Saturday, September 17, 2011

When I grow up......

"I want to be a ballerina" Rebekah says and has said for the past couple of years! This has been the deepest desire of her heart. She just loves her ballet! Time has not caused her to grow out of this one. In fact she becomes more and more determined about it as time passes! was her end of year concert (a little early I know but this is how it's done at her new school and I quite liked the idea) and the theme of the concert was the same as my post's title:)

An update on our dance school decision:
I mentioned here that we made the decision to change schools for certain reasons. Well, to put it more bluntly we had issues with the last dance school and it was not an environment we wanted Rebekah to grow up learning to dance in; the songs and dance moves were too sexualised!
There! I've said it! I've used the 's' word on my blog for the first time!

Anyway, today our decision to move her to this new school proved SO right! The whole concert was not only a lot shorter, but it was a whole lot sweeter too (and they teach classical ballet!) The dances were more wholesome yet good. Who said you had to be sexual to dance well! I've used the s word again, oh dear!
It amazes me that I hear of so many parents who pull their kids out of dance schools for the same reasons as we did yet the dance schools don't seem to get the message!

Anyway, we are happy, Rebekah is happy and she still wants to grow up to be a be some point in the future:)

In the meantime, she will get all the support she needs from us:

Monday, September 12, 2011

Ambleside Online - year 1 we're half done!

I've had a busy busy few weeks, and came back to my blog to discover a few new followers, woohoo! I'm an introvert and my blog reflects that - so 31 followers was good; I'm actually amazed to see the number go up suddenly and so I'll be coming your way to check you all out soon my new followers:)

In the meantime I want to let you know we've been busy celebrating a certain someone's birthday, nursing a sick guinea pig with a few visits to the vet thrown in, organising play dates and attending homeschool park days with two different groups for extra measure :) - an essential when one homeschools an only child, working two part time jobs, volunteering at church and celebrating 10 years as a local church! So, please excuse my absence from your bloggy worlds but I will catch up with you all soon.

I told you some time ago we switched curriculums this year, so I thought I'd post an update with how it's all going with Ambleside Online seeing that we're in week 18 of the 36 week curriculum!

Well, the ladies over on those discussion boards are not wrong, it surely is a rigorous curriculum; don't let first glances deceive you:)

The books are quite challenging but not overwhelming for Rebekah which is right where she needs to be.
We follow the curriculum pretty closely but do our own thing for art study and hymns; we also added in and substituted some Australian material. And oh, we haven't gotten around to folksongs yet!

I started off adding in Australian material but quickly found out that this was just going to overload us so I have decided to substitute instead (where possible).
We now use "Old Bob's birds" by C K Thompson instead of the "Burgess Bird Book". This book was filled with American birds and while Rebekah enjoyed the stories I felt reading an Australian Bird Book would be far more fruitful in bringing natural history to life for her.
We still add in "My place" by Nadia Wheatley to the history selections but since this is a fairly easy book to follow we are managing.
Also, we don't do narrations for every reading; we just read and discuss "Tales from Shakespeare" and "Just so Stories". I felt narrating every reading was overkill for Rebekah and I didn't want reading for school to become a drudgery.

One thing that has happened ths year (due to the increase in work load for school work) is that our nature walks and craft activities were falling by the wayside, the latter to my dear craft-loving daughters chagrin:(
So, a rethink was done and now we have decided to make one day of our four day week an 'arts' day.
We do all our academic subjects from Monday to Wednesday and leave Thursdays for the arty subjects like picture study, composer, hymns, handicrafts (knitting) and craft. Those of you familiar with Charlotte Mason would know she didn't place too much emphasis on what we would call 'craft' activities, but one of my daughter's love languages would be doing craft together (if there was such a love language) :)
So, to fill her love tank in this area I schedule them in on Thursdays.

I've also decided to aim for one nature walk per fortnight at least. This way I don't beat myself up over not doing one every week. This is not to say that she hasn't been on nature walks this year! My husband is a nature lover so he does take Rebekah on bush walks regularly and while this covers that subject a little, I still want to do 'focused' nature walks with her and hence my new goals. Our backyard and informal nature study still continues due to her being exposed to it since she was much younger, so we have managed a few nature journal entries too.

I'll be heading over to yours soon.....