These pics were taken a couple of days ago. Its winter here. Like, mid-winter. We’d been skiing a few days before. But a lovely mild 16 degree day had the kid outside playing like it was summer.

Gymnastics is the kids thing. It has been for a while but it’s definitely becoming a true passion. I think its a great sport for kids. It teaches them to be tough and determined. To set goals and develop resilience and grit.
She is not a natural born gymnast. She doesn’t have innate bravery, isn’t tiny and strong or have fast muscle twitch. But what she lacks in all those things she makes up for in dedication. She doesn’t get that from me, at her age I was definitely a quitter!

At the end of last year she got her vault that she’s competing this year. Unfortunately she nailed her foot on the beat-board quite hard and cut it at competition. She went on to do another pass and managed a score-able vault but it knocked her nerves. It’s not a particularly difficult vault, but it does requite confidence as well as technique.

For months and months she struggled. Her wonderful coach tried pushing through, breaking it down, drills, shapes, spotting. But the vault was gone. The technique was ok. The brain was not.

There is a saying in the gym. “Trust the Process”. And its hard. When you can see your child tense and scared and not quite sure how to own or overcome those feelings. The desire to dash in and ‘fix’ it is almost overwhelming. The thing is you cannot ‘fix’ mental blocks. You can only offer support and encouragement as they work through them.

Her coach took all the pressure off. We aimed to enjoy the break between terms. A chance to try parkour and flipping on mini tramps at a holiday programme. To relax for a couple of weeks with no school or commitments. She played, had fun. And at her holiday session with her awesome coach the vault was back.

Her goal for the last part of this year is to be confident, strong and tight enough to get into the higher competitive programme next year. She’s got her eye on her goal and a coach who believes in her dedication to try.

Trust the Process. I think that may be that’s a lesson for life?

July 22, 2018 Homelife

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Ski season is here!
Cooking soups and warming hearty dishes
Morning frosts and clear starry nights
School holidays and hanging with friends
Blue skies, cold winds, bright sunshine
Coffee with friends
Fruit loaf
Holiday countdown
Painting and drawing, reading and watching.

Little snippets from our days.

July 16, 2018 Homelife

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It started as a plan to head out and go walking, we left home in chilling air but sunshine and the closer to the mountains (and our walking location) we got the cloud built and rain started falling. We we holed up in a cafe for drinks and chips and a toasty.

We hoped it would clear while we waited but no such luck. The kid ran round for approximately 5 minutes and then declared we should head home and put on cartoons! To be honest I rather agreed with her. On the plus side she looked adorable in her new dungarees from Nana and the chips were delicious!

Hopefully next weekends plans go more smoothly.

Watching – The Handmaids Tale. It’s brilliant and horrifying at the same time and in equal measure. It astonishes me that the book was written in the 80’s and yet resonates so hard today. As a contrast to that I like catching up on Code Black for my fun medical drama fix.

Eating – more homemade and less takeaway. Trying to get back into good habits despite how busy our days are and how appealing take out is. Warming dishes like risotto, frittatas and the ubiquitous winter pasta dishes. We have cut out red meat almost entirely (we eat a little bacon and ham) and chicken only once a week. For my own health trying to reduce my dependency on carbs.

Listening – the kid is back into her audiobooks big time. She loves anything Enid Blyton (the Adventure series and the Secret series). I just hit up spotify for anything cheerful and mellow.

Making – sewing for the kid, top and leggings mainly. A quilt in planning potentially. Trying not to stock pile fabric to much (might be failing on that one). Loving that the kid wears what I make and appreciates it still.

Happy – the kid is thriving in her new school, its only 2 weeks until the holidays and a chance to rest and spend more time getting outdoors and enjoying slow days. Winter had arrived and the cold grey damp seems to have departed leaving cold but sunny days behind. Not long till the ski season kicks off for us.

Trying – to take more photos, I’ve been in a bit go a slump recently and want to shake it. Thinking I want to set aside some time for myself each morning, to start the day positively – may be with this Yoga programme

Reading – I finished Ice by Ulla- Lena Lundberg which was very well written but left me feeling weirdly unfulfilled by the ending. Currently reading Ill Will by Dan Chaon. So far so good but I’m only a few chapters in.

 

 

 

June 23, 2018 Homelife

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First time running school cross country. Battling severs in both her heels but still made a break for the finish line!

Currently, around here ..

Watching – Killing Eve. It’s brilliant.

Listening to – Not much actually, I’m rather enjoying the silence of a calm house during the day.

Reading – Ice by Ulla-Lena Lundberg.

Making – Leggings! Using the pattern from Halla which is the best legging pattern I’ve ever tried. And its free! Hubby and the kid have been making Nintendo Labo creations and loving them.

Cooking – chocolate muffins and egg, cheese puffs for lunch boxes. Needing to do a monthly meal plan for June – I missed May and it definitely made a difference not having a plan to fall back on at the end of a long day.

Gardening – the grass needs cutting and I need to get onto buying trees. Still haven’t got round to it. We are been chatting through plans out the bigger bed at the front and think we have a plan for it. We have a vision of a couple of small trees and a stone/pebble cover with half barrels to put perennials into for colour and interest.

Dreaming – a nice sunny get-away and the massage dear hubby booked for me on Tuesday

May 27, 2018 Homelife

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A trip down south. A couple of night away and such fun. A breath of fresh (wintery) air.

Hiking in the shadow of our amazing countries tallest mountain. Icebergs on glacial lakes. Sunsets over snow. Steep climbs leading to big views. Swing bridges and handstands. Autumn colours and steep moraines. And a sneaky pic thats got me in it.

Holiday activities, gym comp. Learning. In season fruit – Feijoas are weird and an acquired taste but the kid likes them. Baking.

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.

March 24, 2018 Homelife

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