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Showing posts from September, 2011

So I say..thank you for the music!

So, now you all know how important books are to all of us round here. Hubby, Video Boy, Wombat Girl and I all LOVE our books.

And we seem to go in cycles - a week of immersing ourselves in literature, maths, or science. Ebb and flow. Intense and relaxed.

Well, at the moment, Wombat Girl is immersed in music. She is loving it and learning it and listening to it. Video Boy and Hubby quite enjoy it, but it is Wombat Girl and I who LOVE it.

Back in the day, it was me who brought LP's and CD's into our newly set up house (Hubby brought the knives and forks and the couch, so it was only fair). I got a special CD tower made to store them all (and then they still overflowed).

How fabulous that Apple invented the iPod and I can now have that entire stack of music on one device. And how fabulous that they let me use my credit card and download new music whenever I want! (actually, again - too easy - they need to set some limits for problem music lovers!).

My Dad loved music and so does …


Just when things are looking up, my body lets me down. Again.

My right hip agony from a few months ago has migrated to my left hip. A bit of niggle at first. Able to run, particularly once I've warmed up, the pain virtually disappears into a little whisper. Until after the run, and then it ROARS!

Ice, heat, massage, nurofen. And no running tomorrow. I've done what every good person with an injury does - Googled it, stretched and strengthened and even done the appropriate sheets from the Anatomy Colouring Book to learn about muscles/tendons/ligaments in the hip/glute area. The pain is so bad, I'm contemplating giving my newly acquired health fund policy a good workout at the physio's.

I'm frustrated - I've done everything right. Good shoes. Been slowly increasing the distance. Trying to run with good form (landing on my midfoot, keeping tall, relaxing upper body and calves). And I'm not fast! It's so annoying. It's not like I'm smoking and eating cr…

What a strange thing running is...

So this morning, I got up early (well, 6:30am is early for me!) to go for my run. Hubby was up too and pulling on the shoes. This has not been a good thing so far - but who am I to say "I want to go by myself"? And so we went.

12 degrees - not too cold, definitely not too hot. I put one earphone in - music in one ear, hubby in the other. I definitely like my music! There were lots of people about - school holidays. How annoying are those people having a big group chat in the middle of the footpath, who see you coming (hot, sweaty, red-faced) and then not move out of the way one iota????? It's bloody hard enough as it is, without having to detour, people!

Anyways, after the first km (which is always tough), I felt good. Music? Cooler weather? Who knows, but I felt excellent. Pushed hubby onto to doing 5km when he wanted to finish at 3.5km. That feeling is why I love running. Maybe the bad, crappy, make-this-pain-end-now runs are there to make the good runs feel good. But da…

Whose decision is it anyway??

We've had an interesting morning. One that made me think and hopefully, talk the talk and walk the walk.

I'm on a bit of a health kick. We are going on holidays (a cruise to New Zealand!!) in a month. I've been running, but I want to lose a few kilos before we go. We've been eating better, but I also am trying to do at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. 3 days of running, some swimming, some cycling, some strength/resistance/stretching, some walking.

So, this morning, I thought I might swim. We didn't go last week, and even though it's school holidays, it shouldn't be too crowded. Now, I like to exercise in the morning - it's done and I don't put it aside for other things.

"So, come on kids - get off the computers, ipods, and don't put that DVD in - we're going swimming!'

This upset Video Boy. He was all set to snuggle into the couch and watch the Yogi Bear DVD we got on special yesterday.

Well, we can watch that this afternoon aft…

Post-race funk

I have to admit to being in a bit of a running funk since last week's big race. And I guess if you focus on the negatives, last week wasn't so great:

I finished 11,071th out of 14,318 startersI finished 1,178th out of 1,632 females aged 40-49I walked in placesI look fat and slow in the finishing video (that's me in the purple top, black capris, black hat with iPhone armband in the middle - the tall guy in the striped shirt cuts right in front of me). I look Blackmores Sydney Running Festival
And my runs this week have been less than stellar. My 10 year old daughter came with me (as did my hubby and son) and she runs faster than her mum.
I feel like a fraud. I keep reading post C25K blogs/Facebook pages, and everyone seems to be running half marathons 6 months after finishing. Or at least putting in more km's than me.
My left hip flexors are sore. 
I don't feel like giving up, but I do feel deflated.
But then, I have to look at the bright sid…

Renewed vigour!

After a few weeks of very unstructured, not-schooly learning, I think all of us were looking for a bit more "meat on the bones".

But, I have slightly changed the way I do things. Whilst one child is lost in the world of Septimus Heap, I worked quietly the with other, one-on-one, just like I do for tutoring. No distractions, or interruptions.

Video Boy has been baulking at maths worksheets, so I took a different tack - would he be interested in doing some science/maths? Is it science, or is it maths Mum? Both! I am amused by the way schooled children love to put things in boxes - one thing or the other. But that's not how real life works, is it? Anyway, we did some calculations based on Ohm's law (voltage is current times resistance) and talked about formulas, substituting and re-arranging equations. Science AND maths in one easy lesson! And Video Boy was quite chuffed to know he was doing questions from a Year 10 textbook!

If none of the Ohm's Law thing makes sen…

Go!! Sydney Running Festival 2011

Race day!!! My first fun run in 16 years!

I committed the cardinal sin of racing - wore a new top (lovely new lululemon ultra-light racer-back tank) and new lululemon running socks (sooo comfy!). Had my iPad all loaded up, drank lots of water the day before (it was forecast to be warm), had pasta for tea (ha ha - carbo loading!) and I was set.

It is always amazing to attend these big events. The public transport rises to the occasion, the organisers had done a fabulous job to deal with such huge numbers - 16,500 people in my 9km Bridge Run alone! 3700 odd marathoners, 8500 half-marathoners and 6000 family fun runners/walker (4km). And yet it didn't feel crowded.
Sydney put on a stunning, if unseasonably warm, day for the event. By the time my race started at 9am it was mid 20's (celcius!). The marathoners had started 1.5 hours earlier at 7:25am (got to see the start!), but many were still going long after I'd finished!
The day before, I had picked up my bib, but they couldn…

A week in pictures...

A local homeschool get-together, which involved trampolining...

...and strategic possession of the cubby house:

A different homeschool group get-together in the park...

Multi-tasking (couldn't decide whether she wanted to play piano or read Septimus Heap, so she did both!):

Video Boy reading about video game design (funny that):

And when she wasn't reading Septimus Heap, Wombat Girl was reading Percy Jackson:

Life's good.


OK, getting all ready for my big race on Sunday!

First up, did 4.04km (7.53km/min) run today. Felt good, with slightly stiff calves - could have kept going at the end, but I don't want to overdo it this week.

Next on the "to do" list - iPod playlist! I know some people don't agree with music during races, but I've only really run to music - it inspires me and peps me up when the going gets tough. I don't want to mess with this trying to run 9km!  So gimme a beat:

Firework - Glee cast version (get all psyched up)Take Five - Dave Brubeck (gets me into a nice rhythm - I don't want to go out too fast, this will calm me down)Whistle If You Need Me - Kelsey James (great piano piece which I hope I get to listen to crossing the Sydney Harbour Bridge)Alive and Brilliant - Deborah Conway (fantastic Aussie singer in 5/4 time)Never - Moving Pictures (just visualising Kevin Bacon from Footloose will pep me up!)Full Moon - The Black Ghosts (Twilight...ahhh)Supermassive Bl…

Get ready....

So, I decided after last week's run that I would "upgrade" my entry at the Sydney Running Festival from the 4km Family Fun Run (/walk) to the "proper run" - the 9km Bridge Run. Eeek! But I figure if I'm going to drive 3 hours to Sydney and run, then bugger it - I'm going to really run! And I'm running in memory of Sophie, my friend's 12 year old daughter, who died earlier this year from a brain tumour. Every day I'm out there running, I'm glad I'm able to. You can help by donating at my page:

My calves were sore after my one hour triumph last week. But I did some "intervals" on Tuesday anyway - 3 min running "fast" and 2 min recovery. Felt pretty good! But my calves were pretty sore after that. So, on Thursday I just ran for half an hour - 3.82km in 32 min (8:23min/km av pace). Not fast, not long, but still out there. And I saw wildlife:

On Sunday, I was torn betwee…

Socialisation blues

OK, so not a really original post, but "socialisation" is one of the most asked about aspect of homeschooling. "But, what about socialisation?"

Well, what about it? I think, sometimes when people ask this question, they are not really clear themselves what they are referring to. Do they mean "will your kids have any kind of social life?", to which my (very much tongue in cheek) reply often is "well, occasionally I let them out of their cupboard under the stairs if they've been good". Other homeschoolers will reel off a huge list of extra-curricular activities that they run themselves (and their kids) ragged with.

The real answer is, of course, we have social lives. Me and the kids. They have friends over to play. They go to other kids houses to play. They have sleepovers. They have headlice. I meet up with my friends - not every day, but once a week, or once a month or I also have friends that I rarely see, but when we do catch up, it's …


OMG! OMG! I've blogged before about how awesome the Muppets were. My brother sent me this link and lo and behold I've found another gem!!

I think I have to add the full verse to accompany that:

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
  Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
  And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
  The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
  The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
  Long time the manxome foe he sought --
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
  And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
  The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
  And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
  The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
  He went galumphing back.

"And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
  Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!&#…

Quantum physics in our PJs!

One (of the many) things I love about homeschooling is that we are not necessarily tied to State-directed curriculum. We can follow our interests and largely disregard "Grades". We are also not tied to someone else's idea of what learning should "look" like.

You may recall our interest in dimensions - Flatland, Klein bottles and thinking in 4D. Well, I stumbled across Minute Physic's YouTube video on What is a dimension?

So, of course, I called the kids over, and they watched this and all the others on their playlist. Sometimes, like the Infinity one, they watched over and over until they "got" the concept. And all in their pyjamas (eating watermelon for breakfast)!

I particularly enjoyed the one on gravity, so after watching that, we watched The Universe - Gravity, which was pitched just at the right level for us

and then Wombat Girl watched Bill Nye's take on gravity:

Video Boy and I then looked at the physics booklet we have been working th…

Homeschooling Meme - thanks Jen!

OK - had no idea what a "meme" was! But I'm learning quick :-) I've been tagged by Jen, over at Jen's Busy Days, fellow book lover and bookcase coveter. This meme seems to focus on "resources" - a topic of interest for many homeschoolers, but I have my own thoughts on the matter (as you will read below):

1) One homeschooling book you have enjoyed:
I've got lots and read lots (surprise!), but the original and the best was Creative Homeschooling for Gifted Children by Lisa Rivero. It gave me homeschooling as an option for educating my gifted kids. It started the journey and for that, I will be forever indebted.

2) One resource you wouldn't be without:
Oh, that's an easy one! My laptop! The world at my fingertips :-)

3) One resource you wish you had never bought:
I wish I hadn't got carried away and bought the whole kit that went with Acid, Acid, Everywhere. It didn't contain anything we didn't already have (or could have easily got) a…

Books, books everywhere....

....and not a thing to read?

It annoys me when the kids complain that they don't have anything good to read. It reminds me of Ferris Bueller's Day Off, when Ferris asks if they saw anything good that day, and Cameron says "nothing good" and Ferris replies "Nothing - wha - what do mean nothing good? We've seen everything good!"

We have everything good in our bookcases!

Whilst I'm the first to admit we do have a LOT of technology in our house (another post for another day!), our first love is books.

You know when you are pregnant, and you are idealistically thinking about what your little peanut will become and what your family will be like? Well, we don't always get what we want. My husband imagined being the cricket or football coach for our son's team (maybe he can be the chess coach instead?). I imagined watching years of ballet concerts and having wardrobes full of costumes (maybe I can watch a piano recital one day instead?). But we bot…