Sunday, April 14, 2013


Is it physics?   Is it maths?  Reading?  Comprehension?   ....


Oh - hang on, I don't remember seeing "Fun" as a heading on the curriculum ...

... and taking apart an old video camera - technology ... electronics ... I don't know!

And I don't care.

We don't put learning into a box - we don't give it a name.

It's just normal life.

I don't teach my children.

I observe, provide, facilitate, encourage, answer, question and I'm blessed to share many, many LIGHTBULB moments!

It works.    Our 19 year old son just went through a testing procedure - we didn't do tests when he was younger, so I was interested to see where he would score now that he's grown up.

When he was very little I got many books out the library about "Teaching The Gifted Child".  I thought he was very bright - gifted even.   Then, to my dismay, he seemed to take a few years off being bright.  Around 14 years off actually.

Unbeknown to me he was still learning.

And he was learning at his own pace, in his own way.

I put myself through many "I'm not doing enough work with this child" moments.  But I should have had more confidence.

The psychologist who tested our son said that they don't do IQ tests anymore, but the result he got in the test she did would be equivalent to an IQ of around 130-140.

So he is a Brainy-Brain-Box after all! 

That was a gift to me - knowing that I can continue with educating these younger children the same way I've always done it.    Naturally and Gently.

God Bless
The Mummalady


My husband used to know some people who would look around to see what was "new", "popular", "in" or "looked good" and immediately copy it.  Not necessarily because they really liked it, or saw it as suiting them, but it was their nature to just go ahead and copy someone.

It can be annoying to have someone copy you all the time (my Mum says her little sister used to copy her, I was the youngest of two so I didn't know how that would feel) - but as my husband always says "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery."  And when it comes to our children they will surely imitate us - it's the way they learn!

My little guy in the picture above was "taking a photo" with his "camera" on the beach.  He had been watching me!

Here's a bit from my book about imitation:


Babies and children learn so beautifully from imitation. A baby and child's desire to imitate is so strong that we MUST ensure all our words and actions are worthy of imitation. Don't let your children learn to be grumpy, impatient, complaining or rude from your example!
Pray for a sweeter, kinder, more gentle and patient attitude. Be brave enough to ask someone close to you if they will point out when you are getting snappy or off-hand with your children – they don't need to announce it, perhaps just a “look” will remind you to bring your tone down, or remember to look at your child as you speak, instead of issuing commands as you walk out of the room.

A very practical way to learn a better attitude, worthy of imitation is for YOU to imitate someone else!   Find someone who speaks to children kindly, respectfully and is cheerful and positive.  As much as you can walk away from the negative, dramatic, selfish, demanding, moaning, whining, complaining people who come into your life.  My husband tells me of people he comes across who, when given a simple piece of cheerful information will always find something to complain about. 
“Nice weather!” will be answered with “Far too hot – can’t get any energy to get going and tomorrow there’s a rotten rain storm coming over.”  
Or:    “Lovely drop of raining we’re having!”  is answered with “I’ve got a load of washing on the line getting soaked and the garden is a mud pond.”
Then there’s:    “Got much work on?”  (this seems to be a fairly common phrase for tradesmen to ask each other).  The negative guy or gal will answer  “Coming out my ears, can’t keep up with it and everybody wants their jobs yesterday of course.”   OR “Nah, hardly anything coming in, don’t know how the bills will be paid this month …”  Sometimes these people can also be magnets for negative controversial information (mostly gossip), and like to file away, then share stories (definitely gossip at this stage) of the guy who was ripped off by the panelbeater and another fellow who bulldozed all his neighbours trees and made a path down the cliff to the beach even though he never got resource consent and the council never did a thing …
The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.   Proverbs 26:22  (KJV)
Negativity can be infectious (and gossip is sinful, damaging and poisonous).  If it is within your capability you might like to try and sort out WHY a person lives in a negative frame of mind – do they need practical help, positive interests/hobbies in their life,  an opportunity to serve others, encouragement, or a friend to talk to?  But overall if you can, try to stay away from being over-burdened with negativity for your sake, and the sake of your children.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


Speaking with one of our favourite supermarket ladies this evening I was reminded that I hadn't updated our blog for a while.

She was telling me about her grandson - he's nearly 5, and almost starting school.

I reminded her that we are "allowed" to keep our children to ourselves until they are 6.  After that time we have to apply for an exemption to keep them out of school.

I think the majority of parents are either happy for their 5 year olds to go to school, or else they are a little worried that if they leave starting school until their child is 6 then the child may have missed something out, or be behind.   If you are a loving, involved parent your child will NOT be "behind".  They will probably be waaaay out in front of their peers!

PLEASE parents - anyone reading this who is unsure - please ask me - or go to the Home Education Foundation website:  to check out all the lovely information there about home education.

I recently attended a session in a workshop run by Barbara Smith of the Home Education Foundation.  The session I picked to attend was entitled "Training our Children's Minds".   I've heard Barbara, and her late husband Craig speak many times over the years.  I came away, as always, even more confident about our choice to home educate.   This last year has been very hard for us - including a huge learning curve of the Autistic Spectrum Disorders type.   Barbara's talk was very encouraging and managed to clear away some of the rubbish that has accumulated in my head.

Barbara has the information from her workshops available as powerpoint presentations on the HEF website.

You needn't have a long-term vision of home education.  I did, but that's me.  Perhaps you just want to keep your 5 year old with you for another year before they're sent into the world?   Perhaps you could review how you feel about it then?

Home education gives a child space, time, confidence, and most importantly - it builds beautiful relationships with those people who are REALLY important to them.

God Bless
The Mummalady