About us

We are a hard working, family of eight. Swimming in the sea when we aren't busy on our small holding. Daddy dragon has to work away a lot, so this blog is to let him keep up with our adventures at home.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

A child is not a vase to filled but a fire to be lit

Why home educate/ unschooling?

But the school has so many more resources than you...

Are you scared they couldn't compete?

But what about socialisation?

The thing is that what we all need is to be loved, to be believed in and to have someone out there take the time to listen to us.

We have created a society that holds holy reverence of institutions, and yet speaks crassly of family, religion and morals.

Kindness, empathy and original ideas are stomped flat, thrown out and replaced by nice neat conformity.

Sit still, sit straight, don't talk.

Take your number, get used to being a number, you are only worth the number we give you.

What is up with that?

When did we decide that anyone but a parent is the best person to guide a child into adulthood?

What about freedom of mind?

Most would agree we should all have the right to think, feel, and believe on our own terms. Without someone else prying continually into our heads. And yet, children are experimented on with one educational system after the next, prodded and tested, measured and evaluated.

Does that build confidence in our children?

Does this nurture them and help them to grow better?

My job as a parent is to try to do the best I can. I have set my priorities and I value my family over someone else's agenda.

I can not see how freedom is gained by handing my children over to strangers and then having to ask permission to spend time with them.

I do not understand how one teacher can take the time to work through the sheer volume of course material, and let's be honest the giant millstone of busy work they throw at these poor kids, and still manage to listen to each child every day.

This is part of why I wake up each day and make the choices I am making. I do not expect anyone else to make the same choices I do. I do not judge or compare you to myself. 

I do not accept that there is one best way for all. I don't believe that institutions have our best interests at heart. Not because they are bad, or the people working there are not great at their jobs, but because I believe my children deserve my time, love and effort. Most of all, they need me to trust in them and believe in us.

Check out this TED vid if you are interested.

Monday, 25 February 2013

For my hatchlings who sing Jingle bells the whole year long

This last week

We have been blowing bubbles on plates, you can make some really big ones this way.

Making racing tracks.

And as the sun has been shining, we've done a lot of bike riding.

I think this hatchling needs a bigger bike. (It wasn't that long ago, it was brand new and she struggled to lift it...)

A zip lining hatchling here, 

and here.

Hanging out,

and having fun.

We've done our fair share of work, with cleaning out the sty, and the icky rat infested loft.

We re - painted our weather worn picnic table, and fixed some fencing.

I hauled away more rubbish than I feel is polite to discuss in public. Ick.

But mostly, we've just tried to make sure to enjoy ourselves.

Happy Monday!

Monday, 18 February 2013

Afternoon sunshine

The mist was so thick this morning, I could not see five feet in front of me.

However, the sunshine this afternoon was beautiful.

Park weather, if I have ever seen it.

It is still misty in the distance, you can barely see the sea.

This little guy,

see how he runs!

He has finally decided the swing is fun.

Hatchling no4 loves climbing up this hill

to slide down this huge slide. 

Hatchling no5 runs,

and runs.

(I don't get those jokes that say with your first child you are over protective and are thrilled at each milestone, with the second you are luke warm about it all, and by no3 you don't really care. I'm on no5 and it is not even a little bit old. He runs, that makes my month, honestly.)

Hatchling no4 says, 'You be my co - pilot. I trust you can do it.'

And they totally flew that climbing frame all over the island.

Duct tape

I was recently asked, how I do I mange the younger hatchlings while I spend time teaching, listening to and helping the older ones. 

I have found the application of a little duct tape goes a long way to keeping the youngest hatchlings out of trouble while I am busy. Packing tape works well too.

See what I mean?

It works equally well for older hatchlings, and it de - fluffs the carpet too!

And should you be in less of a rush, I have found hatchlings particularly like it if you shaped the track/ street/ maze/ whatever your children do with it, to spell their name, or favourite  character. 

I have promised a Thomas shaped maze for next week, if I remember I'll post a photo.

Happy Monday!

Saturday, 16 February 2013

I love you to the moon and back

Last night one little boy took a bag of spagetti,

and scattered it all over the house.

When you have stray spaghetti, make sculptures?

As I tucked him in last night, he told me, 'I need a rocket.'

This hatchling currently dreams of being a space doctor.

It made sense that I should help him make a rocket.

For him and Thomas, of course.

As he counted down, 

'5,4,3,2 ... I love you Mummy to the moon and back..., 1, Blast Off!'

He's a keeper this one.

I love you to the moon and back too hatchling no4.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Pancakes and Teddy Bears

It has been a happy hatchling week over here.

Monday, was the traditional dancing,

Shrove Tuesday, or pancake day, mostly an excuse for small people to eat spoonfuls of nutella, 

and today, Valentine's day.

Hatchlings love holidays, no matter how minor.

Hence, the teddy bears, are they not the most adorable lollies?

After a lunch of heart shaped sandwiches, and heart shaped fruit, I gave each hatchling a teddy.

Hatchling no 4 and no5 are sentimental.

I hadn't expected that. 

As the girls ate the ears off their bears, the boys kissed and cuddled their own.

Long after the girls' bears were gone, the boys tenderly carried their bears around and whispered sweet nothings to them.

One bear is sat tucked up in hatchling no4s bed.

Hell hath no furry like a hatchling whose teddy may be woken from his nap. 

I've been told off twice!

The other bear is in the driver seat of the big yellow dump truck, wearing a little bob the builder hat.

Hatchingly no5 is cooing, 'Mine teddy, mine teddy.' As he pushes the dump truck around in circles.

They are happy, and that in turn makes me happy. 

I hope you are having a happy week too.

Monday, 11 February 2013

Chocolate bread pudding!

This recipe is a modified version of Delia's, which is absolutely the best winter dessert

In a bowl pour 400ml of double cream, 200g of dark chocolate, 1/3 cup sugar, 3 tbs rum, and 1 tsp vanilla bean paste.

Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water, until it all is melted and combined.

Take off the heat and let cool for five minutes.

Beat 3 eggs, and mix in.

Slice up and remove the crusts from 10 slices of bread.

Pour 1/3 of the chocolate mixture, add a layer of bread, repeat, and top with the rest of the chocolate.

Allow to rest in the fridge for 24 hours.

Bake in a pre - heated 180/350 oven for 35 minutes.

Serve with whipped cream.


Thursday, 7 February 2013

Bad blogger

I do realise my blog has been a bit neglected as of late, and for that, I apologise.

It is going to be a bit hit and miss over the next couple weeks.

You see, I signed my first book contract, which suddenly became three.

Yeah, three books!

Which has kind of spiralled my work load into crazy mode.

Please bare with me, we are not chilling on the beach (much as I'd like to be!), I'm just trying to meet a deadline, that is awfully close to coming and going.

And I do hope your 2013 has gotten off to a wonderful start!

Monday, 4 February 2013