Saturday, April 25, 2009


As a typically pacifist day - despite this being ANZAC day - we started out to do family things. We had a free pass to the Sydney Aquarium so we decided to cash it it and enjoy a day underwater! We do intend to bake ANZAC biscuits and discuss war at a later date - Stylish is quite interested in the wars to date.

The chidlers had the most wonderful - and accidentally edumacational - day! We spent the day cruising around the aquarium mesmerised by the amazing display they have going at the moment. The Dugongs are so wonderful I could hardly drag myself away from them. The kids ofcourse, enjoyed the SHARKS (*snicker*) although Spikee was a bit worried about them at first (*snicker*). 

At the end of the day we went to Darling Harbour for something to eat. The kids had ice-cream and I had chicken (in keeping with the low carb diet). Then we caught the monorail to the city and a bus home! A very busy and fun filled day was had by all!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

computer battles

Lately there have been a few battles over computer time and how things are getting done - or not. Today after a discussion we have agreed that she will be permitted two hours on the computer each day. 1hr in the morning and 1hr at night. She will self police it using the microwave timer. We will see how it goes. Owing to the fact that it was negotiated by her and not just imposed upon her I'm hoping she will stick to it, but being her age does make these things complex to say the least!

Stylish hasn't seen her father since early last December and she is starting to get very angry at him. last at the wind down stage of our big argument she screamed at me "my grandma is dead and my father has abandoned me". Then the argument was over, she just wanted to talk about that stuff instead of how awful I am and how I apparently hate her - very normal topics for someone her age me thinks! Yesterday when I was out she tried to phone him but his phone was switched off, when I got home she was in a RAGE, and it wasn't until she said that I realised what the underlying problem was, and no it wasn't a computer game on the internet. I now have her on a substantial dose of "Sturts Desert Pea" Bush Flower Remedy which is for deep seated grief. After the argument she shared some poems with me - on the condition that I didn't laugh. She's written some lovely poetry and I'll ask her if I can publish one of them here later.

Monday, April 20, 2009

2nd hand shopping

We decided to go second hand shopping today. Stylish is having some hormonal outbursts so she decided that she wasn't going to join us. So Spikee and I caught a bus to a really great local shopping centre with three second hand shops. I found lots of scrap material and brought it all home, and I'll have a look at it later to see what can be done with it. Stylish is going to make herself a hat out of some of the stuff we already have so I'll be sure to take lots of photos.

I also found a book about a teenage girl who finds out that she is pregnant. I thought owing to her age that she might like something with that sort of thing in it. Who knows. I'm sure that when I give it to her she will roll her eyes and look bored, then groan "muuuuuuum, why would I want THAT?" before stomping off to go have a look at it in private. 

I've been reading a book on teenagers, and whilst she is hardly a teenager she is certainly hormonal! Some of the outbursts are quite notable, it's comforting to read a book about it and know that it's not me, it's her. The book was called "BEFORE YOUR TEENAGERS DRIVE YOU CRAZY, READ THIS" and whilst I can't say I agree with everything the author says I certainly learnt a whole lot and enjoyed reading it to boot. He is a really funny author.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

the week so far

Today I made up the all important, highly anticipated maths test for Stylish. She got everything right except one question which I rubbed out and she tried again, so she fixed it. Now she's so excited coz she's never had 100% in a maths test - none of in this house have for that matter! We finally got around to chucking out the previous text book (well we still have it but ...) and buying a new one. She has completed three units in it already and spent the whole time screaming "MUM I DID IT" which was so wonderful to watch. When she had questions about certain things she googled them on the laptop at the table where she was sitting. So satisfying to see learning take place, SELF DRIVEN LEARNING!!!

We decided to go out for the afternoon and have a baby cino - or coffee - depending on personal taste. I gave Stylish free range of the butcher and asked her to choose some meat. She decided to get FISH instead which is a surprise coz she normally isn't that into fish. We have yet to see what she'll do with it but I'll be sure to update!

Monday, April 13, 2009

autumn, maths, and cake baking

Today it rained all day. I can feel autumn is in the air, it's getting chillier. We still haven't broken out the jumpers, but I did make a huge vegetable bake for dinner instead of the usual salad. 

This afternoon I have Stylish a whole page of maths revision questions. She completed them all in no time, and self corrected them using a calculator. She was very pleased with herself when she discovered that she had answered every question correctly. Amusingly the update on her blog says something about how she's enjoying maths now - although I wouldn't quote her on that if I didn't want a frog in my bed. 

After dinner I wrote a list for Stylish to complete this week, concentrating on the things I wrote up last night. While I was doing that she came to me and said that she wanted to make some biscuits. I explained to her the difference between a cake batter and a biscuit batter and she changed her mind, deciding to bake a cake. I set her loose in the kitchen and away she went! The only help she required was with sugar, I told her to add a little bit more owing to the fact that sugar mysteriously vanishes when you bake it( there's a science lesson in there somewhere I'm sure of it!).  She created her own recipe using all the right ingredients, she didn't measure anything, and then she baked it to perfection. I am amazed at what a fantastic cake it turned out to be! But I'm not amazed at the same time. She is un-learning beautifully it would seem!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

the struggle with maths .....

Owing to the fact that there have been no lists lately, and I'm starting to panic about how much work we will have to show in our bid for re-rego - the bane of my existence - we have pepped up our maths efforts. There have been some really basic things giving Stylish trouble and I want them ironed out ASAP. 

I have been writing some sums in her work book and sitting down with her while she completes them. They are all long multiplication, division, changing fractions, percentages, decimals, and basic subtraction with borrowing. 

She hated it at first, but three days into the plan she is competently completing all the work and discussing further sums of a similar nature, which demonstrates her clear development in this area. And she is even saying that "maths isn't that bad" which I take as another SIGN from above. I think I will need to buy another text book for her as the one we have been working with is really poorly set out, has no practical structure for development of strategies, and is very VERY badly written, so badly that our maths tutor is unable to understand some of the questions in it - and she knows what she's doing even if we don't!  

As for other subjects - which I personally enjoy more, as does Stylish, she is coming along well with them all! Her English is well beyond her years, her writing is exceptional for someone at her age and stage. I have published some examples here, but will endeavour to post more soon, as they get typed up on the computer. Her reading is more competent that many children twice her age, and many the same age for that matter. 

Science I think we can do more on. We haven't done very many experiments which I know she loves, and they look good for rego too. I think I will research some easy to do at home kitchen pantry type experiments, both the kids will love that.

Art isn't something Stylish is terribly interested in and I don't really care. I encourage the odd activity, like the recycled frog or some drawing but that's ok, nothing to panic about. The recycled frog is completed by the way. And it looks wonderful! Even Stylish is happy with it, she has been playing with it a lot lately. Which is both a sign of her pride in her own work, and her de-schooling. The frog is not exactly something that other little girls would play with - let alone create for themselves! I'm a very proud mummy.

History is still something that holds little interest for Stylish. There is an exhibition at the Australian Museum that opened a couple of days ago, about The time of the Mammoths, I will take her to see that. She has always had an interest in dinosaurs, maybe mammoths are the next stage, and given that humans were around in those prehistoric times it will easily fit into some type of historical edubabble for re-rego.

Music and languages ... little development on those fronts. Which is fine for re-rego because many schools offer no language or music lessons. We have been given a German text book called the "First 100 Words" that I will help her do some work in this week. As for music, I think her Aunty will help her with some music lessons when she is feeling more up to it, and it really wouldn't be hard for me to teach her some recorder playing.

So now I have worked out a bit of a list of TO DO's for the coming week or two. And I also have some more ideas about what I think I need to cover before re-rego comes up with OBoS.

  • more reading 
  • more effort on times tables and basic maths 
  • some more drawing - maybe a painting or clay sculpture
  • some science experiments
  • a trip to the museum to see the prehistoric exibit
  • german book
  • recorder lessons

It's good to have a semi plan!!!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter arrives!

It is the Easter long week end. We decided to take the small folk to the show. it was the same as it is every year except more expensive because we didn't get in for free this year. To save on cost we took the most fantastic picnic lunch of roasted cajun tuna, chicken, tomato cucumber salad, tofu and bean salad, boiled eggs, and a large thermos of real coffee. There could be no denying that the best thing about the show was our picnic. Although the kids have their own ideas about that ......

Stylish had her own pocket money to spend, and her grandpa gave her another $50. She managed to spend all $75 of it on total rubbish (which I breathed deeply through - it's her money right?). She went on about six rides that were the gut heaving, brain shaking type, and she bought a Scooby Doo show bag. 

Spikee went on a train ride - twice. And Stylish accompanied him on it. He tasted his first fairy floss, and you could just see his small mind wondering where all that sugary goodness was disappearing too when he put it in his mouth, it was really cute to watch. He got to see some horses, something we dont' see much of living in the middle of a big city as you can imagine! He got a couple of show bags courtesy of his indulgent father, one was a sesame street one and the other was the cars one (it's his favourite movie). And admittedly they're pretty good, but they're still made in China, plastic crap unfortunately.

The grown ups enjoyed watching the small folk frolicking around together. We had a glass of bubbly in the foodie hall, and bought some amazing Indian spices (korma, vindaloo, and a southern one) and we got some extremely hot chili sauces, a bottle of Ned Kelly's wine spritzer, which is really mulled wine with a bad name. It tastes AMAZING! And we also got some beautiful lemon myrtle soaps. I love the foodie hall!

All in all it was a lovely family outing!I think I'll go and have a glass of mulled wine ala Ned ... I mean wine Spritzer!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

the week gone by......

There have been no lists of late. The week off was clearly enjoyable, it has extended!

I intended to do a mini list for her last week because it helps keep her off her internet game but that never happened. My sister has just had a stillbirth. 

Stylish wrote a beautiful poem to read at the wake. She also wrote a lovely acrostic poem when James died, and it was read at his funeral.

R oisin means little rose
O n Thursday night she was born at home
I n our dreams she lives forever
S he is playing with my brother James
I wish I could teach her about frogs
N ever forget us little rose

J ames was a very special baby
A s I laid my hand on his hand tears welled in my eyes
M y dear little brother whom I will never get to know
E veryday I think about him and when I first saw him
S o special, like he was the only drop of water in the whole world