Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Gradually Planning 2018

Our jar of happy notes from 2016, being read on Christmas Day.  Happy Memories...  :)

Somehow first term of the year always creeps up too quickly for my liking.  We never start any formal home learning til March (most of the heat has gone by then) but classes always start in Feb, and I'm always left feeling like they should also wait another month.  But not so.  This year I have three registered again- Gabriel for yr 11, Arden for yr 5 and Irving for pre-primary (which for us will mostly involve whatever everyone else is doing!)

Gabriel is in theory planning his year 11 largely himself...but at this instant I'm starting to feel like I might have to lock him to the computer to do his planning....there's lots of ideas about his areas of interest, but nothing put into even a vague structure as of yet.  Mostly he has spent the Summer reading.  Currently he is reading "Bulldog Drummond", since we have been watching a few film noirs this Summer also.  (Recently we have been watching the Bacall and Bogart set).

I made a plan for Arden at the end of the year, so I will review that in the week before we start our planned work at home.  I like the yr 5 Steiner themes, covering all the ancient world, and the stories that go with them.  We are hoping to head to the Maritime museum to see the Pompeii exhibit next week.  Gabriel and I have both seen it before, on a visit to Melbourne in 2009,  Willow found it creepy and doesn't want to come this time, but the rest of us are looking forward to it.

Musicianship classes will be back on in a week, and Willow and Gabriel are taking swing dancing classes (there's an excellent swing dancing scene here filled with young people from 20s through to 40ish).  Basketball will fortunately be starting when it cools down (Arden isn't keen to continue, but Gabriel loves it) but both of them are interested in doing some parkour classes, so we might try that this term.  We have been discussing tap dancing off and on over the years, as both Gabriel and Arden would like to learn broadway tap, but I haven't found anyone that offers quite what they would like.  Gabriel has decided to leave jujitsu this year, as he doesn't really love it, and for now he feels he's learnt as much self-defence as he would like.  Probably we'll be encouraging Arden to learn in a year or two.....seems pretty amazing that he's already heading towards high school years.

On that theme Willow recently turned 18, and is heading off to visit family in Adelaide for a couple of weeks.  Plus she is off to Womadelaide whilst there.  She is working on a mixture of projects this year, as she missed out on a place at WAAPA (she came home from her audition fairly certain that she would miss out).  She was a bit disappointed, but she was  pleased to get her Diploma in Classical Voice, and to have generally done well in that, and in some ways she is glad to be able to take the year out.

Fringe is upon us next week, as is the Perth Festival (which I have already purchased tickets to some shows.  We've made a list for the Fringe but have not yet sat down and discussed who will go to which shows and with whom.  Over the Summer so far, Irving, Arden and I have spent quite a bit of the Summer out and about, or hanging out at home with me doing some craft and them playing.

Playing at Fremantle

Flowers growning on a Moretan Bay Fig.  Photography by Arden.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Break Time

We made it to our Christmas break, through our outings and our annual review.  (This last  one with a new moderator.)  Arden turned 10, and I finally sat down to plan his yr 5. 

Carving pumpkins at Halloween.

Irving discovered that he could lock our cupboards.

Irving and I discovered that Govt house's gardens are open during the week, and we spent some time enjoying their grounds.

A selection of Arden's craft from this year.

His cushion.

Embroidered sneakers.

Tongue drum, made at Joy of Wood class.

Weaving on the inklette loom.

Blackforest cake made for Arden's birthday.

This year we decided to use a seasonal tree for Christmas, and thus we decorated a frangipani tree.

We have some general ideas about what Gabriel will be doing in yr 11, but the aim will be to mostly follow his interests.  Willow has just heard that she has passed all her Diploma in Classical voice subjects, and so is pleased about that.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Summer is Creeping In

This post has been a little slow making it out in the world.  We have had a fairly busy term with outings and various things going on, and so I got this half here, and then life happened....

Games Workshop miniature by Gabriel.

Some early ideas and brainstorming for Gabriel's yr. 11 next year.

Beautiful evening in Fremantle enjoying the start of Summer, and getting some rock climbing in.

Taking a look about Perth's Heritage buildings.  We really enjoyed seeing the change in this building, which was once the Gas and Electric building, but which we remembered as an ugly (maybe 1980s) bank.

Inklette loom arrived in the post, didn't take long to assemble and get started.

A small cross stitch project by Arden.

Science experiment with ice.

My crafting...making some bags

Learning pattern drafting

And a guest....a red wattlebird come to visit our balcony.

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.