Last Day of Term

We made it! We actually made it through a term of home-schooling unscathed and a little wiser. Certainly a lot closer than before.

I left Tiger in the schoolroom to wriggle and complete his last few phonics pages whilst I finished painting the playroom shelving. Bear had a creative writing exercise to do and I suggested he try working on the laptop instead of writing it out. He sat in the room with me running each line of his story by me before typing it. But it worked and we actually got 200 words of pretty readable and creative writing. Breakthrough!

SweetPea sat on my lap while I painted (no sling at the mo because of my new tattoos) and when I kept ignoring her “come and put me to sleep” whines moans requests she eventually curled up with Dharma, my daxi, and fell asleep. So sweet


I decided to have a quick coffee break before heading to work. Popped the coffee in the microwave, picked SweetPea up (she had stumbled through after me but really wanted to stay asleep) and then went to take the super-heated coffee out the microwave…never do this when you are distracted. I managed to spill the lava coffee all over my hand but did avoid SweetPea and feet. Let me just say, second degree burns hurt. A lot!!



Leaping Out of the Box

Today was not our easiest day. It started off well – it’s the end of term and we have finished the syllabus requirements so we are really doing fun exercises to revise. I am also in the process of painting everything that stands still long enough in my house, and the playroom shelves were next on my list. So my thinking was, the kids can work at their lap desks in the playroom whilst I paint the shelves. We’ll fly through the work because it’s really easy and then they can go and play outside.

It started out like this…



But that didn’t last… Ha! Note how in the top pic Tiger is already clutching his forehead? Well this was when we started English. The maths went well. The phonics revision less so. He knew all the answers. Really! We had covered this work. So what had changed?

Reading this blog post tonight, I figured it out. I had moved him to a different room and placed all his work on one desk on his lap. That effectively pinned his legs down. He is “Body Smart – thinking with movement and touch. When excited they will move more, and have power to encourage others by the use of their bodies – chores, sports, hugs, dance, etc. Fidgets are helpful; they give the child a positive outlet for their processing. They need alternatives to physical movement or they will get into trouble by not controlling their bodies.”

At his desk in the schoolroom, he will lean back in his chair, put his head on the desk, put his feet on the wall, the desk, the window…he moves.. a lot! When we first started home schooling I tried to get him to sit still. I tried to get him to sit up straight and put both feet on the ground. In other words, I tried to change his smarts. I quickly learnt that if he had blocks to play with, he could listen well. If he had a piece of playdough to roll, he could read with relative ease. He needed his fidgets in order to concentrate. At our snack time, he runs around outside and comes back in invigorated.

This article made me realise that I am “Word Smart: thinking with words. When excited they will talk and write, and have the power to build others up, but when working for harm they criticize, tear others down, manipulate, and have the last word.” um..well..moving on…

Bear is predominantly “Nature Smart: thinking with patterns. When excited they will remember patterns and categories, and have the ability to naturally and easily compare and contrast, to tune into the environment, and prefer to be outside. But without an outlet for their smarts they may become discouraged and will not thrive with long stretches indoors.” This explains why he loves any theme to do with nature, he loves Science and Maths – but not word problems, creative writing (even though he is very creative) or comprehensions.

This explains for me why Dragon and I click. Why learning seems to be easy for him – we learn in the same way so my presentation will work for him. 

Now…how to incorporate this knowledge into our learning day…


Our Day in Pictures

What with painting everything in my house and preparing for party season (4 birthdays in 10 weeks in this house) and home-schooling, I don’t seem to get much time to write a full blog post lately. So here is our day in pictures


We have been reading Harry Potter together, and this last week of term has been fully Harry Potter themed, so today, we flew through our work so we had time to make these brilliant wands – made out of one sheet of A4 paper! I will post a tutorial soon, I promise.


During our smoothie break, Tiger came through carrying his jar of coins. He said he wanted to pay me for a fantastic day of school *insert heart eyes*. He later appeared with his stuffed reindeer inside one of our baby carriers. Baby-wearing is ingrained in this house!



The day was not all unicorns and paper wands though. SweetPea has tonsillitis, her molars are erupting and she has ulcers in her mouth. She spent much of her day either on me or in a state of dejection.

SO the day is done, it is 4 minutes to midnight…and tomorrow it all begins again


After the kitchen and diningroom makeover, I started brightening up various bits of furniture in the lounge

I picked up this drinks trolley years ago for R150. I intended to paint it after I bought it – it had layers of grotty cream paint on it but its beautiful black glass was still intact. Three children later, I finally did it


I painted this yellowed bookshelf a lovely bright red, and contrasted it with the pink on the wall


I store my home dispensary of homoeopathic remedies in this old library catalogue cupboard. I love its new look!


I am LOVING the new colour in our house. It really makes me happy

PS much homeschooling was still happening during this time…so much that I haven’t had much time to write about it…

Painting again!

Of course, once you paint one area of your house, the rest of it starts looking pretty shoddy…and so the diningroom makeover happened.

The diningroom has never had an intentional colour scheme. We got some priced to go curtains that were green chiffon, and the colour scheme sort of grew around that. 

We also had loads of dark furniture in the diningroom which was starting to feel really oppressive



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The great kitchen makeover

For ages now I have been dreaming of having a 50’s style turquoise kitchen and the warmer weather finally got me into gear.



The house was in complete chaos whilst we painted. And then it was time to rip out the old floor (made of ceiling boards!) and put in a new one.



Some good advice

I’ve never been much of a fan, and certainly never thought I would use him as an example for my kids, but I showed this to them today…

And we’re off!

15 July 2013…Day 1 of homeschooling!

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I am 9 years old and I want to be an INVENTOR when I grow up


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I am 6 years old and I want to be a HERPETOLOGIST when I grow up