Victoire Peverill

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since Nov 03, 2019
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Recent posts by Victoire Peverill

John Weiland wrote:Just adding this here for those interested.  An interesting book on the alphabet and the origins and magic of words is David Abram's "The Spell of the Sensuous".  One of the concepts that was intriguing to me was the history of the verb "to spell":

"Maybe just the first thing I'll say in relation to the questions you are raising is that I'm not in any way interested in demonizing writing or the alphabet or in saying that it's bad in any way. I am a writer, and I love the written word; I love it. And, I love what it enables for me. What I am saying is that writing is magic and that it is a very potent form of magic. And that, unless we recognize how potent, how powerful this technology is, and how profoundly and how even in many non-rational ways, it influences our experience, unless we recognize the magic of the written word, then we are simply under its spell. And, it's not by chance that the word spell has this double meaning - to cast a spell, or to arrange the letters in the correct order to spell out a word. Because these two meanings were at one time very, very close. Because to learn to read with this new magical technology, to be able to arrange the letters in the right order, to actually conjure, as it were, that thing that you just spelled—it was experienced by oral peoples, who had not met the written word before, as magic, as a very powerful form of magic. -- David Abrams   ( )

You are speaking my language! I am a total word nerd and I will hunt this bookdown enthusiastically. I love etymology and linguistics. I indulge my love in teaching my kids ot read  and yes I write! I have recently found a way to combine my writing with another passion so now they no longer compete for my attention and are combined. I am not as prolific as DEB, 3000 words a day! I have a few stories I started years ago and I chip away at them when I can, with lots of young kids its hard to have time to be inside my own imagination. Mostly I life young adult fiction righting and fantasy, but I also write childrens stories. I don't have many stories but they are precious to me.
4 years ago

Sage Boyd wrote:Hi everyone,
I am glad to see so many people here.  I like to see that people *have* reasons for wanting to go the route of homeschooling.  Though, I see a lot of responses with a Christian/"Young Earth" focus.  I wonder if there are also unschoolers?  People that teach evolution/creationism/intelligent design all as theories?  Anyone Pagan?  Atheistic? Universalist? Just sustainable/permiculture focused?  I am wondering how mixed the population is, more than anything.

As for us, we are working on Kindergarten skills right now. Cutting, drawing, letter sounds and number recognition. Anyone else doing pre-school at home?

I have 3 children, 9, 5, and soon to be 3. I have preschooled the older 2 and I am just starting preschool with the youngest. My preschool curriculum is playbased but I focus on classifying/sorting, and pattern recognition. They tend to know their letters and numbers before starting school. I think early learning for homeschool is sometimes over looked a bit.
When we started homeschooling we were Bahá'is but had some deep spiritual experiences while travelling and now we believe in earth-based spirituality. Our homelife acknowledges spirit as a living thing and we try to maintain our connection to the earth and what she teaches us, and we feel her and listen to the lessons she teaches.
I live in Australia and there are a a few homeschoolers in my village but many in my wider area. We try and meet up with other homeschoolers regularly. Most are not doing it for religious reasons, though some are. Some are more 'school at home' and use bought curriculums. Many unschoolers, and many who live on permaculture properties and live sustainable lifestyles.  Homeschooling is part of that lifestyle for them. Some have bad experiences with the school system, and there are some whose children have special learning needs that aren't met in the system (autism is a common one). There are unschoolers and radical unschoolers (democratic parenting) there are many travellers and road scholars around. There are kids who stop mainstream school because of bullying and social anxiety and lots of diagnoses that seem to fade away once they are homeschooled. Here in Australia there is a difference between homeschooling and distance education, Distance education the state sends you schooling material, homeschool you are on your own. You can use bought curriculums or make your own. I use my own pedagogy that I have developed and show that it matches the outcomes of the state syllabus as required by law. There are 2 years between state inspections. My 9 year old is in year 5 and my 5 year old is in year 1. They are both 'following their bliss' as my oldest is passionately into science. We recently made him a cabinet of curiosities for his ever expanding collection of specimens. My youngest son is into ballet and aspires to be a professional dancer, fulltime ballet training will be part of his schooling when he is old enough he will enter a part-time and then full-time ballet school. I have been amazed how early the kids have found their 'thing' and never wanted to let it go. I never really figured out my thing... wonder if the moment came and went and nobody noticed and I've been chasing it ever since!
My eldest son is dyslexic, but in a homeschool context hasn't found that an issue, it was simple to adapt his learning to suit his needs. I have learned a lot about language, linguistics and different approaches to learning reading and it has been really interesting. I occasionally tutor other kids if I meet someone who is struggling with reading. I have my own approach rather than following other peoples, but I have read widely and appreciate the montessori approach to having beautiful materials and a calm learning aesthetic, and when I read about unschooling my take home message was to not let my teaching get in the way of the learning. But I don't think it really looks like unschooling as others in my area do it.  I like to continue hands on and play based learning right up through primary school. We study school in units each based on a theme. The theme builds. Particular concept through all the school subjects. My eldest has studied relationships and systems and last year finished with synthesis. My younger son is starting out the sequence of theme units with patterns and classification and will move on to elements. Everything ties in to a central big idea or concept. It allows us to have a formal curriculum, but also unschool as learning opportunities arise. We tend to gently dance through a theme and put things into a journal. We use an art journal so there are no lines and it becomes quite creative and beautiful when its full. Some people resent having to record for the department of education and get approved etc... but I appreciate that it forced us to keep record of a beautiful experience we have shared. We have a gizmo called a sprocket that makes like polaroid photos with sticker backs, so we take a lot of pics of hands on learning and stick them in and it has so many memories. My eldest has started a new cycle of learning I want to pursue until high school where he has themes and his learning is through stories and narratives. We don't have a timetable each day, but have a program and we work our way through it organically, usually one idea leads to the next.... I love this journey and I am glad I get to share it with them.
4 years ago
I love this thread!
What amazing stories!
My grandparents on my mum's side were migrants from India to Malaysia. They were from Kerala and were Nairs. This is a specific caste/cultural group noted for it's matrilineal inheritance system. So famous for its strong matriarchs and my grandmother was no exception. She was upper class and academic and wanted to be a professor but was married off and sent to malaysia and resented it her whole life. She was a feminist before she knew what that was. She told me to never marry and study IT, she had figured out there was a tech boom ( I didn't listen) before that she told my sister to be dr (she resisted until she realised she actually did want to be a dr despite the cliche) My grandfather was poor as a child and sent as an orphan of 10 yrs to work the rubber plantations in malaysia for the British. He worked his way up and brought his siblings over and put them all through university and had a big house and a driver, my mum went to boarding school. He would only drink the best whisky and owned mercedes bens. He had a stroke when I was 10 and lost a lot of language, english was his 5th language so we weren't able to communicate after that. He taught me "if you want the masters house you need the masters tools" and that is why education was so important to them. My grandmother was fierce and astute and critical, but never wrong! My mum is just like her! They are both pretty spooky and have an uncanny magic about them that freaks people out, and an intensity of spirit and I have definitely inherited that.
My paternal grandmother lived with us when I was a child and a teenager and I am very close to her. I am trying to get her to live close to me so I can look after her. She was an orphan and her older siblings encouraged her to marry my grandfather. She was 13 when she met him, he was 25! They were in Mauritius at the time. So she never finished school and was married at 15 to a man who was abusive. She had 2 babies before she was 20 and very bravely (for a catholic) she divorced him once they moved to Australia and ran off with a sailor to england. She was only in her 30s but had teenaged kids. Her second husband was a kind welshman who sadly died very shortly after retiring back to Australia aged 56. My grandfather, was not a nice man, but was amazing with plants and worked as a florist and grew roses and gerbera for man years. My grandmother also has a green thumb I wish I'd inherited. She is somewhat of a hypochondriac, but was warm and cuddly and I would watch the bold and the beautiful with her, and she would cook mauritian food. I have definitely inherited her warmth and quiet simple habits from her.  
4 years ago
Another tip.... from the wisdom and experience of others. It is very common also in my area for people to start their permaculture dream in their late 40s-early 50s. Which is great, but I have also seen some issues with this. You have to be realistic about what your body is able to do and your long term plans. There is also a constant migration "off-farm" of people in their 60-early 70s into town because they don't want to do the work anymore, or the body isn't up to it. So also plan ahead for the older years of your life, don't develop a property that solely relies on heavy labour, because it will be too much later on. It can take time to establish a good permaculture property, orchards take time to develop, breeding animals need generations to get good breeding stock etc... so don't plan for anything that will take too many years to get going. You don't want the dream over before you really get started. How off-grid do you want to be? What creature comforts do you want? There are a lot of choices and diversity in what your permaculture dream might be. Soil health can take some time to improve. Maybe consider buying a property with some things already developed. Do you have to do everything from scratch? You might find a place where someone want to retire and you can take over custodianship of their farm. I just read about your husbands more business minded goals. That's great! agri-tourism is massive over here, and many farms do well to diversify income streams. In my village one couple does a paddock to plate business. She grows chickens (also runs a childcare centre in town) and he runs a cafe that uses the eggs in town!
4 years ago
Dear Azita,
Hello! I'm going to throw in my opinion too, though I am very happy to see such thoughtful and good advice from others.
Firstly, all real goals are born from fantasy, so don't overlook the creative aspect of dreaming and value in dreaming big. It's not crazy to want something that is different to what is seen as the norm. Are you Bahá'i? The writings say that the mother is the first educator of a child and so I was encouraged to homeschool my children. I don't have the finances for a lot of land yet, but I am establishing fruit trees and veggie patches, will get chickens and yes I am homeschooling my kids. My friend homeschools and rears pigs and rabbits for meat and grows all her own veggies. It is totally doable. But it is a big lifestyle change and I would suggest it would be better to develop some skills before you sell everything and buy a farm. I live in a 'hippy' area known for its constant migration of city folks looking for a treechange, a lot of people end up with the trophy organic property with lots of fruit trees, and animals, but in the end they don't have the skills to manage the property and sell it on, or still shop at the supermarket! Start with the skills you will need and grow those. I remember years ago when I had the dream, i couldn't afford even my own house ( the inflated property market in australia is a killer) I still wanted to feel like I was chasing my dream so I focussed on developing my skills at the other end, processing and mkaing things from scratch, I learned to bake bread, make pasta, pickle and bottle. I also taught myself to knit and sew. Now I find as I plant my first veggie patch I am planting what I know I can use and harvesting and using it all. It was only something simple like pizza at first. It has now become a tradition to have pizza every saturday made from scratch, it now has our own herbs and fresh tomatoes, eventually I will have a big enough tomato crop to can my own sauce. It's little steps. This year I harvested green mangoes from a street tree and made a years supply of pickles. I just finished knitting a jumper for my kids. My kids help plant the garden and look after it and learn a lot. So the point is.... baby steps. Learn what you can while you can, read, try to do things as you get the opportunity.
Have you looked into square foot gardening? You can grow a lot in a backyard.
I can understand why your husband would be a bit hesitant... its a long way out of his comfort zone. Realistically, most of the self-sufficient properties in my area still rely on someone having off-farm income, so him not being a farmer is ok! I think start gently and do what you can, but don't give up. There is still a lot to do to be ready to manage a farm, grow your skills. You can learn to do most things. I have experimented with espalier fruit trees and they are great!  Train the fruit trees onto a fence and they Still produce lots.  Espalier trees are easier for someone small to care for as you can easily net them and care for them. I fit 26 fruit trees (apples, pears, cherries) into a suburban backyard. You can keep fruit trees in a chicken pen too. Look out for workshops and learn what you can. Try and figure out the details of the dream and what exactly you want and develop your knowledge and skills in that area. Now my dream farm involves tea, Fish,  mulberries and silk! Homeschooling becomes a lifestyle, and you can grow and manage a property too, you just need to be realistic about what you can achieve at each stage, it doesn't happen instantly. Homeschool kids make great chicken chasers!  You could try having holidays in the areas you are looking at, doing homestays. Maybe seeing the lifestyle would help, and I guess finding a way to balance your dreams and your husbands, what are his dreams? Is there a way to realise those while pursuing yours? My husband works in IT, so he's no farmer, but he's willing to live out of town and drive longer distances, in a lot of areas a small farm doesn't have to be that far from town anyways. And he happily helps me out with anything too physical I can't manage yet. Now, I am exactly one of those people who the idea of running a farm seems completely fantastical! I have a history of chronic illness, family expectations of financial success and prestige, no money (due to chronic illness) and nobody much thought I was capable of homeschooling. My 9 year old is just starting year 5 and my beautiful caring clever kids now have convinced everyone.  we have only just stopped renting and got a garden of our own (you can't plant in a rental property here). So I am planting out my first garden, and I know it is all the more successful for me having to wait to try it. I first had this dream 10 years ago!  I will have my farm one day! And for all the waiting It will be even better.
4 years ago
Up until recently it was basket weaving, but I sort of pounced on a lady who was toting a beautiful handmade basket and gushed a lot and she stopped by my place few days later with a bootload of weaving materials  which she left under my house(mostly catsclaw creeper which is a weed, so also weed clearing). They have sat under my house where I had no idea what to do with them for a few months, until the other day when I just decided I better give it a go before it all rots away. So..... with no instructions whatsoever Tada!
It's very wonky and probably can't hold much but it looks like a basket so I'm very proud!
The other thing I dream of doing one day is growing silk worms and spinning my own silk to make my whitework embroidery from. I want a farm where I also grow mulberries (to feed the worms), make mullberry and silk paper, and mulberry jam of course.
4 years ago
Oh I love quilting! It's a great way to start making things out of fabric. There is a lot of expensive gear and fancy technique in the quilting world, but the way I do it is easier. As a beginner, I would strongly recommend doing it by hand. While it seems slower, the trouble with a machine is that you make mistakes faster! Working by hand, your hands get to feel what you're doing and you learn that way too. I think handmade quilts look better too! All you need to do is a straight stitch and get your sandwich of fabrics to stick together.
My favourite quilts I made from old bedsheets. As long as your fabric is good quality cotton and the thread you use to sew is cotton it'll all be good. You can use a whole bedsheet as your backing fabric and it'll give you the dimensions you need. Store bought quilting fabric is expensive! You can use quilting pins to hold it all together, but I just use broad tacking stitches in a contrasting colour. Its easier to handle and works just as well, I find it less fiddly. So for me I can make a quilt with an old blanket/or bought wadding, some old sheets cut into strips, a pair of scissors, a needle, and spool of cotton. I find it easier to get it done if I don't have to get heaps of gear out.
A strip quilt is a great quick way to make a quilt. This one pictured uses a raggy edge too. That means the strips on top are laid over each other and a frayed edge is visible as a frill.  If you find some bits are poorly sewn you can just go back over it. It builds up into something beautiful. I like wool wadding for a lightweight warm quilt. The quilt is really used like you use a coat. It keeps the cold off you and the warm in... so I use our quilts over a duvet in winter. And without a duvet and over sheets in early cool of summer mornings.
I made this quilt for my son out of old second hand bedsheets from the opshop. There is another plain sheet underneath, and I just used scraps for the edging.
4 years ago
Oh very nice!
Yes i think you do think you need to add some feet... Though the most important things are there!
Well done!
4 years ago
I used DE in a regime to heal my digestion. I was using it as a general parasite cleanse but used it after  an extreme low fodmap/sucrose free/low frustose diet. I had previously suffered from poor liver health which meant chronic severe chemical allergies and food intolerances. After using the DE I can eat everything, my gut absorption is healed and I can eat anything (bread glorious bread!) I want and I'm not so severely allergic to the modern world. My aim is not of course to expose myself to chemicals, but it was so hard to avoid. Now if people with strong perfume walk past me at the shops, nothing happens. Before, I would have been in bed for days.
I think the benefit of using it for parasite cleanse over herbal approaches is it is not toxic, a lot of parasite poisons (even natural ones) are quite strong and so if you are really debilitated its too hard to go through the process. With DE it is gentle and you just ensure you frequently use it to break the cycle of eggs shedding, hatching etc. You also DON"T need to know what the parasite is! Tests for parasites are expensive here and I am sure there are many that have never been identified or had tests developed.
4 years ago
Have you tried needle felting over a pipecleaner 'skeleton' ? I made a dinosaur and a bunny this way... the felt completely covers the wire and makes it bendy. You just have to make sure you don't directly poke the needle into the wire. You sort of poke as you wrap... i hand roll around and then tighten in all with the needle or shallow needlefelt it.
4 years ago