Category Archives: Family Life

Ha, Ha, Very Funny

I was in the kitchen when I heard Esa cry out, “Mummy, there’s something really heavy on my back and I can’t get up!” He didn’t sound particularly distressed, but I can take a cue.

When I entered the living room, this is the sight that greeted me:


Posted by on September 5, 2010 in Family Life, The importance of Play


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A Spot of Decorating

We’re in the process of redecorating our entry way, and Esa wanted in on the fun.

Well, he certainly looks the part (apart from the slippers).

And I dare say he’s more skilful than Paddington… (or me for that matter).


Posted by on August 11, 2010 in Books We Love, Family Life, First Grade


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The Holidays Are Over…Time to Get Back to Work

We’ve had a few glorious weeks off which were spent lazily and indulgently; they went by far too quickly. The week before last Esa and dh along with 20+ members of his family all went to Scotland and stayed in this gorgeous Jane Austen style, seaside house for a week. I had obligations at home, so I stayed behind. I spent much of the week working through The New Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain (I can’t begin to tell you how great this book is for homeschoolers and anyone wanting to learn to draw) drawing, and painting. It was lovely having a week to myself (the house stayed so clean), but it was just a little too quiet.

Esa was a little out of sorts during his holiday. The family thinks he was missing me, but I think it was because he’s was coming down with a cold and not feeling well. He perked up, however, when he learned how to ride his bike without training wheels.

The day he came back, he lost his first tooth. It’s been a week of milestones.

Last week saw us returning to lessons; we’re doing a gentle summer school with 4-day weeks, reviewing a few things, continuing with science, art, and handwriting, and taking a jaunt through prehistory.

We aren’t doing anything all that special for prehistory. We’re using the Usborne Internet-Linked Encyclopedia of World History along with some library books. We’ve got a dinosaur colouring book, too, but I can’t seem to find any other activities or colouring pages for prehistory. We’re doing a timeline and I’m having Esa memorise the different eras.

Our books for second grade have arrived and I’m really looking forward to September.

This year I’m more concerned about saving time. Last year I was happy to spend  hours and hours planning, preparing, and putting things together myself. Not so anymore; I want to spend less time fussing about with things and more time doing.

I bit the bullet and purchased the teacher’s manual for Minimus. I had a 10% off voucher from The Book Depository, which helped, and I know I’ll be able to resell this once I’m finished. It’s a must-have, I think, and fleshes out the programme nicely. I thought I could create my own supplementary activities and worksheets, but when I sat down to do it, I just kept sighing and drawing blanks. The teacher’s manual also provides the answers to the exercises, which saves me even more time.

Writing with Ease level 2 workbook is another time-saving purchase. I spent so much time creating copywork pages and struggling to guide his narrations for writing…I can’t be bothering with that anymore. The workbook will make writing pick-up-and-go.

The only curriculum we’re using that is teacher intensive is our science programme: Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding. I can live with this. We love BFSU so much that it’s worth the prep work.

I see some changes on the horizon for this blog as well.

There for quite a while my life pretty much revolved around homeschooling; I spent vast quantities of time reading and researching methods, curricula…I read every book and article I could lay my hands on. I don’t regret this; all this preparation was necessary and has shaped our homeschooling. I think it’s helped prevent too much floundering and has contributed greatly to our success.

Homeschooling has broadened our horizons so much that we now have so many interests and pursuits that researching homeschooling isn’t necessary anymore. My enthusiasm hasn’t waned…I feel comfortable with what we do and now it’s just an integral part of our lives; it isn’t something that needs investigating, it’s something that we live. We’re living a life of exploration, investigation, and education…which is the whole point. 🙂

That’s not to say I won’t be researching curricula and reading articles from time to time; I certainly will, and I’ll still talk about it here. But I think I’ll be talking about a broader range of topics on this blog. (Art, which I’ve developed a passion for, is something I blog about here.)

We shall see.


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Toes in the Sand

The weekend before last we went to Formby Beach. Unfortunately, the sat nav took us the long way and it took twice as long to get there as it should. And then my husband got pulled over for suspicion of drunk driving. Ok, not really, I’m joking. They were stopping people at random to make sure they hadn’t been drinking. This was a good opportunity for us to ask for directions. My husband is one of the few men who don’t have a problem asking for directions…but only as a last resort.

We couldn’t find the car park, so we parked along a road and had to walk it a bit. But it was worth it. Here’s why:

Nothing but this…

And this…

And then…

After taking fifty-million photos of this stunning poppy, we continued on our way.

At last…

Father and son built sandcastles…

While I sat, with my toes in the sand, taking in the view, the salty sea air, sketching and dreaming.


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What Have I Done to the Poor Boy?

I heard something yesterday that stopped me in my tracks.

I’d put on some Mozart during our art lesson, and as often happens, left it playing after we’d finished since we both enjoy it so much. Esa was doing a puzzle (I think) and I went upstairs to hang up some wet clothes to dry.

Now, some classical pieces are operas, or set to operas, or part of operas, or whatever. We often skip over the ‘songs with singing’ because they’re often not to our taste. But this has been happening less and less lately, more out of  can’t-be-bothered-ness than anything.

Whilst hanging up the wet clothes, one of these ‘songs with singing’ had come on, and within a few minutes, I distinctly heard two voices opera-ing away. I froze, with Mr. Men pyjamas held aloft, listening to this opera-singing child of mine, eyebrows furrowed in confusion and amazement.

Then I shrugged my shoulders, muttered a little ‘eh’ and continued with my work.

Just another you-must-be-a-homeschooler moment. We get a lot of those around here.

And yes, he does like to sing in the shower.


Posted by on June 9, 2010 in Family Life, First Grade, Music


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Too Busy to Even Think of a Title

I’m still here. I’ve just been busy. Really, really busy. I want to post something with actual words, but there always seems to be something else that must be done.

You know how it is.

I will post soon. Or fairly soon. Within a week 2 weeks. Sometime before the end of May June. I will.

I probably shouldn’t mention that I have been posting at  my other blog. (A little, anyway.)

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Posted by on May 11, 2010 in Family Life, First Grade, Michelle


I Leave Him Alone with the Camera for 5 Minutes…

…and this is the result.

Self portraits, by Esa