Sunday, November 6, 2011

Spring Corner

Two Moments



Postscript to "Sleep"

I felt my last post about my horrific nights co-sleeping probably needed a little bit of an amendment. I actually love sleeping with my children. Those sweet little warm cuddly bodies are the reason why I keep going. It won't be long till they're lanky, bony, smelly teenagers, so I'm enjoying them now, as much as I can, while they are still deliciously squeezable! (And PS, I can't imagine anything more torturous than actually getting up out of bed every time they woke up!)

Besides, if I wasn't sleeping with Kees, I wouldn't have heard him clearly declare in his slumber, that, "Shit is a naughty word".

And if I wasn't sleeping with Jimmy, I wouldn't get to hear him talking in his sleep. The other night he murmured, "I'm lyin on a hammer". He was lying on his back with his arm stuck under him. xx

(Wompoo Pigeon and chicks - what a lovely mother.)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Chinatown Mornings

One of our nice little family outings is a morning in Chinatown, en route to an afternoon at

Mum and Dad's.

There's a bit of fun for everyone. The kids really like to play on the aggressive motorbike games and touch all the gun toys (yay, guns!) at the market stalls. I love a very rushed glimpse at the markets, before Matt gets fed up with the kids touching everything, and Matt loves the live music and ....

food, glorious food!

Our regular haunts are Thai Wi Rat (off-putting name, I know) and a new Korean place. Yum.

Look at those piggies stuffing their little faces.

It's a really great outing if you love food but your children are a bit naughty - I mean active - because they can run around the mall while you finish your meal. You can pretend you're on a date, and actually have a short conversation with your partner! Until they start trying to catch the goldfish, anyway. Or balance along the waterfall.

We always finish up with a trip to the Asian grocery where we choose a wacky ice-cream and pick up a few supplies. I didn't buy this though:

as I would apply caution before partaking in "savoury and spicy bottom material". Mystifying. Curious. Intriguing.

Loaded up and ready to carry on to our next destination: a little kip at Mum and Dad's. ;0)

"Horses" Unit

Many of you lovely people have been asking me how our homeschooling is going. I am sorry I haven't answered that question very well yet. Sooo, what we have been focussing on is alphabet and early reading, counting and basic sums and then I just try to make our "lessons" as varied as possible. I love to do themed units; I find it helps me to think up fun ideas and I do think the children retain information and experiences better when they are linked in to a theme. A unit lasts between a few days (letter "g", for example) or a few weeks, like this "Horses" unit. The units are based on topics that the children choose or that I think they will find interesting, or that fit into seasonal celebrations. I write up a mind-map of all my ideas then organise them into activities. I collect all the materials we will need and timetable the activities into whatever slots we have available; it might just be ten minutes here or half an hour there, or it might be something more extended.

We actually completed this "Horses" unit ages ago - but you know how it can be hard to get a blog post done sometimes! So, here's the "Horses" wrap-up!

I always begin a major unit with a trip to that wonderful, free resource: the library. Next, I like to start the unit off with something fun, so off we went to visit one of our local horses, with a bag of carrots and a picnic.

Doing this theme gave me a good excuse to sew these little felt horses. I was lucky enough to find the playmat at an op shop. Jimmy loved his golden palomino and enjoyed playing "Mummy Horse and Baby Horse".

Kees found an effective way to keep the carrots in the horses' mouths. Scary. Eat your carrots! Or else!

We attempted some Eric Carle-inspired collage:

We sang "Giddy Up Horsey", "Ride a Cock Horse" and "Horsey, Horsey, Don't You Stop".

There must have been lots of other activities but I've forgotten them now. We visited lots of horses, we did the letter "h" and I know there was a nice meditation about a magical horse that Kees enjoyed.

Anyway, at the end of a unit, I try to do some sort of culminating activity - this time it was a camping trip to our local horseriding property.

And that, my friends, was the "Horses" wrap-up! Stay tuned for "Halloween" and "Pirates".