27 July 2010


Individual, funny, cool, caring... doesn't even begin to describe. My little zen master. A little sunshine yellow on a winter's day. Happy birthday little owlet. x

Photo taken by Huz... on the good camera.

26 July 2010

unschool monday :: the zone

Those moments where you notice the house is silent. You sneak around to locate the action... Perhaps an impending sense of doom... have they completely destroyed the room? Is there paint from one end of the dining room to the other? Is there a 'surprise cake' in the kitchen? Then you find one owlet on her bed reading and the other elbow deep in bubble wrap. Other times you might wake up and they play quietly all day as you peek around the door from time to time. "Don't interrupt it!" You remind yourself. They are in the zone. There is serious learning going on here. This is the really important stuff, when they are completely absorbed in their own thought process or game. Needing to teach or guide is your own thing, something you still need to unlearn. Take a step back, grab a cuppa and enjoy the silence, or happy chatter. Learning happens on its own.

23 July 2010

the shop is open again

P1150963, originally uploaded by owletmama.

Just in case you were wondering... not that it was closed... I just... err... forgot to keep it updated. I'll be posting some new bits and pieces as I load them. There's plenty of old faves available too.

22 July 2010

My creative space...

Not so much creative as practical. They've been stashed away for a long time, but its time to dig them out again... The nappy stash is looking a little tired. All the elastic is gone, so its time to sit down and do some serious mending... *sigh* Perhaps one of those "what have we done?!!" moments... Interesting times ahead.

More creative spaces at Kirsty's.

21 July 2010

Winter Ramble

We've had some early mornings this winter. Its been a fairly mild winter so far, but we've explored the occasional frosty morning. We've also been avoiding the winter lurgies as much as possible by giving Huz a lift to work and taking our time going back home....

Exploring around the beach and braving the sub-antarctic breezes. The ones that make your eyebrows ache!!

Then having a breakfast picnic at the playground with hot chocolate and loads of jam on bread rolls in the sunshine.

19 July 2010

unschool monday :: work

Lots of learning around here happens through play. The owlets spend hours telling stories, playing games, pottering in the garden and daydreaming. There's also all the countless hours we spend in conversation, learning through questioning and research... One of their favourite ways to learn about the world though, is through work. Sometimes they'll tackle things they've seen me doing around the house. Other times they'll just jump in and help out. Little owlet is a regular fixture at my side in the kitchen. She pulls up a chair, climbs up and often takes the spoon from my hand. She can teach Huz a thing or two about how things are done too. Big owlet also loves to watch me work and her interest in maths has been sparked again just watching me prepare our tax papers the other day. "Wow, I didn't know that grown ups still did maths!!" She exclaimed, then jumped in to help out with the calculator, practicing her number knowledge.

The photo above is from our day in the sun last Thursday. The owlets had helped me out in the garden through the morning, enjoyed a picnic feast, a rest and a play... Then they were looking for something more. We grabbed a bucket of water, a basket and the potatoes we bought at the farmers market the previous weekend. For the next half hour, they worked away, scrubbing and cleaning. They counted potatoes, several times over, then talked about how they grow, how the dirt got there, where they came from and why buying local is best... A bucket of dirty water makes excellent stock for garden soup too, so the work turns into play...

Its so important to involve children in our work, and for them to witness what we do. We're careful not to force them to join in, but we always invite them or encourage them if they ask. Much the same as how we approach everything. We don't reward them for their work. Their pocket money is not given to them in exchange for work, but we expect and hope that they will join in and participate to make our family life run a little more smoothly. I've found that through working together, we find a way to re-connect, focus and create a little calm in our day. Its something I came across through our little journey with Steiner education and I'm so glad it stuck. When big owlet was much smaller, I'd be amazed at how we could turn a day around... You know 'those' days? The ones that seem to get out of control, when you have a three year old who is full of beans, but perhaps too many? They might be whingy, or grumpy, or a little rough? Perhaps you might get frustrated because you don't have time to sit on the floor and play by their rules all day... We always try and channel that energy into something practical, and as our owlets are always trying to prove their independence, to show us that they can do things all by themselves, we help them go for it. They work and learn, show us and themselves just what they can do and the pride they get from helping the family is reward in itself. Usually peace and calm are restored, and we're happy because we got something done that we needed to, perhaps not perfectly, but its done, and we're all happier for it.

Big owlet's major work of late has been reading. She surprised me a long time ago when she read a book to me, but we were even more surprised when she began reading to herself a few weeks ago. She had seen Huz and I enjoying reading and decided to pick up one of the chapter books I'd been borrowing from the library for her, just in case. At first I thought she was just skimming through, maybe looking at the pictures, but when she began recounting entire stories in great detail... well we were impressed. Some gentle encouragement, modelling how and why we read, and she's on her way!

More on children teaching themselves to read here.

15 July 2010

my creative space...

Well there is some creativity involved in pruning roses, hey? I like sculpting them, cutting them back hard and watching them bloom beautifully late spring.

The owlets take the opportunity for a sunny picnic on the porch and chatter away. They help cut grass tussocks, wander around the garden, make faerie paths with rose petals...

They draw and work, collect bugs and make garden soup, while I enjoy some knitting and the warm sun on my skin... Sunshine makes all the difference to a wintery day.

See other creative spaces at Kirsty's.

12 July 2010

unschool monday :: connection

There's a pattern to my relationship with big owlet. A pattern to our days. Perhaps it was how we started out. Perhaps it began when her sister came along. Perhaps its her age and stage of development. Perhaps its just how we are. I've always had to work at maintaining a connection with her. As I have probably mentioned here before, she is visual sort of person and rather fond of a screen. She'd sit at a computer or watching films all day long. For days on end. Winter is a time where we tend to fall into a pattern of reverting to old comforts and for her, that involves a screen. She gets lots out of it and it doesn't always bother me, but there are times when I wish we could be doing more. Living a little. I ask her to get off for a bit, have a play, do something else... she grumbles, I grumble. Then I remember. I need to work at it. Not easy when I would rather be sitting in my pregnancy cave working on something quietly... Its always those most challenging times in parenting where you have to take a deep breath and face it front on... I grab her attention and sit down to talk with her. Usually about nothing in particular, but conversation usually turns to things that she's interested in. Questions come back. Time alone with her to do this is so important. We reconnect and suddenly there's this boost of energy and enthusiasm to make something, learn something. It doesn't matter what we do, but activities usually flow from one to the other and she explores, experiments, and we learn together. We remember the cupboard full of board games and instead of saying "no, I'm too busy", I say yes, and our afternoon continues, screen free and fun and we make plans for tomorrow...

Little owlet is another kettle of fish. She potters happily on her own for hours, stopping by for a cuddle in between things. We've had a strong physical bond from day one and there's an ease that comes with it. She knows where I am and can ask anything, any time and usually does. She likes the computer and watching movies, but would just as happily help out in the kitchen. She's busy all day and in a more physical way. Perhaps it was how we started out. Perhaps its her age and stage of development. Perhaps its just how we are. Perhaps it will change when her new sibling comes along...

If you ever hear me rambling about being in a rut, having the winter blues and no idea what to do tomorrow, something to inspire the owlets and tempt them away from technology, remind me about this post. Remind me that its all about taking time and listening. All the inspiration we need is right here, we just need to spend some time and reconnect...

8 July 2010

our creative space....

There's a room in our house we reserve for creative expression.

The walls have a beautiful texture, but as the room is marked for renovation, we invite guests to make their mark... so to speak.

The lower half has become a mass of scribbles, as you'd expect in a owlet friendly home. Many happy hours spent singing and pondering in there... I'm thinking we might take the creativity further and turn the scribbles into something more beautiful... see what shapes we can pick out in them and create something more special...

Of course, the time will come when the grandpa handles will have to go and I'm hoping the ice-box chill factor will go in the coming weeks with a closed window and some ventilation - seriously, its a fridge!! But until such time, if you pay us a visit, please feel free to take your time and leave us something to remember you by. x

Take a creative wander at Kirsty's place.

6 July 2010

faerie garden

We've had some lovely sunny days of late and managed a wander around the garden and a little explore... owlets playing between the sheets drying on the line and all that... but the afternoons are so cold when the sun disappears behind that hill!! So on one of our rambles this morning, we dug up some moss and brought a little piece of the garden inside with us. Its now, of course, reserved for faerie goings on. The owlets tell me that more is more (not less as I had suggested) when it comes to decorating a faerie moss garden... What is it with kids and bling? So we now have a very busy little bowl of sparkly things (and a little layer of moss) adorning our seasonal table.

5 July 2010

unschool monday :: slowly

This is the third year we've made lanterns. We light them and walk around in the garden, under a full moon or to mark the solstice. This year we had an eclipse to watch as well. We notice that the bandicoots seem to be absent from the garden - perhaps its too cold? We look at the stars and look for all the ones we know, then go and find out about the ones we don't. We shiver, despite all our layers, then run inside for toasted marshmallows. The owlets love the ceremony of it and that we take the time. Things slow down for a little while we watch and listen in the silence and moonlight. Its at these times that we really re-connect and the questions happen. Or, perhaps its because we've slowed it down, we hear the questions a little better? Magical questions about everything they come into contact with. These moments help unschooling work for us and its the reason why we try to pay close attention to the seasons and their rhythm. Through busy days where there are things to be done, its always so easy to brush things aside, but these moments of mindfulness remind us what we should be doing every day. Viewing the world as owlets do... with wonder... and staying in this moment, listening, watching and learning along the way.


If you're into stargazing, as we are right now, check out Stellarium.

4 July 2010


P1150840, originally uploaded by owletmama.

A good night's sleep in a brand new bed... family sized! A fresh coat of paint in a room that feels like new and a sunny sunday morning... Hope your day has started beautifully too. xx

2 July 2010

Oh, Bless!

On its way, later than hoped, but hopefully in time. I've added hearts and sparkly beads at the owlet's insistence.Hoping it will add a little love to a birthing mama's space...

1 July 2010

my creative space - nesting

Perhaps its just what you do in winter when you're inside more and scrutinising the details that little bit more, or perhaps its as another blogger pointed out to me - it could be years before we get to it again!! Either way, as much as we love mushies around here, we do not love mushroom pink walls. Removing the blue carpet was a good start, but we really need to return this place to a blank canvas.

Ahh... better. I'm playing with furniture today and helping everything find its rightful home. Little owlet has requested a big happy sunshine and flowers on her walls... we'll get to that another day. I'm also working with Huz to paint our bedroom while we wait for our new, bigger, family sized bed to arrive on the weekend!

I'll be converting all these unused queen sized flat sheets to make king sized quilt covers too. Here's to a breath of fresh air and a good night's sleep!!

See more creative spaces at Kirsty's.