Two weeks after getting home we were back in Jurien Bay again, this time for the kids' great nanna's 90th birthday party. As usual we were only there overnight and stayed in a different beach cottage with a backyard nicely set up for kids.
Early in December we realised we hadn't been swimming for a while. After a hefty argument (JJ prefers swimming in fresh water, the bigs and I strongly prefer the beach and 8yo doesn't care as long as it's swimmable) we hit up Serpentine Falls with a friend and their kids.
The first thing we noticed was that the blackberry bushes had been cleared out and when we got there the top carpark closer to the falls was closed, though there were some cars in there (either ignoring the fact the gate was supposed to be shut or perhaps they were in there before it had been shut).
The kids wanted to go trick or treating for Halloween, so we ended up doing some quick Halloween research and reading and decided that the proper way to do things was not to do the commercialised going around begging for candy but to give the neighbours candy. However we had no time to prepare for that and 10yo's birthday was kind of vaguely in the vicinity so we decided to do a "spooky themed" birthday party instead.
10yo did up a master list comprising of other lists, and lists for food shopping and various party supplies. JJ took care of the food as he usually does and Nanna and I split shifted picking up party supplies over a couple of weeks.
One of the things 10yo had wanted was a banner so she and 8yo worked on making one up:
8yo kicked off the month by discovering that bubble bath mixed with water is a much more effective bubble mix than detergent mixed with water, and that pipe cleaners are easily repurposed into bubble wands.
I'm not sure whether he made that discovery on his own or was assisted or led by 10yo.
I originally intended to combine July, August and September into one post as I didn't think I had kept track of enough material to be able to make a post each. As it turned out I was wrong (which is not unusual when it comes to the home ed front, I always think that I have been terribly slack any given month and find out we've done more than I thought). However some of the September stuff still got caught up in the July/August mashup so this is the rest of September that escaped.
The kids have three cousins, the oldest of which turned 6 recently. He decided that he wanted to go hiking for his birthday, so his celebration was held at Noble Falls where we met up, had drinks and snacks and then embarked on the epic voyage (it was a pretty easy walk as long as you have no mobility issues or all-terrain wheels).
July and August were a bit of a blur as some not fantastic events occurred which monopolised my thought processes. We got reacquainted with death when my last two cats died within two weeks of each other (the one before had died Christmas last year and we had also lost a guinea pig recently). There were some extended family dramas which didn't involve us directly which fortunately resolved before getting down and dirty with the legal system became necessary rather than advisable. Sprat was up for the semester break which is always great and the kids and I had lots of interesting conversations. Unfortunately I can't remember any of them.
Really nothing much happened this month, mostly because I did something to my neck which had me pretty much out of action for a couple of weeks and I spent most of it in bed, and then took it extremely easy for the rest of the month. Unlike Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, the types of plays written by Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripedes and Aristophanes (all of which the kids kind of know about and have a very passing interest in thanks to Horrible Histories) were not so interesting for children (and to be perfectly honest not doing too much for me either). 12yo has been reading our Manga Shakespeare collection again though, mostly Midsummer Night's Dream which is a favourite of mine.
May was a pretty cruisy month for a variety of reasons. Initially, we were recovering from an April that managed to be both crazy (but not nearly the same level insanity as the end of the year usually is) and relaxing. Then everyone took turns being sick. We're all good now.
We spent almost the entire month of April on Christmas Island. This post is part homeschool log and part "travel photos" therefore more picture heavy than usual so grab a drink and a snack.
The idea behind going up for Easter was to avoid getting crabbed in as often happens when we go up for Christmas. Being a tropical island we just got rained in for a bit of it instead. Additionally we spent a fair bit of time hanging with family and general chilling. In the first couple of days we decided to go out foraging and see if we could find some limes for Mum.
March was kind of insane like February was as 12yo started doing FreeG and we started vaguely prepping for our somewhat unexpected April trip to Christmas Island and 8yo had diagonistic-related appointments, and it was crazy to the point where I didn't take notes on our random interesting conversations for this thing like I usually do, so it's just photos.
12yo made himself a riot shield type affair out of a box and almost an entire spool of twine (which 10yo was rather unimpressed about as it was her twine and she didn't realise he was going to use the whole thing):