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Thursday, 20 June 2013

Days Out

Days out with twelve of us could prove expensive. However, it doesn't have to be expensive. There is so much stuff out there that is free, and close to it. I am going to list a few ideas, including some stuff we do.
1) National trust membership- If you are a home educator, you can get this for just £36 a year. (though you cannot visit at weekends, and school holidays. Even if you are not a home educator, a family membership offers real value for money. Look out for a third off offers, which often include a free gift.
Belton House NT Last year:

2) Sometimes there are open days, when historical attractions are opened for free. These are listed on council websites.
3) Country parks- Often just a small parking charge.
4) Woodlands- Look on the woodlands trust website, to find places nearby. They can also offer activities such as den building.

5) Clubcard vouchers- If you are looking at a particular attraction, clubcard deals are very good value. Sometimes getting as much as 4x value for points. Otherwise look out for internet offers. We got into a safari park once, and had half of the children free, due to a similar offer that a friend told us about.
6) The beaches- Though some do charge quite a lot to park, there are often free places available, too.

I am sure there are many other ideas, and some I have forgotten. Please leave any extra suggestions in comments, and I hope in this time of recession it can be of some help.

Friday, 14 June 2013

Are You the Perfect Homeschooling Mum?

Just recently, a copy of Todd Wilson's, 'Lies Homeschooling Moms Believe' landed in my mail box. (thanks, Susan, so timely!)
You know, I have been homeschooling now for years, at least 15 years now. You would think that by now, I would be an expert? Errrr, well, no. In fact, I often have others thinking, AND SAYING THAT I must be wonderwoman, or Supermum. Hey, I have to say, there is no way I would fit the outfit! But, hey seriously I am just as normal as anyone, if you can call homeschoolers normal.
I have to say, the book had me smiling in many places. (If you haven't read it, I would definitely encourage you to read it.) I remember one time, we met a family with far more than us at the time, they were able to all stand together, and recite a large portion of Genesis. I was thinking to myself at the time, that mine would be lucky to manage a verse!! Also, my husband made a remark about how well turned out they were, and he confessed that our children don't look half that tidy. Of course, I was mortified!
Another time, I overheard another mum say to her husband quietly, ''How come her baby is so content, ours are never like that?!'' Of course, I almost choked on hearing that. Yes, Hosanna was a cutie for being content, but boy my sister in law could tell you about the time she nearly screamed her ears off, and that was from another room. All children are different, and have different qualities. So, there was me admiring others' fantastic super good children, and yet others were admiring mine! Just goes to show, are we reading the full picture? Todd Wilson shows how we aren't, we are just picking up external cues.
I remember the time another mum mentioned studying Latin. *Gulp* I thought it might be a good idea to include some extra stuff too, but you can so easily lose sight of the basics, and end up tying yourself up. Some are good at arty stuff. I am not, but love History, Music,Maths, and racquet sports. Guess what they do a lot of?!
So, I guess we need to concentrate on our strengths, and not tie ourselves up in knots trying to do stuff out of our depth. I will give an example ;Izzy, our 16 year old seems to be very gifted in areas of engineering, and electronics. He is a complete geek, and can often be found with a complicated Engineering book, sprawled across his bed. Even on Saturdays! Now, none of us have a flair for it, so where did he get it? Well, I am a believer in letting them pursue their interests, and homeschooling makes it so much easier, so that is what he did. He is coming in pretty useful too, fixing hoovers, computers, amongst many. Funny thing is, I was a bit lax on science, but that was no bother to him, he just read them all anyway. So, definitely don't worry thinking you are inadequate, and ignore the naysayers that are busy telling you their son has 20 GCSE' s all A* and how will yours possibly get a job.
Another thing I found recently, was the Trim Healthy Mama diet. I read the book, and wanted to lose weight. The book implied, that if I didn't follow all their rules, and cut out the carbs I wouldn't lose weight. For two weeks, I was becoming obsessive over food, it was as if someone had tied a millstone over my neck. I can tell you I ditched it, and now feel free, and guess what? Yep. I lost weight regardless. I am not saying it won't work for others, but it definitely wasn't for me at the time.
The modesty thing is another issue. So, so easy to end up dressing to please others. Honestly, our focus is on God, not man made rules! If someone frowns on me, cos they can see my ankle, or knee, so be it.
Anyway, I think the book definitely encourages a reality check. Next time we think that homeschooling family is perfect...... think again, and think of what image we convey to others. I hope I don't convey the image I am perfect. I have my interests and passions, healthy living, and working out. I want my tips to encourage, not to burden. Like so much in life we have to take it, or leave it if it is not a scriptural mandate.
I was reading Helen Shapiro's testimony, and she was shocked at how many new laws were being added to the Jewish laws, all man made, and yet they often had no knowledge of the true scriptures, the real, and only laws. Jesus has freed us from this, if we are believers. Yes, we still keep the commandments, but we don't add to them., so easy to do, especially in homeschool circles. Can I see you nodding your heads?

Saturday, 8 June 2013

The Yorkshire Coast- Part 2

At the holiday house....

Flamborough Lighthouse.
This is the one they built 200 years ago to replace the old one, which I believe was one of the oldest left. This new one was built with no scaffolding!! You can imagine smugglers in these areas, the rocks really are treacherous.

Angela on Flamborough Head


Going down into the cove below. 174 steps down, and then 174 up again from Flamborough bay!

Swaledale sheep on the North yorkshire Moors. They are very hardy sheep, so when the winters come in thick, and fast, they are able to manage.

Whose idea was it to take a detour?! We saw a sign saying, 'Ford frequently impassable' Hmm, I thought nothing of it until we reached the bottom in our 15 seater minibus....the point of no return........Wah!!!

There were two men leaning on the post on the other side, viewing our spectacular, in true Yorkshire style. One word, don't attempt this one, unless you have over a foot of ground clearance!!!
The is slow paced here..

A tiny bit of drizzle came down for a while, but soon cleared. Runswick Bay....if anyone has read Christie's old organ, and the follow on from that, it was set around this area. There were a lot of gospel outreaches to fishermen.

The fossil I found here


The first Roman signal station was found on Filey Brigg, which juts out from Filey.Ironically named Carr Naze, Carr being our surname. You can see from the end, that the Romans would of had a bird's eye view of all around.

A lovely hot day on the beach at Thornwick Bay.

The Yorkshire Coast Part one

I have my favourite coastal areas in the UK, but I have to say this is a new one on the list. Interesting bays, precarious cliff walks, breathtaking views, and wildlife. All this, and more can be found at the Yorkshire coast.

The Humber Bridge, which seperates Yorkshire, and Lincolnshire

Bempton Cliffs
These cliffs are famous for puffins, and other seabirds.

Robin Hood's Bay

Walking in the footpaths above the bay. We found old railway tunnels. If anyone has read Malcolm Saville's book, Mystery Mine, it is set around this area, and I can see where he got his inspiration from.

Sandsend beach

Whitby, a charming place when the sun shines. We ate fish and chips next to the harbour. Yum! This is the gorgeous approach, as you walk into the town via the old Abbey.

More from around the abbey...

To be concluded!