We meant to post more regularly - then three boys came down with chicken pox. It's a miserable sickness, makes you feel itchy and ugly and isolated...
As recovery approached, so did the youngest boy's birthday - ten years old! He has been trying to convince us that being ten makes him a teenager - you know, two digits!
And we have had a week of outings or visits and a myriad of follow-up discussions.
Our oldest three sons were visiting from interstate and the eldest brought a friend for the weekend.
We went to the science museum and got immersed in Greek treasures, Byzantine art, looking at Angus Young's guitar ( from ACDC) and life inside a space shuttle.
We played games of Star Wars Trivia and Hero Scape ( both birthday presents). And Avalanche on the Game Cube - talked angles and degrees here.
Walked around our neighbourhood and the nature reserve and lake and talked about the drought and the wattle.
Visited the Aquarium - I love the peacefulness of the underwater displays. I could stay down there forever. The boys enjoyed the sharks and the touch pool, and the gift shop.
Had our usual skateboarding group lesons with other homeschoolers. The teacher loves skateboarding and is good at it but seems to have no understanding of those who find it hard. One son and I had a long discussion about this, after an altercation and criticism from the instructor.
What makes a good teacher? Is it just being good at something? Or do you need something more - an empathy or understanding in addition to a passion? I must re-read some of John Holt as I remember that he had a number of comments to make about teaching and learning.
We started a teen group - the first meeting was at our house this week. Fifteen homeschooled teens, with their mothers and younger siblings turned up! What was interesting was the discrepancy of ideas for the group, amongst both teens and parents. Some want more activity oriented groups. Some want to hang out.
We are going to try a mix of both and see where it leads - friendships, things to do, interests.
And we finished off the week with Group learning - a co-op activity. I was the facilitator for the electricity stations. It's very school-ish but has been a way for us to meet others in our new area. I must admit that the kids liked the lemon battery experiment and also enjoyed making a pizza box solar oven.
The two teens went to youth group and also iceskating with some friends from drama class.
And the rest of us went skateboard shopping. Oh, and the ten year old bought a Tamagotchie ( a virtual pet). So, today we are discussing friends for the pet, and marriage for the future!
I gues that this is what I love about homeschooling - we don't fit school around life or life around school. Life is learning.