Monday, October 9, 2017

Fishes, Family, Learning

There has been a mixture of interesting things going on around here, over the last month or so, with the last couple of weeks being holiday time.  The last couple of weeks of term 3 we had quite a few outings, and Damien had just finished a contract, so he was at home a bit to help out, before starting his new job.

A rare moment of just Irving and I hanging out; so we made a fabuland lego village.  (Willow was at uni, and Gabriel and Arden had gone to basketball class with Damien.)

Gabriel and Arden did another first aid class, and refreshed and built on the skills that they had learnt previously.  I have been meaning to enrol Willow and Gabriel into a first aid certificate, now that they are both older, and especially because we live almost adjacent to red cross.  Hopefully we can get to that next year!

I arranged an education session for Gabriel and some other home educated students with UN Youth, which proved to be quite interesting.  It had been a bit chaotic to organise (as sometimes happens) so it was quite a relief to get there on the day, and have everyone turn up, and it all go to plan.

On the way home after the UN talk, Gabriel and I head to Koko Blacks for a relaxing drink and chat.

We also had a couple of performance outings- everyone but Willow went to see Spare Parts Puppet theatre perform Shaun Tan's "Rules of Summer" and then Willow, Gabriel and I went to see WA Ballet perform "the Great Gatsby".  Both of these were my favourite performances by these groups.  "Rules of Summer" was very interactive, and "The Great Gatsby" expressed the interplay of relationships through dance in what I felt was an interesting manner, compared to the very traditional ballets.

Hard waste time was on around here again, so we went for a bit of an explore to see what we could find.  Arden and I came across this vintage sewing machine, seems to need a bit of love, so we're now taking a look at sewing machine repair.

On the sewing theme, I made Gabriel some trousers recently, and he has almost finished putting the markings on his pieces,so that he can sew himself some corduroy pants.

I added some embellishments to this old skirt, that I had sitting around in the cupboard, after taking in the waist (it was a modern hipster waist).

I am currently working on some bags, with the view to try selling some.

Arden has been really enjoying photography, and I recently saw someone mention that they really enjoyed being in the MOSAIC project, so we all went out and took photos, of what we were doing on Sat 23rd around Perth.  Arden got to share my and Damien's cameras.  Here are a few of his and my pics.

Arden's photos

My pics.

Our first week of holidays was very quiet, and we had a few outings over the second week.  Gabriel headed off to basketball training most of the second week, and he and Arden also took a fishing class, down on the Swan River.  Irving and I went exploring around Mosman Park, and visited the toy shop and fabric shop, amongst other things.  I had been hoping to mostly wander along the river with him, but it turned out to be really windy, and far too cold for him, so we stayed away from the river bank. 

This week sees Willow mostly off uni, she had a week off at the beginning of the break, and went back last week, and has this week off again, so that has been interesting.  Arden, Gabriel and I are starting our last term activities tomorrow, we were all feeling a bit under the weather today, so we took the day off basketball training.

I've ordered a loom for Arden to do some more weaving projects this term, and we will be doing some more cooking amongst other things...hopefully finish reading "the Never Ending Story"  soon, and the current "Little House" book that we are reading together.

Gabriel has been a little disorganised this past term, and Damien spent a bit of time helping him to come up with a way that he could better keep track of what he's done and has to do, and it looks like he's mostly on track now.  We've been discussing ideas and plans for him for next year, but he doesn't have a concrete direction he'd like to go, so I am imagining that next year might be filled with some variety.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

A Collection

Ab it of a collection of recent activities.

Arden has been working on some English recently-grammar and poetry, as well as us doing some ink drawings.

Fish by Arden.

Examining phrases, clauses and sentence (in Arden's usual creative writing style- the more artistic the better LOL!)

My eagle pen and ink drawing.

Irving's pen and ink drawing.  He seems to love pen and ink.

Some poetry and sketching by Arden, about lions.

My lion sketch.

Fabuland lego village building session with Irving, whilst all the big kids are out.

I've been using everyone's old trousers to make Irving new pants.  These are out of a pair of Willow's old jeans.
He was so happy, he did lots of posing for me!

Another pair out of Damien's old trousers.  Irving wanted yellow stitching.

A final pair out of Damien's old jeans.

Again lots of happiness, but this time couldn't keep still!

Out for a walk, just to splash in puddles.

Last bit of form drawing for this year, an interesting looking fish, which Arden found to copy.

Arden, planning a flag design for a t-shirt.

An experimental embroidery project.  Arden created a cactus.

And this lead to Irving wanting a cactus patch.

Now Arden is working on some ideas for embroidering into sneakers.

Making pumpkin bread!  Mostly me, with a bit of help.  (We've been doing some German cooking.)

Gabriel made us breakfast bagels on father's day for brunch.

Damien and I decided that Willow and Gabriel need to learn a bit about doing the shopping, so we headed to City Farm, gave them the grocery money, and ordered coffee.  Seems to have been a successful experiment so far, and will be happening fortnightly, in an attempt to encourage them to be aware of what's in the fridge when they cook dinner.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

English, Instruments and Floral Appreciation

Other than reflecting over today, I have sat down and wondered what we have been doing.  It's been an odd sort of week, but we have managed to get through a few interesting things.  Arden has been doing a mixture of pen and ink as well as grammar for his current new learning.  We are reading Charles Kovacs' "Norse Mythology" which I am not a huge fan of, but I like that it looks at some different versions of the myths from my preferred book by Padraic Colum, and Arden has been interested in hearing this version too.  Today was a bit interesting, as usually Irving will listen or do something nearby whilst we read these days, today however our reading was interspersed with playmobile games, of knights and pirates.

Charles Kovacs "Norse Myths".

Arden's sketch of miolnir.

My pen and ink of Frey's sword.

Sigurd's sword, Gram by Arden.

For Arden's English we've been looking at perfect tenses, continuous tenses, verbs and consistency (plural, singular, etc) and passive and active voice (including object and subject in this discussion obviously).  Arden had started asking some questions to Damien and I recently about this, so it was nice to explore it further.  We tend to do a little writing, and lots of talking out examples to let the idea really settle.  With Willow and Gabriel, when we did this, I mostly used websites that I found online, and my understanding of it, was pretty average ( we started doing this in yr 7, and then never did any more grammar in high school).  Last year we picked up a DK book on English, and generally I like DK books, so this year we used it as our guide.  To be honest I think if your child loves writing and reading, that is 3/4 of what it takes to be good at English, and of course reading quality books.  I'm happy for the kids to read almost whatever, from the library in their own time, but when we read together, I rarely read something to them post 1950,as the quality of language decays significantly the more modern the book.

DK English book

Arden's sketch and writing.  Arden has a tendency to turn *everything* into art, so sometimes the writing is interesting, as he explores an idea for how he can write.  (Sometimes I request regular writing, sometimes I ask what *on earth* he is doing....such as in one of the examples here where he was trying to write his sentence in the shape of a triangle!)

Arden's and my form drawing for the week.

Arden and I are messing about with a bit of embroidery on old clothing.

There is a plan for some sort of cactus embroidery, after we've experimented.  At the idea stage.

Some moments during the week.

Candlelight on a thundery morning.  Just because we can.


Arden has been busy cooking recipes from around the world recently for dinner (using Jamie Oliver's cook book Jamie Does...) and I've been trying out German baking, to re-experience my childhood of Australian German baking.  I picked up this book from the library and will have to buy a copy, there are so many things in here that I remember from my Nanna's house growing it made me realise where my love of poppy seed cake is from.

Hazelnut macarons (haselnuss-himbeer makronen) before the addition of jam.
Gabriel received a kit from Pitbull Guitars this week, for him to put together his own guitar. Willow made her own harp via a workshop, at a similar age, and since Gabriel is interested in guitar we thought that this seemed like an interesting project, that gives some insight into instrument construction.

And some flowers because the bunch was made just for me!  Can't help but feel good about that!  As a customer it's lovely to shop local and get treated by the shopkeeper.