One of my pet hates is that as soon as Christmas finishes, the ‘Back to School’ advertising starts. I feel as though there is always this massive rush to get organised for the next school year before I am ready. It would be nice to have a chance to reflect on the year that just was, digest, and recover from Christmas. I want to get organised for the new school year when I am ready to do so, rather than feeling pushed into it because the advertising has started. I feel it creates this unnecessary stress, an inner panic for a mum who isn’t ready to face the school year. I want the school holidays to linger for as long as possible, considering the school year can be quite brutal at times as the kids get older. Truthfully, I like to live in my happy place of denial right up until the day school starts.
This past year has been a big year for our family.
We started our homeschooling adventure, which was quite good. Rocky at times considering the distance education school we were going through decided to implement changes that really made the adventure quite difficult for us, and numerous other families. Amy achieved a silver academic award, as well as a persistence and determination award. I feel as though I should have received the persistence and determination award for sticking with the school till the end of the year, but I am happy that Amy got it because she did work exceptionally hard, and she had a teacher who worked well with us, and really walked beside Amy and brought out the best in her.
Bethany and Chanel also worked very well. Bethy completed year six, and Chanel completed year 4, and while we lost our lovely teacher part way through term two, and assigned a teacher who was difficult to work with, I feel that we did really well. The goal of homeschooling in 2015 was to make sure that Bethy was ready for middle school in 2016. I am impressed by how much she has grown and changed over the course of this year. Bethy might be eleven, but she has really blossomed this year in so many ways. I feel as though she has her spark back, and I feel the coming year is going to be another really good year, especially since we have changed distance education providers.
Chanel too has blossomed this year. She creates beautiful masterpieces with her hair. I never know what hairstyle she’s going to come to the table with. Chanel is so incredibly creative, and playful. I didn’t realise until we started our homeschooling adventure that when she is stressed about not understanding what she has to do for school, she completely disengages. At first I would get really frustrated with her, but then I realised that she needed someone to just sit beside her to help her gain her confidence. In a normal classroom setting teachers don’t have time to nurture our children until they understand a concept because there are 28 to 30 pairs of eyes vying for their attention. I have come to realise that Chanel actively went out of her way to hide from her teacher when she didn’t understand something, and then used humour to distract her teachers from really knowing what she understood. Chanel had a brilliant teacher in year 3 in 2014, but it was a massive class and her teacher was too stretched to sit beside her for the amount of time Chanel really needed.
This year has given me a lot of insight into how my kids tick and learn, and I feel really good about going into 2016.
Jaden completed his time at kindy at the beginning of December. We miss Miss Kerrie, but he has asked that we go see her and Miss Rachel every week. Its so lovely to have met and become friends with some really special friends over the course of this year. While Jaden loves Miss Kerrie and Miss Rachel, I think I will be the one who misses them more due to our numerous conversations over the course of this last year. As Jaden says, “We’ll just have to visit them!”, and we will especially once school goes back. Jaden will be attending prep at a local primary school this year. He is quite excited to go to school with some of his friends from kindy. I feel the coming year is going to be a big year for our little guy. Let me tell you that I thought it was going to be easier seeing my little man go off to prep considering he’s our fourth, but I have realised that I have had this same apprehension for each one of my kids starting school. Its not any easier, I have the same blah feeling for my fourth as I had when Amy started.
This last year Amy officially became a teenager, I turned 40, hubby had a massive year at work, we got to go to my favourite place – the Gold Coast for a number of weekend getaways, a family holiday at the Q1, and a conference where we got to stay at Peppers in Broadbeach.
We had Christmas at our place for hubby’s side of the family. We decided to do a hot Christmas lunch this year. I cooked my first ham thanks to Donna Hay’s cheat Christmas leg of ham recipe, her stuffing muffins, crunchy potatoes, and roast vegetables. I must say that the hardest part of taking on this challenge was organising how I went about it all. Donna Hay has a kitchen with 4 ovens so its a lot easier to cook everything at the same time and get it to the table warm, so there was some juggling involved, but I will say that our meal was so yummy. Worth the juggling!
Our 2015 was a big year in so many ways. It has been a great year for our family, and I am not quite ready to say good bye to 2015 and hello to 2016. I realise that time marches on, and I’ll just have to accept that 2016 is here.
Hello 2016, I wonder what adventures we’ll have together?!?