Our Unschooling Journey

January Photo A Day Grateful Project – Day 9

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This girl.

She is wise. She is my teacher.

She has taught me all I know about parenting. She has taught me that to be a great parent all I have to do is learn to listen to my child. To be grateful for the lessons that I am given.

And I am.

Our Christmas Traditions

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In 2012, we decided that it was important to begin to implement a set of Christmas traditions and ideas that we can celebrate every year as a family over the holiday season. Brian and I discussed it and we decided that we wanted our Christmas celebrations to focus on 3 particulars areas:

  • Spending quality time together as a family and within our wider circle of family, friends and community
  • Remembering to be grateful for what we have and giving to those in need
  • Learning about and sharing in various ways to celebrate Christmas around the world to promote multiculturalism and understanding about how different Christmas celebrations have evolved over the years

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    We decided to  achieve this through creating an advent calendar that begins on December 1st each year. I browse through local Christmas events and add the ones our family enjoys to the calender. Last year we particularly enjoyed the Lighting of the big Christmas tree in the city, the Christmas Carols and watching the free Christmas movies at Southbank, so we will be attending those once again. These events really help us to make time for each other and be present with each other in the hectic-ness that is this holiday season. It also gets us out into the community and when family or friends come along with us it helps us celebrate the holidays with them as well!

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We decided that we wanted to focus on the act of giving and and sharing gifts with others and in particular, using this time of year to highight the plight of those less fortunate than ourselves. We do this through donating to charities and by asking the children to participate in the Kmart Wishing Tree Appeal which they very thoughtfully enjoyed doing last Christmas. This year we will also be adding another giving tradition of encouraging the children to buy/create sibling gifts for each other which we are really looking forward to seeing evolve.

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We are a multi-cultural family, so it was important to us to share with our children the fact that every family celebrates Christmas in a unique way – some with more of a religious focus, some more with a Santa related focus and that some don’t celebrate the day at all – plus that every country has their own special Christmas traditions that can be fun to explore. This is an area we only touched on last year, but we will expand on this in the next few years as they grow and their understanding grows too.

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I also add in other Christmas events and activites into the advent calender like our yearly tradition of celebrating St Nicholas day just like my family did when I was a child, and fun craft activities like the Christmas sensroy box. We always drive around to see the big Christmas lights displays and I’ve been collecting Christmas books for a couple of years now (most of them bought from op-shops or on sale after Christmas is over) to read every second day and get into the Christmas spirit. It’s a big month yes, but a month we look forward to with great anticipation every year. We are so excited to share it with the children again and I know their faces of delight will make all the organisation totally worth it.

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Goodbye Little Cottage

With my expanding belly we had the need to find a new, bigger nest to call home. We were sad to say goodbye to this little cottage, it’s been part of some wonderful memories for us.

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The children experienced a real free range lifestyle in this home for the first time. I was able to relax and allow them the freedom to explore inside and outside the house and with that came great independance and growth. The beautiful tree we had in the backyard added such a great element of natural wonder and I really wish I could somehow transport it with us to every house we live in in the future!

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And of-course, this is the home where our third little love was conceived. It was where I nurtured and grew my baby for most of my pregnancy and where we all fell in love with her.
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Thank you little cottage, for all your gifts and blessings.

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New adventures await in a new home…

Adventure awaits…

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” – Mary Oliver

Three years ago, this is what we were doing.

Oh it was such an adventure. So much fun. Such amazing memories.

Memories that wouldn’t have been created if I had listened to all those articles that say “Never travel with kids under 5.” “It’s all too hard.” “They won’t remember it anyway.”

But then again, when have I ever listened to anything except my own heart?

The last five years have certainly been adventerous! We have come against things we never expected and we have reached unimagined heights of joy. We have travelled along this journey always being sure that what we felt in our hearts was right was usually the correct choice. We thought our next adventure would be to add another child into our family. After over 12 months of trying, we decided last month that if we did not concieve, we would join my family on their trip to Europe in Summer next year. We let fate decide.

It seems as though our #3 is still waiting in the wings, wating for that perfect time to show us their presence. So we have to make a choice and we choose to follow fate and look into the future with bright eyes. For our future contains an overseas trip with our two beautiful children.

The adventure continues.

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We will take our 2 children under 5 on a plane (or in fact, many!);

we will take long road trips in unknown countries;

we will visit places most people have never heard of;

we will make sure our children spend quality time with relatives;

we will show our children their Croatian heritage;

we will sleep in unfamiliar beds;

we will make friends with strangers;

we will make memories;

we will laugh;

we will swim;

we will take a million photographs;

and, we will be grateful for our gifts.

Byron Bay Adventure – Part 1

The reason we travelled to Byron Bay in August this year was for a Concious Parenting and Natural Learning Conference that we were attending. I will discuss more about our learning at this conference in a subsequent post because I wanted to share some photos of our family time on the beaches south of Byron with you first. The weather wasn’t perfect over the 4 days that we stayed, but our time there was.

Nothing can beat spending quality time with my family.