29 September 2007

Spring colours

So, the holiday?
Well we did go away and had two beautiful days at the Kleinemonde estuary. Alas, we came back early, as all the children were sick. We picked up some strange virus, with high fevers and sore bodies, resulting in listless little people. I felt happier having everyone at home, and then I got it last Monday, for two days. We've all recovered and thus far Dad has remained strong.

We had some HOT days this week, and I pulled out the splash pool and filled it. The girls enjoyed playing it. Lollie, less so, could be that he does not fit into it well anymore!

We did a lovely Weaver lesson on "Shadows" which involved drawing our shadows on the paving, at various times of day, and observing the change. The children loved it. We did all our "school" outdoors in the shadow the house casts. Standing out in the sweltering hot sun, to draw their shapes, they had a hands-on lesson of thankfulness for shade, as we have no trees yet, our yard is VERY hot.

This week we also did "Reflection" and Dad did a really great devotion about reflections that evening, in candle light.

Uncle R is staying with us for a few days, and the children are so enjoying his visit. It is good to catch up with family.

16 September 2007

Picnic in the veld

Princess loves Baby coz

Today went out of town, to a local game reserve, with family. The weather forecast had predicted bad weather, but the day was lovely and sunny, and warm. We had a picnic alongside the Settlers dam, on the grass. We had a braai for lunch, and then the other adults attempted to take a nap on blankets spread out under the shade of an acacia tree. I took the children for a little stroll.

Along the waters edge we saw buffalo spoor and there was evidence that the rhino had been around, but we never spotted them. The children enjoyed poking at little tadpoles in the shallow water. Princess (aka Embie Tembie) was feeling a little jittery about the possibility of bumping into a rhino without Daddy by her side. (I thought it best not to even mention the buffalo!) I wanted to go on further and a bit into the bush too but she was not at all happy. Alas princess was also feeling camera shy, and then a fall and resultant bump on her chin ended the happy time for her. We saw a small herd of impala along the road as we left later.

Lowly playing with pollywiggles

We are GOING ON HOLIDAY to the seaside, on Tuesday, for almost a week.
I am so excited, can you tell?
We have not been on holiday that long for more than a year, and we have been invited to join family, so it's a real blessing. Hubby dearest needs a good break.

15 September 2007

Birthdays and baby days

Top: Shell bell with crazy baby hair, and above: Birthday boy with his cake and friends

Lowly worm had his birthday party yesterday. Since his last party was the year that he turned three, due to various family emergencies, we wanted to make it really special. And it was. He had 12 friends over, and we played 2 games, pass the parcel, and a treasure hunt. Then the children all had time for free play. The cake turned out well and everyone enjoyed the eats. So until Christmas, I can rest;-)
I snapped this shot of Dad and Lollie at the party, and I love it!

Dad and his big boy

Lollie enjoys taking pictures with my camera, and he took this in the garden this morning, of Princess Beauty Bright and me. It was a lovely warm Spring morning, and we played some cricket.

Mom and the princess

While we were playing, Shell-bell was investigating the garden, and found the dog's water bucket. She had such fun, and then began to play in the muddy patch she had created, enjoying every moment as it squished in her fingers. Then it was upstairs for a clean up.

Happy as a piggy in the mud

13 September 2007

Settling down

Enjoying the Spring garden

We've been having some really calm, ordinary stay-at-home days, and that has been good. We have gone to the library, baked together, had a few visitors and just played. I have really felt rather introspective, now that I am a mother of a SIX year old!

Lowly worm is now SIX, with his own Clivia

I have realised with shock at how fast time flies, and feel that we need to slow down the academics for a while and live and learn more of life lessons. We have not done Weaver for
about 2 weeks, but we've been re-connecting as a family. And I think it is great.
Next year, the big boy, by law must start school. Then I am going to have to do much more serious work with my almost official First Grader. Until then, we are taking it slow...enjoying our family moments.

Forest Fairies having a picnic
I visited our local boys' school this week to view their resources. Initially my mind was reeling, as I tried to compare what we are doing, academic wise, here at home, with the school system. The teachers were very clear that we are really are not doing our children a favour, and that socially they will be maladjusted;-) I began to feel discouraged.

Happy friends on the go-kart

It got me thinking about how as Christians, we also do not "fit in". Our choices are not the same as the world's choices, so obviously we do not fit into this world. (The Bible tells it so too) I understand now that my children too, will be different. They probably will struggle to adjust to the systems of this world, be it school or something else. Here in their home, that is not what we are ultimately preparing them for. Hopefully we are preparing them for a high calling, as we train character and disciple them in the ways of the Lord, even if it means in this world they are "different".

01 September 2007

The Weaver Curriculum

This year our family has struggled to find a homeschool curriculum/method that is the right fit for us. After trying a really traditional, workbook based curriculum until April, which crushed our son's natural love for books, we were ready for a change.

After much prayer we felt that a curriculum based more on the Word of God, than academics would be the ideal curricula. I read a great book, "When you rise up", by RC Sproul which challenged me to take Deuteronomy 6: 6-7 seriously, and literally.

And so I began the painstaking process of trying to create my own curricula around the Word. Searching through books, teaching resources and Internet for what I needed required large amounts of time, and often I struggled to find how to combine the Word with certain subjects. And I ended up "tagging" the Bible in after the academics were covered.

Somehow this was not working. Also, Emma was really struggling during school time. All the work was pitched at Joel's level and she was left out. I really struggled to keep her happy. And the rest of the day Shelley needed so much attention(she still does) that Em was missing out on Mom time BIG time! Something had to change. I began to research curricula again...what a mission that was. Nights spent surfing the Web.

(Drum roll)Enter the Weaver curriculum. I had heard about Weaver from only one other South African. I began to scour anything on the Internet that I could find about it, and at last I decided we would give it a try. In the last two weeks of August we started The Weaver Curriculum.

Because of the ages of our children, we have begun with The Interlock, the preschool Weaver program. We are thoroughly enjoying it. It is, firstly, based on the Word, relaxed enough to cover neccesary academics, and includes little ones and Kindergarten (which is equal to Grade R in South Africa) The program is bringing us closer as a family, as it encourages family devotions too. This seems to be the missing part of other curricula...involvement from Dad. There are many hands on activities, but they are meaningful, not just done for the sake of doing.

We really are thrilled, and plan to learn as much from fellow Weaver users as we can. We belong to a Yahoo group, which has helped me not feel so lonely. I do wish more South Africans knew about Weaver. It's so perfect!