with writing, she has the motivation now. Dante lacks the motivation, but he is still achieving, and Kai hates it so we're doing a new approach (ie the Adam Ant worksheets).
We cooked a Chocolate Fudge Cake, which can be found here. The children loved it, we will do the muffins next time, we just need more muffin pans. We only have one. Labyrinth and I have also taken up knitting (its that Steiner thing - they should know how to do practical things!)
We did our afternoon archery lessons, and the children rode bikes, played on the trampoline and ran around heartily. So, I guess that's PE. Monika is having a lovely time learning how to rock back and forth on her knees and hands (but when will the next step happen??) And we played a Ravensburger game called "Labyrinth Jnr" for the life of me I find it a bit difficult (:rolleyes:), but its a good thinking game, really, and if they get it, it might actually click in my head too.
I guess those "boring" worksheets may just be what I need to get them motivated with writing.
We have to fill in the paper work to have Kai officially added to our "homeschool".
All in all we really got along with our work famously today, and that is what it is all about :D, Q.
Wednesday, March 5, 2008
Today I'm on top of the world again, (meds must have kicked in again). I'm sweet with the kids and visa versa. We had a great morning getting the house in fantastic shape and the kids had eaten before midday.
After lunch was a game of Thomas the Tank Engine, memory. This is a great game as Raven can join in (and often wins - he's got a sharp memory). Games are great to get the kids thinking, but whoa does it make them competitive! They learnt it while they were at school and I am NOT happy about that.
After which most of the afternoon was dedicated to lessons, and they were all great! Writing has improved, reading is coming along (Kai even surprised me with what he retained this time around). Labyrinth has now completed the Yellow level or the equivilent of Grade 1 which was a review, Dante is now 1/4 through Grade 2 or the (or half way through the Orange level). Raven even insisted on a lesson (basically we just practiced the alphabet phonetically and normally, he can do both with ease.
Later in the day Andrew was well enough to take them for a math's lesson, which was using pretend money, the notes are minature Aussie Currency, whilst the coins are not quite right in colour/size but they still "get" it anyway. So, he made a scenario about them going out to work, then coming back home and giving mum and dad money for power and food, and after which they got to go shopping themselves. They had to work out how much money to give the "check out guy" and how much they would get back if they got change. They really enjoyed it. Educational benefits are numerous.
I should be able to start studying properly soon. There was a screw up in one unit I was enrolled in and so it isn't actually offered this semester, it will be next semester. So I had to get a new one to do and I have to wait til I get the welcome letter for that before I can begin, and also waiting on my books to arrive. Can't wait! This is a great way I keep my brain coggles moving around in my head.
After tea we all headed outside for PE. We enjoyed archery, and the children also enjoyed running around, playing and jumping on the trampoline. Then they got to clean up the back yard, we turned it into a game, and it ended up being rather sucessful. We have everything outside organised too, now! OMG. This doesn't usually happen in my world. Everything done, feeling great about it, I guess thats why I'm feeling groovy right now. Stuff is done and I can fully relax, even though I'm nearly 3 weeks into my uni course and not been able to do a thing. Ooops.
I love my kids and they are very important to me. I honestly don't know whether Andrew will ever be able to work, so I have to get this degree and start working myself. I don't want to be poor all my life, and I certainly don't want unemployed parents to be the role model for my children. They are all fantastic, intelligent human beings and deserve better. That is also a reason they wont be attending school. I can do a better job!
Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Aren't they beautiful? And they tasted devine too... Dante made a fish of course, Raven made a curled up snake, Kai made a snake stretched out and Labyrinth made a teddy bear. Cute.
After lunch Andrew made a hunting arrow head while the children and I learnt to knit with Nanny and Poppy's help. Labyrinth gets it OK, but Dante, Kai and Raven need to learn by themselves I think. That's OK because I've finally got the hang of a very simple purl stitch (I think its called). Now I appreciate all the old ladies at church who make knitted items like dresses for babies. I'm not a natural, but I can do it finally!
Later in the afternoon we headed outside and tried "rabbit" hunting. We were using an old rabbit soft toy, but the arrow head and the poundage of the bow were not enough to pierce its thick hide!
We naturally did the reading lessons, which I'm happy to say is really coming along beautifully.
So, all in all it was a successful Medieval day, Q.
Monday, March 3, 2008
We set plans for Dante's birthday, so in a way he got an impromptu lesson from Andrew, as he put some words and drew pics on the white board about possible things we could do, and it was great - he chose all the least expensive things! Besides a pleco, all he wants for his birthday is dinosaur stuff!
In the works is entries into the Junior Textile Competition, the children would probably make wall hangings of things of interest to them like dinosaurs/fish for Dante, Militia for Kai, Dora the Explorer and Diego for Raven and Lil Bratz for Labyrinth. I checked out some possible fat quarters today and am quite impressed about what's out there. YAY!
I am also encouraging Labyrinth to enter a competition of the photographic kind, which she appears to have a talent in! We'll see how that goes, entries must be in mid month so I'll be encouraging her alot this week!
Loving the possiblities, enjoying life, Q.
Saturday, March 1, 2008
Yesterday, the children helped me cook some chockie chip bikkies. They really do enjoy the simple things like baking. And eating the results too... even Kai who for many years wouldn't eat chocolate or sweet things only chippies and fruit will indulge in them now, and Raven will venture to eat them with enthusiasm, before he wouldn't touch them.
We have also over the course of yesterday and today, tackled one huge problem - the kid's toys. We are getting rid of a huge bag full of toys we no longer need, freeing some space in the children's bedroom and making it more ordered and less of an atomic bomb site. We are freeing ourselves a bit and the children have a real desire to keep it sorted (hopefully....) So, come Easter (We don't give traditional presents like soft plushies *exception: Monika as its her first will get a giant Thumper ie from Bambi), they get practical toys. This year it's going to be a roll under the bed train table/roadway/dolls house toy as a combined gift and chocolate and chips too. It makes sense in our world.
We are going to put together a special project - a fish tank which celebrates plants, of the fully aquatic, amphibious and terrestial variety. I'll post more on this as it happens... Also the children have noticed my blogging and Labryinth and Dante have both expressed interest in beginning thier own, we'll just see how that happens.
I also did another layout today, since Sundays are suppose to be Mummy Scrap Happy Day...
Well, I'm off to say Nighty Night to the beautiful children I have, so I will say Goodnight to you readers too (If I indeed have many). Q.