Weekly Highlights 8th September 2013

imageGeneral Activities

Whilst returning from my morning walk and the kids bike riding along with me, we met a neighbour who has just returned from Andorra. She lives there half of the year and here in Australia the other half. She immediately invited us for a meal on Thursday night, with the kids volunteering to make the dessert. (Princess also made her double chocolate chip biscuits.) Thus, our geography lesson this week changed to focussing on learning about Andorra, the tiny country between France and Spain. It was great to find out from our neighbour what it is like living there with the steep mountains and deep valleys and why people live there (it is a tax haven) and the history of the country. Fascinating. I love taking the everyday occurrence and helping us all to learn from it.

The other big news this week in Australia was the federal election. After visiting Canberra, our nation’s capital, back in June, the kids have a real interest in politics. There was much talk of who we were voting for and why, how to vote, how not to waste your vote, whether or not to vote for a minor party in the lower house etc. It was also great to look at the upper and lower houses again and their set up and function. The red (upper house/senate) and green (lower house) coloured rooms and seating plan were also looked at again.

Tuesday evening I accidentally hurt my knee and couldn’t walk without severe pain for a day. Matey also had the flu so we scaled down homeschooling activities for most of the week. My Local Doctor pronounced a damaged meniscus & cartilage for my knee & to RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevate) it for several days then visit the physiotherapist, osteopath and chiropractor before returning for an MRI when the swelling went down. We prayed for it and God miraculously healed it with a huge reduction in pain and swelling 36 hours later. It was still tender to walk on though.

Soccer is finally finished for the season. Matey’s team has won one game all season but they have had the best attitude in regard to giving it a go & enjoying it. They all improved so much. Matey was very proud of the trophy he received for being part of the team. Saturday’s game was played against Chelsea next to the Edithvale velodrome. Thus, all the kids and siblings took their bikes. During the game, Princess and her friend rode their bikes around the velodrome supervising the younger siblings whilst the parents cheered on the soccer team. After the game finished, the soccer kids joined in the fun of the bike riding on a great track.

Princess again did triathlon training with this week adventure running. They ran along the beach, over rocks, up steep steps, through a creek, over pipes etc. Princess came back and promptly stated that “I felt like I was going to die”. Her friend brought another friend and Princess was excited as Princess’ friend is going to England for 3 weeks over the coming school holidays and it means that Princess now has a new friend to run and cycle with at triathlon training. The social aspect is huge for Princess. She will try just about anything if there is a social side to it.

I spent quite a bit of time getting my website and blog up and ready to go this week. When I have a project to do, I can become a bit too focussed and the kids can end up feeling like they are not getting any attention. The thing that suffered this week was housework and reading to the kids.

We have also begun collecting books for our aim of 37,000 books for shipping to Cambodia. The soccer mums were great at providing a number of books. We now have about 200 books. Still a long way to go. Is our goal achievable? I must confess the ‘Books for Cambodia’ project suffered this week from my distraction with my website getting ready.

Educational Activities

I am a huge fan of kids rote learning their timetables. It really helps their maths if they know their timetables. Three years ago, when we went out in the car during the weekday, I would get Princess, then aged seven, to recite her timetables. After a fair bit of practice, she could recite all her timetables in under 4 minutes. Whenever she improved her timing, she would get a little reward. That effort paid off. Princess learns differently to Matey – she taught herself the tables. We are just about to start Matey learning his tables. It is a great way to make use of the car time instead of listening to the radio, CD etc.

With Matey being sick for four days this last week, we played a lot of board and card games. Monopoly was a huge hit.