Tuesday, July 31, 2012

So...Flying through Space & Time

 We have SO many toys, it's really kind of ridiculous...I can't even figure out how we got so many!
And what do the children play with?  Oh things like pipes, wooden spoons, boxes & chairs...the only thing the toys seem to be good for are for making an almighty mess!

But I do love watching how the most ordinary, every day things are utilised and incorporated into the most imaginative play!

Here are the Littles flying through space, Evie is the pilot and Bear is Knight defending the universe,  and is fighting any bad guys that get in their way.
And they can do this ALL day.
It makes me smile...well, at least when I'm not tripping over them :)

And #Bang, well he just has the most beautiful smile...
...and deep blue eyes!

Other than that we had some exciting stuffs happen yesterday, well exciting for a parent anyway :P

Our Evie decided to wear underpants for the day...and after a few false starts (one where she tried to wee like her brother in the garden but actually just stood there and wet her pants...lol), finally right at the end of the day I heard those words every parent wants to hear "I wee in the toilet Mom"...so we raced off, I sang her songs (the only way to keep her sitting) and finally was rewarded with the tinkle tinkle of her very first wee in the big toilet :D
We're hoping this means she's ready to start ditching  the nappies!

And Bear, well he asked if he could cut out...he uses scissors perhaps bi-annually (his choice)...and low and behold he was cutting beautifully so I suggested he may want to cut some pictures out of a magazine.  Which he went on to do just perfectly.  So seems we've got those all important scissor skills other parents keep telling me about under control after all :P

Looks like everyone is getting so big!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Unschool Mondays - A Bouquet of Reasons

When I think about why we're choosing alternative methods of education I can come up with a lot of reasons...a whole bouquet, full of interesting and colourful blossoms.

 And a lot of these flowers aren't the ones people may expect to see in the bouquet.  For instance we are missing Carolina Jasmine (separation), Eucalyptus (protection) & Candytuft (indifference).

Rather, our rag tag, hand picked bunch includes one of my favourite gifts from my husband, collected on the side of the road on his way home to me - cosmos (joy in love & life), along with daffodils (new beginnings), chrysanthemum (truth) and Sorrel (parental affection).


To me our bunch has always been beautiful and free of fear.

I certainly never invested in any Oleander (beware) & Lavendar (mistrust) to include in the display, and we intentionally tried to avoid any.
(Lavendar & White Oleander)

But just the other day I was arranging our bouquet while watching an enlightening video on OBE (or Outcomes Based Education)and I caught glimpse of what may just be some of these flowers in our bunch.
Just a bloom or two...
...And while they aren't all bad/ugly, I hope we remember to weed them out if they get to prolific because they were never intended to be a part of our bouquet.
Perhaps sometimes though it's prudent not to approach everything with rose-tinted glasses, and perchance there is a good reason we don't want to expose our children to certain things.

The video I watched was a talk by Peg Luksik called Who controls our children in which she explains OBE and how it works in the US.  Considering it has also been used where we live (a complete failure academically) and is currently being revised, it's certainly food for thought.

Have a look...or have a listen, the actual video isn't so great but the audio is perfectly fine...and let me know what you think!

*thanks to The Language of Flowers - a Miscellany by Mandy Kirkby for the flower references*

Linking in with Owlets Unschool Mondays

Friday, July 27, 2012

So...Picnic Time!

This last weekend we headed out to a concert day at our local botanical gardens and it was just what the doctor ordered.  Music, sunshine, picnic food, beautiful scenery & fresh air...just perfect!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

So...this weeks snack

This weeks snack consists of pineapple, strawberries, coconut chunks, provitas with bovril and cheese (just bovril for one child) and some yoghurt topped rice cakes.  Filtered water in the camelbaks.

Friday, July 20, 2012

So...4 months

Earlier this week it came to our attention that someone was already 4 months old!
I can't believe it!
So he is sitting quite nicely for his age, but still needs some cushions about for balance.
He's definitely come on leaps and bounds in the last week or 2 with his finer motor skills, picking up things, putting them in his mouth etc.
He now sucks his thumb occasionally
Oh boy do we have drooling!!!  I wonder if those teeth are not far off, the other 2 got their first teeth between 4 and 5 months?
He says hello quite nicely
He giggles and laughs and is quite ticklish
In tummy time he nearly can get up on all fours
He can roll from front to back, but not the other way round yet

I think that's all the milestone-ish stuff out the way, besides that he is just the gentlest, most beautiful old little soul and he makes us all happy!

Practising sitting!

 Going for a walk

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

So...Snack time again

Life is just really busy at the moment, not much time for blogging...but here's this week's snack anyway.  Hopefully I'll have time for something more interesting shortly!

Fruit salad (with strawberries, bananas and naartjies), cheese blocks and some dry wors.  To drink some nice warm milo!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

So...Snack Time!

Yoghurt, pretzels & a guava with some filtered water for this week's snack

Monday, July 9, 2012

Unschool Monday - Craft Day because we can!

I love crafting so you'd think I would do a lot of it with my children!
Unfortunately I used to find it mainly stressful.  Really it can take lot of planning, setting up and cleaning up for only a few minutes of involvement from toddler! As they grow however we are all getting a lot more out of it and I'm glad to say even I'm enjoying our crafts days!

They are usually based around something my kids are interested in, but not always for any specific learning reason as such.  That's the cool thing about unschooling, we get to do stuff just because we like it and think it's fun!

I saw a craft with lollipop/popsicle/craft sticks a while back and decided to give it a go ourselves.

First you soak your sticks until they are nice and soft, then you shape them into a bangle and let them dry.  This time I tied them around my bangle shaper I use in my little craft business, but I think next time it may just be easier to put them inside a cup or something similar.

Here's what they look like all dry and in shape
Then I put out a few things for the Littles to use to decorate them - paint, stickers, markers and some cute little wooden bugs I knew they would like.
 Of course they chose to use them all :)
 Evie watches her brother very carefully and almost replicates exactly what he does, it's sweet but I also look forward to when she starts doing her own thing!
 Our finished bangles

Showing them off

I'm joining in with Owlet's Unschool Mondays

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

So...Snack Time

This snack consists of persimmon, vienna and cheese cubes spiked on some leftover cocktail umbrellas from some party pre-children, and some cheerios.  Filtered water in the camelbaks.

Then they found something else to use their umbrellas for - stacking cheerios
 Then munching them off!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Unschool Mondays - Buttons, Bits & Bobs

I'm joining in with Owlet's Unschool Mondays  and am going to share a little of our last week.

Early on in the week I was busy with some crochet hats for a client and needed a button.  I tried to sneak off to look through all my buttons undisturbed but I was unsuccessful...the kids caught me and were soon clamouring for button play time!
Buttons are a big hit in my house, I have a nice big tub that I'm always adding to.  I pour them out into a tray, provide cups and containers to sort them out into and needles & thread to string them out.
This time both kids decided to make snakes :)
Buttons are good for all sort of learning
We have our fine motor skills with the threading.
Then there is the sorting & organising skills - sorting the buttons into colours, sizes, ones with 2 or 4 holes etc.
Evie is still learning colours so obviously finding buttons of the same colours helps there.
They are also useful for maths - Bear has recently discovered the idea of addition and subtraction and is employing it everywhere....if he has 7 gummi bears and eats two then he only has 5 left :D.  
So sums with the buttons are fun too...3 blue ones and 2 yellow ones means we have 5 more to add to our snake!
We also got these cool light sticks in some party packs.  They were a huge hit! Pity the quality wasn't so great, but we had loads of fun while they lasted.  The kids discovered that if you move them around fast enough in the dark they leave a light trail...and we had fun taking some photos of them!

Dad had a go too!

 Then I came across some nice colourful pens during my grocery shop.  As my kids prefer to draw with pens at the moment I decided to buy them...add to that the stickers from our earlier mentioned party pack and we had our art covered!

 Evie ready and showing me how beautiful she is.  And the style is all her, she is seldom without a bag these days stuffed full of her bits and bobs, and for some reason both of the children have taken to wearing headbands...I don't ask questions :)
 Our supplies
Hard at work
And afterwards Evie had fun matching up the right caps with the right pens and asking me what all the colours were...she's definitely showing more interest in learning her colours this week!

This is not everything and this is not all, it just happens to be what I managed to snapshot.  One thing is for sure, there's lots of fun & learning to be had in the littlest things!