Just about everyone where we are is homeschooling these days, but not out of choice. I prefer to say that we are home educating because our situation looks nothing like school. We have been teaching our children for 28 years and it is a normal part of life that we don’t think twice about, but what we are experiencing now is not normal for us.
If your knowledge of homeschooling is limited to lockdown mode, please don’t think that this is what it looks like for ‘regular’ homeschoolers. We don’t stay at home all day. We’ve had swimming squads, orchestra, band practice, music lessons and other social activities put on hold. We do have an advantage in that we have built plenty of home based activities into our everyday lives over the years so there is usually plenty to occupy us.
Something we are still able to do as long as we don’t go more than 5 km from home is outdoor exercise. Bushwalking is something we’ve made an effort to do regularly during lockdown. It really helps give us,
‘ …certain dispositions of mind which we can get from no other source, and it is through these right dispositions that we get life into focus, as it were; learn to distinguish between small matters and great, to see that we ourselves are not of very great importance, that the world is wide, that things are sweet…’
Australian Native Plants
A New Read Aloud
Miss 16’s Nature Notebook – Australian Hercules’ Moth
A Narration after a Shakespeare Lesson:
A Tongue-in-cheek plagiarism of Shakespeare:
Some Art Work in Gouache:
Some Free Reading – Miss M’s latest books & her thoughts on them:
The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery
‘This is one of L. M. Montgomery’s few books considered to be written for an adult audience, and the only one set completely outside of Prince Edward Island. At the same time, I wouldn’t term it an ‘adult’ book, but I do think that younger readers might not appreciate it as much. I really enjoyed it.
In the year of 1920 Valancy Stirling is 28 and unmarried – in the view of her extensive family and society, well on the highway to becoming an old maid, if not there already. She has lived her whole life at home under the thumb of her mother and Cousin Stickles, treated like a child. She takes refuge in the forbidden books of a nature writer, John Foster, and her imaginary ‘Blue Castle,’ where her dreams of romance and a happy life are fulfilled. Then one day, after receiving some shocking news, she rebels against her family and discovers a new life, full of love and adventure far beyond her dreams.
One of the reasons I enjoyed this book so much is that the main character doesn’t conform to the conventions, which is nice and refreshing. After the first section, that is. Valancy isn’t afraid to do something that might be seen as outrageous or ‘not done’ by the rest of her prim and proper relatives.
The Laughing Cavalier
This is the first prequel to the Scarlet Pimpernel. The second prequel is The First Sir Percy, set after the end of the Laughing Cavalier, but in my opinion the Laughing Cavalier is the better one of the two. I may even like it more than the Scarlet Pimpernel, I just haven’t made up my mind yet. It is one of my favourite books. I have re-read it way too many times.’
‘The monograph which I now present with but few additions of minor details, goes to prove what I myself had known long ago, namely, that the Laughing Cavalier who sat to Frans Hal for his portrait in 1624 was the direct ancestor of Sir Percy Blakeney, known to history as the Scarlet Pimpernel.’
After spending about two weeks studying a piece of art work, I usually get my daughter to write about it from memory. This is the picture she wrote about this week:
‘St George and the Dragon – Peter Paul Rubens
This painting depicts the fabled St George astride his rearing horse, raising his sword for the death blow to the dragon, wiggling around at the bottom of the picture. Behind St. George is a lady, standing with her pale blue robes draped classically and artistically round her, blond hair falling over the shoulders, and a hand raised languidly. With the other hand she is patting a sheep. St George is in armour – as you would expect in a dragon-slaying hero – and his gigantic horse seems even bigger than the dragon. The dragon is clutching a spear which seems to have gone through the roof of its mouth, as St George’s red cloak billows out majestically and triumphantly behind the victor.‘
We’ve had a bit of cooking going on during lockdown. Our three married daughters/daughter-in-law face-timed their youngest sister and they made some banana bread the other weekend. It turned a little riotous as a couple of toddlers were helping out. Our two youngest collaborated on a pumpkin pie (below). They’ve also been experimenting with meals now that they have more free time.