We have had a few ups and downs this month though I think (hope!) we have turned a corner. The girls have been giving me a hard time about their school work and refusing to do very much. So I asked them what exactly did they want to do. They each chose a few tasks they promised to do every day. It was something I had not thought of before (or I would have done it!) and so far it seems to have worked. This morning they were all up and doing their chores for the day and I only had to gently remind them of our deal. Zoe said she wanted to do only two sections from her maths workbook every day but we both really got into the topic today and she just wanted to keep going. Who am I to stop her? We finished the topic (about five pages) and she not only had a good time doing it with me, she was proud of her achievement.
Lily asked if she could use pen instead of pencil to do her work. I told her as soon as she proved she could write very neatly I would take her to get her very own pen. Today was the neatest work she has ever written! They are doing less work than I would normally set for them but there is also a LOT less resistance (read : whinging/arguing/yelling) because they set their own work. I am hoping this strategy is a step toward developing their own goal setting skills regarding their education. This is only the fifth month of home education and we have a long way to go and lots of time to figure it out :)
The children had a heap of fun using the off cuts from Heath's new project (see below). As usual, I have no idea what the premiss of the game was but it took about six hours to play. The next morning they began the game again and added some computer parts and carpet shapes. I must admit we have been doing quite a bit of play based learning. That is, the children play and I watch for teaching moments or something new they have picked up and are acting out in their game. Like the morning they set up a zip line in their bedroom to send toys to each other ( I am pretty sure there was something about that in the Swiss Family Robinson). Or when I found Henry taking the washing out of the machine to help me out (gee this kid is cute sometimes!). Or the tea party in the cubby house that turned into an interior decorating game. Ah I really need to take more photos!
They play so much that they go to bed every night exhausted and are asleep by 730pm at the latest. Their sleep trainer clock (Sam the Lamb) opens his eyes at 650am and they are then allowed to come out of their room. Yes, we still have days that I feel like all we are doing is bickering but the days when they are proud of something they have achieved and spend hours together learning (playing) are the days I try hard to focus on. I am sure there will be many more of those to come.
The Old Man (Heath) celebrated his 29th birthday again the other day. He had a bit of a sleep in then continued on his latest project, new wardrobes for our bedroom. This man never ceases to amaze me with what he knows and what he can do. His accident (now over 11 years ago) certainly did not affect his construction skills and we are going to have an awesome wardrobe when he is done. The kids had a great time playing on the top shelf and we are thinking about creating something similar in their room with bunk beds. That is after we finish the wardrobe, our ensuite and the laundry. All in good time.
We have noticed that Heath and Henry have an aptitude from sidewalk art. Heath has drawn some wonderful dinosaurs for the Boy (what else!) and Henry loves colouring them in. We better stock up on sidewalk chalk! The Boy has rediscovered an old toy that NannyO made the girls when they were little. He has named him Bob (I have no idea where that came from either) and they go everywhere together. Last night I went to check on the children before I went to bed and poor Bob was half hanging out of Henry's bed. I thought it was Henry and I quickly grabbed him and put him back in bed. Good 'ol Bob.
This month we welcomed a new student from Japan. Riho will be will us until early December and we are enjoying her time with us immensely. The girls also had their first Homeschool Athletics Carnival. They had great fun with all the events though more fun making new friends. They both surprised me by wanting to run the 400m race with the other six, seven and eight year olds. Lily came in third over all in the race and first in the six year olds - she ran the whole way! At the end of the day there were tired tears but I know they both had fun.
Check out the awesome Converse slippers NannyO made us! I love them! Please place your orders below in the comments section if you would like a pair of these awesome foot wear! I will get back to you with a price. Once I tell NannyO that she has to make more :)