Archive for the ‘Beach Days’ Category

I feel like I should write more here. There is so much pseudo-unschooling nonsense around…bloggers claiming to be unschoolers, when clearly they are relaxed homeschoolers. Bloggers who used to be unschoolers, but have turned to curriculum. Bloggers with kids not even school-age, dishing out unschooling advice…

But quite honestly, we are busy living life and I don’t seem to have the time, energy or inclination to write much here anymore.

However, i’m going to try! Maybe if I start writing, i’ll be more inspired to write more!?

My Dad died, recently. I went to England to try and see him, but he passed away on while I was on the plane. The known perils of living so far away. Kai chose not to come with me, knowing that he would be spending a lot of time at Nana’s while Brett was at work, but preferring that option to a long plane ride and a, quite frankly, not fun visit to the UK.

Although it was heartbreaking to be away from him for 3 weeks, he was amazing – he was fully aware it was his choice, and was aware of the consequences of his choice. He didn’t complain or really get sad. I absolutely believe that having had the opportunity to make his own decisions, though unschooling, helped him while I was away. Skype helped too – so much! Some days we skyped for hours and watched Anime together while I was away.

Talking of Anime, Kai’s pretty into Anime right now – Naruto, Dragonball Z, Avatar: Last Airbender…it’s super fun to watch with him and learn all about it.

As per my last post (which was a while ag0!), unschooling a tween remains a very cool thing…pop culture is huge in our house…12592312_10153849317031168_4754127663419018341_n

These were a few of the goodies I brought back from the UK!

He’s also super into graphic comics (like the Darth Vader series above) and we’ve been getting a pile from the library….For those who might think comics are a lower form of reading material, this article crossed my path today…yesterday we visited an amazing local comic shop – I love that I get to experience things I would never have done had we not embraced unschooling…


Check out all the PoP Vinyl figures! Agggh!

What else? The day I flew back from the UK, we went to Not Back to School Party at Geelong Adventure Park. A friend drove us….since I don’t think I was safe to drive. It was an amazing day – from what I can remember!


As if that wasn’t enough to contend with with jetlag, we also went to our first homeschool camp last Wednesday! To Lorne Foreshore Caravan Park….Kai and I camped with our new tent – which I put up single-handedly!

We had an awesome, abeit exhausting, time with friends – much time spent on the beach, on the boogie board, reading, and playing board games at night…



This week we will be back to our normal park day, and have a cosplay birthday party….maybe stay-tuned, I might be back!




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Our 4th Learn Nothing Day was 3 days ago. Goodness me – time flies!  I took photos, and recorded it, but only just got back to internet, so here I am!   As usual, our day of trying to learn nothing has been a huge failure. But it started out promisingly….

We have been on holidays in Wales with my cousin Gary, his wife and 4 of his 5 kids. In the middle of nowhere in a cottage. I figured if we didn’t really go outside, and tried to minimize other activities we might not learn tooooo much. We got up late-ish…the kids watched a movie. A new movie for Kai – eek! Called Dinosaur Hunters….double eek… I didn’t watch it, so I can surmise maybe he learnt nothing new (but I doubt that!). After the movie, Kai played some games on his iPod…hmmm, nothing to see here…

Then it went from bad to worse….some of the kids were playing 4 Kings in the lounge…


And Kai decided to show Poppy how to play 5 Crowns outside….


Aggghhh! Damn those learning kids!

Then me, Kai and Poppy played Uno…



And Kai and Berry played some soccer in the back garden…


By now I figure it’s a lost cause….but we add insult to injury by going out. We went to Pwllheli (which is pronounced pith-elli – go figure – crazy Welsh!)..On the way, Gary was playing some music, and Kai learnt some dance movies from his cousins in the car…and has memorized the words to #thatpower by Wil I Am…

We walked all around the shops. Went to the fun fair…


Went to the fancy sweet shop (no pics, I was in a different shop!)

Then we went to have a BBQ at the beach…At the beach there was swimming. Kai’s freestyle improved dramatically…


We found a shark egg (which is next to my finger as a size guide so we could later ID it….it was a catshark (dogfish) phew – thank goodness we couldn’t google on Learn Nothing Day!)


We BBQ’d on weird disposable BBQ’s and the kids made plates from rocks – and Kai used a jagged shell to cut his bread!



They went climbing……really, terrifyingly, high!


More swimming, rock and shell collecting, and a drive home with more music and dancing. Kai looked through a bit of his new gaming magazine when we got home, and now he’s going to bed…

Yeah. So. Epic fail….see y’all next year!!

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I don’t know where the time has gone. Or my instalments! We have been here nearly 3 weeks…we’ve been to Birmingham, Somerset and now we’re in Wales! We have done LOADS of stuff! Here’s some of it!

We went to Kinver Rock Houses – last known occupied troglodyte houses in the UK…(and apparently where my mum spent her 21st birthday getting drunk!!).


We went to the Birmingham Botanical Gardens – next to my old school, and saw the National Bonsai Collection – plants so fancy they are under lock and key!


We went to Sarehole Mill – opposite the childhood home of JRR Tolkien, and known to be part of the inspiration for Lord of The Rings…


We went out for dinner with Grandma!


We went to Wren’s Nest – a ‘ classic geological site of exceptional importance’, and found fossils….


Then we went to Somerset to see my Dad and step Mom…

We went to Stonehenge (not in Somerset – in Wiltshire….but we were taking Brett for a day fly fishing to decided to visit Stonehenge too!)


We went to the beach…


We had pub lunches in the sunshine….


Kai found a wheat field…(seriously, notice all this sunshine!? Hard to believe it’s England!)


We went to visit my cousin in Taunton – he has 5 kids, some are in this photo!…


He also has a lot of slow worms in his garden! Brett was overjoyed!


Dad got us free tickets for Splash Waterworld (yes, hot enough for outside swimming and my bikini!)


And free tickets for Brean Leisure Park…Kai is REALLY into amusement parks at the moment!


We drove back to Birmingham and my Mum….went for an evening walk in Clent, found a badger sett and saw the sunset

We went to the West Midlands Safari Park….zebra, giraffes and deer put their heads in the car! We fed them!! Kai took the photo’s!


It has an amusement park adjacent to it – I went on all the rides with Kai, including this roller coaster…I’m seriously getting too old!


Then we drove to my Mum’s caravan in Wales….weather still good….Kai had fun in what was Grandad Roy’s favourite river while Brett fished…


We went to Lake Vyrnwy yesterday – a man made reservoir that was created by flooding a village in a valley to harness enough water for Liverpool….


And we walked to the Rhiwargor waterfalls at the top of the lake…


Other stuff in our ‘downtime’ has included Kai playing a fair bit of DS Pokemon and Assassins Creed on PC. We’re currently on our 3rd Beast Quest book. He bought a Minecraft book and a How to Train Your Dragon ‘(in)complete Book of Dragons’.

Today is Brett’s last day – he flies home tomorrow, so I think we are having a quiet day with maybe a pub lunch/dinner, some Beast Quest and maybe some time down at the river. Kai and I drive to somewhere else in Wales tomorrow to spend a few days in a cottage with my cousin and his kids….

Phew. And we keep wondering why we are all so tired!!

Oh and a reminder – it’s Learn Nothing Day in only 4 more days!! Get ready!! I think we are destined to fail already – but we’ll give it our best shot – Kai is trying to cram in all new knowledge before the 24th!!






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I promised to blog more. And here I am. But it’s really a trip update – and not much actual unschooly stuff…although of course if Kai was at school we wouldn’t probably have just spent 5 days on Kangaroo Island in ‘term time’!

For those who don’t know, Kangaroo Island is off the coast about 1.5 hours south of Adelaide. You get there on a ferry (or a plane, if you are richer than we are!).

There are kangaroo’s on Kangaroo Island. But I didn’t get any very good photo’s of them! Only this one…


 There are also many, many Rosenberg’s monitors….I got some good photo’s of them!



There are lots of echidna’s….they don’t  seem to like to be photographed though!



We did a lot of beachy stuff – we snorkelled (the last two days…which were warm!) – at Stokes Bay and at Emu Bay, and I used Kai’s camera to photograph some cute fish…


….and while i’m not a fan of the ‘selfie’, I feel like a snorkel selfie is acceptable!


Kai and Brett fished…at every beach we went to, pretty much! Turns out Kai is a super dooper caster! They caught some Australian salmon at Hanson Bay.???????????????????????????????



And Kai did some boogie-boarding at Vivonne Bay…(that day was freezing!! No way was I going in the water that day!).


We also went to visit the Australian sea lion colony at Seal Bay, which was very cool, especially as there were lots of baby seals!





….all the dots on the beach are seals (except the one’s that are obviously rocks!).

We visited the Remarkable Rocks in Flinders Chase National Park – they really are quite remarkable!


And also Admirals Arch and the New Zealand fur seal colony – there are some black things behind Kai – they are NZ fur seals!


We found another species of carnivorous sundew….furthering our excitement of carnivorous plants! We think the species is Drosera Pygmaea – Kangaroo Island..


And we visited the Marron Farm – coffee was good, ice cream sundae better, and the Marron tanks fascinating – though with Kai’s shellfish allergy, we didn’t bother to buy any to eat!


Aside from all that, Kai did a bit of photography, and we read a LOT of Beast Quest! In the car while Brett was looking for lizards, in the tent with a head-torch…pretty much anywhere! Desperately requiring Beast Quests 19 – 24 now!! Kai also spent hours in the car pouring over the Book of Beasts – clearly doesn’t inherit my car sickness!

All in all, a great few days away….although I wouldn’t rave in general about KI, the beaches were pretty stunning and we had a wonderful time!



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Week two of our jolly hols in Qld…the weather has been relatively kind – certainly kinder than it looks in South Australia…so here is an update for Daddy, Nana and anyone else reading!

On Tuesday we went to Surfers Paradise. Last time I went there I was 20. Seriously! Though I don’t know that it’s changed that much to be honest. More skycrapers, more infrastructure…a bit less beach with the rising sea level perhaps?! Still lots of backpackers!



Though, I don’t remember that sign….


Beach was windy…


and the Ben and Jerry’s was delicious!

Yesterday the weather wasn’t so fantastic, and we headed down south over the New South Wales border to visit some other unschoolers…..Kai and his new pal spent most of the day playing Halo….


While we chatted, drank tea, and sorted out Mods on Minecraft!

Today the weather was pretty good, and we decided to walk to the David Fleay Conservation Park. It was a pretty long walk – over 5km and 1.5 hours. We stopped for refreshments on the way! But, according to Kai, it was definitely worth the walk and was declared ‘awesome’ and the best wildlife park we’ve EVER been to (that is a pretty a big accolade! We’ve been to a lot!)….apparently this was because it had lots of animals he hadn’t seen before, or didn’t remember seeing (it was mostly native Qld animals).


Child-eating crocs!!! (it’s in the background, if you can’t see it!)


Snake-handling (nothing new for Kai, hence the unimpressed expression!)


Endangered cute and furries – including these pademelons, nailtail wallabies, tree kangaroos, etc….

…and they also had a platypus that you could watch feeding and swimming underwater – which was super cool – probably the coolest thing for me!

We got a ride home, and now knackered. Back at the ranch (my cousin Mark’s and his wife Siobhan’s!) there has been much Minecrafting, and much excitement since 1.6 came out!…..


That’s it for now! Enjoying sun, warmth and family and new friends! More updates soon….

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Oh crikey! Well, what can I say….we’ve been living life, doing fun stuff, and…erm…not blogging much about it…

In no particular order, here’s some stuff we’ve been doing for the past 3 weeks!



We visited the Adelaide Gaol on Open Day….this is Kai pulling the lever in the old hanging tower…we also overhead this priceless line from a little boy about Kai’s age as we walked around “This place looks just like my school, Mum.”….ah, from the mouth of babes!?

We went on a guided tour of the Botanical Gardens with Odysseus…and learnt about how the Ancient Greeks used plants…



Apparently a cyclops lived in here!

Kai dissected a spider (we think a female mouse spider…it had very big fangs!). He also swatted a mosquito and we looked at it’s stylet…



We tried ‘Knightly Sword Skills’ class, and loved it…



We met up with new friends.…who love to skate and surf….yay! (and play on slides!)



They’ve all buggered off to Bali for now…but coming back soon!

We had one very wildlife-y week…we went to Cleland and met the new golden wombat (photo by Kai)



We also went to the zoo for it’s 130th Birthday! And we did something else I’ve forgotton!

And last weekend Kai went for his first winter surf, in his new steamer wetsuit….followed by a hot chocolate!



We’ve also done loads of geocaching, with friends and just us, and we hid our first cache…Kai’s played lots of Minecraft – particularly Pokemon and LOTR….and has rediscovered his PokePark Wii game the past two days and is loving it!

I’m sure i’ve missed lots, but that’s about the gist of it all!  Oh, and i’ll leave you with Kai’s very Zen drawing….



It’s a Chinese man meditating…and levitating…he said he got the idea from an Eyewitness DVD, though i’m not sure which one as yet!

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Oh my stars! Talk about blog neglect!  Here’s a potted summary, with lots of photo’s, of the past month…

Lots of drawing and weapon design.



Kai’s ‘control’ centre…

Stop off at Coober Pedy and found an opal….and visited the Opal Museum.



Real life Minecraft!

Visited Nana’s in Victoria and hung out with cousins and friends, and went to a homeschool meet…




Developed a great love of Pokémon….including books, Minecraft mod (Pixelmon), trading cards, drawings, and now Wii game! And a Pokéball birthday cheesecake!



Genetic cross between Pikachu and Beedrill!


My Cheesecake!

And it was Kai’s 7th Birthday at laser tag – photo’s are on my new laptop……not quite syncing the whole thing yet!

Lots of geocaching (much more successful now I have iPhone and the Geocaching.com app!)


Went to Woody’s Challenge  Hill with the homeschool group…


Got some Spacey op shop bargains…



Planet mobile AND we got a star globe – for $4!

Went to the Surf Groms reunion…(and Kai’s first time in a steamer suit – getting ready for winter surfing!)


More skateboarding at the skatepark….we updated the ‘bone’ cabinet and made it look more like a ‘museum’ at Kai’s request….(and it’s now featured on Sandra Dodd’s site….http://sandradodd.com/museum)



We made Maklouba – Bedouin upside down rice – in a short revisit to International Food Night! Can’t find a photo – must be on the other computer….but here’s a link! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maqluba

 and finally….the 2013 Gumeracha Medieval Fair was yesterday…



Kai went in costume, as a Knights Templar – this is us looking at the blacksmith.

Yeah…that about sums it up! Exhausted much!? I shall endeavour to write more regularly. Honest! But hey – you can’t complain when life is so full and fun that you don’t have time to write, right!?

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