By Sara Giambruno
Hello all, we are a quirky family of four (six if you include the pampered cats) who have pretty much followed an interest-led approach since we started home educating seven years ago. Currently, with all our classes/events/excursions temporarily out of the picture, most of our days consist of lots of reading, artwork, discussing anything of interest, daily Duolingo lessons (12-year-old Sofia is learning Japanese and ten-year-old Lucas is learning Italian) and maths on IXL, looking after the cats and a lot of following our ideas.
Lovely weather to be outdoors: I tended to my veggie patch while the kids took the cats, Mabel and Louie, for a walk around the garden. They’re indoor cats, so it’s the kids’ job to ensure they get plenty of play and exercise. In the afternoon, Sofia did some online collaborative drawings on Aggie.io with a good friend, while Lucas made and tested a few levels on Mario Maker on his 2DS.
Another sunny day. The kids helped me finish setting up some planter boxes, then walked the cats, spent some time chatting in the hammock, jumped on the trampoline, rode their bikes in the driveway, and played with frisbees. Recently they’ve been busy creating content for a YouTube channel they started (in a similar style to the Russel Coight series). They shot a couple of videos in the garden, then uploaded and edited them with Sofia adding subtitles for hearing impaired people. A Skype chat with a couple of friends that were online at the same time. We watched a few Hilda episodes on Netflix (for the umpteenth time) during dinner, then some reading before turning in for the night.
Lucas and I started the day with some yoga (we just watch YouTube videos as it suits us more than classes). The kids had a few projects, so after walking the cats most of the day was spent indoors: long play with Lego, a couple of board games (Othello, Game of Knowledge, Labyrinth), and catalogued their paper dolls. Lucas started working on a glow in the dark book idea he had, then played a bit of piano (he’s teaching himself to play All Star) while Sofia watched a couple of art tutorials on YouTube and practised character design. Both had a quick chat with a friend online, then some time on their 2DSs (Sofia played Tomodachi Life, Lucas continued on Mario Maker).
Our Thursday group (the highlight of our week) is currently meeting online. After the session, the kids stay online to have extra chats with all their friends (they often play online games together) for a few hours, so it still counts as their big ‘social day’. We spent some time outdoors (gardening, cats, trampoline, hammock, the usual … ), Lucas and I made popcorn and we all sat down for afternoon tea and chats, then we started a map of Australia puzzle together, and watched How to Train Your Dragon while eating dinner. Evening reading on the couch (Lucas researching bees, Sofia reading about backyard self-sufficiency).
Currently, Friday, Saturday and Sunday are considered a long weekend of ‘pottering around’ (the usual: books, cats, Lego, artwork, games), and a couple of family routines: Friday is movie night (with popcorn and dessert), Saturday is boardgame night in the rumpus, and Sunday is pancake day. Just trying to create our own routines to make this bizarre time in isolation feel a bit more normal!
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