As February was ending I suspected Term 1 was going to be a write-off for the boys and unfortunately I wasn't wrong. An additional and unforeseen problem with the school run was that even though it's short it seems to be further destroying my problem shoulder, so I really didn't want to drive anywhere, which given the time restrictions caused by school and the amount of pain I was in basically meant we got stuck with the Scitech homeschooling lessons I'd booked at the beginning of term, and me imposing 10am-12noon as "no non-educational videos and games" time if we were staying home. They could still use their screens but had to be doing Khan Academy or making something, or doing any off-screen activities.
February was confusing.
I thought I had everything worked out. I was going to show 12yo how to get to and from high school for a couple of weeks, then cut her a key and leave her to it and just continue as normal with the boys.
I didn't realise a) that this would be tiring and b) that 12yo kept insisting on being accompanied past the two weeks and both her and JJ were having epic freakouts about "what if she gets on the wrong bus" on the way home, as the bus route couldn't be easy and just reverse, the opposite route goes in a different direction. I had told 12yo how to get back to the main road and where would be safe to cross and which bus numbers to take, but anyway.
We were still on Christmas Island for most of January so it was still mostly geared towards being with family.
The teenager made the decision some time this month that he needed to be more responsible and started voluntarily practising basic life skills. One involved cooking up a batch of sausages for lunch (plus both boys just felt like sausage sizzle apparently), and while he was about it he decided to experiment with steaming some of them.
November had to be cruisy after the insanity of October, plus we usually start winding down about now anyway. We stayed home a lot.
October started out with 11yo's bestie staying for the weekend and them asking if we could wander around Perth for a bit after visiting a store they wanted to browse. 9yo requested my phone to take a couple of photos of things that interested him:
The city has been trying to do more fun and interesting stuff so we tend to find random things whenever we go there. At the time they were celebrating the arrival of spring so there were these random bird cages there, which were apparently great for photoshoots.
One of the things about not learning in an institution is accepting that the stuff taught and learned in institutions isn't the grand authority on all that's worth learning. I know this, but sometimes I don't really know it. Like on her day, 11yo said she wanted to get her nails done.
My immediate response was "pick something educational".
I'm not sure why mouths sometimes just randomly fire off before engaging the logic part first as not only would it make a lot of things so much easier, it would probably also make the world a better place in general. 11yo has spent a couple of years studying makeup artistry, nails were part of that, so we would learn how nails got done professionally. Also, I got her to research the nail places at the shopping centre we were going to in order to get some idea of prices. As it turned out none of them had prices on their websites (which is really annoying) so we had to do actual legwork.
This month, we started sliding back into normal. Seeing as most grocery stores have now stopped providing single-use plastic bags, we've ended up with a lot more cardboard boxes which get put to good use:
Here after watching Guardians of the Galaxy 2 he's made a cardboard version of the Infinity Gauntlet complete with the little stone things on top.
Hopefully this will be the last month of not much happening as most of the chaos surrounding the closing of our business has been taken care of and there's only a few loose strings left to tidy up now.
As usual, June was dominated by preparing for and then helping out in badge tests. 11yo and one of her agemates volunteered to be errand grunts at the boys' badge test, which basically involved running food to the judges and messages between the adult staff members and occasionally grabbing more sugar from the canteen for me. 13yo passed his badge test with flying colours.
May was pretty quiet and boring as well. Think we just ended up gaming most of the time (occasional bout of Skylanders with the small one, and a few rounds of Monopoly with everyone, and I think there was some Exploding Kittens in there somewhere as well). Magic and Pokemon cards were sorted (at least by colour and type, and further sorting in the case of the Magic cards depending on how pedantic people were, I think 13yo just sorts by colour and 9yo sorts by colour and type til he gets bored). As per usual when we're stuck home there was a lot of docos, again mostly concentrated on Horrible Histories and David Attenborough. Very hard for other types of docos to get a look in against those.
9yo got back into making paper planes and made me this tiny little one complete with a pilot: