Showing posts from June, 2012

Sequential Spelling - it works for us!

DS6 has a excellent visual memory. He went from phonics to chapter books within six months in his kindy year. Once he sees a word - he can re-call it. He doesn't need repetition which is why mainstream school was often boring for him. I felt that learning to spell may happen just as quickly as learning to read and didn't want to waste time with explanations and excercises that were unnecessary. I also didn't want to spend a lot of money if they were only going to be used for a short time.
Learning to spell...........
I thought his ability to read would mean that spelling would also be a breeze. I was wrong.
Ever since DS6 could hold a crayon he has been writing stories. I never had the heart to discourage his eagerness by correcting his handwriting or spelling. Unfortunately, this is where he developed some bad habits. He continues to spell some words phonetically like he did when he was younger and now these incorrectly spelt words are firmly established in his visual mem…

Fun With Boxes On A Rainy Day

It was a rainy day so there was no playing outside. My boys got together and spent hours (yes, hours) making trains out of cardboard boxes. At first they cut them to make room for the passengers. Then they decorated them, ate afternoon tea in them (as above) and finally, played with them.

Even the baby got involved. I'm not sure how much she enjoyed being in a box though.

I love watching my boys work together learning to share, negotiate, plan and create as a team.

Who would've thought some old cardboard boxes could provide such a positive learning experience and literally hours of entertainment on a rainy day!

Learning From Each Other

One of the things I love about homeschooling is seeing the bond develop between my kids. There are fights of course, but there are also tender moments that happen between them that I missed seeing when they were at school.

DS6 is incredibly caring and nurturing and adores his baby sister who is currently 4 months old. In fact, I sometimes joke that he's the third parent. He can't get enough of her to the point where he has withdrawals if a friend or visitor is holding her!

He is also very protective which I hope continues well into her teenage and young adult years!

So, this morning he decided to teach her to play the piano.

As you can see she's a natural! She loves it!

Although there are always going to be bonds between siblings, I can see that we are creating memories by giving them more time together through homeschooling. We are sharing life together - not leading individual lives. There is something beautiful about growing and learning together. I know that each of m…

Education - Are We Creating A Success? Or A Human Being?

Ahhh...Chris Hedges - I love you!

This is exactly where I'm at with my view on education. I even blogged at MUMmedia about the problems with teaching kids to be successful as opposed to building their character.

There have been times when I have focused too much on academic achievement.

I once read a book about Chinese tiger mum's and although I was horrified at just how hard they pushed their children, it made me feel like I was being way too lenient with my own. I wanted to take a leaf (just one) out of their parenting philosophy to give my children the opportunity to succeed academically.

In a time where we have more money than ever to spend on our children's education and enrichment, it's easy to get off track. We may find ourselves busily attending activity after activity truly believing that we are giving our kids the best. In reality, our kids probably just want (and need) to be at home in an environment where they can talk, discuss and interact with us - daily…

Sand Play - A Fun Way To Learn

Believe it or not there were three children missing from that photo.

Last week my friend popped around with her six children to see how our homeschooling was going.

While we enjoyed a cuppa and a chat, the kids got busy! We sat and watched as all nine kids worked together to build a volcano. This involved building and collecting water from the rainwater tank to make the sand nice and wet. It also gave the appearance of a volcano for a few short seconds while they squealed with delight.

Why is sand good for kids?  Sand play promotes physical development. Large muscle skills develop as children dig, pour, sift, scoop and pat as well as small muscle skills.Sand play is good for eye-hand coordination and small muscle control which improves as children learn to manipulate sand accessories.Maths concepts can be developed during sand play through the use of measuring cups and spoons and different sized containers. Kids learn concepts such as heavy/light and empty/full. Sand also develops…

Our Homeschool Mission Statement

After a few weeks of homeschooling I've realised that I constantly need to remind myself WHY we have made this choice. In fact, I need to remind myself daily....and keep reminding myself...and reminding myself!

Homeschooling Mission Statement
To protect, nurture, and encourage my children's curiosity, imagination, and love of learning
To create a warm, safe learning environment to suit my children's interests and changing needs
To build strong character in my children believing that good character is more important than academic success
To protect my children from negative influences by providing an environment where they are encouraged to embrace and celebrate their God-given uniqueness
To empower my children with the knowledge that they are created by God and God has a plan and purpose for their life
To live joyfully and peacefully together, encouraging and uplifting one another with both words and actions
To impart a heart-felt desire to contribute meaningfully to the world

De-schooling - Welcome Back Son!

It has only been three weeks and experts suggest it takes months for a child who has been in mainstream school to de-school and adjust to a new learning environment. I'm already seeing some really positive changes in his behavior and attitude not just towards me as his new 'teacher' but to life in general.

So, what have I noticed?

He is more confident

He is now in an environment of encouragement where he can build his confidence. He is learning that who he is is exactly who God made him to be. He doesn't have to be good at soccer or watch hours of Nickelodeon to be liked. He is liked and loved by his family and our close friends and is beginning to learn that his value is beyond peer group acceptance.

He no longer has to survive in a school environment because he can thrive at home!

He is more polite

Hello manners!

This was the first thing I noticed. He was suddenly saying please and thank you but in a way that seemed genuine for the very first time. It wasn't some…