Sunday, April 28, 2013

Week ending 28 April

It has been a very low energy week. I think the mid-week public holiday was responsible.

DSCF6496.JPGDSCF6571.JPGEarly in the week we drove to a small reserve that features a small lake (more accurately a large pond) where we heard a Royal Spoonbill was wintering over.  We've seen them before but the size of this "lake" would make it easy for us to closely observe. The spoonbill was there and we did enjoy the close-up view but the unexpected highlight was the pair of black swan who had built their nest right on the shore. While we were there mum got off the nest to go and feed so we got a good view of the eggs and later got to watch her as she did some repair work and tidying of the nest on her return. Some locals told us they've been there for three weeks and we read that swan's eggs take five to six weeks to incubate. We'll be returning in the next couple of weeks to check  in on them.  Given the very public location of the nest - a walking track frequented by dog owners is only a metre away and a road just five metres back - we're hoping they aren't disturbed or worse. (Apologies for the poor quality of the photos. Blogger is refusing to upload photos tonight so I have just cut and pasted and pasted.)

We made several new types of bird feeder but no joy yet in attracting birds that we've seen in our neighbourhood, but not in our backyard.

I began reading A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver aloud to Miss 12 and she has been steadily reducing the books in her started-but-not-yet-finished pile. She had about eight different books on the go at once!

We've started watching David Attenborough's Life of Birds. She doesn't really remember when we last watched it - but I guess that might have been four or more years ago.

We celebrated Talk Like Shakespeare Day on the Bard's  birthday by writing a 60 second version of Othello (and insulting each other in Shakespearean language - all in good fun though). We still have to get around to actually recording it Othello.

We read several books to commemorate Anzac Day and made Anzac biscuits in the afternoon. In the morning Miss 12 and Miss 18 went to a local dawn service with dh. Mr 15 took part in a later ceremony across town, marching with local Scout groups.

We finally located all our  Mystery Classes and entered the competition. The entry required a school name so Miss 12 had a great time coming up with a very creative name for us. Not sure what Mr 15 will say when he realises he has been attending the "Splendid School for Gracious Girls" :-)

We made a start on a painted and embroidered canvas - a depiction of a bird (of course). The painting is all finished and the embroidering has begun. Hopefully it will be completed this week but with minor surgery to her arm on Monday maybe not.

Mr 15 attended the local university Open Day. He's not sure what he sees himself doing when he finishes homeschooling so this was a good chance to begin information gathering.

Miss 18 got a part-time job. She looked seriously for a part-time job last year but only got one interview despite sending out hundreds of applications. She gave up, frustrated,  but recently sent out another small bunch of applications. One week later and  she had two interviews. The only difference is that she removed the mention of homeschooling from her application after a friend of hers mentioned she didn't seem like she'd been homeschooled. Apparently her friend's image of homeschoolers was the socially awkward, religious fanatic stereotype. Not sure if the interviews this time around were just coincidence or not. Also, not sure how we'll handle this on Mr 15's CV.  He wants to start applying for part-time jobs and given his age we'll have to mention his secondary education.

Miss 12 took part in a Junior Keeper for a Day programme at a local wildlife park. She was meant to go in December but broke her arm and was in hospital recovering from surgery instead. While she enjoyed some aspects of it -especially the close contact with the lemurs - I think overall she was a little underwhelmed at how little they got to do. Seems like it was more like a guided tour than a real keeper type experience. It was for 10-14 year olds but I also got the feeling she thought the programme was a little young. It is a bit hard to tell because she is trying very hard to be diplomatic and not hurt our feelings since the outing was a birthday gift.

We also finally made progress on making our bird bath. Turns out my mother-in-law was having a sort out and had exactly what we were looking for. Now we have the supplies the construction should hopefully be straightforward.


  1. I love all of your bird studies! Wow, what a great way to take an interest and really make it part of your homeschool!

    I love the 60 second version of Othello and insulting one another in Shakespearean language idea! What a fun way to celebrate the Bard's birthday!!

  2. I think the bird watching that you do is so interesting! I love to watch birds, but we don't make special trips to see certain species...we watch the many varieties that are around our property and in places that we normally travel.
    The Junior Keeper for a Day program sounds like it could be great. It's a shame if it wasn't quite all she expected. My youngest daughter gets quite insulted if she feels things are "dumbed down" for younger kids...she does NOT like to be treated like a baby.

  3. I love all the bird watching that you do! What a wonderful way to learn hands on. I wish we knew more about birds. We have bird feeders everywhere and tons of birds but I can recognize only a handful. And all the Shakespeare things are great! I would love to hear your version of Othello! Anzac days and Mystery classes! What fun!! :)

  4. I love to read about your bird sightings:) We are watching a heron right now that is nesting nearby. The Junior Keeper for a Day program sounds so fun...sorry your daughter didn't get to do more!

  5. I am really pleased with the way our bird studies go. It seems to be interest-led learning at it's best. It is easy for me to naturally support and encourage it because I have developed a genuine interest right along with Miss 12. I find it much harder to support and encourage learning in those areas that I haven't developed an interest as well. Mr 15's computer passion comes to mind. Sometimes I struggle to even listen to his lengthy explanations about technology related matters. Still I do at least try and he has found online environments which are more receptive and knowledgable than me !