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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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.

 

March 20, 2018 Homelife

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As part of my ‘get back into sewing’ drive was I was lucky enough to be part of the testing group for the Breeze Shirt from Twig and Tale.

It’s a truely unisex shirt, relaxed fit with no fastenings – unless you want to add rivets and ties or buttons to the front and comes with different sleeve length options.
There are no exposed seams in this shirt, everything is french seamed or tucked under and stitched. It’s not a hard sew at all, the instructions are detailed with pictures and videos if needed. It’s not the fastest because of all the seams but I found it really satisfying as it came together so cleanly and looked so professional.

I chose a shorter sleeve and hacked my own hi-lo hem as the kid wanted it to be ‘girlie’. I slightly faffed between tunic and dress length so it definitely needs shorts or leggings under it, but the back is still quite long. The fabric is Sarah Jane and was in my stash. The kid is very into knit or jersey fabric clothing, comfort comes first in everything so the fact she happily chooses this out of the wardrobe (or more accurately big pile on the floor) is a huge boon for being able to use woven fabric for her clothes.

Go check it out – and if you haven’t looked recently check out all the Twig and Tale patterns, they make up a huge percentage of the kids wardrobe, clothing and outwear.

March 3, 2018 Sewing

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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.

 

March 3, 2018 Homelife

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First ever Weetbix Tryathlon. Loved it. Rocked it

March 2, 2018 12MonthPics

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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.

February 26, 2018 Crafting, Food, Homelife

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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.

February 9, 2018 Homelife

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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

A picture a month of the kid as she grows over the year.
January

February 4, 2018 12MonthPics

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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!

February 2, 2018 Homelife

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