Recently we’ve read the chapter “Men of Industry” in Our Sunburnt Country. It inspired a little side exploration of Australian inventions, with the aid of this book:
It’s a handy little book put out by the Powerhouse Museum that gives a summary of the invention in 2-4 pages, in user friendly language.
The children also invented their own things to solve a problem of the Victorian Era, and having watched the first episode of Victorian Farm recently helped them to think in terms of the era.
We’re winding up for the end of the year soon, but hoping to squeeze one more chapter of Our Sunburnt Country in before then.
I almost lost a child under a semi trailer travelling 70km/h today. I turned to open the car door and he took off. He stopped a metre from the end of the rather long driveway, and about 2m from the path of the oncoming truck.
Life is challenging at the moment.
Today was my fourth full day out in a row. I took four loads of washing to my Mum’s house on my way out because there is just no way I can catch up this week. I still did three loads of washing here today. If the remainder of the day goes well, I might make it four.
School has been erratic of late (as you can tell from Australian History posts) due to recurrent migraines and an unusually long run of out of the ordinary appointments. And sheer exhaustion at times.
Josiah, our fourth has some sort of epilepsy/seizure disorder (not currently specified as there is a chance he could grow out of his seizures) and global developmental delay. We’ve known that for years. What had slipped past us (while focusing on a new baby, dad’s death, return to home education, two family engagements, a family wedding, extended family serious health issues, mum’s broken foot, appointments, therapies and just general life in a larger than average family in a smaller than average house… Is that Josiah was falling further behind.
When a child has a disability or delay, I think you tend to notice all those little gains so much more. He has continued to learn new things, learn new words… We just lost sight of the fact he was falling further behind. A recent speech therapy and occupational therapy assessment made that clear.
Earlier this month we had a scheduled six month check up with his paediatrician. I was ready to fight to say that we need to investigate this further. To tell him that it was surely a more complex diagnosis than just seizure disorder causing developmental delay as he’s been seizure free in over a year and is still losing ground.
Thankfully I didn’t need to fight. I was well prepared with the aforementioned reports as well as a summary (six pages long!) I had written myself. And I’d decided not to bring a mini-screen with me to keep Josiah occupied, instead bringing a variety of small toys, some paper and pencils and the like… Which meant that once we got to the paediatrician’s room Josiah was not preoccupied with a screen but was… His usual self. Squealing, jumping, throwing the odd toy, being uncooperative with getting measurements done… I think it helped the paediatrician to trust me all the more about his behaviours and current issues.
So, the paediatrician was happy to refer me to the service I requested where they do a comprehensive developmental assessment with a multidisciplinary team. It’s a long waiting list (could be this time next year before we have answers) but there isn’t an equivalent private service even if we could afford to pay for it.
Then there was the bomb. The paediatrician said that Josiah has “many autistic features” and is also referring him to the same team for an autism spectrum assessment.
We were obviously not unaware of Josiah’s delay or his behavioural challenges. But in the space of a few weeks our understanding of his “diagnosis” went from delay caused by seizures, but he would likely catch up to a bigger delay than we thought and so more challenges to a likely diagnosis of autism, which is not something that is just going to go away.
It’s been a lot to take in. Especially with some health challenges I’ve been facing this month, the anniversary of my dad’s death and a really hectic schedule.
I’m not myself at the moment. I’m finding fairly routine tasks like writing a menu and corresponding shopping list then actually ordering the shopping overwhelming. I seem to get ahead on one task, only to discover I’m behind on another and then turn around to discover the first task (I was on top of) is now piling up again.
The paediatrician has assured us that regardless of the diagnosis, we are doing all the right things. Josiah is getting the therapies he needs. He is attending a supported play group that is staffed by five early childhood trained staff, an occupational therapist and a speech therapist (once a fortnight). We read to him, sing to him, play with him and involve him in every day life. We are doing everything we can. A firm diagnosis will hopefully open up doors to accessing other services and government funding for therapies.
Challenging. That really describes this whole month. Challenging. Overwhelming. Exhausting.
Challenging. That describes what the coming weeks, months and years are going to be like.
I confess not much schooling has happened here of late. We’ve had some upheavals here and schooling hasn’t been the priority of late. More on that later.
Mark managed to get some Australian History work done with the kids on Saturday, and I wanted to share their work.
After learning about the Gold Rush, Mark read them Henry Lawson’s poem The Roaring Days. Then they each chose (from three different options) to write a poem about the gold rush era.
This is Reuben’s.
“They dug for gold day and night
With a firey torch for light
They dug and panned and even found
Some gold just lying on the ground
My brother dug right near a tree
To find gold nuggets just for me
My brother found 24
And put 12 of them at my door”
Here is Rhiannon’s.
Zoe didn’t want me to share her poem.
Discover Downunder is the latest release from Homeschooling Downunder.
Discover Downunder is an Australian geography book for 8-14 year olds, with 32 lessons to help your child fill on their mental map of Australia.
“A child will be left with a sense of wonder without overwhelming them with information that is influenced by any particular ideology or world view.”
I helped contribute to the development of the book and so Michelle, of Homeschooling Downunder, has generously given me a copy of her fresh-off-the-press book for me to give away to my blog readers.
To enter the giveaway, comment on this post and tell me where in this Wide Brown Land, you’d most like to discover. For a second entry, share this post on your blog or Facebook page, and then make a second comment with a link to your post.
Entries close 8pm Wednesday 20th November, and I’ll announce the winner on the Thursday morning.
Sorry I didn’t get to posting last week, a migraine got in the way of posting. This did end up being a good two weeks to combine as we looked at The Gold Rush over the two weeks.
The kids really enjoyed reading The Night We Made The Flag, about the Eureka Stockade, which is told from a child’s perspective.
We also delved into our Big Book of Australian History to learn about the Eureka Stockade.
As the Gold Rush period was also the Bushranger period, we’ve started reading Midnite by Randolph Stow. I remember reading it at school in year seven but it’s easy enough for my 5-10 year olds to understand. We’re about halfway through it already and I think the kids are enjoying the tale.
Over the last few months we’ve developed the habit of reading poetry and a novel most nights. Our current novel also fits right in with our Australian studies.
We haven’t been on any excursions for a while. Life has been hectic and a change in circumstances has made excursions a little more difficult, but I do have at least one more planned between now and the end of the year.
We’ve also got an exciting giveaway coming soon to our blog and it links right right in with our Australian Studies.
And, not to be forgotten, we tied one of our art activities into our history studies. We looked at Sidney Nolan’s Ned Kelly series and produced our own versions with paint and a small piece of paper to represent Ned Kelly’s helmet.
We’ve also done some other Australian themed art, which I will post about later. And don’t forget to keep an eye out for our giveaway!