Friday, January 28, 2011

Second born child

Poor little A. It must be tough being the second born. Still, we all think it endlessly cute that his first response to any mention of food or anything else that sounds like it might be fun is "Me firtht!"

Monday, January 24, 2011

More "school"

Piano, violin, two sorting activities from BFSU and in the mail today came a phonics/writing workbook that M had requested "so I can read little words like you", so she did a page of that too. Currently M is painting the air drying clay that we modeled last week and A is throwing his crayons across the room and attempting to stick glitter on his picture. Should go and help him...

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Yes, really. Reading around here and there always searching for something that fits M's latest interest I came across Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding. Looked good, so I ordered it. Luckily it didn't take anywhere near as long as Amazon thought it would and I didn't have to wait until the 9th of February. It arrived a few days ago and yes, it actually is good. He quotes Alfie Kohn in the introduction so it has to be good right?
Anyway today we tried out the first activity. We found three big plastic containers and a bunch of stuff from the kitchen as well as a bounce-on ball (in lieu of a balloon). She enjoyed sorting them into "solids", "liquids", "gasses" so much that she then decided to sort all her animal toys into "insects", "mammals", "others" and then asked me to find her something else to sort. I found some puzzle and tangram pieces and she sorted them into "one sided", "three sided" and "four sided".
Much, much, much fun was had.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Dietary Inasanity

Not generally a fan of sudden changes in this area but I'm so frustrated by the awful and stubborn eczema that improved significantly after going gluten free but is none the less still here that I'm attempting a weeks of GAPS. Not the intro, just the full diet. Theoretically no coffee either but I don't think it's fair to subject the littles to the withdrawal. I'll save that for a day when P is around to protect them. Never the less it's after one pm and I haven't had my second coffee yet. Maybe after lunch (pumpkin soup with homemade beef broth). Wish me luck.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Unschool Monday

Or is it?
Of late we've embraced quite a bit more of what looks like "structured academics". This is not in the interests of pushing any kind of educational agenda but rather in the interests of maintaing household peace. Put quite simply, ms 4.5 thrives on the kind of one on one attention provided by workbooks, reading aloud practice etc etc etc. She also seems to really enjoy being told what to do, as long as she has a certain element of choice. So not "it's time for maths now" but "would you like to paint a picture or do some [cuisenaire] rod activities?" . Maybe it's not technically unschooling but my wonderfully calm little girl who has gone to bed every night this week telling me "I didn't get upset at all!" tells me it is meeting her needs for now and that is far more important than getting stuck in any dogma no matter how radical.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


P made his second batch of Cloud Garden raspberry jam today (although apparently the Cloud Garden has changed it's name, I'm not sure what to - I couldn't read the handwriting) after a very productive picking session with some visitors from Sydney.
The children weren't so pleased about the trip to the garden today - although they both enjoyed a duck & chicken hunting expedition. It ended up being rather fun for them though, when we were leaving V & S's ute got mightily, inextricably bogged. This necessitated a trip to the owner's house, a ride back to the ute in the back of the owner's 4WD ute and joy of all joys, a chance to sit on the tractor for each of them. The ease with which that old tractor pulled the ute out of the mud and up the hill was almost comical, it might as well have been pulling a feather. V took pictures of M on the tractor pretending she was the one who pulled them out of the mud. I hope she emails them.
That's all folks. Raspberry jam on fresh sourdough for breakfast for them and on left-over gluten-free kefir pancakes for me.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Child the larger likes to insist that we eat pancakes on Friday because they are fried and that it must be windy on "Windsday". Well it wasn't windy today but there was a lot of thunder. Very loud thunder! Recipe for disaster around here. Or at least a recipe for a catatonic older child.
Despite the conditions however we had a lovely day. Our days are becoming much more structured, well our home days at least. Offering more structured academics seems to be helping everyone in the family to get their needs met. CTE (child the elder) and I chatted about "school" and decided that for January everyday at lunch I will tell her three suggested activities and she will choose one to be completed at her leisure but preferably before dinner. Funnily I had trouble on the first day because she had already done all the things I was thinking about suggesting.