We had a little Valentine’s day picnic up on the fort, which (other than Adam threatening to fall off half the time) is a wonderful, shaded and peaceful place to enjoy a picnic together.
Happy Valentine’s Day!
We probably have a lightning storm about once a year in Cape Town and they are super subdued (nothing like the Gauteng summer storms), so when an unexpected storm, with lightning, loud thunder, hard rain and hail to boot comes along in the middle of a serious drought, then it is party time for Captonians (or at least those who aren’t afraid of thunder because they’ve never heard it in their lives).
The water poured down, into the rain tanks, overflowing the gutters, streaming through the garden, and we caught what we could, bucketed it into the pond, added overflows to rain water tanks and had fun getting wet in the unexpected rain.
This was after the storm, but the hail was the biggest hail I’ve seen in Cape Town – about 1-2cm diameter.
Maria Montessori developed the “going out” in an attempt to connect children with the outside world.
“A true going out trip is one that is thought of, planned, organized, executed, and followed up by the child. With the older children (ages 9-12) it is an expression of independence and responsibility. Usually, an idea is planted while the child is doing research.” – http://montessoritraining.blogspot.co.za/2008/03/going-out-as-part-of-montessori.html
Grace has visited the Aquarium three times over the past three years as part of a going out. The first two times it felt like…. ‘Mmm I feel like going to the Aquarium, let me organise a going out’. Don’t get me wrong, the first two times the group did the planning for the trip, phoned the Aquarium, phoned a chaperone, organised how much money they needed to bring (which can cause some challenges), got directions, wrote up the information in the going out passport and have gone and learnt a thing or two. The skills learnt just from the preparation for the trip is amazing in itself and builds independence, responsibility, self confidence and a range of other skills.
Arriving at the Aquarium
I must be honest though when Grace told me in the first week of the new school year that she wanted to go to the Aquarium (on a going out) again, my first question was why? To which she answered “because I want to learn about jellyfish.” Over the December holidays Grace developed a bit of a fear of bluebottles and we had some discussions about jellyfish and bluebottles which seemed to have sparked some interest.
So keeping that in mind and with the permission of her directress, her and a classmate started doing some research on jellyfish and began the planning and organising of the going out. This time, instead of just arriving at the Aquarium, they arranged for a guide to answer their questions and went well prepared with about three pages of questions.
Although this trip caused Grace some anxiety with worries about whether they actually needed to pay for a guide, to the concern that they might not have a chaperone, she persevered through and really enjoyed getting the opportunity to ask her questions balanced with just having some fun exploring and playing at the Aquarium. Their questions ranged from jellyfish related to “why is the ocean blue?” From the feedback I got they certainly kept their guide on his toes with the questions and it took him a few minutes to realise that although there were only two of them they were there to learn and had questions they wanted answered.
Having some fun with the exhibits
Its been interesting to see as Grace has entered her 3rd cycle (grade 3) in the lower elementary class how she has grown. She approached this outing with a desire to learn and came back full of interesting insights into the ocean and its creatures. I think the going out programme is such a wonderful opportunity to explore a topic that you are interested in, find out the answers to your questions and then go back and share it with your class which they did today.
It would seem that her interest in the ocean and caring for our marine life has been sparked and she is in the beginning phases of organising a going out to Strand beach to do a beach clean up.
Feeding time at the predator tank
I can’t believe it, but in 2 months time Adam starts school. You would think 3rd time round I would have this first day of school sorted, but the truth is it still brings so much sadness, feelings of doubt, is it the right time? Will he be okay?
I remember clearly sitting with my wise friend when Grace was about to embark on her school journey, basically in tears, contemplating all of these questions and probably a 100 more when she turned to me and said, ‘Donné sending your child to school is not child abuse, cigarette burns are, but going to school is not’
I must admit those words have resonated with me and over the years I have shared them with many an anxious ‘sending my kid to school for the first time’ mom.
In truth it definitely doesn’t stop me worrying about my babies but it does help give me some perspective and a feeling that all will be okay. Yes there will be tears and yes I will miss Adam and Adam will miss me, but I know he will be fine and with time enjoy making friends and engaging in school activities, afterall sending him to school isn’t child abuse.
In the mean time, I’ll enjoy these last few precious moments of us time, where we can play, and cuddle, chat and laugh and just be the two of us.
The MacRoberts organised a Scottish Burns Night Supper, so yesterday was a tartan filled afternoon and evening of fun.
First we had to make our kilts and tartan clad clothing so that we could arrived in suitable style
The lassies and the wee laddie
We were grouped into clans and had to determine our clan name and war dance. We were the iMacs with a rather interesting war dance.
The iMac clan war dance
With the clans ready, the Highland games begun – caber toss, archery, three legged races and boulder throwing
Andre tosses the caber
Eli trying out the archery
Addy had his own war plans
Haig, the man of the day, cooked the haggis and addressed it brilliantly. And the haggis was very tasty (my first time).
It’s Scottish, so we have to have bagpipes
Poetry, singing and good times together.
Thanks Haig and Margeurite for organising a wonderful day!
Eli and Adam got all dressed up before Finn’s pirate party, but by the time it was time to actually go they had abandoned them in favour of being plain clothes pirates.
We acquired a second hand espresso machine for the office on our way back from Jefferys Bay which means we’re dining way more coffee and practicing our latte art.
Today I managed to get a heart! Well maybe a heart crossed with a tulip
And then a bit later
Practice makes perfect, and we’re willing to do the hard work of drinking all that coffee to improve on the latte art.