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Monday, 21 November 2011

Independence Day

I've been writing some notes to keep track of some of the things Jasmine's been up to.  There have been moments lately where we've noticed her maturing in certain ways, but when I looked at the half dozen or so things on my list, it was ALL about her growing independence.

One of the things Jasmine usually like to do at my market stall is put items in bags for the customers.  She's also excellent at spruiking and sales ;)  Last weekend, she decided her job was not only to package the jewellery, but to take the cash & give the change.  She was very quick to assert herself if I tried to organise the change - LOL.  What a great way of learning about money & numeracy! :)

That being said, it is a long day & a MUCH earlier start than we normally have, so Jasmine did get bored hanging around the stall for too long.  She asked if she could have a look around the rest of the market & I said it was fine as long as she stayed within the confines of the market.   Off she went, followed a couple of minutes later by the more cautious parent ;)  She allowed him to accompany her around the market as she struck up conversations with numerous people, particularly anyone with a dog.  Later in the day, one of the stallholders she'd been speaking with visited our stall.  She commented that she could tell straight away that Jasmine was a DEFINITE Aries - head-strong, no nonsense and no qualms in taking charge and telling people how things were going to be.  She said most of her friends were Aries and Jasmine was very much like them.  She said that we had an amazing child & she was really happy to have met her :D

The next day, we had to return some books to the library & Jasmine was asking (again) to borrow books on fossils.  I showed her how to use their online catalogue & she insisted on typing in the search details, wanting to know how to spell the words.  Then a few days later, we were driving along & D said something about Jasmine being a monkey, which prompted her to give him a lecture on evolution - LOL.  I was quite impressed by her level of understanding!  I know it shouldn't surprise me, but it was one of those moments where a few minutes reading something in a book led to a complex understanding of a concept.

Jasmine's also been spending more time away from us & is quite happy to do so.  Last week, some local friends who go to the same dance class called through on their way up to see if Jasmine wanted to go with them.  She seemed slightly apprehensive at first, but decided she'd do it.  A couple of hours later, I got a phone call asking if I wanted her home at a particular time and that the kids were playing happily at their house.  I said whatever time suited them was fine & to let me know if I needed to pick her up at any stage.  For me, it was a unexpected but welcomed break.  D had travelled interstate that morning to deal with some ongoing family matters, so I found myself home alone!  Jasmine has also been spending more time with the girl across the road.  It really made my heart smile the other day when I saw the two of them walking up the road together, chatting away.  It was also a laugh when D came back from his walk & chased them up the road which resulted in much high pitched squealing - theirs, not his ;)  The neighbours have recently acquired 4 young goat kids, the excitement of which seems to over-ride Jasmine's fear of their dog.  She happily played there for a few hours on the afternoon of the market when they came & picked her up.

And last thing on my list for this week relates to our first visit to the local pool for the season.  Jasmine knew it was open & had been asking to go....and asking....and we did.  Turns out that swimming classes started that same afternoon, so there were quite a few kidlets there.  I asked Jasmine if she was interested in swimming lessons, but she gave me an outright 'no', stating she "wasn't ready for that".  We continued on, going back & forth between the shallow pool and the main pool.  She was happy to Doggy Paddle & swim like a frog (breaststroke) with the noodle under her armpits for buoyancy.  After a while, she started holding the noodle out in front of her and was surprised to find she didn't drown.  I said she'd be swimming without the noodle pretty soon at the rate she was going.  A few minutes later, she tried it - and swam for the first time without any floatation devices!  She was so excited & proud of herself!  Sure, it was no more than a couple of metres at a time, but she'd done it & the look on her face was priceless!  I'm sure that was a huge boost to her confidence and hopefully by the end of the swimming season, she'll be making her way around the pool totally unassisted :)

Why children protest going to school

A lovely unschooly friend of ours just posted a link on Facebook that I think is awesome & wanted to share with you.

It discusses resistance to institutionalised learning from an evolutionary perspective & it makes perfect sense to me.  It also makes me realise how much I protested school myself, without realising at the time that's what I was really doing.

Happy reading.....

This post has been shared as part of owlet's 

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

The last 3 weeks in review

A couple of days after my last post, the three of us went to the see Circus Oz perform their 'Steampowered' show.  I'm happy to say without a shadow of a doubt that it was one of the BEST shows I've ever seen!!!  We all agreed that although Cirque du Soleil was technically excellent, Circus Oz was more engaging & entertaining.  A couple of the cast members talked to Jasmine before the show started, and another later mocked her when she laughed at a tense moment, so she really felt involved & loved every minute of it.  I'd recommend it to anyone & everyone and can't wait to see the next show they bring to Hobart :D

We also took Jasmine to play her first game of Minigolf.  It was bucketing down that day, so we chose the indoor course.  Suffice to say, it's something we will be doing more regularly.

Silly face time
I'd been umming & ahhing about heading to Deloraine in Northern Tassie for the annual Tasmanian Craft Fair.  When Jasmine saw the ad on TV for it, she got very excited & wanted to check it out.  A few days before hand, we received our new tent in the mail.  A few families we know had suggested camping as a group, so we thought we'd better get some gear together.  Jasmine & I set up the tent, slept in it for a night, then I took it down a couple of days later.  I had been thinking of maybe going up the night before & camping at the caravan park so we didn't have to drive so much (3 hours each way) on the same day.  When I worked out how long it would take to set up the tent, especially taking into account the fact that it would be near dark when we got there, and then packing everything up in the morning, I figured we'd be better off sleeping in our own beds & getting up early.  We left about an hour later than planned, but still got there at a time we'd usually still be asleep.  We paid the exorbitant entry fee & started looking around.  Tired family, hot weather & big crowds weren't a good mix, but we still had the chance to admire some amazing artists & craftspeople, many of whom reminded me just how far I have to go to produce the type of jewellery I'd really like to be doing.  Jasmine got her face painted & we ended up spending FARRRRR more money than we had planned, meaning we've had to be rather frugal since.  We finished the day with dinner at the Empire Hotel (really impressive food) & a roll down the banks of the Meander River before making the trek back home.

The day before we went up there, I had the realisation that our sick, elderly cat Bonni had not been seen since the previous afternoon.  It was totally out of character for her not to come inside for the night.  When she didn't show up that night either, I came to the conclusion she wasn't coming back.  Neither D nor myself sensed her around the place & I really believed she had passed.  The horrible part was not knowing where she was for closure.  I shed a few tears on the drive North.  To our absolute amazement, when we came home after dance class the next day, there she was stumbling around the front yard.  The poor thing was so skinny - I don't think she'd eaten in those 3 days - but she's made up for it now.  Apart from the carcinoma on her head, she's now deaf & blind, but hanging in there.  She's eating well (still has her sense of smell) & can manoeuvre her way around the house & through the cat door to the outside enclosure, but she's definitely not allowed out the front door again - far too risky.  She probably hasn't got all that long to go, but I know she'll let us know when it's time to make "that" call.  

Waiting for Gymfest
to begin
Last weekend, Jasmine performed in the annual Gymfest.  It was the first term of rhythmic gymnastics after swapping from trampolining and I think she did really well.  She was a bit tired & hungry after her performance, but on the way back to the car, she excitedly said she wanted to do it all again & had totally made up her mind to continue with rhythmic next year.  I just love watching her do things that she really loves :)

Proud of her soap
Our 'Hobart Natural Learners Co-op' is coming along nicely, with everyone getting along very well & having fun each week.  This week's activity was felted soaps, with fleece, froth & bubble wrap a-plenty.  There was also bubble blowing & a water play table for the younger ones.  It was lovely to see the girls playing together more & developing story lines to guide their games.  We also celebrated the 1st birthday of one of our youngest members :)

While we were setting up our tent a couple of weeks back, Jasmine asked me what school was like.  She said, "Do the teachers boss you around all the time?" to which I replied, "Well, you are expected to do what the teacher asks of you, when they ask you to do it.  There are about 30 other children in the class and you usually all do the same thing at the same time."

She pondered for a moment before saying, "But they teach you to write there, don't they?"  I smiled, somewhat amused, and said, "Yes, just as I have been trying to help you for a long time, but you have not wanted to do it."  She gave a knowing smile back and said, "I think I'm ready now."  She's still not overly keen on workbooks, but has had a bit of a play with Spellodrome.  So far, I'd been focussing on phonics, but I think throwing some more sight words in there might better suit her learning style.  I've been trying some of the techniques recommended here and it seems to be helping.  The other thing she's doing more of is copying things others have written, particularly during her early morning Skype sessions with her Aunt who's in London.  Some may call it collusion, others might say it's the motivation she needs to write ;)

Nice try kiddo ;)

I'll leave you with this photo.  Bucket of chicken, anyone???

Poor Emily   o_O