Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Farewell Homeschooling.

I was going to write a long sad post about how hard this decision was, which it was. But instead, I'm going say that it doesn't have to be such a dreadful thing. It became apparent on the second day of the term that my health absolutely will not do another day, term, semester or year of 'homeschooling'. So a decision had to be made. Our oldest daughter 11 had been in school for about 1 year and loved it so we met with the Principal to discuss our options with Maddie 9 (year 4) and Lucy 6 (year1). They couldn't have been more helpful. They did not question, belittle, speak or treat me in a condescending way because we have been homeschooling. I told them that I did not want them to start on the first day of the year or even the first week. I always think the first day of school is vital for children normally because friendships and pecking order are established and if you are new you are just overwhelmed and no one may even know your new with class shake ups. They were new. New to the school and new to the school. We settled on the second day of the second week. They had an assembly on Monday so I didn't want to throw them into that as well. By the time the Tuesday came, news had spread that 2 girls were starting school who had never been to school before. This was BIG! My husband and I are the regular, conservative looking Mormons, no tattoos, nose rings or other hippy accessories you would expect from stereotypical homeschooling parents. Parents looked really surprised. We were the 3 ring circus I have to say. Well, I have to say as today is the first day of the holiday break, we are 1 term down and it couldn't have been more successful. It's hard work sending them to school. Never be fooled in a moment of weakness that school may be an easier option because it's not when you are hands-on parents. Homework, Notes, excursions, band practice, flute practice, choir practice, swimming carnivals, the list is endless and exhausting. It's always someone else's agenda. I miss ME running the show. The other children and teacher took my girls under their wings like fragile chickens to be taken care of because of their lack of experience in the jungle. After 6 years the Lord didn't answer my prayer for healing and my health, well, short of a miracle and I felt cheated out of this opportunity to homeschool my babies but He blessed me with a public school that bucks the trend. That has taken my children in and loved them in my absence. We had a parent-teacher interview with Maddie's teacher.
This is a woman who has taught for many years. She asked us what we wanted to talk about and we said whatever she would like to share with us about mad dies progress. She started to cry. I was really worried then! She said after all her years of teaching she has never met a child so unpolluted by the world. She has such a confidence in herself, which for Maddie is amazing and you can read here why. The teacher gave us an example of there being a real mood in the classroom with people bickering at each other and Maddie came and sat down and said." I'm so disappointed to hear all of this disagreement". The class stopped and looked at her looked at each other and got over it with the whole atmosphere of the room changing. She said it happens time and time again. The teacher was more than teary once through the whole interview.
. The purple ribbon Lucy has on her uniform was because the school even organised an Epilepsy Awareness fundraising day which was on March 26, with merchandise & free dress day in purple on Thursday. She is the only one in the school with the condition. So it is sad in one way that I can't homeschool, but a blessing for the girls in another. I can honestly say that the transition for us has been a wonderful one. I still homeschool just in a different way. We are their parents and home will always be the most important schooling my children will ever get. I received the same feedback from each one of my girl's teachers and they all say that there is something different and special about them. I know what that is and that will never change. So farewell to homeschooling. I will miss you but have loved every day of the journey and it is not over yet because parenting transcends it all.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Mental Health Week

Mental Health Week is an annual national awareness event held every year to coincide with World Mental Health Day, which is held on 10 October each year. Mental Health Week aims to raise awareness of the importance of mental health and wellbeing in the wider community. Local and regional Mental Health Week events organised by local groups and communities contribute to reducing the stigma associated with mental ill health and offer a platform to engage the community in dialogue regarding help-seeking behaviours and mental health promotion.
Now that is the official take on Mental Health Week and all of it is so vital so that for us or those that we love can live life to the fullest. Check out our story and how mental illness has effected our life.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Missionary Farewell

Well we are now down to 10 days and counting. I am starting to feel a little teary when I think about Dan boarding the plane Monday week for 2 years. We had his Missionary Farewell on Friday night and we had a blast. Nacho's was on the menu and I have to say that was a perfect choice for 150 people. I cooked 15kg of mince, made 175 cupcakes, made a cake like a missionary badge and wrote it in Albanian. Now that was the hardest thing I have to say. We had 20 bags of marshmallows for the bonfire and 2 jumping castles.

Thats him sitting down around the bonfire,looking at me strangely.

Everyone kept asking what they could bring so we put on the invitation to bring a packet of his favourite chocolate biscuits. he ended up with quite a stash to keep him in chocolate until he leaves and then some to pack in his suitcase and for us to send in those all important care packages. He also received Euro, US dollars and AU dollars from families in the Ward. Dan has bookmarked on my computer all the places that take care packages of donuts etc to the MTC. We watched the best documentary inside the MTC called The Army of Faith. It was filmed this year, so it's all current and now Dan can't get on the plane fast enough. All that American breakfast cereal had his mouth watering. Show this to your kids.

We have almost everything in the handbook and he is off today for his last injections. He gave the most amazing 'last talk' at church and will be set apart next Sunday as a Missionary. No now I'm getting teary again. I really will miss him. Lucy (5) has plans that he has to take her to the movies before he leaves. With only one week not sure about that.

We have always planned and prepared for this day and even when its here I somehow just don't feel ready for it. But look out Albania here he comes!

Science Morning

Growing crystals never gets old does it. The wonder of their beauty when they form, the rainbows that you can see in a single crystal. The fun of watching them grow over several days has been great. I love it.

Maddie received a Crystal growing Kit for her birthday a few weeks ago and we have been able to spend time on it this week. This kit is well paced. You do one experiment then with the results and left over solution from that one you start another. I love that otherwise I could see us there all day doing one experiment after another.

As we only have 1 kit and more willing hands, so I pulled out an old science book that I use. Bubbles Rainbows & Worms by Sam Ed Brown. Oldie but a goody I would say.

Growing Crystals

WHAT YOU NEED; Charcoal Briskets, salt, ammonia, bluing, food colouring. (bluing is that old fashion cloths whitening product and an essential ingredient)

WHAT TO DO: Use an old pie pan or shallow glass dish. break up charcoal & put in pan. Add to the charcoal two tablespoons each of water, salt,bluing & ammonia. As the liquid evaporates, the chrysalis will begging to grow. You may add colour to this garden of crystals by adding a few drops of food colouring to the dish. you can control the size of the crystals by the amount of liquid solution you add.

Explanation Crystals are formed as the solution of salt, bluing, ammonia, water, and charcoal evaporates (passes from liquid to gas). Different solutions form different shaped crystals. the structures of the crystals are determined by their chemical content. Children may observe the shape of the crystals with a magnifying glass.

Friday, September 23, 2011

School Holiday Fun

I love the September school holidays. The weather is beautiful so there's always something to do. Yesterday we spent the day at the water park and had a wonderful day, swimming & riding the wild rides. As you can see above, I had a little visitor at my spot who even smiled for me.

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Spring Garden

I love not having to stress in the morning. With Jess being the only one that has to be out the door by a certain time its nice for Maddie & Lucy & I to just mooch around on these beautiful mornings. We really should be on a farm. Well maybe not me but everyone else in the family. I love being able to start our lessons when we are ready and just being able to make the most of the beautiful weather.

We've all been spending time in the garden lately as the girls love to garden. I wish I didn't have a propensity for killing every seed I seem to plant, however the girls are having much better luck.

I planted a heap of seeds in the vegetable garden but alas we got a tone of tomatoes, amaranth and 3 radishes which Lucy has now 'harvested'. Not the bounty I was hoping for.

I have retired and will now just be on the support team in the garden. I must have dropped a seed on the ground outside the garden bed and you know it has grown into a beautiful bean plant. In desperation I got Mark to but a bit of fencing around it so as not to leave me totally disheartened. Not even Maddie's scarecrow helped my seeds along.

Ever since we visited Poppy in Victoria the girls have had a total love affair with roses and pretty flowers. My dad is an amazing gardener, a skill I didn't inherit unfortunately. I love how they tend to these flowers every morning carefully weeding and watering. I will leave you with a few pictures of the latest blooms from their flower garden.

I Love Queensland In The Spring

It makes me what to buy school supplies. Well it makes my husband want to buy me a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils. Clearly You've Got Mail is my favorite movie and my husband was so cute and bought us all home these bouquets of sharpened pencils. Well I got a bigger bouquet of supplies which I love. He is sooo cute and everyone was up early this morning drawing with their new pencils. I love spring, oh and my husband!