30 October 2013

Consolidation

Some of you know I have  been trying to (unsuccessfully) manage another blog 'The Informal Educator' which was supposed to chronicle our school journey as well as serve as a 'resource hub' for other people interested in alternative education.

Here is the thing.

I don't have time to to that and I realized I am doing all this work for what? For who? 

 Nee jislaaik - I would rather take that time to read a book, have a swim, play with the dog or just veg out!  I seem to have this default 'share' button in my brain that I really need to switch off. Nobody really needs all my sharing! :-)

Back to home-base it is. Consolidate all news and life-happenings right here in this space.

School is going well; the girls are enjoying it. I am very surprised that Rachel is so settled and apparently not missing the social hubbub of school life. Our relationship has only become more solid; she is definitely taking on responsibilities at home with less prodding from me.

I am challenged daily with this new model of life but perspective is a beautiful thing and I regularly remind myself WHY I am doing this and that it isn't necessarily forever. Ironically (and miraculously) this makes every day seem sweeter. My challenge often lies in choosing what I teach; not in how I teach - there is so much information out there. I follow an eclectic curriculum that I have constructed taking the best bits from numerous sources. It is working well.

I have ten days until my 21km trail race in Cape Point. I am not very well prepared for it but am looking forward to lacing up and just enjoying the scenery with Russ and a few other friends. I am road running regularly but getting to the trails is very difficult these days- I really need to focus on a plan to Make It Happen.

I am in denial about Honey (our golden dog) - I think her back legs (or hips) are starting to give in. I noticed this yesterday but was hoping I was wrong. Today I can't help but see she is somewhat unsteady on occasions. I am taking her to the vet this afternoon; am dreading bad news as she has always been my constant trail-buddy.

The crazy daschund, Charly, still continues to delight us daily - she is in the 'chew and destroy' phase but thankfully seems to avoid anything we hold dear and aims at sticks, plastic cups, old balls, stray socks and pegs!

My niece is coming to live with us until mid-Dec. Certainly going to crank up the energy in this house so I think I will put her skills to good use! (driving, shopping, cooking!) As an only child she is about to experience the complete chaos that exists in our lives - thankfully she is excited about that - long may it last! ;-)


23 October 2013

Photo post


A quick look into the last week or so.


Waking up to this kind of day makes mornings far more appealing

Our all time favourite hang-out The Red Couch

Outing on The Jolly Roger pirate boat - rough seas (which you cant see in this pic!)

Faith still has close bonds with her classmates! 

Hard at work.

Levi Warrior Brown

Loving our new outdoor space

Bliss - bring on summer

Thanks Jo! 

The 'soon-to-be' daybed. Where we do tea and reading every morning
Faith got to play stylist for her friend recently

Scenes for The Colour Run

A little blurry colorful me

Making colorful, happy memories

Seeing her 'play' is such a special thing - she now has the time to indulge her imagination again

Chilling with my lad

I still prioritize my own time - no compromise.

15 October 2013

Bi-Monthly Update

It seems I only get to update a couple of times a month - not ideal but better than nothing. Once upon a time I enjoyed writing my blog and spent time actually formulating a readable post but nowadays I throw thought-bombs onto a page in the vain hope that I will remember all the details one day in the future.

Rachel is now being schooled at home alongside Faith. While I had envisaged this all along the gravity of the decision is still weighing on me. There are nights I lie awake wondering exactly what the hell I am doing. Ultimately I know it will all be okay - I have many women ahead of me who are schooling high school kids and they keep me grounded in times when my panic can overwhelm me. I also know that I can do this - I am passionate about teaching and learning and opening up the world to them.

Both girls love structure, which I have learnt can be a swear word in homeschool circles,  then again we are not the norm in this culture. I do feel that structure serves us well and we all feel better for it. The girls are ready for the day by 0815 and we aim at being finished anywhere between 11 and 12. Anything beyond that is flexible and optional.

I spend many more hours prepping for the week now that Rachel is home - I have had to really 'lock-down' on internet research as the rabbit trails can devour my time and attention.   Last week we had zero connectivity and I found I could school the kids WITH EASE just with the resources I had on my shelves; this was a breath of fresh air.

I am running more frequently again; the Cape Point half marathon is approaching steadily. This is not a timed race so am not to phased about it. This weekend is Cape Town's first Colour Run and we are all excited about it!

Russ has been spending many more days in Joburg exploring opportunities and meeting clients. I have dubbed her (jhb) The Evil Temptress Biatch as she drags my man away far too often. ;-)

I will have to do a photo post soon as there are so many epic little tales to be told alongside these images.

For now I need to get on and do some marking!

07 October 2013

New Opportunity


Honey is home. Today is her first official day.





I have given much thought to how to play out this last term and due to her nature I have decided to spend most of it 'unschooling' her.

Her idea of homeschool is School At Home. She wants us to emulate school traditions and processes at home. We have had a few discussions about how it is going to be NOTHING like that and I do think she has some anxiety about how this new life will play out.

She is extremely academic and has thrived at school. Leaving for her was not a quick, knee-jerk response. It was a journey which I will ask her to share with you at some stage. Needless to say she has to learn to trust the process and trust me. Trust that I will get her where she needs to go (and further) and this may take some time.

Today we make collages and beginning a 'visioning' exercise. In these boards
they place anything that resonates with them around homeschool. A little window
for me into their dreams, fears and expectations.

We have agreed there will be no threats from either of us for this term (I wanna go back to school / I will send you back to school!) and that we will spend time re-looking at what learning and education really means to us. We will turn things upside down and back to front - like going to the beach or mountains all morning and come back and do school at 3pm.



Paradigms need to be shifted. Not just for her but for all of us. We also need to settle into the routine of being 3. It is a large adjustment for me to move from schooling one child to two and it does not escape me that next year it will probably be three!

05 October 2013

And then there were TWO!


Yesterday was my eldest daughters last day of formal schooling. Yes, it has finally come to pass.

I had no intention of ever schooling my other kids when I took Lulu out in May. I had specific reasons for taking her out that did not apply to my other two kids however as time has gone by my thoughts have changed drastically about home education.

I am now in a place (and have been for about 2 months) where I really would like ALL my kids at home. The thought of taking them through their entire school career no longer daunts me. While I have fears and insecurities, like any parent, I am confident that I can provide a home  education of a very high standard.

I have had to WAIT for the right timing. I did not want to take Honey (Grade 6) out of school until she was ready. Initially the thought of homeschool was abhorrent to her; she could think of nothing worse. Slowly but surely little things have changed - I do believe it has been a journey for her - and she is so ready to try this adventure.

It seems just crazy to people as there are only 7 weeks of school left - why not wait until next year to take her out? I asked myself that question and all I came up with was WHY WAIT? There seemed no good reason to wait at all. So I didn't. :-)

Again, I have to say the school have been amazing. They support us fully; have provided me with the full terms worksheets/curriculum for use. This may be useful if she decides to return to Grade 7 in the new year - at least I have all the material and can catch her up. (worst case scenario!)

I have high hopes that my lad will join us next year, but that will be a post all on its' own!

01 October 2013

Scenes from a StayCation

While our holiday in Mykonos was lovely I have to say our little stay-cation at my folks this weekend proved to be equally appealing!

An impromptu sleepover on Friday night turned into a lovely long weekend at the 'House with a View' and it was just what my tired, ailing family needed. 

Granny and Oupa offered lots of TLC to the little outjie who was still suffering and by the time we returned home on the Monday he was well on his way to his usual sprightly self.

This here Mom (ie me) also received some serious TLC in ways only another mother would understand - Thanks Ma!

Levi's poker chips provided HOURS of quiet, indoor entertainment. All kinds of games were invented.

Oupa teaching Levi some poker plays

Sick lad and tired, worried mommy.

On Sunday the sun came out and we lapped it up - our long lost friend!

Seeing Levi climbing and excited made me very happy!

Ice-creams of the catwalk and sun on our skins

Love these people

Monday was almost warm enough to tempt us into the water. Almost.

*happiness* Enough energy to play soccer with Oupa

This was a weekend to remember - and we have all agreed it needs to be a more regular occurence. Lucky us - we have McGregor and The House with A View to which we can escape and enjoy magical family times. :-)