Thursday, January 21, 2016

The Way it Looks from My Side...

So, I thought I'd take some shots myself and show how it looks here, when everyone is busy doing their thing. A selection of shots, taken at a number of points on three different days... If you hover on them, I've added descriptions to most of them.

Abbie has her own little spot in the room. If it's cold and I haven't lit a fire, she sometimes brings her duvet down and makes herself cosy. 

She doesn't move much from this spot some days, except to eat, or maybe do a bit of work with Chip. She's working really hard this year and seems to be quite enjoying her subjects. Although today she asked if she could drop one of her Alison courses as it was just "too boring." I don't mind ~ she's in charge of what she learns this year and she is no slacker.


She is enjoying working independently and today did a beautiful piece of art, just working straight from an image on her laptop screen.


Phoebe is also trooping through her work. She too seems to be mostly enjoying what she's doing and I seem to have got the levels right for her this year. She is LOVING her Zoology studies - especially as she gets to do it all by herself. 


She has also taken to spending significant amounts of time drawing animals, following tutorials on You Tube to produce some lovely pieces, that have required a lot of perseverance. The leopard above is this week's work.

Lilo is working well too. Still struggling along with some things and wouldn't say she 'enjoys' learning much, but she does just get on with things these days. I'm hoping one day she will find something she loves and then she will enjoy it all a bit more. There are things she does that she does like, but certainly it's more of a slog than a labour of love for her.

DD is hard to capture, as he likes to rise early (around 7am) and set to it as quickly as possible. He is usually done by, or just after lunch, every day. Some days he powers through 3-4 hours of work in a morning and is almost done before I've finished my morning chores! But recently he has decided he wants to learn to cook, so I've managed to catch a few shots of him busy in the kitchen last week and this...


Stitch is beginning to settle into learning a bit better. He starts when he feels like it (today was gone 10am) but allowing him control over his comings and goings seems to be ticking his bucket now. He does snippets of this and that here and there and buzzing about like a bee in flight, but he does seem to be getting his hours in over the week. This week he has decided he wants to learn Spanish and must have spent about 3 hours on Duolingo. He is now spouting badly pronounced Spanish phrases at us randomly and is talking about going to Spain (en Famille style) in a couple of years time. I've told him his behaviour has to settle and calm before I could send him to stay with another family for any length of time, but otherwise I'm not averse to the idea. We'll see how long the 'phase' lasts, but it might...
It's funny how things sometimes come full circle in this life isn't it? Way back when Jake was Stitch's age we used a number of CGP resources. Jake didn't like them much and I wasn't much enamoured either, so we moved away from them. However, this year I dug out some of the Science 'Project' Workbooks I had left over from way back then and offered them as an option to Stitch. Well, he has absolutely thrived on them - the style and layout just suits him perfectly and he asked for more. He also asked if CGP did write-in English and Maths books (he doesn't much like textbook-exercise work). He had been asking for write-in workbooks for English at the beginning of the year and CGP hadn't crossed my mind, but when he mentioned the idea I said I would look for him. So, now I have bought him some CGP workbooks for English and, at his request, Geography and History too. I decided I'd prefer him to stick to Conquer Maths for Maths because it's more comprehensive and just easier all round to keep him up to speed and see where he is at - and he only complains when he's stuck on something challenging, which he would complain about in a workbook too! He seems very happy with his additional work and, to my surprise, has just added it to his selection of choices without removing anything else. So this week he did some textbook work AND some workbook work. Score :D

Chip is NON-Stop! He is like an ever-dry sponge, constantly looking for what to learn next and much as I love that, it is EXHAUSTING! To help me (and him) keep a better check and balance on what he's up to each week I've made him a mini-skool smiley chart, with just a few things on that I would like to cover each week (if we can). A bit of number and letters work and some quiet 'reading' (aka looking quietly at a book by himself) each day, then however much computer time, art, cooking, playing games, physical activity he wants to squish in to all the rest of his time (all day counts).  The quiet reading bit he is yet to master as he really likes to be read TO, and doesn't like to be alone, but I'm working on it as I think it will be valuable to both of us ;D. Meanwhile here's a few moments from his week.



Wednesday, January 13, 2016

While the Cat's Away...

Yesterday I left Jake in charge while Paul and I were at a conference for the day.
The chids took advantage of the fact and gave me a glimpse of their day with MY camera ;D

You took them chids ~ on your head be it!!

December ~ come and gone!

So, Christmas came... and went! It seems I've barely had time to catch my breath this month and when I did I couldn't always face sitting at the PC in the evenings. So, yet another long post awaits! I'll stick mostly to pictures because they tell the story, but suffice to say we had a lovely family Christmas. It was crazy-busy and we felt like we had about 5000 people through our door over the holidays, but we were glad to have everyone and spend time with friends and family.

Happy Birthday Chip
December 21st ~ my baby boy turned five! It hardly seems like yesterday we were eagerly awaiting his arrival and praying he would come before Christmas. He kept us on tenter-hooks and came with just 4 days to spare!

New ~ just hours old

One & Two

Three & Four

Hello Big FIVE!


He is a bright and intelligent little man, who loves nothing better than a snuggle and a 'chat' - with whoever is willing to engage with him. He is at that lovely 'sponge' stage where everything is exciting and interesting. He's quite the little thinker and my friend likes to call him 'little philosopher.' He has an answer for every problem - even if he has to take reality into the realms of fantasy to find it :D. He is my only child to have an imaginary friend. 'Steve' has been around a long time now and still features strongly in games and conversations. He is friendly and kind and, although he has a tendency toward shyness in groups, he is increasingly confident around all ages of people and will strangers into conversation if he can grab their attention! Slowly he is engaging more and more with children outside of his family, although it's taken a while to get to this point, and even has a little 'girlfriend' at church! He is a well behaved and happy child, with a strong sense of his own person. He may be the 'baby' of the family, and likes to play on that at times, but there's no pushing him around or manipulating him. God has blessed him with an iron will & determination ;D. On the whole this is a great asset, but it does present its challenges at times!  

And so, full speed ahead into Christmas;

Christmas Eve we prep'ed the house and made our gingerbread village

Christmas Day begins (always) with everyone piling into our room to share what they got in their stockings. 

The rest of our gifts are exchanged after church and dinner.




Boxing Day brings all of Paul's family calling ~ such mayhem and madness ~ and great fun!!

New Year we celebrate at church, with a service to celebrate the year past and to cover the coming year in prayer ~ then we eat together and party until the early hours! New Year's afternoon some family friends join us for games and food. This year we taught them Saboteur and Survive (our new games). Previous years they have taught us games ~ like Jungle Speed (which we also got this year) :D.

After New Year I spent a day reorganising the boys bedrooms (x2). Partly because I needed to loose the baby toys they have all outgrown to find room for new stuff, and partly because Chip had all but outgrown his toddler bed. Joel wanted a floor bed (instead of a loft bed) and so swaps needed to happen. 

After that I pretty much crashed and burned and it's taken me best part of 10 days to get back on my feet and up to speed. We took an extra week off Home Ed while we all recovered properly and now we are back at it...