Saturday, 25 April 2009


I recently started keeping a home-ed journal (again!). I've been doing this, sporadically, since we started HEing - I keep up with it for a while, then either forget for a while, leaving a long gap which puts me off starting again (it will look like we did nothing for two weeks); or I get so frustrated with the incompatibility of our way of learning and keeping written records that I give up.

This time around I have noticed something: some days there seems to be loads of 'recordable' instances of education taking place, while other days the only thing I can think of to actually write down is 'went swimming'. It seems to be all or nothing.
Now, I know that on the 'swimming' days there will have been lots of little learning experiences along the way, just not ones I can think of to write down. But it still bugs me that it looks bad - it looks like we've done nothing with the whole day except swim. And I suppose the reason that I'm getting all caught up in how it looks is because at the back of my mind this record-keeping process is a part of preparing for the day some official Education Authority person asks to see what, exactly, I have been doing as my child's educator.
This inevitable(?) day seems to be looming closer, as I read more and more about government plans to increase state powers at the expense of parental rights. It is also the reason I keep suggesting to A that she produce a 'project book' on whatever she's been doing.

I think one of the biggest problems I have with this record-keeping is the way it can kill spontaneity and interfere with creativity. A lot of what we do is very spur of the moment, and that's what I love about being a home educating parent - I can respond immediately to something that takes A's interest. And A is an extremely creative person, she learns much more by following some flash of inspiration to 'make' something, than by working through stages/levels of workbooks. That's just A. But I can see already how the knowledge of future contact with the EA (and not knowing how sympathetic to HE they might be) is affecting my approach to HE.

Maybe I should let go of these concerns, and just deal with it when it happens, but I'm the sort of person who needs to be prepared - especially if I'm going to have to fight my corner. I hate conflict, and I hate confrontations, and don't cope with them very well. Of course, I might end up dealing with someone who is very positive and understanding about HE, but I'm also the kind of person who needs to be prepared for the worst case scenario.

So, I suppose I've just got to work on keeping a balance - collecting 'evidence' that my daughter is actually receiving an education, and enjoying the opportunities this lifestyle offers.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

To the beach!!

We love living so near a beach. Spending more and more time there now the weather is nicer. We went down on Monday and A did some sketching in the cafe. She gave the picture to our friend who works there, who was delighted with it.

A's sand turtle: 'Shelly'
We've also had some more presentations! A is really keen on these, she's a natural performer (must get that from her Dad!). I'm trying to encourage her to work a bit more on her research and polish her performance now that she's got into them so much. She does really well though, I love her quirky little touches, like the eyes drawn on her eyelids (you can just about see them in the second picture below).

Mixing make-up

Wizardology, tarot, fortune-telling and charms

Forgot to post these last time - some beautiful flowers my friend brought over last week. I very rarely get flowers, so these really cheered me up :-)

Saturday, 18 April 2009

What's Cooking?

A has been cooking again...

she really impressed me this time...

with stuffed pepper and puff pastry pizza - delicious!

This was our 'use up the rest of the pastry' breakfast the following day - chocolate croissants. Blame Nigella!

And this is the colourful stirfry I made the other night, very pretty I thought.

Unpacking is ongoing, we now have all our books and CDs on the shelves which makes it feel much more like 'our' place. Also - we now have heat! The man came to fix the heating system on Friday, not that we need the heating on much here, but its good to know its all working properly.
I'm hoping we can get back into a bit of a routine (I use that term very loosely!!) with HE stuff from next week. I'm planning to get it all organised and accessible into drawers in the spare room, and we can maybe reassess how A wants to approach things. We also have a few group outings and workshops lined up.

Sunday, 12 April 2009

More presentations

A decided to do a couple more presentations yesterday. The first was on 'home-made beauty products'. I was shown round her laboratory (the bathroom), given a demonstration on how she makes her creams, and given a free little pot of mint handcream.
The second was on 'herbs and spices' (see pics below), and she made some herby/spicy dips for me to sample (the curried hummus one was interesting!).

We are both enjoying the wonderful 'lightness' of our new home - our previous flat really lacked natural light because it was surrounded by trees, and the big house it was attached to blocked a lot of light too. As you can see, we have big patio doors which are south-facing, so lots of sunshine streaming in :)
I'm also finding it much easier to get out of bed in the morning, which I'm putting down to how light my bedroom seems.

And we have stairs!!

Took this picture of our dinner bubbling away last night. We are starting to get exciting things in our vegbox now spring is here, so I was inspired to make a potato and chard curry, which we had with red quinoa. Lovely!

Friday, 10 April 2009

Satrosphere - again!

We got there this time! More of that later.

I took this picture of the piles of boxes in our living room before we moved. I intended to take one of the flat once it was all empty, but couldn't find the camera (in a box somewhere), but it looked so beautiful once it was empty and we cleaned it all, I almost didn't want to leave.

The move went pretty smoothly, but I still found it a very stressful week. We got the keys on Wednesday, so did a few runs in my Mum's little Ford Fiesta that day. Then on Thursday the very lovely man turned up to help me with all the big, heavy stuff.

Friday we (me and A) did a few more runs in Mum's car, then on Saturday my Mum came and helped us with the last few bits and cleaning the flat.

The new house is great, despite a few initial problems - washing machine broke the first time I used it, and the heating is not working properly. Once we get those sorted all will be well. We are slowly unpacking boxes, but it will take some time I think. A absolutely loves the house, and especially her room, she's already made it into her space, and there are no bedtime issues now. Its so handy being in the town, and A is loving her new independence, like being able to pop to the shops for me.

So, yesterday we went off to Aberdeen (again) with our friends. Had a nice day - Art_Gallery first, then we had lunch at Slaine's_Castle - a spooky themed pub, with a waiter who tried very hard with the kids (unfortunately they just thought he was a bit weird!). After lunch we made our way to Satrosphere (hooray!). It was very 'hands on' - lots of interesting interactive stuff for the kids (and us Mums!) to play with. It wasn't as big as I had imagined somehow, maybe I'm just spoilt - growing up in London with easy access to the huge museums there, but what was there was really good, and the kids enjoyed it.

A running away in fear of a woolly mammoth

A and 'the boys' at the Mercat_Cross, Aberdeen