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February Homeschool Miscellany

Posted on: Friday, 4 March 2022 @ 8:47pm
Blatting about

After ending January on a high, I was looking forward to finding more expensive excursions that the kids would be interested in and working out what cheaper or free things I could sprinkle in between.

And then vaccine mandates dropped which basically meant we weren't "allowed" to do much of anything.  Fortunately the kids were still "allowed" to go to gymnastics and TAFE, and in that time 17yo managed to regain his backflip (he had it last year, then lost it in the second half of the year), and on the same night got the double.

This one was recorded after he'd done quite a few of them and I was too slow to catch the roundoff at the beginning, he doesn't usually stack at the end XD

On one of his runs his friend and I thought that he was going to go for the third, and when we mentioned it he decided to try it and got the triple (which I did also get a video of but can't use because there's a child in the background, and in true friend fashion his friend proudly screamed "YOU SUCK!" at him when he nailed it).

Meanwhile I scrambled a bit trying to figure out what else we would still be "allowed" to do and in the end decided it could be a later problem as we worked on settling 17yo into TAFE, which is the first time he's attended an educational institution in his entire life.  The plan was to drop him off and pick him up in the first week and then support taking public transport (I was going to go with him on the first trip or so and leave him to it when he felt more confident).  For various reasons the rides continued, and then it worked out that I could take him on one of the days as I could then keep going to a friend that I do massage work on after, and we would work out the buses soon, and then we all got covid symptoms and have been stuck at home.

Ironically (because I was pretty sure it was just a cold from how mild the symptoms are, and everything is a covid symptom) it may have actually been covid, it persisted way too long (at least for me, 2 days for a cold is too long, and while I have had bad flus in the past which have lasted 2-3 weeks, for the most part even a flu lasts a week tops) and there were way too many weird symptoms that we don't normally get with colds present, plus the wtf timing (it's not unusual for something to get picked up in winter but generally not when it's warm).  Just in case other people get as concerned as some of my friends and family did, if it was actually covid, we got the nothing version, the most annoying thing was staying home.

Aside from that minor setback 17yo seems to be enjoying TAFE and has made a couple of friends.  His current complaint is finding the work too easy and feeling bad about finishing an hour early.  I told him that as long as he's getting everything right and doing it well, there's no problem there and he should enjoy the cruise while he can as when he gets into the course he wants to get into, it might be a lot harder and a lot more involved.  And now the only thing I'm trying to get him to do is to communicate with staff and not cram as he currently plans to catch up by using the "extra" time he has during class to catch up on work he hasn't been doing while home because he can't get the cloud files working from home for some reason.  But I guess some things need to be learned the hard way.

On a pure technicality 17yo is no longer registered for homeschooling so I technically don't even need to be reporting for him anymore, the TAFE course he's doing is considered "full time" which satisfies the Education Department's requirement for education.  The continued updates are partly to show a possible path for home educators who are looking for "what it looks like" over "how it's done" and mostly because I had at some point made a decision to blog about it til they "graduated"/turned 18.

15yo decided to get her bake on and made and decorated a couple of chocolate cakes (one of which got carved into a heart and iced) and chocolate cupcakes on different days quite close to each other.

heart-shaped cake for Valentine's Day   chocolate cupcakes

They were delicious and did not last long.

12yo meanwhile tried his hand at a cinnamon scroll and didn't quite put enough flour in.

slightly soggy cinnamon scroll

It was still pretty good but due to the size (had I known there was a smaller one concealed under the tea towel when i looked I would have grabbed that one instead) I felt like I never needed to eat again afterwards.

12yo then decided he wanted to try his hand at making charsiu pao.  He found some recipes online and then he and J made a trip out (and combined it with a top up shop which needed to be done soon anyway) to get the ingredients that were missing, and didn't bother with the red food colouring when we found out we didn't have any.

charsiu pork just out of the oven   charsiu por being basted

It came out both looking and tasting amazing.


Some was put aside for our 2min noodle soups and a stirfry that was had for dinner the following night, the rest went into the pao mix.  The dough was made with possibly a bit too much wholemeal flour so it wasn't white but it was still good.

pao dough

loading charsiu mix into pao dough   wrapping pao

IMG 3293

These were steamed and also didn't last long (above photo was mine before it got nommed).  He's looking forward to making the next batch whenever we get another chunk of meat to make another batch with.

15yo asked me about getting into uni.  On finding out that she wanted to do do early childhood, I asked her (specifying that I was purely curious and not judging her choice in any way, shape or form) why she was choosing uni rather than TAFE.  Indicating having done some research into this, she quite confidently replied that uni degrees are more highly rated/prestigious than TAFE diplomas so the job prospects were better, and having looked into the courses at multiple unis, she was wanting to attend the uni that Sprat and I had gone to (I said that that was the best one and that I thought that because I'm completely and utterly biased, but that the other one she had been looking at was closer) because the "early learning" course there apparently covers the entirety of primary school along with babies and toddlers which excited her.

I did not have the wit to express how impressed I was with how much thought she's put into this.  What I could do after having gone through this with 17yo already was tell her that her options were going the traditional route and going to school and doing the exams to get the entrance scores (something she didn't seem that keen on given her last school experience), waiting til she was 18 and applying as a mature age student, or going to TAFE and doing most if not all of the Cert III in Early Childhood Education and Care and then using that as RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning) to get into the relevant course at uni.

Running under the assumption that she will have to do the same course 17yo is currently doing to qualify, I tried emailing the TAFE to find out if she will be able to do it next semester if she wants.  I tried to keep it short knowing that reception of anywhere tends to be busy but I think they focused on the wrong bit of the email and gave us an info dump about the course instead of answering the question, so I'll drop in next week when dropping 17yo off before doing my round.

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