This week

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Oh my, what a week. It seems that it's gone very quickly with very little to tell about it. Let's see - we went to the city to the farmers markets on Saturday, but it was really, really wet. We had a wonderful time - the rain just added to the fun for us. ( Don't think we've had enough rain to dampen any excitement over it yet). We ended up getting 3 inches out here & I can only imagine that they got a fair bit more there. Water everywhere. The rain moved on just as we were coming out of Aldi, but we hit it on the way home & had to go through quite big sections of road covered in water - the kids just LOVED it!!! Amazingly all our water tanks are full & overflowing - we even had to keep the water in this old leaky tank as the other tanks were too full to drain it into there - a first for us!!

On Monday Dave stayed home & looked after the children as my back (SI joints actually) have become inflamed. I stayed in bed most of the day & that went a long way in helping it. I've had this on & off for years, but this time would be the worse it's been so far. It was a very boring day for me - I don't do the sitting still or lying still for long periods of time well. However it's going much better now, so was worth it. We also had a big truck come & take our triticale. The boys loved seeing it, however I didn't let them go down & watch the grain being loaded from our silos as I couldn't walk that far on Monday.

The usual ballet lessons & swim club training have occurred. Ellie came out of her ballet lesson on Tuesday all upset - her teacher had raised her voice at the class ( I was in the next room - it really was just a raised voice with a touch of frustration - not aimed at anyone - her teacher is such a sweet person). I thought to myself that if Ellie gets upset at something like that, it's a good thing she doesn't attend school - I used to sit outside some of those classrooms when Zai was there & listen to the teachers yelling - it always made me cringe.

A game of "front yard" cricket - you can see how every things turned green - in fact we need to mow which is almost unheard of in summer here.

I've also made some pretty big changes in our school curriculum over the last few days. I don't know if it is the sore back or what, but finally I thought enough is enough - I've had enough of the tears with the ACE maths (I love the ACE curriculum overall - but maths is very very repetitive). Sometimes it would take hours for Zai & Ellie to complete their maths pages - not because they couldn't do them, but because with many, many sums on the pages, they get so overwhelmed. We've decided to go with Maths plus which is written by the NSW board of studies, so completely covers everything they need to cover, but as described to me " once they grasp a concept they don't have to repeat it over & over for a week". I'm excited about this - also there are other changes, but will post about them some other time. I know it's a really strange time to be changing - 4 weeks into the year, but I was ready to put in an order for more books anyway, so it works for us!

Tuesday evening I went for a walk with the camera while Dave watched 'Top Gear'- the sunset pictures are from this walk. I actually went to check on my sheep who are in lamb, but no new babies yet (besides the twins who are going very well). I did finally get some pictures of the farmyard friends I've been telling you about:

Our rooster - isn't he just handsome. Our neighbour had about 10 she was going to chop & I asked if I could buy one off her - her hubby asked if I could trade some baking for the rooster instead - works for me!
Some of my hens - they're growing up & are very good layers. I've just ordered another 5 yesterday!

This picture reminds me of that verse in Ecclesiastes

"The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises." Ecc 1:5 (NIV)

Have a wonderful week

Renata :)


Cassandra-ann said...

I LOVE your pictures! (your rooster is very handsome :-) )
You've got love a good game of front yard cricket lol.
So sorry to hear about your back OUCH! I hope your feeling better by now ((())).
I have the duggars book, (but thanks for the offer of lending it, hey i probably could have leant it to you ;-)) I have read it a few times actually. I found it very inspiring.
I dont se a set or pre made curriculum. I think they are too rigid for my kids so i basically just cover all the basics with text/ work books that they would use in school. We do use LEM phonics workbooks though and i find them quite good and then i supplement with some other phonics books that we got when i went text book shopping. (Phonics first is the one we are using atm by reading freedom) plus we are using active spelling and my spelling workbook by RIC publications.
Another one we use in Language works, grammer in context by cambridge learning, and Sam does some other harder english /grammer comprehension text books.
For maths Paige is currently using Maths plus and i was going to switch the boys to it as well but when we went in to buy books they didnt have any! So we ended up with Targeting Maths (for NSW) and so far it has been really good.

What i also do is give them the school zane books (the ones you buy in Target or Kmart) We have HEAPS of them , the kindergarten , 1st grade , 2nd garde, 3rd grade scholar, Basic Maths , Multipucation facts made easy , They are actaully fantastic books for revision and learning new things and it breaks up the monotony of doing the same books all the time. (and i have noticed that the Duggars actually use these too).
For our afternoon work we do like a mini unit study which covers different things at different times, this term we are doing animal classification and the human body. We also pick a book (which i read to them) to study plus they all have to read a certain amount of reading books themselves a week.
Something else i have found really useful is Mathletics and spelladrome (on the computer) i dont know if youve heard about them or use them but i find them great. I think their Maths have improved ALOT since using Mathletics and they actaully LIKE doing it so thats a plus :-)

Just let me know if you want to know anything else, I am always happy to hear from you Renata :-)

Oh and no i have no idea how many babies are in there lol. i havent had a scan or anything like i normally do and while i can pick up 2 different BPM heart beats in 2 different spots i read that can be normal for a single baby too and its almost impssible to pick up twins seperate h/b with a doppler so as much as i would LOVE/HOPE to have Twins i am thinking its probably just the one baby. Even though i have spent hours late at night googling signs of twins etc LOL.
sorry this was so long :-)

Cassandra xx

Farmgirl Cyn said...

What a joy to see your little ones barefoot...when we have lots of snow on the ground!!!
As for changing curriculum, it's better to change now, when you see the need, then to wait it out cause you have already bought the books. We ended up using Saxon Math, which IS repetitive...but...we made our own changes as we went. For instance...the kids would only do the odd numbered problems instead of all of them. They liked it, I liked it, and it was a good compromise!
I love the scripture from Ecclesiastes!

Grandma said...

Hope your back is continuing to improve....the photos are lovely - what a lovely handsome rooster!! It's great to see how green it is, and we are delighted that your water tanks are full again....all have been praying for rain for you. We have postponed our holiday til tomorrow (it's raining up in Bundy) and if it looks like being a wet weekend, will plan on going next week instead!! I remember that Ecclesiastes verse being one that caused some mirth when you & Sel were quite young.....Give everybody a huge hug. (and yourself one too!!!!) Lots & lots of love to you all, Mum xxxxxxxx

aunty sel said...

Hey Narn,
YAY for rain!! Well, I was praying you would get some, so I'm glad you got enough for your tanks.
Your poor little back, make sure you look after it, you only get one of them - that was deep hey.....
Well, I have been thinking about my canning jars, and snow lately, actually, thinking about lots of snow from watching the olympics. It would be nice to be in snow again.....
Happy schooling,

Mum-me said...

Hasn't it been good to have such a lot of rain! The creek actually flowed last weekend - so much so that the little girls were frightened to see it!

Hope your joint pain doesn't flare up any more - that doesn't sound any good.

Beautiful sunset shots!

debi9kids said...

Oh it looks so beautiful and GREEN there right now. Just lovely. And so wonderful that you have an abundance of water. I remember a few summers agao when you had serious drought...

I have been changing up our schooling quite a bit lately as well and we are now officially taking the "unschooling" approach, which is, we work at the kids pace and do what they enjoy. Makes for a very peaceful home for us :)

Ann at eightacresofeden said...

Do you know I dumped the Ace curriculum for very similar reasons 6 months into our homeschool journey. It was far too rigid and when your child is sitting at the table crying tears of frustration you know it isn't working and it is time to move on. I was pleased - no more searching for red pens to mark the pages as was the requirement.
Freedom to learn at each child's level and according to his or her needs and future aspirations makes homeschooling so much more enjoyable. My daughter is using a maths text book designed for Victoria - I know we live in NSW - but the maths concepts are the same surely!? It was on special for $10 in the bookstore which influenced our decision to purchase it! For the Primary years I have always used 'Easy Learn Maths' no fancy colour pictures but it introduces concepts in order and doesn't mix up problems. If a child already knows the facts I move on - for example, telling the time, my children learn straight off the clock , a natural process. I didn't see the point of making them draw hands on clock faces when they could already tell the time!
I'm sorry to hear about your back (will be praying for you) but pleased to hear about the rain. Whenever rain arrives here my children ask 'Is it going to flood?' After 6 floods last year that is not surprising!

Sandra said...

I am so pleased that you are getting the green summer that you had hoped for. Hooray for rain and full tanks!
Hoping that your back continues to be on the mend. I'm sure that part isn't any fun.

A Bite of Country Cupcakes said...

Rain is something we need.
Back pain is so hard and unless you have suffered it you really do not understand how debilitating it is.
I did a year of homeschool using easy maths and all the other curriculum from Valerie Marrett....They were wonderful.
I actually grew up with her kids as My friends.

Frizzy and Bird said...

Beautiful reflective post my dear. Two weeks ago we drove to the beach. On our journey we happened upon many farms that had sheep. Their babies were so soft and furry we had to pull along the side of the road to take a picture. Unfortunately, my hubby didn't hold the camera still enough and they were blurry.

I thought of you and your farm clear across the world and wondered if you all were ready for this same season. Too exciting!

Helen said...

I really like theh photo's you took... mmmm interesting about reading about the ACE maths. I've just switched to it this year as I was looking for a curriculum that would be easier to do with having a new baby and toddler. we use to use go maths but it jumped concepts too quickly before the kids could grasp each one. well I will wait and see how it goes. enjoy the rain... I know we are. - smile

A Bite of Country Cupcakes said...

hI Renata....Kylie Here,Your settings are on no reply blogger so thought This the best way to get back to you.
Of course I am happy to be on your blogroll...Hold the mayo! *wink*
And as for our little chicks we hatched them from fertile eggs and our ever broody hen,It was wonderful and no fatalities.

Joyeful said...

What a lovely place you have!! 240 acres in Australia. Beautiful!! I love all the pictures. And your rooster is very fine looking indeed : ) I've always wanted to have of these days.

Lovely to meet you!

Camille said...

I love the pictures you took ~ such a glorious sunset and the closeup of your leaky water tank is great too! :)


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