last for 2012

December 28, 2012

family life

I have been away writing on several other blogs that I have set up. Some for work, one for professional development, one for the studies on Druidry I have been doing. I have been writing short parenting articles for a local monthly gazette which reaches about 12,000 homes (small stuff but it all adds up). I’ve also had three journal articles published. What I have realised is that this blog is the fertile ground for all of the other writing I have been doing this year. It’s the place where I have met other bloggers, written about my experience, and generated ideas from meaningful conversations with other bloggers. I have learnt so much from being able to reflect and receive feedback on what I have written. This has provided me with many wonderful opportunities. I needed to venture out but I’ve come back home.

At work, my expressive arts group ended after three years. My fabulous assistant left for a job which was more hours and tailor made for her skills, and I found it difficult to find a replacement with the same passion and understanding, so with much sadness I ended the group. Apart from the family work I do where I do lots of group work with parents, I picked up another little job as a student wellbeing worker in a small public school. I am now doing a lot of individual work with children, and lucky for me they love doing art.

And I have been busy with the kids.

I have always said that parenting gets harder as your children get older, and that is coming to fruition. When children are young they are completely in your world. But as they get older they are exposed to more layers, and experiences in the world outside of your control. You have to be so much more present as a parent as your kids get older. So, between futsal, outdoor soccer, kung fu, school band, transporting kids to and from their friends, having their friends over, and negotiating computer time and TV time, I have been trying to stay connected with my kids by attending to the “anchors and bookends” (Lisa Boisvert McKenzie) of the day.

And I have learnt that no matter what I do, there will be times when I just won’t know or understand what’s going on in their heads and hearts. The boys brought home all of their workbooks for the end of the school year. In one workbook, middle son wrote “I feel lonely when my parents help my brother with his reading and they don’t help me with reading”. The youngest has needed extra support with reading this year, he was at risk of repeating his grade. He isn’t tuned into books and reading, he doesn’t draw or write, it’s not his thing, but he needs to learn because running around like a wild thing all day is less cute at seven than it was at four. The middle boy taught himself to read at the age of four, he’s doing advanced work at school, and I don’t understand the stuff that he reads on maths, science, and history. I’m not sure how I could help him with reading, but it’s clear that he feels that he is missing out on something. 

We are still a NO wii, nintendo, xbox, playstation, ipod, ipad family. Yay! Of course, the boys would love all that, and there have been times where they have told me that they are the most deprived children in the neighbourhood. But I have met a few other families who either don’t have these things or severely restrict them, so I don’t feel like I am grossly abnormal. In my work I am seeing a number of children who spend all of their spare time playing violent computer games, not having any connection with family, and experiencing episodes of explosive anger.

Heading into the new year, I’m not sure where I’m heading with this blog. Over time I will move the expressive arts and community work posts over to my professional blog where they seem more appropriate. I enjoy reading some of those lifestyle blogs (Che and Fidel, Silver Sparrow Designs, 6512 and growing, An Everyday Story, Breath of Green Air) with their dreamy photos, and/or stories of cute kids. I do enjoy their ‘present moment’ and joyful quality. I don’t do great photos but I can do joyful!

Best Wishes to you.

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About hakea

groupworker, parent educator, therapist, mother of three boys.

View all posts by hakea


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7 Comments on “last for 2012”

  1. Hazel M. Wheeler Says:

    Hello Narelle,

    Thanks for the update– I didn’t know you had blossomed out from this blog. 🙂 I’ll be catching up on some reading soon enough.

    Enjoy the pup and yes, we too are a low-media household. I think it’s a breeding grounds for imagination, connection and good times.

    Happy new year!


  2. Santo D'Agostino Says:

    Hi Narelle,

    Great to hear from you (I mean your comment on my blog), and glad to hear all is well with you and your family!

    I have not posted for months, thanks to being busy on other projects, but I intend to return to blogging a little more frequently in the new year.

    One of my major projects is an online mathematics textbook, which I’ll start unrolling online this year, and an online mathematics tutoring service. Both will be hosted at a new web site that I’ll have ready next week if all goes well.

    The main focus of the new site will be to help students prepare for college/university mathematics; making the transition from high-school mathematics to university mathematics is a difficult one for many, and university is very unforgiving … the ill-prepared have a brutal time. Learners at all levels are welcome to join the community, but the initial focus will be on students at the senior high school to beginning university levels.

    Best wishes to you and your family in the new year!


    • hakea Says:

      Hi Santo

      Your project sounds fabulous and huge! A very worthwhile project to be immersed in and a testament to your passion for maths.

      My three boys love maths, and their school has a big focus on competency in maths. The whole school does maths at the same time, four mornings per week. This allows for children to go into higher or lower classes as needed. So, my middle boy who is in Year 4 was able to do Year 6 maths this year. I think it’s a brilliant idea. Still too much working out of workbooks for my liking though, and not enough exploring practical applications. They have something called the Maths Olympiad and the children can choose to give up one of their lunchtimes every week to participate, and these are very good for problem solving.

      Best wishes to you and your family Santo, and I hope your project is everything you want it to be.


  3. eof737 Says:

    Thanks for the update… I imagined you were incredibly busy with real life… so keep it going. I hope you’d keep us posted on your goings on and perhaps, someday, invite us to peruse your other blogs…
    Glad to reconnect with you this year …
    •.★♥★Happy New Year to You & Yours!★♥★.•


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