Finally! We’ve been home just over 2 months now and we are happy to report that things have settled down to a more manageable pace. It’s been a busy and stressful few months—so what have we been up to?
Incredibly, the kids have just about finished their first term at school/pre-school. This has been the past 8 weeks. They have settled in well and are starting to make new friends. Madeleine’s really is thriving at school too, taking the foundations that we’ve laid in the past year through unschooling and just taking off with it. Although she’s in kindergarten, her maths and reading are at about a grade 1/grade 2 level and even her weaker writing and spelling have both now caught up. We’re so proud and amazed at her accomplishments, which culminated with her receiving an ‘Achievement Award’ at school the other day. Her successes and confidence are definitely directly attributed to our past year away, without a doubt!
We also played host to a Japanese student, who stayed with us for 3 nights. Miki is in her first year of Early Childhood Education studies at a college in Osaka and she and her classmates were here to observe the childcare and pre-schools in our area. Maddy and Yasmine loved having her around and for a few days, we felt like we were on holiday again, except that the tables were turned and we were now the hosts!
|Doing Origami with Miki|
|A new playmate for the kids.|
|At Phillip Island Nature Park (see the Koala?)|
|Miki and her classmates|
But most of all, the girls are just enjoying playing with friends in the neighbourhood on our trampoline, in our yard, as well as riding their bikes and scooters around our cul-de-sac (court). They love being able to do ‘dress-ups’ and doing endless art to their hearts’ content. They also love their extra-curricular activities of weekly ballet and swim lessons. Unfortunately, none of these activities were possible during our past year of travel.
As for us grown ups, we are getting back into the rhythm of day to day life in Melbourne. Functioning as a team once again as we had been in the past year, we’re getting tackling the routine now more efficiently: the house is getting cleaned regularly at last, the cupboards are being kept stocked, the bills are being paid on time, and the garden is being pruned and weeded. We’re slowly catching up with family and old friends that we haven’t seen for over a year, as well as making new ones among the parents at the schools. And we’ve even managed to frame and hang enlargements of some of our favourite photographs taken on our trip around the house.
So all in all, life at home is ‘same same, but different’ than before we left.
|Newly hung photos adorning our walls.|