Archive for the ‘Swimming’ Category

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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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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Oh My! It’s been a while! I’m going to mostly post pictures, since I can’t really remember what we’ve done completely, and we’ve been on a road trip….here goes…

We went to Techno Wally’s workshop and built stuff with straws…

We went to a Double Helix marine ecology workshop and caught crabs!


We found a cool stick insect in the garden, but yet to find out what it is!


Kai played a lot of Pirate 101…dressed as a pirate….

It was Halloween!! (and Kai was dressed as a pirate!)


We drove from Adelaide to Sydney, stopping over night in Hay…on the way we picked up a used copy of Mini Ninja’s and a Ninja outfit….Pirates were overtaken by Ninjas in the popularity stakes…..

We visited a most AWESOME playground near Sydney, called the Blaxland Riverside Park. It was SO cool, and we are a bit jealous of the Sydney people who get to go there often! We met another Unschooling family there and had an awesome time, but were sorry we had to leave so soon!


We went to a BBQ at Bronte beach with our friends who were getting married…and their friends, and some friends from Scotland…(no photo of that!)

The next day was the day of the wedding…the boys scrubbed up pretty well….


And yes, Kai is wearing SHOES! REAL SHOES!!! And he kept them on for most of the day (but took them off by the time the disco was happening at night!)

We saw plenty of Sydney sights, we drove over the Harbour Bridge and also had a great view from the wedding venue…


Kai very much enjoyed the wedding, and was quite captivated with the proceedings, the vows and the rings, and the whole ceremony….

We drove home – well, to Hay again…the next day…and it was HOT, and the boys had a swim at the caravan park…(I didn’t go in, it was FREEZING!!)


Yesterday we drove the rest of the way, had a stop in a playground and Kai made some friends…and we finally got home around 5pm last night.

Since then, Kai’s pretty much constantly played his Mini Ninja’s Wii game, since he couldn’t play it until we got home. Apparently it is AWESOME!!! (especially playing it dressed as a Ninja!).

And that brings me up to date! Of course there is lots i’ve missed…but that is the crux of it! Today is the presidential election, and i’m following my map of red and blue on the internet…..I might not agree with Governments in general, but they are here, and what happens in the US election will directly impact us here….and Obama might not be perfect, but if Romney gets in we are all screwed! Especially women! So…my virtual and useless vote goes with Obama…and so ends my short rant about politics!



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So, we’ve been in Alice for a few days now. We’ve done a lot of digging in pitfall traps, and worked pretty hard, but we’ve done a bit of sightseeing and caught up with a friend too – so it’s not all red dust and work!

Unfortunately we haven’t caught many lizards. We think it may have been too cold and windy (seriously – it was only 22 C for two days – that is COLD here!) – but getting warmer again tomorrow, so fingers crossed it picks up.

We did catch a very cool whip snake….here it is demonstrating how a drift fence works for reptile trapping….


Kai has been researching ants. He’s been catching ants of all kinds and keeping them overnight (and then putting them back where he found them). He caught a particularly cool and interesting one, that seems to mimic a wasp – it had a black and yellow abdomen – a type of mimicry called Batesian mimicry – where a harmless species mimics a dangerous or poisonous one to protect it from predators. The warning colouration of dangerous animals is called aposematic colouration…..(come on, I gotta use my sciences degree’s somewhere! Someone might be interested!).  We still haven’t found out the species, but here it is….


We’ve also caught a Wongai Ninguai – a little carnivorous marsupial which is restricted to the arid zone, and today we caught a little button quail….now we just need to catch some lizards!

Aside from work, Kai’s been swimming at least once a day since we got here….most often twice…


The amount of activity he’s been doing every day, I can’t believe he’s not totally knackered! Although he did go to sleep around an hour earlier than normal last night!

Yesterday Kai and I also went to the Alice Springs Cultural Precinct, mostly to go to the Museum of Central Australia….it had a great megafauna display and also meteorites….Kai particularly liked this Dromornis….

Apparently he hunts them in his iPod hunting game!?

We also visited the Aviation Museum, which was pretty cool, and free! Kai liked the old planes…


But REALLY liked the old communications section…


Then we went to the Araluen Arts Centre….no pics allowed, but we saw some incredible Indigenous art, including paintings, sculptures and textiles….

Then we had a play in the playground!

Today we headed out to the Eweninga Rock Carvings, petroglyphs at an ancient Aboriginal site, that has special significance for males. The site may be up to 40000 years old….WOW!!


Today we also had to move caravan parks, as our other one was booked out for the weekend, so we are now at a more child-friendly park, with a bouncy pillow and a bigger pool! Whoo!

So…that’s the trip so far….much red dust still to come!


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So, if i’m honest, this blog is just really an visual diary at the moment! We’re so busy doing stuff, I haven’t got time to write and moan about deluded people calling themselves unschoolers when they aren’t, about screens, about food or anything else! However, like always, if anyone has something they’d like me to write about, post a comment and i’ll do my best (or point you to someone more eloquent and wise who has already written about it, at the very least!).

What have we been up to since last time?

Here goes….

The clocks went back for Autumn. I HATE it! Dark nights! Early mornings! Not our thing AT ALL!!

However, on the bright side, the weather has been nice and warm still, and tomorrow is forecast to be a delightul 32 C!

We’ve been strawberry picking. Twice (long story!)

And today we made strawberry ice cream with some of our horde – I followed this recipe (although i’m not a massive Nigella fan!), and Kai helped with chopping, whisking and encouragement!

Currently waiting for it to finish freezing – but i’m fairly sure it’s delicious!

Last week was Paleo week at the SA Museum. We went and met friends for lunch, and then explored the exhibits….

And we were lucky enough to be able to dissect an owl pellet (the man thought I was an expert because I’d done it before…oh how wrong he was!). Kai painstakingly helped me get all the little bones out…

Here’s what was in ours (they were wild barn owls from the Strzelecki Desert)

Apparently most of the bones of one unfortunate dusky hopping mouse, and a few of the bones of another, unidentified, small mammal!

The following night the museum was screening Jurassic Park on the front lawn, and even giving out free popcorn, so we met up with friends for that.

The previous night I had gone to the movies alone. Oh yes, you read it right, alone! I went to the see The Hunger Games, and loved it! Whilst at the mall I picked up Kai’s underwater photo’s from our last snorkelling day, they came out pretty good!

Obviously I took that one!

Pretty sure Kai took this one of seaweed – it’s a photo of the photo, that’s why it looks funny! So weird actually going to pick up prints!

On Friday we went with friends to see The Lorax movie, which all the kids just LOVED (and so did us Mum’s actually!)

Then we went to the beach, since it was hot…

Whenever there is a group photo, Kai is ALWAYS talking! haha!

On the weekend I picked up some cool stuff from the op shops, a couple of jigsaws, and a very awesome wizard outfit…

We’ve already done all the jigsaws at least once, The Hulk one’s are quite hard – lots of green pieces!!

Apparently this is Kai after being flattened by the Hulk in the jigsaw he’s lying on!

It was Earth Hour on Saturday night, so we turned off the lights (and yes – the Wii…although the ipod did run on battery!)…we went outside with sparklers and glow sticks…

On Sunday Brett took Kai to the adventure challenge hill, but obviously i’ve got no photo’s, although Brett claims there are some on his phone!

On Monday we went to the park and swimming pool, since the outside pools close next week (some of them, at least!)…

I believe this was some kind of zombie game…

Today we made our ice cream, and we also made photograms. We had two pieces of photographic paper left over from our RiAus pin-hole camera project, and I was trying to figure out what to do with them. I came across this site, but if you google images ‘photogram’ you’ll get lots more ideas!

So, Kai decided to try some star wars guys, and I decided on a leaf and some other stuff…Here’s what they looked like when we put them in the sun…

And….drum roll please….here’s what they looked like when we got them in and scanned them (and I tweaked the contrast and brightness!)

Kai’s starwars dudes!!

My leaves and stuff!

I thought for a first try, they were pretty cool! My only advice after these two, is find things that lie flat to the paper, or the light goes under them and makes them less clear – like my skull, and also Kai’s starwars guys – you can’t see General Grevious’ head!

So, that’s about it. We are off overseas in only a few weeks, I can’t believe it’s gone so quick! And still lots on the calender for April!

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Time for an update! I haven’t been very good at posting since i got home, huh!? I think it’s because there is SO much going on! Seems like everyday something is happening, or even two things a day! I also have heaps of work to do, although i’d have to say i’m avoiding that fairly well….

I always feel incredibly grateful for our lifestyle, and the fact that we are able to live it. Unschooling, and particularly radical unschooling, is a luxury for sure…I moan about not having much money because we only have one full-time income, but really I am so grateful that we are able to do this. And we have friends unschooling doing it much tougher than we are…

I’m also feeling very grateful for all the amazing people unschooling has bought into our lives. Here…and everywhere else. But i’m glad we’ve landed in Adelaide for a while – we have a pretty amazing group here!

So. What have we been up to? The last update was nearly 2 weeks ago, so the chances of my remembering everything are slim to none!…but here goes…

We’ve been to the beach. At least a couple of times…On Saturday 3rd we went and met up with friends at the Mt Barker Christmas Pageant. As far as i recall, it’s Kai’s first Christmas Pageant…He thought it was very cool, especially the floats….his favourite was this pirate ship…

Although a Flintstones car came a close second, as he’s having a bit of Flintstones phase!

We’ve watched ‘A Knights Tale’ more times that i’d like to recall – although now he skips right to the end bit where William (the hero – Heath Ledger) beats the baddie – Count Adhemar (Rufus Sewell) at the final jousting match….

We’ve also found some jousting games online – if you have a child interested in jousting – http://www.free-games.net/play/knights-age is a good one – but it’s quite hard! We also liked a Henry VIII one http://www.playitontheweb.com/games/Henry-VIII-Joust-game.htm – which isn’t so hard!

Today at the library we also picked up a new Horrible Histories book – The Wicked History of the World. I honestly can’t recommend all the Horrible Histories stuff enough! Kai just LOVES it – it gets him so engaged! And the stuff he’s come out with – today he said ‘Mum. I love the story of Helen of Troy. Did you know the Greeks hid inside a big horse called a Trojan Horse.’! Ha! I haven’t even seen that bit of Horrible Histories on the DVD!

This morning I also helped him create a medieval village and he made a Jousting Pit in the middle and got all of his knights and playmobil dudes out…

The thing i also love about this, is that apart from the Schleich Knights and the Play Mobil knights (which we’ve had for over 2 years), everything else (plastic castles, blocks…etc) came from op shops, garage sales or give-a-ways!

Ok, i digress with medieval history again…what else have we been doing…

We’ve been to the park with friends lots of times…The weather was pretty hot earlier this week…we did Tuesday at the park, Wednesday was our last homeschool gym at the YMCA and then Thursday evening (around 6pm – it was HOT!) we all met again at the beach…Kai and Liam had their boogeyboards, and we didn’t leave till the sun was setting!

We had to get Indian take-away at 9.20pm on the way home! And Kai was still eating his butter chicken at 11.30pm in bed watching Nemo! I love our life!

Yesterday we went swimming with friends. And today…phew….we had nothing planned! We did go to the library, got yet more DVD’s and books (which i must remember to return before christmas!) and downloaded a game for the ipod…

Kai was chatting to another boy and they were playing a game together on the library computer. The other boy was maybe a bit older, and had his school uniform on. He asked Kai if he went to school. Kai said, in a rather officious tone ‘No. I don’t go to school. I am 5 of course. But I don’t go to school.’ It cracked me up! He doesn’t feel any need to explain his answer, so maybe i should learn from his example!?

So. More planned for this weekend and next week….and i’m very thankful for the new Subaru…so thankful in fact, that I might even wash and vacuum it this weekend!!

That’s what we’ve been up to. And i’m still feeling very thankful that we can live this amazing life…and i’ll try and post more before christmas…but jeez…i’m SO busy!!

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Slowly getting back into the swing of things….SO much happening at the moment! We finally got our new car….a lovely Subaru Forester…white….I LOVE IT!!! Pictures to come, i’m sure!

Our first drive in it was to the YMCA homeschool open gym last Tuesday. Much fun had by all, as always!  Wednesday i *think* we went to the library, although i honestly can’t remember if that was Wednesday!

Thursday we went to the outdoor swimming pool, where it was quite hot out, but quite cold in the pool! Kai has finally nailed freestyle and amazed me by swimming about 25m with proper arms and everything…although still working on his side breathing!

We went swimming again on Friday afternoon with friends….but it seems that all the swimming pool water hasn’t done either of our bacterial skin infections much good – i have a patch on my arm (not surprising given the amount of time i’ve spent touching Kai’s!) and although Kai’s big patches are better, he still has a couple of bites that look dodgy – we’re treating them with raw garlic crushed – topically…seems to be working for the most part…but we’ll give swimming a miss this week, i think!

Saturday we went to the mall, did some christmas shopping (ugh!) and then I went to see Breaking Dawn Pt 1 (oh yes!!), and the boys went to see Arthur Christmas. Kai said he liked it, but hasn’t mentioned it since, so i’m thinking it wasn’t that great!

Sunday was the annual Pride Feast Picnc in the Park celebration, and we joined with friends to celebrate…..Kai and his friend Liam entered the kids vs security tug-o-war…

It’s a low-res photo, but they are in the middle with grey/green outfits on! Of course, the kids won! It was a great day, very family friendly, and we were very proud to attend and support our friends and their families. 

Monday we had mostly a home day, and i seemed to have a lot of housework to do! We did go out to the shops and park, and it was very hot…A package from Nana arrived with some Christmas crafts (make and decorate your own stocking). Rather typically, Kai decide that wasn’t what he was going to do, but decided to use the gemstones and ribbons to decorate a sword we’d been making….

We made the sword from a piece of balsa wood from the craft shop – Kai helped Brett draw it out and make sure it fit his scabbard, an Brett cut the wood…Kai and I stuck on the handle, and then he used the decorations to make it jewelled! So – we did craft – just not how it said on the packet! ha ha!! And there’s probably enough wood left to make a jewelled dagger, i should think…

Yesterday we went to our Natural Learning group swap meet. Some of our good friends, sadly, are moving to Queensland and thus getting rid of a lot of stuff….Since we’ve movd so much, we didn’t have a lot to swap – a few toys and clothes…but we scored big time from friends – books, clothes and dress-up’s – Kai s particularly enamoured with a shiny red magicians jacket!

The kids had fun in the park…how many people can you fit on a donut swing???

So, that’s our week…in a nutshell…of course there’s ben more stuff…more viking and medieval mayhem, watching of Narnia and enactment of Reepicheep lines and sword-play….and a lot of driving around in the lovely new Forester!!

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