Independence

Because we are home schooled,  the kids are super curious and love meeting new people. They are also fairly independent and happy to go off without me.  Before Cian was even 3, he decided to go with my uncle to his wife’s family in Bentong for an over night trip.

Now he’s almost 8 and his older siblings were desperate to be included in the fun; this year they were allowed to go to.  Here are some photos.

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Gotta love extended family!

Teach Your Monster to Read

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When I stumbled across the link in a google search, I laughed to myself for a minute before clicking. And I was pleasantly surprised. It’s British for a start and the kids instantly said they love the way the narrator speaks. Bern is disappointed that he is too advanced and Kiki says she’ll try it even though it may be too easy.

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Cian’s been on it for 45 minutes and cannot wait to have another go tomorrow. So if your child needs help learning to read, go check out Teach Your Monster to Read. Best of all, it is free for computers! I can’t wait to see how they kids take to this.

Complementary Health

On Friday afternoon, I moved three 100+kg pots of bamboo plus about a dozen smaller plants. All good. But on Saturday morning, I picked up my sewing machine from the bottom shelf and one of its rubber feet snagged on the shelf which caused a little click in my back. When I tried to stand after that, it was awkward. By Saturday night, I had to crawl up the stairs and when I did attempt to walk, I had the unmistakeable posture and gait of a Zombie.

My sister, who is a vet (because humans are animals too!), said I had most likely slipped a disc and I’d need an MRI. I did try and the husband drove me to Prince court at 10pm. The somewhat vacant Dr Ding offered painkillers and an MRI on….. drumroll…. Wednesday! There was no way I was going to amble around like a primate for so long, so I said thank you but no thank you and went to Gleneagles, which was so busy I decided to go home to bed instead.

Throughout the whole of Saturday I id my best to stretch my back (using the yoga poses I had learned form Shilpa Gatalia of Yogshakti in 2013) so that I could undo the click. That night in bed, I felt it. The relief was instant and I was able to stand and walk on Sunday albeit uncomfortably. I also looked like I was attempting some serious Kegels or carrying tins of Milo between my thighs, not even remotely glamourous.

By some stroke of luck, mum had booked an appointment with Alexis at One Osteo for today so I went instead. I’ve been many times before and I swear by it. After 40 minutes of being manipulated, I was dizzy and sore but the ‘rightness’ in my spine was indescribable.

While I have always been flexible and strong, even more so after my 21 day yoga course with Shilpa, I have always felt that my lower half of my spine lacked movement. Not anymore. I am a new person literally; I can physically feel it.

Bern has also benefited tremendously from osteopathy (his stomach muscles did not close until he was 10 and had his first osteopathic treatment with Florian Prucca who has since returned to France) and here’s my advice to HS families out there; if you are brave enough to strike out on your own in education, extend your courage to complementary health. Our health and well being as a family has improved from Traditional Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture, Homoepathy,Yoga and Osteopathy.

Don’t get me wrong, allopathic medicine is not evil or useless. I just think there are many things that can and should be dealt with more successfully with complementary methods.

Here’s a link to the people we rely on in case you’re interested

Osteopathy Alexis and Pierre of One Osteo

TCM, Acupuncture and Acupressure Yen

Yoga Shilpa of Yogshakti

Homeopathy Nicole Cunningham of Puraforce

How lucky

I have been reading about Maya Angelou and thinking about all the children caught in the various wars happening around the world at the moment. I’ve been worrying about the thousands homeless after the floods and those whose lives were lost while on a plane.

And I found this on Brain Pickings; so so dark.

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And I remember how lucky and sheltered my children are. And I hope they do not take it for granted. Sometimes I need to step back and remember that while I spend hours agonising about getting their education just right, they are kids out there in plain agony; plagued by fear, hunger and hopelessness.

While we invest in the latest Lego for our kids, lets never forget that there are some with none and that it is also our duty to try to remember them and help them.

Ordinary

Someone mentioned that we must be very brave and clever to home school the kids. The kids are special because we are a mixed culture family. I disagree; we’re very average and very normal. Sometimes, I’d say we’re lazy and not very bright. Take for instance this morning when I lifted the sewing machine from the bottom of the shelf without really bracing myself, resulting in some mysterious damage that left me unable to walk and stand until I spent 2 hours stretching.

You could call my fear of driving in rush hour traffic cowardly. The very notion of queuing and double parking everyday for the next decade fills me with dread. Not to mention boredom and I have a particularly low tolerance for boredom.

Are the kids special? Well, as their mum, I’m duty bound to say yes. I guess they are a fairly jolly bunch though I’m sure every other mother has a similarly inflated attitude of her own offspring. But if I am to be completely circumspect, they are very average really. Bern flips out if he has too many instructions, Keeks can be a nag and Cian is creative in his ability to interpret instructions.

What I’m trying to say is that anyone, who wants to, can homeschool their kids. It really is a matter of choosing your battles; your kids or the traffic? The extra work in being responsible for their education or the extra worry is wondering what ridiculous notion they’ll pick up from school friends/teachers/etc?

I choose my children. I choose responsibility.

I choose to share with them gardening, cooking, making do, stories in the afternoon and playing in the rain. I choose lazy afternoons eating biscuits and I choose to answer 267 questions a day.

william martin