13 August 2014
We recently visited a friend and found her kitchen counters "littered" with 2 L soft drink bottles, filled with colourful bits of plastic. Curious, we just had to ask....
Eco-bricks! Yes, all over the world, people are filling 2 L bottles with plastic bags and plastic rubbish, that would otherwise end up as landfill. These bricks are then used in a special, but very simple building method, to build structures. So far schools, community centres and structures like benches and park equipment have been built. In Port Elizabeth, South Africa a preschool is being built.
Yes, we understand that this plastic still does not decompose, but it is much safer than being loose and possibly blowing into our water sources and the ocean, where it damages the wildlife. I know that sometimes plastic is recycled, but I am not too sure how healthy that is, I mean surely some of those fumes are emmitted in the process and also, what about the resources used to run those factories. Of course the aim is to buy less plastic but I find that a real problem in South Africa. I am tempted at times to leave all the unneccesary wrappings at the counter!
I feel better about the fact that that my garbage is taking up less space. We used to fill about two garbage bags a week. This way, my garbage is compressed in to the eco-brick, and takes up far less space. The aim is to get the brick as heavy as you can. Our first one was 340 g. We are slowly putting less and less out for muncipal collection as we learn of new ways to reduce, re-use, recycle.
Joel and Emma gladly joined in, and Joel has been responsible for ramming the plastic in. He does it very effectively with a wooden dowel. They both made signs at our dustbin so that we would remember not to throw away the plastic.
So, would you like to join the ecobrick challenge? Google and find out where the nearest place is that will take your ecobricks and get making yours.
We have seen many varieties of frogs here, even tree frogs. I didn't even know South Africa had tree frogs! They come in a variety of colours and some have gorgeous patterns. I must get a photo of them.
his blog and read all about it.
10 May 2013
At last the move is over and we feel that Gods hand has been it in and over it in a mighty way. so may little things have happened that have shown His face and shown us that htis is what He wants for us. That has been so encouraging to us, as I must say it was rather a leap of faith, leaving daily work place, home and all you know.
|Our new home ground- the beach cliffs as sunset|
From the lounge window, I can currently see a sprinkling of yellow and orange in the bushy veldt, as the tickberry bush and Cape honey suckle are in flower. Shelley excitedly pointed out an aloe that has just started blooming, I think it is the coastal variety. A large variety of birds also abound, I am embarrased to discover that I know so few of them, but it is part of the exciting learning journey. We had a Knysna Lourie (old name) in our garden this morning.
Down at the sea there is a lagoon (estuary) which occsaionaly breaks through to the sea. It is currently broken through and this has caused much delight and fun for the children. On Sunday we found baby sole, shrimp, two varieties of prawn and tiny fish in the estuary. I am delighted with the hours of fresh air, exercise and sunshine.
Naturally our dogs are also enjoying the freedom of having space to run and have been really good about coming when they are called. I was afraid they would go running off into the veld and disappear. They are not allowed to run wild all the time as I feel that nature must be left alone.
|Surf at sunset|
|Four cousins on a Jungle Gym|
And, reality is, we are just recovering as a family from a very stressful time. Before our move, my father-in-law had a mild stroke, which was a stressful two weeks. Right thereafter we had overseas visitors for three weeks, then the move two weeks after that. During the visit, we also had our most busy time of the year in the family business, which involves photographing a university graduation. This is an all week-weekend affair for the men of the house and extra recruits are needed. My nephew and neice were happy to be involved, and a friends young adult daughter, so at one time there were thirteen people sleeping in my house and every bed/mattress and blanket was occupied! My sil and I did the food for the shop and all people living with us.
|How many cousins can you fit in a car?|
The end result was that by the time the move occured we were all exhuasted! And we'd missed school for two months instead of just our normal holiday. So it is back to work. We're still enjoying My Father's World. It really suits us so much. I have found it helpful to revise the Charlotte Mason principles behind the curriculum- such as short lessons, it's given me renewed enthusiasm for school.
Also, health wise I am sorting out some issues, always tricky when you are the Mom and life must continue. I will probably go for an op in June.
After years of tiredness, we're tackling the longstanding anaemia problems. Loosing the stress, plus getting all the fresh air and sunshine here can only be a good thing.
Praise God for a New Start!
21 May 2012
|Learning about our precious rhinos- Folded Paper Rhinos|
Then, we found curriculum, but weren't sure which one to use, as there were so many choices. We were seldom privileged to see curriculum being used in other South African homeschools, and we just don't know that many HS'ers. After trying many and ditching many, I found that the one that offered most of what I wanted was the Weaver curriculum.
|Musical water glasses|
Although I have laid out a lot of money for Weaver, and other curriculum, I am closer than ever at finding what is right for our family. I suppose all is not lost then. I've discovered a few things about our homeschooling:
- We want a curriculum that is Bible based, one that doesn't just tag on Bible
- We'd like to concentrate on Bible, lifeskills, missions, character and service at least as much as academics
- We love unit studies, because we can combine various grades and cover a variety of subjects, thus saving time
- We all love books, and reading plays a huge part in our learning
- We like our history to be more or less chronological, and don't like jumping about too much from topic to topic
- We like to do some hands on activities, some art and picture study, study composers, learn poetry- but often don't get time for these
- We need the curriculum to be laid out for me, in a daily schedule, so that I can just pick it up and use it, without lots of planning time
- I want to have all the books, not have to go to our library weekly, which is just not possible
- We don't do well with too much planned for us, as we get burned out
- We need LA and Maths that is not too intensive and time consuming
- We want to lay a good foundation in academics, but still have enough time to do the fun things like nature walks, science experiments, poetry and art
|Starfish from an intertidal rockpool|
|Cape Autumn Widow Butterfly|
|Phases of the Moon, with Oreo Cookies, yum!|
11 October 2011
Everyday, whilst I nursed his sister, my son and I would read books. Then we would go for walks in the veld, and discover new birds and plants. I really learned a lot more than I had ever learned because my little guy asked so many questions. We did crafts, and also just "mucked about" in mud or sand or water ;-) it was glorious. My daughter was a most obliging baby, always willing to join in.
From our first days of parenting, this verse from Deuteronomy 6 was laid on our hearts:
Though we have tried many things over the years we are back to what the Lord led us to initally and we regret the time spent (and money wasted) in curriculum searching. We use the Weaver curriculum, a Bible based unit study which teaches multiple levels, with hands-on methods to teach all three children at once. The older two children use Christian Light Education Maths, Reading and Language Arts. And my preschooler does a little Rod and Staff Preschool and a lot of playing.