Monday, December 27, 2010

New Camera

back in action....but daughter loves playing games on the computer at moment...oh well catch ip soon

Monday, December 13, 2010

Camera loss slows blog

Photos are just so important I feel to show what we are up too. How else would you see my two kids playing with bubbles on a sunny day with the cat and their great grandmother watching on.
I can't explain how cool it was to see our two playing and caring for our new baby chicks. My daughter sitting holding one on her lap then the cat not realizing that there was a chicken there and jumping up for a funny.

This morning I feel like I've got out on the wrong side of the bed. Sooo I feel a bit bad about not doing something educational with my children.
We've gone from marble play
To painting with marbles
To painting
TO cleaning up the paint
TO Playing in the clean up water
TO ADDING MORE soap to the water and playing with bubbles
To my son putting the wrong end of the bubble blower in his mouth.....sigh

Morning tea stop .... take a breath.

Mum how do you make flour? round

Friday, November 19, 2010

What was your favorite book?

I loved books. My parents had a huge library and any book I could look at.
I didn't learn to read till a rip old age but I did enjoy looking at many books.
When we moved we joined the local library which was new and wonderful. I found a book by Melcolm Wells. I don't know how many times I got it out. I tired a few months ago to remember the title and the author but it was so long ago...thank goodness for Google.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Writing 2

I try to write down on my white board what to do around the house. My daughter decided she should make everyone drinks but wanted to write like a cafe board. This was the first W she's tried.


Following on from the post Slang

"I'm as hot as a roast chicken"
My daughter needs no prompting now to fill in the "as...what?" and she comes up with some beauts.

I was nearly rolling on the floor with laughter with this one, only it was my driveway and I was really hot too.

A few hours later
"I'm as hot as a boiled potato"
I asked if that was less hot than a roast chicken and was told "yes but I'm still really hot".

Thursday, November 11, 2010

How much money is this?

My daughter has been collecting all the small change she can find round the house over the past few months.
We counted it up $3.30

"How much is a chicken?" she asked. We've just brought 6 the other day and she was VERY excited. She is their Mummy now...she is very sad that the Mummy couldn't come too but well that's how it is.
"$10 each"
"So how much more do I need?"
"How can I get more?" (The understanding of money up till is very small)

I explained that she could do some jobs for money or she could sell something.

"What could I sell?"
I remembered the posies she made after the museum visit and said "flowers and plants at our local market"
"Oh that sounds great....oh but I'd have to get Daddy to take it to the market to sell for me" looking happy but then downcast.
"Why" I asked "do you not what to sell them yourself?"
"You mean I could do it....really....a little girl like me?" I had to laugh cause she just told my Nana that she was NOT A LITTLE GIRL...a big girl!
"I could get enough money to buy my own chicken! On my own?.....When's the next market day?...when are the next chicken's going to be born".

So a new project...which I'll have to make sure no well meaning family go...oh how much? Oh we wanted to buy a Christmas gift.

What is inside a Dandelion?

We are nearly back to normal after our tango with Rotovirus....yuck....and my daughter comes in after playing outside and wants to know what is inside the join/puffed out part of a Dandelion stalk.
So I said cut it open.
It was tougher that I thought...but it was open...she looked...said "ok"....and that was that.

She did come back after a while and said she wanted to know we opened the page on wiki...I read the first line...and then she left to play outside.
Note: Wait until she looks...asks questions and possibly use a book instead.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


A few weeks ago now Dave said he's heard our daughter say...
Its Black as...
That scary as...
Thats cold as...

And he questioned where she had picked this up from. I was not too worried as we mix with so many people in our little village and our family that I can't make sure everyone is using the 'right' words. Who is to say what is right anyway.
Then at the beach the other day Dave caught him self saying "The sky is blue as...." ;-)

So I've been asking my daughter when she says these words... " what?"

The sky is black as...
As what?
A cloak

I happen to like that one

His fur is rough as...
As what?
Grated chocolate (she's convinced our grey cat is brown....but I still like the choice of words)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Really tired

We've just had Rotovirus would never wish that on anyone.
I've been thinking where on earth did this come from?
My children have just been sleeping and sleeping it off...and of course this keeps on going so the poor children and parents are up at all hours.

Both my parents and my Nana have been saying that they never had anything like this when they were kids...just trying to think of it would of been like for my Great Nana with all her children sick at the same time my goodness they would of had to dig 18 longdrops.

My son has bounced back first...but will not let the Mookys go...all day and night.
My daughter has been slower.

So many people say that children just have to catch these bugs to build up an immunity and by the time they reach school they should be right. what happens to all the people I know who's kids (in school) are still getting really sick?
As I was talking to Dave the other night its really just how many people there are in such a small space...meaning our villages, towns, city or country.
I personally feel that our little village was doing really well until the daycare arrived. Taking young children/babies into an environment which is not their home, so not their own bugs...they are picking up mouthing, touching chewing and tasting things which they would not normally share with other children....and keeping everything 'clean' is imposable.
That's just my feelings.

But all is getting better.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I want to be 2,3,and 4

My daughters first interest in the idea of an "adult job" was to be a rescue helicopter pilot.
I did the parent gulp and said with I hope encouragement in my voice "you'd be a great pilot" This hung on for weeks. Our first lego was to a rescue chopper.
A few weeks later there was a terrible accident with large photo's in the news paper. My daughter asked MANY, how and why. She was very quite for a long time....but then she still talked about being a pilot for a long time once this was processed in her mind.
That was number 1.

Number 2
I think was brought on by some action in our town. A medical herbalist who has a shop here (who is very good) was in the paper. A close friend has an ear infection.....

Became the center of attention for mixing potions. Nana got this bottle which is a bit like pesto with instructions on how many times a day to take this mix....Nana being a good sport did.
So a herbalist.

On the way to swimming we passed an ambulance.....Many questions..."that would be great to do"
She was going to take her herbs

This morning I talked about my own adventures of driving concrete trucks...number 4. I think i better be careful in my story telling.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

No Thank You, We Don’t Believe in Socialization!

14th Oct

A lady at the museum open day gave my daughter a bunch of flowers...which she loved....and even had to go back to the cafe when left it behind (got side tracked 'talking' to a local cat). So when we got home we had to make one...I don't have a flower garden but managed to get a few things together. I had to dash away so she did it all her self and is very proud EVERY one who visits must see her flowers.
We had a day when my daughter wanted to mix...Harry the vinegar and soda came out.
My Mum brought some Christmas molds....which are now painted and we've had to make a box for all the Christmas decorations
Seed planting day...she didn't want to do anything with the dirt but was happy to look at all the packets we have and found lots of flowers to put on Peepers grave. Then she and my son worked as a team pruning the Hebe...both LOVED that.

The aim for me at the moment it take it slowly!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Museum Open Day

We visited the Kauri Museum a month or so ago but it was at the end of our holiday so we really just wanted to get we promised our children we would come back.
It was vintage day and packed. Children a bit overwhelmed with so many people but they did enjoy the music and craft work....but still a little young

Chicken Dome

I have to say this is a funny post for some ways.
After we lost Peeper and Bel Mum and Dad wanted to help build a day cage to keep our chickens safe. A friend of theirs had a dome.
We googled for more information.
How many blogging, chicken dome maker, homeschooler...look a likes are there...a few in NZ anyway.
Its looking great so far.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

I look forward

I've picked up a few books and have become very excited in reading them...but my children are still very young and enjoy other things at the moment.
I am sure the attention span will get longer and the little brother will start joining in rather than destroying.
I have tried to be patient in showing my daughter how to crochet....but together we need a lot more work. I am self taught but she expects me to show her.
in time

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

"I want a bow and arrow"

My Daughter started talking about Robin Hood and wanting to shoot an arrow...a movie or book did some one talk about him I don't know. WE don't have any wood that we could make one so I goggled it.
And made one out of a it worked so well

When she lost her pet chicken to a Hawk she wanted to go Hawk is taking a while to tell her that the Hawk didn't know that it was not to take Peeper over a rabbit or rat. And the hawk is a protected bird.
Learning to shoot the arrow was an experience. The first time of having to stick at something till she got it. MANY tears and in the end I had to convince her to put it aside (so I could get over my headache)
The next day she was at it again and worked it till she got it.

Just now she's been quite for about 20mins working at threading a tears this time over not getting it first pop and she got it. So happy and had to show me.

Writing 1

I've read about unschooling but of course I've just started our journey. I am schooled so it is exciting to see the unschooled learn when they want to how they want to.

Monday, September 13, 2010

A day in our life 14 September 2010

Some times I think we never learn or do anything then in a space of a morning we have so many questions, insights, projects, name it it happens.
We wanted to know about volcanoes and earthquakes and are there Volcanoes in NZ. We built a model and used the baking soda and vinegar trick. We watch a documentary on volcanoes which had more questions and little light bulbs go on. We used paint to colour the model and also the other model of our hand print.
We made bread dough and made funny faces out of it...better than play dough...real dough. We ate it (well we who are not gluten free). We made more dough on our own (my daughter) as she wanted to use food colouring.
We played hop scotch on the concrete outside. Counting and naming the numbers. We wrote our names. My son wanted to lay on the concrete while I drew round him. We jumped and ruled lines with train tracks as rulers.
We had water play and washed up the potatoes for dinner.
This was all before we went to playcentre.
There was so much more that happen too...but right now my son 15 months is reading a book...boat, dog, car, boon (balloon)...POP, ball, train, Teddy....oh now on to the cat who was asleep "bite bite".

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Looking for a talking point

I've been trying to put together our playcentre term plan...well not me all on my own but I've been looking for ideas that could lead into talking points or activities with the children.
I've been at this web site
But also wiki on this day and flag day our own country's day in history as well.
At the moment we have no shortage of talking points with our earthquake.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Lavender lesson ? Craft web site

My daughter has been picking lavender for all of our rooms. So roll with the ideas that involve lavender?
I think she would really like this idea here
All free crafts to make a lavender fan.
See how it goes ;-)

This site also has many more crafts to make too

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Quote of the Day

From the book Nonviolent Communication

"....Most of us grew up speaking a language that encourages us to label, compare, demand, and pronounce judgments rather than to be aware of what we are feeling and needing. I believe life-alienating communication is rooted in views of human nature that have exerted their influence for several centuries.

These views stress humans' innate evil and deficiency, and a need for education to control our inherently undesirable nature. Such education often leaves us questioning whether there is something wrong with whatever feelings and needs we may be experiencing.

We learn early to cut ourselves off from what's going on within ourselves.

Life-alienating communication both stems from and supports hierarchical or domination societies, where large populations are controlled by a small number of individuals to those individuals, own benefit. It would be in the interest of kings, czars, nobles, and so forth that the masses be educated in a way that renders them slavelike in mentality. The language of wrongness, should, and have to is perfectly suited for this purpose: the more people are trained to think in terms of moralistic judgments that imply wrongness and badness, the more they are being trained to look outside themselves-to outside authorities-for the definition of what constitutes right, wrong, good, and bad. When we are in contact with our feelings and needs, we humans no longer make good slaves and underlings...."

I found this interesting as a historical point of probably ties in with Robin Grille's book "Parenting for a Peaceful World".

Communication is learnt from the people around us. I know I have a lot from my family but also my school days (not all good ;-)). My observations of current school situations strengthen this too as things have not changed much. I feel that Dave and I are becoming more aware as we learn and want to learn to communicate with our children. I do not feel that it is a part of our society yet and there for not common place in our schools to really listen to children or let children express their natural needs.

If you check out Elizabeth Gilbert on nurturing creativity on the TED talks You will also see how our culture has led us to distance our selves from our becoming an unacceptable thing to have or be.

We are distancing our selves from our selves

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Quote of the Day

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”
~Benjamin Franklin

Monday, August 23, 2010

Home Education Foundation

Home Education Foundation

I don't know if I've just not been looking properly or not been typing in the right words but finally I find this site again.
I'm a perfectionist and I would like to having things just so. I've always got in my mind what we will be writing in our application for exemption and will need a good NZ web site to give me tips and pointers.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Word list for year 1 primary students 2010

When I was a little girl and going to school there was a list of words that I was expected to know by the end of my first year of education. I've no idea if I made it, but would be pretty sure that I didn't as I couldn't really read until I hit collage.
I know that time has not produced change and there is still a list of words, probably even the same words.

I have just started Dumbing us down by John Gatto. I have only just started the introduction and after watching our daughter playing her first computer game (that is not Dora explorer) I realize that the idea of need to know first words is a bit...well old/odd/stupid?
Are children cakes that need to have the right ingredients and if they don't they will not make it to be an edible cake?
Is it right to have the same cake everywhere?In every town?
What happens if the ingredients available just do not work with the recipe (as in everyone is different) but would still make a good cake if another recipe was used.
Do all cakes have to start at the same time and finish at the same time?

This quote is from Dumbing us Down: Technology now makes it possible for individuals to learn whatever they wish, whenever they wish, and in the manner they wish. Students should be empowered with both the technology and the responsibility for their own learning and educational timetable.

The list of first words depends on the child's environment.
My daughters first spoken word (other than Mumma and Dadda) was "woo woo" (as in woof woof) as there is a dog next door that barks all day.
My son's first word was "morrmowa" (as is lawnmower) as both he and Daddy mow the lawn together.

In our environment we do a lot of cooking, art work, out door exploring and so on but a part that I can see will grow is the interacting with the computer.
So our word lists would have different words and should we really need to know the in's and out's of these words...I do not know?

One list could be...
  • Start
  • OK
  • Cancel
  • Search
  • Save
  • Delete (this is a funny one..ask an 80 year old bushman (my Grandpa) what this means)
  • File
  • Libraries
  • Documents
  • Pictures
  • Video
  • Music
This is only a start and would work for our children as a computer is apart of their life. But what about the bakers son down the road (if he gets to help do the baking) his list could be the same but with added personal words like; flour, butter, mix, temperature and so on.

These lists of words need to come from and be a part of our children's world to make them interesting, useful and understood.
But why limit our children to lists...they can have any word...and the in the opposite camp why create fear if they do not know the words?

More to think about...

Quote of the Day

My schooling not only failed to teach me what it professed to be teaching, but prevented me from being educated to an extent which infuriates me when I think of all I might have learned at home by myself.

— George Bernard Shaw

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Video Series - John Taylor Gatto "Schooling is not Education"

Video - History of Compulsory Schooling

Freedom of Education

I discovered the Freedom of Education website today - worth a look. I'll have to spend a bit more time there and plow through some of the many links to more resources.

Quote of the Day

"It is nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not yet entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry."
- Albert Einstein

Thursday, August 12, 2010

More John Holt on the Web Please

There is precious little of John Holt on the web today, sadly, as he died in 1985, after a long career of exceptional teaching and learning. We have read most of his books (Learning All the Time, Instead of Education, How Children Fail, and just ordered Teach Your Own), and can highly recommend them to anyone wanting to see what really goes on inside school classrooms, and how we can do so much better.
I did find this YouTube video though, for which I am very grateful to the poster.
The video is about the difference between a question and a quiz, and I think on seeing it you'll get a feel for the deep insight John Holt has into education and learning.
If you know of more John Holt material (especially audio/video) on the web let us know. If you have access to John Holt material that is not on the web, please publish it!

Homeschooling Banned in Sweden

Its hard to understand how the Swedish Government can be so arrogant, ignorant and high handed as to disallow its citizens the right the educate their own children. But that is exactly what appears to have happened. Swedish homeschooling families face court action or fines, or, as some are doing, they leave their own country in order to gain the freedom to carry on homeschooling.
Swedish education officials argue that the state provides a "comprehensive and objective" education which means there is no need for homeschooling. Even if we believe that statement, homeschooling is usually a philosophical or religious choice that has little to do with the quality of education in schools.
We are looking to homeschool our kids on purely philosophical grounds, that is, we fundamentally reject the idea that learning takes place in school according to a curriculum. Instead we believe that learning takes place when children are challenged, inspired, stimulated and motivated, and are allowed to pursue their own learning pathway, not the linear, prescribed learning pathway that is "the curriculum". As the young Swedish girl's tee shirt reads "Classroom: The World, Curriculum: Life".
I feel very deeply for any people denied their fundamental human rights, and I especially empathize with Swedish homeschooling families, since their plight could easily be our own if we happened to be in a country like Sweden.
I say to the Swedish people, whether you agree with the ban on homeschooling or not, don't let the State trample on your basic human rights like this.

Friday, August 6, 2010

John Taylor Gatto

We've been looking at John Taylor. We are about to buy a few of his books

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Parent Panic Attack 1

I believe I may have many of these but over time they should become less.
Worry that I'm not right or not made the right choice.

Worry's for today
Worry - A little friend of my daughters was drawing a triangle. Oh goodness is my daughter behind?
Calming - My daughter is trying to draw a circle, they are all shapes all in their own time.

Worry - A parent telling me their child drew a picture of two people stick figures.
Calming - My daughter is in the experimentation stage with colours and ways to apply them to the paper.

Worry - "I don't want to miss out on Playcentre tomorrow" (we're going to the Big Latch On LLL) am I taking her away from a social out let?
Calming - My daughter really enjoyed today's session there was only 5 children her brother and self included, to play with all the toys and craft. She has often told me and I've seen myself she does not like large groups of loud people. (too much competition ;-)

I do worry

Monday, August 2, 2010

Learning the art of cooking

I feel like I spend so much time in the kitchen.
I love food and cooking.

A few years ago I really wanted to find a microwave play dough recipe as the stove top one allays gummed up my pots so well.

Our recipe is
1 salt
2 flour
2 water
3 cream of tartar
3 oil

Cook 2 mins
Cook 1 min
Cook 2 mins

Then add color and 1 tbsp of vanilla

Muck around with the cooking times...we tried to dissolve the salt the other day before adding any flour and that worked really well too.
We make up many different colours and then have fun mixing the colours

Once the play dough gets old use it for volcano workshop with dish wash, baking soda and vinegar.

I try to get the children involved as much as I can when I cook. Its messy and some times scary but feeling comfortable with my children using knives and cooking over a hot flame is worth it.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Blog visiting

I have just been visiting others blogs over the last few days. Just trying to get my head around a few things.
I love this post here an unschooling life which has come from a newsletter by Mimi Doe.


This is something I have always wanted to blog about and have really been trying to bring into my life - ever since I've learnt about Attachment Parenting which has lead into learning.

My little spin on words is

Listen.... Respect.... Respond (which could mean more listening)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Junk joke email

I don't normally like getting junk joke emails but this one I felt was appropriate.

TEACHER: Harold, what do you call a person who keeps on talking when people are no longer interested?
HAROLD: A teacher

In the words of many but sounds like John Holt to me most. As soon as you start trying to teach...mostly people start switching off.
We need to be aware of how we try to convey it with respect? I feel that this is the key...I'm sure I will learn more as I go along.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

New Zealand web sites that might help?

Natural Learning there seems to be lots of links to groups and a few other links which might be worth while looking into.

Adults who are unschooled

This is something which I would like to read more about.
Big sigh.
Along with all the other things that I would like to read about too ;-)
So I've been visiting blogs to find out more in all the areas I want to learn in.
Today I've been here

The Organic Sister I caught the word "mindful" which is something which I am interested in and just starting out in as well as the unschooled path. I like to think of myself as a mindful parent, in learning.
Wow so much learning

Sir Ken Robinson

Sir Ken Robinson: Bring on the learning revolution!

John Holt - Learning all the time

Work in progress

Children are born passionately eager to make as much sense as they can of things around them. The process by which children turn experience into knowledge is exactly the same, point for point, as the process by which those whom we call scientists make scientific knowledge. Children observe, they wonder, they speculate, and they ask themselves questions. They think up possible answers, they make theories, they hypothesize, and then they test theories by asking questions or by further observations or experiments or reading. Then they modify the theories as needed, or reject them, and the process continues. This is what in "grown-up" life is called the-capital S, capital M-Scientific Method. It is precisely what these little guys start doing as soon as they are born.

If we attempt to control, manipulate, or divert this process, we disturb it. If we continue this long enough, the process stops. The independent scientist in the child disappears.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Welcome to Unschooled

This is a blog about our pathway through education with our own kids. Its not only about our kids education, but ours as well, as we find our way. By blogging about our experiences, thoughts, insights, research, reading, ideas, questions, concerns, doubts ... we hope to engage others in this journey, and hopefully learn from them, while they share this path with us.