Learning life skills: The older teen years are full of opportunities to fine tune many life skills. This may well be one of the biggest areas of learning going on in our house at the moment.
* Time management. Managing your day starts with managing your night time, aka getting to bed at the right time to ensure you have enough sleep to be functioning and happy during the following day. Our kids have been given the freedom to set their own bedtime between the ages of 14-16 (different for different children).
* Helping with building projects – once skills are taught, our kids can not only work on their own projects but they can be available to help someone else.
* Answering the phone and taking messages. Since Peter’s business calls come into the house there is plenty of practice for this important skill. The hardest thing for my kids to be comfortable with is asking for people to repeat things if they don’t catch it the first time.
* One of the biggest new things in Daniels life is that he is now working for 5 hours a week maintaining the yard and farm edges (not farm land). This involves spraying weeks, mowing, cleaning the veranda and shed, checking sprinklers, clearing away fallen palm branches, washing the car and whatever else needs doing. He is learning to be self motivated, and though he is given a general list we are encouraging him to take responsibility and manage the different tasks himself as he sees fit. At this stage we are still working it out with him but that is what we are working towards.
* Filling in forms. Creating accounts. It is easy to get overwhelmed with all the fine print on forms – both in print and online. Some people get more overwhelmed by all that type than others. We need to slowly break it down for our kids as they get used to scanning, and understanding formal documents.
* Using office equipment. Scanner, photocopier and fax machine (yes, we still occasionally need to send a fax!) Naomi needs to use this equipment for her TAFE course – this week she printed forms, filled them out, scanned, and emailed them.
* Looking after children. We had Little Miss staying with us for a few days and Naomi is often the one who I rely on when I need someone to look after her. Teenage kids need to learn the balance between being a fun person in the life of a little one, and being the one in charge – it is easy for them to be too demanding and exacting.
* Opening bank accounts and using cashcard
* Understanding and organising your own ID paperwork – passport, birth certificate etc.
* How to make a decision when spending a lot of money.
* Understanding yourself – Naomi realised that she had no creative project on the go and that she gets stale about life (bit blah) when she isn’t creating. So she’s started to create an outdoor studio / nook and has spent two days potting and repotting plants on our veranda, recycling pots and cutlery to make a ‘fairy’ garden, spray painted an old chair, and set up her painting easel. My only concern is that I’m not sure she is going to fit all the creative ideas she has into the small space on the veranda.
* Naomi has just joined the youth group leadership team – it is a change for her to be an ‘adult’ when last year she was a ‘kid’ but she has great rapport with the kids and is learning to take on responsibility.
What I’ve been doing:
* We had Little Miss here for a few days. I kept her home from daycare so that she could have some stay-at-home days and we could work on some behavioural issues. Though we had 2 good days, it did mean I didn’t get much housework done.
* Over the last few weeks I have had a cooking challenge going on with my friends and sister. We all own a Thermomix and have challenged ourselves to use it more. I set a menu of 5 recipes which gave a diversity in tastes as well as Thermomix techniques. We kept in touch with each other as to how the recipe went, and our families scored each dish. This week we are diversifying a bit and have chosen 6 recipes – 3 for the Thermomix and 3 for the Crockpot. We are also taking two weeks to work through these new recipes. It has been fun, and motivating to cook interesting meals for the family again.
* My goal for this week was to help sort out Peter’s office. Having Little Miss here took up a few days but I managed to play catch up on Wednesday and spend some time in there. I was going to sort out his computer files as well until I remembered he’d taken his laptop with him over to visit his folks. I’ll do that another time. We are working towards a paperless office – which doesn’t mean we get rid of paper – it would be better to say we are moving towards digital record keeping! So instead I decluttered and moved a lot of extra stuff out of the room – leaving enough room for a sitting chair and coffee table for him to relax in, or have a friend visit.
* I wish I could have a week for scrapbooking – nothing else!! But that isn’t realistic, so I squeeze a moment here and there. I’ve also been working on a sewing project. For the next few months while Josh is gone, I’ll set his room up as a sewing room. Hopefully having my machine out will encourage me to sew more often.
Here are a few photos from my phone this week:
Things we’ve been talking about:
* Do Hard Things: Hard things are the things that God calls you to do – What are the hard things God is calling you to do? If you can’t answer that how about putting it a different way: What are the hard things facing you at the moment and how would God have you respond?
* This week is our first week with Joshua gone, and then Peter also went over to Queensland to see his folks. So there are just 4 of us at home. We have to get used to still sitting up at the table and enjoying conversation and games night even though it isn’t all of us at home. There are some adjustments ahead of us – and sitting up at the table at dinner time is going to be one habit we are going to have to be intentional to protect. One night we played Boggle over dinner – that was fun!
* What does it mean to do your job well? What does it mean to be the best you can be? What if you have skills that the world doesn’t value? How do you determine if you are doing well?
* 50 Shades of Grey – since my kids are on Facebook, they’ve all seen it talked about – the movie won’t be showing in our town since we have an outdoor theatre so they can’t show R rated movies, but the DVD won’t be far away. I appreciated this blog, A letter to my children about 50 Shades of Grey, because it lists the content and shows it up for what it really is.
Blog posts I’ve enjoyed reading:
Also sharing and linking with others:
Throughout the week I share with one, or more of these blogs (see more details on my Link Parties page)
Monday’s Musings, Thoughtful Spot, Hip Homeschool Moms Blog Hop, Titus 2 Tuesdays, Coffee and Conversation, Finishing Strong (Middle & Highschool years), Capture your Journey, Thriving Thursdays, Hearts for Home, A Little R & R, From House to Home, Fellowship Fridays, Homeschooling Highschool Linkup, Weekly Wrap-up, Collage Fridays