Sunday, July 24, 2011


If you're a homeschooler you would have heard of the word deschooling, well, I've come up with a word called "deholidaying' lol!
Let me explain.....
I'm finding more and more that our school holidays are much much more busier than school terms and I'm sure I'm not alone!

We don't usually follow the school terms but this year coincidentally our term ended at the same time as the schools. We spent the first couple of days of the first week of holidays on our end of term exams. After that it was a whirlwind of social activities! So much so that at the end of the school holidays I needed a holiday lol!

So......we spent this past week deholidaying:) Just getting back to our routine of just the two of us while Daddy's at work. Mummy catching up on all the domestic chores that got put on the back burner (due to being out almost every day for the past couple of weeks), homeschool record keeping and admin work and Rebekah just chilling and getting back to being at home with mum apart from her usual weekly classes (park days have been out the window this week due to the rain).

Now Rebekah generally has lots of contact with other kids during the school terms what with her dancing, swimming, weekly and fortnightly park days (we belong to two different home school groups), play dates etc. But somehow during school holidays this seems magnified, maybe it's just that it's more concentrated with longer times out of the house that makes it more busy.
Anyway, so this past week, we've just stayed home and baked and done art and craft.

Here are some photos from our school holidays (all three weeks of them):)

Craft activities put on by our local shopping centre (mall):

Another activity put on by same place:

Rebekah also had her good friend over for a sleep over for the first time (it was a first for both of them) and this is Ron reading them a bed time story:

Rebekah also got her first Sylvanian family dolls:
I'm sure they are the just the first of many many many....more to come:)

And now that holidays are over it's back to next term for us. Have a great week!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Exams (the Charlotte Mason way)

We've just finished term 1 of Year 2 and had our exams yesterday. Rebekah LOVES exams! Why? I think in large part it's because we do them the Charlotte Mason way. For those not familiar with this let me explain:

When I was at school I memorised facts to produce at exams. It was all about how much I could cram into my little brain to reproduce accurately come exam time.

Charlotte Mason's exams though are the opposite. They are not to test on what one doesn't know but on what one knows. So, our exam questions are often open ended as in "Tell me the story of ........" or "Tell me all about......." This leaves Rebekah to tell me what she remembers and not what I want her to remember.
How freeing for her! No wonder she loves exams. She gets to tell me things that she knows from what she's learned during the term.

Winston Churchill said “I would like to have been examined in history, poetry and writing essays. The examiners, on the other hand, were partial to Latin and mathematics. And their will prevailed ... I should have liked to be asked to say what I knew. They always tried to ask what I did not know.” :)

I agree! (Though I'd reverse the subjects in the quote. I would have liked to be examined in maths and geography not history, poetry and writing essays lol!)

So, all in all, how did Rebekah do I hear you ask:)
She did very well. She told me all about stories from the living books I've only read to her once (yes just once) from the last 12 weeks. For some of them she remembered more details than others but this is ok with me because Charlotte Mason did say "The question is not how much does the youth know? when he has finished his education but how much does he care? and about how many orders of things does he care? In fact, how large is the room in which he finds his feet set? and, therefore, how full is the life he has before him?"

Right now Rebekah cares a great deal about a lot! :)

So Rebekah has passed her exams with flying colours! Good job Rebekah!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Rosemary's Easy Thai vegie curry

This is the next one in my list of recipes I'm posting. We've been eating this very regularly (except Rebekah) who doesn't like the pumpkin!

I do cook two mains for times like these when she won't eat what Ron and I eat:)


1/2 butternut pumpkin, peeled and chopped into medium size pieces (3cm square pieces)
1 can lentils / chick peas drained and rinsed.
1 cup frozen peas (or any other vegies you like)
250 ml coconut milk
1 to 2 tbsp brown sugar (depending on how much curry paste you use)
1 tsp massels chicken stock powder mixed in 1/2 cup warm water
few basil leaves
1 to 2 tsp red curry paste
1/2 onion diced


Fry onion in a tsp or so of cooking oil.
When it begins to soften, add the pumpkin and stir fry for one to two minutes.
Then add the red curry paste along with the stock liquid and stir gently.
Place lid on pan and cook on low heat for a few minutes until pumpkin begins to soften.
Then add the coconut milk, brown sugar, basil and peas and cook for another couple of minutes. When the peas are almost cooked add the drained lentils / chick peas and basil, turn heat off and let it simmer on the stove for a couple more minutes.

Serve with steamed basmati rice.

This is a healthy vegetarian curry and the lentils / chick peas provide protein.
Also, I'll let you in on my secret: if you are using commercially made Thai curry pastes, I've found the "Mae Ploy" brand to be the best and closest to the restaurant quality Thai curries you can make at home:)
Disclaimer: I don't own shares in that company and I don't know much about the company either but I've tried several brands over the years and I've found them to be the best so have stopped buying other brands:)