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Thursday, 7 April 2016

Let Kids be Kids

Let kids be kids.

I have actually always agreed with this sentiment, but not in the same way some people mean it. 

Sadly I frequently see this phrase used in a way that is more synonymous with "Restrict kids to basic things, don't trust them or their abilities."

Don't make kids learn about sexual education and puberty and the like. Because, Let kids be kids. 

Kids shouldn't be learning about LGBTIQ issues. Let kids be kids.

Kids shouldn't know anything about current big world issues, like war and death. Let kids be kids. 

This is just a couple examples of how this phrase is often used.  And it drives me crazy.

Friday, 18 March 2016

Home Ec Cooking

As part of our homeschool routine, we do a cooking "lesson" at least once a week.  These can be the most basic of lessons - like frying eggs - or things more complex that require specific amounts or ratios - like cookies.

We do our shopping on Fridays, so I try to do our cooking lessons on the following Monday.  This way, depending on the food to be made, I can use up any fresh but soon to be not fresh ingredients, such as the remnants of the BBQ chicken I almost always buy already cooked from the supermarket.

The following is just some of what we have made.

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Clever DIY Review

In the past I have bought the occasional little crafty kit - plaster mould fridge magnets and the like - but my kids always managed to sneak out at night, find the kits and use the goods inside, such as the paint pots, to "decorate" their bedroom walls.

Their bedroom walls are so beautiful and artsy they make me want to burn the house down.

Anyway, because of a few such incidents, I just stopped buying such kits.  I decided to not buy individual craft products, such as paints and glitters and sequins.  The thought of the kids decorating the rest of the house was just terrifying.  So awesome crafts, not a big thing in our house in the past.

This year is different.  At the end of last year I managed to get through to the Monster, for the most part, and get him to stop the sneaking and using of things he shouldn't be using.  The Wench, being the adoring little sister, follows his lead and is behaving better as well.

So in January, when I read a review of a monthly crafty subscription box, code for the first month free included, I decided to give it a go.  It's a month to month subscription, so if my trust in the kids was misplaced, or the crafts weren't any good, I could cancel it with ease.

I have not cancelled the subscription.

Wednesday, 24 February 2016


You can learn how to add and minus, multiply and divide.  You can learn the process to figure these out.  You can learn how to look at a maths problem and find the answer.

These things don't mean anything if you can't figure out how to create the maths problem in the first place.

Life isn't going to go around handing us maths problems to figure out.  We are not going to be given maths questions to answer.  We need to know how to create the maths for ourselves.  We need to know how to figure out how much our shopping will cost us.  Sometimes we need to know how long something will take to finish.  But we can't figure these things out if we don't know what to add to what, or what to multiply by what.

Having a calculator doesn't help you either.

Thursday, 18 February 2016

A Day in Our Life 2016

The second day of our homeschool week.


I lay in bed pretending, no, attempting to stay asleep while the kids rummage around in the kitchen for breakfast.
The Monster, in his new Big Boy capacity, cooks eggs on toast for his breakfast.  The Wench chooses to have the ever so nutritious and filling coco-pops instead.
I continue "sleeping."


The Minx awakens.  She isn't crying.  I am still "asleep."  Then her Daddy decides to bring her to me where I sleep.  Sigh.  There is no staying asleep when little baby hands are scratching your face off, and whatever remains of your face after that is eaten by a slobbery baby mouth.

Friday, 12 February 2016

Our Newer Homeschool Area

Last year, as part of the NBTS Blog Hop, I shared our Homeschool Area.  A nice look at our very messy area.  This week I am going to do the same, again for the NBTS Blog Hop.

I am happy to say that our area is quite different this year.  Not necessarily any neater, but it is different.  Now that the Minx has joined us I have had to move us out of the comfort of the loungeroom and out into the kitchen.  I figured, the Minx will likely begin her crawling in the loungeroom and therefore I needed to get all of that highly interesting (to a crawler) stuff away from prying hands.  It also means less mess on the carpet.

It is significantly easier to clean up tiny little pieces of paper from the linoleum than from the carpet, I guarantee you that!  Pencils shavings are the same, pencil leads too.

I am not going to show you the state of the loungeroom today, because in all honesty it is still quite messy right now.  Let's call it the transitional period haha.

Monday, 8 February 2016

They Aren't What We Make Them

I read an opinion article today titled What I'm never going to tell you about homeschooling.  In many ways it's a lovely article, I agree with some of the points it's trying to make.  At the same time it is heavily, and I mean heavily Christian.

Now there is nothing wrong with Christianity, and nothing wrong with Christian Homeschooling.  But for those of us who are not Christian, not of an Abrahamic faith, it is often extremely difficult to read good articles and blog posts that are heavily religious.  We tend to miss the point of the post because we are sitting there going, "ugh, no, eww, what in the hells?!?"  Or we just stop reading after the third time God is mentioned... In the first sentence.

This is our problem.  Not yours.  Keep on writing your Christian posts.  We'll keep on ignoring them.

Sometimes, however, ignoring a Christian post means that we are missing out on some good information, advice and knowledge.  The linked article is, I believe, one such post that we could all benefit from reading.  But we won't, because "Ugh!"  So, since I did read most of it, I thought I would share the salient point in a non-Abrahamic friendly way.

Friday, 5 February 2016

Why I am Grateful for Homeschooling

There are several reasons that I homeschool, but being grateful for homeschooling is something I haven't thought of.  Don't get me wrong, I am certainly grateful for it, for the chance to be able to do it, but I haven't really thought of what about it I am grateful for.

Thursday, 28 January 2016

Resources for 2016

The Wench has been doing great with phonics and we will continue learning that, but I have realised she needs to learn some sight words as well, so we will be doing some work on that this year.  The Monster is flying along with his reading of individual words, big, small, easy, complicated, he does well.  His next step is comprehension, that is, the ability to read a sentence or paragraph and then explain what he just read.  He isn't so great with that yet, so lots of reading to come this year - including me reading aloud to the kids more often to promote listening skills.  We will also begin working on pre-cursive handwriting, and of course do some work in grammar, punctuation and spelling.

Monday, 25 January 2016

Starting 2016

Today was our first day of sit down formal school work for 2016.  It was also our first day ever homeschooling with a baby, the Minx being almost 5 months old now, 20 weeks today in fact.

I did want to start the school day at 9am, but of course, as is usual for me, best laid plans don't always go well.  It wasn't so terrible, it's just the Minx chose to sleep until 8:30am and I slept in, gratefully, happily and without guilt.  Ah sleep, I love you. Though the kids had been up and ready since 7am, I needed to look after the Minx and get myself ready and fuelled (read caffeinated), so we didn't start school work until 10:20am.

Tomorrow is Australia Day, which is the anniversary of when the British arrived to colonise Australia.  Because it's Australia Day, we will be spending this week looking at the First Fleet, that is the voyage and arrival of eleven ships full of convicts and colonists in Australia.

We started at 10.20am and we finished at 2.20pm, with a 45 minute lunch break from 12:15-1:00pm.  So four hours, 3 hours and fifteen minutes of actual work time.  That's about what I would want on a normal day starting at 9am, so it worked out okay.