May – the month where summer and winter collide leaving us all dizzy and disorientated. And peeling off winter layers under sunny skies, only to layer them all on again days later. But – when the sun shines, it’s glorious!
And shine it did for the Cape Explorers outings we had this month. Firstly – to Kleinplaas Dam on Red Hill. A little known gem. Well, little known to us that is. So much so, I got hopelessly lost and we ended up being 20 minutes late!
Still, we got there and the kids had a blast:
Even with all the public holidays in April and May, we managed to power on through most of them and kept up with school. It also afforded an opportunity for cousin Holly to join us one day to experience “homeschool”!
We did a yeast experiment that day – trying to determine the best conditions in which yeast grows. Fun!
Best part? When Katie tried to take the balloon off her jar and the bubbling yeast exploded all over her!
May was the month that Micah finally realised that he actually CAN read! He’s been learning via a programme called Reading Eggs. He just has not had the confidence as yet and only when I sat down with him and encouraged him to try read the stories at the end of each lesson did he suddenly realise – he could read!
Can you see the delight? I love it!
We celebrated some family time with the rest of the Hayes clan – and Ali’s 40th!
We took the kids out for Mexican food one night in May. Sam is fast becoming our “hot stuff” boy – game to try just about any hot stuff for the fun of it. Here he goes with a chilli:
Sam’s also taken to wanting to cook and bake on his own. So here’s his first batch of brownies. Too sweet!
Micah coming for a photo op!
On the way to drop kids off at club on Friday night, this was what greeted me in the clouds – beautiful!
Movie night at club!
One howling boy who found himself stuck up a tree!
A surprise letter and picture from dear friends in Kenya. Wow how the kids have grown!
Katie loves that her youngest brother is game to play tea party with her. Especially during school work breaks.
On Tuesday mornings, the boys head down the road to Debbie’s where she does fun and educational things with her boys and mine. It affords me extra time with the girls. We’ve also started reading through this book as some extra special girly time. Speak Love is written to young girls about their words and attitudes. It deals with the heart and has been quite helpful for conversations about how we treat each other. She nails the Mean Girl. I’m really enjoying reading together with my girls a book especially aimed at their hearts. Of course, indulging in Craig’s Triple Chocolate Muffins at the same time is a super cool bonus!
We did manage a few playdates in May – this photo was from one with the D family. I love it because it’s a great memory of the many fun times these kids have together. I also love how they love playing together, despite there being a 6 year age gap from the youngest to the oldest.
My Sonlight catalogue finally arrived in the mail. Yay! We will most likely start on a Sonlight core in the new year, after having done South African history for the past two years.
May was our month to vote for the next 5 years of government. It’s been a while since the kids have seen the process. We spent a bit of time this month learning about the election process and our history. The kids spent most of the month speaking about elections, government, leaders, voting and parties. Craig and I were peppered with questions about who we were voting for and why. Nothing like real life to educate kids!
Our church’s annual Food Fair had a rebranding! We’re now the “Soul Food Market” – thanks to a late night whatsapp brainstorm from our home group. Go Hayes group! I got a chance to sell my book. Here’s Sam manning the table.
We headed up to Hermanus that night, after the market, to celebrate Mother’s Day with my mom. Here are some kiddies at the Spookfontein restaurant.
The #Bringbackourgirls campaign has been a big topic of conversation and prayer in our house. One home-educated young girl put together an awareness video and asked families to contribute photos – here’s Katie’s.
Here’s the video: http://youtu.be/mmV9aQqf3j0
We had book club at the Warton’s this month. Katie wanted to come with so that she could spend some time with the Warton girls. All the Warton girls have babysat our children at some point in their lives. And the kids love them! So, while I was enjoying delicious tea snacks, great books and company in the lounge, Katie joined Liesl in the kitchen. I love this photo below for so many reasons – it’s a kitchen that buzzes with joy, fellowship and happiness. People are the heartbeat here. It’s filled with wonderful people – people I love. And the fact that I get to share these special people with my own daughter – and she gets it; she loves them as much as I do, well, it’s just awesome. She had a blast helping peel and cut potatoes for their 18 people dinner that night!
Kiera’s on a Matilda the Musical craze at the moment. She watched an X Factor on Youtube some months back and loved a piece done by a young girl. A little googling and she discovered the piece was an item from the Matilda musical on West End. Well, we’ve not heard the end of it since. She now knows all the songs by heart, choreographed a modified version of the item “Naughty” and taught it to her best friend. Then they showed it to their drama teacher. Well, they now have TWO items for their drama eistedfodd this year. One being the monologue they each do on their own and the second being their musical item – “Naughty” from Matilda the Musical. Here the girls are all dressed up for their “dress rehearsal”. Too cute!
We’ve been hard at school work this month. Even if it means we don’t keep to one particular dress code!
When I took this photo, Kiera said “hey, look, ma! Katie and I are the ‘koeksusters’!” Katie was making supper (mash potatoes with crumbed chicken fillets and veg) and Kiera was baking banana bread.
If memory serves me correctly, this was the same day that we had a reporter from the Cape Argus come to interview us about home education. They did a great article that highlights some of the concerns about registration of home educated children. They also gave home education a super promo! More on that in next month’s update. But here are the photos off their Facebook page:
I’ve been wanting to see Blood Brothers for ages now. It’s a West End musical that was adapted for a South African context by David Kramer. The story takes place in the 1960s in District Six, then moving onto the Cape Flats – apartheid the backdrop of a story of love and loss. It was at the Fugard theatre. We’ve never been there. I booked the front seats, because our experience has been so positive – front seats are usually cheap seats, but they are also great seats. But these ones were CLOSE. We sat down next to a couple who got chatting to me straight away. It was a wonderful conversation that turned spine-tingling in mere moments. Turned out that the lady I was talking to had lived in Harfield Village. Her mother was the principal of the Methodist school in Second Avenue. She had managed to avoid forced removals, first by being exempt for the year the school was coming to a close. Then by totally ignoring the government’s notices to move! What a feisty lady! She is still living in Harfield Village at the age of 95. I was marvelling at the similarities in her story to my character – a man, principal of a school, living in Harfield Village, expected to leave due to the Group Areas Act. And then she told me that her mother’s name is Mrs Hendricks. Hendricks – just like Mr Hendricks in my story. The one, totally fictitious. The other, the real deal. Wow. The show itself was brilliant, but the entire evening was made all the more amazing by the conversations I got to enjoy with Dorothy and her husband during interval and before.
We’ve been doing Table Talk (Good Book Company) for our devotional times in the morning. There’s a free timeline that’s offered if one writes in. Well, I wasn’t expecting one per child or this awesome letter! Really good stuff!
The sun shines and then the clouds roll in. But, we can still enjoy an afternoon walk – love, love, LOVE the Alphen trail.
Katie’s really improved in her attitude towards school work. She’s so much more responsible and it’s awesome! Here she’s using the window as a light table – tracing the Western Cape.
We’ve been studying blood in our Science times together. We did a fun hands on “model” of blood with honey (plasma), red powdered food colouring (red blood cells), white jelly beans (white blood cells) and candied sprinkles (platelets). They kids had an absolute blast!
Loads of laughs and fake grossed-outedness!
It was one of our favourite experiments this year!
We also experimented with making corn bread – a la Trekboers – well, it was all good in theory but no one wanted to eat this brick!
Lunch Bunch continues as always – love, love, LOVE this group. Here Kiera is listening to Caren share tips for drawing.
These two! Love them!
This photo kills me – laughing! I asked Micah what he was doing and he said, “Mama, I was sliding! I couldn’t help it!”
Reading aloud from Secret Seven – love it!
And learning how to draw some more…
More Cape Explorers! Woohoo! Again to Simonstown for a fun outing of adventure scavenger hunt.
After our outing, we joined the R family for a visit to the Toy Museum…
The favourite was definitely the running train set in the middle of the store.
I had fun taking photos – trying to make it look real!
Ok – enough with the overkill of train photos. Here’s some of the historical figurines. I have no idea who would collect these, but they’re pretty awesome. Imagine learning history by playing with these.
Kiera had her first gymnastics competition for the year in May. Two weeks before the contest, she still couldn’t do a hip circle on the bar. She was pretty convinced that she should not compete. She really struggled and was seriously considering quitting this year. But, she agreed to keep her commitment to the end of the year. Lots of chats about persevering and working to one’s personal potential. She took it all on board. Worked hard and finally got the hip circle.
She had an absolute ball at the competition. Here she is with her teammates waiting for the prize-giving.
Best part? She had absolutely no idea that she had won! Her joy was too precious. Her first time on the podium for an overall win. But for me it was double joy, because she had put so much hard work into it.
Love her joy!
Her friend, Lea, had come to watch along with Katie – love it.
May ended with Katie’s 10th birthday party – fun times!
And so ends – May 2014!