This week was head and tailed by Ord River Muster events. Last weekend was the Moon Fair (aka Street Party). Jessica spent most of the afternoon/evening volunteering and helped out with the suma-wresting! Naomi and Daniel started the afternoon in the Diamond Dig – a big pit of sand, with 50+ people all digging, looking for a diamond. Daniel teemed up with some young friends and worked together. This event happens every year, though it was the first time our kids had a go. No diamond sadly, but a lot of fun. The rest of the time was spent catching up with friends and eating food!
The boys had extra Taekwondo over the weekend with their grand-master being here for a few days to help polish up their skills before grading in a month’s time.
Study time was as per usual. On Monday I presented to Naomi and Daniel an overview of the amount of lessons I’d like them to complete between now and the end of this study block (early July). We may or may not get through it all, but with the goal in front of them, they understand that they may need to do extra work in the afternoons, or if they take time off for family fun they may need to catch up in the study-break (school holidays).
Daniel also felt inspired to write on Monday, so he asked if I could tweak his plan for the day. Interesting request, in light of having just given him an overview of his studies, but in the spirit of allowing him to direct his own studies and time management I allowed him to do so. I did ask though that he complete some of his assignments today (History, Math, Writing) as these are too easy to slip aside.
We are building a bathroom over in our farm-shed. The fun part is choosing the tiles, paint and accents… the non-fun part is when the Tradies hit the powerline to our water-pump and we are without water!
Daniel is progressing well though his work. He finished his unit on Vikings and moved onto his next unit which is Geography (He is using Wonderful World of Geography). Both the Vikings and Geography unit have guided notebooking prompts which work well for him. For his Science though, I have him come and give me an oral narration, or we have a discussion, after he has read his lesson. This has improved his retelling, helping with his diction, and memory. Writing for Bible, Geography and Science would be too much for him, so finding this variety in output is important.
Naomi is focusing a lot of time on her Art History book. We are in the process of setting her up to learn how to use various art software (Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign) so she is trying to finish as much of the Art History before those new studies start. We finally sorted out a online Study Skills course (a bit of an admin glitch over her text book etc) so she’ll be able to start that soon. This course will be preparing her to study further online if she chooses to do so, but also will help her in her own management and ownership of her studies in general.
Naomi had another two art lessons with “Pete” – this time reproducing van Gogh’s Starry Night and Monet’s Field of Poppies. She is enjoying having the set challenge, and is learning not only some art/painting skills but learning things about herself as a person as well.
At the moment the kids have so many different activities over dinner time we rarely have everyone at the table at the same time. It is easy to let everyone disperse and do what they want but I’m trying to pull us back to sitting together, regardless of how many are home. Because the dynamics are different I’m working extra hard to prompt purposeful dinner conversation. One night, when it was just the boys home, we had a discussion on blogging. As I encouraged Josh to take his thinking and writing skills more consistently to his blog, it also inspired Daniel to think about how he wants to blog (how, when, why).
Wednesday evening we packed up a picnic dinner and headed for a small national park which is pretty much in town, for a local choir concert. This is a yearly event, and one of our family favourites. This year the girls were in the choir (a first) and so it was extra special to be there.
On Friday we tried to find a balance between being tired and pushing through our studies. Daniel also cleaned the car (which is a job we pay him for). The girls had a sound check for the concert which is on Saturday, and the kids went for a 5-10km run with a group of friends; they are all in training for a ‘Fun Run’ they are participating in next month. (Some ran for 5 and some for 10). Dinner with friends before Naomi and Daniel headed off to Youth Group and Jess went to a Jazz Piano outdoor concert. I spent the evening with my friend.
Saturday night we went to the grand finale of events – the Kimberley Moon, where John Williamson was the main performer we wanted to see, though we enjoyed the others as well – which also included the choir for the final time.
Thank you for reading the summary of our week. I write it because it helps me see the learning and growing that happens in each of my kids’ lives not only because of study but because of the other things we do as a family, or they take on as individuals. I hope it encourages you to see a whole-life picture as well in your family. I don’t often put education-speak in my reviews but sometimes it is helpful to see that there really is educational benefit in the things we do. For example, the lessons Naomi has learnt about herself while doing Art lessons, and the self-reflection Daniel went through regarding his blog, is a part of the “Health” aspects and self-awareness that kids need to learn. Naomi organised the run practice which was a collaborative task trying to co-ordinate 3-4 different families, the run itself is of course “P.E./Sport”. Earning money – and the subsequent management of money – is an aspect of “Technology & Enterprise” or “Math”.