Happy belated Easter! Easter holidays are in full swing right now in New South Wales. Australian states have different holidays, but all of Australia get Friday and Monday off for Easter weekend. EVERYTHING is closed on Good Friday near us, even the mall/grocery stores, etc. Not McDonalds of course, but everything else. 🙂 We had a great Easter (despite my complete lack of sleep the morning of due to a semi-sick child who is relearning how to sleep) filled with an Easter egg hunt and lamb for dinner. It’s so appropriate–Jesus is the lamb of God, we ate a lamb for lunch on Sunday–love it.
Australia has a different school schedule than America (apart from the new school year starting in Jan. as opposed to Sept.). They have a quarter system–9 weeks of school, 2 weeks of holiday, 9 weeks of school, 2 weeks of holiday, 9 weeks school, 2 weeks holiday, 9 weeks school, 6 weeks holiday (Christmas/summer break). Universities here have semesters, so they have a longer Christmas/summer break, but the primary schools and high schools here do it differently than in the States. It’s taken some getting used to. This is the first holiday we’ve been a part of now that E’s in preschool, and I wouldn’t have thought I would like it. I surprised myself though because I like her being home! 🙂 Even though she only goes to school two days a week, those days are always a little more chaotic in the mornings and afternoons. It’s nice after she’s in school because it’s just the three kids and me, but then it’s nap time, so I really only get 3 hours of 3 kids. Don’t get me wrong–I love the personalized attention I can give J, Mo, and M, but it’s not as long as I thought it would be.
LOTS of dance parties have taken place this last week and a half, mostly to our new favorite movies ‘Sing’ and ‘Trolls.’ They have great soundtracks! The kids also got to Skype with Grandma and Papa, who are coming out to visit us (DV) in a few weeks.
I thought these two weeks would be difficult–2 weeks of all 4 kids, fighting, playing, being loud, disobeying (I mean, of course not disobeying–my kids are perfect!). But it’s been really nice to have E here with low key mornings and a playmate for J. Mo also enjoys it when her sister’s home because E and Mo play together sometimes, whereas J is in his own little boy-world and doesn’t include Mo as much. And M loves E too, always giving her smiles and enjoying the attention her oldest sister gives her. I think this holiday time is a good opportunity for me to see if I could survive homeschooling. We’re contemplating it for either next year when E starts Kinder, or for Year 1. Ugh. I never thought I’d consider homeschooling, but currently public school isn’t an option, and Christian school is out of our price range. Plus, there’s a part of me that enjoys the opportunity to pick and choose the curriculum my kids will be learning. The downside to homeschooling is that the kids will be getting an American teaching them from an American perspective, even though we live in Australia. I’d like the opportunity for my kids to be around Australians as much as they can–I mean, why live here if they won’t pick up the accent?! But NSW is really strict in their homeschooling laws–they’re the strictest state in Australia and their requirements are EXTENSIVE, even for Kinder. It’s pretty overwhelming, to say the least, and will take quite a bit of research and discussion with other hs moms around here to see what I need to do to be approved. Yes, that’s right–approved. The NSW government sends out a representative every year you apply to hs in order to check out your home. They see if it’s a suitable learning environment, they look at and approve your curriculum, and they want to make sure the child’s actually going to be learning and not just goofing off. They have 7 different subjects, even for Kinder, that the child needs to be learning, and Australian information is included in much of it, so even though I may not know much about Australia now, I’ll definitely need to be learning it along with my kids.
I tell ya, this little girl is SO LOVED! If only she loved them as much. 🙂 No, she smiles at them, but she prefers them to stay an arm’s distance away.
One thing I didn’t consider is American vs. British spelling of various words. I know the basics–labour, colour, etc. But some words have double l’s, or not double l’s, or z’s, or no z’s, and so on. Maybe I should have paid more attention to my Canadian friends’ spellings of words when I had the chance. Shoot.
So, that’s where we’re at right now…trying to avoid various kids’ play areas because they’re full of kids on holiday, but also enjoying the fact that we don’t all have to be ready to go by 8:30 on Tues. and Wed. mornings. Next week it all begins again though, including E’s ballet on Monday afternoon and J’s music class on Tues. morning. Let the chaos begin.
That’s Mo’s hand touching M. They’re continuing to slowly bond with each other. J captured this moment. The next picture was a common sight during her bout of sickness. Poor little girl. She’s knocked out on Mama’s lap, the only place she would sleep for a week and a half. She’s starting to get back into a normal sleep schedule and beginning to sleep again in her bassinet. Yay!