Thursday, September 8, 2011

The show

Josiah's letter to Grandpa

On the Tea cups

Josiah on the very steep Titanic Bouncy castle slide

The fairies

On Monday this week I took the kids to the Royal Adelaide Show. I really was really uncertain if i could manage all three of them by myself in such a busy place as the show but we had a really lovely day. I had organised to meet my brother there and for him to help me out but we only ended up spending about an hour or two with him. The children were very well behaved and the day went smoothly. We watched the Fairies, which was a highlight for Anna and Josiah really enjoyed the Zimbabwe brothers. We arrived about 9.15am and left at 7pm! It was a very long day and Anna was the first to complain of sore feet about 6pm. We did the yellow brick road and it was really good, i had never done it before. The kids really enjoyed collecting samples from all the different places. We saw some of the animals and watched the cows being milked. The kids enjoyed all the sights and most of the smells. They bought a showbag each and went on a couple of rides. The show offers lots for the homeschooler as there is so much to see, do and learn. I asked Josiah to write a letter to his grandpa telling him about the show which encourages recall as well as his writing skills. I helped with the big words but was impressed that he could work out most words himself. We are going to post it to him today along with copies of the photos.

I was really proud and suprised that the day went off without any difficulty or stress, it was a really enjoyable day out. The kids are already looking forward to next years show.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

My bit for the environnent

Shredded paper mulch, we recently cleaned out our filing cabinet!

Some Jerusalem artichokes and potatoes i harvested yesterday

The kids patch next to the cubby.

I like to think myself a bit of a greeny, i'm definitely not a hard core greeny but there is certainly an aspect to my personality which wants to save the environment and be energy efficient. I believe we have been given the responsibility to look after God's world and that we should do our best to achieve this. So as i was pondering this, i thought it might be a good idea to analyse this and make some plans for future improvements i would like to make.

I sat down and wrote a list of the things i already did, and this list was long. But is still feel as though there is a lot more things i could be doing. There is also some things that i already do but could do a lot better. So here is my list of things that i want to do in the near future and some things that i am working towards:

Composting/recycling: We already recycle most things that can be recycled a through our council recycling. But I have been thinking and talking about doing some intensive composting. i have just inherited 3 half rain water tanks which i will use as compost bins. My plan is to compost everything organic. So getting a third bin for the kitchen (Rubbish, recycling, composting) and putting in it, all paper, cardboard, hair, fabric scraps, tissues, vaccum cleaner dust and of course food scraps.

Curtains and pelmets: We have ridiculous vertical blinds in most of our house, they are horrible. They don't keep out light or heat. We have bought roller blinds for most of our windows which helps to keep light and heat out but we would like to make thick, heavy curtains and pelmets for all of our windows to further their insulation properties. In an ideal world, we would also have double glazing but this would be very expensive.

Gas cooking: We currently have an electric stove/oven and my mum has a huge (6 burner) gas stove that she doesn't need for just herself. We have talked off and on about swapping the two but both houses would require plumbing and electrical work which costs money. But we should do it!

Getting door snakes/seals: i really notice the cold air coming in under the doors and i made some door snakes a few months ago to use, but i haven't finished them and now i've lost them.

Eating more vegetarian meals: There is no denying the health and environmental benefits of eating less meat. We currently eat 1-2 vegetarian meals a week, i would like to increase this to 5 and so we would become weekday vegetarians. Hubby is still coming around to this idea but as i find more delicious veg recipes, it is becoming more of a reality.

Grow more food: we already have a large garden but it wouldn't even account for 1/2 of our veg needs. I have always had a dream to grow all of our veggie needs and we are slowly working towards this. I have learnt a lot about gardening along the way and i really enjoy it, each year i am planting more and more and getting better at it.

The biggest and hardest thing for me at the moment is to consume less (not just food). A significant budget cut due to us buying some solar panels will help with this, but i need to reduce the amount of stuff that i buy. I am slowly changing my mindset about this and instead of just going out and buying something from Big W, i stop and think, can i make this, can i buy it from an op shop or can i borrow it. I still have a long way to go.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The start of Homeschooling

J has finished kindy and now it is school holidays. For the past term we have been practicing homeschooling at home on the two days J has not been at kindy. It has gone really well, Praise God.

The first couple of weeks were really hard as we both found a rhythym and routine, i think i was expecting a bit too much of him initially and wanted him to concentrate much longer than he was able. When i set time limits to the activities, he responded much better.

WE have been using LEM phonics and have nearly completed the first work book with the single phonograms. He knows all the sounds of them and how to write them. Along the way he has learnt to do some simple reading, which he absolutely loves. I am really pleased he likes reading as i think that will make learning much easier for him. He especially loves non fiction texts.

Although it is school holidays we are still using the homeschool room as an office and i am drawn to teaching him whilst i am in there working on the computer etc. So today i asked him to write a story while i was doing some lesson prep for next term. This is the first free writing that he has done ever, all other writing he's done has been copying words. This is what he wrote:

I am really proud of his reading and writing, i helped him to spell work and computer but the rest he did himself. As you can see, he is a bit of a perfectionist like his father and as soon as he learnt that he had done something wrong, he crossed it out and started again. I am going to have to learn not to correct him too much along the way so that he is confident about what he is doing.

We have been using a maths curriculum called mathematics for Christian living but i am finding it dry and repetitive and so have begun to combine it with another called mathletics. This is keeping the repetitive practice of writing of the MCL aswell as some interesting pics and concepts with Mathletics.

I have just been looking at a science curriculum by Sonlight which i think we will use, we do have one by BEKA books but i find the Sonlight one more structured and the year and lessons are already planned in an easy to use format.

At this stage i am planning to invent my own curriculum for the other subjects, or at least until i find something i am happy with.
I am very excited about starting full time next term and almost wish it would hurry up! But then i think that it will be hard work when the time arrives and that i should enjoy the holidays and the preparation for now.