Thursday, May 26, 2016

birds of a feather

We're preparing to drive north for the winter.

And with that preparation, my mind turns to schooling the boys on the road.

I've been reading Guerilla Education - How to Give Your Kids A Real Education With or Without School, a fantastic read that my friend Robin loaned me, written by Grace Llewellyn and Amy Silver.

There is so much for me to learn reading this book.

When it comes to education Pete and I have chosen to send our boys to a local public primary school even though I think that mainstream schooling isn't perfect, there are many aspects of school that our boys enjoy, River more so than Sol but he has warmed to it too especially since having grommets put in his ears on the last school holidays. He can finally hear!

For one term each year though, I homeschool our boys while we are on the road traveling for Pete's work with Indigenous Elders around Australia.

The homeschooling is something that I both love and feel anxious about. Am I doing it right? Are the boys going to 'fall behind'? It feels like a tremendous responsibility to school them in an academic way.

While all of my concerns are valid I stop my mind and heart going too far before they spin into a whirlwind of worry. Everything is going to be ok. I take a breath and get some perspective.

We live in a small, beautiful coastal town and community. The natural beauty of the ocean and seascape is truly spectacular. The pace of life away from the city suits us, no traffic or pollution. So many positives.

Here comes the BUT, it is a limited view of the world our children are growing up with here so it is important not just for them but for Pete and I to travel and see the world beyond our bubble here.

Travel for us offers the school of life, or road school as I like to call it.

So, back to education.

What I love about Guerilla Education is the way the authors offer 5 keys to learning: opportunity, timing, interest, freedom and support.

These are the keys that are just not entirely practical to live by in mainstream schooling where unfortunately there is a heavy focus on achievement and outcome and at an ever increasing and pressured pace.

My concern with the mainstream approach is that children's love of learning can be squashed and the critical thing that suffers is their confidence. This has a domino effect on so many aspects of the child's life. I sometimes ponder ways that this could be different that I could suggest to the education department, ways we could change the culture of education. I know, no small task but a worthwhile one!

I'm already putting the Guerilla Learning keys into practice by noticing the topics that naturally catch my sons interests and creating opportunities for them to delve into them deeper.

When I think back to my childhood my great grandmother was really the person who did this for me, who noticed my love of cooking and gave me opportunity, freedom and support to explore this interest. I always remember bringing home a cookbook from the library when I was in about grade four, Grandma let me choose any recipe I wanted and we cooked it together, the recipe was called 'birds nests', baked potatoes with an egg cracked into the middle with bacon and cheese on top!

Sol's interest in birds is so clear and continuous. He's had croup the last couple of days so we have researched and written about birds. Did you know birds have hollow bones? Neither did I. "Let's look up flightless birds Mum!" Sol said enthusiastically, pen in hand ready to write down the names of the birds. Everything the authors of Guerilla Learning said would happen happened! Three months ago getting Sol to write was about as easy as it is for me to fly.

And River, all he wants to talk about, learn about, read about is Greek gods and mythology thanks to Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson series of books.

With this in mind I'm starting to prepare lesson plans for our trip based around River and Sol's natural interests. And now I'm excited.

We're such funny creatures us humans, I go through this process of anxiety and nervousness every year before our trip and I come out the other side. Most times for me its a case of loosening my grip a little, just letting go and er... not trying to control the outcome :)

Where are you at with educating your children? When faced with change do you hold on too tight sometimes?

Saturday, May 21, 2016

the friday list

What a bad blogger I've become. So much dead air time! And still you turn up. Thankyou.

Well today I've turned up, I'm having a little break from writing copy for a client's website.

I thought I'd share a friday list of things (on saturday) that have caught my eye this week...

My friend Brenda Janschek has given her site a makeover and it looks fab.

I'm saving up to do this course, if writing is part of your day job I reckon its a goodie.

I found Feasting at Home this week, all the recipes look super delicious.

I'm not really a slipper kind of a gal but take a look at these! 

Have you been to Copenhagan? I haven't but I enjoyed this little window into Copenhagan photographer and writer Nana Hagel's world.

I had dinner last night at Cakes and Ale with a group of local women in business, highly recommend a dinner out with some great women if you haven't done so in a while. I'll mention while I'm here that Cakes and Ale have started a 'Local's Lunch' that they'll be offering all through winter, a main course and a glass of wine $29.50 or two courses and a glass of wine for $35.00. Worth a trip to Sorrento!

A friend invited me to a fundraiser during the week and one of the items on sale was the beautiful soy candle pictured above, from Feather and Soy

If you feel like a night off cooking and you're local to Elsternwick, call into a new shop (that I do the marketing for) called What's 4 Dinner. Beautiful home-style meals like you'd cook at home, real food, no nasties, family friendly, gluten free and vegetarian options too.
250 Glen Eira Road Elsternwick ph: 9528 3507

Happy weekend everyone. Hope you've got some sunshine where you are x

(*Just so you know I do the marketing for Cakes and Ale too).

Sunday, May 08, 2016

I love you past the volcanoes and back

Mother's Day.

Another one of those days in the year that can be joy filled, tear filled and everything in between.

Even if you want to ignore it, want it to be low key, some years it just isn't what you expect it to be.

This year, today my day was perfect.

The rain was falling and I got to watch it from my bed and listen to the sounds of my three guys in the kitchen preparing me breakfast.

Breakfast in bed on Mother's Day. A first for me.

Every Mother's Day is different.

Some years I miss my mum.

Some years we have a family lunch.

One year we spent it in in New Zealand with friends.

There are parts of this calendar event that I love and parts I loathe.

Whatever shape yours took I hope that it was all ok, and if it wasn't that you can take a few deep breaths, head off to sleep and wake up to a brand new day leaving the hurts and hiccups of today behind you.

I just read Kate Northrup's post about being a new mother. Its a must read.

Oh, the "I love you past the volcanoes and back" they are the words from Sol's Mother's Day card.

The volcanoes no less. I love that his imagination went beyond the usual moon and back and led my imagination to wonder, where are these volcanoes anyway?! Of course the literal meaning isn't important, the point is wherever the volcanoes are and back that equals a whole lot of love!

River's card touched my heart equally, describing me as "adventurous" because I try new foods lol. And that I'm good at "writing your blog and other things as well".

It got back to me a while ago that a male friend had read my writing here and couldn't understand why I'd write the things I write here, I'm guessing he found it a bit too personal, not professional or 'writerly' enough but that's because I don't write it for my friend, I write it for women.

I write here for the mamas, the fairy god mamas, the aunties, the sisters, the girl cousins, the female the feminine, that's who I write this blog for, yes for me but also for you.

So Happy Mother's Day ladies, whether you have children, wished for children, are missing your children or missing your mother today you are all welcome here and I hope that I provide something for you for the taking, something that inspires you, makes you smile, touches your heart or just makes you think "I'm not alone", because you're not! Not today or any other day. We're all in this together.

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