Thursday, June 17, 2010


Well, for anyone who follows me I am sorry for the absence.. What can I say? Sometimes life with a two year old and a non-sleeping baby doesnt leave much room for anything else. Since my leave taking I have been doing some thinking.

I truly think that part of being a great parent is constantly reevaluating your parameters. Questioning your beliefs & being brave enough to admit that you're on the wrong path.... I have come to a realization over the last few months. I have been WAY over thinking this whole homeschooling thing. I have already posted about my need for further deschooling and I think that I have been making some huge leaps since my last post. I have been thinking, planing (or not planing!), listening, reading, researching and generally overhauling my entire philosophy. Heavy stuff!

Bottom line? Even the title of this blog is wrong. Wrong, wrong, WRONG! I no longer 'teach' my children. My children teach themselves. I look back through the posts on here and while I know that my heart was in the right place I now feel in my gut that what I was doing with all of my little projects is in total opposition of what I was trying to achieve as an unschooler. Alright, a tad mellow dramatic perhaps. I have really made headway with my thinking though and am in a totally different head space than I was when I started this blog - a lot can happen in a short space of time obviously!

So I have been thinking that its time to put this one to bed. To start afresh and begin a new journey. I dont want to get rid of this blog as I think it shows interesting beginnings and will be fun to look back on one day... but I dont think that it will be appropriate to continue with my feelings and ideas as they are at the moment.... SO I AM MOVING! :-) hehe! Feels very exciting actually. I have been putting off doing this as I kind of feel like this blog has been a waste of my time and other peoples. I know that in a way I needed to do this in order to work my head out and find who I truly am as a mother and as a homeschooling parent. I have needed that down time and it didnt feel right to be blogging while I was still so up in the air myself. I now feel like I have a direction. I feel settled and grounded and....happy

So adieu Teaching My Gnomes - thank you for being the catalyst. If your interested, please check me out at

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I'm Back

Its been a hectic couple of weeks! I have sat here over the last few evenings thinking that I really needed to get on here and update, but have been so tired that it just wasnt an option. G (who is now 7 months!!!) has been working on crawling and as a result has not been sleeping with the added bonus of being really clingy during the day. Its actually been great for A as I have just spent the last two weeks on the floor playing with the two of them, so he has been getting heaps of attention. We have also been doing lots in the way of learning although as my previous post suggests I have been sitting back a bit more and taking my cues from him.

SO to catch you up! Well A is seriously into playing make believe at the moment and most of our day involves never ending games of 'going to the store' and A making me 'meals'. Its SO MUCH fun and I am really enjoying his imagination. :-)

He has a little friend named Mousie (who is a mouse). Mousie is black and orange with pink whiskers and accompanies A through most of the day. A has had dalliances with the odd imaginary friend but Mousie is the most complex of them all and is interacting with other people too. I am often left holding Mousie while A is doing something else. :-)

Yesterday we decided to write a book about Mousie for Dad to read at bedtime. A told me how the story should go and then drew the pictures. It was lots of fun and the end product is one that he is very proud of and will be a wonderful keepsake. I hope to make lots of books written by A so that he can have a proper library. I think this is a great way to incorporate language. A was fascinated while watching me writing the words as he was saying them. I made a couple of changes by adding some connecting words but always made sure that I consulted with him first as I didnt want to step on him creatively. I was actually really surprised by how poetic and thoughtful he was with his story. The last page (totally his own wording) was "It was a lovely day. And now its done. Time for bed." I was blown away actually.

Now that G is sleeping better and CRAWLING things are getting back to normal. I will return, and soon. :-)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Soul Searching

I feel like I have been doing some soul searching this last week. Its been an interesting time in my head figuring out where I am at and what I want to get out of homeschooling. I guess you could say I have been reevaluating what I believe homeschooling to be. I am still new at this idea and find that my perceptions and expectations change almost daily.

It all started when G decided that she is incapable of sleeping without movement. I wrapped her up in the soft carrier and duly paced the house to keep her asleep. This got a bit much after awhile and I was getting sore and tired so she got put in the hammock and I bounce her instead. It means that I am kind of stuck in one spot while she sleeps. I initially felt very sorry for A who really had to get on and find something to do on his own unless he wanted to draw at the table with me or just chat. I felt like I was neglecting him and the poor wee man being only two should be getting MORE of me!!!

Then something interesting started to happen. He started asking more and more questions, questions on topics that would never have been covered if I had been around to 'help'. He has seriously and with great earnest started his OWN learning. I know, I know! DUH say all of the unschooling people out there! But I guess I had not done enough 'deschooling' myself yet. I have been working so hard on setting up learning that I had missed all of the learning that was happening around me.

So for the last week I have left him alone (not literally of course) and been amazed at what he has been getting up to! He has been doing a lot of outside stuff and we have had such cool questions as "what do spiders eat" and "why does rain wash the chalk away" "how do you tell time?". He has conducted his own experiments by doing things like putting a piece of chalk in a bowl of water and making mud out of the sand and then noticing the next day that it had dried out. These things have lead to many discussions about spider webs and bugs. How other spiders catch bugs in other ways. This has lead onto talks about how we dont eat bugs but some people in other cultures do... and then onto those cultures and the people in them. In theory I knew this is how it worked. In theory. But I just couldnt switch my brain off and the 'learning potential' in everything we did was foremost in my mind. I guess it still is in a way, but its kind of different now. More relaxed. And the funny thing is that I think that he has learned more in this last week than in all of the weeks before when I was trying! Yes, once again, I know! DUH! :-)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Books. Books. Books

I thought I would take some photos of A and his books... I forgot to take one of his bedtime books with Dad and I was too afraid to set the flash off to show how lovely he looked fast asleep on his books after about an hour of reading. I have only taken a few photos of them, but there are many, many more little piles around the house.

A loves his books and spends a large part of his day 'reading'. He has started to run his fingers along the words when he is reciting the story from heart and recognizes a few words by sight. We all love going to the library together and I cannot wait for G to get excited by all the books too.

A has also started to show an interest in reference books, specifically ones on space.

We try and have as many books scattered around the house as possible. A is allowed to look through any of the books any time he likes. He loves to read our books, especially the cooking books.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Mr Clean

A has been talking about having a job. He keeps telling me that its Dads job to make money and Mums job to look after him..... then asking "and me? Whats mine job?" I told him that his job was to be a little boy and to have lots of fun, he looked at me like I had lost my marbles and said "no Mum, whats mine joooooooob?"

I found an old spray bottle and cleaned it out really well. I then put a solution of water, vinegar and baking soda into it. I leave the bottle along with a cloth under the sink and its his job to clean the table after he has finished eating. He insists on doing the whole table and spends AGES playing with the spray. He feels so very grown up and makes a real meal out of putting the bottle and cloth back away again. Its obvious that he really enjoys feeling like he contributes to the family.

No pressure of course, if he never wants to do it again then I wont be bothered in the slightest. So far though he has been doing it after every meal for the last three days.

I cannot believe he is only two!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Using Tongs

We try and get our project ideas from A as much as possible. Well today he was racing around the house with the kitchen tongs so I suggested he try and build some towers using only the tongs. He spent ages stacking them up and taking them back down again, all with such precision. Great for hand eye coordination and he was really having to work with his hands to get the tongs moving correctly. He also came up with the idea of putting the blocks in different containers.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Dominoes Towers

Its been awhile since my last post, its been busy with my birthday and family. We have been doing our projects though and as always been having fun. I guess its good in a way because I now have a bit of a backlog of posts so that will mean I dont run out if we have a few quiet days!

A found the dominoes the other day and started building some rather impressive towers. I was surprised how steady his hand has become even in the last couple of weeks. He did his first tower and then made another until he had a few and then he called it his 'city'. WE also talked about the dots on the dominoes and how each piece had different numbers of dots. We did some simple multiplication by talking about the dots on either side of the line and how if we 'added them together' we got a different bigger number. He got the idea pretty quickly and can now do the smaller numbers pretty quickly in his head..... He seems to have a mathematical mind which is fantastic, if a little daunting as I am NOT known for my prowess with numbers. I guess if he gets into numbers in a big way we will have to look into a mentor of some description, although lets not get ahead of ourselves. :-)