Monday, March 22, 2010

What Did I Learn On Homeschool Camp?

It was reaffirmed for me during our week away that some of the things we do differently are working well for us, I also learnt some new ones.

1) Attachment Parenting Is Awesome.
Miss H was always in a sling, or in our arms. Despite teething and having a slight cold miss H was a dream to have with us, be it hiking up to the archery course in the blazing heat or washing the 30+ peoples dishes. The great thing about using the AP style & approach with our children (especially the youngest 3 who have been parented this way since birth) is that we see more and more how independent they are & how well they interact with others, this is a direct result of the gentle and nurturing way in which we treat them.

2) Walkie Talkies.
There were 2 other large families on the camp both rocking the walkie talkies, definitely on my shopping list for next time.

3) Co Sleeping.
We didn't pack a portacot (ours hasn't left the garage in about 5 years) I slept in one double bed with Mr C, Mamma Bare slept with Miss H & Miss P and the eldest 3 all shared rooms with us. I think the strenuous days helped with getting a solid nights sleep because even the sand in the bed didn't phase me.

4) Baby wearing.
I have thoroughly enjoyed wearing all our children, we have progressed from Baby Bjorn many years ago (shudder) tried the mac pack, ergo & now rely on the kozy carrier and mammas storchenwiege wrap (I'm soon to order my own in cammo). Having bubs on me allowed me to photograph the other children in their activities, free up both hands to eat a meal, free up mamma bare to eat a meal & most importantly give miss H a chance to sleep wherever we were. The stroller was there for Miss P when she needed to crash but most of the time it was our clothes/hats/sunscreen/water bottle trolley.

5) Home schooled Kids are great.
They instantly treasure the relationships they make and are not forced to "get along" with other children like @ school. Our boys met friends their own age & by night #2 were the best of friends, its a shame the reside a state away.

6) I really need to do more interesting things with my children.
MR B did some electronics kits, sure I was a little nervous and maybe got a few singed knuckle hairs from B's efforts with the soldering iron but I had a ball and was mesmerised with the look of concentration on his face and also the attention to detail it put into creating his LED "Man & Dog".

7) One of the most useful skills any child can learn is the ability to swim.
I rate it higher than reading and writing for anyone under 10. Spending time in water safely is a treasure, our numerous moves have made lessons hard but for almost a year now we have spent every Saturday swimming (lessons + play time). Its really showing in the children's abilities in water now.

8) Meltdowns are inevitable.
They are, you cant plan for everything. You cant keep everyone happy all the time.

9) Owning a Bus is great.
We had Um'd and Ahh'd about the purchase of our bus, particularly with the $1200 service bill prior to our week away but I cannot praise it enough now. Its actually our 5th vehicle since having children and our second people mover. I managed to fit a large esky, 40lt tub, 3 suitcases, 2 back packs, 6 doonas, 8 pillows, stroller, 2 camp chairs, a million pairs of shoes. It got around 800km to a single fill up and hapily sat on 110kph with the A/c pumping all day long.

10) Going Tech Free.
While the children are already commercial TV free a week away from computers, Internet, email, my iphone etc etc was sooooooo good for me. I'm thinking of making 1 day a week tech free, obviously week days are hard at work staring at 3 screens but who knows - stay tuned on that one.

11) Sooner or later you have to come back down to earth.
In our case it was with a rather large bump. Amongst the mail, mag subscriptions and bills was a letter from the Children's Hospital - Mr C's next round of tissue expander's will be put in in just under 7 weeks.

Until next time........

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