Learning to Read

Love of Learning

Trust

Teenagers

Difficult Days

Love

How Children Learn

Popularity, Learning to Read and Shakespeare

Posted on Monday, 27 July 2015 with 7 comments


Is there such a thing as a typical unschooling day? What about a typical unschooling week? Do my children spend equal time on all the key learning areas? The answer is no!

We tend to get immersed in a few things at a time. This isn’t so good for my record-keeping, but it's a very enjoyable and effective way of learning. Recently I’ve had a lot of English and Creative Arts learning experiences to record in my records notebook, but no maths or science. Is this a problem?

In this week's podcast, I talk about the uneven nature of learning and how it affects my record keeping.

I also discuss the following:
  • blogging, podcasting and popularity
  • our passion for Shakespeare
  • learning to read:
  • how I thought I was a wonderful teacher
  • how I discovered I wasn't
  • the mistakes I made with my children
  • what I finally learned about learning to read

Program Notes:


Blog posts about learning to read


Shakespeare: Shakespeare Uncovered on PBS website

 

Sophie's blog: The Techno Maid








Please feel welcome to join me on my Stories of an Unschooling Family Facebook page!

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Acquiring Bucketfuls of Unschooling Trust

Posted on Thursday, 23 July 2015 with 1 comment


Everyone knows we need loads of trust to unschool. But how do we get it? Where does it come from? Trust isn’t something you can buy. It’s not something you can apply your will to: I want to trust therefore I trust. It’s something some people seem to have in abundance and others have great difficulty acquiring.

So where does trust come from?

I could tell you that all we need to do is observe the fruits of trusting. But not everyone has grown up unschooled children. Not everyone can say, “I was right to trust. Look at my kids! They did okay.”

I could tell you to look at other people’s grown up unschooled children. But you might think, “But they’re not my kids. All children are different. What if mine don’t turn out so well?”

I could tell you to read as much as you can about unschooling so you understand the principles. And this might be good except reading and real life could be two different things.

So what would I say? I’d say if you know, without a doubt, you are doing the right thing, then trust won’t be an issue.

But how do we know what's the right thing to do? How do we know if unschooling is the right choice for us? Should we try it? Or maybe not?

I don't think we actually have to make a decision to unschool. We don't have to 'give unschooling a go' to see if it works for us. All we have to do is stop doing all the things that aren’t working for our families.

It was easy for me to recognise the things that weren’t working for my family. There were many times when I thought, “My kids won’t do what I want if I don’t yell… threaten… punish…” Life was stressful. I was often angry and upset. And unkind.

Yes, I was often unkind to my children, but I felt my unkindness was justified. It was my children's fault I acted without gentleness. If only they'd do what they were told. It was my duty as a mother to persist pushing them, even when I didn’t like what was happening to our relationships. I had to be tough and teach them what was right.

But then one day, I’d had enough. I decided that unkindness is never justified. The problem wasn’t with my kids. And it wasn't with me either. (Things wouldn't be fixed if I smiled gently and refused to get upset when my kids protested.) I realised we just weren’t living life the way it is meant to be lived. I should have been listening to my kids, and not to all those outside voices that bombarded me each and every day. So I changed things. I stopped making my kids do all those things other people told me were important. The conflict dissolved away. And without me realising we became unschoolers.

Now some people might think I gave in. Could it be my kids rule the house? Perhaps they don’t do anything now I’m not pushing them. I might be a lazy mother who’s avoiding the sometimes disagreeable job of disciplining her kids. But none of that’s true. I could write a lot about how unschooled children work hard and are considerate and helpful. Those stories would back up my claim. But I won’t. All I have to say is this: If I were avoiding my duty and my kids were out of control, I would feel guilty. I wouldn’t feel at peace. There would be no joy in our lives. And we have loads of love and peace and joy. Things feel right. I know this is the way we should be living.

So I trust because I’m not willing to not unschool. I am not willing to give up the joy, love and peace we have. I am not going back to a life where I found myself being unkind so often because there was so much conflict within my family.

Where does trust come from? How do we get it? We consider the option of not trusting and choose to live the life that brings us peace.

So if someone said to me, “How will I ever trust enough?", this is what I’d suggest:

Throw out all the things that are coming between you and your children, one by one. And when you reach that peaceful state where joy and love reign, you’ll never want to go back. You’ll know what you’re doing is right. And trust won’t be an issue. You'll have it by the bucketful!

PS: When I talk about peace, joy and love, I'm not implying an unschooling life is a perfectly happy life. Oh no! Sometimes life is tough and full of suffering. Unexpected things happen. But when relationships are strong, we can pull together, encouraging and supporting and loving each other through the difficult times. 



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Can We Say We're Unschoolers if We Require Maths?

Posted on Wednesday, 22 July 2015 with 7 comments



Some people will tell you if you unschool everything except maths, you’re not really an unschooler. For how can we say to our kids, “I trust you will learn everything you need to know... but not maths"? We either trust or we don't. Nothing else makes much sense. So yes, I do understand that point-of-view.

But before I upset anyone with my opinions, I want to say I also understand how difficult it is to let go of maths. If you look back through my posts, or listen to my unschool maths podcast, you'll discover there was a time when I required my children to do some formal maths every day. I didn't trust enough either.

Were we unschoolers even though I required some maths? I certainly thought we were. I’d have been very upset if someone had suggested we weren’t.

Looking back to those days when my kids filled out worksheets or did online maths exercises, I know I still had lots to learn about the unschooling philosophy. But this doesn’t mean we weren’t on the unschooling pathway. The particular point we were at was the point just right for my family at that time. As I learned more, and listened to and observed my children, my understanding and trust grew, and I was able to throw off more of my insecurities and old ideas.

But what would have happened if someone had stopped by, after hearing about my insistence on maths, and said, “You can’t call yourselves unschoolers!”? I might have felt squashed and discouraged. I could have thought, “If that’s what unschooling is all about, then it’s not for us,” and given up. But no one challenged me. No one judged our unschooling and so we have been able to explore and grow at our own pace, and our unschooling way of life has deepened.

So if you’re ‘unschooling except for maths’, I think that’s quite okay. I hope you’ll stick around and keep sharing my posts, perhaps join in with the discussion. Who knows? One day you might, like us, throw caution to the wind, and let go further. I’d smile if you did, because I want everyone to experience what we have found. Good things should be shared! Letting the unschooling philosophy extend to maths, and then to all parts of our life, has been truly amazing for us.

But if you decide to stay where you are, that’s fine too. As Pat Farenga said:
I define unschooling as allowing children as much freedom to learn in the world, as their parents can comfortably bear.
We are all different and should be able to do what suits our families without criticism from anyone else. 

Being accepting and non-judgemental keeps the lines of communication open, and allows us to continue the unschooling conversation in an encouraging and supportive way. By sharing together, we all grow and learn.

What do you think?

PS: You might say, "Why worry about labels? They're not important. What does it matter if people think we're really unschoolers or not?" And I agree with you. But labels can be helpful. How would we find each other when we feel like sharing with like-minded people if we didn't have a label to start with?


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Learning from My Daughter and Other Unschool Stories

Posted on Monday, 20 July 2015 with 4 comments



Once upon a time, I knew more than Sophie when it came to our shared passions. But I have to admit, these days, her knowledge far exceeds mine. Now I'm learning from my daughter.

"How did you make that blog post graphic?" I ask.

"I'll show you," offers Sophie. Then she adds, "I could make a screencast tutorial video about it for you. It might help if you forget what you have to do."

So she does and I watch and learn, and soon I know how to make blog post graphics too.

I tell this story in this week's podcast. Episode 34 is a bits and pieces podcast. I tell some stories about what's been happening recently in our family, ponder some thoughts and share a few resources.

More specifically, I discuss:
  • something exciting that happened last Friday
  • whether or not we can prepare our children for an unknown future
  • why we are glad we have an active dog
  • how writing about Jane Fonda led to a new passion for Sophie.
  • the importance of encouragement and sharing children’s passions
  • how I discovered some muscles I haven’t used in a long time
  • how unschooling children persevere even when no one is pushing them
  • novel writing
  • how children’s knowledge can soon exceed a parent’s and how they can end up teaching us
  • how younger children can learn from older siblings
  • some of the DVDs and videos we’ve been watching
  • some of the things I’ve been working on

I hope you'll listen!


Program Notes


Blog posts

School didn’t prepare me at all for life as a 21st century woman. How could it have? No one knew what the future was going to be like. This makes me wonder what life will be like in another 5, 10, 20, 30 years’ time. What will it be like when Sophie and Gemma-Rose leave home? And what kind of work will they be doing? I'm sure, with the advances in technology, there will be many job opportunities we can't, at this present time, imagine.

Why Picnics Are Important
Many years ago, parenting and homeschooling could sometimes seem rather overwhelming, Some days my children refused to do what I asked. Or everyone needed me at exactly the same moment. Or I felt so tired I didn't want to do anything at all. It sometimes became too much and I wanted to run away. "I've had enough!" I'd yell before running outside.

How Younger Siblings Learn by Listening In
Gemma-Rose sits in the same room as us, playing or drawing… and listening. She’s also transported into that other world at Elsinore. Occasionally I notice she puts down her pencil or her toy. She’s thinking about something she's heard. Sometimes she even has her say when we’re discussing the play. And when we turn on the DVD to find out how the experts act out Shakespeare’s words, Gemma-Rose makes sure she gets a good seat. She is just as eager to watch as any of us. She doesn’t want to go off and play by herself. This is all much too interesting. 


Videos


Podcast


DVDs

The Phantom of the Opera: the stage version
Love Never Dies: the sequel to The Phantom of the Opera


on the PBS website

Blogs

Sarah Mackenzie's Amongst Lovely Things
Kortney Garrison's One Deep Drawer
Sophie's The Techno Maid

Exercise

Fitness Blender website
Fitness Blender Youtube channel

Music:

60's Quiz Show by Podington Bear(CC BY-NC 3.0)







Photos: Gemma-Rose took the photos in this post with Sophie's direction. Sophie edited them and added the watermarks. And I stole them!

If you'd like to join me on my Stories of an Unschooling Family Facebook page, please do!

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Why Picnics Are (Still) Important

Posted on Thursday, 16 July 2015 with 8 comments



Do you ever find parenting and homeschooling overwhelming? Do you have days when you want to run away? Perhaps you need to leave the problems at home and go on a picnicking adventure!



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Deciding to Be Positive about Homeschool Record Keeping

Posted on Wednesday, 15 July 2015 with 6 comments



“Hey, girls, come and look at my video!”

“It looks wonderful, Mum!” (My daughters know exactly the right words to say!)

“Do you like the slideshow? How about the pan and zoom effect? Does that work?” The girls nodded. And, of course, I smiled.

I love learning new things. It’s a wonderful feeling gaining a new skill. And it’s great having people to share my achievements with.

So what exactly have I been doing?

I’ve been making short unschooling videos, 2 – 3 minutes in length. I’m using snippets of podcasts or longer videos to highlight particular unschooling ideas. And I’ve been experimenting with my video software, learning how to use the various features, as I attempt to make the videos attractive.

“It’s a pity I'm not part of the homeschool records book,” I said. “I feel like writing down all I’ve learnt.”

I’ve been keeping homeschool records books for over 20 years. Many times I have sighed and wished keeping records wasn’t part of our homeschooling registration requirement. But record keeping isn’t going to disappear anytime soon so it's no use complaining. Instead, I’ve been trying to approach it with a positive attitude.

Last year I discovered Evernote and started keeping digital records and, for the first time ever, started to feel excited about record keeping. I no longer think of it as an unavoidable but necessary chore. Now I keep records for my own family's enjoyment. Yes, I actually enjoy adding photos, notes and links to my notebooks. It’s like putting together a journal of our life. There are lots of memories contained in my notes. Sometimes we scroll back through my notebooks. We roll back time:

“Do you remember watching that movie together? We should watch it again.”

“Oh look at these photos! Immy, your hair was much shorter then.”

“I enjoyed reading that book.”

“Do you remember that day at the lake when we ran 5 km before having a picnic?”

“Can we go to Canberra again, please? That was a wonderful holiday. We could go back to the art gallery and the museums.”

"I'd forgotten about that blog post!"

“Oh look! I remember how excited I was when I learnt to…”

Yes, we do get excited when we learn new skills. I also want to look back and remember my achievements such as how I learnt to make unschooling videos. But, as I said, I can’t record my new skill in our Evernote homeschool records book. That’s just for the girls. (Our Authorised Person won't want to read about my unschooling!) So it’s just as well I have an Evernote diary notebook of my own. The other night I went to Youtube and clipped my latest unschooling video into this diary. Now I’ll remember the exact day I made it. I’ll remember smiling as I shared it with my daughters.

Of course, you might not be impressed with my video making skills. Maybe you'll wonder why I got so excited and wanted to share my achievement. And you'd be right: I still have lots to learn. But think of the fun I'm going to have as I increase my knowledge further! What will I learn next? What other video software features will I experiment with? What new ideas will I have?

And what learning experience will I record next in my diary? 

Record keeping isn't all bad, especially if we use an effective method to capture all those wonderful learning experiences we'd like to remember forever.

If you'd like to watch my little video, here it is:


I've just had another positive thought about record keeping: It encourages us to be observant. We have to keep our eyes open for learning experiences, otherwise our notebooks could look a bit bare. And that means we notice every little stage of our children's growth and development, every small achievement.  Time doesn't pass in a blur. We live in the moment.

If you'd like to watch my Evernote videos, they can be found on Youtube. I'm thinking about re-recording them to increase their quality. Maybe one day! There are so many things I want to do!

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Starting Unschooling

Posted on Friday, 10 July 2015 with 15 comments


Initially, I liked the idea of unschooling so we set off down the unschooling pathway. But it didn't take me long to discover a few things I didn’t like about this way of life. We ended up moving away, travelling down various side-tracks as I explored other homeschooling philosophies. For a few years, I searched for the perfect way to bring up and educate our children.

Although I considered many different ways of homeschooling, I never intended to return to unschooling. Hadn't we already tried that? But we did finally make our way back. It happened gradually, without me realising where we were headed. And when we arrived here, I discovered unschooling wasn't what I'd thought it was. I’d misunderstood unschooling completely.

Yes, our journey to unschooling was gradual and unintentional. But not everyone comes to unschooling in the same way we did. For some parents, it’s a conscious decision, after a lot of research and thought. They come to a point where they announce, “We’re going to try unschooling.” What happens next? Is the transition to unschooling always smooth?

In this week’s podcast, I discuss the topic of starting unschooling.
  • Is moving to unschooling a big step for children?
  • How can we encourage children to get excited about their own learning?
  • What if a child just wants to sit in front of the television or computer?
  • Do adults and children have different ideas about what kind of learning is valuable?
  • And what about trust?


Program Notes:


Suzie Andres' books



Blog posts about starting unschooling


It seems to me that very few of us like venturing out into the relatively unknown, especially if it means we are heading off alone. Even when we can see things need to change, we make excuses why we shouldn’t try something different. We persist day after day, knowing in our hearts that all the work we are doing is futile, but still we lack the courage to leave behind what is safe and familiar. 

Could it be important that parents get excited, show they enjoy learning, share their own passions, be a great example?

Watching TV, Playing on the Computer, Doing Nothing Much at All
They’re sitting on the sofa watching TV. When they’re not doing that, they’re playing computer games. Or they're lounging around, doing nothing much at all. And you are worried because this isn’t what you had in mind when you said, “You’re free to do what you want.”
Now that we’re not directing our children’s learning, do we believe they will learn what they need to know in their own time, without us interfering? Do we trust our kids? Or deep down, do we still have certain expectations? Perhaps if they’re not being fulfilled we will start to doubt what we’re doing.

There are more posts under the label 'starting unschooling'

Music:

60's Quiz Show by Podington Bear, (CC BY-NC 3.0)




If you listen... Thank you!
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Why Kids with Families Don't Need Workbooks to Learn Basic Maths

Posted on Saturday, 4 July 2015 with 10 comments


32 years ago, in the month of June, Andy and I were married. June is the 1st month of winter here in Australia, but we enjoyed a summer wedding because we were married in England.

Before we were married, we often discussed our dreams for the future. I imagined having 3 or 4 children. But things didn’t work out that way. We were blessed with 8. I had hoped for a girl and would have been quite content with just 1, but we were given 5 gorgeous daughters. Of course, this means we have 3 handsome sons.

Our 1st 2 children were born 17months apart, and it looks like there are 3 years between the births of the others. But this isn’t true. Appearances are deceiving. Thomas was born during the 3 years between Charlotte and Sophie. He died 28 ½ hours after birth, and although his place in the family isn’t obvious to outsiders, it is to us. We know he, and not Sophie, is our 6th child. She is our 7th.

There is a special relationship between our 5th daughter, Gemma-Rose, and Imogen, our 2nd. At the moment, Gemma-Rose is 11 and Imogen is 20. When the digits of each of their ages are added together, they make 2. After their next birthdays, these digits will both add up to 3, and the following year, 4 and so on.

We love celebrating birthdays. There are only 4 months in the year when we don’t get to eat birthday cake: March, June, August and October. (In June we eat wedding anniversary cake instead.) 3 birthdays fall in summer, 3 in autumn, 1 in winter, and 3 in spring. We're counting down to our next birthday celebration. It's only 2 weeks away. If we add all our ages together, the result is 246. Oh my! That’s rather a large number!

I was born on a Sunday. So was Imogen. Sophie and Thomas were born during daylight hours, one am and one pm. The rest of our children were born after dark. Thomas died on a Wednesday at 3 pm, which is The Hour of Mercy.

Duncan is the tallest member of our family, and Gemma-Rose is the shortest. But she is quickly catching up with her sisters, who are all just over 1.5 metres in height. (So am I.) That's about 5 foot. I won’t reveal anyone’s weight, but I can tell you 4 of us wear women’s size 10 clothes, one wears women’s size 8 and Gemma-Rose is a child’s size 12.

Gemma-Rose has hobbit feet, big for her age, but she’s rapidly growing into them. Her feet are the same size as big sister Imogen’s (size 6). The rest of the female members of our family have average sized feet: size 7.

Except for Nora. Her feet are huge. I almost forgot to tell you about Nora. She’s one of the girls too. She’s also a dog. She is about 18 months old, 1 ½ years. She weighs 23 kilos and is all muscle. I’m guessing she was a summer puppy or maybe she was born at the end of spring. It’s hard to tell. She was already 5 or 6 months old when we first met her in the animal shelter. 

There are 10 chairs around our kitchen table. That’s 1 for each member of our family including Thomas. Of course, Thomas has never sat in his chair, but it’s kind of nice knowing he has a chair of his own like everyone else. Thomas’ chair used to be the only empty chair when we all sat down to dinner. Nowadays there are 3 empty places at our table because Felicity and Callum no longer live at home.

When someone sets the table for dinner on an ordinary night, 7 forks, 7 knives and 7 spoons are needed. That’s 21 pieces of cutlery. Add in the table mats, the plates and the glasses and there are 42 things on the table.

Usually, dinner has to be served 7 ways. But if Callum and his fiancée come to dinner, we have to divide the meal into 9ths (and multiple the cutlery by 9). And when Felicity and her husband come home in a few months’ time and we gather for a family meal, we’ll be dealing with multiples of 11 and 11ths.

I'm glad I have a family to share a meal with. Sharing is a blessing. For example, I discovered that 1/2 a cake tastes so much better than a whole cake when the cake is shared with someone you love.

Ordinal, cardinal, hours, days, weeks, months and the seasons of the year, time, weights, heights, ages, fractions, addition, subtraction, division, multiplication and a good splash of sharing. A family is all about maths. 

These are just a few of our maths stories. We have a whole heap more. I bet you have lots of similar tales too. 

Do children need workbooks to learn basic maths? No. All they need is a family.


Image: 6 members of our family: 4 girls, 2 boys, (1 girl, 1 boy missing!)


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Kids and Computers

Posted on Thursday, 25 June 2015 with No comments



Each member of our family has a computer of her own which she is allowed to use without any restrictions. This doesn't mean we spend all our time looking at screens. No, we like to do other things too like run and bushwalk, cook and read, sew and play music, talk to each other!

But we do value our computers. We regard them as a very useful tool. They open up the world to us and allow us to get involved with many valuable learning experiences.

In this week's podcast, my daughter Imogen joins me to talk about children and computers. Some of the questions we discuss include:

  • Should children be allowed to use a computer?
  • What kind of opportunities for learning do computers offer?
  • Can Facebook be valuable?
  • Should children’s time on the computer be restricted?
  • How do we encourage a child to balance their computer time with other activities?
  • Should we respect a child’s creative space?
  • Can playing computer games be a worthwhile thing to do?
  • Can people make a living out of playing computer games?
  • And is there another way to influence children other than rules and regulations?

This topic can be a contentious one. Your opinions might differ from ours. We respect that. These thoughts are the result of our experience with our own family. Your children might be very different to ours. If you do disagree, that's quite okay. We can still have an interesting and friendly discussion, can't we?




Program Notes

Gamestar Mechanic
Learn to design video games

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo)

Blog posts about children and computers

Watching TV, Playing on the Computer, Doing Nothing Much at All
We might be able to accept the computer is a valid tool for learning. We might even be happy to let our children play computer games. Maybe the problem isn’t actually the computer (or the TV). It could just be the amount of time a child spends using them. We might worry when we see a child sitting in front of a screen hour after hour. We might feel like saying, “Go and do something else! Go outside and get some fresh air!” How do we get our kids to balance their screen time with other activities? Can we?

But do we consider animating and game playing and game design as worthwhile activities for children to be involved with? Are we willing to let them work for as long as they want? Work? Or a waste of time? I guess that's the big question. 

Lots of Interesting Stuff for Children to Do on the Computer
The girls are sitting in front of their computers. You know how it is.... they're probably playing computer games, 'wasting time'… or are they?

Music: 60's Quiz Show by Podington Bear, (CC BY-NC 3.0)






If you listen to our podcast... Thank you!


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Regaining Her Enthusiasm for Learning

Posted on Monday, 22 June 2015 with 6 comments



My daughter Sophie felt like she was just drifting along. She’d lost her enthusiasm for learning. Do you remember how I wrote about this not so long ago? Well, I’m happy to report she’s back on track!

On Saturday morning, Sophie and I went to town together for some mother-daughter time. After we’d done a little shopping, I said, “Would you like to have morning tea in a café? Shall we go somewhere where they serve tea in teapots?”

A waitress delivered our order to our table: two white teapots of English Breakfast tea, two white and lemon china cups resting on matching saucers, and a plate piled high with apple crumble and a mountain of cream. We smiled.

As Sophie tipped a steaming stream of tea into her cup, words burst from her: “I love my life!”

"Because we're having morning tea together?"

"It's not just that. It's everything. Life is full of interesting things to do!"

“You’re not drifting along anymore?” I asked.

"Oh no!"

"So what have you been enjoying doing?"

“I’ve been redesigning my blogs and doing those HTML coding lessons. I’ve been cooking and sewing. I reorganised my bedroom so I can find all my writing and craft things. I’ve written some notes for a new novel. I can’t wait until next month when Camp NaNoWriMo starts! Then there’s drawing. I’ve been learning how to draw realistic people. I enjoyed those history videos. And I’ve been exercising.”

“So you’re back on track?”

Sophie’s whole face was aglow. “Oh yes!”

“So how did you get your enthusiasm back?” I asked.

“Well, I got fed up of feeling bored and decided to do something about it.”

“You didn’t need me to push you along?”

Sophie sipped her tea and then said, “No when I was ready, I found all sorts of new things to do.”

Yes, I didn't need to get anxious. All I had to do was be patient and give Sophie enough time to rediscover her enthusiasm by herself. Of course, that doesn’t mean I did nothing to help her. Oh no! While I was waiting, I did some strewing. I kept my eyes open for things that might tempt her. I shared my own interests and activities. But I didn’t apply any pressure.

After I’d written my post, Preparing our Kids for an Unknown Future: Can We Do It?  I said, "Hey Sophie, I found lots of Jane Fonda exercise workouts on Youtube. I wonder what other exercise videos are available.”

When she was ready, Sophie searched Youtube and found the Fitness Blender channel. On the days we haven't gone running, she’s been star jumping and stretching and using hand weights. She's been exercising even on days when the rest of us have decided to rest.

After I’d bought a new template for this blog, I said, "Hey Sophie, what do you think of this design?" Then I added, "There are loads of other blog templates available.”

When she was ready, Sophie googled free Blogger templates. Soon she was knee deep in HTML codes as she redesigned her own blog.

“Hey Sophie,” I said, “do you remember those Codecademy HTML coding lessons we were doing a while ago?”

When she was ready, Sophie signed into her account and once more began learning about HTML. “I'd love to write the code for a blog template of my own, wouldn't you?” she asked me. I would!

I hunted out a few books with patterns for attractive sewing projects. “If you’d like to set up my sewing machine on your desk in your room…” 

I bought a few extra ingredients and placed them in the pantry. “I’ve put some new recipes in the Evernote planning notebook…” 

"I've also put some history and science links in the notebook."

“If you’d like me to drive you to town so you can buy some new notebooks…”

“I found some interesting drawing videos on Youtube…”

I'd like to tell you Sophie followed my good example after I said, "Hey Sophie, come and look at my reorganised room. I've sorted out all my writing and art stuff. Now I can find everything easily."  But that wouldn't be true. My room is a mess. That idea was entirely her own!

Have you shared anything interesting with your children recently? And is your room organised like Sophie's? Or is it a mess like mine?!


PS: The photo of my sewing machine was taken by Sophie. She's also been busy with her camera!


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