We had a wonderful trip up the English Channel to Norway – smooth calm seas and most of the travelling done at night. Our first stop was Stavanger and we headed out of the town to hike the Manafossen waterfall. It was a short but steep walk up to the top to view the falls but well worth the effort. Lots of scrambling up steps and rocks holding a chain. The kid was delighted! We didn’t really venture into the town much – towns aren’t really our thing, and drizzle and decreasing temperatures meant we headed inside for hot chocolate and crepes. had a wonderful trip up the English Channel to Norway – smooth calm seas and most of the travelling done at night. Our first stop was Stavanger and we headed out of the town to hike the Manafossen waterfall. It was a short but steep walk up to the top to view the falls but well worth the effort. Lots of scrambling up steps and rocks holding a chain. The kid was delighted! We didn’t really venture into the town much – towns aren’t really our thing, and drizzle and decreasing temperatures meant we headed inside for hot chocolate and crepes.
Our second stop was Skjolden – a tiny little village at the end of a long fjord. We woke to thick and uninspiring fog which cleared delightfully into a beautiful sunny blue skied day. We walked up into the hills to look down on the village, following a small track back through the woods along the lakeside. After a ice cream break and stocking up on water we followed the other side of the lake to go and look at some more huge waterfalls. There were a lot of waterfalls on this trip – half way through the kid announced “yes mum, its a waterfall, just like all the others!”
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!
A pic from our recent trip to Montreal. Not long after this was taken she abandoned the frame and went out solo.
You cant tell from the pic but it was SO cold, -9 the day this was taken
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.
These were taken (mostly by hubby) at a couple of the different walks we did last week. Water, and waterfalls is a bit of a theme at the moment as we are doing a lot of glen walks. Spring is slowly coming and we are seeing snowdrops peeking out and daffodils starting to bloom.
The kid is loving all the outdoor activities and hiking that we have been able to do. I am really enjoying being able to make sure that being outside, just following a path with no schedule or goal is a regular part of each week. I have noticed it has a positive impact on her school work and attitude when she’s had a dose of outdoor nature exploring and stress free time.
We are doing the Wild Explorers Club assignments which I signed up for a few weeks ago. I wasn’t sure if it would be a hit with the kid or not, but so far she’s loving the little videos every week and having a outdoor explorer ‘goal’ to work towards. This isn’t a sponsored post, just something that Ive found really great for instigating ‘get outdoors’ when its been cold, damp and grey!
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