First Day 2014

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Bright & early, Monday morning, we started our new year of school here at Sunnyside!  
It wasn't very hard to start as the holidays, while they seemed to fly by in hindsight, had become rather laborious by the end.  Maybe it was the extremely hot days that kept us all locked inside the house drawing in any ounce of coolness the air conditioner was able to give us, or maybe it was the lack of garden so my workload is largely reduced at this time of year?  I do know that we have missed our routine as I tend to let holidays be a break from the more structured days we have during school time.  I think come Monday it was nice to step back into our old routine & get working on the new books!

As is our tradition, I took first day photos & it's always so interesting looking back & seeing how much the children have grown up.  I allow each child to choose where & with what they would like their photo taken.  Eli chose with Moonlight & he just stood in the middle of the yard.  Since the back ground was only the dead, garden (which is really just a pile of mulch) I commented that maybe he would like to stand in front of the oleander bush.  With a few grumbles about flowers being included he consented.   Eli is in 2nd grade in 2014  & is progressing well in his reading & writing! 

Still Eli.  This cat is so very loved!

My other 2nd grader, Jud, also chose to be photographed with Moonlight, but he chose to stand in front of an old Ironbark tree next to the driveway.  Unfortunately I managed to get the messy shed in the background, but hey, it's real life.  
Jud is an excellent student who tries to be perfect in everything (not sure who he takes after??!!??)!

It's hard to believe Ellie is entering 5th grade this year.  She was a little Kindergartener when we began homeschooling back in 2009. She is such a delight & a big help. She loves teaching her little brothers (who are actually almost the exact same size as her) & so will often spend time explaining a concept to them.  She also enjoys marking their work which is very appreciated as marking seems to be that late night activity I cannot avoid.  She also chose to be photographed with Moonlight (he's very popular ~ I would hate to think what it would be like here if anything ever happens to him).  

This year Ellie has decided to stop her ballet lessons.  This has been very sad for me as the one thing I wanted to do as a girl was take ballet lessons.  The local dance school has been offering highland dancing classes for a couple of years & Ellie has been asking to do them (harnessing that Scottish heritage she has on her father's side).   This year we allowed her to change across.  I spoke to her previous ballet teacher about it & she feels it would be a good step for Ellie as she can still use some of her ballet skills.  The surprise of it all is that Jud wanted to do highland classes with Ellie.  It's lovely having brother & sister there together (it is a mixed class) and from all reports it's a very fun dance style.  

My big boy, Zai, just keeps on growing.  And I mean growing.  He is now looking me eye-to-eye & I predict that by the end of the year I will be looking up to him.  Zai is in Grade 6 this year which is the last year of primary school.  I can scarcely believe how quickly this time in his life is coming to a close.  He is such a help to us on the farm & around the house (although he does like to leave books laying around everywhere...)!  Zai is an excellent student who is currently reading high school history texts for fun (yes, fun!).  He (of course) asked to be photographed with his pigs who all love him (possibly because he feeds them).  
The pigs are currently penned as there is no feed on the ground in the paddocks & since it's so dry the electric fence doesn't work & so they would just escape.  This seems to be the best way to manage the pigs over summer around here.  It's working well  (with the exception of Delores visiting yet another neighbour after Boris pushed down one of these fences the other weekend).   We will free range them as soon as some rain comes & we get some feed on the ground.  As it is almost autumn, it hopefully won't be long.  Our aim is about a month of free ranging before butchering the little ones (which aren't so little anymore).

I love this photo of Zai.  Just look at how happy that pig is to see him!  I predict butchering is going to be hard this time around! 

The children requested a group photo in front of the old Bedford truck.  Of course out of the ten pictures I took, not one is good of all four children.  It seems that 7 year old boys use every opportunity to be as silly as possible ( especially when there is more than one to egg the other on).  Fun!
I hope 2014 is a year of training these precious children for the Lord!  So many times successful homeschooling seems like an unachievable job, but a little bit of diligence & a boatload of prayer & each kiddos is slowly (in some cases), but surely progressing!  

Now I must go & do some baking as I'm on morning tea tomorrow at church & have nothing in the house to feed our hungry congregation!

Blessings friends

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