It's the last day of the school year here in Australia. Of course that doesn't affect us as we learn all the time! We joke to the kids that they have to stop learning things now. Just try it. It's not easy.
But one of the down sides of unschooling we've discovered, is that at this time of year they have no award ceremonies or reports from teachers to tell family and friends how amazing they are!
So I'm writing this bragging post to mark this graduation moment of one year unschooling.
Firstly Mr Actor - Aiden
His year has comprised many ups and downs in his physical health, but at this point of the year we can say he is having more ups than downs. Yay!
His biggest challenge and what we have focussed on mostly has been learning to come back into the world after his OCD had sidelined him. Here I would like to chronicle some of his achievements in this area. And although they may seem basic to some, they constituted much talking to himself and conquering of panic attacks etc. I am so proud.
Some of these steps have included:
Climbing the rock face across some slippery gravel and dealing with heights
Riding in the boat (this is still a work in progress)
Eating in a café (we celebrate the weight gain that has come with his health)
And covering himself with cicada shells whilst there (okay that bit surprisingly was fun for him
- despite the Mr Actor face)
Playing on a children's playground
And climbing across a stream on a slippery log
(when there was a perfectly good bridge!)
Next we have Mr Artist - Miles He at 14 has really started to hit his stride. Independence is busting out all over the place. Miles has LOVED homeschooling this year, and the worst thing you can say to him is that he would have to go to school again. He is revelling in the relaxed pace, the late nights, doing his own thing, and studying his own passions. One of those has been to build an Anderson Shelter at Heartwoods. So earlier in the year he measured out and started digging. It was slightly delayed due to rain issues, but he kept it up digging solidly and not accepting help, until he finished the digging portion this last visit! I'm so proud. Now is the building part...
Miles also enjoyed climbing the rocks, although not sure it was such a stretch for his long legs.
And learning to drive our boat solo
accompanied occasionally by a surprise passenger Winter. A sea hound...or as a passing boater said - shark bait.
The final achievement Miles has unlocked in this last year has been to drive a car solo. We have been teaching them on our property, and he finally was able to help out when we needed to deliver our old Elsie to rest at Heartwoods. Bushy and he were alone, and so they each drove a car. It saved Bushy having to run up and down driving both up the hill. If you watch the video you will notice he is very slow. He discovered as he left the shot that he still had the handbrake on!
So, I've compiled this little pile of photos to help the kids mark a passage of time and some of their accomplishments. It'll be nice to look back on, and fun to share with all of you!
Thanks for reading and being interested.
And happy graduation kids! It's been a mad, scary, fun, calm, exhilarating, panicky, confusing, learning, proud, loving year. Bring on the next one!
I hereby present for you a few of the outfits I've worn recently. I'm sure you will find them as fascinating as I do!
Well actually, I am finding my clothes a little more interesting with the change of colour regime.
But I don't claim to be a fashion blogger, so bear with me as I show my crumpled, barefooted, relaxed clothing shots. This is the real me...just a bus kanaka at heart...roughly meaning bush person in Tok Pisin.
I love this shot of Miles and me at the beach. See how much taller he is now?
These little red shorts are the lightest things to wear in the heat. In fact I have them on again right now!
The yellow bucket is now in the sea. I used it to collect sea water for my dyeing, and a wave took it and wooshed it to the bottom never to be seen again. I stood there for 5 minutes watching for it to surface, and watched for it everyday after that. Hopefully some sea creature is making it his home, and I won't be accused of littering!
Some of the colours I'm playing with are purple, green, and orange. I love this green silk with the purple.
Maybe one day I will write a post about how I made this coat from a linen tablecloth and two matching napkins, self dyed of course. Such fun to wear!
I like the cute proportions of this 3/4 sleeved jumper with the 3/4 pants. I made a scarf pin out of a ring to repeat the red. I love the little starry socks and the pink and red shoes I just happened to find in the op shop the same day I was wearing this. I often find that happens to me. I seem to accidentally shop the colours I'm wearing. Do you?
One of my favourite colours to wear is this dark chocolate. I am really looking forward to cooler weather for this. This wear was just for the photo to see how it looks. I like it.
Yellow has always been a colour I've shied away from, but this pale gold has surprised me. I really enjoy it. It's soft but playful.
Finally this gorgeous jacket which may not suit so well with it's greys, but the warm blues and orange stripe rescue it a little. Of course the orange scarf is a triumph!
I leave you with another poem from the shore.
This one inspired by my adventures with the yellow bucket.
Of our dyeing plans
Waves hurl themselves
Into our bucket
"Pick me, pick me"
Trying to launch
A career in fashion
Aiden took this shot of me as we walked through the Eurobodalla Botanic Gardens. A beautiful natural place with some wonderful bush walks. We had a ball!
Til next time,
keep on creating!
Needless to say all the clothes except the red shorts and blue jacket are second hand.
We have returned from two glorious weeks at our beautiful "Leeway". This time the kids settled a little more, and we were able to provide more time on the boat as Cris also had some holidays. So Miles is now doing solo runs back and forth to town! How independent! Aiden was feeling much better this time and managed a few more activities. We put his improvement down to having started "Kefir". He loves it, and it has a good reputation, so far so good. Not only has it appeared to help with his digestion, but he also says it is helping his brain not be so scared and OCDish. I was quite productive poetry wise or at least pottering. So here is one sample:
As I walk the line
Along the shore
I wonder about permanence
Wash and backwash
Hearing the splash of waves
In one ear
And crunch of rock
In the other
I wonder that
The same waves that erode
Also build the beach
The crab, shell fish, even seaweed
Have much to teach
About living with grace
in tumultuous times
Here where life provides abundance
And then lack
And so I tiptoe shore footed
Among my musings
Keeping a fine balance Avoiding the blue bottles.
I hope life is treating you well in these "interesting" times.
I want to reach out and hug those of you who are struggling. So I write my BeautyScopes, put up my poems and photos and talk about our lives to send some love and beauty and understanding out into your world. I hope it helps!