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May June July August Homeschool Miscellany

posted on: Tuesday, 5 September 2023 @ 10:25pm in


14yo and one of his friends developed an interest in the series Breaking Bad and marathoned it, and then made some “crystal meth” (coloured toffee).

This batch was apparently a test run for Halloween when he has plans to go out in the streets dressed as shadily as possible and hand some out to kids. He and the friend did have some vague plans to dress up as the main characters from the show but distance (the friend lives about 40min away) and other plans (no idea what’s happening around that time) may be challenging.


Some cookery happened. 16yo handed me this batch of cookies in demanding that I “eat these disgusting things” as apparently that batch hadn’t turned out the way she wanted, and she was making them to take into gym. She had fixed the batch following this and apparently that one was working out better.

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Personally could not find anything wrong with these ones even though she gave me a list.

14yo was in charge of cooking dinner one night and apparently really wanted steak. He continues to try to up his presentation game, and also had his first go at baked potatoes.

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He self-critiques after every attempt and then works on it to try to do better next time.

14yo also developed an interest in candlemaking and got J to order him some supplies off one of the online behemoths.

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Everyone mistook it for butter at the initial glance.

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After melting he tried a couple of different methods.

One involved alternating dipping the wick into the hot wax and then into some cold water.

The end result was this interestingly shaped candle which I loved.

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The other involved using a mould, which in this case was a metal cup as either he hadn’t ordered moulds or they hadn’t arrived. His first attempt was a bit lumpy as he had trouble getting it out, the second he’d mastered the technique and it was a lot smoother.

After all that he had a few bits of leftover wax so one small bit went into the sewing box so I could wax thread (which has helped snarl reduction) and the rest went into a tealight candle which doesn’t last for very long but does candle things when it is lit.

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His first couple of candles are proudly residing on the mantlepiece and he’s somewhat frustrated with me because I won’t burn them.


Hardcore training for comp season started (I was simultaneously very nervous as it’s my first year group coaching and I was worried about how they would do, and not bothered in the slightest as we’re all muddling along doing the best we can), and we went to an Ancient Egyptian exhibition at Boola Bardip Museum. I didn’t take a lot of photos as it was very crowded/popular (moreso than I generally expect for the time we went) so while I think most of us were just taking however much time we wanted to study each exhibit and very politely wandering around people who were lingering, there was still some perceived and probably not actually present pressure to get the hell out of the way, and mostly my phone camera didn’t function brilliantly in the beautifully atmospheric lighting conditions.

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We dragged Sprat along as she’s had an obsession with Ancient Egypt for the better part of forever.

The kids were really interested in the (actual) mummies that were displayed in a room with copious amounts of warnings (about human remains) along with what was known of their stories. We had a bit of a hard time understanding the mentality of the people in the past who apparently wanted to buy mummies for their private collections because who does that.


August pretty much sucked from the get go. First up, 16yo broke her knee coming out of an unexpectedly high front sault not quite right. Her coach sent us to emergency where an x-ray discovered a tiny crack on a sessile bone, a splint was put on (and ended up being too big because they didn’t have any in her size) and crutches assigned, she hobbled around for a few days before going to the doctor (as recommended by the emergency doctor) who didn’t like that some swelling was still present and sent her for a mri (which we had to go back to emergency for? That was very confusing), which revealed cracks in the tibia and fibula.

On receiving the results our normal doctor promptly sent us to RPH as apparently they have some good specialists there, and we got told they would send us a message for an appointment.

Unsurprisingly, she missed all of her competitions which made her a tad grumpy as she had been looking forward to trying for her level 6 badge again (just missed it last year) and doing the floor routine that a friend of hers had made music especially for (she apparently won’t use it next year as she likes making new routines every year).

Then my grandmother passed away two weeks shy of her 99th birthday.

I feel some level of guilt mentioning this as all I did when my other grandmother passed away a few years ago two weeks shy of her 100th birthday (what are the chances) was hibernate for a couple of weeks, part of which was spent in Melbourne for the funeral, and I did start to write about it but never finished or published it because I felt like someone was going to whine some crap about me just doing it for attention or something

I dropped pretty much everything that I could drop to make sure I could be available if I was needed to help with something (I got given the task of assigning music to sections which was pretty quick and also ended up cramming a tribute video into a week and given how long I take to do anything dropping everything was a great idea but still required late nights and early mornings).

The funeral wasn’t for ages (nearly three weeks after she died) and in the meantime we still had comps to do (18yo successfully got his level 6 badge the second time round, he would have gotten it the first time if he’d remembered his routines, and 16yo learned how to do the scoring in the first comp seeing as there wasn’t much else she could do and has been doing it ever since).

The kids attended their first human funeral (we have had quite a few for pets) and all were given parts (18yo and 14yo were in the coffin procession, the former carrying a crucifix and the latter carrying a bible, and 16yo and my cousin’s daughter took the altar stuff up later at communion time).

At the wake they got the annual interactions with the extended family that they usually only see once a year at this grandmother’s birthday including the two youngest members that I’m aware of, and we all got to learn a bit more family history about my grandmother and the amazing and difficult life she had.

One of J’s comments for the night was “you’re lucky to be here” when it came up that my grandfather worked on the Bridge Over the River Kwai.

I am very sure that I have mentioned this to him before but not in a lot of detail as I don’t know a lot of the detail but he has no recollection of it

The day after the funeral there was a dentist appointment (not a big deal but we were exhausted) and the day after that the specialist appointment and 16yo was mad at me because I refuse to drive into the city so we took public transport. She was cleared to return to work but is only allowed to do very light spotting and not move heavy equipment, and can’t train for another two months, after which there will be another review to see how she’s going.

There were some good points, like the ever pretty desserts that 14yo likes to spin up on occasion.

One of the nights where he made dinner, 18yo requested or recommended a garlic mash which has since become a staple.

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14yo spied the photo as I was working on the post and after being pleased that his work is being shown off, mentioned that he’s come a long way since his first “recipe” of apple slices dipped in yoghurt back when he was still in single digits. He really has and in more ways than just the cooking.

16yo meanwhile has expressed interest in pursuing social work rather than early childhood (reasoning being it pays better and she can still help people) so we’ll be investigating options for that next.