{Daughter Diaries} #47

Daughter Diaries 47 | The Open Home

Dear Blossom, you recently asked me what my best thing to do is and this right here is it. Living, loving and learning with you girls. Sweet and spontaneous days like this always make up for the tough and the trying days in between. Dear Bubbles, today we laughed and today we cried as your toddler tantrums continue to stretch us both to our limits. But amongst the lows there are also the highs and today I choose to remember the story time snuggles, the early morning giggles and your eager green fingers. Dearest Daughters, may you hold on to the good and let go of the bad, because life is sweetest when it is savoured.

What are some of your favourite childhood memories?

 

{Update} 30 Things in my 30’s

30 Things in my Thirties Update 1 | The Open Home

So I’m one year into my thirties now so how am I doing on the old 30 Things in my 30’s list? Well, not too bad really. Here is an update on where I’m at.

Completed…

1. Start a letter writers group in Guernsey – The Guernsey Letter Writers Society was established in September 2017

2. Become a blood donor – I wasn’t actually able to become a blood donor so signed up for the Anthony Nolan Trust instead.

3. Sign up to be an organ donor

4. Go to a West End Show in London – I saw Aladdin in June 2017 and I’m actually seeing Wicked this weekend!

30 Things in my Thirties Update 1 | The Open Home

In Progress…

5. Learn calligraphy – still practicing!

6. Get fit (aka. get back to pre-pregnancy weight) – Currently 16lbs down and still going.

7. Go to 10 new (to me) restaurants on the island – 3 Down. 7 to Go. (So far ticked off Copenhagen, The Rockmount & Buho)

8. Go on a weekend away with a gal pal – London trip scheduled for this weekend!

9. Take my girls to the Lake District – Family holiday planned for Autumn 2019.

10. Take my girls to the other Channel Islands1 Down. 4 to Go. (So far ticked off Herm)

30 Things in my Thirties Update 1 | The Open Home

Not Yet…

12. Get a good camera and learn how to use it!

13. Go on a flower arranging course

14. Learn to embroider

15. Open an Etsy shop

16. Make a patchwork quilt for each of my girls

17. Get a pet (most likely a rabbit)

18. Go kayaking

19. Start a veggie patch

20. Climb a mountain

21. Make a Will

22. Donate my wedding dress to charity

23. Walk the entire cliffs of Guernsey (in stages)

24. Read all of Agatha Christie’s Poirot

25. Go to the Bristol Balloon Fiesta

26. Visit Keighley in Yorkshire (where my Gran was evacuated to during WW2)

27. Visit friends in New Zealand

28. Visit an Asian country

29. Grow our family through adoption

30. Celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary in style!

 

What things do you have on your bucket list?

{March Gratitudes}

Gratitudes March 2018 | The Open Home
For family firsts a snow that sticks.
Gratitudes March 2018 | The Open Home
For new connections and hobbies that give life.
Gratitudes March 2018 | The Open Home
For dates with this one and effortless style.
Gratitudes March 2018 | The Open Home
For surprise incoming and creativity that is contagious.
March Gratitudes 2018 | The Open Home
For love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all.

These are the inserts from our gratitude journal during March, reminding us that God is good and we are blessed.

What have you been thankful for lately?

{Daughter Diaries} #46

Daughter Diaries 46 | The Open Home

Dear Blossom, so far you’re making my job as a home educator much easier. You’re eager to learn, quick to help out and basically teaching yourself to read and write – thanks for that! You’re a joy to be around sweetheart and I’m pleased we get to spend our days together, I shall treasure these early years of no pressure learning forever. Dear Bubbles, you sure had us worried for a minute there. Hospital stays with your three year old are never fun, especially when nasty tubes are involved. It did the trick though and 24 hours later you were home and smiling and delighted to be back with your big sister. So thankful to have my noisy, cheeky and contrary little limpet back, even if you do drive me crazy sometimes! Dearest Daughters, in sickness and in health, in joy and in sorrow, I will always be right there (probably getting no sleep and a crick in my neck, but I’ll still be right there, because it’s what we mother’s do!).

Anyone else ready for the winter coughs, colds and bugs to be over and done with?

 

{Winter Nature Study}

Winter Nature Study 2018 | The Open Home

“Why be indoors when you can rightly be without.” – Charlotte Mason

Each week we kickstart our homeschool week with Nature Explorers on a Monday morning and it’s always one of the highlights of our week. As a group we’re using Exploring Nature with Children as a guide and I also use this curriculum at home to inspire my library withdrawals and craft activities.

This term we’ve braved the cold winds on our nature walks, we’ve got our hands dirty as we dug for worms and we’ve got technical as we measured the age of trees. We took a closer look at the winter sky and moon and also revisited the tree we chose back in autumn.

We even started a Calendar of Firsts and a Phenology Wheel in our nature journals and ended the season with a rare Guernsey snow day!

Here are some of the snap shots:

Winter Nature Study 2018 | The Open Home
Watching the sea foam frolic in the wild winter wind!
Winter Nature Study 2018 | The Open Home
Rock pooling in the winter is a favourite nature activity of ours.
Winter Nature Study 2018 | The Open Home
Dramatic winter skies are best observed down on the beach.
Winter Nature Study 2018 | The Open Home
Winter pond study with early daffodils at Silbe Nature Reserve.
Winter Nature Study 2018 | The Open Home
Trudging through the beautifully muddy St. Peters countryside.
Winter Nature Study 2018 | The Open Home
Mother-Daughter nature journaling in action.
Winter Nature Study 2018 | The Open Home
The first sign of Spring, Candlemas Bells, more commonly known as Snowdrops.
Winter Nature Study 2018 | The Open Home
First snow day!

What do you enjoy most about nature in the Winter?

{February Gratitudes}

Gratitudes February 2018 | The Open Home
For memories in the making and my last look back.
Gratitudes February 2018 | The Open Home
For island life and exploring up close.
Gratitudes February 2018 | The Open Home
For the end of an era and a hope for the future.
Gratitudes February 2018 | The Open Home
For the wind in your hair and the thrill of life.
Gratitudes February 2018 | The Open Home
For slow starts and my sweet little yogis.
Gratitudes February 2018 | The Open Home
For quality time and the Spring before the snow.

 

These are the inserts from our gratitude journal during February, reminding us that God is good and we are blessed.

What have you been thankful for lately?

Our Flexible Learning Lifestyle

Our Flexible Learning Lifestyle | The Open Home

Well if you hadn’t quite clued on to the fact that we are home educating our girls then this post will hopefully say it loud and clear.

WE ARE HOME EDUCATING!

Have been since October 2017 and I’m pleased to say that so far, so good we all seem to be enjoying our new flexible learning lifestyle (as I like to call it).

You may or may not be surprised to hear that home educating is becoming more and more popular in Britain as families for various different reasons decide to educate their children outside of the traditional school system. Living on a small island the home ed community here is of course small, but very much alive and growing.

Our Flexible Learning Lifestyle | The Open Home

I am aware though, that for many of my friends and readers on the island we are in fact the first home educating family that you actually know so many of you of course, have questions about what we do, what’s allowed and whether or not we are crazy. The latter of which is still open to debate.

Snippets of our home educating lifestyle have and will continue to creep into my Daughter Diaries and Gratitude Journal posts from time to time, but I thought I would occasionally do some home ed specific posts to help you understand it all a little more.

I’ve actually been really surprised by the genuine interest and encouragement that has been coming my way. I guess I was mainly expecting blank and confused expressions, tinged with a side of judgement, which I admit I do get from time to time, but I’m pleased to report that the response has been mostly positive.

Our Flexible Learning Lifestyle | The Open Home

Before I share more posts about our home ed lifestyle let me first disclose that I am by no means an expert and this is not a homeschool “how-to” blog. There are many veteran homeschoolers out there with a wealth of information and flashy websites with affiliate links to go with it. I’m not planning to go too deep and wide with my blog posts here, but rather just give you a glimpse into what “school” looks like for us on this tiny island and what led us to home educate in the first place.

My hope is that by sharing a little about our learning lifestyle here that my readers will come to understand two things about home education. Firstly, that it can be a wonderfully enriching educational choice for many families and secondly, that not all homeschoolers are unsociable, tree-hugging, school-hating weirdos – although I’m sure some of us are!

If you have any questions in regard to home educating, particularly on a small island like Guernsey then please leave your questions in the comments and I’ll try my best to answer them in future posts.

What would you like to know about home educating on a small island?