More birthdays and holidays...

I realise it has been some time since I have posted an update on what Clan Christenson has been doing. Rest assured, we are all happy and healthy and enjoying our life together as always! This might be a longer than usual post as there is always a lot going on...

In October we took a tour with other homeschoolers to the Wivenhoe dam and Mt Crosby Water Treatment plant. It was a great day and we learned so much about where our water comes from and how much it goes through to reach our taps at home. It was lovely to meet new families and to hang out with some familiar faces.

In term four we fit in an enormous amount of learning. Here we see the children's Spanish class room (Miss Dominique is just so lovely and the children really enjoy her classes). In our science lessons we use a few different texts such as Exploring Creation with Physical Science. In this lesson we explored atoms and molecules using some wire and a battery. The children were able to see how we can break water molecules into its constituent atoms of hydrogen and oxygen. But what they really got from the experiment was time with Daddy making things fizz and change colour! 
Of course, we have to be really careful that the children's schooling doesn't get in the way of their real education. Such as modelling snow play dough, testing plastic bag kites on a windy day, exploring the structural integrity of a large cardboard box when filled with water and the testing of sail fabrics using an indoor sailing ship. Not to mention role playing royalty, map making, rummy-o and reading just because they feel like it!

Since my return from the braiding convention in the US, the children have been busy making lots of kumihimo braids. We made them into key rings and sold them at our annual home schooler's Spring Fair. They were really surprised to sell about a dozen of their lovely creations and happily pooled their money for a feast of chocolate!

This year I am reporting on the children's art learning to the HEU. We have been exploring colour and its mixing properties in many different ways. We also found a lovely place to do our spelling every day. Except that we have a large amount of lavender plants in the front yard so the children and I do tend to get rather sleepy if our lessons take too long!

We were a part of another homeschool class earlier this term, this one was equine studies in the beautiful Samford Valley . The children learned so much about caring for and being careful around horses. We made some wonderful friends and were able to visit a few more times to have a rides on the lovely Willow and to cuddle the guinea pigs and new baby chickens. It is nice to be able to visit the area we nearly moved to only a year ago. I love Samford but I am really glad we decided to stay in the Gabba.  

Our Boy turned seven at the end of September and we spent an amazing day with my Sis, Nikki, and her beautiful children at the Gold Coast. We ate cake and doughnuts, played in the Pacific Ocean and swam in the hotel pool. Nikki and I braved a restaurant with six children between us and we were pleasantly surprised they all behaved very well. (We are doing something good there, Nik!) The day was so awesome Henry fell asleep in the car on the way home and though the girls deny it, I am pretty sure he wasn't the only one!

Yesterday our Lily girl turned nine. She has had a rather busy week with her final Australian Girls Choir performance at QPAC and both girls performing in a play for their drama class. For her birthday, Lily chose to spend the morning at Wet and Wild followed by an afternoon of cake, movies and Minecraft. All three children are scraping the bottom of their energy banks and I am very glad we are on holidays because there is no way they could do any lessons with so much going on this time of year. It is pretty safe to say if they went to school all learning ends at about mid fourth term anyway. Right now our children are following their passions and NOT being at all bored!

What I love about term time is that all the really cool places to visit are not really busy at 1-2pm in the afternoons. So when one of the children gets an idea that we should explore the MtCoot-tha  botanical gardens, we just head over for a hour and have a ball. There is always something new to discover there! Also this term, we have joined a little homeschooling group who meet at the Daisy Hill koala park for afternoons of running around. The mums sit and chat about excellent literature of course and only hear from the children when they are hungry. There is even a resident wallaby who, we discovered last week, has a baby in her pouch! The photo on the bottom left is of a lizard in the hole of that log. Do you see it? No, I don't either but Lily did and our lovely friend took some close ups (the old iPhone is rubbish at zooming but Tracey has the real deal camera) and we could see the lizard! Lily has eagle eyes...

I must admit I did declare holidays this year a few weeks before I anticipated (I really should have looked at the calendar before putting the books away!). The truth is, I am really tired. And if I am tired I am pretty sure my children are too so instead of official daily lessons and feeling like we are getting nowhere, we are spending time together and the children are getting better at not bickering. There is also much more time to spend on things that take lots of time and make lots of mess. Take stop motion videos for example. This week Lily decided she wanted to make one (we discussed stop motion video once - a couple of years ago) so I found my old point-and-shoot camera, a borrowed tripod (cheers Suey!) and Lily made some magic. She took 372 photos then I had to figure out how to make a video with them. Luckily, my new mac has a movie maker that makes it all very easy. Lily sat with me during the editing and while I did most of the dragging and dropping (it really is that easy!), she made all the decisions. Not to be out done, Zoe made one too. She watched me edit Lily's so did her movie all on her own. Check out their creations below.

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