Friday, March 24, 2017

Beach weather

Our first few weeks of planned work have been busy and interesting.  Since the weather has been up and down and all over the place this Summer, we ended up with a cool start to our term time, and then a burst of heat.  So we took it easy again for a bit and spent a bit of time around the river and down the beach.

South Cottesloe beach

Swan River

Outside the WA Maritime museum, after visiting the Travellers and Traders exhibit.  (We were watching a container ship leave the port).

We have an old flute, that is not worth spending money on to repair, so Arden and Irving and I been doing some online study to clean and repair it ourselves.  I

Gabriel, Arden and Irving and I headed to the aviation museum for a tour last week.

I finished making Irving a bag (mostly out of scraps)...Arden is still working on his cushion.

Arden and I have been working on drawing some celtic knots.

Modelling on our balcony.

Our current reading and reciting.  Arden is learning he first section of Sigurd and Gudrun.  Willow and Gabriel learnt the epic Voluspo, but Arden was keen to do Tolkien's version.

Arden and my modelling.  I did Odin as Vegtam the wanderer, before he gave his right eye to Mimir.   Arden modelled Thor, with Miolnir, his hammer.

Arden's and my sketches of Odin, and Arden's rune work.

My picture of Frigga.

Arden's sketch of Frigga as a Falcon.

Gabriel has been working on creative writing, and is looking at planning a time line for his history studies this term before moving onto writing an essay on WW2. He's also reading "Lord of the Rings" as his English text for this term.  We're gradually working on some holes in his spelling, and he seems to be improving nicely, we're complimenting the spelling sessions, with some kinesiology,  using "Switch on your Brain." He's planning all his time for study this year, so it's challenging now that it's quieter around here to remember to leave him to it!  Since Willow's off at WAAPA and Irving is a bit more grown up, I'm noticing when he's not working (and tending to think that he should be!) and am reminding myself that he's got to work out how to manage his own schedule.  It was much easier to let Willow just get on with it, as I was also busy with the younger three, and Irving was much smaller.

Otherwise I've been getting a little sewing done, and of course cooking.  Arden in particular has taken to having his own cooking night, and is planning his night, in advance with Damien.  He made us pasties this week.  Arden and Gabriel are also very keen to eat chillis.  So I've made them some chilli butter this week.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Week One

We started our at home learning this week, sadly not missing the worst of the heat (might have to re-evaluate this for other years, where the Jan/ Feb season is mild...) and so far have had a pleasant start, though none of us are keen on humidity so yesterday was a bit ordinary.

Arden and I are reading Norse myths by Padraic Collum and doing a study of runes and some celtic knots right now.  We' re continuing to use a dip pen for writing, and Irving has been loving trying out the dip pen too.

We've also started onto some embroidery for craft.  Arden enjoyed hand sewing last year, and although he's quite good at knitting, he isn't very keen on it so far.  (We still have a cushion decoration pattern to finish from our wool spinning last year.  :/ )  We've watched a few youtube videos on embroidery, and have made a start on making him a cushion for his bed.  His plan is to embroider snakes, stars and his name on it.  He has drawn his design onto his pillow and sewn his name so far using Holbein stitch (an up and back running stitch).

This weeks sewing; Arden's embroidery, pink and spider bag for Irving, green bag for me.

Start of Irving's embroidery up close.

Received a pile of vintage ricrac off ebay!  Love that it's all cotton, and almost none is synthetic!

We have a very eclectic taste in clothes around back to DH and my days in the alternative scene in Adelaide, and this has continued as a family trait now that we home educate.  So on that theme Arden was very pleased to receive these floral sneakers (we bought online, and they use Korean sizing, which turns out is not the same as the EU sizing it appears to use) which were for Willow, but were far too small for her.

We tend to think that it's important for young people to be able to wear the things that they like without judgement.  It seems to DH and I that many kids feel that they are "wrong" as boys or girls, because they've been told (from a very young age) what girls and boys are "allowed" to be (by parents, teachers, advertising, television, film, computer games,etc) and then this confuses them about who they are.  "I must be a girl if I like dresses...",  "I must be a boy if I hate dresses and I hate pink....".  This is social conditioning in its worst form IMO.  Parents need to defer judgement, and support their kids to try things, without passing judgement on what their child likes or dislikes.  The child's likes or dislikes are not what makes them a boy or a girl, it just makes them human, and a person needing acceptance and love.  If we could all choose to accept each others tastes in superficial aspects such as appearance, I think we would find many more creative and happy people and children in the world.

Gabriel has been getting into managing his own timetable this year, and without Willow around, as she started at WAAPA this week (the earlier two weeks were orientation) it has been quite quiet whilst we are working, and I feel a little like I have a bit too much time to be aware of what he's doing!  So I'm attempting to make a concerted effort to be disinterested.  We've written him a vague outline, and I really want to get in the habit of having a weekly discussion of where he's at.  Probably at this stage, I will head towards a daily review building towards weekly.

Willow has been finding institutional learning interesting after a decade out of the system.  There's aspects of it that she is loving, and aspects that are a bit challenging (mostly social related so far).  I think she's enjoy the out and about aspect of it, despite the social challenges (giggly girls, immature behaviour,etc).

A few highlights from the end of our break!

Tower of books by Arden!

Irving doing some photography through the screen door.

Reading together.

We also got to a couple of shows in PIAF, and PIAF's opening.  Damien took the older three to see the Wintergarden, and I took them to see O A Lang Pho.  Everyone particularly loved the second one, which was a Vietnamese circus, and Willow came out saying that, that is the sort of circus that she would prefer to do.  The Wintergarden got mixed reviews from the family, but was generally considered acceptable.