Archive for April 20th, 2011

April 20, 2011

Family Day Out

by Belinda Letchford

Pete asked me a week or so ago if I’d like to do anything over the Easter weekend.  I reflected back on last year when we went out to waterhole only to find a crowd of 20 or so Ringers settled in for the weekend with loud music and eskies full of alcohol .  Not really conducive to a quiet family day out in nature!  So this year we decided to head bush for the day, before the weekend.  Since Pete could take a day off work, we are homeschooling and completely flexible we chose to have a family day off on Tuesday.

We haven’t been able to go to any of the waterholes/waterfalls this year because Nomi had her toenails operated on and we’ve been waiting for them to heal.  This wet season has been big and long so even though we are mid April there is still flowing water.

The plan was we would head off early after breakfast, walk up the rocks, following the water until we reached a deep waterhole, have a bite to eat, make our way back, swimming wherever we wanted.  Have a BBQ lunch and then just hang around in the shade either reading or playing card games.  So that is exactly what we did!

This was about 1/2 way. We walked along a creek with water holes, little waterfalls for about 1 hour

Though this wasn't the end of the waterholes, it was the end of our walk for the day. The kids had a swim, we ate morning tea, we chatted for a bit before heading back for lunch.

Pete walked up and around the waterhole and was able to take a photo looking down on us. Beautiful country.

A wonderful day out!

April 20, 2011

Leaving the House for a Day

by Belinda Letchford

Kids off for a bushwalk (2005) with their backpacks

I remember our first week of homeschooling – well, actually I only remember the Friday.  In those days we homeschooled for 4 days, and on Friday we went to the pool in the morning, and then I did my lesson prep for the following week in the afternoon.  Sometimes we went to the library before we came home.  It was a full day for us – I had three kids aged 4 and under.

I remember sitting at the pool though and my muscles just relaxing.  My day was wonderful!  I loved our new life!  It was the comparison between before homeschooling and after homeschooling that sticks with me.  I sat there happy in knowing that my house was in order, dinner was prepared.  Compared to the days when Josh was at Kindy, we’d leave the house at 7.15, drop him off at Kindy, do our chores around town till it was time to pick him up again (he only did 3.5hours) and then we’d go to the pool, possibly the library before I took my very tired children home.  When we arrived home I had breakfast dishes and laundry greet me, let alone dinner!  How nice to be able to leave home at a later time, with those things done, and sit at the pool relaxing with my children.  This was my first ‘feel good’ about homeschooling!

Every so often though there are big days when we leave the house in the morning and don’t get back home till late afternoon.  These are tiring days, and days I prefer not to have too often.  But over the years I have noticed a few things that make this type of day easier to manage:

The night before

  1. Have clothes ready
  2. Have bags for everyone ready (my kids have always had backpacks, where they take their own hat, waterbottle and books to read while we are out)
  3. Have food/snacks ready to grab (or prepare first thing in the morning – like cutting up fresh fruit.

On the day itself, make time to have the following done (and if there is no time, get these things done the night before)

  1. Have the house tidy – things put away, dishes done, floor swept
  2. Have dinner prepared (now that my kids are older we can plan on a super-simple meal to prepare when we get home but when they were younger, it needed to be done, ready to go)
  3. Have no expectations on the evening

When we get home after such a day out it is important to

  1. Unpack everything first up  (before we do anything else), put things back in their right place
  2. Get everyone showered / bathed
  3. Have everyone doing something quiet until dinner is ready (I love to see my family congregate in the lounge room reading, waiting for dinner).

What do you do to help these days go smoothly?

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