Family, Health, Home Schooling, My Daybook, Uncategorized

My Daybook – May

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW I SEE…the three younger kids playing soccer together.

I AM GIVING THANKS….that my trip to Melbourne for treatment for Jay went well and he now has more good days than sick days.

I AM PRAYING FOR……..sick family members, and friends that need extra prayers.

I AM LISTENING TO…laughter. Beth, Zac and Dami get on really well. Their morning tea play is often some imaginary game, playing on the swing set, or today it’s playing soccer. I love that even though they are ages 10, 8 and 4, the age difference never seems to matter.

I AM THINKING ABOUT….how to add some ‘spark’ into our homeschool routine. While we have been dealing with illness for so long, it has been survival mode here (as can be seen from the lack of blog posts). I want some enthusiasm back in our homeschool again. Maybe the up and coming Australian Homeschool Summit will help with that!

I AM LEARNING….about St Pope John Paul.  What an amazing saint.

IN THE SCHOOLROOM….we are desperately trying to catch up on maths. Most subjects can spill over into the next years work. But maths I like to finish the book in one year. After being away for 2 1/2 weeks, we are very behind.

Also, the younger kids and I are enjoying our Magic School Bus packs. They arrive once a month and have everything in there for each experiment. The kids write up each experiment and draw a picture from it.

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COOKING IN THE KITCHEN….on a keto diet we eat lots of fat. Butter, coconut oil, fermented coconut cream….yum. I am always after ways to change it up for the kids to keep it interesting. The latest are what we call ‘fat bombs’. Butter, cacao butter, cinnamon, mac powder. Yum! Jay can also now have bulletproof decaf coffee. It is by far the best part of his day.

And as always, I am always fermenting!

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IN THE MORNING BASKET…there is nothing! It needs refreshing and reorganising. Any ideas?

IN THE GARDEN… we are still trying to finish off the fence. Now that the weather is a lot cooler and the snakes are not a threat, the kids can go off into the bush to play! Hopefully we can get in some nature walks soon.

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The kids are enjoying playing in the ‘sandpit’ (a pile of sand on the ground 🙂 )

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We also enjoyed hiring a cherry picker to cut off some really high branches on our favourite tree. All the kids enjoyed a ride!

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I NEVER WANT TO FORGET….all the lessons I have learnt with Jay being sick. I know what it is like to have a chronically ill child. It is stressful, tiring and downright hard. Whilst travelling to Melbourne I often thought about the poor parents who might need to take their dying children to doctors far away to try and heal them. Honestly, there were times when we thought that the doctor might even tell us that Jay had cancer. That was scary.  We are so blessed to be able to heal Jay, there are many parents who cannot fix their child. My heart aches for them, I now have a glimpse of what it might be like to be them. I pray that they may have the strength to face each day. One day at a time.

 

In between all the treatments we did manage some fun adventure. Some highlights from our trip;

His 1st meal out in 12 months – an awesome cafe personalised Jay’s meal for him.

A happy boy after shopping at some factory outlets

1st footie match with his uncle

 

Family, Home Schooling, My Daybook, Uncategorized

My Daybook – February

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW I SEE…a beautiful overcast day. I can also see some gorgeous new shoots on the rose bushes. If the parrots don’t get to them, I should be able to pick some soon to bring inside.

I AM GIVING THANKS….that Jay was feeling much better than usual yesterday and he was able to enjoy his birthday.

I AM PRAYING FOR……..Jay – that his up and coming medical treatment interstate will fix his health and he can lead a normal life again!

I AM LISTENING TO…a very quiet house!!! Only one of the big kids are up so it is very quiet. I can hear many different birds chirping outside.

I AM THINKING ABOUT….how I haven’t posted ANYTHING in so long. I really want to get back into it again. I like to blog so I can document our days and have something to look back on. Hopefully I can start up again.

I AM LEARNING….more and more about the bible. This year for Religion we are focusing on the bible. Not that we don’t already know how to read it, but this year we are using lots of resources to come to love and understand scripture more deeply and to understand the timeline from Adam and Eve right to Jesus.

I AM CREATING….lists, lists and more lists. I will be in Melbourne for 2 1/2 weeks with Jay. Our GAPs diet will have to continue at home, and so will school work. The kids will need to know what to do while we are gone.

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IN THE SCHOOLROOM….there is plenty going on. I will have to do a separate post all on our chosen curriculums for this year. Dami is in Kindy this year. Although I prefer learning at this age to be completely natural, there are days where he wants to be like the big kids. Sometimes we enjoy a cup of tea together while he is doing his ‘Kindy’ work.

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How are we supposed to do school with this little guy peering in the window?!!

 

COOKING IN THE KITCHEN….last night was a no dairy, no sugar, peppermint ice-cream for Jay’s 15th birthday. It was delicious!!

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IN THE MORNING BASKET…we are listening to Peter Nimble and his Fantastic Eyes and we are learning the poem My Country.

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IN THE GARDEN…we are fencing in the property so our new puppy won’t escape! We needed to cut down a few trees to be able to put the fence in. The logs became a good table and chairs.

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I NEVER WANT TO FORGET….a cute little moment from Jay’s birthday yesterday….Dami spent the morning bringing ‘presents’ to Jay from the playroom. He gave away his Octonaught toys, his keyboard, a backpack and some toy cars. When he was off to bed that night he also gave Jay his teddies. It was a very serious activity, he was adamant that Jay was not to give them back.

The kids enjoyed a trip on their Poppy's sail boat. The boat literally rocked Dami off to sleep!
The kids enjoyed a trip on their Poppy’s sail boat. The boat literally rocked Dami off to sleep!
Family, Health, Home Schooling, My Daybook, Uncategorized

My Daybook – November

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW I SEE….Beth and Dami playing together. That 3 year old is one lucky kid! He adores his older siblings and they are so good to him.

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I AM GIVING THANKS….. for this beautiful weather at the moment. I can’t get enough of being outside.

I AM PRAYING FOR……..family members who are ill. My Nana, who is 93, has been struggling with her health lately. She never ceases to amaze me with how switched on she is though. When you go visit her in the nursing home she gives you a running commentary  of all the old folk whose poor minds have been lost to them long ago. I think her good brain health is due to her never having her drivers licence so she would walk and take public transport everywhere.

I AM LISTENING TO…the sound of the basketball hitting the driveway – the two big boys are really enjoying shooting hoops together at the moment. They are out there at any chance they get. I can also hear the laughter from Beth and Dami.

I AM THINKING ABOUT….next year! I know it seems like a long way off but now is the time to order books.

I AM LEARNING….as always, I seem to being learning about the gut. I have loved reading ‘Brain Maker’ and now I am reading Pete Evans ‘The Complete Gut Health Cookbook’.

I AM CREATING….neat and tidy bookshelves. Not very exciting – or creative! I needed to give our playroom/schoolroom a makeover. There is still plenty of work to be done…my house looks like a bomb has gone off in it. I hate it how things always get worse before they get better 🙂

IN THE SCHOOLROOM….we are taking it very easy this term. We have enjoyed plenty of excursions, and the kids are planning their own days. All the kids know what needs to be done to finish the school year so as soon as one subject is finished, then they have less work to do. Beth, Zac and Dami are creating pretend food for their Cafe. They have finished their maths, spelling, religion and geography for the year.

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Our Zoo Excursion

COOKING IN THE KITCHEN….as always… our GAPs food and plenty of ferments.

IN THE MORNING BASKET…we are using the Baltimore Catechism each morning. I read from the text then choose one question for the kids to write in their notebooks. It has lead to many an interesting conversions about many parts of our faith.

We are also doing a fair bit of picture study. I’ll keep my method for another post, but it has been a lovely addition to the morning.

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Our morning basket time. Dami is fully dressed for the day but insisted on wearing his dressing gown.

I NEVER WANT TO FORGET….what a blessing it is to be a mother. Every day has its challenges, but also its blessings. I can choose to dwell on the bad, or I can try to see the blessings in each day. Sometimes it is as simple as a walk among the roses, or a cuddle from the three year old.

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This rose was picked and given to me 🙂

I don’t want to wish this time away because I know that in the blink of an eye they will be all grown up and left home.

Australian Curriculum, Family, Health, Home Schooling, Parenting, Uncategorized

The Perfect Homeschool? – or Not!

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It’s planning time again! It feels like only yesterday that I was planning for 2016, and here I am again thinking about what books I need to buy for next year. I was thinking the other day, for the first time since I started homeschooling 10 years ago I am not excited for the next school year. Planning and organising is my passion, so why no enthusiasm?

It took me a while to work it out, but I think it is because I feel that this year was a total flop. So many curriculums which I planned on using, just didn’t happen. Life threw me a curve ball. Term one was three broken bones in the family. Then term 2 we began our huge detox as a family.

Little did I know back then that we would go into survival mode.

Little did I know that Jay would spend most of his days unable to move off the couch. His detox was so debilitating that school was not a priority….his healing was our focus. So one by one, each subject got put completely on the back burner. Our daily plan become this;

Having a good day? Then get as much school work done as you can.

Having an average day? Then do maths and english.

Having a bad day? Then do your easy online subjects (religion, geography) and your textbooks which you can just read (science, history) –  we ditched anything that involved writing for these subjects.

Having a terrible day? Watch documentaries, listen to audio books, rest and relax. Just try to get outside for a small walk and some vitamin D. Even if you have to crawl out there….just get yourself outside.

 

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Soaking up some vitamin D, and some brotherly love.

I was so worried when it was time for our moderator to come (in Western Australia we have a person come out from the Education department to see how our homeschooling is going). Jay said to me, “Mum, I have nothing to put in my portfolio!” After having a little panic, I realised that although we had no concrete proof of learning, I know that he has still been learning and expanding his mind.

I decided to look at each individual subject and list every book that he has read. We also noted down all the tests he has had and what he learnt from them (DNA tests, bacteria tests). He has also learnt a huge amount about the body and how it functions. He is even now thinking when he finished school he would like to be a chiropractor and functional doctor.

So this year was not a waste. His portfolio still looked great, even though it was very different to each of his past 8 years portfolios.

So while I sit here sifting through curriculums, talking to the kids about what their interests are for next year, and thinking about what worked and didn’t work this year, I have to keep in mind that you never know what another year will bring. What challenges will you face? How will your goals and plans change? As I have done for the last ten years, I will search for curriculum that meet the needs of my kids but I will be prepared to change whatever I must as life always takes us in directions which we cannot control.

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The path is long….and hard

What never changes though is the fact that God is by our side. With the help of Mary our mother, the angels and saints we will continue to strive to do our best and even though we fail many times we pick ourselves up and keep trying. Will we ever have the perfect homeschool? No, but we will continue to do our best and that is what we are expected to do.

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My biggest achievement this year, climbing Bluff Knoll

 

Australian Curriculum, Faith, Family, Home Schooling, My Daybook, Uncategorized

My Daybook – September

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW I SEE….a beautiful spring morning..it is truly magnificent!

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My morning walk, down the back of our block.

I AM GIVING THANKS….. that the term is nearly at an end. Holidays are in sight and we are taking time out to go down south for a week – I can’t wait!

I AM PRAYING FOR……..a dear friend’s children who have been in a car accident.  And I am praising God that they miraculously came out ok.

I AM LISTENING TO….Zac cooking an omelette for his breakfast. At 8 years old he is quite a whizz in the kitchen….he makes awesome omelettes and scrambled eggs.

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I AM THINKING ABOUT….how to add more steps into my day. I bought a fitbit for my birthday with some vouchers that I had. I am so pleased that I got one, it is really helping me to get more steps into my day. Hopefully I am going to be fit enough to climb Bluff Knoll in a few weeks!

I AM LEARNING….all about the gut. I am reading and enjoying ‘Gut‘. The big boys are also reading it. I love that they are learning so much about their body at such a young age.

I AM READING…. I have a number of books on the go right now. ‘Anne of Green Gables’, ‘A Story Formed Life‘ ‘Gut’ and ‘Brain Maker‘.

I AM CREATING….checklists to show my homeschool moderator. I know any day now she will call and make an appointment to come and see me, and I want to be prepared!

IN THE SCHOOLROOM….we are enjoying our world war one studies. I have been using Bloom’s Taxonomy with the kids lately and it has really enhanced our homeschool experience. Here is a good post explaining how to use it in your homeschool.

We have also just finished ‘On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness’. It was such a fun read-aloud we didn’t want it to end! Now I have to decide on the next family read-aloud. Any suggestions?

COOKING IN THE KITCHEN….as always… our GAPs food and plenty of ferments.

IN THE MORNING BASKET…a new read aloud! I don’t know what yet. We are also learning about Handel by listening to these. Maestro Classics is a wonderful site for teaching the kids more about Classical music. They also have downloads to integrate into other learning areas.

I NEVER WANT TO FORGET….How much fun it is playing games with the kids. We have plans to spend most Saturday nights playing games. Last games night I played Labyrinth with the younger kids and then once they were in bed Paul and I played Dominion with the big boys. Our games cupboard is quite extensive as I buy the kids a new game every Christmas. One of my most treasured childhood memories is playing games with my sister. We still reminisce  about the games we used to play. My kids still play the exact games now, in fact Labyrinth is from my younger days. I can’t wait to play games again with you one day my lovely sister!

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The fire after it had burnt down a fair bit

 

We had an awesome bonfire on Saturday night. The kids had a ball riding the motorbike and playing tag with friends in the dark. They also played ‘King of the Castle’ on a huge pile of dirt. The aim was to stay at the top of the dirt pile as long as you could – all the other kids would try and pull you down. As you can imagine, they were all filthy and black by the end of the night – I wish I had a photo of that!

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The dirt pile…it looks bigger in real life!

PLANNING FOR THE WEEK AHEAD…organising costumes for our drama concert and trying to finish off subjects for the term.

Family, Home Schooling, Uncategorized

Drop School, It’s Tulip Time!

Sometimes you just need to drop everything and go and spend some time in nature. When there is a tulip festival on, how can you possibly resist? We skipped school this morning to go and visit the very beautiful Araluen. Every year, at this time, Araluen is in its finest. People flock from near and far to feast their eyes on the beautiful tulips that fill the grounds.

We set off early this morning, trying to beat the crowds.

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We spent time admiring the flowers, waterfalls and wildflowers.

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The kids climbed rocks, and explored hidden areas in the bushes.

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While Beth and Dami did some nature journaling…

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the other boys went on a bush walk.

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We enjoyed morning tea (yummy fermented apples and kefir) and then the kids decided it was ‘stacks on’ Dom!

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When we got home we had lunch then spent the afternoon reading about the parts of a flower and drawing and labelling our flowers. Of course the younger kids just drew and labelled whereas the older boys had to write definitions as well.

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It’s funny after such a beautiful spring morning, it is now raining. As we sit and drink tea and some kids continue to draw more flowers, I am so grateful for homeschooling. These are the days that I want to remember forever.