14 Jan 2013

Summertime and the livin' is easy

And so we begin week three of AO6. I still plan on telling you what we're using for our Australianised curriculum, but this year, instead of an optimistic 'this is what we're gonna be doing' type post, I'll be writing a 'this is what we are doing and this is how it's going' post, which is possibly more useful anyhow.

Summer school is one of my family's success stories. Everything seems so much more laid back, somehow, when you start the day with a swim. Jemimah's swimming lessons this year are focusing on stroke development, and she is working pretty hard, but she always finishes up with a bit of social swimming afterwards, and we seem to be keeping a bit of the holiday summertime feeling as we do so.

We've jumped back into a full school schedule with a couple of exceptions. Art is on hold while we're in the city, and were doing a bit less writing to fit things in. We haven't yet started our new Visual Maths subject. Some things are just different. Last week Jemimah made a list of the bird species she thought she was likely to see in the city, and kept a tally as we went about our day. The pigeon won, of course. I love the fact that my daughter knows about birds. I always regretted the fact that I was unable to identify more than a handful of the most common types, but Jemimah had about 15 birds on her 'common birds in the city' list, and far, far more on her country list. That she can identify them by shape, song and by flight pattern is a delight to me.

After a few hours of work in the mornings, we've been spending many afternoons doing something different. This afternoon we're going to the zoo, zoo, zoo with a girlfriend, Princess Jay. Last week we visited the museum and the beach. One afternoon Jemimah attended a Lego Education workshop. During the afternoon the kids wrote and produced a Lego movie, built a Lego Ferris wheel and used a capacitor and solar panel to investigate the use of renewable energy to power the ride, and used Lego Mindstorms NXT to program a robot's motors and light sensor to run 'chickens' out of the yard! Fun, and educational at the same time. Mummy even had time to visit a bookstore or two while she was there. How's that for a win-win situation?  There are some great courses available while the school kids are on holidays. We like to take advantage of a few of these as well, even though we're officially back at school. It we can find subjects that add to our curriculum then so much the better, but all learning is useful in a liberal education, and when you apply CM's common sense principles to the work.

Regular breaks and holidays help keep our family on track and functioning well. If we don't get them we start to bicker and treat each other in ways that are not very kind. It is amazing how much better we feel after our time in the city. Time is stretched, so we need to work together if we are going to achieve our goals. We are more focused because there is something nice to look forward to when we finish. We're nicer to Daddy because we only see him on the weekends, but when we do he's entirely focused on family. School is still getting done, but it is all different. It is times like this that remind me just how good homeschooling can be if we all just work together.
And the livin' is easy
Fish are jumpin'
And the cotton is high...
Okay, enough already. Here are Ella and Louis to sing it for you. Which is your favourite version of Summertime?


  1. It's winter here, as you know, but the temps reached almost 70 degrees today. Weird! How lovely to begin the day with a swim...

  2. Sounds like you are having a wonderful summer with lots of fun activities.

  3. Sounds great. Swimming just has to be done in Summer. xxx

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