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September Homeschool Miscellany

Posted on: Friday, 26 November 2021 @ 9:33pm
Blatting about

September was States month and it felt unusually close to Regionals because it was (we had the slightly awkward situation of that we needed to put people forward for states before we had the results from regionals to make sure they'd actually qualified, and to add chaos to the confusion, because it had been another unprecedented year, people were allowed to apply for states if they hadn't done regionals (there were a number of people that missed out due to being sick or having to quarantine).

I forgot to mention, over badge test and regionals, 16yo learned how to make chips in a commercial deep fryer from one of the people he would accept chips from and helped out on regionals and states weekends.  He makes a great bucket of chips.  Below is one he handed me during a break.  We hung out at the door I guard before he headed back to the canteen to get ready for the between-round rush.

chips cooked by 16yo on a commercial deep fryer

He also did front counter (serving customers and handling money) if thepeople that were supposed to be doing that were busy filling orders.

12yo has been getting more into the cooking front and as well as voluntarily cooking dinner with J regularly, even saved the night on a few occasions.  There was one night that  we were going to be home late from gym and J was really sick (of the sleeping it off in bed for a few days kind of sick) and I was trying to work out what we were going to do, whether I should head home and find out what everyone wants for dinner and then go get takeaway, or whether to just chance grabbing something on the way home.  I decided on the former, and when we got back, the house smelled good so I thought great J has gotten better and managed to get up.  Turned out 12yo had made dinner and dessert by himself.

rice, chicken and buk chui cooked by 12yo   apple strudel (I think?) and cream prepared by 12yo

It was really good.  That experience has since given him a lot more confidence to make more main meals on his own.

14yo has also been experimenting with a wider variety of things, including these mini apple pie looking things.

14yo prepping mini apple pie thing   14yo crimping mini apple pie with help from boyfriend

garnished apple pie thing   14yo drying up the bread crusts or something as a snack so they don't go to waste   cooked mini apple pocket things

Most of the rest of the month has actually been spent renovating 14yo's room.  I tried to do a practical maths thing with her (as she's really good at practical maths but not good at stupid problems in books) but ended up with a crying panic attack.  We had been trying to organise a diagnosis for her and ifnally got one: a learning difficulty, which given my very similiar glitch, didn't surprise me in the slightest, but also had me wondering about some stuff which might be related as I don't recall the problem being this bad before.  She is resistant to the idea of a maths tutor, and as stuff was already starting to build up I decided to deal with it next year.  We ended up working out how much paint we needed (and by "we" I mean I was able to get her to measure the room and tell me the measurements and talk her through working it out), then hit up Bunnings for painting stuff and swatches.

pink swatches for 14yo's room

She has gone back to pink and white, colours she has loved since toddlerhood and recently went through a spat of hating.  After she picked a feature wall and normal wall colours, her boyfriend and her big brother helped her with painting.

14yo and boyfriend painting room   16yo and 14yo hanging out between painting   Imposter!   16yo making use of his excessive height

14yo and boyfriend also put together an IKEA bed after which they complained they never wanted to put together IKEA furniture again.  The room started coming together really nicely from there.

14yo and bf putting together IKEA bed   IKEA bed done

She has since been gifted a white chest of drawers and a white desk for her birthday from my parents which I mostly assembled (she helped a bit with the desk, mostly helping turn it over when it was mostly assembled but not quite stable yet and holding things down) and now all the big furniture is in (and curtains went back up, she swapped out the black ones that were there with a purple set from her old room which is now 16yo's room) and she's happy with it.

Given everyone's schedules and the bigs deciding that they no longer liked hiking and youngest having to be in the correct mood for it, it's been a challenge going out for our "nature walks".  I usually end up not going because I'm doing something else, and when J goes with 12yo, he doesn't take photos as his phone camera is terrible and he prefers using a proper camera anyway.  I managed to get some time this month and we hit up Ellis Brook, which we do like walking but have been avoiding as "everyone" discovered it during the panpanic lockdowns and it's now very popular (which is great for everyone's health but not so great for us who like quiet hikes without constantly encountering other people XD).

We decided to try something different and start at one of the lower walking trails rather than going straight to the top like we usually did.

one of the lower tracks of Ellis Brook, Western Australia   one of the bridges over the waterways at Ellis Brook, Banyowla Regional Park, Western Australia

tree tunnel at Ellis Brook, Banyowla Regional Park, Western Australia   going through tree tunnel at Ellis Brook, Banyowla Regional Park, Western Australia

There had been enough rain that there was water everywhere. 

close up of one of the creeks at Ellis Brook, Banyowla Regional Park, Western Australia

It was nice to see the waterfall flowing.

Ellis Brook waterfall, Banyowla Regional Park, Western Australia   heading up to the top of the waterfall at Ellis Brook, Banyowla Regional Park, Western Australia

The hike up the hill is pretty steep and a nice workout on its own but with the added walk that we took first down the bottom it was actually tiring as opposed to mildly challenging.

Plus I'm unfit.

Views from the top are worth it though.

view from top of Ellis Brook waterfall, Banyowla Regional Park, Western Australia

We didn't venture as close to the edge as we normally do with the added wet and slipperiness.  After resting up and admiring the view for a bit, we headed down the other side towards the quarry.  One side was greener than usual.

heading down into the quarry at Ellis Brook, Banyowla Regional Park, Western Australia

The other side was a lot wetter than usual.  There's a section which usually has water in it, which had more water in it than usual:

pond in quarry at Ellis Brook, Banyowla Regional Park, Western Australia

And there was a lot of water everywhere else.

extra quarry water, Ellis Brook, Banyowla Regional Park, Western Australia   12yo crossing rock bridge in slightly flooded quarry at Ellis Brook, Banyowla Regional Park, Western Australia   checking out what changed in flooded quarry in Ellis Brook, Banyowla Regional Park, Western Australia

There was a convenient rock bridge which looked like it had been put there, which made us wonder who the quarry fairies are as someone seems to be periodically rearranging things in there.  It was an entertaining conversation along with the usual comparing and contrasting from the last time we'd gone in there when it had been redder/browner and dryer and there had been rock sculptures.

The last thing we did for the month was go to the Royal Show at request of 14yo.  It had been a while since we had last gone (a bit over a decade), so we decided to head there on a weekday when it was slightly less crowded.  14yo and boyfriend disappeared to explore on their own.  I managed to completely forget to take photos in the little museum that had old farming tech as we kept getting caught up in some really interesting conversations with some of the volunteers there, but did get some other shots of 12yo being happy that he got to see pigeons (he's been very interested in them lately), hold this weirdly cute little "naked molerat" (I'm most of the way sure it's a guinea pig) thing and I got to cuddle a falcon and the boys and I got this massive info dump on it from a very enthusiastic handler.

12yo looking at pigeon at Perth Royal Show, Western Australia   falcon I got to hold at Perth Royal Show, Western Australia   12yo patting naked guinea pig

Josh has vetoed both the falcon and the naked guinea pig (we were not actually serious about wanting one XD).

There were supposed to be reports on the history of the Royal Show but like with all other semi-arbitrarily set bookwork and assignments, I doubt they'll be forthcoming at all ever.

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