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.
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.
We didn't do much. There was a lot of Horrible Histories and David Attenborough documentaries on Netflix, a lot of anime, a lot of discussion of character stereotypes. 13yo went through a period of refusing to go to bed, and when confronted on why, good-naturedly joked well he is a teenager, he needs to be rebellious about something. I suggested that the stereotypical teen rebellion thing tended to happen because the children in question felt like they had no control of their lives due to spending large chunks of their day in school, then have to give up even more time on homework, and in order to make sure they're getting the study stuff done the parents are obliged to restrict the fun stuff. He and his siblings however had due to the style of homeschooling we do, almost all the time in the world to do as they liked, and if he felt that bedtime or something else was cramping his style then he could simply bring it up and we could have a chat about it and either tell him why it
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).
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).
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.
After eating a lot of avocado and guacomole, we decided to have a crack at sprouting some of the avocado seeds. According to the instructions the bigs looked up, we needed two skewer the seeds on toothpicks and suspend them in water for 6-8 weeks or something to that effect.
10yo found an experiment on Youtbe that she wanted to try, which involved dropping hot water into cold water rapidly to see if they mixed. So we would be able to see if there was any mixing going on, she colour coded the water with food colouring after boiling the hot water.
I spent most of October being out with shingles and a chest infection. JJ managed to take some time off work during the worst of it but after that he was juggling full time work, homeschooling and generally running the house so don't think he really remembers specifics of any of the homeschooling stuff they did.
Our bees swarmed, and made this nice ball that dangled off one of the fruit trees for a couple of days. We got a relative who is a bee keeper to come pick them up. In the meantime the kids were told to avoid that area, be generally careful while playing outside and I think had some bee-themed lessons from Youtube as both the boys started telling me a lot about bees and hornets shortly afterwards.
Right at the beginning of July we went to Melbourne for 4 days to visit my 97yo grandmother. While we were there we also went to check out the city and Mum decided that we may as well go and have our first snow experience seeing as we were there in winter, and generously paid for a private tour.