Sorting through pictures I found these hiding on my camera card and they were too lovely not to post – even if they are nearly two months old.
The Isle of Man is a wonderful magical place. We were so lucky and fortunate to be able to spend time there. While for us its not ‘home’ like NZ is – but it is a place I look forward to going back to, doing more exploring and adventuring and having time with family.
Winter there is pretty rough – and we certainly got a share of it. Cold, wet, foggy and grey.
But when the sun does shine. Oh my. It is a beautiful, quintessentially British place. Coastlines with basking sharks and barking seals. Towering cliffs and headlands and those balmy long british summer evenings.
The pictures above were captured on such an evening. On the way home from the beach over the the Sloc we pulled over and took a walk up to the cliffs and headlands. Magical.
Ahh British summer … the best ever… When it’s not raining.
We were lucky enough to have a lovely few weeks of summery weather before we headed back home into deepest winter. May seems to be one of the nicest months on the UK now and we got a good run of sunny days and trips to the beach.
Above is the beach at Port Erin, its such a gorgeous bay with a little harbour and a long flat gently sloping beach with no big drop off, Great for kids to paddle and for mums wo watch and not stress to hard.
The kid had a great few trips down here, but the last was the only time I took my camera with me. The pontoon was a huge hit with all the kids (most of the beaches have them for summer time) but on this trip the kid hopped off as soon as it floated. The previous day she had waded out and played with friends only to find that it wobbled more than expected and when she jumped off she discovered the water had gone from mid-chest to chin deep. She was more bothered by the wobbling than the change in depth but decided discretion was the better part of valour the next day!
There were a few jellyfish floating around to look at and the wonderful views and soft sand to make angels in and dig through to find ‘treasures’.
It’s not a bad life – Norway was definitley the highlight of May.
A sunny weekend day and we took the opportunity to explore the blooming woods, mine and local historic water wheel. The mines near the wheel are really interesting, you can walk a few hundred metres into the upper level of one and even in that short distance makes it abundantly clear what a horrible working environment it must have been to work in. The kid was not impressed by it!
We climbed to the top of the wheel and then wandered along the valley. Primroses, bluebells and snowdrops were abundant as well as slowly unfurling fern heads and plenty of dandelions. Blue skies and a bit of sunshine and then a lovely lunch at a local cafe. The Easter holiday flew by. Lots of relaxing and time with family. Far to much chocolate.
We had a whirlwind but great trip to Canada in March, there are more pictures untaken than taken. We explored new cities, used AirB&B for the first time (huge success) met with old friends, the kid got to take contortion classes with a pro. She trained twice in 5 days and loved every single second.
We drove miles and miles, walked the streets to take in the sights, enjoyed the aquarium when the outside was just to cold. Ice skated in the sunshine and loved every second of Niagara Falls.
The pics above are an embarrassing hodge podge of hubby’s edited images and my iphone snaps. But they offer a flavour. It was great. It was cold. It was fun.
Spring has come very slowly to us here, or so it feels anyway. Seeing the spring flowers and feeling sun on our faces has been really welcome. We have been struggling to really get into a groove with travelling about (Canada was great fun, post on that to come) health issues and feeling a little out of sorts.
I’m hoping that the nicer weather and more sunshine will bring some lighter spirits and make finding our rhythm a little easier. We have an exciting Easter with family and lots of activities planned and I have grand plans for trying to revamp our diets in the next few weeks to try and help with some of the health issues that are still rumbling on.
I’ve started slow with lactose free and cutting out gluten. Next week I’m going to try and cut out 90% of dairy as well. Hubby has been caffeine free for a few weeks. I will have to flex my cooking muscles and come up with something different from the usual 6 meals I rotate each week!
We have had a lot of damp and gery weather over the last few weeks so at any moment where its a bit dry or the sun tries to break through we head out for some fresh air and nature time.
These are local plantations near where we are staying. They are wet and boggy at this time of year but good fun for a walk and there are walkways, and play areas and dens been built throughout so the kids loves to play and climb and build little houses.
The moss that covers everything is the brightest green right now, and softy spongy to play on where it covers puddles and boggy areas. Along the roads there are daffodils that bring dashes of bright yellow and snowdrops and crocuses are flowering.
I love this little crazy cat. Making the most of Febuarys dryer weather and getting out and about a lot.
We have been spending a lot of time outside since we got into a homeschool rhythm after new year. Partly because we love exploring new places and partly because it it a good way to let the kid blow off steam and relax in the absence of her usual buddies and playdates.
I have found that a more relaxed approach to learning and homeschool suits us best. There is no timetable or weekly goals that need to be reached. Everyday we pick a couple of subjects or learning ideas and fit them around outdoor exploring or organised homeschool activities such as Forest School or the Community Farm.
We don’t un-school in the purest sense as we do use learning materials, but we do allow the kid to drive the intensity and direction. She loves to read and write with no added encouragement from us at all. She writes my weekly shopping lists, notes to remind me about things I need to do. She has a story book she writes a few times a week and she takes a nature journal out on lots of her walks.
The past couple of weeks we have gravitated to more art and craft than we were perhaps doing before. May be the wet weather has forced us to be more creative inside!? We have used clay for crafting pots and coasters and ornaments. Painting and decorating them. Wet on wet water colour is a favourite and also general colouring and picture drawing. Stamp making. She and her dad are making a rubber band ball solar system as a science project.
We have just started ‘The Story of the World’ as a history read-aloud. Partly as there is only so much Enid Blyton that a parent can take and we are trying to make sure that we do at least 20 mins reading aloud a day (have a look at ‘Read Aloud Revival’- its an interesting resource) and I figured throwing in a little world history a couple of days a week could be fun.
Maths and numbers she doesn’t find so easy and we are consciously trying not to push to hard as I feel that its something she will come to in her own time. She enjoys the MEP workbooks and likes to do a couple of pages by herself before asking me to check how she’s doing. They progress slowly and are repetitive which I feel is giving her confidence.
Homeschooling is a funny thing, it can be so hard to know if you are doing it ‘right’. If your child is ‘on track’. As I get into our second year I feel a lot more confident in saying ‘this works for us’. Most recently the funniest thing people have asked (after the usual boring ‘socialisation’ questions – yawn) is if we will homeschool ‘forever’. Well no, at some point the kid will hopefully leave home and become a functioning adult. Will we homeschool through to high-school. May be. Or she might decide school is the best thing ever in 6 months and leave me bereft at home all by myself, surrounded by craft supplies and books. Whichever way, we will support her.
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