Home education diary, Aug-Dec 2003

Unsurprisingly, the boys didn't do much of their ACE work during August. It was too hot and humid, and although we used the air conditioning in the dining room, nobody felt at all motivated to do any structured academics. It didn't worry me, and although Daniel had hoped to finish level 1 fully, the biology videos didn't arrive. So we read books, and did things on the computers, and played games, and did jigsaws. We went to the beach a few times to swim in the early evening, and we also had a day out to the North of Cyprus, to see some friends who were staying there.

In September, we were in the UK for a little over three weeks. The main reason for going then is that my brother was getting married. It was a lovely day - in fact, the whole time we were in the UK, the sun seemed to shine, and on the actual day of the wedding the temperature was about 26C.

In October, we got back to our ACE work, with some enthusiasm at first. The boys' activities started up again too - music, drama, and so on. Daniel decided he would accept a small part in this year's Christmas production by Antidote, 'The Dancing Bear'. We were a bit worried as he's found their heavy rehearsal schedules so stressful in the past, but he liked the part - and the play - very much. He also got promoted, at last, to playing first clarinet in the Municipal Band, which made it more interesting for him.

We got to know the 'line-up' team from the MV Doulos, who were using part of Richard's office while preparing for the arrival of the ship. They were nice girls, but didn't know a lot about poster production - so Daniel got involved in doing the graphic design for their advertising posters, which he enjoyed.

In November, rehearsals started for Daniel, and Tim got started with Christmas carols, preparing for the inter-church concert where he will be playing as usual. ACE work continued when possible, in a low-key kind of way.  By the end of November, I realised they wouldn't be doing anything else with ACE until the new year. It was easier to assume that than to keep asking/suggesting/reminding, when the boys were taken up with their other activities.

For the end of November and the first ten days December, Daniel had both 'Dancing Bear' practises, and time spent on the MV Doulos.  He got very tired indeed - and as stressed as he usually does during final rehearsals -  but the premiere of the play went extremely well. He also had an absolutely wonderful time on the Doulos. I thought he would be bored - he was helping in the bookshop, mainly, including a lot of heavy lifting and sorting of books. He and his home educating friend from Limassol were the only port volunteers, so they didn't run their usual full programme for them - just as well, since Daniel couldn't be there full-time.

Anyway, by the end of the month he was feeling very inspired by the work of the Doulos. He's pretty much given up on the idea of joining YWAM - he thinks their training is rather too rigid and intensive, and prefers the more action-based focus of the Doulos. He's now thinking he might like to join one of their two-month training programmes in a year or two. I think the minmum age is eighteen, and he's only just seventeen. I don't know if this is just another idea that will pass, or if he's serious - but it's great to see him so enthused, even while he's so tired.

For Tim, December was a month of Christmas carols. He played piano for a group that went carol singing around old folks' homes in Larnaka. He played for the inter-church carol concert. Then he played for carol-singing in hotels on Christmas Eve, and played organ for the midnight service in the Anglican Church later on. In the middle of December he developed a streaming cold, which slowed him down a bit; he was fine for Christmas, but extremely tired.

So after Christmas, we relaxed, read books, talked, played games, and didn't do anything particularly constructive.

Previous (July 2003)  -  Next (January - June 2004)