Life these last 6 weeks have flown by in a colourful blur.
It feels kind of nice to be filling every moment with something but also not so nice because time seems to slip by faster and faster.
I am thankful for school holidays! Even though it feels like the Christmas ones had only just ended!
My initial uni pathways course has only a couple of weeks to go and about 4 assignments due in that time so my stress levels have risen a tad. I’ll be glad to have said I’ve completed it all and able to move onto something else. I have postponed my midwifery degree as after lots of research and pondering I don’t see how I could possibly complete it right now.
I’d need to follow along with a specific amount of pregnant women for appointments and the likes and be able to drop everything to attend births, even in my first year. With Glen working away half the time and no one to step in and watch my little ones, I would hate to work so hard only to be unable to attend births and ultimately fail.
So I shall wait….
However in the meantime I have committed to a remedial massage therapy diploma, which I plan to focus on ante-natal, post natal massage and perhaps baby massage workshops for parents all from the comfort of our own home.
I’m excited. But you probably knew that because most unknowns are exciting to me!
I will admit that trying to study and making sure that Bella, now home schooled is doing all she needs to be is tough at time.
We hit a massive hurdle when she flat-out began refusing to do her math work.
Heck I hate maths too and most of the time wonder why I ever needed to work out the area of a square…but I didn’t want to give up (or give in. What next? English?) So I tricked her with awesome fun. And slight bribes.
I decided we’d do some real world math and make it something she could relate to and enjoy.
First Bella created a café`.
She also created her own descriptive menus, made the items she’d put on her menu which included ice tea infused with frozen raspberries, banana cake and peanut butter cookies. (Knocked our cooking lesson on the head in the process.)
She set up ‘shop’ before her sisters got home from school.
She made ‘money’ and gave it to them to pay.
Bella took orders worked out the prices, she had specials and discounts.
The girls were given their food and drinks and then came to Bella’s counter to pay, Bella had to add up their totals, minus any discounts and give correct change.
She had a tip jar which she needed to work out 10% of the bills total (if her customers were generous enough) She also sold coffee (well empty boxes of..) at a 2 for one special…
I seriously jammed as much math into her as I could get away with and she totally loved every minute of it.
Though the best part?
Her younger sisters learnt a lot too AND…..
THEY WERE ALL SUPER NICE TO EACH OTHER!
I not only want to teach my own daughter all the academic stuff but I want her to learn to treat her family with respect and love. I want them to have a stronger bond, in other words…I want them to stop fighting with each other all the time and care about one another!
It was awesome for me to see the cooperation, consideration and courtesy.
Anyway, the week after Bella decided on a salon.
We totally upped the math.
This time she had to make appointments at 5 minute intervals, it was good because she has trouble with time and this really helped her a tonne.
Glen and I also made appointments for things like facials and massages but then tricked her and cancelled our appointments and swapped them around.
She did more complicated discounts and specials this time offering a hand, foot and shoulder massage at 25% off and if someone made a 20 minute appointment they’d receive a free 5 minutes and 30% off.
I must admit she was kind of stressed dealing with making appointments and also offering ‘complimentary tea, or ice water’ and actually painting nails or facials…but hello real world….hello indeed.
I like that she uses English skills and descriptive writing to crate her menu’s and price lists, I like that we insist she be ‘professional’ and ‘kind’ and ‘polite’ to her customers…I like that she sees the excitement she can create for her sisters when they come home to find out Bella has ‘opened shop’ again.
They love it and I can see Bella’s pride as they tell her how cool and awesome it all is.
She learnt so much more than maths and I love it.
I’ve slowly begun to realise that I need to up my pace for her learning too, she now knows all there is to know about Billie Holiday, Cleopatra and Mother Theresa. She completed profiles on each, researched and complied her own mini biographies and then combined the 3 to create her own inspirational (fictional) character. Her assessment consisted of creating a profile a story and a picture of her fictional character.
It hasn’t taken her months to soak in as it would in school, as we literally could sit and talk anytime we chose, not waiting for a specific 45 minute period during the week.
We’ve also moved onto Arthurian literature for English, which I hope to stretch for the next entire term. And why not?? All of my kids love the stories and we’re trying to bring different parts into the real world too, making armour and writing our own plays to perform.
I am learning heaps too so we’re all excited by all the new information and fun being injected into our lifestyle.
Bella attended a 3 day art workshop where she totally surprised herself creating amazing pieces of art and gaining wonderful comments from the art teacher, who said he had ‘exceptional talent’ and was ‘quick to understand artistic concepts.’
She’s completed her online photography course and also her unit on colonial Australia.
She combined the two when we took a trip to visit an antique store in search of items to photograph from the 1800′s.
We couldn’t find much, except one gold and ruby necklace from the 1800′s and a newspaper from the early 1900′s…close enough. But Bella did get some interesting shots.
She ended up having a great conversation with the lovely old man who worked there about the old jail which had been used in the 1800′s as he once lived in it years ago!(Not as a prisoner!)
She made an interesting poster about what life would be like back then.
She also wrote a story from the perspective of a 12-year-old girl living on a sheep farm in the 1800′s living without electricity and running water.
Later in the year I’ll be taking Bella and Sophie to Taronga zoo so Bella can do an entire day of training as a zoo keeper, she is in love with big cats and wants to work with them when she’s older so I figure I could perhaps help her along the way to that dream.
I’ve spoken to a course provider who is happy to allow Bella to complete some certificates in zoo keeping and wildlife conservation, so we’re considering it for next year. Bella is really excited, and I’m happy for her, and it totally feels nice to be in a position to completely support her passions and actually help her achieve her goals.
It really struck me when Bella said “If I told my friends at school I wanted to get a job working with tigers they would tell me I’m stupid and that I never would do it.”
And I believe her. Adults do the same to each other as well. Crush each others dreams, and never do we seem to be happy for anyone else.
It saddens me that we lessen our potential to suit others, it’s like a little boy telling his parents he wants to be an astronaut and they act as if it is some fanciful idea that is ‘cute’ and will never happen…..HELLO?! There are such things astronauts…they do exist and perhaps the difference in becoming one and dreaming of being one is the belief and encouragement of others….
it is NOT impossible….
(Shall we try to improve on this behaviour? Or teach our kids to admire instead of envy? To strive instead of settle? Anyway, I won’t lecture..)
I am impressed so far with Bella’s attitude changes, she still has her emotional pre-teen moments but over all she’s kinder and way more involved in our family in a positive way than she’s ever been.
There is no more angry storming off in the morning (most days she begins working at 7am while I make breakfast…just because she wants too.) And no longer does she come home in a foul mood because of something someone has said or done during the day to make her feel bad….which she would ordinarily take out on me and her sisters or simply sit in her room alone.
I seriously wonder why we’re told school is for everyone…..because in my personal opinion my daughter has never been happier, more encouraged, ambitious and inspired and as a mum it gives me that heart swell feeling.
For once I feel like I have done the absolute right thing.
It’s like a breath of fresh air.
In other news, Violet had her 6th birthday!
I can’t believe it, and I know I say that with each and every birthday that goes by but seriously….6?…
Violet had asked for a rainbow cake, but I’d felt like I’d done ordinary rainbow cakes too many times so I went for something simple but effective.
It was kind of cute, but the rainbows begun to sag which then made it look like a weird McDonalds themed cake….and I just was too lazy to find yellow for the M’s…ergh.
She totally loved it so that was all the mattered.
And it did taste yum as ugly as it became….
We also had Easter early….which was good, Glen was home. But also bad, because as I write this my kids know it is the ‘real’ Easter today and question why our bunny occasionally comes early….”He just likes us more…”
(sorry to any children who still have faith that the bunny exists who may be reading this….)
We also have two new babies….Zoe and Darling, two adorable and extremely naughty puppies. They’re the very young relatives for Loch and Victor our super old dogs…who I think are Zoe and Darlings great uncles….
We believe in family here….
My gosh I need to go, my kids have turned my lounge room into a jumping pit with mattresses as I type….the joy of divided attentions.
Have a happy Easter!
Eat LOTS of chocolate!
(make me feel not so bad….because I did!)
I hope to write again soon but if not…I’ll do a special post for this little guy will be 3 in June and Glen and I will have been married for 3 years too!
Can you believe it?
Nope me either!