Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Winter

It's been a very long time since I've posted to any of the blogs so you would think I'd have lots to share, wouldn't you? Well, I'm sorry to disappoint you, and I don't know if winter has anything to do with my brain-dead ability to compose a posting, but I am honestly struggling to think of anything. However, I shall give it a stab and see what I can come up with ...

I'd like to begin by saying we have a very happy household even with the cold, wet and windy weather. I wish I could express to you the joy and love we have been sharing as a family since June 07. My corny way of describing it is like blowing up a balloon. The more love we put into it, the more the balloon fills and we are enveloped within this bubble of happiness. I give thanks practically on a daily basis for daddy being forced out of self-employment. And although we are still financially strapped, I am proud to remember how our family stuck together through one of the worst experiences life could throw at us.

So although we can't afford to do a lot of activities [yet] we can at least know that one day we will be able to. One exciting event will be receiving the first half of this year's homeschooling money. At the moment I haven't earmarked it for anything in particular, so it will be interesting to see what we decide to use it for. Actually, I know I'll use a portion of it to buy the children's next level of MUS. DS1 and DD1 would've finished Alpha & Primer already, but due to my extramural studies, we didn't achieve the same volume of work on some occasions, but it's exciting to think they've only a few lessons each left to do.

Let's move into the children's efforts. Their artwork is improving daily and I have actually found it difficult to upload only a portion of DS1's work to his blog. Why don't I add everything? Simple ... time-consuming!!!! I am at least trying to hold on to all of his work, but try to put something to his blog so his extended family can keep up with things.

DS1 is improving all the time. His handwriting/copywriting are all going well. We use the Kiwi Conservation Club material whenever that's here which he also finds ideas for drawing. Recently we started a project on volcanoes and thanks to Uncle Warrick spending some time with them the other week, they managed to locate rhyolite, obsidian, scoria and pumice around home so that will go towards the project also. Reading is a constant, whether he's grabbing a book for himself, or to read to the other children, and it's not unusual for him to be reading till 9.30 at night. He's like me, once the other children are asleep, we grab our books and get reading. And questions! Don't forget the 101 questions asked every day. "What does such-and-such mean?"

What about DD1? Well, I have felt quite guilty for the past couple of months when I look at her. Why is that, you ask? Because of my own selfish studying needs, I think I have been doing her quite an injustice by not spending as much time as I feel I should be. I can be completely honest and say that I'd like to race this posting through as quickly as possible today because I desperately want to get back to teaching her to read. It's been quite frustrating for me, because I wish I could remember how I taught DS1 to read. Okay, okay, I've told everybody that he basically taught himself, but hey, I'm allowed to take some credit and say that I at least got him to some kind of level before he blossomed on his own!!! DD1 definitely is a different kettle of fish though. You no sooner feel like you've made progress when suddenly she's forgotten what we just learned two words prior. But, she's getting the hang of it, and that's all I need remind myself ... they will all pick things up at their own pace. Her handwriting has really improved beautifully so that's a total bonus. She loves and does well with MUS. I can hardly wait to challenge her with Alpha soon. She has her own little way of showing her excitement that she can see she's drawing close to the end of Primer and asks about Alpha. How exciting for her ... and me!

DS2 sits up and does what he can. He may not be speaking still, but he knows his numbers and recognises a lot of letters. He's been delightful at the table when we're all working and it's been wonderful to witness him playing "school" with his older siblings. They sit down with DS1 acting as teacher. He assigns work for the other two and they dutifully follow his instructions. So although I may be busy with babies, DS1 steps in and takes over. Last night we were all clapping for DS2's achievements of saying (in his own way) what the answers were. We can understand he's saying the word ... he just chooses not to say things correctly/in full/clearly. He loves when the MUS Decimal Street and blocks come out, so that's definitely another positive.

I'll finish off now because I have lunch to prepare, and I'd like to enjoy the day with the children instead of sitting at the computer. The rain has finally ceased (after 3-4 days) and we have a beautifully sunny winter's day to get out there and enjoy. Before I finish off however, I think I'll add a story DS1 just wrote this morning while I sat here on the computer.


So, I hope this posting finds you all well and enjoying your homeschooling journeys. What I may consider as little accomplishments sometimes, are always treasures in their own right. Proof is in the pudding as they say because here I was at the beginning of the post thinking I wouldn't be able to share anything in particular - yet here I am about to close off and can honestly say, we're doing great things! And most of all, we are happy, healthy and learning as a family.

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano
Maree