Notes from our Home School Journal, 25 May, 2012

We’ve had a really industrious week. A little planning on Sunday really helped everything flow this week (and the great weather has definitely helped with a positive outlook!). But though I planned ideas for different learning areas – I kept entirely flexible – gauging where there was interest and pursing only when I saw that ‘spark’ in my six year old, Sophie’s, eyes.


I’ve been diligent about recording in my diary all the learning that happens ‘impromptu’ as well – which I can then further develop Sophie’s interest on – or provide interesting resources to further her learning. The more I take note, the more aware I am of all the ‘unplanned’, wonderful, natural, ‘unschooling’ learning that takes place in our daily lives.

What’s lovely to see is Sophie beginning to write for her own interest, unprompted and though we haven’t been doing daily drills on ‘handwriting’, it has improved so much since the beginning of the year – because she now desires it to be neater.

Sophie’s reading so much too – with the ‘Spell Sisters’ keeping her thoroughly engaged (currently racing through the fourth book of the series, Amelia the Silver Sister‘!).

In my life this week…

I’ve started doing yoga sessions first thing in the morning – something I haven’t done in a very long time. Now that my youngest daughter has turned two it’s a little easier to do some stretches for half an hour without too many interruptions. She joins in – in her own special way (which sometimes involves climbing over me or trying to breastfeed… all adds an extra dimension to the challenge!). My home-schooler is more energized after joining in with the yoga too.


In our homeschool this week…

We’ve been exploring various on-line learning websites, as well as painting (Sophie did a lovely water lilly painting, inspired by reading about Monet), writing, singing and playing music. Sophie has played four tunes on the recorder this week and practiced piano playing a couple of times too. Alice joins in by singing along to her favourite songs and dancing – or blowing out a ‘noise’ on a recorder of her own 🙂


Sophie’s been very motivated this week and shown great excitement over some activities:


We’ve also been developing Sophie’s knowledge of world geography – as she’s often asking about different continents and what animals live there and the cultures in those places. We have a great world map jigsaw puzzle – which she loves to put together and then I ask her to find various places on the map.

Meanwhile – Alice loved a large ‘Alphabet’ puzzle I’ve had for years – and once she’d completed it (with my help) she got her toy dog to walk over it, saying, ‘Dog walking over the P for pencil..’ etc.


Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…

We’ve been swimming and jogging, visited rock pools and fed the ducks and admired the changing of the seasons at the Botanic Gardens in Wellington, spent time on the beach making sand sculptures and dipping our toes in the sea (yes, it was chilly – late autumn here in NZ!).

My favorite thing this week was…

The weather!

What’s working/not working for us…

I’m working on increasing a balance of activities to meet the different developmental stages of my two year old and six year old. I sometimes feel the television is on a little too often for my preschooler (though I used educational pre-school shows) – whilst I’m working on some schooling with my six year old. I balance this out with time in the outdoors and one-on-one time with my two year old playing lego, building blocks, puzzles, trains, imaginary play… as best I can (and my six year old does play well in this way with my two year old).

Alice, cheeky, loveable two year old

Alice in the library at Charlotte’s school this Wednesday!

My eight year old, who attends private school, comes home with her Daddy later (she loves her ‘down-time’ at his office) – and I also have to factor in balancing my time with her too (I have to frequently check myself to ensure I’m sharing the love evenly). She’s so wonderful, independent and hard-working. This week she’s brought home ideas on energy saving in the home, inspired Sophie to read alongside her in the evening, shared her singing lessons with us and her music lessons (her class are learning to play the ukulele!), her new jazz dance, entertaining recounts of her science class on static energy and so much more!

I’m reading…

The Help (going to finish the book before I see the movie).

I’m cooking…

Not enough – though young Alice talked me into baking some cupcakes (she loves to help add and stir all the ingredients). Next week I intend to make some soup from scratch full of scrumptious, hearty vegetables.

I’m grateful for…

Fellow home schoolers who share their journey on-line to make my journey so much easier!

A special photo…

This was taken on Sunday, when we enjoyed a wonderful family visit to Lindale petting farm. Our three beautiful, vibrant, very individual daughters. My husband and I marvel at them every day. Parenthood sure is an amazing journey!!



Linking up with the wonderful…