We had a lovely day out with friends out in the backwaters of the Hurunui to kick off the Easter weekend. It was a perfect day, sunny but not to hot and we found the coolest domain with a great play area and lots of awesome shade for a picnic lunch.
The kids played for ages before we headed out into the hills to check out a cool camp site and then the river – and a small side stream for the kids to play in.
It was a great day out in an area that is only a couple of hours away but one that we haven’t explored at all before. Such a beautiful backdrop and somewhere we wouldn’t have easily discovered without the invite from friends.
And I still do. The kid is loving school but after our initial homeschool journey and transition to school life we have decided to actively supplement her school work.
Her school is a small local country school where most of her close friends go and she’s very happy and settled there. It follows a traditional NZ curriculum with emphasis on creating engaged well-rounded kids.
However by the end of last year it was becoming apparent that the lack of structure, expectation and challenges were creating some issues with the level of work she was producing.
Through our homeschooling journey we learnt what type of learning suits the kid. She works best with clear boundaries and expectations, small bite sized tasks and lots of repetition to build confidence – particularly in maths.
Sadly the modern learning environment doesn’t really fit that well with how she learns best.
To bolster her school experience we work predominantly on maths, rote learning things like number bonds, times tables and key skills.
Because of her learning style we find work books appeal to her – she learns visually and needs calm, clear directions. If she gets flustered, anxious or faced with a task perceived as too big or complex she completely freezes and becomes incapable of even the simplest sums.
The current NZ maths curriculum doesn’t play to her strengths at all. It’s very mental maths with an emphasis on multiple ‘strategies’ and it jumps around a lot, which doesn’t suit the kid in any way.
We do a little handwriting and a little grammar and comprehension each week on top of the maths skills – no more than 15 minutes on each once a week. Recently I have come to use Scofield and Sims books exclusively (not sponsored – just find they works so well for us).
So I guess I’m still homeschooler at heart, may be I can’t let go of her education entirely and I’m meddling in a perfectly good system, may be I’m over compensating or pushing to hard. My lack of faith in aspects of the current curriculum might be entirely unfounded. May be i’m turning into a tiger mum? Or is it helicopter parenting?
But I know that its working well for us, she’s happy and engaged and thriving. School fills her ‘social bucket’ as it were and working on certain areas at home means the standard that she’s is capable of working to is maintained.
Mama made clothes. Funny faces. The best cats ever. Enjoying the last of summer, leaping through the sprinkler while its warm enough, last of swim club done and dusted and finished with a BBQ.
Still warm enough to walk in shorts and T-shirts, taking softies with her. Those funny moments between tweenager sass and the little kid that wants to taker her foxie out walking with her.
It’s nearly the end of term and delightfully before that its the Easter break, much anticipated down time, a trip away and some fun in the gym all on the calendar.
The kid did her first Weetbix TRYathlon at a couple weekends ago. 7 is the youngest they can do it and she was mostly excited and a little nervous. A 50m swim, then a little run to the transition area and onto her bike for a 4km bike ride and to finish off a 1.5km run round the park and up the finish chute.
She did so well, swam fast, enjoyed the biking and ran almost the entire 1.5km. And most importantly finished with a huge smile on her face.
Jungle gym climbing, baking, homemade tomato sauce, keeping plants alive for more than a week!!! The exciting going-ons of the last few weeks. And some sewing too.
We day tripped from Nelson up to Abel Tasman and had a great day hiking to Harwood Hole through the beech woods and scrambling over limestone rocks, took a tour through the caves beneath Takaka Hill and finished with a paddle and supper at Kaiteriteri.
Our last day was super chilled out with brekkie at a nice cafe, a wander about town and a trip to the beach when the weather cooled down a little in the evening. We ate pizza in the park and watched the kite surfers whizz back and forward.
Currently, I’m ..
Watching – Babylon Berlin on Netflix and Greys on demand as the episodes arrive express from the US. The former is weird, not awful, but definitely weird.
Listening to – The Greatest Showman soundtrack. On repeat, the kid loves it also.
Reading – I’m re-reading Legend by Marie Wu. Mostly because I forgot to get new stash of books out of the library and needed something to read and it was on my kindle ready to go.
Making – Trying to get back into more baking, mini frittatas and muffins this week
Sewing – cutting a jersey cards for the kid and a drawstring backpack for the kids copious dancing gear
Garden – pulling out old tomatoes and zinnias from the patio boxes that got battered in the winds and popping in some flowers for the end of summer into autumn. Also planning tree planting once the temps drop and the rainfall increases.
Dreaming – of patio furniture and autumn getaways
The first couple of day of our holiday were spent walking a 14km track deep into the bush and then having a quiet recovery day afterwards, with a trip to the beach and a serendipitous sighting of Orca feeding just off the beach. Quite honestly it was magic and I am or may not have squealed like a kid in a toy shop when I realised what they were – dolphins would have been good – but Orca … mind blown!
After that we had a lovely lunch at Toad Hall in Motuaka and visited the summer festival for a bit. The watermelon was amazing!
It was crazy hot while we were away – over 32 most days and it meant we have to scale back some of our plans as a lot of the walks we planned just weren’t going to be fun in that sort of heat.
Our AirB&B was absolutely lovely and up above the city – the sunset pic was taken from the deck outside our bedroom! But it did mean it was broiling hot with the sun shining in!
A new year! Is it weird that I believe that even years are luckier than odd years? i have nothing to substantiate this claim, and in fact it’s possible to infer from the years of blogging that odd years may have actually been marginally better. Or may be there are all the same really, with each having its fair shares of highs and lows.
Anyway! It’s an even year and I’m happy about it. I don’t have any huge resolutions. Predominantly because history has taught me I’m terrible at ‘resolutions’ and making changes in general. I start string and about 3 days in give up and refer back to older stronger habits.
So this year I’ve got intentions (resolutions by another name?) They mostly revolve around being calmer and more present, loosing 15kg and getting fit by running and walking more. So, same as every other year really.
We started strong with bike rides and hiking in the hills and going to the library to get out books to read in the evenings rather than web browsing and surfing social media. I have ordered chatbooks for both my own and the kids instagram accounts and my goal is to be mindful of the pictures I post so the albums become pleasantly collated records not a random mumble jumble of images.
The house is clean, I’m on top of the washing (shock!) and we are putting the phones, laptops and tablets down for more engaged time over puzzles and board games. So far so good. It is only day 8 of the new year tho.
Failing so far … still eating far to much chocolate. Blessings … the bakery is still closed so at least I can’t eat to much cake.
Blogging in 2018. My intention for this year is deceptively simple. I want to blog more regularly and take many many more pictures. I will keep up the 12 Monthly Photos of the Kid, and I am hoping to do 12 Months of Adventures – I think it’s my attempt to be mindful of the passing months and not to miss out on doing something, however big or small. Hopefully by the end of each month I’ll have a couple of adventures to choose from. May be. That’s the idea anyway. Call it work in progress.
January started on a high with a trip to Akaroa to have a walk, wander about and eat good food.
Christmas day sprinkler fun.
A year done. Probably not really the best selection I could have come up with but 2017 was not the year of pictures. Hopefully 2018 will be better.
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