Posted in Living in France

Happy gotcha day!

A year ago today we adopted a dog! Happy first gotcha day Starlight Centurion!

This time last year we were staying for a time in Brittany and had no plans to get another dog. We had been house sitting for a while and had plans to continue this for a bit longer if we could find the right sit. Then somehow, we saw an advert for a rehoming charity and they had some puppies for adoption.

Over the course of a few days we discussed if we even wanted another dog, never mind another puppy. Things were going well, and a puppy takes a huge amount of work, our other dog had been a handful when she was a puppy!

So, we finally decided that though we would like another dog, it was not going to be a puppy and we would take our time to choose a dog that was right for us as a family and would get on with Miss Bunting! A few weeks later we found her. It is difficult to know what makes a dog right for you when you see the picture, I would take all dogs home if I could, but some you are drawn to I guess when you have to make a decision, and we hoped she was the one.

We pinged off a message to the charity and they passed our number on to the family who were fostering her for a chat. After some discussions and reassurances we decided to go ahead and try to adopt her. We had to have a home check, and this was arranged quickly and thankfully we passed!

The race was on to get her to us from the Dordogne to Brittany. The family she was with were going on holiday and the plans was to wait for a week for them to return, but this was obviously not ideal. It was proposed that the four days later we would get her if transport could be arranged. There are an amazing set of people who help out a charity to transport dogs and cats around to their forever homes. The call went out and an amazing lady stepped up to help out.

The trip!

The fosterers drove two hours north to the lovely lady and there they swapped cars, the lady drove three hours to meet us at Nantes and drop Starlight off and then drove all the way back again. It was so good of her – we drove two hours from our home to Nantes earlier in the day and returned home with our new dog.

We arrived home and the meeting of the two dogs went well. Things were up and down for a few days as they sorted themselves out but on the whole it went fine and now they are such a team!

A long time ago we had a dog from an animal shelter, my awesome baby who had been badly treated and then dumped. She was badly affected by her experiences in the shelter, contrast this with our adoption from a foster family, who has none of the issues she had despite her troubled start and the difference is amazing. I would foster in a heartbeat if we had the space.

If you can, please adopt or foster and give a dog a chance. Lots of charities depend on volunteers to help in the movement of animals to their forever home. We were lucky enough to do this when we could and my kids were so happy to be helping another dog out. Even if you can only do a few miles it might be the difference!

Posted in Home Schooling

This week at School!

Another busy week of learning and having fun this week. The weather has picked up amazingly for this time of year and for the last few days it has been sunny and quite warm which has meant lots of time to do stuff outside.

The den that my daughter had started to build in our woods needed some walls, so off we went to find the perfect length sticks, and fit them into the wall without breaking the roof! We were very happy that the roof had actually stayed on as we have had a lot of rain and some windy days.

The den, now with some walls and a moss carpet!

My daughter has been looking at Transformations in Math, using tutorials from the Khan academy, as well as work her dad has set for her. She has done well at grasping the tougher aspects of this topic. This has gone together in the coding work she has been doing,

Our science topic this week has been on Sound. We have started to look what sound is and how it works. We have ordered sounds into loudness and discussed decibels. This will continue next week with some experiments!

We have also had fun looking at ice outside, and how different things freeze and the patterns it makes. The ice patterns on the car were so beautiful we all agreed.

Iced mud from a cone, you can see the area that the ice has melted but the mud is still solid

My boy is a huge fan of cars, trucks and any vehicle really, so we made him a small tally chart so he could count them from our window. Though we live in a rural place, the road outside if a busy one and has lots of vehicles going past. He was so happy running back and forwards marking off what he saw.

Vehicle tally chart

This week has also seen us battling on through our french verb learning – past, present and future. We are not doing too badly but it is not easy! A bit easier from my daughter’s point of view is the Paragraph course she is doing online at Outschool. She is doing really well and her tutor is very pleased with her work, and the paragraph’s she comes up with.

We have also bakes muffins and got to use the icing decorator my daughter got for Christmas, played tennis, board games and read lots of books. A new thing for us was listening to the David Walliams Podcast on Classic fm – it was a kids introduction to classical composers. So far we have only listened to the first one but will listen to more as it was fun.

Whilst we have been looking into and using the drawing package Krita this week we took a look at Canva. A long time ago I used it for a small project, but wanted to see what new features it had, and if they might be useful for my daughter. She loves this kind of stuff and after a brief spell had come up with a book cover. It is really cool, and we will use it again in some capacity! The Sausage Book (Using the Happy Lemon Template)

Here’s hoping for a sunny weekend!

Posted in Home Schooling, Living in France

Passing the Galops Test!

My daughter, 9, is a keen horse rider, and attends a small and caring horse riding school near our current home. During the time we have been travelling she has been able to attend in total three riding schools, all which offered her a fantastic learning opportunity.

In the UK we found that horse riding lessons are pretty expensive, around £18 for half and hour. We did manage to find a cheaper one but that was run by the most awful woman I have ever met. She was so rude to the parents, and the lessons were uninspiring and my daughter was bored and did not feel she was learning anything. There was no getting the horses ready or anything except sitting there,

Fast forward to her lessons in France and the change in pace was amazing. They would play games, gallop, jump over small jumps, and best of all for us it is so much cheaper about £10 for lesson. The lessons are not the only part of the session though. In all of the places she has attended, the kids have to get the horses ready, brush them, do their feet and do it in reverse at the end. This has been such a great experience for us all.

The riding schools she has attended are all part of the French Federation and they have tests levels that people have to pass; starting with Galops 1 all the way up to Galops 9. We were hopeful that she could pass the Galops 1 at some point, but were worried the language barrier would prevent her from doing so for a while. We are so lucky that her current instructor was happy with her progress, and her abilities on the horse that she said she could do the theory test. Even nicer for us, she arranged for an English speaking friend to come along at the test to translate for my daughter. Happily she passed the theory with flying colours with minimal translation help. She was so happy and proud herself.

We are so proud of her as she gives her all in any activity that she takes part in, and is happy to go along to clubs and try things out even when the language causes some problems. She is an amazing kid and we are so lucky she is our daughter.

Posted in Home Schooling

Virtual Worldschooling Summit 2020

As a passionate home educator and experienced at teaching on the road whilst we travel, I am excited to be given an opportunity to attend a virtual summit on worldschooling. Previous worldchooling summits have been ones that you actually had to go to. Being on different continents to me it has meant missing out on hearing more experienced worldschoolers speaking, as well as being unable to meet up with like minded families.

The virtual summit is happening on the 10th – 14th February 2020, there are 50 speakers from the community talking about their experiences in education & learning, health & wellness and a whole lot more!

Registration is FREE, and you will have access to each days materials for 24 hours (you can upgrade for a years access if you want)

Use this link to find out more

Posted in General

I challenged myself to do something I find difficult, and I feel better for it.

At the start of the year, I did an online training course ran by Mums in Business Association I have never done this kind of thing before. It was about setting yourself goals both personal and business – so I did! I took a good look at myself and realised that I needed to be more proactive in talking to people or writing about what I do – homeschooling whilst travelling. I am passionate about teaching my kids, as well as going to new places and want to be available to support people who may be doing this to know they are not alone. It can be a lonely place sometimes.

So, I gathered some courage and I have this week:

  1. Responded to a request for people with experience in home schooling to help out a student writing their final year thesis. I had to actually talk to her, and it was lovely. I didn’t feel like the fraud I thought I would and really felt that I discussed some good points.
  2. Took part in a question and answer session on a fellow home educator blog
  3. Have taken a picture of myself with my daughter and put it out there on my blog post and on Instagram! I hate my photo taken and this has taken a lot for me to do!

Three small things, and to some people these would be things they do without a second thought but too me quite an achievement, and I am hoping that they will be the kick start for me to more things this year.