|White water rafting was the favourite activity by far. Sadly no photos of them on the actual rapids though!|
|Other activities involved the traditional - erecting the gateway to the campsite, dishes and team building, plus some more unusual - demolishing old cars with sledgehammers!|
|Shooting, axe work (Miss 13 even won an award for her axe wielding skills!), campfires with a flint, pioneer skills and more team building.|
|Some of the 100+ badges Miss 13 has to sew on her blanket. Funnily enough many of the ones she traded for feature birds!|
Sadly Miss 13 then came down with the vomiting bug her two tent mates had during Jamboree. Luckily she wasn't badly affected but it did mean another couple of quiet days while she recovered. On the positive side it gave me plenty of free time to read. I enjoyed Ann Patchett's State of Wonder but really enjoyed Wiley Cash's Land More Kind than Home and am looking forward to the release of his next novel, This Dark Road to Mercy, at the end of the month.
Once Miss 13 was feeling better we talked about plans for this year's homeschooling. I've tried to keep things simple and just focus on the basics so there is plenty of time left for interest-led learning as it arises. We'll continue with Saxon (Algebra 1/2) for maths - she hasn't found anything she prefers and we have this already. We've accepted the fact that not everybody is going to love everything but that some subjects need to be got through regardless. Sadly maths seems to fall into that category for Miss 13. Right now she's hoping to pursue ornithology as a career so we're leaving plenty of time to pursue interest-led learning in this area. We've also decided to complete R.E.A.L. Science Odyssey Biology (Level 2) to give her a thorough grounding at late middle/early high school level, while still allowing time for three more years of science at the high school level, which will be important if she decides to study science at university level. She's willing to give Big History a try (it is hard to get a feel for it just by browsing the site so we'll give it a go and see how we find it) and wants to continue with Latin (Latin Primer 3 this year) and French (we'll continue with So You Really Want to Learn French level 1, supplemented by Duolingo and Memrise). We'll fit in a few literature units during the year starting with Shakespeare's The Tempest, since a local theatre company will put on an outdoor production next month. I managed to resist the lure of a new writing programme and a grammar programme since Miss 13 doesn't actually need either of them. We'll do plenty of writing via science, history and literature and I'll just provide instruction and guidance as needed. I'm also sure we'll do some artist studies (Modigliani and Audubon will probably be first up) and hopefully some Composer studies or other type of music appreciation as well. I'm hoping this plan will provide us with the right mix of structure and freedom - if not we'll adjust as we go. Miss 13 was pretty happy (not as happy as she would have been had maths not been included on the plan mind you) and spent a few happy hours gathering her books and supplies, decorating and organising her binders etc. Mr 16 hasn't finalised his curriculum decisions yet; hopefully this coming week.
The other highlight of our week was birding. It's ages since we've gone and Miss 13 hadn't yet tried out her new binoculars. So we spent this afternoon at a couple of wetlands and a small part of the estuary. While we didn't spot as many species as we'd hoped we had a great walk, enjoyed what we did see, especially the Welcome Swallow chicks and the juvenile Pukekos, and gave the binoculars a thorough workout. Sadly no photos, since Mr 16's camera which we normally borrow is currently in for repairs.