Sunday, 31 May 2009

Surf and stuff.....

Highlight of the year.......the boys have joined Surf Club!! 2 hours of madness on a Sunday evening. It's what they've been waiting for ever since we moved to Pembrokeshire. And what a fantastic evening for their first surf lesson! Incidentally it was off of the very same beach where they recently filmed scenes for the next Harry Potter movie "The Deathly Hallows" - but that is irrelevant really! The only magic today was in the moment!

Apart from that we've been having an odd sort of time where I don't feel we are "getting much done" in the way of HE. But maybe those are the times when we achieve the most! Here are a couple of things that happen when "nothing happens".......

Jo has been studying the laws of physics!

Rhiannon continues to explore creative possibilities....this time with silk.

Oh yes, and when I don't interfere they just read alot....................they'd much rather read than empty the dishwasher - then again, come to think of would I!

Friday, 29 May 2009


Just wallowing in the pleasure of having spent a glorious summer evening barbequeing on the beach, the children just enjoying being and doing their own thing.....sand art, rock balancing, sand castles. paddling.....the perfect end to an otherwise pretty rubbish day!!!!

Building "Minas Tirith"

Sand Art

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Oh no, not again!

I can't believe it - another Quail dead.  We have been keeping them inside but the male likes to have a fly around - stretch his wings so to speak.  So we put him in the run during the day for a couple of hours thinking he'd be fine as long as we brought him in by nightfall.  

Three hours later we found him dead.  A friend of mine suggested a stoat the likely culprit and that it would have been able to get in through the chicken wire!

So now we only have 2.  A sad day.

We need a very big rethink on how to house our quails...............sounds like an opportunity for a design project!  Back to the drawing board................

Promise to try to post something more cheerful next time.

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Quail crisis!

Bit of a traumatic day today - two of our quails were attacked and killed in the night.  We have no idea how anything could have got into the run.  We assume it was a rat.  Since we don't know how it got in we don't know how to keep it out, so now we have three quails in the conservatory!  Our poor quails seem to have been facing calamity after calamity over the past few weeks.  We've had a couple lost to rat attacks recently - we tried to reinforce the run but obviously we're missing something.  Then one of Rhiannon's baby quails died of some infection a few weeks back.  I think poor Rhiannon is feeling a bit defeated.  She does everything she can to look after her quails as far as I can see.  Things just aren't going too well at the moment.  Not really sure where we go from here.

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Serious need for a mega-update!

Oh dear, I really need to work on this blogging. The trouble is the longer you leave it the harder it gets and since I haven't posted since February I need to take a very deep breath and dive in!

We've had a few visits from friends and family over the past couple of months.

Just after my last post we had a lovely visit from our good HE friends from Oxfordshire. It was amazing to see how 7 children could get on so beautifully in the same house over 5 days without a cross word! Had great fun jumping off sand dunes, cooking sausages on the beach and our friends shared their woodcraft skills with the children. Thanks! A very special time - we hope they will be back soon for another visit!

At Easter we had a lovely visit from some of our other friends in Oxfordshire. The weather was great and the children really enjoyed spending time with old friends as did I. The hardest thing about moving to Pembrokshire has been missing close friends....we've all felt that over the past six months.....but it is always great to spend quality time with them when they visit.

My sister and family managed their first visit (its a heck of a long way from Yorkshire!) last week. It was so nice to share a bit of our beloved Pembrokeshire with them. The highlight (for me anyway) was our visit to Skomer to see the puffins, but I think Uncle P found it all a bit strenuous! Here are a couple of Rhiannons pictures...

When we have been without visitors life has been a mixture of house hunting, hospital visits to investigate my dh's dicky stomach, spending time enjoying our new surroundings (i.e. Pembrokeshire) and ....oh yes, HE! To be honest it's been a bit of a barren time on that score. I think we have all felt unsettled not having a house of our own - I don't think its being in rented accomodation as such that has been the problem. More the fact that we know we want to move on....and we have looked at alot of houses.....frankly we're all sick of it. I have found it difficult to focus on working with the children and as much as I would LOVE to work in a fully autonomous way, the children increasingly want more input from me. But then again if that's their choice I guess that's still autonomy?! I always had this vision of autonomously educated children floating around the house all day contentedly exploring and asking questions and me being there just at the right moment..............................oh dear - need a rethink!

Having said all that, I do think we have turn
ed a corner as a family with regards to HE in just the last couple of weeks. At last we seem to have found our feet..its only taken 2 and a half years. Its difficult to explain but things are calmer and more fun. For example the other day we were talking about atomic structure - I never thought that could be enjoyable but it was (or am I getting too old?) It was something about the way we were able to share ideas, ask questions, think about the concepts that felt so constructive. I don't think I ever experienced that feeling through my entire education. It felt really important - not the subject matter - but the process we were going through, the way we were helping eachother discover new things. I don't think that would happen at school - there just wouldn't be time. Don't get me wrong - I have no illusions that all will be hunky-dorey from now on, but something has changed that feels more right. (Of course I may be eating my words by the next time I post!)

Anyway, off my soap box. Here are a few other things we have been up to.

We painted rocks.........

Rhiannon hatched more quails.........

.....and some chickens for a local HE friend who has a smallholding.

Keira cut, stuck and painted.........

The boys did lots of exercise.....

And we all played on the beach!

Its a tough life but somebodys got to live it!!