The life and times of a home schooling mom of se7en + 1.

se7en header image 2

Just Taking a Week Off School to Volunteer…

October 9th, 2015 · 8 Comments

So we made it through the first quarter of our school year – completely… reading done, math done and language arts. I know, good job and all that… (I won’t mention the science kits that remained unopened, the journals that are somewhat off the pace… and the one child that simply refuses to read anything that might possibly be school… and my natural tendency to wait and see could ultimately work against me in this case… and that’s a whole ‘nother post)… I rewarded my guys with a week off school and gifted them in the best possible way, instead of staying home and sorting the chaos that the house tends into, all on its own, while we do school. And the sort of thing only a mother wants to do when we are off school… we spent a week volunteering. So this is just a quick catchup on some fun, easy ways for kids to volunteer…

World Beach Clean Up Day

Years ago, when we began beach clean ups our kids were a little nervous about what they might find, and a beach clean up was something they loved when they were doing it, but it wasn’t something they looked forward too. Since we discovered exactly where our garbage goes… we can’t clean beaches fast enough.

se7en - 180915 - 6396.jpg

On World Beach Clean Up Day, with a team of kids, we once again tackled the beach at Olifants Bos in the Cape Point Section of Table Mountain National Park.

se7en - 180915 - 0284.jpg

Absolutely everything you need for a beach clean up is supplied at the Ocean Conservancy website…

se7en - 180915 - 6390.jpg

Gather with some friends and print out your data sheets from the Ocean Conservancy website. Collect garbage and document your finds as you go.

se7en - 180915 - 6392.jpg

It is always surprising to us, exactly how much garbage we find, even on what looks like a pristinely clean beach…

se7en - 180915 - 0286.jpg

We began by doing a grid study of the beach – determining where the most garbage was gathered on our beach…

se7en - 180915 - 0270.jpg

Clip boards and kids keeping their eyes peeled and picking up and recording data…

se7en - 180915 - 0273.jpg

There are always some curious and interesting finds…

se7en - 180915 - 0304.jpg

se7en - 180915 - 0305.jpg

se7en - 180915 - 0276.jpg

Finally, a pile of trash off the beach…

se7en - 180915 - 0316.jpg

Most of our beach trash is always fishing line, and lots of it.

se7en - 180915 - 6398.jpg

Magical Mural Painting…

More than a couple of weeks back, on July 21st, we joined our friends from San Parks to help them upgrade an underprivileged preschool, as part of their Madiba Day Project. The plan was that we would help to paint a mural, and the weather turned out to be one of the worst storms to hit the Cape the entire winter. So we did as much work as we could, but new that we had to return to paint the school at a later date. Well the weather has cleared and it was time to pull out the paints…

se7en - 230915 - 6486.jpg

I got to paint murals in Zambia, with GreenPop, this year and I was dying to get to paint a whole wall with my kids and give them the thrill of getting it done… I have to say that when we arrived the wall looked overwhelmingly bigger than I ever remembered and we only had a morning to tackle it in. So…

se7en - 230915 - 6466.jpg

Split the colours into warm and cold… we went with an animal theme… so popped some animals up on the wall. Gave the warm colours to the small people and the cool colours to the bigger ones and set them to painting… finally whip through with some black defining the lines and we were done.

se7en - 230915 - 6475.jpg

All work and no play…ahem!!!

se7en - 230915 - 6465.jpg

And there we go… what a privilege to get to paint an entire wall and it turned out to be really hard work… and totally valid fun as well.

se7en - 230915 - 6478

I know this video is sideways… so sorry. That’s us figuring how the video works, and I have no idea how to edit up after the fact, but it shows our painting process, so I added it in for you.

se7en - 230915 - 6487

And this video is just us finishing up…

Tree Planting with GreenPop

A week of volunteering would not be complete if we didn’t manage to plant a couple of trees with GreenPop, we are always checking out their website for tree planting days. On Heritage Day we were able to join them at a dog shelter up the West Coast and plant some trees and much needed potential shade for these dogs.

se7en - 230915 - 0175.jpg

It was our hardest plant days, considering more than a few of my kids are somewhat weary (afraid) of dogs… and there were a lot of dogs. It was good to see how well cared for the dogs were, but so many dogs was fairly overwhelming for my guys.

se7en - 230915 - 0077.jpg

First things first, a refresher on how to plant a tree… and then we were split into teams.

se7en - 240915 - 6495

se7en - 230915 - 0146.jpg

Luckily the holes were dug for us, and it was just a matter of adding compost and fertiliser and water, and showing the trees a lot of love, to get them planted.

se7en - 230915 - 0010.jpg

My guys figured out between them, in their teams, they helped to plant twenty three trees. That’s a good effort, considering the difficult circumstances they were planting in. Little by little and bit by bit… planting trees can make a big difference to the environment.

se7en - 230915 - 0165.jpg

se7en - 230915 - 0008.jpg

Of course it was fun, planting with GreenPop is always a heap of fun.

se7en - 230915 - 0012.jpg

And that was us… Some fun volunteering projects spread over a week, left us all feeling a bit like “we would like a little more!!!” We will definitely be looking for more tree planting days to join in and beach clean ups to get involved in… fun times.

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Tags: Caring and Sharing · Se7en at School

8 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Corli // Oct 9, 2015 at 6:01 am

    Totally inspiring!
    Corli´s last blog post ..last sunday

  • 2 Christi {Jealous Hands} // Oct 9, 2015 at 11:58 am

    What a fun week! The mural turned out fantastic – I’m afraid I’d have been daunted into inactivity!

  • 3 Jo // Oct 9, 2015 at 4:11 pm

    I love all the opportunities you have found for you and your children to volunteer together! I’d love to start to get my kids involved in volunteer opportunities– we’re also in the southern peninsula. If you have any insights or pointers for a 3 and 5 year old, or if opportunities come up where a larger group is needed, we’d love to join in! I really love how doable a beach cleanup seems to be.
    Jo´s last blog post ..More off-grid (ish) farmlike stuff for us in Cape Town, as well as an update on our composting toilet

  • 4 se7en // Oct 9, 2015 at 11:35 pm

    Thanks Corli, and I hope you all have the most fantastic weekend!!!

  • 5 se7en // Oct 9, 2015 at 11:40 pm

    Hay Christi, I have painted murals before, many years ago… and now more recently. The wall looked huge, it helped that we broke it up into animals and some of my bigger kids are really tenacious… put them at one end of a wall with a bucket of paint and they will just keep on going… all the way to the other side. It turns out we had a lot of fun… and it was well worth the effort!!! Hope you all have a fun weekend!!!

  • 6 se7en // Oct 9, 2015 at 11:46 pm

    Hay Jo, I am going to think about your question.. it is a great one. And I am going to blog about it… because quite a few folk have asked where we find opportunities to volunteer. I am going to think about it and create a list and blog it. It could take a while, but it is a post I am thinking about. Thanks for stopping by, hope you have a lovely restful weekend!!!

  • 7 From Amblers to Hikers Step by Step and the SirkelsVlei Hike... - se7en | se7en // Nov 12, 2015 at 9:33 pm

    […] And Beach Clean-ups and a Return to the Madiba Day School to paint their mural. […]

  • 8 Se7en+1 Would Love Your Help Buying Trees for Zambia with Trees for Fees and GreenPop... - se7en | se7en // Jan 5, 2016 at 9:25 am

    […] and work together. I cannot tell how many times I have used my tree planting skills, not to mention mural painting skills since I have been back in Cape Town, sharing these lessons with my kids so that they too can be […]

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

RSS Feed  Comments on this post   RSS Feed  All comments