Thursday, July 24, 2014

Family Update July 2014

So, you remember me mentioning that I had a few busy (bad) days just before an assignment was due?

Well, here's an update on us.  About a month ago DH realised that leaving his employer at the end of his contract in June would give him a larger payout than if he stayed on for another 6 months so he took it and has moved to Qld to look for work.  We will be staying on so that DS2 can perform at the Sydney Opera House in a school choir and go on the Year 6 school trip to Canberra in late September.

We spent the 2 weeks of the school holiday collecting firewood for winter (our only source of heating) 2 days out of 3.  Things fell apart at home a bit like you would expect with 6 people creating messes but no-one home long enough to clean up.  Still catching up now after kids have been back at school 2 weeks.

DS1 spent last week of school holidays on an AAFC activity at our local RAAF base.  Then he got home for 3 days, helped dad pack the trailer with all his worldly possessions and then travelled north with dad.  He came back on aeroplane (his first time solo) on the Saturday, spent time at a friends and then got picked up by me (a two hour round trip).  Then on Sunday went on another AAFC activity all day. 

In between that DS2 had an accident at school on Friday that required an ambulance.  He and another boy ran into each other at high speed.  Both got concussions and we think mine has a broken nose, although I am not sure now the swelling is going down.



He has had bruising come up and go down with both eyes going green yesterday but fading to yellow with purple patches today.  He still has a bump on his brow but his eye is open again.

The other little one was in hospital for longer but as is the way with 12 year old boys they are both up and going full speed already.

Of course that all happened the Friday, Saturday and Sunday before my assignment was due and I had no other adult to share the load.  :-(

Well, I am still here, needing a good coffee (don't like it but can't rest, stuff to do), and Rescue Remedy or a good cry.  Can't decide just yet.

So... hubby has got work already, a contract position, but good pay and work so Yay!!  Now I just have to survive, keep the kids safe, pack the house and clean the house before our family can be back together as it should be.

Best wishes
Jen

Architecture for Homeschoolers

Hi all,

I am studying my first Architecture subject this study period.  It has been interesting. 

For our first assessment we had to work collaboratively with people to create a poster about a structure by an award winning architect.  That wasn't simple when 2 of our group were in Western Australia with busy lives and 2 of us are mums on the east coast.  But we did it, and the poster submission went well.  We got 8/10.

I have just completed my second assessment and this is where architecture for homeschoolers comes in.  We had to build a structure that could hold 1kg for 2 minutes using either paper (no staples, glue or sticky tape,etc), spaghetti/fettucine with plasticine/blutac joints or sugar cubes with no joining material.

Here are a few of our attempts.

Hubby's pyramid held 1kg easily.  Failed at one of the side joints at about 1.5kg.

DS2's held over 2kg. :-)

Three arches did well and held weight until one twisted to the side.

A very wobbly paper attempt that failed after a little while where the holes "overlap".

And this one is my last attempt.  I can tell you there were some much prettier ones but after the few days I had had just before this was due this was as good as it was going to get.



So there you go!  Test out your kids and see what budding little engineers and architects you can uncover.

Best wishes
Jen




Friday, June 13, 2014

Feeling like a Real Uni Student

I am starting to feel like a real uni student after my adventure into the deep dark depths of the closest university's rare and collectible books section.  Oh boy did I have fun?!!  I got to look over some very inspiring floor plans for an Australian architect.  I also got to peer through glass cabinet doors at books on education from long ago.  Wouldn't you love to read how they used to teach English almost 100 years ago, or trigonometry or read records of Australia's history right back to 1800s.  Oh I just drooled and said I would be back for a little light reading sometime soon!  ;-)

Another bit of news about uni - got my marks back for my first subject, Critical Thinking!  88% High distinction!  Yay, I do still have brain cells that work!

Best wishes
Jen

Monday, June 2, 2014

Having confidence to homeschool


It is sort of like this.

From my perspective it seems there was an era where some people lost the ability to understand food and it became much easier to rely on the supermarkets to supply simple things like bread that we could make ourselves, and to supply jar mixes and packet mixes.  The people who thought this was the only way came  to rely on these premade foods, not realising there was a way to do it for themselves.  Of course, in the meantime there were still others who were making their own and even growing their own. 

Then we had the cooking show thing.  We got to see all sorts of people cooking, some like Maggie Beer with fancy stuff that those inexperienced ones would just drool over and still think cooking from scratch is not possible unless you were a professional.  Then we get to Jamie Oliver.  A bit more down to earth, and it looks a bit easier, less fussy.  Now some are starting to believe the ordinary non-professional could do this, but he is still a "professional" so maybe it is harder than he makes it look.  Still not ready to try in case they fail. Then add on Master Chef etc and we are seeing ordinary people cooking from scratch.  Now we realise maybe we can do this thing.

But still there are those people who think that you must be "qualified" as a chef or cook to be able to cook so they keep relying on their jars and packets or going out to eat "proper food" prepared by someone else.  They could have done it themselves but either they can't due to lack of belief in themselves, or an over belief in a "system" that doesn't always work for everyone's tastes or health.

This is how I view the homeschool/ public school debate.  It doesn't matter how much we try to teach people how to cook from scratch.  If their mindset is that only "professionals" can cook from scratch then they will continue to find every reason they can to support their mindset.  After all no-one likes to be wrong.

I think the problem comes when the only people who are managing the system have all the one mindset.  That is when we would become very limited in our freedoms.  And that is why the BOS (NSW Board of Studies) needs to have more input in a very regular way from the homeschooling community.  We need them to know that we have figured out how to cook even if we aren't professionals.  They need to respect that we have the right to be different from them, and that we don't have to all follow the same method.

Just a thought
Jen

Monday, May 26, 2014

Money trees

Do you ever have one of those moments when you post something somewhere, in a comment, or whatever, and you think, gee, that was deep?  I had one of those today.  A comment I made to someone else that I thought I should really read every so often just to remind myself of it.

I think money trees are deciduous and they lose their outward growth sometimes.  But just when you really need it there will be new growth, and in the meantime you have grown... in patience, in thriftiness, in inventiveness.  I have had my seasons with dh's depression and under employment.  I now have faith that the others skills I "grew" during those hard times will hold me through the deciduous seasons and I am pretty sure they will happen again so I don't fear what I am pretty sure will happen.  I just prepare!

See, it was one of those!  OK, may be not for you  :-) , but it was significant for me.

Best wishes
Jen 

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Study progress and other thoughts

So far my studies are going well.  I do notice I have a tendency to immerse myself in something that is important to me.  This has meant that not all the housework necessary for a smooth running household has been happening.  I tend to cram all my washing into the weekend and that is being too reliant on a nice weather weekend.  I need to change that.  After all I am not a teenager living at home where I can study as much as I want or think I need without thought to clean dishes and clothes and meals being provided.

My critical thinking course is very interesting and thought provoking.  I am learning about all sorts of fallacies with regards to arguing and how to determine if an argument is being strongly presented.  Thankfully so far I am tracking for a High Distinction.  I would really like that as I do have Big Plans for my future studies and good marks now will help with applying for scholarships later.

I will be studying my first Architecture subject next month.  I am a little excited and a bit nervous too but I have studied the basics of building when doing my drafting many years ago so it won't be too be a leap in understanding of concepts. 

The main issue I have now is balancing home, husband, health and homeschooling as well as my studies (couldn't figure out how to make that a H word  :-)  ).

I think if I want to continue studying I need to work out a plan.  Sadly that could mean an earlier bed time and an earlier wake up time.  I am better in the mornings for learning new things but I need to take into account the daily school wrangling (required with PS now and HS later) so I will need to start early enough to get a good amount of studying done but not so early that I am wiped out by mid morning.  lol

Funnily enough I have been tracking my sleep on my tablet and have noticed that 9 hours of sleep is a bit too much for me.  I feel more drowsy when I wake than when I have had only 7-8 hours.  The biggest deal for me seems to be the irregularity of my sleep and wake times. 

Of course, a dementia suffering, arthritically pained dog is not helping with 2am wake ups for the loo. It seems like I go from broken nights with babies to broken nights with an old dog.  I am even co-sleeping him (usually not allowed on beds) so he settles.  Ack!!  Well, I guess I could always switch the washing load and take advantage of the cheaper electricity overnight.  :-)

Well, there you have it.  I have been a busy little bee lately and will have for the next week with my final assessment of 1200-1500 words.  Check out the article I chose to analyse.  Very interesting!

Well, on the health front, I better go buy groceries.

Best wishes
Jen

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Engage in life!

I know I need to work harder on teaching my children to live in the real world.  Very true and poignant YouTube!



Best wishes
Jen

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