Counting our blessings and what to do during a heat wave.

We have had a very busy month. The children and I have been on a few excursions and we have enjoyed some much needed rest at home. One of our favourite outings was the Lego class with the QLD homeschooling group. My three made some lovely friends and really enjoyed an hour with other kids. I waited at a nearby cafe with the other mums feeling quite lonely without my monkeys. It felt like I had forgotten something. The class organisers didn't want parents in with the children so I couldn't get any decent photos of just my three.

Lily had her final performance with the Australian Girls Choir last week. Oh she was so beautiful and excited! She had a great time on stage and I could only just see her among the other performers. In 2015 she is being promoted to the next level and I would really love to see her continuing as she really looks forward to her weekly classes. I love hearing her singing around the house and sometimes she even teaches the other two new songs.

We had a public holiday here on Friday due to the G20 and the children were over the moon to have our favourite neighbours over for the day. It was a bit hot so we stayed cool in the air conditioned kitchen while playing with the last of the cartoon clay and a heap of straws. Really, who needs toys when you have an endless supply of sticky tape and straws? I helped them make some straw polyhedrons and then they made their own things.  They were all pretty happy to have a day off lessons but little do they know, I am recording everything and all activities are a part of their curriculum.  While the girls were playing with their friends, I was able to spend some time with The Boy. He was even gracious enough to let me take some photos of him while he played. He is a bit cute hey? He is also lots of fun to play with... something I should really do more often.

After the day off on Friday and Heath doing a Faulty Towers and hurting himself a few times,(nothing serious, just lots of bruising, a bit of skin off and lots more cursing) we decided to put the renovations on hold and do nothing all weekend. It was just what we needed - TV and junk food. The kids had a BALL needless to say and they commented a few times about how their parents were struggling to be responsible adults. We didn't argue because we got to watch some new kid movies with them. Heath enjoyed the new Tinkerbelle movie and even stayed awake through to the end. This is one of the first days we have done this with absolutely nothing planned and saying yes all day to pretty much everything the children asked. They really knew how to take advantage of an awesome 'treat day'.

Fun? Yep. Irresponsible to feed them junk food and watch TV for hours? Possibly. Memorable? You bet!

What do you do when it is 40+ degrees outside?
Gather small pieces of crayon and see which ones melt the fastest. These crayons were in the sun for a few hours and the children loved seeing how they made puddles of crayon. I have put the pieces away now and I think we can use them in a future work of art. 
Next we got out some food colouring and changed the colour of celery. It is possible I was more impressed by how the leaves turned blue, yellow and black. The green colouring made the leaves look even greener but for some reason the cochineal sample didn't change. It might have had something to do with the cut of the celery so next we do it I might just use red colouring.
While we had the food colouring out I showed them the principle of capillary action with walking water. The children made their predictions about what would happen with the empty cups and the look on their faces was pure awe as the coloured water 'walked' up the paper and down the other side, completely unaffected by gravity. We watched as the two colours mixed in the empty cups. After a few hours the action stopped as each of the cups reached the same level of liquid. 
Finally we found some old sheets and made a cubby house under the kitchen table. It was Sunday and a very long, hot day. We did our best not to get cranky from the heat during the very long, hot night. None of us got much sleep so Monday morning found us in front of fans and having another day off lessons.  It is ok though, as I know I can slip lessons in at any time and the children just think it is all play.
Friday was lessons on geometry (straw shapes), Saturday was a health and physical education lesson on why junk food, specifically McDonalds, is a treat food and certainly not something to eat regularly. They all knew that that kind of food would not only make you fat, it would not help you grow and it would blow the budget if we at it all the time. The last answer was from Zoe who is learning about budgeting when we go grocery shopping. Sunday we had science lessons - and they had no idea! Monday was a lesson in what happens to your body when you don't get enough sleep. That is probably a lesson I can really do without but it was good to talk to the children about how they were lethargic and unmotivated. There was a few arguments and a Lily meltdown and I am really hoping it is cooler tonight so we can all get some sleep!

Last week the girls decided to each write a story. Zoe says she wants to write one a week, alternating between fiction and non fiction. Her first story is about Milo the puppy and what happened when he found a baby bird. Both girls needed help with spelling but I am pretty impressed with their hand writing. The daily copywork is really paying off and proof practice is very important! Lily was far more concerned with her drawings but didn't mind doing a draft, have me mark it then writing a final version with even more drawings. Which is pretty cool as I needed some work samples for my report for the Home Education Unit. I received the report package last week and I am so glad we live in QLD. This state is one of the least restrictive (for now) for homeschoolers and I am confident that I can write a suitable report for 2014 and an education plan for 2015.

Yes, that does mean we are continuing our homeschool journey. We committed to this lifestyle for a year and that year is nearly up. None of us can imagine going back to our old life, the busy days filled with travel and stress to get to and from school and other activities. Our days are still busy, most of them, though our activities are lots of fun and of our choice. There is very little stress and a lot less yelling on my part. The children still bicker and fight and they still play together very well. They still share a bedroom and wake up to spend the day together, as a family. We are all used to this life and we all love it. We count our blessings every day.

The children are quite entertaining and I try hard to remember the really funny stuff they say. I really should have a note book nearby at all times because I forget most of the things they do and say that make us laugh!

Zoe - How many hairs are on my head?
Me - I am not sure. What do you think?
Zoe - I don't know. I will start counting them. One, two, three...
(a few minutes of counting later) ok a billion!!

Henry - How many boys are there in the world? As in male humans? 
Me - How would we find that out, mate?
Henry - In your computer?
(I don't actually know if he thinks the male humans are in my computer...)

(As I am putting the children to bed very late one night after having our friends over)
Me - Go to sleep now! It is past 10pm!
Lily - You are not trying very hard to be a responsible adult! It is way too late for our bed time!
Me - Shhhh!!!!