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Learning highlights: July-August 2018

It’s way into September now, but I still want to catch some of the highlights of July and August. We took it slow, taking time to recover from all the changes in our lives, letting go things, thoughts and feelings that didn’t belong anymore and sorting out that is needed for the new phase.

Learning highlights July-August 2018

Some of the highlights of this period:

  • End of the school year business: open lessons at swimming and judo, choir concerts, judo exams (first coloured belts for the girls.
  • Slowing up with homeschooling Thursdays:  instead of the weekly meetings with the others, we did just a couple of things, traditional blueberry picking and swimming event, robot-making workshop and a camping on a farm of homeschooling friends.
  • Discovering lice (which felt like a “socialisation” milestone :), making microscope slide sets from them and Emily’s shorter haircut.
  • Tending the gardens to survive the drought: redoing our rainwater installation and irrigation  devices (seeing the kids experiencing the water going up in communicating vessels is priceless), learning about ground water and the inner working of wells and hand pumps in the university garden, enjoying rain and surviving falling trees while being caught in the eye of the storm. Harvest time.
  • Mornings and walking with Aldo during his stay with us; lots of Pokemon events with the tribe; looking into fermenting and alcohol making with Ferial; local history and nature at Het Lankheet with BTD; boating and sleepover with friends who came back after a year away; friends from Amsterdam staying with us, new experiences at an orthodontist.
  • Slow camping holiday in Monschau: figuring out German; playing with water in the stream and making friends at the camping; glass blowing, Mustard Mill, timber-framed houses, secret codes and steep hills of Monschau; lots of forest trails and an an adventure combining Wild Kermeter route with hiking to the lake shore and a boat to another side; swimming, snorkelling and stand-up puddling at Rursee; medieval history in Niddegen Castle and its museum; exploring Rursee dams, learning about water management in the Water Information Center Eifel and beautiful Heimbach power plant; crafts, history and industry in Torburg Heimat- ind Handwerksmuseum in Stolberg and getting out with free cakes; discovering after the trip that we managed to miss all the rich history of WWII in the area (Battle of Hürtgen Forest and Siegfried Line fortifications).
  • Legitimate peripheral participation: a brainstorm and setting website for a project of their grandmother; Alexander helping neighbours to clean their garden and to working on a car with a homeschooling father; earning money by DJing at a family party; making Smart Stuff That Matters and hanging out at the unconference, organised in the new house of Elmine and Ton.


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