Are they doing enough?

It's usually on days when I'm feeling discouraged that I get that panicky feeling about the children and their education. Are they learning? Are they doing enough? Am I doing enough with them? I know that they're happy at home and that homeschooling is a perfect fit for us, but I do find myself gripped with doubt at times.

This morning I was feeling a bit this way. I decided to write a list for each child and write down what they did within a certain time frame. I started around 9am and finished around 1pm.

5 year old daughter:
*Spelling and writing
* Helped to make bread, figured out weighing flour on her own for the first time.
* Read books.
*Kinetic sand (hours later, she is still playing with it, making all sorts of "treats" for her "shop" and other imaginative games.

7 year old daughter:
* Online maths program, learning money.
* Worked on editing her latest stop motion on the computer.
* Read books on her own.
*Played with kinetic sand with her sister.

9 year old daughter:
*Worked on a puzzle of the world with her brother.
* Free drawing and colouring in.
* Animal feeding.
* Reading on her own.
*Online maths program - graphs and area measurement.
* Knitting practice.
*Joining in the kinetic sand game.

14 year old son:
*Working on a puzzle of the world with his sister.
* Helping his sisters with maths and other study tasks.
* Spanish program.
*Online maths program - decimals
* Film and media studies.
* Bible study.

In addition to these lists are all the other tasks that they do every day like meal preparation, cleaning their rooms and keeping the house tidy, prayer, outdoor play and exercise and so many other things that are a regular part of daily life for us.

Hmm, I think they're doing pretty well! Maybe next time you're feeling inadequate, you could try writing down what the children are doing and you will realise that it's more than enough!

This moment

Linking up with this moment on Soulemama :)

Simple photography backdrop

Our garden is a great location for photography portraits, but, having just arrived at Autumn, it's a little dry and not looking it's best. Being a natural light photographer, I wanted to head outside but I was also wanting something a little different for a portrait session with my littlest sweetie pie and her fluffy friend.

I grabbed my favourite bed sheet, pegged it on the clothes line and we were in business! If it's a breezy day you will have the challenge of the sheet moving (which you can see in the right corner here) in which case you could possibly weight it down with something at the bottom. I kind of like the feeling that the blowing sheet gives to this photo though.

Next, your editing program can be used to achieve a variety of looks still using the same backdrop and different poses.

A plain sheet would also work well if you were looking for a plain backdrop with natural light, but I think the pretty floral one suits my little sweetie just fine, don't you?

African Red Butterfly

I love the feeling of finishing a long term project - something challenging that has required a lot of time and care. I bought this Red African Butterfly kit from Trish Burr last year but other projects took over.

I made the commitment to finish and completed it last night. Phew! The technique used is thread painting and involved one piece embroidery floss at a time with a very fine needle. 

I'm pretty pleased with how it came out, though I can obviously use a lot more practice with thread painting as it's far from perfect.

Now, what to do with it? I'd like to put it in a nice frame, I spent too long working on it to put it to practical use. 

Have you seen Trish Burr's designs? There are a lot of beautiful pieces to choose from and the instructions are detailed. I would love to do more of her designs in the future.

Everyday Life Photo Challenge

I've entered the I Heart Faces photo challenge for the first time. The theme is "Everyday Life". Our every day life involves a lot of reading and this scene of a child lying on the floor, engrossed in a book is a very common one. If you're interested in entering the challenge or just viewing all the wonderful entries, follow this link.

Make do and make a start

I thought I'd share with you a little reality check today. It is easy for us to imagine that people we see on social media, on websites...