View From My House

View From My House

Saturday, May 31, 2008

5 reasons why I home educate

1.To create a loving, safe, creative, unhindered place to learn for my children. So they may not lose that wonderful spark of curiousity that inhabits them from birth. To allow them to be individuals, to allow them to think for themselves, to act on their desires instead of having them decided for them. To allow them to have a childhood.

2. To take advantage of various styles of education without having to spend a fortune on a single design private/alternative educating system. We adopt various things from Steiner/Wardof, Unschooling/natural learning with the basics, Child-Delight/Led learning.

3. To enjoy a wonderful, free unforced lifestyle.

4. Because we can provide better for our children as we know them far more than a teacher who only has them in the classroom with 29 other children who really require the same focused individual attention.

5. Because I'm excercising one of the few rights I have over my life, and using this as a role model for my own children to allow themselves to be as free to choose as they want, without the baggage accumulated from school.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Garden of Earthly Delights... er I wish... part 6

The terrarium part of our paludarium... below is our 'erbs in a pot...

Our obligatory Venus Fly Trap:
Our ferny bushy bits:
Some of our outdoor garden. Strawberries and herbs and rocket grows, but we await the rest here of our edible bits:

Our tarty kitten... his name is Wolfie. He is too naughty to live inside as he wees and everywhere. Starting with my pregnancy. He has his own little house and bed outside in a sheltered bit with blankets etc, but really he is best suited to outdoors. He's not really a kitten either, he is just the runt of the litter and he is going to be a little cat. He's such a pretty boy, its such a shame really.

Well its that day of the fortnight again... pay day. The children spent money on things to build this time - wood work this time around (steiner/wardorf). Also wooden board books in shapes as they were inspired what I've done with Monika's butterfly off the page scrap book which isn't quite finished and therefore not posted! Dante has a car, Labyrinth a tabbed book. I brought another butterfly wings and a train, amongst many other things! I couldn't help myself. Love Kaiser paint!!! I got some co-ordination paper (which is one coloured textured cardstock layered in two colours so if you sand or tear or age in some way it uncovers the colour lurking underneath, how lush is that???
Also brought another motherboard to complete our media centre (purely started as a save the DVDs from the terrible monsters who were trashing them to an exciting thing!) We have a new discus as well! It is a Dragon Flame, very red and has lines like a turq but is just lush. I was taken by the pure white ones today, but at $90 it was beyond us just yet, next pay.... come faaassst! $55 was enough on one fish today.
We did some grocery shopping in bulk today, rice, sundried tomaties, satay sauces etc. We will get bulk meat tommorrow. We have an affectionate name for the store: Second Hand Meat Shop. Ooops, did I say that online???
Checked out the so called awesome cambridge shopping outlets today (meant to be factory outlets my ***). Expensive, boring, boring boring!!! I miss factory outlets where bras are like $10, and things really are heavily discounted. There should be no fears from sellers in the city, this place is doomed. Golden Circle was one of our favourites except for the pineapple in everything (but I suppose thats what a Golden Circle is, after all.)
Brought more desperately needed pencils and other supplies for homeschooling today, they just go through them so fast, we have to lock em out! Therefore it's not there when needed and I have to go and hide from the world for a LONG time, so I don't get too angry and frustrated and say something I don't want to say because I am so ticked. So, it will be carefully monitered from now on, these supplies I have now (and then we will gradually reintroduce the idea that if they look after said supplies they will be on demand again.
Also got the "View From My House" Pic printed up at HN today. Wide print and all.
Well, that's all from me today. Nighty, Night, Q.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

clocked over 1000...

...WOW! Thanks for reading! Would love to see some comments from time to time....

Cassowaries, Emus and Dinosaurs

Just short and sweet tonight. Monika is teething and not sleeping so I really need to look after her so people in the house can sleep/do what they need to do! I've got photos to download to my computer and upload to here too... hope all is well, Q.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Avarian Australis! Rosellas and Black Swans

Well, inspired by our avarian studies yesterday, we looked at two Australian birds, the black swan and Rosellas. Don't we have such beautiful and diverse birds in Australia? We have a series of photographic readers by Steve Parish, so I read the book (with the children's help) of Rosella. After which the children drew a picture of a Rosella each.


Kai: Here we discussed the genus and the behaviour of the Black Swan. We looked in the following detail at their anatomy, and we talked about their behaviour and we learnt together. They are the kind of bird that mates for life, is extremely territorial and will kill to protect its young. We looked at the different types of feathers they have, and why (flight feathers are long, slick feathers for aquatic reasons and the fluffy down for warmth). We also talked about how they are native to Australia, but introduced to New Zealand. We also talked about breeding habits and eating habits. We also spoke about the sanctuary that we can see outside for swans and why that is important. We also watched a few videos of the black swan that can be found here.

Here is the swans we coloured them in after the children read the various points:


They asked to learn about more, tomorrow will be the cassowary and the emu!
I really am proud they have natural curiosity, they are inquisitive, they are patient with me (because I've been unwell lately and bit short) and Andrew has been rather unwell and not handling the children well at all, so I need to ease off with them a little. They are doing very well, and they have been stuck inside with this rain (although this afternoon they let it all go when we visited thier cousins house today). R and Dante share a birthday (exact same day, exactly 12 hours apart, Dante being the elder). They are similar in appearance in that they are both dark blonde and similar height. But that's where the similarities end. They are also in different realms academically speaking. But they get along well. Unlike R and his siblings, Dante actually gets along with his own. R's brothers and sister are violent and stir each other mercilessly. S (sis in law) commented on that tonight, she said all of my children are peaceful and don't pick on each other (not really anyway, more hurt each other out of enthusiasm than maliciousness). She also commented on how R is struggling with reading at the moment and he is taking a remedial class. She wanted to know where Dante is at with his reading. I admitted he was well advanced. She wanted to know how that could be, but instead I told her to consider that schooling is very dependant on ability to read, everything requires it, and with homeschooling it isn't as pushed. Children learn when they are ready but school is not flexible in this way. Ultimately, the homeschool children who read later are no better off or worse off than their schooled counterparts, but they didn't have the pressure, stress, embarressment that comes with not being a reader. Or continuously being on the catch up as they fall further and further behine. The homeschooled child is far better at other things, and having fun before they decide, hey, that person can read what am I missing out on? and get on with it. However, I do teach the basics (reading/writing/math) we are totally organic in our approach to everything else and to that too excepting HOP. Otherwise there is a touch of Steiner and a whole lot of natural learning going on. In regards to who is the happier child and ultimately the happier adult in the long term, I think I can guess!
Love life, its the only one you have, Q.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Birds and Pictures.... and X-rays

Today several things happened.

First I'll talk about Kai. Kai didn't do any school learning today for the simple fact its coming up the the yearly anniversary of his broken leg. What a nasty episode that was, he split his femur in two, broke the long bone diagonally narrowly missing his growth plate (small mercies) and it was a third of the length of the bone. This is the kind of injury that is more common to skiing or car accidents. How did he do it? He was running down a small slope at Tolosa St Reserve, not noticing a large, stepped hole, he fell over bang onto his knee and Snap!!!

It was terrible, one of my nightmares is to see someone with a leg bent the wrong angle, and there he was my own son in this predicament, not 2 weeks off his fifth birthday... He was in a hip sica for 6 weeks, after half a week in traction (that week was hell. We kept a bedside vigil, as you do, but it was heartbreaking because everytime he needed to be moved ie to toilet or to be pulled up the bed because they screwed up the wieghts and he had to be dragged back up after he slid down X distance). Well, today is the week before D Day for poor young Kai. Simply put... as the injured area is stimulated to heal, it is also stimulated to grow. However, this means that if he overshoots he'll be lame unless he gets it surgically rebroken. So, after today's X-Ray, and next weeks visit to the registrar, we will be aware of which road we'll be headed. Another 6 weeks of pain for Kai for the sake of his leg, or he'll be all clear. Time will tell, but I'm nervous as hell for him....

So he and Andrew spent an hour waiting to be seen as the room was occupied by a naughty child who they could not settle for a long time for their X-Rays.

Meanwhile, at home, the remaining children and I did some lessons about birds. We were inspired by the bird watching on the way back from the picnic, and the swans we love to see on the way back home from being 'out'. The lessons for the big two were matching bird names together (ie half and half) and writing them out, then writing and drawing the birds we counted on the way home. So inspired were they that they've asked for some more bird lessons tommorrow! They are so curious, they really want to learn. So without further ado, here the pictures are...
Labyrinth's Swan and Cygnet:

Raven's star to star Swan:
Dante's picture of himself and his friend A from the picnic:

Labyrinth's bird name matching worksheet: Ditto Dantes:
Below is Raven's glow in the dark painted bugs he has worked on over several occasions. I love the colours - so glossy and he was so very careful. So very cute:

Here is Raven's bird pictures, he actually told me when he was drawing them that he was drawing a bird and a raven (that's a milestone!), and you can see it down the bottom right:
I'm so impressed with Dante's and Labyrinths birds today! They are fantastic, don't you think?

Above, last but not least is Labyrinths cut out drawing of a cat. I so think they are all getting better at writing and drawing, and their confidence is soaring!
In regards to reading, Dante finished off the orange level of HOP tonight, which means officially half way through grade 2 reading, Labyrinth is nearly finished the red level which is the one above, but her reading level is beyond that really, with what she reads now for pleasure!
They both will be getting an extra $10 pocket money for their wonderful progress!
Also they watched a documentary on dolphins (National Geographic) and I read some books, we revisited wombat stew, and the children helped me to read Green Eggs and Ham in front of a lushly roaring fire!
Hope you are enjoying a nice warm evening/day, Q.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Old Fashioned H/Edder Picnic, 14 Ravens and 6 Magpies

Young Master Raven, above, using a baton in a rather cute but unconventional way!
Below is Dante with his new friend, A.

Raven is looking cuties, this is inside the Ross Town Hall.
Outside, Dante poses for his shot. That there t-shirt is now well-known amongst home edders in Tasmania.

This young lady was stealing hearts, as usual... and below her big sister is playing and experimenting!

Caught unawares, Labyrinth looks like she's having fun! Below are examples of the creativity of homeschoolers amongst us:

Children playing and having fun at the picnic (Ross Town Hall in background):

Another of pretty princess above, and Kai inside the hall below in amongst the girls:

What a wonderful day we had with such a diverse mix of homeschoolers. What lovely people they all are. NO bickering or nastiness, just relaxed, healthy good fun! I got the word out there about the little forum, but it is quiet! No one new has joined yet. Apparently, twas tried a few times, but no one supports it because Tasmanian Home Edders are factioned and isolated, and seem to prefer to stay that way, unfortunately. The community is wonderful, but almost seem fearful of extending beyond their own groups, for some reason.
On the upside, the children made new friends. Dante met a girl and they spent a long time playing. Labyrinth was more accepted and more socially happy with the older girls, and she made some new friends too. Kai took much longer to settle in, but then he was having a ball with a bunch of girls inside the hall and didn't want to leave! Raven, though shy by nature, got in there and had a go with batons and juggling stuff - that really sparked his attention!
To think that this is the first home edders event state wide! I am hopeful it will happen more often! It was wonderful! Turn out was 150+, but they only expected 100, but it doesn't matter anyway, everyone pretty much catered for themselves. Met some wonderful people, and hopefully some will join the forum, and some were people we knew from before. Thank you to all who attended, it was a wonderful day and it is great you showed support to our wonderful community!
On the way there and the way back we noticed some interesting and wonderful things. For instance, bush sculptures of animals, iron sculptures of bushrangers and surveyors and animals etc and we counted 14 ravens and 6 magpies (although the magpies were all in one area). We also got to see a hawk. Not to mention the farm animals...!
I hope you and yours are safe and well,

Tolosa St Reserve BBQ

Off to a family BBQ on Friday, with the last of the beautiful weather too, I imagine! Here are the children playing on the slide:

Sitting on the wooden throne (I could only get the biggest three to pose):

*Check out Labyrinth's new boots! She looks great in boots *)

A few beautiful Ravens were about, this one stopped by as we were leaving, and was only like two or so steps away from me!

This is the throne: Someone went to some effort to carve this stump!
Some nice natural shots of the world all around our little BBQ area:
And sweet little Monika, no she wasn't in the pram the whole time!