Friday, 6 September 2013

It's September...

Every year, when we see the following, we know it's time to start the new academic year:

We've had a really good summer this year and we really don't want it to end.  We want to extend the times to lose oneself in nature,

(Would we still have time now to lose ourselves watching these little creatures?  I think so.)

time to be by the sea,

time to be with (school-going) friends and family,


time to just play,


and time to bond.


I am extending our summer by continuing to work through our Wind in the Willows theme.  And guess what?  I'm not even overly concerned that Tiger isn't starting Year 4 on Monday, September 2nd.

Maybe we've been enjoying the summer to much to really think about making a full-swing start to the new academic year, or perhaps I am getting increasingly relaxed (or just laxed, depending on how you see it) about Tiger's learning process.  There doesn't seem to be a clear cut-off/starting point to mark when learning happens and when it doesn't.  I'm finally understanding and experiencing the term "holistic learning" or what it means to "learn all the time".  The process of learning-all-the-time looks different for each child but it is there if you observe your child with an open heart and an open mind.  I hope each parent recognises that in her child so that no one needs to feel stressed about not keeping up with anyone else (e.g. another child's progress, or the next homeschooling mum's superbly organised lessons, etc).

Meanwhile, we are easing ourselves back from the relaxed pace of summer to lessons.  Homeschooling activities near us have begun in earnest -- if you thought I was organised, you should meet these homeschooling mums!  It is very good to see familiar faces again and to feel the motivation (or pressure?) to get back to work.

This week at home we grew cress.  It was supposed to go into our sandwich, but we decided to put it in soup instead because Tiger decided that he couldn't possibly stomach a cress sandwich.

For someone who has consistently faired poorly at growing plants, I have found growing cress to be highly satisfying.  It is a foolproof way to introduce children (and non-green-finger adults like me) to growing food.  Just look at the results:

Already starting to sprout within an hour of planting.
Day 2 - shoots and leaves!
Day 3 - standing tall.
Day 4 - a cress jungle!!

For someone with little patience and who loves quick results (that's me), watching the cress grow made me feel really successful.  I was almost sorry when we had to harvest them.

Scene of carnage - after harvesting.

This post is linked up to:
  1. Entertaining and Educational - September 6
  2. Collage Friday - Memory Work Extensions & More
  3. TGIF Linky Party #93
  4. Weekly Wrap-up: The One Where I Finally Got an iPad
  5. Country Kids: A Tree Top Challenge
  6. The Homeschool Mother's Journal {September 7, 2013}
  7. Hip Homeschool Hop - 9/10/13


  1. I'm laughing at your comment about not starting school up by the 2nd of September! We literally began our summer holidays yesterday, so won't be going back to school until the first week of October. If that makes you lax I must be down right floppy!!

  2. I love the way that the harvest indicates the beginning of your new academic year not the children going back to school.

  3. Claire - Isn't it great that, as homeschoolers, we are more in control of our time of when holidays start and end? Enjoy your summer holidays!

  4. Sarah - I'd much rather use the natural farming cycle as an indicator of the passing of time. :-) Somehow what's happening in the fields is more appealing than what goes on in schools.

  5. Love that you take things with life, that is what it is all aobut! I have never grown cress. What is that you are growing it on? We would love to give it a try. Thank You, Holly

  6. Holly - thank you for stopping by and leaving your comment. We grew our cress on a sheet of cotton pads, laid on a disused baking pan. :-)

  7. What a beautiful post, Hwee. Hasn't it just been a gorgeous week for not going back indoors to school?
    Your cress photos are great and your comments made me laugh :-)

  8. hmmmm, I like the idea of growing water cress, maybe I could grow that..........

  9. It's been a really good week, Lucinda. I'm feeling lucky that we don't have to be in the mad school rush with everyone else. :-)

  10. Ticia - If I can grow it, anyone can. :-)

  11. It's hard not to compare yourself and children with others, but we all have our own needs and interests.

  12. That's true, Julie. I think it's good to realise that we each have circumstances that are unique to us, and often we only know half of what's really going on with other people, so comparison based on partial information is very unwise and unproductive. :-)

  13. Good to find you via country kids. I've never home schooled and the thought scares me a lot but your post also makes me think how wonderful it must be. mich x

  14. Thank you for stopping by, Michelle. Many people feel that homeschooling is a daunting task - and it is in many ways - but the best thing to do if you're interested is to find out more by either researching and/or talking to someone who is doing it. :-)

  15. I love the photos from your summer, the children have obviously had a great time having some quality family time making some cherished memories. Thanks for linking up and sharing with Country Kids.

  16. What beautiful photos! Summer really is a magical time of year. I hated to see it end, too.

  17. Summer is such a great time and full of memories... we're just starting our new school year and easing into it is the plan.


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