Get out... I mean it, GO AWAY.  Tonsillitis, you are no longer welcome in our house!  This morning, I didn't think much of it when Frodo asked for a panadol because his head ached... he HAD spent some time on the computer on time4learning, and then played with his excellent new Bamboo drawing tablet, which is even more computer time.  So, I figured he just needed to spend the rest of the day away from all things screen and his eyes would relax and the headache would go.

Frodo's Homeschool portrait, taken by my photographer friend! (just had to share)

Until DH asked where he was this afternoon and upon poking around, found he'd GONE TO BED and was crashed out.  That's NEVER a good sign with this boy.  When he got up, some 2hours later, his cheeks were all red and it hit me... earlier he mentioned his throat was a little sore.  *sigh*  Touch the forehead... yep, we have a temperature.  So first thing in the a.m., I'll be ringing the doc and trotting on over with one unwell boy in tow.  I'm pretty certain it is tonsillitis... after all, since it's the third time we have done this in the last 2months we are very familiar with this old nemesis.  Last time he had a run of it was just before Christmas, poor kid had a horrid reaction to a penicillin based med (not allergy, just KILLED his poor tummy!) so we got the amoxil and did a double run of it.  One would think after nearly 3weeks of antibiotics it'd be dead... but either it took a nap and laid low for a few weeks, or the boy is just really susceptible to something going around.

So here I sit, at 11pm (ok, let's not kid ourselves... I'd be here at this hour anyway lol) waiting for him to fall asleep on the couch so I can head off to bed.  Will have one last check of the temp to be sure he is cool enough to at least sorta sleep before I do.   We've watched some Smurfs on dvd to fill the last couple of hours, and I think he may finally be drifting.

In other news... Merry seems to be settling in to the school routine.  He really likes his teacher, who seems like a lovely lady.  I drop him off in the mornings and he's excited, but he admits he misses me... and when I give him a kiss and leave the room I can see him from a side window holding a building shape and looking *slightly* sad. But, come afternoon when we pick him up he has ALL manner of things he just must tell us... he goes on about what he learned (lol today it was sitting down to listen to the story.. yeah, I have trouble getting him not to zoom around when we read too.. sorry Mrs. Ford lol)  and whose birthday it was today and how he had a medium sized peice of cake :)  He's eating his lunches, which was a big worry for me... he stopped eating much during the day at preschool last year, but I send his favourites and he seems to be more comfortable now.

Sam is absolutely loving life at school... he is my 'Great!' reply when I ask how his day was... it's hard to get much more out of him than that some days lol.  

How're those for some angel faces?  :)  

Frodo will likely be getting a day off tomorrow, but he's been diving into his schoolwork with gusto every day.  Today he had most of what we planned for the day completed by 11am.  We're working on writing personal narratives (because I totally remember always getting asked to write about what I did over summer break ;)  gotta spread that joy around) using a really cool site called Writing a-z.  It has really cool graphic organizers to help kids get their ideas outlined on paper before they write a paper.  Frodo is a total perfectionist with writing... he gets smaller & smaller... so we did the organizer today, I planned to let him type the first draft and then show him how to use the checklist that comes with the organizer to tweak his writing until he gets all the boxes ticked off... and then get him to do a handwritten final copy.  If only because the HEU, who we are registered with, wants hand written work ;)  Never too early to collect the first samples lol.  I suppose finishing that will likely wait till he's feeling better... because knowing my little dude, he'll feel pretty crappy tomorrow.

I got a nice surprise Friday in the mail... I mailed in our educational plans in November and got our provisional registration for home education about the 9th of January with a note saying the hoped to have the program evaluated and get back to us by mid March.  So I was totally not expecting his certificate of registration in the mail!  So it's 'official'  Frodo is back on the books as a homeschooler!

And with that nice little ramble... I can finally go back to bed.  Just peeked over the back of the couch, one moderately cool sleeping boy :)    Night all...
This will be the lamest back to school/not back to school post ever... because....I have no photos *hangs head* My iphone took bodgy, blurry pictures and they are all awful.    But, aside from that it was a great day.

Sam was SO glad to go back to school,  we found his room no problem and introduced him to his teacher.  He was excited, gave me a kiss & cuddle and ran off to find his seat and see who was in his class.   Merry, who started prep (kindergarten), was a bit excited but also a bit nervous I think.  His teacher seems nice and she had potato heads and other cool toys on the tables for the kids to entertain themselves with while all their classmates came in and got settled.  She took a pic of each child with their parent(s), which I think she is using for the digital roll call.  Digital roll is cool, when the kids come in and have their morning group time on the carpet they go up to the fancy whiteboard thing and touch their photo and are marked 'present'.

Frodo and I gathered some snacks and water bottles and headed off to our Not Back To School Day at a great park.  Rocks Riverside Park  is a park that I've heard great things about, but when we tried to go it was always closed for repairs which was a bummer.  Then in January 2011, it was completely flooded and has taken the better part of the year to reopen apparently!  So, when a mum from a regional home school site I've chatted with asked if we wanted to meet up there so the kids could play and we could chat, I jumped on it.

The park was so great, and Frodo really seems to have relaxed... when we had a park meet up in early December, he was so anxious and repeatedly asked when we could go home.  He was so painfully shy and afraid to approach the other kids to play that it was just sad to watch.  I knew he would loosen up eventually, but wow... huge difference!  We all made introductions and Frodo went to walk around and check out the park a bit while the other boys snacked... shortly after they followed and all 3 of them were hanging up the giant spider web climber.  It was great to watch.  They snacked together, ran off to try out the excellent flying fox and zipped across the park, and even located a couple of bush turkeys poking around in the shrubbery.  What really shocked me was when he asked if he could get wet... you see I knew they had water play there, but he swore he didn't want to bring or wear his swim gear.  He only enjoys water if it's a pool.  But the other boys were in the water ... and he wanted to join them so I said go ahead... the seat of the car will dry :)   It was worth it just to see him able to relax and enjoy the company of other kids without fear that they were going to do something mean to him.

We discovered 4 of our home schooling books, all part of the History Odyssey reading, delivered and waiting by our front door when we came home!  Shortly after that, Strider arrived home and we went up to get the brothers from school and Merry was just elated that dad came to get him. Everyone had a great day and we are planning are many more to come this year!
Hope you have all had a spectacular of a start to your 2012 as we have!   We have been thoroughly enjoying our family time since I last posted.    We rang in the New Year relatively early, by watching the 9pm fireworks on tv... we thought about driving into the city, but the weather was a bit iffy so we just played some Cluedo and hung out at home.

A few days later, we headed off to Wet n Wild for a day of fun in the sun.  This is Buccaneer Bay, which is specifically for kids under 10... great water slides, cannons, pools to swim in, and the ever popular big water dumping bucket.
Much fun was had by all :)  The lazy river, or Calypso Beach was also a big hit.  We found a small shady spot (NO mean feat that... I swear you have to get there at the crack of dawn to get a good shady spot with seats.  We rocked up at 950 for the 10am opening time and there was not  a free seat in the place.
Sam was all about the water slides, here he is on his first trip up surveying the scene to decide if it's something he *really* wants to do.   He did... and repeatedly at that lol.  He is totally Captain Adventure!

 Except when it came to the tooth that has been dangling for weeks lol. It was painfully obvious that he would leave said tooth to dangle till the cows came home without intervention... so hubby decided to give it a bit of help.  It was attached by the teeniest sliver of gum, but there was still copious amounts of wailing and carrying on like someone was murdering him... but out it came.  Now, of course, he is quite pleased with himself ;)  and looking mighty adorable at that!  He'll have that gap for all of about 5 minutes, as the adult tooth is already through!

On the school front,  we go in to get the little dude uniforms in 2 weeks @@, I can hardly believe it.  They are looking forward to the first day of school :)   I started buying Frodo's home school materials this week!  I've had most of it selected for a couple of months so it's more just exercising the visa debit card than much in the way of decision making.

We'll be using a lot of old favourites:
- History Odyssey ancients level 2 (history, literature, geography and a lot of writing) (books ordered to go with from ... go the free shipping!)
- Math U See  (we'll be going through the multiplication & division levels for a bit of confidence building)
- Time 4 Learning (supplemental use, especially for math)
- Reading/ Writing a-z  (great online/printable comprehension activities and writing tools)
- Science -- I was really sold on Real science 4kids but ...I'm waffling lol, Mr. Q's chemistry is looking
             pretty sweet at the moment AND he has a half price special starting on the 17th!!
*Still trying to find a good source for a time line and a few other bits, so if anyone knows one that doesn't charge a fortune for shipping or is Australian, please share :)
-LOTE (Languages other than English) - We were going to do Auslan, but the classes that were getting organized didn't work out... they ARE doing Spanish, so Lucas said he'd give that a go.  We'll probably use Livemocha for practice in our own time.
-ART - Lessons with our home ed group for 2 terms, after that we'll use our Usborne Art Gallery book and trips to the local galleries.  Lucas is also interested in learning guitar (his dad & the Teen are both learning) so we may get him a 3/4 size instrument and lessons sometime later in the year.

Can't wait for the parcels to start arriving.. I LOVE a box of fresh home school stuff to explore... and it gets the boy pretty excited and interested as well!