View From My House

View From My House

Friday, June 27, 2008

Books of Worksheets all in a row.

There is one of these each for Labyrinth, Dante and Kai for right now. This is mainly to solidify what they already know and to make sure that there are no gaps in their knowledge. They want those dreadful worksheets, now they have them in abundance! They will probably get bored with them perhaps, but either way, its all good. They are excited and happy to have a new book each. They wanted more lessons in the day, they are getting them. This is child led, but I'll be enriching the curriculum wherever I can to make it personal, more interesting to them and more enjoyable as a whole. If they decide down the track they don't want to keep going with it, we'll go another way. But, here it is, for what its worth....
We will be celebrating the fact that Kai is over his broken leg on Monday, which is anniversary to when that happened. I won't be blogging again until then. I'm also sneaking in puppets of Steiner/Waldorf persuasion, I just have to get down and make them, I've got plenty of felt, I just need plenty of time :) don't we all?
Cheers, Q.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

A stab at fine arts today...

Above we discovered the Colour Wheel! Some colours may not be perfect but we tried our best. After we discussed primary, secondary and tertiary colours and tried them out, next came the art work! Firstly is Labyrinth's Stars in The Sky

Dante's Bird, Rainbow and Sun
Kai's Rainbow and Bird in the Sky and last but not least is Raven's Boat

And Dante has drawn Pterasaur and Raptor for fun. Well, painting was fun to but the objective here was a little more formalised - to keep it to primary and secondary colours as much as possible. They tried really hard and did really well so I'm totally swayed to do more formal art lessons with them so they can comprehend it all. Besides, they love getting into the paint on a regular basis and so they should be at their age!
Trouble on the media centre front, the problem being we are only getting grief from Vista and the USB drive is sooo slow under XP we are not sure yet what we need to do.
Other than that very little. Monika has been very demanding today and I'm exhausted from her. Didn't even get any reading lessons done, and the weather has been pretty bad. Not that I don't enjoy the thought that snow is 300 m above sea level, the rain is great for the garden (and for farming in general), and winter has us by the short and curlies. Also one of my aunties has died of a massive heart attack, but since we've been waiting more or less for several years and I didn't know her very well it becomes less real to me somehow. But my mother is going to the funeral, its upstate. I felt more the death of an online friend's father than I did for Aunty Dot. I've never met him, but I feel for her.
I didn't get to go to my friends house to discuss our possible collaboration on a children's book, so that was rather disappointing.
Other than that frustrating because we can't do/get everything I feel we need at the moment. Yeah, I know we just brought a TV, but hey, why can't we have some good things? Just because we're poor doesn't mean we have to completely go without!
Anyways... I'm going to endeavour to be more blog active and make sure I do it pretty much every day. I've been a bit strange emotionally lately, feeling a bit defeated, so I hope I can drag myself out of this and get better.
NB. I watched QandA on ABC tonight. The first question came from a woman in the audience about the baby bonus being an incentive to kill and abuse/neglect babies... Hey, whose living in the 50's here? It is a great step forward, things like neglect and abuse happen with or without the bonus. I would take the line of what support was that woman lacking to allow her family and herself to get into such a predicament. Obviously her mental health needs were not addressed and a tradegy was allowed to occur. We need more support and recognition for mentally ill people and their families. We also need to help families with new babies with not just money!
So my stance is this: it is important to give a baby bonus to those who are having babies, tis a tough time and it helps ease the burden of being poor. People who have children by and large are good parents (or are trying to be) despite their annual income, this won't change with a baby bonus. We make our own lives what they are. We may have 5 children, but its not for a cash bonus it's because we love the little tikes so much we couldn't imagine life without them. The cash bonus certainly helps ease the burden of poverty a bit, and we will be spending some of the bonus family tax benefit directly on the children's education. This would not sit well with the Questioners world POV.
So tonight, I'd like to leave with you a thought. Love well while you can and regret nothing, as life is too short for any other course. Love, Q.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Horses, of Course!

Yesterday we learnt about horses, and the children are really improving with writing! Above is Raven's, of course the image is all he has done, but isn't it wonderful, he told me it was a sleeping horse *) Below is Dante's effort, it reads: "Horses live in grasslands. Because horses can run fast, people use them for races."
Next is Kai's wonderful horse picture. His reads, "Horses eat hay and grass. They are fleet of foot to escape predators."
Here is Labyrinth's lovely purple and blue horse. Hers reads: "Horses eat grass and hay. Hay is eaten when there is no grass to eat."
Here is a picture Raven drew, at least he said so... I have my suspicions Kai had something to do with it.
And here is the horse worksheet we worked from.
No doubt in my mind who finds reading more natural, young Kai! He's speeding through and can't get enough! Although the other two are doing very well, its taken two goes at the yellow level to make sure, but I don't think I'll be needing to do that with Kai. He corrects Labyrinth when she is reading. Wow to that :)!
Young Raven is learning his phonetic alphabet and his numbers again. He could recite most of the alphabet before but now he's relearning it phonetically. He knows numbers too. He's learnt colours and shapes, I'm fairly confident he knows what he needs to know at this stage, but really, who needs to push, he is nearly 3 so its really up to him, I'm not pushing.
They all love doing art, so tomorrow they are getting their first real art lesson, the colour wheel. Again, I'm in no rush, they will run with it if they want, and I'll be happy to keep up with them. On the other hand, they are asking for more lessons, so I'm upping reading lessons to twice a day to get them reading independantly faster, and I'm helping them more with writing, and gee hasn't it improved???
Other news: Monika is saying more words now, she can say Mum Dad Dante Bub Stir Bye Fish confidently, and attempts others. She is no closer to walking very content to get around with crawling so I am doubting she'll be beating Labyrinth to the mark now, but she has nearly a month to go to the deadline. She can also wave goodbye, it was sooo cute when she did it for the first time yesterday, and then today to my parents.
Labyrinth is getting more and more challenging so I put it to her: If you want more from me all you have to do is ask - don't be bored, do something about it! So, I've agreed to those extra lessons.
Dante is a stirer, so is Kai. So they have to improve by not tormenting their sister. So there can be more harmony in the home the challenge for them is set, and also I'll be keeping them busy with more lessons.
Raven is using more words, is really toilet trained except for going out (sort of, he has been out without a nappy, quite fine with 1's but not so confident with 2's). He's also drawing all the time, and he loves it!

So, besides getting healthy (personally) and getting more stuff done, we're in the middle of resorting the house (the story of our lives) but we're actually sorting out that quiet reading corner, our studies, computers children ready and media centre ready and fully sorting out storage of clothes and probably getting rid of much unneeded things that are cluttering up our house and our living spaces. Our garden is now improving, things are growing nicely, we have been given 5 more roses of varying types, one name I can remember is the fairy rose. We'll be planting them out the front into a 'rose garden'. Jasmine outside is suffering from the wind, the other lot is shooting out new runners and putting out flowers. YAY. The children had fun giving the garden a drink today.

Well, its been slow lately because I've been quite unwell, or coping with the others while they've been so unwell. Whoopy Doo-Dah Day for the 'flu shot. OK, we could have suffered much much more, but it was so drawn out it was ridiculous. Oh, and I've been busily working on various crafty projects. Must get down and work on my children's book too...
'Bye for now, Q

Monday, June 23, 2008

Not much happening as we reclaim the house

after we finished having that horrid 'flu... which we are not completely over yet. Above is Kai's work, below Labyrinth (who is now an aspiring fashion designer, and futher below is Raven's picture.

One bright thing is that I've been able to get much craft done. Currently doing a cross stitch of the Heliotrope Fairy and an off the page scrap hangy thing for my mum's birthday which is happening on Wednesday next week. Then birthday's for Raven and Kai will be up next month too... Oh, and on a less than bright note, the sea monkeys have been killed by an accident by Labyrinth, she dropped them across the floor.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Here we are at my first century

This was going to be a great post about the Marine Discovery Centre, but there you go... somethings are not meant to be. All to sick with the 'flu. Here's some wonderful artworks from Labyrinth (top left), Dante (top right) and Raven (next to).
They did some reading too, but today as the house needed sorting and we were, nearly all of us, down with a nasty 'flu I guess that is all we could really do today. We always read though, Dante read Grug goes to the zoo, I read Donald Duck's Sail Boat to Raven and Kai and Labyrinth read to me more of Dr Suess' Fox in Socks.
We did have that vacination against the 'flu but it seems to have done very little for us... or maybe we would have been hospital bad, maybe....
Thats All Folks, Q

Monday, June 16, 2008

Today's post is about yesterday and today....

For those of you who are not attachment parents (or something like it) the following image of Monika may disturb you, just ignore it. But for everyone else here is a picture of Monika snuggling a pillow in our family bed (well, Andrew's, Monika's and mine) as if she would be snuggling into me. I saw her and thought how gorgeous and took a photo, to me this is a natural photo, unlike the flyer they push onto new mother's at the hospital - propoganda!

Above: A poem I shared as part of our Poem a Day with the children, one I wrote for an internet project some time ago. The boys! Here as quick shots taken when I was sick in bed... and the first and last shots of the Jasmine (part of our Paludarium) which is flowering.. argh more trouble with the layout. Don't like the html option either!

Back to the family bed idea: Just my thoughts on it. I have had 5 very happy children, all of them as babies co-slept with Andrew and I, and to me it felt much more natural and both less worrisome and stressful in the sense of just being able to roll over breastfeed while I'm basically still asleep. The baby actually matches their breathing to yours and there has been some moments I've been there when a couple of them have been very young I've reminded them to breathe. The research that suggests co-sleeping is a contributing factor to SIDS was paid for by crib and nursery furniture companies in the US. I've never and neither has my husband rolled on them, as a mother you have an odd thing in you that makes you aware of your baby and you never quite fully asleep (light sleeping), you know the kind - it's that kind of sleep you get as you near labour when you're pregnant, well I've found with co-sleeping its present much much longer. So, in my opinion, I'm doing the right thing by me and my children.
Being so sick, I haven't updated the blog as much as I'd like, but rest assured, the children are still learning. Yesterday we read poetry and books to each other, did a little maths, a mad lib and some writing. Dante read more oh say can you say dinosaur? Kai read Cat in The Hat Labyrinth read More Riddles. This took some time, but believe me Kai is up to task, and Dante just wasn't as into it as he could be.
Today they are spending the day with their Nanny and Poppy so that Andrew and I might recover. Hope you aren't suffering the 'flu too... Q.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

As Promised

Dante with his beautiful locks!

Lace and Leather, Reading Nook... and Our Avarian Friends...

Here is a picture from Kai of a cut out drawing of a man:

Below is a Liger Zero fro Dante, part of Zoids:
Below is Labyrinth's Garden (or our garden she's drawn):
Leather and Lace... The final version of Monika's Brag Book, complete with Leather Whip-Stitching, ribbons and Lace:

You know, most of the time I'd say it's not easy living with bipolar in the house, but today Andrew did amazing things and set up the children's reading corner (which they are soooo happy about) and he completely rearranged the layout of the loungeroom where it resides:

Oh, and these are not posed. As soon as it was set up they were in there (and as I was cooking tea wasn't aware they were in there), and basically once I heard what they were up to I grabbed the camera to catch a very special moment! Even Monika was there wanting to join in! Yes, the boys spikes, Raven says he wants one but when the clippers comes out he runs away! I am so pleased... Dante had the most beautiful long hair (I will drag out a picture to share) and I may be able to convince Raven to have long hair too...) Below is how the TV stand,media centre and new paludarium will be set up!
Below is our little Swan family we often see with 5 cygnets that the children get so excited to see and so disappointed if they are not there.

We were busy rearranging today so we didn't get any study done much... but we did do the good thing by freecycling 3 bags of various sizes of baby clothes that Monika no longer or will never wear we swapped it for three new aloe vera plants. We then brought some more from Big W - Another Jasmine plant and as you can see above the TV a huge drooping fern. Also two new cushions for our little reading corner. While the fire blazed tonight though, I did enjoy listening Labyrinth read Eastmans Are you my mother? Dante read nearly all Dr Suess (not really by him just using Cat etc) Oh say, can you say Dinosaur and Kai read several pages of Cat in the Hat which he read so smoothly, Andrew and I just sat back and were amazed! Also I read a Thomas the Tank Engine math book with little trains that actually move around the numbers in the book. It was a little rushed towards the end as it was after 9 pm at this stage and everyone was tired.
And a huge thank you to my mother for donating that rag rug in the reading nook for the children!
Home schooling really is the best, and the children are growing up so fast! Hoping all is well, Q.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

The onset of winter is bringing on the 'flu

... and wonderful reading in front of the fire, bliss.

Yesterday the children brought a book each,

Labyrinth brought Witch Chapter Book 2 - The Disappearance. Raven Dinosaurs bright bot series and How Do Dinosaurs say Good Night?

Here we have Kai and Monika's selections: Mega Book of Tanks (Kai) and Baby Dinosaur (Monika).

Mine: Garth Nix's Keys to the Kingdom: Superior Saturday (and I'd recommend them to any reader from chapter books up...) and below is Dante's choice, Let's Discover Dinosaurs. I thought they were so good I got the other 3 in the series for further reference.

The formatting here is getting just plain wierd so please forgive the strange layout of the post :?

Raven, Monika, Dante, Andrew and I have various degrees of illness with the 'flu right now, so besides shopping we haven't been very social. I called in briefly to a lovely friend's place yesterday and couldn't stay (doing shopping and such) but also we were too sick really. Anyways... Got lots of fun stuff to play with this fortnight, makes me very happy :))) - Leather and lace and ribbon, for whipstitching, a loop so I can start doing my cross stitch, and we're redoing the loungeroom so we can have the reading corner in it to encourage reading, I can't wait, plus we will be adding in a paladarium and decided to go for a plasma at this stage later before the end of the month as we need a new TV (ours is dying and we decided to upgrade to LCD earlier but after much research and just plain checking them out we're going for a no name brander Plasma TV which will sit above the fish tank in the paludarium, so the focal point will be less the TV and more a lush environment with the little reading corner just next to the area (and in the back of the room there will be a little study nook with the children's computer and our musical equipment set up and other storage for homeschooling type things like board games and art materials etc.
So projects on the go: Cross Stiching the Heliotrope Fairy, making big yummy cushions for the reading corner (and maybe a ragrug), doing my off the page baby brag books for each of the children (well... finishing off Monika's with whipstiching with leather straps and lace and ribbons and doing the other's). Reading when I can, but not too seriously (I want to get V for Vendetta and From Hell - Alan Moore graphic novels next). Superior Saturday it is for right now. That's just me.
The children: - cross stitching bookmarks, doing their off the page scrap projects (now have a car and a train on the go for Raven and Kai as they complained so bitterly they didn't have them even though it was out of the big two's pocket money), and basically lots of drawing and painting and making wooden toys.... while I've got so much extra time... 5 weeks I believe until the beginning of semester 2.
I don't usually take on new literature while I'm studying as I've got too much going already, I occasionally treat myself to a graphic novel or an afternoon read (shorts, novella or poetry).
Well Moniks sounds like she's going to choke herself if I don't go in and feed her... she hates to wait! So, lots of fun and exciting stuff on the go, post some soon, Q.