Monday, April 19, 2010

Sunny Monday


One thing that I love about my life is that I don't get that "Monday morning feeling."  It's not something that I experience, because my life is the same - Monday through to Sunday.  We don't do anything different at weekends than we wouldn't do during the week.  That may sound wierd to those Monday-Friday people.  But for us, every day is different. Every day is the opportunity for a new discovery or a new adventure.  We aren't tied down to the restrictions of "normal" 9-5 society.  I am free to spend time with my wonderful children any day I please. I don't have to fit myself in between the school day and term times.

So here we are, Monday morning.  The sun is shining.  It's rather beautiful actually.  The warmth on my back as I type this is strangely peaceful and reassuring. I feel incredibly relaxed and at ease.  The first thing I got told this morning when I came downstairs was that Chelsea had decided to start a new project.  She wants to do one based on Oceans, incorporating sea-life and coral reefs.  I relished the sound of excitement in her voice as she detailed her plans, asking my thoughts on what she may incorporate, and requesting help in finding suitable websites.   It was the perfect start to my day.  A child wanting to learn.  A child choosing her own education, following her own interests, and showing enthusiasm for the world around her.  I wanted to accomplish two main things when I embarked on this home-ed adventure all those years ago. 

- To have happy children with wonderful memories of their childhood to look back on.
- To develop a love of learning.  I firmly believe that once that love of learning is planted within, anything is possible.  If you love to learn, you will learn.

So far, I feel I'm progressing well with both goals.  My children seem to display happiness daily - their laughter and smiles, their chuckles and giggles, their excited chatter, seems to demonstrate this quite successfully.  The love of learning? Well that is a work in progress - always - but on the evidence of this morning, I know the seed has been planted.

Chelsea and Tiegan headed off to the local library to resource books.  We are very fortunate in our village to have a small, but well-stocked library.  We are even more fortunate in that it is just a few doors down from our home.  The librarians are friendly, and know us well.  They recommend books that they think may interest us, and keep us updated with any events they think we may benefit from.  We are blessed.  We had to fight hard to keep it.  Last year, as the year before, the library was faced with closure.  We had to raise it's profile and make sure people used it.  The numbers grew, and it was deemed as worth saving.  It will be reviewed again though, so the battle continues.
Whilst Tiegan and Chelsea were out, Callum and Joseph were in the garden.  I could hear loud giggles and laughter.  I could hear chatterings and excitement. I am not sure what game was being played (more than likely wrestling on the trampoline), but fun was being had, and what better way to enjoy the sunshine?

The girls came home complete with a selection of their finds.  A few Ocean themed ones for Chelsea, along with two cookery books, "Horseradish" by Lemony Snickets (a collection of quotes from his work I believe), and an internet linked Science Encyclopaedia.  Tiegan bought back a book about Rabbits (no surprise there then!), and one about living life near a river.  Tiegan settled straight down to read the rabbit book.  She really is excited at the thought of having her very own pet.  She is also taking the responsibility extremely seriously.

Chelsea read through a couple of her books, making notes as she went.  Then she went off to bake Flapjacks.

My little Baker

It has to be said, they were extremely yummy scrummy moreish Flapjacks too!

Tiegan pottered around the garden, and came inside bearing gifts for me.

My Precious little girl

We decided that the flowers would be nice in our new "Thinking" corner. Remember me mentioning about the little table I've now put in the corner of our lounge? It currently looks like this:

Our New Thinking Corner

The set of cards you see are general knowledge quiz cards. They have questions on one side and corresponding answers on the other. I like leaving them out as the children dip into them that way. We sometimes host our own quiz shows (usually with hilarious results), or the children will just quiz each other. They were a charity shop find, and I'm so glad I spent my pennies on them.

As I'm typing this, the girls have decided to take turns to read aloud to me. Tiegan chose a children's Bible, something she hasn't read to me for a long time.

My little reader

It opened up a wealth of discussion about her beliefs, and she asked about mine. I had to admit I don't really know what I believe anymore. I am struggling spiritually at the moment, well, maybe struggling is the wrong term. I am curious. I am seeking answers. I am questioning what I've always thought, always believed, always been taught. I may blog about this one day. For now I'm content to learn.

Chelsea read Alice in Wonderland from our Wordsworth Classics set.

Another reader

It is a challenging read. Lots of long "fancy" (as Chelsea just told me) words in it. She asked what Melancholy and Usurpation meant today. I like that it challenges my usual expert reader, it means we are doing something right :)

**Continued at 6.30pm**

An update.  Chelsea is in the bath, Tiegan and Callum are playing with the Playdough. Joseph is using the laptop finding websites about the World Cup.  It's been a great day.  No actually, it's been a wonderful day.  I've been happy, Tiegan has told me that she is happy, Chelsea has acted as if she is happy, Joseph and Callum?  Well, they are always happy :)

After writing my morning blog piece, I got dragged outside.  I went willingly of course, but it did feel as if I was being nagged.  Still, it's nice to be nagged to do family reading time :)  We sat in the sunshine out on the trampoline and enjoyed listening to the birds as we read.

Family Reading (taken with timer)

The first book we read was: 

Joseph in particular loves this book, and he is sad we are nearing its end.  It really brings to life what life was like. The story is very descriptive, and you can easily get lost within it.  It's written in an easy to understand way though, and although sad and sometimes distressing, it's not too graphic - well, not that we've come across yet.  The reality of war is never going to be pleasant, but I'm not one to hide my children away from such reality.  They have always been bought up to understand that life is full of good and bad.
The next book we read was:

This is a completely new book for me, but after reading just one chapter, I'm hooked.  The children sat transfixed as they listened to tales about the Taliban, war torn Afghanistan, soldiers, fighting, and orphans.  A very sad story it has to be said, but one that is very well written.  I'm looking forward to the next installment tomorrow.  Of course, such a book can't help but open up discussion.  The children identified with a lot that they had seen and heard about in the news.  We talked about the ethics of war, and it was interesting to hear their opinions.  Children can be so wise sometimes, I often feel that the world would be a better place if we just left them to it.

Tiegan then requested that she had another turn at reading aloud - she really is a read-aholic!  This time she chose "The Naughtiest Girl in the School" by Enid Blyton. It's a real favourite of hers.

Solitary Reading

Enid Blyton Reading Time

Then we just chilled out and had fun, enjoying each others company :o)

Happy Hound

Beautiful Chelsea

Happy Family


Sibling Love - Oldest and Youngest

As it's still April, and I'm still trying to keep up with the Kid's Outdoor Challenge, any of the garden photos above will suit, so take your pic :)
Just to finish off, I thought I'd show you a couple of things I've mentioned in the blog previously but only took photos of today. The first is the coat hook that Joseph made.

Joseph's Woodworking

It will be hung up in our porch/cloakroom shortly.

The second is a picture of Joe's carpentry skills. With his dad's help, he fixed wooden planks to the ceiling of our outside loo.

Joseph's Carpentry


  1. Hi there!

    just checked in on you via the GP forum, I'm san/mum2five!!
    I'm going to add you to my blog sidebar if that's ok, I think i could learn a lot from you in my own journey of HE again. We HE'd our older daughters, seems a life time ago now!

  2. That sounds great! :)

    I've been to the library too ;), with the damaged book :P.

    Wow Joseph!! Good work!!!

  3. eey gosh
    going to share this with my girls tomorrow to get us back on track after our lovely holiday with Connor who's gone back to uni now . . . sun??? what's that will you send us some ?
    love your blog Julia

  4. what a great day xxx

  5. Love the pic of Joseph peering over Tiegan's shoulder. Such a great expression. :)