December Homeschool Miscellany

in Home Edders3 months ago

I usually don't do December and January unless interesting things happen as December is usually write-off month (too many end of year things happening for anything to be effectively planned and even if it could be planned we'd be exhausted as normally around the end of year things we just want to chill) and January is planning month (because my organisational skills are that atrocious that I need an entire month to plan).

December was busier than usual due to the situation that I don't want to talk about as it involves other people but that we're otherwise deeply involved in, and the parents catching me by surprise by last minute sending me Christmas shopping for the kids. In fairness usually Mum is all over this and may have been planning to give the kids money in cards and Dad may have unwittingly derailed it by trying to help. Meanwhile I did poke the kids about bookwork every now and again, and sometimes they would do it, and I tried to do stuff in between all the other chaos that was going on.

11yo was the easiest one to work with in this regard. We went to a park near the library that we hadn't been to for a while. The waterbaby wanted to go have a closer look at the river and walk on a log that was on the banks. I said that was fine but that he couldn't go into the water.

He walked along it for a little bit before seeing something with eight legs and deciding to bail out to a safe distance. He said it was pretty big but as we couldn't see it from a safe distance we weren't able to identify it.

We then wandered into the civic centre gardens which was full of ducks and waterlilies, pausing on the bridge to admire a tree on the way over. 11yo loves ducks and stole my phone to take a million photos. I picked a couple to showcase.

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We also walked along the railway line (don't worry it was on the correct side of the fence using a bike/pedestrian path) to a bamboo grove that I know about and cut some stalks as youngest wanted to make spears Stone Age style. We decided on the walk home that maybe we would upgrade a little bit as thinking about trying to cut the bamboo with sharp rocks was painful given that we struggled a little bit using a multitool knife to do the initial cutting), and I'm now waiting for @melbourneswest to do a video on how to make spearheads to go along with whatever research we end up doing. It's otherwise a project that is going to have to wait for us to get back to Perth as we ran out of time before leaving.

Christmas Island is our two yearly "big reset" and I think all of us were really looking forward to it more than usual this year. The airport wait was so much easier with older kids.

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We'd gone in pretty late December so there was a bit of a whirlwind helping to set up for the Christmas party and going out to another party afterwards and then the New Year party (which we hadn't done for a while), but we did manage to slot in some other stuff.

There was another thrush family in the nest that has seen a lot of use over the years. We monitored their growth from a distance as usual, from blind ugly little things screeching for food all the way through to leaving the nest, which happened over a period of maybe three weeks.

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We had an unexpected hitchhiker on one of our first trips to the beach. 11yo was spun out at the size of the thing. J initially attempted to sweep it off with the windscreen wiper and failed, and after that we assumed it would get blown off during the drive, but it did not.

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11yo found a toy ruler from a toy workbench set from when my sister and I were really young, and started measuring everything with it. The markers look alright but we're not sure of the accuracy due to it being a toy but decided it would suffice for purposes of his exercises. One of the first things to get measured was Albert, one of the resident robber crabs (there are a few and they are all Albert).

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He then very quickly realised that he wasn't going to remember these measurements and that he hadn't brought a notebook with him like I'd suggested as he'd been pretty certain that he wouldn't have a use for one. Fortunately Nanny came to the rescue and gave him one of hers. After writing down Albert's measurements, he then wanted to measure a "normal" crab (ie a crab that wasn't a robber crab).

The following day we headed out with the tools

and headed towards the Blowholes. Most of the way down the track we found a plethora of crabs, and also a plethora of mosquitoes which incessantly attempted to find cracks in the Aerogard. 11yo nonetheless valiantly carried on with his research despite the discomfort, and jokingly thanked me for the resounding applause as I tried to help by clapping at mosquitoes that were buzzing around us.

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He got some really rough crab sketches and measurements from a distance (which are messier than usual as he's not used to writing standing up) and then we fled to the Blowholes.

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There was a really nice and much longer new walkway up as the old one had been severely damaged by an unusually large swell, according to an information sign halfway along the walk.

J spotted a Booby bird chilling in a corner of the walkway and 11yo immediately set about documenting it.


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He didn't want to get too close to the bird as he didn't want it to fly away, and I also warned him that those things can slice your hand (speaking from personal experience when I've had to move/transport injured seabirds). J suggested that he count squares on the walkway as the grid was a uniform size so 11yo counted the area of squares the bird was sitting in and then measured the squares to be able to get the approximate size he needed without needing to measure it directly.

Photography has been another one of 13yo's many and varied interests and she did end up with an Instax camera at one stage, but hasn't taken any photos with it for a while as she always goes through her film really, really quickly. J loaned her one of his DSLRs and she rediscovered her interest.

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She took the earlier photo of Cub measuring the robber crab, and the above two, one with the grass in focus and one with the hill in focus. She also took a bunch of photos on the walk but apparently wasn't happy with any of them as they weren't on the camera when the photos were offloaded.

And we'll end with a couple of photos of a midnight flower that J took in Mum's garden that I thought were particularly pretty.

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11yo was fascinated by these when I told him they only opened at night and would close up during the day. The day after these photos were taken, he actually went and checked one of the midnight flowers to verify that they did in fact close up during the day and enthusiastically came to tell me that yes it was indeed closed during the day.

Looks like I might be doing a January HS Misc for this year as there's a few more things that we have been and can get up to.

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Well this is a packed post here! Lots of great things going on I love it. The sketches are great, it sounds like he enjoys drawing things which is perfect. Arts need more attention I think!

The December rush, that ones tough. Thankfully it doesn’t always happen, or at least hopefully not lol

There's definitely a lot of pictures ^_^; every single time I sit down to write one of these I'm kind of stressing about whether or not we've got enough done XD

Younger children are easy as most of what they want to see is progress in literacy and numeracy and some basic development of scientific inquiry skills, and they allow that everything else such as art and hass tends to just happen), then they get to high school and suddenly they're kind of expected to do more written stuff x_x

My boys have short periods of time where they really enjoy art-related activities, it's "not their thing" most of the time. Beauty of homeschooling though right, they can spend as much or as little time as they like on things ;D

Yeh the December rush sucked, this is literally the first time ever they've done that to me so I can't see it happening again, and there was actually a misunderstanding there too in both my interpretation and my dad's delivery XD I'm the type that will do Christmas shopping starting in October specifically to avoid Christmas Crush x_x

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That second grasshopper picture makes it look like the size of a dog walking on the road at a glance! (Well, that's what my old dino-eyes see.)

BAHAHHAHAHHAHAHHAHHAHHAAA IT DOES! I didn't even notice until you pointed it out XD Showed it to my sister and middle child and much mirth ensued XD

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Grasshoppers grow big up your way! 😊

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These are absolutely beautiful images. How amazing is it when you go out with the kids. My lil often reminds me of the small things I take for granted. When she saw her first bug on one of our first walks. I initially in my mind got frustrated because I wanted to keep moving and it was taking forever!

I didn't say anything to her, but as I watched her watching the bug it hit me. For me this was just a routine walk trying to burn some calories and trying to maintain a pace.

But for her, she was experiencing the world for the first time and learning about it. I've never rushed her along again and wait patiently

Thanks ^_^ I have really cute models to work with ;D It changes as they get older too, it's kind of amusing when they get so "jaded" as they grow into cynical teenagers but they still have such a vastly different and still comparatively naive viewpoint to an adult.

Don't feel too bad about being frustrated, I've noticed that seems to happen when people grow up and get jobs (I think that's been one of my biggest issues with getting a job, haven't grown up yet XD). Least you've caught that and slowed down and appreciated instead of rushing the child along, I've seen that happen way too many times :S

Looking forward to that video whenever you get around to it :D

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Everything is so new and amazing when you're young and I loved getting too see that again through my daughters' eyes as they grew up.

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It's amazing isn't it, I was just talking about this to @ryivhnn the other day. Bit like the image above. Me and the lil one are currently in the backyard looking at this little bug. I think they are nicknames Christmas Beatles.

But I spoke of a time where I was going for a walk and began getting frustrated at lil miss who was then almost 2. She kept stopping to look at ants and worms and bugs. All I wanted to do was get some exercise. I didn't say anything to her about my frustration but I did try and hurry her up.

Then I realised that what I was taking for granted she was seeing for the first time and learning about.

I've never been frustrated again, now I paitently wait. Sometimes our walks will go for 2+ hrs. It's nice forgetting about the material world and revisiting life. It is, what is most important after all.

@ryivhnn - December and January is a mixed bag for us most years. We had some great times with family, but we had some trying times as well.

I glad that you were able to learn while not in the classroom. It looks like you have some great outside learning opportunities. It is a little too cold for us to take out the classroom outside.

Thanks for sharing so many photos. It helps brings your adventures to life.

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I feel like they might be for people in general. Great times and trying times are what makes up the stories though right ;D

We're pretty lucky in our area for sure, not far from a really big regional park with a lot of walking trails, and on a train line to the city, and there are also historical things in our immediate area.

Completely understandable about bunkering down in winter, we do the same thing and it doesn't get that cold where we are XD and also in summer unless we can get to where we're going in a short space of time or are going morning or evening as heat stroke is a problem in summer.

Glad you enjoyed the photos, I was actually wondering if there might be too many photos and not enough text in this one :D

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This is so rich! I need to come back for reading it. So good to see you share your stories! @tipu curate !invest_vote !WINE !JUICE !PUREWATER for you to choose.


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I hope it doesn't take too long to get through if/when you manage to come back to read (if you haven't already) :D Thanks for dropping by ^_^

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What a post, all kinds of adventure. Your kiddos definitely have a spirit of adventure. I can remember a time when I was into measuring things, and I also like constantly asking my parents for the distance between things, whether it be our house to the store or the Earth to the moon. !WINE

It's been nice seeing them wanting to do and try things, the bigs especially are at the age now where everything is "boring" (including things you can see they're at least slightly interested in XD) because they have this narrow band of things that they like doing and would much rather be doing that XD

We get curly questions like that too, I always send them to J because I can't numbers XD Did you also ask your parents difficult philosophical questions? That's the other one I send to J, not smart enough for that nonsense XD

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I was just catching up, now I'm caught up and you won't be getting any more out of me til early March (when I do Feb HS Misc) unless I decide to do a January HS Misc (which should be early Feb all things going well) which I may well do because I am feeling a need to "catch up" on the educational side of things XD

Fingers crossed for February, then.

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That's absolutely fantastic!

I actually just found the video I should upload it. Just trying to plan the how to wording to go with it. 🤣

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