Thursday, July 31, 2008

surrendered days ::4

The weather is glorious at the moment and has been drawing us all outside. At the beginning of the week I found two long pieces of wood along the side of the house and dragged them out placing them near our play equipment. Well, they have been the main attraction at our place this week as is evident from the photos.
I guess to an observer there may look like there is not alot of 'school' going on and for that I am truly glad because there is alot of 'living' going on over in our little corner of the world and that is what prepares our little ones for the road up ahead. I so want my children to have a childhood where they can take time digging through dirt for worms, building elaborate play houses,taking time to unravel some new thought or discovery with me, working together in the daily tasks that make a home, learning sounds at thier own pace & in thier own way,discovering the joy of reading and doing it because it has meaning and significance to them. I wish I had a photo for my 8yo sons face when he came rushing in with a skink in his hands that he had eyed and then leaped on it with unflinching speed and then another photo for the 1yo as she told me all about it with her big eyes so full of wonder. We now have a pet skink which we will keep for a few days and then release back into the garden. This is one of many moments in our journey of keeping our children home and for sure there are many other moments that fill our day -sibling conflict, constant messes, sibling conflict, bad attitudes, sibling conflict but it is SO worthwhile and the days are fleeting firstborn is eight yrs old! Oh my! Where did it go?
This week has reminded me to let go a little more, to facilitate and guide the creative process and the learning will follow and to enjoy these beautiful little beings in all thier uniqueness. They are inspiring.

Here is a quote that I had underlined from the very first homeschooling book I read eight years ago:
The Successful Homeschooling Family Handbook by Dr Raymomd Moore & Dorothy Moore -
"The best early academics are your responses to your children - giving yourself to them in warm fellowship, conversation, travel; reading and telling stories with moral valus; working at home chores and cottage industries together; teaching them by example how to serve others (in the home and down the street); being alert to their highest motives and interests; and encouraging them to develop their own creative ideas in the sandpile, with kitchen dough, with a telescope, in a diary, and with tools in the garage and garden. The idea that parents should hurry reading, spelling, writing, or math ahead of children's normal development is not supported by a single replicable research study in the world or by any clinical experience in history. We repeat any who push the three Rs early deny the readiness factors the Creator built in - reasonably mature vision, hearing, taste, touch, smell, reason, brain growth, coordination . . . "

surrendered days ::3

Today was full of creative expression from the wee one putting her hands in the scone dough,squishing and tasting it to the 5 & 7 yo digging in the worm farm for worms and then drawing what they find. Creativity can take many forms and when there is a freedom to express it in individual ways hearts and minds flourish only becoming more motivated and inspired..its a joyous process to be apart of. Here are a few pieces of today-

Hot Rocks-a favourite activity around here.

Using herbs from the garden to make 'medicine'.

We enjoyed a yummy morning tea of Strawberry Shortcakes and Strawberry Shortcake and Roibos Tea with everyone helping in some form from cutting and mixing to rinsing and clearing.
It was a beautiful sunny day and the children spent a large part of it outside working together building an obstacle course.
Looking forward to tomorrow...

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

surrendered days ::2

Some of today- -collecting information on favourite animals -french toast with strawberries -hearing Japanese folk tale -making plaster -mosaic fun -washing guinea pigs and dreaming in the sun while they free range and dry off -moving and rummaging through compost bin (you know finding worms and lizards etc) -choosing fabric to make a bag -reading to self and listening to mumma read -playing Guess Who -spotting birds in the trees in our backyard. And plenty more...we spent a fair bit of today outside which always refreshes, energises and calms us.

Monday, July 28, 2008

surrendered days ::1

French Knitting-
Art journal:observational drawing-
making with tin and string-
After watching 'The Little Travelers Japan' 7yog wanted to send them a message regarding what they could find if they came to Australia-

Sunday, July 27, 2008

surrendered days

My friend Kerrie and I were talking about the learning that goes on when we're not in the way. When we let go of our lists and agendas and let the day unfold being facilitators of learning rather than dictators or 'teachers'. Another way to put it would be the 'accidental' rather than 'on-purpose' learning.
We choose to have our children at home because we believe that the home is the best atmosphere for learning. Within the context of family life our children can learn naturally and freely. Atmosphere and environment encourage our children to read, explore, create, observe and discover. There is a freedom to fail and not be judged but to gain from the experience. There is time to delve into one particular interest in a myriad of ways catering to learning styles.We can provide support and guidance because we know our child's strengths and struggles.
The desire to learn is innate within our children with a wonder and a curiosity regarding their world the possibilities for discovery are limitless.
So this week we are going to document in photo the learning that takes place naturally. We are going to surrender our own 'schoolishness' and allow the accidental learning to take precedence. A week of 'surrendered days'.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

a week is full of....

8yob teaching 1yog to be gentle
a gift from 7yog
5yob learning sounds and patience as little sister has to be up where the action is
holding this one so close and snuggly....and still
outside art (again with little sister in the action)

:: a week is full of dishes needing to be washed, floors needing to be swept, laundry, sorting out strops and whatnots, preparing meals, clearing surfaces high and low and countless other tasks that have to be done to maintain a somewhat ordered home.
:: a week is full of moments, oh so full of moments if we are open to see them. The moment where something is exchanged, a connection is made small or large. An idea is sown and a response given. A passion ignited and a project is birthed. A kindness is shown. A lesson learned. A heart is open and forgiveness received. These and countless other moments create the essence of what home is. Where the mundane is actually holy and eternally of value. Where the unfolding of lives is before us and we get to be apart of something quite miraculous.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

this has got me thinking..

check out this link-

SDO #2

A little bit of time for the mumma, a little bit more makin for the babes.
What has been so delightful and surprising to me has been how proud and happy the little ones are in seeing me create, despite the flaws. They are seeing that its worthwhile and enjoyable to create even when the outcome isn't perfect. And the list of 'will you make..?' is growing and I love that. Now to just organise myself some more makin mumma time...

Saturday, July 19, 2008

what I love

I absolutely LOVE children's drawings. The innocence, simplicity, wonder and truth of how children view life comes through and can speak to us if we are willing to listen. So today I wanted to share some recent drawings from the heart
of this home :

#1. This one from the little guy. He gave this after me asking him for a drawing (he says he can't draw so he never draws without being prompted)
.It's Mumma with some flowers.
# 2. When I first saw this one I assumed it was a Mumma & her baby but no it seems little 7yog has something else on the's a boy long neck and a girl long neck! Perhaps she's been listening to the Little Women CD one too many times.
#3.We've been reading Eragon. I wasn't sure whether this book would be too old but so far they love it and keep begging for another chapter.I have to admit I'm enjoying it myself. This picture was done during our reading by 7yog.
#4. After making 5yob a space boy from the WeeWonderful put together book and explaining that yes the robot would be coming soon, 8yob handed me this picture declaring this was how he wanted his robot to look.
There are so many more, I think I'll share regularly.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

'Never be inside when you could be outside.'

Fresh air and space to run , to shout, to be wild and crazy and not send Mumma wild and crazy. White chocolate & Raspberry muffins, scooters and bread for the ducks.

It may look as if 8yob is guarding the muffins from everyone but actually just the ducks.
"Take a photo Mumma!"
Not long after I had sweet #4 I was talking to a Homeschooling Mumma of 5 , perhaps I looked weary or perhaps she new what was to come but she reminded me that these years when the children are little is hard & tiring work and one of the best remedies for everyone is to get out of the house.To explore the parks, go to the museums, ride a ferry, bus or train. Take a drive and go somewhere new. Good advice.
Sometimes when your tired it can feel like too much effort to organise such an outing but actually it is so worthwhile. It really does clear the mind and feed the soul to get out among the elements not too mention give those bundles of energy space to run free .

'Never be inside when you could be outside. Spend most of the first six years of life outside. Be outside with children, perhaps take a picnic to the country; keep everyone in a good mood; leave the child alone most of the time; mother may train eyes, ears, and also plant seeds of truth within child; 1-2 hours of active, vigorous play; then a short lesson or two."
'..after they've played for a while, mother sends them off to see who can see the most. They come back and describe the scene in detail. This fun game trains observation, expression, and increases vocabulary.'
'Look well; shut your eyes and see the scene in your mind. If it's not at all blurry, look again. With eyes closed, tell all about the scene. Years later, the child will remember that view. We can have a picture gallery of all these mental paintings.'
Charlotte Mason

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

losing the way

Sometimes i feel like I'm standing outside of this life I'm living gazing in and wondering who the hell is that person?
Sometimes the voices in my head don't make any sense and I can't sift through the real, the felt and the just plain ugly.
Sometimes the distance between who I am and who I want to be is actually laughable to the point of tears.
Sometimes the who I was and the where I'm from comes back to slap me in the face.
Sometimes the bickering over rubbers, the battles over just about everything, the baby with her stool that gets her up to that which should be out of reach, the hitting, the fussing, the screaming, the "you cooked that cause you want me to die" causes something to snap and regret to make its home in this heart.
Sometimes the responsibility of raising these four beautiful beings weighs so heavy that I simply cave under it all.
Sometimes I feel like I'm pretending.
Sometimes I lose my way.

Lord please help me find you and find me...

Saturday, July 12, 2008

"It won't be the same without her"

says 7yog after saying goodbye to Meeka. We have been looking after a friends Border Collie for a few weeks and despite a few minor issues involving plenty of poo, and old sneaker and one less guinea pig it has been a wonderful experience particularly for the children.I am a firm believer in the benefits of children growing up with animals but on the dog front we are a little divided in this house.Matthew didn't grow up with pets so as an adult when we talk cat or dog the thing that comes to his mind is mess and money whereas me well lets just say growing up I had more friends of the furry kind than the talking kind.Despite this impasse we still have plenty of animal action around here whether it be domestic or the wilder variety.

being five

This past week the eldest two have been doing tai kwon do holiday day camp.They have made new friends, played group games and for the most part had a great week. This has meant I have had a little bit more time to be with the little guy our 5 yo and he has had a bit more space for himself. We've made things from clay, had a picnic at the park, splashed in puddles with friends , watched and talked TMNT (for those not in the know that is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles) and had plenty of cuddles and conversations on the lounge.This little guy is not as in my face as the eldest two and so it has been a joy to me to hear him and the things going on in his little 5yo heart such as:
# he would like to travel to the moon and sleep there because it would be so soft but on second thought it might be hard and actually God sits there and watches us.
# his favourite thing to do with 8yo brother is spy on 7yo sister.
# his favourite thing to do with 7yo sister is play puppies.
# his favourite thing to do with baby sister is to cuddle her.
# no where in the whole wide world is there a better mumma than his one.
# flowers picked by baby sister certainly DO NOT go inside his car and that makes him fairly grumpy.
# skateboarding is so cool.
# photo booth can keep one occupied for a surprising amount of time.

Sunday, July 6, 2008


Skyes Day Off that is.
So what do you do when you have a day without children?
Well clean the house of course.Just kidding actually more like chaos control that took a couple of hours.Then before the sweet ones get home escape to Bulimba to eat sushi and read,see two movies (yes there's a first) ,sit (again) at favourite bookshop and read to books end.Then come home with yummies to share whilst watching Lost series 4.
Just what my exhausted body and brain needed.I did feel like a big old lazy slob though .

Saturday, July 5, 2008

just a little bit of making..

new pants out of old t-shirt
crude dress for baby emily out of leftovers
miss buttons for 7yog.

and hopefully more to come.It's taken me a while to actually do something with this crazy need to make ,anything.Just to be able to finish & accomplish a task,to be able to hold something up & proclaim 'I made this!'I don't know why it is so satisfying perhaps its the immediate results and it helps that it is received with happiness .Regardless of why I'm looking forward to creating a little more makin time.