Archive for the ‘Lifeschool’ Category

Read to Your Children!

January 23, 2013

Possum is 6 years and 8 months

Bandicoot is 4 years and 6 months

Little Princess is 2 years

I have a confession to make.  I don’t read to my kids all that much.  It is a terrible thing to say, considering I am a complete bibliophile and a homeschooler.  But I don’t.

Oh, they get read to, lots.  But I don’t do it anywhere near as much as I would like.

Things have happened along the way to make this habit develop.  Firstly, when Possum was an itty-bitty thing, we heard of the advantages of having Daddy read to kids.  Apparently it has a lot to do with the timbre of the voice assisting in their language development or something.  At any rate, DH does bedtime stories.  It grew into a routine that they all loved.  (I loved it, too, because it was one of the few moments of the day or night that I had to myself.  I say “had” because I now sit in for stories.)

The other thing that happened was that not long after I started to recover my sanity and enjoy being a Mum to Possum, I became pregnant with Bandicoot.  And likewise with Little Princess.  I don’t do pregnancy well.  I spend a lot of time utterly, utterly exhausted (as in can hardly stumble to the loo, let alone look after myself, a family, a job, a house or anything else).  If I tried to read to the kids during these times, much as when I have a little Little One, I would fall asleep during the story.  Hmm.

So it was, that when ever someone would offer to help out I would beg them to read and read and read to the kids.

But it wasn’t me.

It isn’t that I don’t like, or even didn’t like doing it.  In fact I LOVE it.  The problem is that now, the kids just don’t see any point in snuggly up with me for a story.  Not even with bribery (Seriously.  We have a reward chart.)  What is the point?  They get their stories elsewhere.

So I feel guilty that I don’t read to them enough.  I feel sad that I can’t get them to enjoy it.  There are so many books I would love to share with them, but it doesn’t happen.  (In fact, there is a particular book that I loved as a child.  I searched high and low and eventually got a second hand copy of it.  I am sure that they would love it, but DH hates it.  He read it to them once, declared it a pretty awful story and it has remained on the bookshelf since.)  There are so many fantastic curricula for little kids that are completely literature based.  But oh so out of my reach.


Who knows, it may change.  Bandicoot lets me read to him sometimes.  Not every day, but sometimes.  Sometimes, Possum even comes by to listen, but not close enough that I am supposed to know that is what he is doing.  Little Princess still likes me read to her, and it seems she will only be challenged by older siblings, not younger. 

Maybe I’ll end up with one out of three.


A Brand New Road from Bandicoot

January 20, 2013

And just for fun, here is the story written for the “Weekend Adventure Book” at Bandicoot’s preschool.


This Saturday my Mummy had to go out. When she turned onto KP Road she saw some interesting goings-on and rang Daddy so that he could take us for a look.

 imageThis is my big brother and me arriving at the scene.

See that really big truck behind me? It is digging up the road!

image The road works went all the way past our Kindy and on for about a kilometre. There was lots to see. This truck is dropping the new tar in the holes. It is really hot and soft now. The workmen used another truck to flatten it all out before it cooled down. Once it cools down it goes hard.

(It was okay for me to stand just there to look, because no cars could use the road. Also, my Daddy and the workmen were watching me.)


This is me looking after my little sister. She wanted to see, too, but I wouldn’t let her go anywhere dangerous.


Gecko Class

A Brand New Road

January 20, 2013

Possum is 6 years 8 months

Bandicoot is 4 years 6 months

Little Princess is 2 years


Early (okay, not early) on Saturday morning I had a doctor’s appointment.  It was just up the road, so it wouldn’t take long to get there.  I also thought it was at quarter past the hour, but I had cleverly told everyone it was ON the hour.  That gave me oodles of time to get there, right?


As I pull around the corner, ready to nip up to the highway, the traffic stopped.

And stopped.

Uh-huh.  They were digging up the road.

This gave me time to check my phone and discover that the appointment WAS on the hour, so I lost those extra fifteen minutes, too.  Oops.

But all was not lost.  I decided to give DH a buzz (no, NOT while I was driving) and suggest he take the kids for a walk.  Really, it was pretty cool stuff.

They were repairing such a long stretch of road (about 1km that morning) that you could see all the different steps involved from digging up the old road to finishing off the surface of the new.

Catching up to the front of the roadworks.


Check out Possum’s new scooter.  He is very impressed with it.

IMG_7115I love this pick of The Littles together


Sometimes they are just so sweet.  Oops.  I mean, check out that cool truck digging up the road that needs replacing!


A closer look at laying the new tar.

Oh, and just for the record, I wasn’t late for the doctor, either!


May 5, 2012

Possum is 6 years
Bandicoot is 3 years 7 months
Little Princess is 1 year 2 months (16 months)

Yesterday I took another step on the path as school Mum.  Every two years Possum’s school holds a fundraising walkathon.  Yesterday was the day.

Once more I was caught out by the early start which scuppered our plans for the day – especially as this time I had both Bandicoot and Little Princess in tow.  Can you imagine Bandicoot coping two hours without snacks?  Once the pram was laden and the troops moved along to school, we set ourselves up in a great cheering position – right next to Possum’s class’s checkpoint. Nice spot – some sun, grass, trees, gardens for The Littles to explore, good view…

The Kindies had each been allocated a ‘Buddy’ in one of the older classes.  Their Buddy was supposed to walk with them for at least the first three laps, show them the ropes, explain how it worked.  After a while it occurred to me that I hadn’t seen Possum visiting the check point.  I kept a more concerted eye out for him and there he came-upset.  We called him over to the checkpoint to get his card stamped.  There were no stamps on it at all!  And the the tears started.

He just wanted to walk, he didn’t want to collect stamps.   His Buddy had deserted him without explaining the process to him, but making time to point out he didn’t want to walk with him, and leaving Possum with rather high feelings of rejection.  Poor little kid!  I eventually convinced him let us walk with him for a bit.  During that time I explained how a walkathon worked and what they were raising money for.  I was about to clarify for him that it could even be viewed as ministry work, but of course Bandicoot raced off to the bubblers.  Fortunately, one of Possum’s besties was just behind us, and with a little convincing, they hooked up together to keep walking.

By the end of the walkathon, he didn’t even feel the need to wave to us, he was having so much fun.  At least it ended well.

Now we just need to wait for his school hat to turn up again… it was lost somewhere on the circuit.

Happy Michaelmas

September 29, 2011

Today is Michaelmas.

Happy Michaelmas.

If you live in the Northern Hemisphere, it is time to stop eating blackberries (they aren’t in season, here.)  Apparently, according to legend, when St Michael threw satan out of Heaven he landed in blackberry brambles, so you don’t eat them after Michaelmas.

I had intended to celebrate Michaelmas with the kids today, but it just didn’t happen again this year.  *sigh*  One day.

I had hoped to make some model dragons.  That would be so cool!  (I have some modelling clay, so, if it isn’t already too chaotic, we might do it on the weekend.)

I also would love to read them the story of St Michael and satan.  I need to find a good kids book of it.

I should start looking now so that I can have it ready for next year.

A Good Reason for Being a Bit Slack…

January 1, 2011

On December 29th our little princess came to join us on the outside.  This is the end of a tough pregnancy.  We think she is lovely.  She is only a couple of hours old here, getting cuddles from her big brother Possum.

Despite being a premie, she has made remarkable progress this week and will be coming home with Mummy tomorrow.  Yay!

Advent 2010

November 30, 2010

Possum is 4 years 7 months

Bandicoot is 2 years 5 months

Today we are moving on to our new study theme:  Advent and Christmas.  This is planned to carry us through to the Epiphany.

For our Christmas countdown (December 1-25) we are using these books:

We are using this for our morning devotions

Then each evening we are using this book:

This is a gorgeous book!  We have the accompanying Advent Calendar, too, the one that Benjamin Bear opens each night with his mother in the book.  We have been using this one since Possum was 1 1/2.

More Harvesting and Sowing

November 7, 2010

Possum is 4 years and 6 months

Bandicoot is 2 years and 4 months

Yay!  Time to harvest more goodies from our vege patch!

We harvested the last of the potatoes and broad beans.

The carrots were ready, too. 

Apparently, they were sweet and delicious.  I wouldn’t know.  The boys ate them all!

We planted tomato seedlings and strawberries, too.  We haven’t had much luck with either – the strawberries are not enjoying the wet weather and some critter (I am guessing something small and furry) has eaten all our tomatoes before they ripened!

Do you know what these seeds are?

They have been carefully planted…

They are radish seeds!  They are supposed to take 6 weeks to maturity, but we will see – everything seems to take a lot longer in our garden.

And here is a gratuitous cute shot of Bandicoot.


November 6, 2010

Possum is 4 years and 6 months

Bandicoot is 2 years and 4 months

We have some close friends who live in the Hunter Valley.  They are close enough that the menfolk have served in each other’s bridal parties and the kids call the respective parents, "Uncle" and "Aunty".

We were invited to spend the weekend at their place.  Unfortunately, this coincided with my pregnancy being at a rather taxing point, so I was unsure if I would be able to manage the trip, especially with the men planning to attend a local beer festival for about half a day.  However, L, my female friend, suggested taking all the kids (her son included) for a walk while I rested.  This sounded like bliss to me except for one minor glitch – my kids will not go to anyone.  ANYONE.

Somehow, L worked a bit of magic.  Another friend of hers was away, and she was looking after their chickens.  She said to the boys, "Come on, let’s go and feed the chickens" and off they went!  They were a little concerned at leaving me behind, but when we told them there was a hill and Mummy couldn’t walk up big hills anymore until after the baby came, they trotted off and had the time of their lives!  In fact, they had so much fun, that they couldn’t wait until the next day to go again.

Unfortunately, all the best footage is video, but this is them at the gate to the chicken pen.

They came back full of stories about chickens and eggs, and the colours of eggs and finding them, and chicken feed and filling water bowls…  An absolute wealth of information.  It is magic to see them so excited about something new.

So when we got home, it seemed like an appropriate time to dig out this book:

It had been lent to me, but we had not yet had the chance to read it.  It is a delightful counting book (not that you would realise it is a counting book) about a little African girl named Handa.  Every morning she feeds her grandmother’s hen, but one morning she cannot find her.  It is about the adventure of Handa and her friend Akeyo as they search for the hen with a nice surprise at the end.

The boys really, really loved this book.  It was great to read it while the chicken adventure was still fresh in their minds.

Some books that we used on holidays…

October 18, 2010

Possum is 4 years 5 months

Bandicoot is 2 years 3 months

It is always good to have some fresh books to read on holidays (especially ones that rain!), so I was pleased to borrow some books from sister.

"Imagine" by Alison Lester

I asked her to bring this one, although I had really meant to ask her to bring Magic Beach by the same author.  Never mind, Bandicoot was totally inthralled with this book (so much so that he is getting his own copy for Christmas).  AND he especially loved the page with all the undersea animals on it!

"Seashore" by Henry Pluckrose (Walkabout Books)

This book didn’t work so much for me, but gee, Possum loved it.  He got his Aunty to read it to him over and over again.  And when she wasn’t available, he would sit "reading" it to himself.  (Maybe he sensed I didn’t enjoy reading it so much!)

This book isn’t just about the beach, it includes ports and lighthouses etc, as well.  It certainly sparked a LOT of interesting conversations when we went out for walks.  I loved it for that!

This, however, was my favourite:

"Me and My Holiday" by Denise Burt

This one was published in 1974 so both my sisters and I had a nice giggle at the fashions, remembering our childhood holidays.

But more to the point, it is a really nicely told story of a boy and his sister going on holidays to the beach with their parents.  It starts from packing at home, goes through various activities – walks, playing on the sand, rockpools, fishing, swimming – and ends with him saying goodbye to the beach when it is time for the holiday to end.  I especially loved that at the end of the book, the waves licked his toes as the beach said goodbye to him, as well.

And that is how we said goodbye to the beach on the last day of our holidays, too.