Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I've never even won a meat tray....

Well, actually I did win one once, many moons ago, so that title wasn't totally accurate...:)

But....I was so....excited to win a book over at Jeanne's blog last month.
To celebrate her blog's first birthday, she was giving away a book a week all of September and you just had to comment on her post or make a mention of it on your blog to get an entry into the competition.

It arrived yesterday in the mail, all wrapped up and with another book as well, wow, thanks Jeanne!

While I was excited to win it, I felt terrible to "take" it off her as it was one of her favourite books:(
This is it:

Jeanne, I can promise you that I will be taking good care of this book and that I will start reading it very soon.
I hope to learn more about this wonderful country and it's past from it. Thanks again and thanks for your great blog!

Friday, October 23, 2009

7 new things about me

My dear blogger friend Jeanne at http://ohpeacefulday.blogspot.com bestowed me with this award:

As I said to her, while I humbly accept this award, I must say that I believe my "Kreativity" does not lie in blogging but elsewhere! Still, I need to tell you 7 new things about me (as opposed to the ten I've already told you before), so here goes it:

1. I was unable to have children due to fertility issues. It was taking a while to get pregnant and we kept praying and standing on God's promises believing He could do a miracle.
We decided after a few years of this to do some tests to find out what was going on.
After my gyn/ob gave me the bad news, we decided that we would continue to stand on God's word before we made any further medical decisions. During this time, I miraculously fell pregnant after one of our dear friends who is a pastor and missionary prayed for me. I miscarried that child at 10 weeks and while it was a really sad time for us, we knew that God had done something in my body to enable me to fall pregnant in the first place. So, encouraged by this, we continued to pray and I fell pregnant 8 months later. "Rebekah Faith" was a name that we had picked out years ago for a daughter we would have one day and little did we know how prophetic her middle name would turn out to be. She was truly a miracle borne out of faith in Jesus and His healing power.

2. If you're still reading:), here goes my second thing:
I grew up in one of the biggest cities in India and Ron grew up in a little country town in Victoria but we both came to know Jesus in the same year while we were countries and continents apart!

3. I have come to know that whatever God calls one to do requires faith and is not always easy, in fact sometimes it is downright difficult! Yet, if we remain close to Him and continue to trust, His grace is always sufficient. As someone said once, God is not interested in my comfort but in my heart (or something to that effect)!

4. Woh, I feel like I've bared my soul to you all, so now for something not so deep:)
I enjoy doing family budgets, crunching numbers etc:)

5. I am an introvert (though I have mentioned that before). My personality type means I tend to make friends very slowly and generally only have just a few close friends.

6. I am the third born of four siblings but I am sometimes told I have the personality of an "oldest" child, whatever that means:)

7. Related to 4, I was actually studying to become an accountant before I left India to come to Oz. God had a different plan for my life and I never became one, though Ron would say I'm the family accountant:)

Here are my friends I'm going to pass this onto in no particular order:

Sarah at http://eternityinyourheart.blogspot.com/ though I believe she's changed hers to Eternally grateful now:)
Amy at http://www.matrondownunder.blogspot.com/ - She is one witty creative writer and you always get lots of laughs at her blog, pop over and read some of them if you like. Btw, she and her husband are the pastors of our church.
Mrs adept at http://adepts.blogspot.com/ - someone I have just been getting to know via her blogging. I love her small and varied posts:)
Susan at http://kerugma.net/. I don't "know" her but do follow her blog. She is a true pioneer in the homeschooling movement in Australia. She has blessed my life in more ways than she would know!
and of course, if I could, but I know I can't, I would have given this to Jeanne as she is the first true "blogger friend" I have made though I've read many blogs prior to hers.
My list runs out here unfortunately, see point 5 above for further explanation:)

Or maybe I could copy what Jeanne did and just give it to YOU who are still reading but who's blog I've not listed:)

Now, it's your turn and this is what you need to do:
These are the rules:

1. Thank the person who gave this to you.
2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
3. Link the person who nominated you.
4. Name 7 things about yourself that no one would really know.
5. Nominate 7 other bloggers & let them know they are nominated.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Homeschooling an only child

I have been thinking of doing such a post for a while because really, homeschoolers of only children are as rare as hen's teeth:)

There ain't much around that I can see - most books I've read on homeschooling don't even touch the subject:(

So, I'm just journalling my experiences so that it may encourage anyone who is in a similar situation that comes across this post.

Ive met quite a few mothers on various yahoo groups that gave up on the idea of homeschooling their only child when it was time to go to kindergarten as it seems like that was the toughest time for them for various reasons. So, I write this for any future mums in my situation:) Take what you will from it as it's just my experience that I'm journalling:)

I was introduced to homeschooling through friends of ours many years before we had Rebekah and was very impressed by it, so thought that perhaps one day I would like to do the same when I had my own kiddos. So.... when it came time to decide on the all important question asked of a mother of a 2 year old "so which pre-school are you going to send Rebekah to?" I decided I needed to look into this whole homeschooling thing again!

Actually remembering back to some of those conversations, I remember feeling like I would miss Rebekah so much when it came time to send her to school and some mums told me that would change in time. Well, she is now five and half and I still feel the same! In fact we love each other's company and things are much easier now than ever and I just love all the wonderful conversations we have, and the time we spend together reading, playing with her etc. That's not to say that I don't have days when I just want to be left alone though, but for the great majority of the time we both truly enjoy the homeschooling process!

Anyway, back to what I was saying....

So, I bought some books and read them. One day I casually mentioned it to another mum in my playgroup and discovered she was thinking along the same lines and was already way ahead of me in the research stage. She turned out to be a great encouragement and source of information at the time.

I then proceeded to spend hours researching it on the internet and joined some discussion forums and groups. During that time, we (Ron and I) became convinced that it was definitely something we wanted to do and felt called to do.

Little did I know then (when Rebekah was two and half by this stage) that by the time it came time for her to be at school, that she would still be our only child!

Things were progressing along fine with my research and buying books for Rebekah that I would use to teach her etc.

Last year, I reluctantly joined a yahoo discussion group for mothers of only children - I say reluctantly because we are still praying for a sibling for Rebekah:) This group is quite small and discussions are not that frequent but they are a great bunch of very supportive mums! So, if you're in a similar situation, check out this group or any others that are around.

So, what are some of the the issues/challenges I've faced? I actually anticipated it to be worse than it was:)
I thought that this year- 2009 - when Rebekah saw her friends going to school that she would find it quite difficult, but it wasn't as bad as I anticipated, thankfully!
In fact I anticipated the same thing last year when all her friends were going to preschool and it didn't happen:) hmm...that says something about me doesn't it:)
Late last year we moved to a new place which is right near a primary school. We can see it from the front of our house and we hear the kids playing during recess and hear the school bell ring etc.
Early this year when we were talking about her friends going off to school etc and her seeing what a "real school" was right from our front door, we went through a short stage which probably only lasted a week or two at the most when she started asking me about why she was not going to school and that she wanted to go to school etc. So, I explained our decision to her (after seeking some advice from the afore mentioned yahoo group) which I think she quickly understood because she hasn't mentioned going to school since!

The other challenge which we've easily overcome is companionship from other kids. Once again I think I was more concerned about her lack of this than she has been!
I think kids get used to the way things are for them and I guess to her she doesn't know any different - I think I had been needlessly worrying because both Ron and I come from families with many siblings.
I signed her up for dance classes which we do weekly and we attend homeschooler park days about once a month. Between this and family visits, church, cousins, playdates with friends etc she actually gets quite a bit of socialisation! (Homeschoolers always say that they get asked this question a lot! well, as a parent of an only I can say that I get asked this more than anyone else and from total strangers I might add, including twenty something checkout chicks!)

Adding to this, we also got her some guinea pigs - now this is one thing that has not only been a huge blessing to Rebekah but has enriched all of our lives :) We love them as much as she does:)

Another thing was that she always a very clingy and shy child and I often wondered whether she would be better off at school, but then it didn't take long for me to realise that I was like that and school didn't help much in that area for me. I would say that while I am still shy, it wasn't until my twenties when I started changing in this area!
The reason I say that is because I was often told that she needs to go to school to help her come out of her shell. Well, as it turns out, I think she has naturally come out of her shell in the last 8 to 12 months, and while she is still shy she is definitely not as clingy as she used to be!
She has become very resourceful in "entertaining" herself. She can play by herself for long periods of time now! She has oodles of imaginary friends that she plays with:)

The last issue/challenge that I can think of is finding time for myself. I am certainly an introvert and recharge by solitude. Ron has been extremely supportive in this area by regularly taking Rebekah out for a few hours on the weekend. Thanks honey!

So.....our homeschooling life is sailing along smoothly:) And while I would like Rebekah to be homeschooled all the way (by the grace of God), we feel it's best to take it one year at a time and see how it all pans out from year to year!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

She's got it, by George I think she's got it!

I started teaching Rebekah to read very informally using Charlotte Mason's recommendations. We started with "at" then the words with consonants before that.
Actually I tried starting this early on this year but she just wasn't getting it so I left it and then one day a couple of months ago, it's like a switch went on and she got it!
Then I did the "en" and the words that can be made with consonants added to it.
Along with this, she would pick up books to "read" and by asking me what certain words were, she learnt other words like "is", "in","to", "too", "of", "off", "the", and "and".
Then last week, we were at Borders in her favourite kiddie section and I realised as we were looking at the books that she could actually read all the words in the title of this book, so I picked it up and asked her and she did it! She read her first "full sentence"!

It was the title of the book by Dr Seuss:

That was such a cool and exciting moment for both of us!

Then a couple of days ago, she decided to write it out in the bath with her bath crayons:

So, there you have it, her first sentence she read and wrote!