Friday, 20 April 2012

Homeschooling? Me?

I contemplated homeschooling my son - in this post i'm exlporing my reasons for it and how everything happened differently than i planned it

Hello there,

It looks like i’m not going to homeschool my son next year.
Let's step back and take a look at what happened and why I, who have NEVER considered homeschooling to be for anyone other than religious fundamentalists, seriously planned to do this in the first place.

1). The situation in viennese Schools isn’t the best overall, but our district is fairly catastrophic. I really don’t care where anyone comes from or where anyones parents come from, but i would like for all first graders to be able to speak the language that is used for teaching, thank you very much. If they don’t, they need to learn the language as quickly as possible to be able to understand their classmates and teachers. Yes, there should be a fund for that, that’s a good thing to spend tax money on. If there are a couple of kids that aren’t fluent in german, that’s no big deal. They will learn the language soon enough. But in the Schools that are closest to our home, there are perhaps two or three kids starting each year that ARE fluent in german, and no teacher in the world can teach 20+ kids in a language they don’t understand.

2). I know my kids need social contacts and the whole peer group thing is important, but i don’t like our district very much and i definetly don’t like its people. Is that really who i want my kids to hang out with and learn from?

3). I’ve seen with a couple of kids that the start of school stopped their fun they had with learning. My son is smart and interested in many things and i’m dreading the time where learning will become a chore for him. I would love for that point in time to be very, very far away. I have an examle of that – my friends daughter is very smart, but impatient and a bit of a wild child. She’s also very exact when it comes to coloring or glueing, so stuff like that takes a long time. The normal classroom situation is just not what she needs. She’s always behind and has to take work home that she didn’t finish in addition to her homework. She’s smart – it’s not like she can’t do the work, everything just takes soooo long because it has to be perfect and then she gets bored and distracted. It takes her two to three hours every day to get that stuff done. That girl is eight years old. She loves reading, but she doesn’t have the time to read much…

So, these were the main reasons for me to consider homeschooling, and i actually started preparing for it. I read so much, mostly things from mothers who homeschool, i had a couple of wonderful conversations with some fantastic people, and i was quite confident that i would be, in fact, able to pull this off. ’ So what changed?

1). I found a school that I actually like. It is fairly close and they have good tutoring programs for kids whose german isn’t too good, they start with english in first grade and they have a model class that i really, really liked. They teach the grades one through four in one classroom, with five to eight kids per grade. The kids have three to five years to finish the first four grades, and a lot of the work is Montessori based and the kids work things out for themselves.

2). My kids will have to learn to get along with all kinds of people, and while i would love to shelter them from all unleasant kids, i can not (and will not) do that. School is a somewhat controlled enviroment to meet these people and if things don’t work, there are grown ups to help.
3). I applied to the school, and even though there are only seven spots this year, we got one of them. My sons best friend is in the same class, she started last fall and their experience has so far been really good. The homework load is minimal and she can work at her own speed. I know my son will be really fast in math and slow when it comes to coloring, cutting or even writing. I hope he will not be judged on his weaknesses but his strengths in this class.
I am extremely happy we got in – but with a little bit of sadness mixed in. It would have been a great opportunity. I loved being there for my kids firsts – and now someone else gets to do this. We will continue our study time, i think – greatly reduced, maybe, but it’s not over completely.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

wordless wednesday

Tuesday treasury

We love going to medieval markets and festivals and the kids always dress up as knights. I put together a few things that every little knight or shieldmaiden might need :

keep crafting,

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Monday Meme

hi there, i decided to start taking part in some memes so y'all get to know me a little better. Come on over and join me, these things are so much more fun with more people :

Acting Balanced

so, here we go:

1. Finish this sentence - I dream of....
sleeping in on weekends :-) Seriously, sleeping in until 9 or so sounds amazing. Oh well, there's always mothers day :-)

2. If you could choose your last meal, what would it be?
Something that will take a while to eat - i'd go with an all you can eat salad bar, garlic bread and fresh made lemonade. If my grandmothers potato salad would be available, that would be awesome!

3. What was your favorite toy as a child?
I had a waldorf doll that my Mom made herself. she had blond braids and a pink dress and I called her Gretchen Margaretchen - and that name isn't much better in german, beleive me :-)  I got that doll for christmas, and while I had other toys that I loved, this one is the one that comes to mind first. I always loved books and I had a telescope that I adored, but my dolls and stuffed animals are still "there" when i close my eyes. many of them had really, really weird names...

4. What color looks best on you?
I know, I should probably say that earty colors look best on me, but I simply don't like wearing dark colors. I like bright colors and all shades of blue, too - the only thing i don't want to wear are pastels and yes, earthy tones...

 And don't forget to add a 5th Question on your own blog so we can answer as we hop around!
(5) If you had a time machine, where would you go? (yes, I'm a nerd)
I would like to take several short jumps into the future to see what will happen to humanity and our planet...

keep creating,

Monday, 16 April 2012

Sweet strawberries

I did it - my daughter finally got the sweater I always wanted to make for her...
I  have wished for a while that my sewing skills would be good enough to tackle some bigger projects, preferrably clothing for my kids. Our son grows legs first - and combined with a desire to always slide on his knees and crawl into small  spaces, this leads to an extreme shortage of pants that  a) have legs that are long, b) a tiny waist and c) no holes at the knees... I already repaired/elongated lots of his old pants, but a couple of pairs of pants for Mr. Noodles are next on my list.
Anyway, I found this super cute Fabric - pink/red stripes and hearts in a nice cotton velour that I simply had to use for the Mouse Princess. I combined it with a couple of different greens I had at home and added some classic strawberry shortcake apliqué - vóilà, a new favourite :-)
She wants  to wear it all day, every day now :-)
keep creating, 

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Project Run and Play Sew Along

Only a couple of hours left to post your sew-along projects for Project Run and Play - and here is mine :-)
The Task was to play with the this Pattern:
Dana's Circle Skirt Pattern
This is my version of it - Pattern mix in rainbow.  The Mouse Princess loves it :-)
I had a lot of fun with this pattern and it really is super, super easy to make. it doesn't take long to make at all - even with the modifications I made it took about 1 hour all in all.

I used quilting cotton and vintage (upcycled) sheets, and its still an awesome dance skirt. I HAVE to make it again with a flowy fabric to see what happenes...