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July Homeschool Miscellany

Posted on: Wednesday, 12 August 2020 @ 10:50am
Blatting about

WARNING: there are fake wounds made of Vaseline, flour and red food colouring about halfway through this post.

Broke the habit!

For now.

My head is still all over the place and and trying to get and keep organised is presenting its usual massive challenge, exacerbated by the fact the children have been staggering being exhausted for no apparent reason lately (a possible reason is growth spurts, because they're lethargic and sleep a lot and suddenly they're bigger, especially the boys).

July was pretty cruisy but as everything is pretty much back to normal (I think we're still meant to be social distancing as the marks in checkout lines and the enlarged aisles in bigger stores are still present but seeing as we've never had community transmission ever more and more and more people seem to be forgetting/ignoring this) we've been doing more.

The garden has been doing fantastic and my little nephew keeps asking to come over so he can raid.

toddler raiding aquaponics veges

I'm not sure what 11yo was doing on top of the grow beds, I think he was getting some higher up peas that they couldn't reach, that's him working his way down after being told to get down.  The pea plants have since cascaded to the ground and are now in the process of dying off.

We had a little family get-together down at our favourite halfway park (apparently the whole thing is called AP Hinds Reserve, we call it the Garrett Rd Bridge Park because we usually come in from that side and go to the picnic area near the bridge).

13yo editing videos on her phone on a see saw at AP HInds Reserve, Bayswater, Western Australia   11yo and 4yo at edge of the river at AP Hinds Reserve, Bayswater, Western Australia   13yo and 6yo standing on rocks under Garrett Rd side of bridge, AP Hinds Reseerve, Bayswater, Western Australia

13yo is still really keen on the video editing and did a bit of that til everyone arrived.  Both 11yo and 3yo were quite determined to get into the water at all costs.  They ended up just walking up to 11yo's knees as they refused to admit that it was actually cold XD After lunch the big boys played footy and 13yo was playing with them but eventually came to join Nanna, Aunty, myself and the two small children as she claimed everyone else was hogging the ball.  We went a short way up the path that runs along the river reading some of the signs on the way through, looking at the different types of vegetation along the river and keeping an eye out for some turtles that a sign had said to watch out for (we didn't see any).

Over the school holidays (which due to the shortened term felt like they'd arrived in a hurry), both smalls had friends sleeping over (which was a pretty big deal for 11yo who has adhd and is one marker off an autism diagnosis, he hasn't had a friend sleep over for ages as we have trouble teeing up with his bestie who lives on the other side of the river).  The boys spent their sleepover playing outside during the day and watching movies at night.  The girls went shopping on one of the days and on the second night attempted to stay up all night.  I walked into the kitchen to ask them to quieten down a little and found them playing with knives, apparently they were pranking someone trying to make them believe they'd just stabbed someone so they'd covered a knife with red food colouring.  The two friends were then trying to take a photo to make it look like one of them had been stabbed through the hand with the knife, so 13yo asked the girl who was pretending to be stabbed if she wanted a fake wound.  She responded with an enthusiastic affirmative and the other playfully whined "I want a fake wound!"

Then everyone bar JJ and 11yo (who were sensibly asleep) got in on the fun.

13yo making a "bullet wound" on 15yo   close up of fake wound moulding

fake gashes made with Vaseline, flour and red food colouring   all the fake wounds together and 13yo's "bloodied" (red food colouring stained) hands

Pro-tip: take off jumpers and jackets before getting fake wounds.

Pro-tip 2: be careful when rinsing off fake wounds in showers as red food colouring splashes EVERYWHERE and makes the shower look like a murder scene (would have taken a photo but that would have required not cleaning it off immediately and red food colouring stains when dry)

The prank apparently worked so well I got to a point of telling the girls they needed to tell the friends they were pranking that the wounds were fake as some of them sounded like they were getting really worried.

The girls cleaned everything up when they were done, but red food colouring being red food colouring, I got the inevitable "why does my kitchen look like a murder scene?" from JJ the following morning.

11yo learned how to use chopsticks by picking up dice with them.  When you can pick up dice, banana slices are easy.

11yo eating banana slices with chopsticks

He also modified a box vanilla cake recipe as he confused the cake and icing ingredients and put too much liquid into the icing.  It wasn't salvagable so with Nanna's help he made some icing using icing sugar and lemon juice, and then decided to top it with strawberries.

11yo with box vanilla cake topped with lemon icing and strawberries

15yo had one of his rare art bouts.

15yo's dark art

He ended up making two characters for himself (one which was basically completed but he then scrapped because he wasn't happy with how it turned out, the second which he is happy with and just has to write a backstory for so we can start our game) and helping one of his friends with theirs.  A lot of poring over sourcebooks, scribbling notes and bouncing ideas off each other has gone into the makings of these characters.  And the way the "reality tv show" type household is going I'm thinking I won't have to make antagonists.

Finally, 13yo made a birthday cake for the youngest cousin's 4th birthday.  She decided to make it from scratch with frosting rather than using the box mixes we have, because apparently frosting is better than icing (I can't tell the difference, I just eat).  Due to the size of the batter she made and the size of the cake tins we had, she decided to make a two tier cake.  The problem was, the bottom tier didn't rise.

not sure why the cake didn't rise

We couldn't simply swap them over as the bottom tier was a lot bigger than the top tier.  While waiting for the other tier to finish baking, we tried to figure out what to do and 13yo came up with the brilliant idea to cut shapes out of the cake with cookie cutters, lightly place frosting on top and coat them with sprinkles, because everything is better with sprinkles.

cutting shapes out of the cake with cookie cutters   13yo putting frosting on cake shapes   cake shape with sprinkles

The shapes worked out reasonably well except for the giraffe which turned into a demented seahorse as its feet didn't make it out of the cutter, and then the rest of the legs fell off into the sprinkles bowl when it was dipped.

13yo then finished off the cake with some decorative piping around the base.

13yo finishing off the cake with some decorative piping

Unfortunately I can't show photos of just how much 4yo loved it but he loved it.  Apparently he grabbed one of the stars around the base and shoved it into his mouth when it was placed in front of him and the candles were about to be lit XD

It was really tasty too, great end to the month.

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