Tuesday, 28 September 2010


More signs of Spring!

The Birthday garden bed we made for Purple is really taking off – everything is lush and thriving, we’ve even started harvesting for salads :D Here’s how it looks 4 weeks on:

49 garden 4 weeks

And there’s beautiful flowers blooming all around the garden; many of which are growing wild.

58 spring flowers

These delicate purple flowers are only about 1cm tall (1/4”) – I love the macro zoom on my camera

56 spring flowers

These were surprise flowers a friend gave me – we planted them not knowing what would bloom and they’re *gorgeous*

54 spring flowers

These were flowers Littletree planted in her own garden bed last year

57 spring flowers

and these were high up on trees down in the faerie forest:62 spring flowers59 spring flowers 

Even better: there’s peaches budding on a tree too!

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Dread beads

I recently got some new beads in my hair – gorgeous hand-made glass beads from a friend of mine

34 dread beads

They look awesome in my hair – I do, of course, have a lot of little decorative things randomly in my hair. Most of it has been put there by other people; I’m not really into adorning myself, and have a philosophy of “keep it clean and let it be” when it comes to my hair.

But I was especially honoured to get personalised Emu Beads in my dreads (You can see more of Emu Beads HERE)

35 dread beads 

And I realised it’s been almost 15 years since I had these dreadlocks – the longest ones go past my knees! I had one that was to my ankle, but I tripped over it a few months ago and about 45cm (18”) snapped off the end (it’s still long enough to sit on though).

So I thought I’d do a dread FAQ to mark their 15th birthday! post your questions if you have them in the comments section and I’ll do a dread post in the near future.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Spring Faerie Skirt

We’ve been celebrating Spring around here; the signs of the seasons are in full force.

I taught Littletree how to make daisy chains from dandelions growing by the path as we walked to the village, where we found at the post office: Littletree got a package in the mail from my good friend Lea

51 parcel

A hand-made faerie skirt!

53 spring faerie skirt

It’s definitely been a faerie-themed month. Heck, I’m having a faerie-themed life!

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Littletree Gets Political

Littletree has been taking her role as wildlife warrior quite seriously lately, constantly on the lookout for animals that need rescuing, especially since she rescued a turtle crossing the road when we were on the way to the Australian Unschooling Conference.

This week at the village market there was a stall set up for people to write letters to government members protesting the Repco Rally – a motor race that goes through national parks and wildlife areas in our region.

Littletree was most disturbed about the race, as it goes through areas where there are threatened and endangered marsupial species and the race is held during their breeding season. This means that the stress from the noise alone could cause the animals to miss their breeding season or even die from stress in some cases.

So Littletree wrote a letter to the Minister, in her own words “I don’t want the rally because it is killing animals”.

46 letter writing

I felt really proud of her for standing up for something she believes in; writing letters to politicians is a huge deal, and she felt really great to do it. I haven’t seen her motivated to do so much writing all in one sitting before. :)

Then we had a long talk about how our political system works and how laws are made, and lobbying and how people putting pressure on politicians can make a real difference.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Fire Station Tour

Last week our home school group went for a tour of the Fire station, which was really cool. The kids got to have a question and answer session with some of the Fire fighters


Followed by a tour around the station


Then we watched one of the fire fighters putting her full suit on


and had a look at the Fire truck


The kids kept asking the fire fighter what happens if they run out of hose. He insisted that they have loads of hose. Then one child asked, “but what if the hose gets burned in the fire?” The fire fighter again asserted that they have plenty, and opened up the hose storage. Not to be fooled, the children asked what happens if even that hose runs out. The fire fighter, undaunted, opened up yet another hose storage compartment and assured us all that there was more than enough hose, and no way they could ever totally run out. Littletree of course, pointed out that unless they have infinite hose, it could at some point, run out. The poor fire fighter didn’t stand a chance against the logic of unschooled kids! LOL


The kids all got to climb up into the cab and have a look around


and best of all they all got a turn of the fire hose!


which was perfect for a hot, sunny day


It was a great day, and of course the kids all got fire-safety promo goodie bags :)

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Learning to Read

Littletree has been really inspired to learn to read lately, and she practices writing a lot as well. The other day, quite out of the blue, she said she wants to learn to read Hebrew.

We have a big stack of Hebrew learn-to-read books that Purple brought back from Israel one time, only Littletree wasn’t interested in them back then. So I got them out and dusted them off and we sat down and went through the first one together.


First I read it to her once through, and then we looked at all the individual letters and talked about what sounds they made. We have a set of Hebrew alphabet magnets on the fridge, so we got those to help us as well.


After about half an hour of practicing together, Littletree was able to read through the whole thing, she was so excited and proud of herself at the end she made me take a video of her reading it.

And then it was on to the next book…


I love that we’re a multi-lingual household and I love that it was totally Littletree’s own intrinsic motivation and choice to start learning to read :D

Friday, 17 September 2010

Tooth Faerie

When Littletree started losing her baby teeth, I decided not to mention the tooth fairy; like with Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, I don’t want to lie to my child – especially not about faeries, since we believe in them anyway – no need to sully our knowledge of *real* faeries with imaginary fairies that parents use to con their kids into brushing their teeth and behaving well.

But of course, being a real child in the real world, Littletree heard about the tooth fairy from other kids. I was careful not to say anything for or against the tooth fairy, just that some people believe in her and some don’t. Littletree was one of the ones that did, apparently.

When her first tooth came out, I swapped it for a rose quartz, but the second tooth I forgot to do anything with, and it stayed in Littletree’s little “tooth box” on her temple for several days. Until one day she came running up to me all excited with a little plastic jewel (that I swear had been in her craft supplies box), saying that the tooth fairy had given it to her for her tooth.

The tooth was still in it’s little box, so I took it and kept it with the first baby tooth (yes, I keep them, I’m just sentimental like that). And so it went, with Littletree putting her own gifts from the Tooth Fairy in the tooth box every time she lost a tooth, me remaining non-committal in regards to the existence of the Tooth Fairy, and all was well.

Until one day a couple of weeks ago she came home from a friend’s house, stomped in the front door and asserted, “You LIED to me! The Tooth Fairy is NOT real. I feel so HUMILIATED!”

What could I do? We just had a cuddle and she cried a bit and we talked about it.

The next day she happened to lose another tooth – the 8th one! Since I still wanted to keep her baby teeth, I had an idea and said to her “Since the tooth fairy isn’t real, how about I buy your baby tooth from you for $2 because I want to keep them.”

She was outraged, “How could you SAY such a thing? The Tooth Fairy IS real! Don’t ever say something like that.” and she stomped off to put her tooth in the tooth box.


I had to laugh about it, and shortly after, I was in town and saw this in the window of the toy store:

96 tooth fairy

“Tooth Fairy” Every Child’s “HERO”

I had to laugh! I can’t even decide if this is unnecessary quotations or not!

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Tinkerbell and the Great Fairy Rescue

Sponsored by Nuffnang

We scored a promotional pre-release copy of the new Tinkerbell movie on DVD, which Littletree was really excited about. If you hadn’t noticed, Littletree is really into fairies (wonder where she gets that from?) and like most kids, loves getting cool stuff in the mail.


We sat down all together with some other neighbourhood kids to watch the movie, which is the latest instalment in the “Tinker Bell” series of movies about the fairy’s adventures before she met Peter Pan and the lost boys.

Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue is the story of how a little girl called Lizzy, who is appropriately obsessed with fairies, catches Tinker Bell, and thus learns about fairies first hand – quite an unschooling moment really.

Of course there’s an action-packed adventure involved with all the other fairies – Silvermist, Fawn, Rosetta, Iridessa and Vidia embarking on a magical rescue-mission to save Tinker Bell and then to save all of fairy-kind.

Littletree really related to the character Lizzie, and was then inspired after the movie to begin a fairy project of her own. She went out to the fairy path we made in the garden and started making little fairy picnic areas and nice places to entice faeries in.

Littletree even made an extra serving for fairies with the new miniature tea set I bought her.

27 faerie tea party

Littletree has already watched Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue another couple of times; she’s really loving it and we were so lucky to get a copy as it won’t be released on DVD till the 15th of September :D

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Unschooling Conference Talent Show

I finally got the videos from the Unschooling Conference talent show edited and uploaded. The whole show was fantastic, I enjoyed it immensely – I would love to have filmed the whole thing, but I just have a couple of clips.

Here’s Littletree’s act – I only filmed half of it, and sadly the audio isn’t so great – you can mostly only hear the clapping and backing music; the lyrics are a bit hard to make out. Basically the song was one she made up about how the world is in danger and it needs saving and god gives her the magic to save nature with music.

Here’s a mixed clip of a few different acts

you can see more pictures from the conference at http://flickr.com/groups/australianunschoolingconference

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Australian Unschooling Conference

Well, it’s all over now; we’re all packed up and ready to leave. The conference ended last night with a party at Dayna Martin’s cabin, after the closing speeches and thank-yous.

69 closing and thank yous

We had such an awesome time, it was wonderful to be so immersed in so much unschooling energy, and for Littletree to have a safe space full of over 100 unschooled kids.

Littletree got involved in working in the snack shop/ sausage sizzle – she loved being able to help in a real way, and she was pretty good at adding up people’s orders and counting out change. Not to mention turning sausages! I love that this was a place where children were automatically respected to take on these roles.

30 sausage sizzle

One night there was a talent show, which was fantastic! I enjoyed it so much, seeing all the amazingly talented kids and parents. The beautiful part was that all the kids who participated did so of their own free will. When the kids felt shy or decided to back out, they were respected; no parents were sitting in the wings urging them to keep going after the child decided to step down :)

42 talent show

41 talent show

Littletree got up, but was a bit too shy, so our friends played a little guitar and drum so she could dance without being alone. Thus her confidence built, she actually got up on the stage and sang one of her ‘stream of consciousness’ songs about magic. It was fantastic! I’ll be uploading videos to YouTube when I get home to good internet.

37 talent show

We still spent loads of time by the pool

46 by the pool

And the kids’ space hosted so many awesome activities – the kids all made “prayer flags” to hang up

67 kids flags

We even had a “mum’s night out” and all the mamas walked over to the local club for dinner and a few drinks. I got to sit with Dayna, which was awesome :D

49 dayna and ela

But I did manage to catch a few of the conference sessions between long chats about unschooling and playing with kids and hanging out with cool people

61 teen discussion panel

There’s so much more to share, and of course I took a bunch of photos. There’s a flickr group created for the conference, so everyone can upload their photos there and talk about unschooling, you can see it HERE

We’re sad it’s over now, but glad to be going home. Can’t wait till the conference next year!!!

Monday, 6 September 2010

Update From the Australian Unschooling Conference

Littletree and I are currently at the Australian Unschooling Conference Retreat on the Gold Coast, which is AWESOME!!!

There’s around 100 unschooling families here, so loads of unhindered children living freely and loads of parents holding and attending interesting workshops and discussions.

Littletree and I did a little bit of travelling around in our trusty van, Sunshine for a few days before we got to the conference – we went to visit Ariad from Rainbow Love Farm – Littletree had an awesome time playing in their fabulous garden, and then we stopped in on another friend of ours who had just given birth to a new baby so I could bring her food (I made a big lasagne) and do her dishes.

On the way out, we almost ran over a turtle on the road, luckily I wasn’t going fast and could swerve to miss it. We jumped out and Littletree carefully carried it across the road (in the direction it was going, of course) and out of harm’s way.

02 turtle rescue

We arrived early at the conference and got to hang around helping out with the registrations and meet everyone. I was honoured to meet Dayna Martin face-to-face and to see a whole lot of people I know from previous unschooling events as well as from the internet.

03 Dayna Intro Talk

The talks have been amazing with discussions on so many aspects of Unschooling. It’s fantastic to see so many people getting so much inspiration from everything.

06Dayna Intro Talk

Next to the main conference tent they have a kids’ space set up with lots of cool activities for children to join in, like art, face painting, craft, dance, yoga, storytelling, clay modelling and loads more

08 kids clay workshop

A big group of kids all worked together to make this awesome clay sculpture

14  kids clay workshop

Of course, they spend a lot of time enjoying the three swimming pools

16 kids pool

and the water slides

18 water slide

Last night a Bush Dance was organised, which was loads of fun

22 bush dance

Well, there’s still a couple more days left,  but that’s all for now. :D

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

A weekend with Aunt Chicky

My sister Chicky came up for the weekend to celebrate Purple’s 40th birthday. It was awesome to see her, even if only for a couple of days. Littletree was overjoyed too.

We had a great party for Purple at a local cafe – lots of good friends, great music – everyone brought musical instruments and had a jam by the fire

89 purple birthday

Littletree and Chicky got to spend some time together, they went bike riding, and played games and hung out

92 uno

And the present Chicky’s fiancée sent to Littletree arrived in the mail in time for Chicky to give it to Littletree personally – a new Opinel knife that she’s been wishing for.

94 new knife

So now Littletree is learning about knife safety. It was sad to see Chicky go, but good that we got to see her for the weekend. We dropped her and Purple off at the airport (Purple has gone to Israel) and now Littletree and I are packing to go on a little holiday of our own – going to visit some friends and then go to the Australian Unschooling Conference.