Monday, 13 July 2015

Mid year break

We've just had 2 weeks of school holidays, and while we don't take a holiday from our learning, the holidays do give us a break from a lot of our regular routine, and also give us a chance to catch up with some of the kids' schooled friends.

Caitlin went on a 5 night horse camp at Ponyland in the first week of the break. She's been a couple of times before on a 2 night/3 day camp, and had been keen to try out the longer format. She had a wonderful time and was so glad she'd been able to stay for the full camp, rather than leaving halfway through like last time. She rode lots of different horses, trotted and cantered and walked and learned how to jump and rode bareback, and groomed the horses, mucked out stables, did lots of theory about horses, helped feed them, and played lots of games with the other girls. We rang her each night and she appreciated that contact from home, but wasn't homesick while she was there.

While she was gone the rest of us had a fairly quiet week. We played with friends a couple of days, including Millie and me taking a trip to Alexandra to play with one of Millie's friends who has recently moved up there (LiAM went to another friend's house for the afternoon). Millie and I had a great time, and the other mum and I were really able to have a great chat while the girls played.

At the end of the week we picked Caitlin up and went to Healesville to see a play - The Very Cranky Bear, based on one of Millie's favourite books. She and Caitlin sat down on the floor in the very front row which they both loved. LiAM preferred to be less involved in the production and the crowd, so he and I sat up in the back row and he was able to enjoy the play safely from there.

We had several days hanging out quietly at home, watching movies, crocheting - I made Millie some mittens!!! - playing on the iPad, playing on the trampoline, looking after the dog and cat and chickens etc. Everyone has had a big surge in their reading interest and ability over the past couple of weeks too - LiAM now regularly reads words in ads on the tv, and Millie is asking more and more questions about words and letters. Caitlin is easily reading a chapter or more each night of her book in bed.

We went to Ivanhoe Pool with another homeschooling family - being school holidays they had a bit inflatable bouncy cushion up in the pool, which all the kids went on over and over. I tried it once - it was fun, but made me dizzy (bouncing and floating was a bit much for my head) so didn't go back - glad I did have one go though. Millie is now swimming small distances underwater without any help, she's improving quickly and calmly and naturally and it's very exciting to watch.

We played an epic game of Monopoly which is still not quite finished. LiAM took the strategy of only buying Park Lane and Mayfair and quickly getting hotels on them - worked pretty well although I managed to get hotels on a couple of other sets so we became fairly evenly matched. It was great watching the kids work on their mathematical concepts while they dealt with the money.

I had a minor medical procedure done on Thursday which will hopefully help with the gynaecological problems I've been having. The kids stayed overnight at a friend's place the night before, and Tony took Friday off work, and I've been looked after quite nicely while I've recovered. It's been lovely being able to sit and read or play games or use the computer and just get my strength back - I've been very very tired, I think being able to stop has given me the chance to really stop and rest and catch up after being exhausted for most of the year.