Thursday, April 11, 2013


Autumn is my favourite season of the year and it is in full swing. There is a gorgeous nip in the air, we have our down duvets on and the sun streams into my bedroom first thing in the morning. As I am sitting in bed this morning and looking out the window, I am thinking about the things my family have achieved, and there are many things.

Caleb and Hannah are working on their Adventurer advancement badge for Scouts. They are both planning on getting their Springbok Scout badge with doing the Land, Sea and Air Explorer badges!

Caleb has got his Swimmers, Lifesaver, Survivor, Watermanship, Sailing, Artist, Patrol Activity, Air Planner and First Aid Scoutcraft/Interest badges. He is spreading out the badges that he needs for his Explorer advancements that there will be no rush when he needs to do them.

This year he will be doing his Boatman, Cooks, Hike Leader, Pioneers and Air Traffic Controller badges. These badges are done on courses, which as a homeschooler, I love. They do the course and have an exam to write. If they fail they get to do a rewrite, and if they fail that they have to redo the course the next year.

For every course that Greg and I pay for for Caleb and Hannah, they have to work on badges that don't cost anything. So, Caleb is working on his Conservation and Camping badges.

Hannah has done her Swimmers and Lifesaving badge. This year she will be doing her Watermanship, Air Planner, Sailing, and First Aid badges. Hannah is working on her Artist badge and Patrol Activity badge.

Caleb is 14 this year and has been my most difficult child to school. He is dyslexic, so he doesn't learn as easily as other people. Caleb learnt to read with ease at 11.5, but only in his head. He still does not enjoy reading aloud, but will do so on the odd occasion.

Writing has been the other bane of his existence. He has a fantastic imagination but doesn't like writing as his spelling has always been atrocious. I have been working with him in a Waldorf manner and he is doing a computer programme called Excellence in Spelling. The spelling programme is good BUT does not help with basic spelling. So, the difficult words he is able to spell easier than the basic words. We are working on the basic words and this year it seems to be clicking into place. Caleb still mixes up b and d and sometimes w and m, but I am positive this will rectify in time as I had the same problem and it only rectified about mid high school.

Caleb is working hard on school work. He is doing projects for Junior Rangers without me asking him to do it. And works on Scout badges on his own. I think it helps that there is a carrot for Junior Rangers which is a 5 day camp in the Tsitsikama Game Reserve in September that he desperately wants to go on. The carrot for Scouts are the badges. He loves his uniform.

So, if any of you homeschoolers out there have the same problem with your boys in particular, don't stress as it all works out in the end. Remember, boys should be playing till at least 12 before we teach them to read. I know this is difficult to do as society pressures and dictates as does family. They do not understand.

Sheth is nine and reads very basically at this stage. He is not ready to read at the level that society dictates, and Greg and I are very happy with this as we know the end result.

Hannah on the other hand was reading fluently at seven. She is a girl! That's what girls do. So as you can see we allow our kids to lead us to a large degree with home schooling.

Sheth is doing guitar lessons this year and Caleb and Hannah are in their second year of piano. Caleb and Hannah will be doing their first theory and practical exams this year. Hannah wants to be a music teacher when she is an adult so that she can be home with her children one day. She is doing piano and, as Sheth does guitar, I teach Hannah the guitar, and as I get spare cash then I give her guitar lessons with the teacher. When our finances ease up a bit we will send her to guitar lessons but at this point we can not afford it.

In the middle of the year they will be going to Tygerberg Art Centre.

So all and all the blessings and the relationship that we build with our children as we home school are so worth it.

Keep going, it is worth it!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

School planning

What I have found very helpful with schooling is planning.

It takes me about 3 weeks before school starts and I reassess in every school holiday.

What I look at :
  1. I use the basic Waldorf outline for each grade. Up to grade 8.
  2. What are my child's weak points? How can we work on them.
  3. What resources do I have, and what do I need to get?
  4. I take an A4 page and divide it into 12, for the months of the year. I put in our school holidays and festivals.
  5. I make a mind map of all the things we need to study or do for the year.
  6. I write each subject down on a piece of paper and what we are going to do for the year.
  7. I then fit in my main lessons onto the A4 page that I divided into 12.

Once all that is done, I then fill in the children's diary for the first term, second term, etc. This gives them everything they need to do per day.

If it wasn't for this planning my poor kids would not have done much schooling over the past year or so.We work together as they need help and so we go along.

Happy planning


Hi all

I guess I have taken a sabbatical from writing my blog. It has been a long time!

It has been a very tough year or two and have found life quite difficult.

I have been trying to build a client base for my Thai massage, which is rather difficult as not many people know about it in South Africa. The people who have had Thai massage have had it in Thailand on holiday so they do not understand the long term health benefits. As one of my regular clients said to me last month, "Thai Massage is a way of life".

Caleb is now in High School. He is doing grade 8. He is completing his Waldorf curriculum and then he will be doing Konos How 1. We are also doing Apologia General Science. Hannah is doing the science with us.

Hannah is doing grade 6 at this stage. Sheth is doing grade 3.

I have found schooling difficult in the house we are renting as it is really small. There is no room - I haven't been able to paint a blackboard on the wall and have no space to store one. The eating area is tiny. We have worked in the lounge and kept going obviously, but I have not enjoyed it.

The good news is that we have just bought our own home. A three bedroom, which we will convert into a four bedroom as the one bedroom is 4.5m by 6.5m. This will give is two rooms of 4.5m by 3-ish m.

There is a lounge, dinning room, kitchen, family bathroom and en suit! All this compared to our two bedroom, kitchen/lounge and en suit bathroom that we have now. We also have a granny flat which we will be renting out.

There is lots of work to be done on the new house. I love renovating and building, so we are going to have fun.

More to come soon.