Saturday, December 31, 2011

Paper pots

For a long while I've been folding paper pots to grow seedings in. Our daughter wants to have a stall at the market...selling eggs, flowers and plants. So we've been pretty keen to fold heaps of pots.
I folded them all to start off with. Then she folded the parts she understood...and today she took off on her own for a while and folded one all by her self...then folded one in front of everyone.
Very cool

Friday, December 30, 2011


Working hard at my patents place over the Christmas -new years holiday

Thursday, December 29, 2011


Wow how things work out.
Some mornings over breakfast we watch a documentary. I got the "eye witness" DVDs from the library and there is one on reptiles.
So a favorite is bear grylls and you know how much he encounters snakes, turtles, lizards and all other stuff.
So that day after watching Dave saw a skink at my parents house. The kids watched him...DS not sure of it all...dd and Dave trying to trap it with their hands...."it's lost it's tail!" how exciting.
They finally caught hid under Daves foot. Dave held it long enough for both children to look at it and pat it then put it outside in the garden...with it's still wriggling tail.
No photos but lots of fun memory's

Thursday, December 22, 2011

How to Unschool?

I've been reading Sandra Dodds book which I feel is amazing. I love her bluntness and I know when I don't get something I need to put the book down for a few days or weeks and then have some life experience to understand how it either works in my life or does not.

She says she is often asked "So how DO you unschool?" I can understand the question coming from a schooled background where everything is told to you or written out in directions for you to want some sort of direction.
I think where seasoned unschoolers get lost is possibly..."well how do I explain how you should live your life".
And for me that's just it.
How do you live your lives we need to know.

Was it in Sandras other website? I don't' know but I think the most meaningful thing I read (and dam I can't go back to it) was parents describing what they did throughout their day.

An example of mine would be our St George day.
Got up, ate breakfast, feed chickens, put on washing, read st George and the dragon, made swords, made castle, put washing out, had sword fights, made lunch for in the castle, napped in the castle, watched how to train your dragon, made dinner - dragon stew (kids don't really like meat so yuck!), got books out of the library on dragons, (I did a search on net for ...)coloured in dragons, Daddy's finished work....showed him everything.

But now that was a good day!

A bad day might mean the washing doesn't get out, kids are tired and don't want any story's...they are fighting, I try making fairy bread with them - they like it, then go back to fighting, I take them to the rains and they cry, I take them to the cafe....their juice spills all over the table and each other.... they cry, I put on a likes it the other does not...I put on another movie in another room...I run back and forward providing food and drink until they have had enough of a movie, they play outside...fall down the bank and get hurt...they trip over their scooter on the way to me for the first hurt, no one wants to cook any dinner I open a tin of spaghetti and sausages and Dave and I have boil in the bag curry, there is a huge scream up in the bathroom as Dave tries to keep the water in the bath and DS sitting down...he falls over and hits his head, then DD wants stories to go on and on and on and DS is walking the walls and leaping from the bed doing Bear Grills rolls....
Breath...the lights are out and DS rolls from side to side before he drops off to sleep where is DD is so tired she's asleep in 5mins.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Bottle rocket

Dd loved this experiment last summer even though she got really wet.
DS is really upset that dad has no more energy to keep going

Play and sun smart

Our kids love being outside and considering I've only just come back from the doctors with yet more of my skin needing to be cut out...I worry.
I brought this sun shade had wanted to last year but the cost put me off. But the cost is higher than money really so here it is.
Over the dirt pile. We do have two sand pits... But this can be seen from many angles from the house so they like this better,

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Seeds growing

One of DD's aims that she wanted to do for this season a seed grow.
Great excitement to see the roots through the glass and then the leaves slowly opening up.

What does it look like?

Dd came rushing in with our first plum.
"I don't get it...there are 4 plums and we don't have another plum around to fertilize"
We've had this tree for 3 years and are still to get round buying another

As you can see it's very green as the wind blew it off.
So dd wanted to cut it open
"oh it's green inside too"
She picked it up and smelt it "what would it taste like?"...."yuck!"

Tie your shoe?

Grandpa said to the kids "when i was little you couldn't go to school till you could tie your own shoe " ... Sorry have to laugh here but did they have shoes? My kids hardly wear shoes.

But now days there are not many shoes to laces!
I was wondering how I would bring this into our learning.
Dd has a dress that needs a bow. DS does have a pair of shoes. But very little else.
I think dd has been puzzling this out on her own. Watching Dave and myself. I've tried to go slow so she could watch but never told her what to do.

She'd kind of got the idea before I found this shoe thingy in the op just finished off the understanding.
So this morning I had the most beautiful bow tied on my pjs.

Christmas mice

We've had home education group making Christmas mice.
It's funny after talking on Sandra Dodds web site about how much 'teachers' do for their students.
Dd made the yellow mouse on her own...her colour is yellow by the way...NOT pink ;-) she cut it her self and glued it on her own. But the green mouse was made 'in class'.
she did not see why she should have red and green... And did not understand the culture behind the colour choices... Yellow (to use the curious George movie saying) hey it's the new Christmas colour.

We're having dance time to Crazy Frog and then moving into Secret Garden. My dd thinks anything with secret garden in it is meditainment meditation, the movie, the music...and often draws her own garden and of course has half of Daves own real garden as her own secret garden ;-)

Now the tiger is after them... Small beanie toy which has been the source of all imaginative play the past month.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Camping at the caves

A few weeks back I took our two too the caves close to our place. They loved it.
Last night we went with friends camping...yes on the rain.
Oh well.
Dd took off into the bush. As we are reading secret seven they had to have a club house and password. Hours!!!
DS took off with Dave and walked and climbed and jumped for ....hours wonderful.

Santa at play centre

We had a wonderful time tonight. Kids running every where. Easy food. A little Chatter.
It was very exciting for DS to see the fire truck pull up...but then very unsure about the man in the red outfit. rushed back to Dave's arms. Dd offered to walk up with DS to talk to Santa and get gift.

I had to laugh for dinner the kids are getting into the and DVD. So tonight dd made gruffalo crumble...DS wanted roast fox but I couldn't see how to do that quickly so it was scrambled snake.
I've brought the gruffalo book for DS this we have our own copy.

Both very tired after a long day. Nana gone on holiday, shopping, library and then swimming lessons.
Lots of accidents lately so I thing a few rest days needed next week.

Kids love the garden

I think if we could our kids would spend all day in the garden. Sad about sun burn.
Dd has 1-2 of each plant we have in our garden in hers...and hers looks better.
Here we have our first attempt at cabbages. In trimming them I just about lost my finger. Dd dashed and got a piglet bandaid so it's still hanging on only just.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Toys...mostly wood

1959 - Donald Duck - Donald in Mathmagic Land

Was not greatly received...lots of sighs..."and its not like a real movie"
But our little miss is only 5.5 so maybe another day?

Sad to say I think this has been removed.
A great shame

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Websites to check out

Some things to look at


Monday, December 12, 2011

Burn out with unschooling...?

I've been reading back over my baby books and I've come across the Sears "The fussy baby book". What a saviour this book was back 4 years ago.
Is it coming back into play again?

I think anyone will get burn out and it is possible to get while unschooling...though many will deny the possibility or not like to talk about it.
  • Your trying to do too much too soon
  • Your worrying
  • Your Mothering beyond one's personal resources
  • Your building up resentment to unmet expectations

I don't know if it will be like this later on as we move through our journey as parenting a Fussy Baby became easier...I'm sure it must.

I'll come back to this post and see if I can fill in what to do about the above.

I think something to remember for me is that seasoned Unschoolers might not be all that supportive ... well hey they are living the life.
Deschooling or learning your way is stressful. Finding our your family dynamic all again can be really hard for some...for me ;-)

The looming of the certificate of exemption is both a blessing and a terror. Its helping me work out what I believe in but having someone pick over what you believe...and its in writing too.

Ok time to go and help pack the playdough away.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Learning with song

Nanma's science web site

Had dinner with my Mum the other night and she recommended this web site

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Art class...for me or them?

One of the goals my DD has listed for this season to do is to draw a chicken.
I was looking through the net and found this web site
Yahoo. I love it
But think it might be more for me ;-)
I'm trying to give myself a little more of structured day...for me. I'll still follow the lead of my children but I feel I need to try and fine a few little moments for me in the day some where.

Friday, December 9, 2011


The big end of year show. So excited and proud and heaps of other emotions all rolled up into one.
The little ones had three dances to do...a lot to remember.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Early December

Friday is such a packed day!
Trying to convince my son it's time to start the day...and he just wants a bit more hugs.

Pack the truck
Birthday at the playground
Pick up groceries
Nanma and Grandad for lunch
Routine out window

Many falls from playground equipment...america family asking if we needed a paramedic

Swimming lessons grandparents watching today
End of year chaos at pools with 100s of more kids than normal at the pools...really loud


Nana missing -thank goodness she had her cellphone on her
Dinner late
Dd wants me to make Christmas decorations with her now

Both kids Playing really well after dinner seems a shame to stop them so we didn't.

The photos
The kids were quiet for a long time before desert one night then came out wearing stockings on their head and socks not right on their feet...."we're rabbits"
I just about wet myself laughing

We are trying to find a way of not burning out close to dinner Dave suggested game time... It's been a hit. We're lucky enough to have two laptops that both kids can work on

Dd's goal for this season is to watch a seed grow. So we've tried to put seeds up close to the wall if a jar...very excited tonight as one is already sprouting.

Christmas decoration...oh woe. Lots of this this year. We've decorated the playcentre tree. Our own tree. Made decorations at home education group. And now more at home

Along with ballet class...big show

Nanas health not 100% worry!

Lots of photos but need to ask patents first.

Great play dates too

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Jamie Oliver

Check out this amazing TED Talk:

Jamie Oliver's TED Prize wish: Teach every child about food

So many things that are not right can be corrected in the home.
Understanding our place in this world

Cafe ice

Was a lovely morning playing cafe. DD wanted to get me to buy her banana cake she made yesterday with Granny at her cafe.
(we often have to buy things like food or movies)
DS wanted to build using the milk boxes.
So he built her a cafe

We were sitting enjoying the lovely cake when DS looked over at DD's 'baby'.
'where is my baby?'
I told him his bear 'baby' was still in bed. I'd just made the bed so I knew.
Off he rushed. I thought to bring his bear.
He came back empty handed
'he's still asleep' he rushed back inside and got the baby monitor...checked it was in in the bedroom then found a plug close to the courtyard where we were sitting in our cafe.

Hay fever really starting to bite

I have no idea how they go in school but its terrible.
Our son is the worst and he just does not understand what is going on. His behavior is terrible.
Now our daughter is starting to complain about a sore throat and her eyes are weeping and crusted.
It's grouse!
Just cruel tying to do things and really not enjoying them.
So I think tomorrow we'll hunt up a new "class room" which is not too hot and getting sun burnt. Think we'll have to visit every day

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Colouring graph paper

We are loving this at the moment
Our daughter is really liking the 'rhombus' falling blocks

A break in the hay fever brings peace

Sunday morning...with small children in the house means you are up and off often before you want to be.

This morning was wonderful.

Our son has been really bad tempered and the usual word wise child has reduced to hitting and crying. Not happy family.

But the wind has stopped. Was driving me nuts. And the pollen is low.

This morning I could do my house clean in peace. Dave was asked to supply playdough for our boy to work on. Our daughter picked up a geo grid sheet I printed out yesterday and started to colour.
Both children extremely absorbed for the whole time my lovely husband cooked an Amazing breakfast!!!

I'm a lucky mummy

Unschooling gets hard too

This should be a big post but maybe I'll write more another day.
But today we all live life and for some reason some of us sail or fly through some areas and some don't

I don't go so well on keeping house but if you google The Fly Lady you may find some help if your like me.

I've only just started and like most things it takes time...but little by little we seem to pick up speed until we look back and wonder what was our issue.

I find unschooling hard but the other day while at Playcentre I listened to a mum try and write a learning story and she asked "what do I put in this box the follow on/what next?"
I used to question that too but now days I've got heaps of ideas and I feel that unschooling is hard to start off with but over time it works out and you know what to do.

I don't want a messy house but I don't want to waist time cleaning it when could be playing and learning with my kids

Thanks Nicola for the fly lady

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Bush walk

We still are not focusing with out hay fever.
So off we go out in the bush where there I'd no pollen
Talked about leadership ;-) little miss 5 wanted to lead.
She took a lot in and started to show her bother things and not boss him.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Hay fever means we move "classroom"

We woke up this morning all of us felt rotten. Eyes,ears, nose and head. So we've moved to the beach. I think it will take a few days to wear in then we can start relaxing and doing stuff... But at the moment just enjoying breathing and seeing.


Our daughter has shown an interest in knitting. While waiting for Dave to come home this evening I watched her knit well.
Well must provide resources she can make her own jumper for winter;-)

Something I'm enjoying is the development of her own colour likes...yellow and not pink like all the other girls. At ballet she did get questioned about a craft activity they all had to do...why is it not pink one little friend asked.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Old old songs for learning ;-)

Thanks to Graceful Girlhood for the link to these songs.
Funny to listen to...could be helpful I don't know. Dave's just run away with his coffee.

My children like the water cycle so we may find a few others in here.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


Our Sunday was mostly about clean up. We really needed to remove the rubbish build up in our garage to put our truck inside out of the sun.
When we first moved to our property we lived in the garage and we just put everything we had either in the roof or in the wardrobes and have not looked at it in nearly 7 years. The wardrobes had to go.
Both our children loved picking things up and asking questions.
They got board pretty quick though and I wondered if our daughter was upset as she was just sitting on the garden wall...still.
I wandered over and she excitedly told me she was watching a wasp make a nest.
We hugged and I left her too it
Later she was trying to draw the wasp and write the word. She's still not got the idea of sounding it out...but hey I never did I didn't know's only now it makes a little more sense.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Schoolhouse singing to learn

Both my children love singing in the car. I try not to do long trips but if I get some more songs it might make it more fun.
So far we have jolly phonics and singing phonics... So what about these?


Both our children love bugs. We are lucky in nz having very few poisonous spiders so everything is ok to pick up touch and study.
My mum brought the kids some science magnifying cups which at the moment have a bumble bee and a rock in.
This web was on the toy tractor

Helping out

At playcentre lots of parents work through their course and often need children to work with. As our daughter is older she understands that the parents need children to work with them and stay.

We're doing Vaseline saucers and talked about what we use Vaseline for...putting it on the chickens legs to to help with mites. Or on baby's bottoms to keep them dry.
"will it come off?" worried look at the sink after hearing it was waterproof.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Orca whales

As a lead into our day I started talking about Moby Dick... Bit over the head.
But our daughter enjoyed coloring and cutting out...what was supposed to be a book but ended up a poster.

Once the poster was done we moved to Jean-Michel Cousteau ocean adventure
And first opening picture was the both children captured and heaps of questions.
Wow it was mostly in nz just up the road and down in Auckland.

Brought tears to my eyes...must get free willy forgot about that one

Baby no fear

Anything she can can I.
My son is trying very hard to keep up with his big sister.
Climbing up this new playground is only half of what happens.
He wants to write, sing jolly phonics, ride her bike.
Oh well

Saturday, November 12, 2011


We've been singing the abc since I can remember and I laugh every time as lmnop become one letter all run together.
Today our girl was reading the bottom of the world map.
We did it semi together....and I and o were missing. She sounded them all out got a little stuck on r and made the phonic sound.
Why are I and o missing ... ?

We've also got the good old fridge set... But the cat loved batting them round on the floor.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Deduction and discovery

After our tango with "George and the Dragon" and a Hush Hour it was down the road.
We had to return a book long over due to the library.

We ended up in the park which has only two swings and a heap of placed rocks.
Around each large rock is a mowing edge of concrete. My daughter badgered my son constantly to hop off the swing and come and jump from the rocks... Bear Grylls style with lots of rolly pollys.
Once she finally got her way the both discovered some holes in the concrete. She asked what they were for....because adults are supposed to know everything right.
I had no idea so I used an idea from Sandra Dodd....I said they were from meteors.
She looked at me as if I was mad and said 'no it was not the right shape or colour'...she didn't say anything about the size but then again the whole understanding of size I'm sure comes much later on in life.
We looked and we could see that the round whole was formed possibly with a concrete drill bit going round in a circle.
' what is it?'
I said I would keep to my meteor idea which I was told was not acceptable.

Jumping and playing on the next stone...looking at trees and shrubs taking leaves from one tree and comparing them to the next.
"Hey Mum this shrub is planted in the whole...have a look"
The ah ha moment for us all.
"So there are heaps of shrubs missing" she said"...5...what happened to them?"
I smiled and said the meteor must of killed them off.

George and the dragon

We started off our day with this story....

Both children were very quiet through the story which was odd. Normally they ask heaps of questions. I only had one..."Why is there a lamb?". I had to answer that I had no idea why.

So as I was trying to get two days of washing out they had the idea of building a castle. I had to break away to lift a few things up and help work out doors and how to keep the enemy out.
I then had to lift the large draw-bridge over which my son could not see over until his sister got a box for him to stand on. Yahoo.

So I had one Queen and one King...which then changed into my daughter being a knight...then she thought for a minute and swaped.

Then I had to make swords. I tried to make them as close as possible but my daughter said she just wanted it as a blade. Here I was worried that they would start bashing each other so it was to be outside.

My son went off to "kill the dinosaurs"

My daughter just wanted to make the beds for when my son came back from the fight he could go to bed...after the feast (of wooden vegetables) and cups of tea. She even had a healing circle aka hoola hoop for him to stand in which links back to the story.

Box building

How lucky are we to have friends who have access to heaps of lovely boxes!! I had ideas before we got these boxes but as usual the kids have taken it a different many times.

We've had some great tunnels which even I had to have a go through. The poor cat who HATES boxes just about fainted when he walked into the play room...but even he had to have a go.

We've had a full on maze with side shoots.
We've had houses which the boxes were rooms.
We've used the boxes as building blocks...and discovered that this is great...but we need more boxes.