Sunday, June 9, 2013

Week ending 9 June

It's been a creative week here. Mr 15 and dh arrived home from camp with the knives they made from scratch - apart from actually felling the tree for the handle and mining the ironsand for the blade that is!

We are slowly eating our way through a large sack of walnuts we were given. This means we have a lot of walnut shells. Miss 12 turned some of them into little creatures, inspired by something she saw online.

Walnut shell ladybirds and hedgehogs

Best of all is this handmade journal. Best because it has been on our list of things we wanted to do since February and we finally did it!

The outside of the journal

The inside of the journal

The Black Death has also dominated our week. I picked up a Problem Based Learning unit for this topic a while ago thinking Miss 12 might enjoy it. And she did - to an extent. I think it would have worked better in a group setting. The simulation exercise on how the plague would affect our village was a lot of fun  and definitely bought the impact of the plague home. Three-quarters of our villagers (everyone who was at home at the time was roped in to service - creating various personas and then going through the exercise to discover their fate - poor Miss 12 had all her personas killed) died in the six month period.  There was also some good work with primary source material which the historian in me likes. Although the unit wasn't perfect I'm glad we did it - a good change of pace and a chance to practice some different skills while studying history. 

One  morning we awoke to a stiff frost. Miss 12 discovered a butterfly covered with frost and showing no signs of life even when she touched it. She thought it was dead but bought it inside  anyway where the warmth thawed it out. It eagerly sipped the sugar water she made up and later that morning, once the sun was out, she released it and happily watched it flutter away.

Another highlight of the week was National Doughnut Day. It was a great excuse to visit a boutique doughnut shop across town and sample their wares - turkish delight, passionfruit meringue, mango, chocolate cream and chocolate espresso. And it was educational because there was a window through to the work area so we could see them being made ;-)  Nutritionally we'll balance things out by celebrating a couple of vegetable-themed days in the next fortnight .

Miss 12 and I finally made a learning list for June. I thought she had lost interest in these so, unbeknown to her, I made a list of ideas for things I might strew during the month. Then she asked if we could make a list so I ditched mine and we spent a pleasant hour sipping hot chocolates and planning - hopefully realistically since there was a large amount we didn't get to in May. We spent another happy hour or two browsing through some cookbooks from the library - our weekly menu is in for an injection of new meals, that's for sure.

Mr 15 and Miss 12 have appropriated the dining room table and repurposed it as a table tennis table. Lots of fun is being had - and all for the cost of some cheap bats and balls from a $2 shop.

As well as all these highlights all sorts of regular things are continuing. Miss 12 is making steady progress on both her maths and Latin texts (one much more joyously than the other), she's reading plenty (I must try and take better note of what she is reading - at least sometimes) and spends plenty of time on both keyboards , playing simple tunes on one and starting (but rarely finishing) stories on the other. Trampoline training is still a big part of her week. Mr 15 continues to spend a lot of time on computers (mostly not game playing and I'm hoping he is gaining useful skills, knowledge and or contacts along the way) and his Scouting activities. Schoolwork mostly gets done but it definitely isn't the focus of his week. And that is okay for now, especially since he is aware he may have to ramp up the academics next year if he wants to gain admission to a particular tertiary institution (his pick is a lot less homeschool friendly than the university his older siblings attend). He's also taken up indoor cricket over the winter months and was pleased to be Man of the Match this week.


  1. The journal is beautiful. Saving the butterfly is just amazing, and you captured such a great close-up of it:) Love that you celebrated National Donut Day too!

    1. I must confess that the photo of the butterfly , like many of the photos I post -especially the better ones - was take by Mr 15. He has a better eye that me....and a better camera too!

  2. Those knives are amazing! And what a great story about the butterfly.