Tuesday, September 28, 2010

a lazy day…

On this lazy day,

a grand bottletop fair was held

by a boy and a girl

who had set up the fairground

just so.

Icecream was made and sold

as were the bottle tops

(with prices varying, said the seller, according to rarity of top)

A bottle top colour guessing game was played

using an ingenious invention

created by a boy and a girl

and prizes were won.

On this lazy day,

a toy house was played with

(which had been built by a dad, a boy and a girl the day before)

and afterwards,

the animals

slept deeply in their little beds.

On this lazy day,

a girl went to buy a bird

(to replace a beloved boy bird, Zed,
who had passed away in his nest three days before,
having worked his little tail off for months
nest making
grooming, and egg sitting
for his girlfriend Zoom.

R.I.P Zed. You will be missed).

Introducing Zip

who then met his new girl friend (the hefty one in the photo)

and was lurved

(resulting a seriously happy little girl!).

On this lazy day

haikus were written

by a boy,

who was

inspired by a book

that arrived in the post today

and is awesome.

(and will be used a lot
in writers workshop and at home.
I can't wait)

A haiku

Five syllables start,

Seven syllables follow.

Then five more, the end.

by my boy

On this lazy day

other lovely books arrived,

(this being the big half year books splurge of 2010)

and were pored over by a boy and a girl and a mum.

They included

A Childrens' Homer by Padraic Colum

Seven Wonders of the Ancient World by Mary Hoffman

The Picture History of Great Inventors by Gillian Clements

A Really Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson.

Galen and the Door to Medicine


Archimedes and the Door to Science by Jeanne Bendick.


On this lazy day

maths dvds arrived

to help us find some maths joy again

and were watched and laughed over
and loved

by a boy and a girl and a mum.

And on this lazy day,

a cat
lay flat

on a man.

It was




(not-so-) lazy


Sunday, September 26, 2010

drum solo!

My son "trading 4s" (as it's called in the Jazz World) with his bandmates!

It was the first time he'd ever solo-ed on drums in a performance.

The song is "Sonny Moon for Two," by Sonny Rollins.

And the hootin' and hollerin' at the end is me. Sorry about that!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

time to breathe

It's the end of term in these parts.

Ahhh, the end of term. I love it.

Funny, someone once said to me, "Oh, but you wouldn't notice the holidays, because you're always on holiday!"


I guess our life must look like holidays to some…because we're happy so much of the time. And yes, we're able to go most places anytime, if the sun is up and the beach calls or if there's an impromptu excursion to go on, or some exploring to do. We get to live the spirit of the holidays, anytime we choose.

But we also have a lot of commitments—every week there are places we need to be, things we've agreed to do—art classes, music lessons, music rehearsals, tennis lessons, homeschool group, playgroup, writers workshop, and the most recent addition: First Lego League.

We have to be out every day, usually around lunchtime, to get to wherever we need to be. We have two days where we don't have to be somewhere until after 3, and those days feel lazy, indulgent. But they're also filled with a sense of all the things we want to get done. Projects, Science experiments and history days…plus going to the library, walking the dog, and visiting people we mightn't otherwise get to see.

Our days during term are packed full. In fact, kind of overflowing!

(And on a side-note, it now cracks me up inside, when people say they send their kids to school for the socialisation, or ask, "What about socialisation?" We are more busy and sociable now than we ever were in 4.5 years of public schooling)

But in the holidays…

the busyness pauses.

All classes stop, even homeschool groups take a break. In this time, we breathe.

We sleep in.

We read books for hours.

We play without any sense that we "should" stop, be somewhere else, be doing something "important."

We take stock.

And we don't have to be anywhere at any time for anyone, day after day after day.

Now, please don't get me wrong. I am not complaining!

I love our life, the projects we do, the commitments we've made. Because each thing we do brings us joy. Like, real joy, connection to self joy, making a future joy, building a life joy.

And I know that in the holidays we do a lot of the same things that we do during term. Play, visit friends, hike, bike, walk, read, make, do, experiment, learn, be.

And to an outsider it might seem it's business as usual. The holiday you have when you're already on holiday.

But we always feel a change when the term ends. We notice the shift. The release. The lightness.

And I relish both the doing and the NOT doing.

The sense of lightness I feel every single time the holidays arrive tells me that while, yes, we are learning all the time, naturally and co-operatively, and while we are loving that journey, it is also simply good to take a break.

To pause, breathe, and have the only "learning" or "doing" be the kind that slips in, unnoticed, undocumented, and entirely unscheduled.


My boy playing in the end of term Jazz Showcase with his Combo

My girl and her friends playing after the last Writers Workshop of the term

Monday, September 20, 2010

To Do and To Don't

Things I am doing

even though I shouldn't be.

Staying up late when my whole body (eyes to knees, hair to toe) says I'M TIRED. Like REALLY TIRED. Please, please, take me to bed.

Worrying over how to help my girl understand maths. Like stewing over, mulling, ruminating, obsessing. Maths has become my nemesis. (But only KIND OF, because my son and I are going to dive into fractions tomorrow, and I think fractions are COOL).

Wishing I could help homeschool some kids who aren't homeschooled, who'd be so so great to hang out with, but aren't mine, and can't be wished over like a cool toy in a shop window. Bummer about that.

Wishing I could fix things I have no real power over. That's a really great wish, and goes in the box with wishing for world peace and the end to poverty. Though you can make quite a bit of noise about the last two.

Things I am doing

that I should be doing.

(Otherwise known as a WIN-WIN situation)

Listening to the quiet.

Sitting beside my daughter's ball of wool and needles, from her new adventure into the LAND of KNITTING. Having a little smile inside about that. She loves her knitting. I need me some needles now, to join her. I need to get my boy some needles. We needs us a knittin' circle!

Thinking of how warm and snug my feet are in their purple UGG boots. Mother's Day present 2010. Everyone should get a pair. Preferably in a colour they'd never choose for themselves.

Listening to the quiet. I know I mentioned it already, but it really is lovely.

Listening to the fridge humming. In F sharp. I know, because I just got up, went over to the piano and checked.

Letting the cat get on my lap in the nth hour, just as I'm thinking I WILL go to bed…

oh…I shouldn't have done that.

Friday, September 17, 2010

a different day

What an amazing, busy day it's been… just had to write about it because … well, you'll see …

…so my son has the beginnings of a cold… and so we had to cancel a trip to buy books & have coffee with some friends this morning, 'cos we needed quiet time to prepare for a crazy afternoon and evening …

so we started the day with reading on the couch, browsing games on the internet, and doing an online drawing "lesson" about shape and form… which led to happy ages being spent doing a still life drawing of our own…

And then the day kind of revved up…

and we scooted to another homeschool house to learn about the Pancreas, of all things, from a doctor friend…

(because, you see, my son and a bunch of lively gorgeous homeschoolers are participating in the First Lego League tournament this year, and the theme is Body Forward…so the kids need to come up with a research project on… well, I was going to try and paraphrase but it's too complicated so here:

Your challenge this season is to explore the cutting-edge world of Biomedical Engineering to discover innovative ways to repair injuries; overcome illnesses and disabilities; and build healthier, stronger bodies. Once you know how scientists, engineers, and doctors work together to find solutions, do some research. What kinds of problems keep people from leading happy and healthy lives? How could your team help solve one of those problems?

Which I could totally have said, but um, I'm tired!)

so anyway … today my son learned about the pancreas, the digestive system, the bits and pieces that connect to the pancreas, the roles of the pancreas, pancreatic cancer (heavy stuff), auto-immune diseases, infertility, and diabetes.

But wait! That's not all! Because then they brainstormed ideas on improving the health of diabetics …

and all of them sat and learned and listened and talked for two solid hours.

But our day wasn't done, because…

THEN we dashed off for my son's Jazz Combo lesson, where my son played for an hour, drumming his heart out, even though by this time he wasn't feeling so hot…

and THEN it was time for a big end of term concert… where my son played drums with his Concert Band, and … soloed on piano for the first time in his life!!!

this not being a photo of my boy in his concert today but still a photo of him drumming and I like it

At which point, my son didn't jump for joy. He looked mostly like he'd walked into the back of a truck. He was done, and said: Got a headache. Feel bad. Must go home.

But then (and this being the WHOLE point of this blogpost)

… on the drive home, my boy said:

"Hmmm. We didn't do much today."



You for real???


because, as he then put it, "Well, we didn't do any maths, or english, or history, you see."

Which blew me away.

And it was:

totally understandable, because he was feeling suck-ish, and the day had basically flattened into what wasn't and hadn't been… or / and

totally funny because he's our schedule-stickler, routine-maker, book-worker on school days, no matter how much I try to relax him (and believe me, I have tried) …or / and

a little bit sad because maybe 4.5 years of school indoctrinated him …or / and

just completely gorgeous, because he sees the world with such particular eyes, his own eyes, which are the eyes of a dreamer and order-keeper both.

So his view of today was kind of/basically/very different from mine…

and it reminds me, again, that even though I've tried to convince my boy that learning happens as naturally as breathing, he still needs his books and his timetable to steady his days and make them make sense. And though I could tell him (and did) that we've learned all day, he still feels a piece is missing, nonetheless, without his routine.

Which is part of this journey, right? Respecting who our kids are as learners.

Because their days are precious, and their own, always.

And while sometimes you need to help them see beauty where perhaps they might see only sorrow,

no-one should build their days for them,

or tell them at the end, what to remember or how they must see.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

when I love homeschool

One of the things I love about homeschooling is that I get to find out who my children are. As people, as individuals, and as learners.

I get to hang out with them every day. Discover what they are interested in. What they think. How they think and why. How they invent. What they invent. How they learn. These discoveries make me feel closer to them, more connected. And that connection makes me buzz.

I love homeschool the most when I open myself up completely to who my children are, unconditionally. When I accept and embrace the ways my children learn, even when it goes against my own learning style or the ways I thought education had to happen.

When I do that, our Homeschool Land becomes the best place in the world.

This has been a big challenge for me, with my girl. It has taken me over a year of homeschooling to begin to see and embrace the unique learner that she is, and to recognize that who my daughter is, is inextricably linked to the learner that she is.

my daughter, the artist

I recognised my daughter as an artist years ago, but I only recently began to understand how this part of her is connected to everything she does. She sees the world from the perspective of the artist, constantly. It's beautiful and inspiring. And it is how she learns.

She makes things all the time, every day, all day, well into the night sometimes. She uses her hands to create, draw, build, play, constantly.

She makes paper animals and cloth animals and makes them toys to play with. Yesterday she spent hours finishing up a house for her toy cats, constructing rooms, beds, sinks, showers, a spa for the pet fish.

Last week, she created an intricately-designed cardboard lizard with opening jaws—she thought to have straps inside the mouth so her hand could open and shut it with ease. I would never have thought of that.

When she writes a story, she has to draw pictures on every page. She draws all the time.

She loves books, but especially loves the ones with visual images included—nature books, younger kids' picture books, chapter books.

She adores animals, and inhales information books about them—she pores over the pictures as much as the words. And when she's committed a detail to memory, it pops up just like that in a drawing of a leopard, a deer, an elephant. Tiny details that I would have missed show up in her art. She misses nothing.

my daughter, the maths student

I have known my daughter is an artist for years. But it has taken watching my daughter learn (or try to learn) maths for me to really see how the artist is connected—like skin, or breathing—to the learner.

I assumed my daughter would learn from a maths workbook, just like her brother. Workbooks are simple; you buy one, you work through it, get help for the tricky bits, move on. Because I never liked or felt confident about maths, I thought it was something you just got over with, like medicine, or vegetables you don't like, to get to the more fun stuff like writing stories, drawing, painting, and music.

I think we've always had a difficult relationship with maths in our Homeschool Land. It's our sticky patch, the one area that really doesn't embrace my ideal of "Life Learning."

Because while I have never been a huge fan of traditional maths, I've felt like it had to be done, regardless of what my children would prefer to do. And we've done it in the way I've always done it, because in my head, if the kids asked for help, that's how I'd be able to "teach" it. I think a lot of people who are entering the world of natural learning/life learning/unschooling have felt this way about maths too. It's a tough one (and deserves its own post, I think!).

Sometimes traditional learning works, if your kids can learn that way and fit that mold. But it's really tough if you have a girl whose learning style is so different from the way you learned that in the tricky times, when you can't explain in a way your girl understands, and she gets stuck, you both panic.

That's when I feel terrible.

Sadness, fear and complaints make me aware that I'm asking the kids to do something they don't like, or in a way they don't like. It makes me feel guilty, anxious, angry with myself, and frustrated that the kids don't want to swallow their maths medicine fast, and just get on with it.

So maths time in our house has had a lot of tears, especially for my daughter. That sucks, because in my image of Homeschool Land, at least the image I hold dear, no-one cries when learning. No-one gets frustrated, resentful, or resists. It is supposed to be a sweet place where learning equals joy.

Maths doesn't equal joy for my girl. At least, traditional, scheduled, book-learned, get-it-over-with maths rarely does.

But when her hands and her artist heart are allowed to be the learners, it does. It brings joy and then some.

my daughter, the learner

When she plays Timez Attack and launches numbers at a door to learn her times tables, maths equals joy. When she gets to another level and has to jump over rotating 3-dimensional grids to get to the next question, it equals joy.

When she does her time4learning maths and gets to put a yellow five with a blue 2 and make a green seven, it equals joy.

When I pull out the Cuisenaire rods to learn addition and subtraction and she uses them to create an amazing multi-coloured owl, and says, "Look at my owl!" and then makes Cuisenaire cats, cats, cats. Joy.

When she sits to write number sentences and says, "I love those little plus and equals signs."

When she writes numbers and realises they can be turned into animals, the fives into birds and puppies, the sixes into pigs, and a cat with a zero for a face.

When she is given free rein to draw a page of number animals, and fills the page with them, even a trio of number critters standing on a dais having won some race.

When she then draws an intricate map of where the number pets live, including a key to show bridges, roundabouts, cows.

When she builds, constructs, designs, creates—all of which take so many maths smarts you'd need a page to list them all.

This is when maths equals joy.

When the artist and the learner meet.

When they are allowed to meet.

When the learning being asked of my daughter can be translated into a language that is hers.

When no pressure is placed and freedom is given.

When she can be the learner she is and the person she is and this is celebrated without condition.

When I don't crowd her with expectation and fear (all ingrained, all my own shackles).

When she is.

And that's when I love homeschool.

Monday, September 13, 2010


A new day brings…


planning to take the dog out into sunshine

planning to take the kids and myself and the dog out into sunshine

remembering our bushwalk yesterday, a walk I almost didn't go on…

a walk that was lovely.

remembering the calls of birds on the walk we went on

and the dog lapping up creek water

and my daughter finding sticks and leaves and bark and carrying them all home

and my husband and I holding hands

and my son talking and talking and talking and talking and…

feeling hopeful

looking out at the world while looking in at my tricky stuff—keeping a balance, always

waiting for my kids to get up

waiting to see their faces and get my cuddles. (I always get morning cuddles. Every morning without fail)





(oh. It just started raining outside.

Did the universe not read this post?!

Must be sunshine sometime in the future, then.

There's always sunshine in the future)

Sunday, September 12, 2010


I feel like someone has stirred my pond water and clarity has become hard to find. Sometimes.

I feel mazed, caught, lost. Sometimes.

I feel like I'm searching. Seeking stillness. Clarity. Connection. It all seems far away, sometimes.

A friend and I were talking about meditation the other day. My naturopath suggested I meditate a few times a week to help find my clarity again.

In my mind, that has become bigger than it needs to be. I have a meditation CD that I could listen to, but that involves finding half an hour, taking my laptop (yes, in this day and age I have no ipod or mp3player) to somewhere quiet and private (hmmm, with two kids a husband a dog and a cat, while homeschooling) and being still.

It feels a little overwhelming. Like the "too hard" basket just scooched up next to me and said, "I'll take that!"

So I was talking about this with a friend and mentioned how I haven't yet had, or made, time to meditate.

But then we spoke of stillness. And I began to talk of how I find it.

In tiny moments, snatched out of the air. Glimpses of stillness, glimpses of clarity.

I find it while waiting for my boy to finish his piano lesson, standing outside while the sun sets, watching birds make room for each other in the bare arms of a tree.

I find it when I am just waking and the day lays itself in front of me like a blanket or a dog waiting for a belly rub.

I find it when I am sitting looking out at my backyard, watching the chickens forage in the unmown grass and scoot after each other when they think someone's got a worm they want.

I find it when we drive and stop talking (which is rare!). The kids get caught in their thoughts and I get to think mine.

I find it in the shower. Watching drops fall into other drops. Watching the cat watching the drops falling.

I find it in the making of a cup of tea.

I find it when I am walking. When I am somewhere by the ocean or by trees. The land and sea and sky make room for me and say, Here you are. And, Welcome.

I find it when the cat is on my lap and he has purred himself into quiet, when all that moves are his paws, twitching as he runs at birds in his dreams.

I find it when I am kissing my boy and girl goodnight. When I lean over and breathe them in and my heart flips, just a little, just enough.

I find it here, in this moment, writing these words. I find it when I realise I am not lost. I'm simply trying to remember I am found.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

have I mentioned…

Have I mentioned here that I love my husband? I do, like, A LOT. I know that's kind of mushy and sentimental, but bear with me…

Some days you simply love someone and it's a formless feeling that you don't look closely at. It just is. But then there are other days when you look a bit closer and say, You. You are lovely because you did this. And lovely because you did that. And you're kind of cool. And kind of great. And even though I already loved you A LOT, today and in this moment, I love you even more.

Some days, you love someone because.

So today, I love my husband because…

When my son recently began panicking about his music practice, feeling suddenly overwhelmed by having to practice piano AND drums through the week, my husband said he would sit with him every morning that he could to help (that being 5 mornings out of 7). That's like getting Buzz Aldrin to help you on your Space Unit—not a bad catch! My husband is going to explain the tricky jazz stuff (like a Dominant 7th chord. What's that?), plus help him learn his notes, make him laugh, and keep him company. My son can't wait.

When my daughter asked my husband to play this week (having missed him so much when he went to work that she cried), he went to her wholeheartedly and PLAYED. He got on the floor and played literally for hours with my girl. He was a toy dog/cat/bird 'til near collapse! Last week, they did art and my daughter taught him to make a cardboard puppy, and last night, because it was late, they just snuggled up on the bed together, nose to nose, talked and talked, and laughed. She felt so loved.

When my son needed help on his maths the other day, and I was busy, my husband leapt into our learning room, yanked open his shirt to reveal the t-shirt beneath and said, "Math Man is here!" The kids nearly fell on the floor laughing. My daughter now calls him Math Man daily. What was also beautiful was, as much as he tried to help, my husband couldn't figure out the maths problem. So I had to step in and rescue Math Man. Very funny. In the kids' eyes, this in no way diminished his powers. Math Man is, and will always be, awesome!

When we had dinner together one night this week, my son came up with a really funny skit idea, and was showing us at the table. My husband instantly ran with it, leapt up to join my son, and together they made us laugh so hard we cried.*

When we stayed so long at homeschool group last Tuesday that we completely skipped Dinner-Making time, my husband whipped it up for us while we were driving the half hour trip home. It was so delicious we said he had to be the Official Fried Rice maker for the family from now on. But get this: He hadn't made enough for four, so he let us (who were starving) eat the whole thing while he ate leftovers. Our hero.

When I had to make a Big Decision recently and realised I simply could not choose the path that filled me with unease (or, plain old FEAR, if you don't beat about the bush), I said, "But I don't want to be a fearful person. I promised myself I would never live in fear." My husband said, "Helena, you chose homeschooling. That's something that most people never try, and you went for it. You were fearless about that, you were fearless with that school, those teachers. You totally went for it. It was amazing."

Ah. He is a good person. He sure is the love of my life.

* a bit of the skit that made us laugh 'til we cried:

Sunday, September 5, 2010

to the edge and back

So I've been on quite a journey recently. It's been filled to-the-brim with fear, exhaustion, sleeplessness, feeling overwhelmed, anger, misunderstanding, panic, love, the search for the meaning of life, navel gazing, and generally a whole lot of emotional upheaval.

I've tried to manage this sensibly. I've seen a doctor, a naturopath, and a therapist. I've spoken to my amazing husband night after night after night. I've spoken to kind people and I've been to the beach. I've walked the dog and been to a movie. I have loved my children and kept our Homeschool Land solid and kept my family close. I have taken care of myself.

But I've also felt like I might not figure it out, that perhaps this time, I might just get swallowed whole.

I had to make a choice. A big one. And I couldn't make it.

If I tried to choose one path, I felt devastated. If I tried the other, I felt overwhelmed with panic. I teetered for days between one path and the other. Pros and cons were listed; I lay awake for hours at night.

Because this decision felt and became bigger than the choices themselves. It brought up my past (busted it clear out of its forgotten room), affected my future (filling it with "what ifs"—those nasty mental gremlins), and picked my present to pieces.

I became a bit of a basket case, I have to admit.

The choices themselves weren't necessarily sad or terrifying. They just were, to me. They were actually good, perfectly lovely choices, each in their own way. They were Fine vs Fine. Valid vs Valid. Line them side by side and they look even, choices. My head felt like it might just explode.

This whole thing has been really, really hard. But now I'm thinking, sometimes you have to get pushed right up to the edge of something, if it's deep and if it's difficult, to know where you are. To really understand what makes you tick and what is truest for you.

Because today I finally made a decision. I decided to surrender to it, and say, Yes, I will follow this path, even if it's complicated and it's scary. And I stood at the very edge of my choice, just about to commit to it, no going back…

And my entire body silently screamed, NO. No, no, no, no, absolutely not, no.

My husband said afterwards, "I felt the energy coming from you. If you'd asked me to go ahead and choose (that path) for you, I wouldn't have been able to do it."

Suddenly, I had the answer. By choosing the wrong answer (for me) and going right up to it, like a parachutist going to the door of the plane, I figured out what path I needed to take.

Thankfully, I didn't have someone pushing me from behind. That would have royally sucked!

The thing is, I would have survived the other choice, the path I have now decided not to follow, because it wasn't going to kill me. It was a fine path. Nice view, truly lovely company, beautiful adventure.

But it wasn't my path.

And having made my decision (which no longer feels devastating), I feel like this:

Flock Of Birds

Which is me, in the moment

that I followed my heart.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

time of the flying fox

Today is the First Day of Spring.

but did you know…?

It is actually, and also, and around about, the season of

Ngoonungi - Murrai'yunggory


the Time of the Flying Fox


It is:

"The time of the gathering of the flying foxes. A magical time of the year when the flying foxes gather in the darkening skies over D'harawal Lands. They come in from the north-east, the north, the north-west and the west, and swirl over the Sydney area in a wonderful, sky-dancing display just after sunset, before setting off for the night-time feeding grounds to the south. But it is also a very important ceremonial time for the D'harawals, which begins with the appearance of the splashes of the bright red Miwa Gawaian (Telopea speciosissima) in the bushland."

(Aust Govt: Indigenous Weather Knowledge)

It is "Ngoonungi, Time of the Flying Fox: [when] The waratah and many other flowers bloom and flying foxes gather. [It is the] mating season of many smaller marsupials. Shellfish form a large part of the diet. As the whales migrate down the coast with their calves, important ceremonies are held to wish them well."

from Chookie's Backyard

And it is: "the…time when ‘the buds of the waratah swell and redden’. [Note that] The D’harawal annual cycle is not set rigidly in time, but responds to triggers in the environment."

from an interview by Kelly Royds with Frances Bodkin, author/compiler of D'harawal Seasons and Climate Cycles

Frances Bodkin is a "botanical author, teacher and traditional storyteller at Mount Annan Botanic Gardens. Bodkin is a traditional D'harawal Aboriginal descendant and one of the last people in Sydney to inherit tens of thousands of years of weather wisdom." She has written an important book; it looks fascinating and I'm going to find it and read it. For more reading, here's an article about Bodkin, and on Indigenous Seasons.


Just thought I'd commemorate this First day with a bit of thinking and exploring and discovering.

Hello September :)


Today was also the beginning of feeling hopeful.

Today I made an appointment with a new counsellor, seeing as mine has gone overseas. (What, I don't see her for a year and a half, and she goes away without telling me??).

This new woman said the soonest she could see me was in two weeks time (which seemed, at that moment, to be a Very. Long. Time). Two hours later, she rang back to say, actually, she could fit me in tomorrow.

Today, I heard a frog ribbiting in our back yard today, beside our fishpond.

Today, I didn't need to wear a dozen layers to walk the dog with the kids.

The dog rolled blissfully in a pool of dust then shook it off like he'd just had a bath.

Today, the sun shone.

I made a risotto for dinner that rocked even more than the last risotto I made.

I took my herbs from my naturopath and began reading a book about finding happiness.

And my sister called.

Today, the kids told Dad that we did English, Maths, walked the dog and even did Science.

And then my daughter said:

"And Mum was happy."