Friday, October 14, 2011

Things I Know

  • Despite the mistaken concern of complete strangers who feel it's necessary to point this out to me...I KNOW my son has long hair
  • I also know it's probably hanging in his eyes...we have sent approximately 10 zillion clips into the black hole where hairclips, odd socks and all our house hold pens collect.
  • I also know this fact does not make him a girl, or make him look like one either.
  • I know that most people don't understand why we could possible want a boy child with long hair, but what they don't know is that it's his choice.
  • I also know it's not popular to let your children choose things for themselves, but hey, we've tried to cut it and we prefer not to traumatise our children, and even more so we prefer not to traumatise ourselves. Also we unschool so it follows that we let our children make some (ok a lot) of their own choices.
Well now we got that out the way, just look at my kids, I know they are gorgeous and I know they have the best imaginations, they turn this chair into all manner of things every day!!!
Back to things I know after that short interlude:

  • I know I'm really busy with work at the moment and this week has been a bit of a write off when it comes to the kids.
  • As I sit hunched over my work bench contemplating unschooling while working away, I also know that a lot of the work I'm doing is headed towards teachers across our country, destined as end of year gifts & graduation presents etc...the irony of this has not passed me by.
  • I know that the baby in my belly is fine, and got the say so from all the medical professionals too...always nice to know :)
What I DON'T KNOW is what it's like to be adopted, and meeting a biological parent for the first time, who is also deathly ill. And all my thoughts are with my little brother at the

Why not join in with Shae from Yay for Home and blog your own Things I Know post!

SACH Blog Carnival #9: Our Journey into Home Schooling

It's my turn to host the blog carnival and I'm so pleased to have the pleasure!
But first let me tell you about our own journey into homeschooling so far!

Although our children are still very young and nothing we do could really be considered schooling at all, I do think our journey into homeschooling has been a lifetime in the making, starting with our very own school "careers".

Both my husband and I were what is considered good at school, easily achieving good grades without much effort, generally complacent, obedient and so forth...I say generally because we both had our moments of rebelling against the system, but it was nothing too drastic.

However we both hated school, there were many many things we didn't like, care for or understand about the system, and we couldn't wait to be rid of it. Both of us left with little understanding of what we really wanted out of life or what work we should busy with ourselves with, but we met and merrily bumbled along together, discovering our own way in the world.

During these years I was also watching my parents struggle with my youngest brother's schooling going career. After successfully putting 3 achievers through the schooling system they were faced with a child who just didn't fit and a system which was not much interested in helping them at all, in fact the system seemed to do almost the opposite.

Years of battles, hordes of different schools, various diagnosis and general consensus by doctors and teachers to " just medicate" ended up with a young boy who was declared on the verge of a nervous breakdown before he even hit his teen years. And when I say nervous breakdown I'm not referring to what us Moms claim we're going to have after a trying day at home with the kids...but the very real & serious medical condition.

At the time my parents did try a brief stint of homeschooling but it wasn't hugely successful.
Luckily my parents finally did find someone who discovered the underlying cause of many of my brothers problems (which turned out to be celiacs disease, which deprives the body and mind of nutrients and has a host of side effects) and it was treated reasonably successfully, but he never truly fitted into the schooling system and eventually left it before finishing his matric.

The whole sorry mess certainly didn't make us any fonder of the schooling system or the people working it. Sadly we'd seen just what it was capable of and how it could destroy a child's character and confidence.

I must point out that we weren't really considering homeschooling at this point, being young and carefree ourselves and just glad to be out of the whole school system. But we were certainly aware that not every child fits into the system, and that we weren't sure we wanted to send our own kids to your average run of the mill school.

Then finally we were ready to start our own family. Like most parents we had questions about many things and the answers we got eventually led us towards a natural, nurturing path and trying to live a life apart from some of the societal norms we are used to...a free life!
As our children were born and raised, our questions about how & why things are done certain ways have continued, and we've carried on trying to create a lifestyle which we think is healthy and beneficial for our family.

Early into our parenting journey we were approached by people constantly asking if we'd got our kids onto waiting lists at various school (sometimes before they were even born), and asking why they weren't in playschool by the time they were only a year or 2 old.
Sure I had my own days where I was eager enough to have a few hours free from tantrums & tears, but I couldn't understand this constant underlying pressure to send my children away from their home and their parents.
We found ourselves wondering what this whole obsession with school was, whether it was even healthy and good for our children, and why it was just assumed everyone had to automatically join in. So we started looking into schooling and what educations we wanted for our children.

Initially I was unsure whether I personally would be able to homeschool.
While I had realised that it was certainly possible, I hadn't yet understood that homeschooling didn't necessarily mean school at home for 8 hours a day with me playing teacher teacher, the thought of which didn't appeal to me at all and quite frankly still gives me the heebie jeebies.

Also we were concerned about socialisation...I know, the thing all homeschoolers HATE other people asking about, but it was the first thing anyone asked the moment the word homeschooling passed my lips and I had no answers myself as yet. All it took was a little time, thought & reading, and I soon came to understand why it's not really an issue.

So in our effort to understand more we were reading, and reading, and talking and reading, and we learnt so much!
About how & why schools were created
About what schools teach our children
About how people learnt before schools
About how children learn & fail
About what education really is
About what families are and should be
About why schools work like they do
About our society & socialisation
About politics
About religions
About different lifestyles
About so many things I couldn't possibly list them all here!

And the exciting part, is we're only at the beginning of our journey, we still have so much to learn & discover!

The reality though is that over the last four years my husband and I have come to realise we can't in good conscience send our children to school. We want a different way for them in this life, and a different lifestyle from what has become the norm. We think it's improtant to live the life you want and walk your talk.
So we travel down this road trying to find our way, and we continue questioning many things including schooling, homeschooling & education.

So far it's been truly enlightening for us and has taught us so much about what we want out of our lives, and what we want for our children.

Now on to the carnival of bloggers who have also shared about their journeys into homeschooling. Please head on over to the different blogs and have a look see, every family's journey is unique and interesting, and they all have something different to share!

Trys from Trixi's HomeEd Acadamy talks about Letting Go & Moving Forward in her blog post on their journey into homeschooling.
They found their brilliantly clever, but struggling son, in need of remedial & extra lessons, despite being enrolled in a private school. It came to their attention that his learning problems were caused by his private school's inability to address gross & fine motor skills, and they became angry their son wasn't getting the help he needed in exchange for the high school fees they were paying. “They caused the problem, why should we have to fix it?” they asked and - this is where their journey began...

Nadene over at Practical Pages had company on her journey to homeschooling which she tells us about in her post Our Journey into Homeschooling.
Having tea with 3 other Moms at her church led her to discover they had like hearts and a desire to nurture their children, which led them into homeschooling. At times she had friends nearby and at times they've lived far from other homeschooling families and friends, but she's appreciated all the company she's had along the way!

Karen from Karen's Clan blogged her insights in A Joyful Journey
She tells how hearing other parents stress about school enrollment in a Moms & Babes group made her wonder if there wasn't another way to live, and how God called them to a life of freedom outside of the world and it's ways.

Thandi from Imperfect Mom of Two recaps her reasons for homeschooling in Didn't I do this already? Why I Homeschool...
Like most homeschoolers, her reasons are many & varied and includes concerns about crime & bullying, to being unable to find a school that upholds the morals and values she holds dear.

Nicki from Of Right Mind shares their story in Goodbye School!
Sadly her son encountered many obstacles in his few years of schooling and after various assessments they were finally advised to medicate. When thing went even more downhill from there they finally decided to walk out of the school and into homeschooling and happier child.

Taryn from Hayes Happenings tell us how she's grown over the years in Our homeschooling we got here
She tells us about her very first enounter of homeschooling, her reaction to it and how over the years her perceptions changed. We follow her amusing but also honest journey from student, to school teacher, to homeschooling parent.

Lulu over at The Life and Ramblings of a Life Blessed shares in how did I land up homeschooling my kids how homeschooling was their destiny, and despite sending their son to 6 different schools in 6 years (including a school they started themselves) they found themselves as homeschoolers.

Lindi from The Greaves Family posted Our Journey Into Homeschooling on how a book introduced them to the idea of homeschooling and how they subsequently stepped out in faith into unknown territory despite the lack of information available to them.

Donette at the aptly named The Journey, posted Our Journey Into Homeschooling.
She talks of how God put the desire to homeschool in her heart, but also of the judgement she sometimes faces because of their choice, as well as the temptation to judge in return, something I'm sure many homeschoolers can relate to.

Esther from, A House - A Home and Learning, shares Our journey into homeschooling
She shares how God kept putting homeschooling in their paths. She talks of her first experience of homeschooling as a child herself, and how it changed over the years as our country changed. She also shares some of their reasons for hoemschooling, including their son's diagnosis of Apraxia of Speech.


This post features on the South African Carnival of Homeschool Bloggers where South African home schoolers share experiences, ideas, philosophies and much more. You can join the carnival too by heading to the South African Carnival of Homeschool Bloggers sign up page. We hope you enjoy the carnival as much as we have!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Sci Bono

We had a great week the other day with friends who organised a couple outings. We couldn't join in everything but we were very excited to make it to the picnic & swimming at a local public pool, and we were there like fred bear when we heard about their planned outing to our local science museum.

I'd been aware of Sci Bono for a while but my two are still quite young and I wasn't sure how age appropriate it would be as no one I knew had been there and could let me know what it was like.

Turns out I was worried for nothing, even the youngest of us who attended had a blast and they were a mere 8 and 12 months. We will be back, that's for sure!

I managed to get a few snaps of what we got up to, but it by no ways covers everything available there. There was so much to do the kids didn't know which way to turn next...and there were big tears from both of mine when we eventually did have to leave, it was only the promise of a Happy Meal which saved the day at that point (I know, I know, our secret is out, we buy McD's *blush*)

Anyway here we are at the electrical section checking out some videos and touch screen games
Connecting circuits and powering up to turn on lights

Connecting more circuits
One with water
At the bottom of the black hole eagerly anticipating the emergence of the ball we flung down it!
In the lego & duplo sections
Much concentration!
Building, building, building
And on to building on the construction site
All ready to work!

Also it was a nice cost effective outing because kids under 6 are free, so it was only the R20 adult fee for me we had to pay.
We will definitely be back, thinking of making it a monthly outing in fact!