New Beginnings!

It’s a new year, with new beginnings!  Yes, it has been ages since I last blogged and as much as I am tempted to moan about that fact and have a whinge on here, I’m not going to give in to that temptation.  Life always gets in the way of one’s best intentions.  The most important thing is to keep running the race (of life, of home-schooling, etc) and not to look back with regrets, not think about all the things that could have been done and weren’t done at such and such a time.  Just as there are the seasons of Spring, Summer, Autumn (Fall) and Winter, so also there are the seasons of life.  Life has its cycles.  The book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible sums up very well about there being a time for different things and this is a good reminder to me, that there is a time for everything, and as much as I would have loved to have blogged these past 2 years, it just wasn’t possible but I can blog today.  I can share about my day today, and not allow myself to have regrets about my inability to blog in the past.

So, today was our first day back to a somewhat structured routine.  Last year, and specifically last term was a full on term for my oldest, who was enrolled in several online classes on CurrClick.com, making for more independent study and leaving me free to pursue other interests.  But, in the midst of what was becoming a busy lifestyle there was always that longing to be more involved with my kids’ learning but I honestly didn’t know how to juggle everything in a way that allowed me to be involved with their learning, so currclick and other online resources took over and took my place, and home-ed activities happily occupied my middle daughter’s time as well as several play-dates, and as much as my girls have enjoyed their online classes and extra/home-ed curricular, all these other things really couldn’t and can’t take the place of an involved parent, not to mention the fact that my oldest daughter was feeling overwhelmed with the amount of studying and assignments involved with her online studying.

So, this term the decision has been to free up my mornings, and to be available to learn alongside my girls as well as to facilitate their learning, and for my other commitments (like going to the gym, working on my online business, housework) to be met outside of those times.  And today started off to a good start.
Kezia and I sat down to get back into our study of Poetry.  We’re using a wonderful book by Gervase Phinn titled ‘Teaching Poetry in the Primary Classroom’, and have been working our way through this book for a little over a year now.  But, we both got distracted when Kezia was reviewing all the poems she’s written in the last year, and as she shared with me a more recent one she’d written on cats, she longingly expressed how she wished she could learn how to draw a cat properly because all her recent attempts have fallen short of her own expectations.  She then went on to say how she would love to study English Language with Art at university so then I replied that she could start taking online classes geared towards advanced students and recommended Coursera, so we browsed their online catalogue to see what we could find.  Our searches veered off more towards “Art Drawings”, “Art Skills”, “Learning to draw”, etc but nothing came up that matched her interest.  I then suggested we do a search on Khan Academy.  By this time, it was clear that what Kezia was really interested in was on how to draw a cat.  But despite several searches on Khan Academy we couldn’t find how to draw a cat 🙂 or anything else for that matter, so finally I suggested good old and reliable YouTube.  Ping!  We hit the jackpot!  A simple search of “How to draw a cat” brought up several results, and we picked this one: How To Draw a Cat, and our home-schooling took an unexpected and impromptu turn.  I told Kezia to get her sketch pad, and follow the tutorial.  She was surprised at my suggestion as she thought we had to be getting into Poetry study, and that for me is the joy of home-educating without a fixed schedule.  I followed and facilitated my child’s learning this morning, and she had a fun time drawing a cat, although being such a perfectionist, she wasn’t impressed with her drawing whiles the rest of her family ooohed and aaahed at her it.  After about 40-50 minutes (with interruptions – the video is 34 minutes long), Kezia was done with her pencil drawing of a cat….voila!

A Cat

We carried on with our Poetry, and learned about ‘Riddle Poems‘, and here are a couple out of 5 that Kezia created:

I come in different colours.
I help you use your computers and laptops.
Sometimes I need a tail and sometimes I do not.
Laptops do not always need me, but computers do.
What am I?

I sit on your tables.
I do not bathe.
I give your mouth many tastes.
I live in cool places.
And when left out too long
I send out overwhelming smells,
Attracting small critters to me.
What am I?

After Poetry, Kezia did some independent self-motivated studying and then rounded up her learning with her first week of session 3 of Creative Writing: A World of Imagination on Gamed Academy.  Gamed Academy is a fun way of learning for Minecraft lovers, and we were introduced to it the beginning of 2016.

With Azkarah, we took a more slow approach as she is getting over a bad bout of the flu, which she caught last week and which totally wiped her out.  She missed her Home-ed Science and Drama sessions today, but that’s ok.  She had a much needed lie-in.  Once she was up and awake, we covered a lesson from ‘First Language Lessons for the Well-Trained Mind‘, Level 1, whiles Kezia worked on her ‘cat’ 😉 and I read aloud to her the first chapter from ‘A Child’s Introduction to the World‘.  This is a book I purchased a long while ago but never got into it with either of my girls but felt that today was the right time to begin our journey in this book.  It is so appropriate for Azkarah, as the chapters are all short and sweet with lots of pictures, and I look forward to our journey through this book.

It is late…I must head on to bed as tomorrow is yet another day with more servings waiting to be dished out.
I end with the portion about ‘A time for everything’ from Ecclesiastes as a reminder to myself and to you, that everything is as it should be, and to have no regrets but to take each day at a time at a pace that is comfortable to each of us.

There is no rush. Just be, breathe, live, love, laugh, be happy, overcome, dance, twirl, skip,…….

Ecclesiastes Chapter 3, verses 1 – 8

1 For everything there is a season, And a time for every purpose under heaven:

2 A time to be born, and a time to die; A time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;

3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; A time to tear down, and a time to build up;

4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; A time to mourn, and a time to dance;

5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

6 A time to seek, and a time to lose; A time to keep, and a time to throw away;

7 A time to tear, and a time to sew; A time to be silent, and a time to speak;

8 A time to love, and a time to hate; A time for war, and a time for peace.

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