Today Sophia was up and did her book work before 9am!

The reason is she wanted to do some art, so she got it out of the way so she could concentrate on drawing.

After her artwork was done, she uploaded it to her art page and offered to do drawing commissions for others. She ended up with one request which she started working on later in the day.

Sophia also played her organ today for music, she was in the creative zone today.

Dad brought home dinner as tonight Max has ATC (Air Traning Corps) so we get a treat. He finally has his uniform and he looks so handsome.

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Max is loving ATC and looks forward to it every week. We are pleased he has found something that he is passionate about.

After dinner, Soph asked me to do a puzzle with her so we started on it. This is one she got from Nana and we have done it several times. It is beautiful and of course, there are cats!

Puzzles are something my family has always done for bonding time, and it always makes me miss my family, but it is so relaxing and one of my favourite things to do.

She is amazing at puzzles, and we always have such great conversations. This day she asked about gender identity and how someone knows what their sexual orientation is.

She wondered about how and when people know if they will like boys or girls, or when they grow up who they will marry or if they will marry.

She has such a healthy and open view of love. I really enjoyed hearing her views and allowing her to speak so openly about things she is curious about.

I talked with her about religious views on sexuality and spiritual views and my own view that all love is beautiful.

We had a great discussion and I love knowing she has such a balanced view on life and love.

We did half of the puzzle and will finish it tomorrow as she wanted to read before bed.

These kids are so beautiful, inside and out, and we are very blessed.

 

 

 

Bumpy days; Art, Meltdowns and Earthquakes

We have had a bumpy few days as you do. Sophia was out of sorts and everything was upsetting her. Her senses were heightened and she was quite grumpy, but we made it through. At least she did not feel the earthquakes last night, but she always gets a bit stressed and anxious during heightened seismic activity; we both do.

After breakfast, our morning chat and feeding and chatting with our duck Sugar, we started on work. We got through the book work without too much worry and some great breakthroughs in her grasp of division for Math. She worked on Grammar and Punctuation and we did a science test and she aced it and got 100%! (Just like every test in every subject so far.) 😉

It took a bit of work and some snacks to get her to work through her anxiety and mood, but we persevered until she was able to find the way through. By this I mean that I allowed her to roll around on the couch and attack the pillows, flap and have snacks, we had a few tickle fights, she swore and she clawed me, but, with more patience than I knew I had, we found a way for her to be able to grasp it herself.

She was very proud when she saw the pattern for herself and realised she actually knew how and could do it very easily. We celebrated with a hot chocolate and some cookies.

After her bookwork she did some more art. She has been on an art quest lately, researching and trying new things with her art. Along with this comes anxiety and stress as she is a perfectionist and gets really down on herself when her hands can do what her brain sees in her mind.

We have been working on drawing traditionally, then photographing and uploading the art and digitizing it with Fire Alpaca. She started this drawing yesterday, we finished the adjustments today and she uploaded, then completed the art in digital format.

 

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I love this one! This is an OC/original character by another artist that she is trading art with. GlowheartsAJ, the other artist, is drawing one of Sophia’s OC/original characters she created a couple of days ago. They trade their interpretation of each other’s art for practice, it is great to see her working with other artists in this way.

She started another abstract piece after lunch just because it was in her head, and I can’t wait to see what it is when finished. She is dabbling with perspective and shading.

I have spent some time today going over 2016 and organizing our binders. We will most definitely need a larger art binder. I will be printing out all of her digital art again, to place in her portfolio and we will keep this not only for home school records, but for her when she is older. It is also great to allow her to browse the pages and see how far she has come, especially on days when she is feeling not too good about her art.

I will be uploading more of her essays, artwork, projects and some assignments that I found adorable; as time allows.

All in all, she did well today considering how it started. So did I, considering my lack of sleep.

 

 

 

I made the correct decision

I just saw this memory (below) on my Facebook page, and it was so amazing to realize that 2 years ago I walked into the MOE and asked for an Exemption Application so that I could home educate Sophia.

I was so determined that I could do it, regardless of my doubts and fears, and here we are two years later, and I know I made the correct decision on that day.

Seeing the growth in Sophia and the changes in such a short time has been amazing. Not only in her, but myself as well and our family as a whole.

At the time I made the decision to file for exemption, Sophia was self-harming, had panic attacks, had insomnia due to the fear of the following school day, had a bunch of tics, said through tears that she hated herself, cried and begged not to go to school and was physically ill from stress and anxiety. Not to mention a lot of bruises on her which she had gotten in school.

Now, she is relaxed and confident, sleeps 10-12 hours every night, is rarely ill, has very few tics left (and only when in a stressful environment), she eats well and has truly discovered and likes her Self.

By her Self; I mean she has her own views and likes, she has discovered her love of art, she has found her love of video editing, she has found music enjoyable -including creating it, she knows which books she likes, she loves baking and cooking, She loves science experiments, she loves learning about other cultures and their history, and she is always trying to learn new ways of creating. She has taught herself several complicated computer software programs as well as computer programming. All this, is in addition to her regular studies and Cognitive and behavioral therapy we do at home.

It is so nice to see her redevelop that deep curiosity and love of learning that she had before starting school. She is constantly asking questions about a variety of topics which we then study until she is satisfied that she knows enough about it. She is also sharing the knowledge she has gained. She is willing to give anything a fair go as long as it is approached in the right way at the right time.

Our home is part library, part music studio, part museum, part artist studio and part cinema, but it will never be a classroom as such and learning happens all through the house, as well as in the world. Learning it is a lifelong venture, and we model that to her as well because we are natural seekers of knowledge and experience and it is no surprise that our kids would take after us in this way.

Max on the other hand, loves school and this is great. We allow him to choose how he wants to learn, but we also encourage his other passions. He has joined the cadets, Air Training Corps, and yesterday our sweet son was flying above the earth in a glider and had the best day learning something new and amazing. He hopes to be a pilot for the Air Force when he gets older, and that is awesome.

Sophia thrives at home, Max thrives at school, and I guess that is the key, finding here they excel and supporting them in any way we can. Letting go and allowing them to make choices for their future can be hard, as with Devin moving out, but as parents we hope all that we have taught them over the years is instilled enough courage, intuition and good sense for them to make good decisions and be the best version of themselves they can be. We are proud of all of them.

 Parenting is not easy, and some days you feel like you are not up to the task, but in the end, if you are doing the best you can for your children and truly allowing them to thrive, then you are doing a great job. Today I feel proud of us as parents, we are doing well.


MEMORY: March 20, 2015 at 8:57am

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Lydia, this picture is just like we were saying the other day. I went straight over and got my application from MOE just after our visit. Just another reason why we love you, thanks for helping me retain my clarity.

My missing Gumption and Guardians of Ga’Hoole

I have been less inclined to write as of late. Not only this blog, but also the drive to do the final edit for my poetry book is eluding me. It is all written, I only need to edit and publish, yet that drive is missing.

I imagine this is partly due to grief, and also my big push to get it done was so my mother could see it and hold it in her hands and now she never will. Though I know she is still around me and is proud, the mind is a strange beast and at times plays havoc with your thoughts and your motivation.

I hope to get it published soon, and my father and step-mother seeing it, will be my incentive.

I have been doing all sorts of fun activities and learning with Sophia, which I will be adding here as I find the time… and my gumption. lol

I have been savouring every moment I can with my family and it has been really nice. I am very grateful for them all and love sharing special moments with each of the kids and my husband. Losing so many people so close and having our step-son go through his medical emergency has really made us focus more on quality time with our little family and that is ok.

Sophia and I have started tandem reading, which is so much fun. We are currently reading the Guardians of Ga’Hoole series by Kathryn Lasky. Sophia is up to book seven and I am just starting book six. We are almost half way through the series.

These books have been adapted into a movie of the same name and I definitely recommend the movie, but the books are even better.

She has also read the Wolves of the Beyond series by this author. Now after reading these, I can’t wait to read those as well.

I really enjoy having discussions with Sophia about the books, characters and story lines.

We have been also working on our Japan Study and that has been great fun. I will do an update on what we have done on those days as well. This, along with her workbooks, some science projects and Khan Academy, she has been doing really well this term.

We are doing some Japan worksheets and more paper art this week. Last week, we did some paper art of the flag and decorative blossoms, made a ningyo doll, wrote some Haiku and the weeks before that, she read several books on Japan, and we had some great discussions and she did an essay.

Next week we will be focusing on art and music, then language and currency the week after. We will revisit Japan in depth in the coming years as she really loves it but for now we are just doing an overview of many areas that interest her.

I had gotten several books from the library, thinking she would read one or maybe two, but she was so fascinated that she read all of them! She has been giving the family facts on Japan for a couple weeks now, which we love as it shows she has retained the information and shares it in the  correct context.

This weekend we will take her for sushi of course and then try to make our own if we can find our sushi kit. The last time we made it… it was not so good. Fun to make, but not very yummy.

More updates coming soon, and I apologise for the delay in keeping everyone up to date.