Looking Back at 2012

I am a big believer in not spending too much time looking back.  Well, not looking back with regret anyway.  Remember and cherish the good times, if you can – learn from mistakes and also from what works, but don’t rue decisions.

Assuming we’ve thought through a decision, or even made it because our gut tells us to, it should never be regretted.  Every decision we make takes us off on a new path in life, a one way path, we might not like the road and it might end up very bumpy BUT if we had taken a different path or stayed on our old one whose to say they would have been smoother.  With the gift of hindsight there may be evidence to suggest that the other paths would have been better but we all get a bit lost sometimes and provided we choose our paths for the right reasons then we can not do more.  Mental energy spent analysing past choices is wasted energy.  Much better to spend our energies on trying to smooth out the road or even simply on developing coping strategies to cushion the bumps (chocolate and the resulting well padded derrière are my recommendation) while we ride them out waiting for smoother paths ahead.

Sometimes a path that we would never have chose is forced on us of course.  Certain sorrows will never leave us, it will never be alright in my head that my mother didn’t live long enough to know my children, but there is absolutely nothing I can do about that but share my good memories with the boys so they at least have some sense of knowing their Nanna.  9 years on still miss her with an ache that is nearly physical in its pain but over the years the ache has lessened and hits in a rare sudden wave rather than a permanent gnawing.  But my memories are clearer and more vivid than ever, time adds rather than takes away, and my mother’s voice and laugh is still loud in my head and heart.

Anyway with no regrets (and a lot of help from my old blog – my memory is not what it was) here is our 2012.


D-Day museum

We were looking at WW2 and getting out and about. The Cabinet War Rooms, Churchill Museum, Imperial War Museum, Royal Naval Museum, Action Stations and D-Day Museum all featured on our schedule.

Sam had mastered reading but we had not got over the surprise and pleasure of seeing him devouring a book.  The surprise has gone now, pleasure is still as felt as keenly.


Cocoa beansFebruary blues hit along with the coughs, colds and assorted bugs, but rather than get overwhelmed I tried abandoning ‘normal’ work and adopting a small project (week or 2 week) approach using bought resources to save me the effort -3 lapbooks later and I was cured of lack of motivation – I hate the things!  A fun trip and a project based on it – Cadbury World and a chocolate lapbook kept up the boys motivation.

Oh and Sam started Beavers.


TravelodgeMarch started with a very wet trip to London where we visited the Museum of London and the Royal Observatory and spent a lot of time playing marbles in the hotel.

Spring sprang, the boys did healthy body projects – lots of time outside running about.



EasterVery little got achieved home education wise this month.  Jack was in the Gang Show which meant 8 shows in 6 days performing to several hundred a show on stage.  With an intense rehearsal schedule in the run up and 11pm finishes during show week, it was time for relaxing, crafting, baking and a lot of Easter themed activities.  And Jack turned 10 so there were birthday celebrations to fit in.

Longer term Gang Show had a major impact on our lives as Jack spent a lot more time around schooled children and reignited his friendship with his best friend from pre-school, resulting in the idea of school entering his conscious.


SomersetMay was holiday time, Pontins in Somerset.  Definitely won’t go down as a classic holiday.  We were all narky and the place was dismal.

Elsewhere we did a project on the Titanic.  And as part of my eschewing home education groups in favour of spending time with individual families that we ‘click’ with we met up with a lovely family we’d met through a forum at the Maritime Museum in Southampton.

Mentally I wasn’t in a good place, I am ashamed to admit that I struggled with the idea of Jack wanting to go to school.


WalesAgain an unproductive month home ed wise but over the years I’ve learned that this really doesn’t matter.  Sadly my aunt (my mum’s sister) passed away after many years of illness.  So we had a few weeks up in North Wales seeing friends and family.

Apart from that we had a day in Poole for the Bang goes the Theory roadshow and a catch up with friends.  And according to my blog that was it!


Chamber of SecretsJuly was Harry Potter month, with a trip to the “Making of…” and a lot of time on the sofa reading for Jack.

There was also the Olympic Torch relay, The New Forest and Hampshire County Show and a new bike for Jack to keep us amused.

We had come to an agreement about Jack starting school in Sep 2013 (Secondary) and everyone was in a better mood – brief rays of sun and paying off the mortgage helped.


OlympicsWith his typical need to make life as difficult as possible, Jack decided that actually he wanted to go to school this September.  With me now well-adjusted to the idea, in went the form and we had 4 fun weeks waiting for the school to go back so we could find out if he had a place (heard 5 days before he started!).

In the mean time the boys lived outdoors, playing with local kids in the park.

Oh and there were the Olympics of course and a trip to Wembley for us.



School BoyJack started school and we all floundered a bit trying to find some routine.

Sam lacked focus home ed wise and I was snowed under with work.

We had some very good days but also a lot of mediocre ones.




BakingJack started bring home one bug after another.  He thrived at school, the rest of us struggled with illness and heavy workloads.

I gave up structure with Sam in favour of baking!




Birthday boyAnother month beset with illness.  Sam turned 7 and I realised that I need to make more effort to meet his social needs.  Groups are not the answer though as he definitely prefers one on one or small numbers.

Jack moved from Cubs to Scouts.

Sam worked on a space project.




Fake snowSlipped by in a mix of illness, finishing off projects and workbooks and Christmas celebrations.

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