29 August 2011

Book Week!

When our eldest came to us and told us that he wanted to be homeschooled, one of the first things of thought of when we decided to go ahead with this was the following ...

Yippee! No more book week parades!

Book Week and the dressing up was for me up there with the Easter Hat parade. I really couldn't stand either. Maybe it was because it gave the bullies of the school a feeding frenzy of things to pick on kids about with their choice of attire, to point and ridicule them. Maybe it was the pressure that was applied by the school to buy books that were set up in the library. To me, reading should be joyful and there was no joy in what I saw. To me, all I saw was the negativity of it - the blatant profiteering.

So there was some apprehension when we were invited by another homeschooling mama to an impromptu book week at her house. Both the eldest and The Imp were very excited by the prospect as they really cherish their time with this family. Plus, Imp loves dressing up!

A quick trip to the op shops for costume supplies was definitely in order. In our house, it is not difficult to twist an appendage into going op shopping. Not only did we get costumes, but Mama found an awesome aqua Pyrex mixing bowl. Score!

My post op shopping high prepared me well for our encounter to Kestrels house the following day. Eldest was impeccably dressed as Leo from one of his favourite books, The Key to Rondo. Imp was a very colourful Lola from the Lauren Child series, Charlie and Lola. Squeak was dressed as a little Christmas Elf and even I joined in on the fun as Sybil Trelawney. It seems I was in good company as I was greeted by Molly Weasley and Mad Eye Moody when I arrived at Kestrels home.

Our fabulous selection

We also encountered Cinderella, a couple of pirates, Goldie Roth, and a Frog ribbiting down the hallway. It was a fantastic day with story telling, laughter, lots of noise and mirth. Molly even baked a cake!

Story cake

I can do it!

27 August 2011

Carpe Diem

There was no standing on tables or cries of "oh captain my captain" but there was learning afoot.

An impromptu visit into town to print off the curriculum for our forthcoming visit from the Board of Studies representative ended in a walking tour of the CBD. Imp thought this was a fantastic idea and was soon enthralled with a map of the local river system that was renamed her treasure map.

We continued on and went for a play in a small playground  next to the river. I then spied the fire station and noticed the doors were open. Lots of peering into the station ensured so the children could have a peak at the trucks.

We snuck down a pathway and found ourselves in front of the Regional Gallery. Free admission! That was a call that had to be answered. We entered in and I held my breath hoping that Squeak wouldn't squawk too loudly in the building. The latest exhibit was called The New Arcadia.

The New Arcadia brings together artists responding to notions of arcadia and the picturesque. It throws light on an idealised depiction of landscape, but with visible disruption. This is the old world butting up against the new as the artists attempt to locate where arcadia is now.

Arcadia is therefore imbedded with notions of looking back to a paradise enjoyed but lost through the heavy touch of progress and the human hand. It defines nature as transcendent, and ancient beyond our reckoning.

There was some really interesting works of art. One of my favourites was the glass teapot

Unfortunately the Squeaking became a very impatient Squawking so our visit was cut short. It is definitely bookmarked for a return visit for just The Eldest and myself.

26 August 2011

Colour the flowers!

Our first lesson and I started with one which engaged both The Eldest and Imp. It was a really simple one to do to show the process of transpiration. When I asked them what they thought would happen, The Eldest was rather stumped while Imp came to the conclusion that "the water would make them pretty". I was very impressed that my four year old had deduced this.

Experiment: Changing the colour.

Place some humble tap water in three glasses:

Humble water

Raid the pantry for some food dyes:

Food dye

Place some colour in each glass and put your flowers in for a drink. Imp helped me pick some daisies from our garden:

Drink up Daisies!

And two hours later .....

Two hours later

In the meantime, The Eldest was writing up his hypothesis and procedure while he was waiting to collect, record and analyse the resulting data.

Recording results

Later on in the evening:

Later that evening

Final result! Imp thought it was very pretty!

Next Day.

25 August 2011

Mama breaching the surface

I have been like a submarine. I have quietly been pushing ahead with some developments in our home which is very new and exciting. The submarine analogy also works really well with what has been going in our life as over the past 10 weeks, it has been a game of tactical warfare.

The Eldest has decided he wants to be homeschooled.

This has been met with shock from Husband and I, emotions which has ranged from joy by some of our friends and utter angered bemusement by others.

To say things have run smoothly would be to lie. It has not. It has been trying, gut wrenching, stressful, exhausting. I have been furiously lodging forms, writing a curriculum and just watching the days count down to our home visit from the Board of Studies.

We were successful and have been given a 12 month registration.