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Showing posts from July, 2012

Inspiration Today

I love this. Stop and consider it. We have such a powerful role as parents. It's easy to get distracted by the unimportant and the mundane. This is an encouraging reminder why we homeschool.

I know I can't protect my children from the world forever. I homeschool so I have time to prepare them by teaching them values, helping them feel comfortable in their own skin and to help them embrace their uniqueness. I want them to be strong and secure so that when they do go out into the world they are ready!

Spontaneous Creativity - Natural Learning With Snakes & Ladders

Today DS6 decided he wanted to make a snakes and ladders game after being inspired by our morning maths activity. It was completely his idea. We didn't have any large cardboard so he improvised by sticky taping A4 bits of paper together.
He spent nearly 2 hours making this game and his goal was to make it to 1000. He made it to 740 before running out of room. God forbid anyone land on that snake at 739!

I loved watching his spontaneous creativity. I love that he thought of the idea himself. I love that when presented with an obstacle (no cardboard) that he had to think of a solution. I also love that he gathered his siblings once he had finished to join together to play his creation.

As I watched I found it interesting that he persisted for nearly 2 hours until he finished his project. There is no way in the world we could do 'formal schoolwork' for 2 hours without a meltdown. It was like he had the motivation and desire to see his task to completion because he had a vi…

Who Loves Lego? Homeschoolers do!

We love lego in our homeschooling household!

This creation took two of my boys over an hour to construct. I'm not entirely sure what it is but hey, it looks great!

Lego is a brilliant teaching tool whether it be megabloks (as pictured), duplo, lego or any other imitation lego brand. It teaches skills that overlap every curriculum area and can be used in hundreds of different ways.

Here are some of the ways we use lego with our kids aged 0 - 6.

Lego for maths
Sorting & classifying (e.g colour, shape, size)Measurement (e.g line up or stack different sized blocks, measure & record results)Words such as length, width, tall, short, wide,  PatterningCounting and ordering (e.g groups to find the largest group)Addition and Subtraction I also discovered these lego worksheets for simple addition and subtraction.

Lego for creativity & art With normal lego bricks the creative possibilities are endlessCreativity and allowing creative expression is ALWAYS educational Add some lego figu…

Learning With Football Cards

I'm not entirely sure how my boys ended up collecting AFL football cards.  I think my husband had something to do with it. Surprisingly it has proven a valuable (albeit expensive) learning opportunity.

So, here is our experience with football cards and how we've used them.

Football cards as motivation & reward
In order to receive a packet of cards my boys had to earn them. This was either through extra challenging chores around the home or by displaying consistent good behavior in a particular area. Because the boys were really excited about their collections it wasn't hard to motivate them to work hard to receive their reward! Of course these tasks were additional to their normal chores and household responsibilities.

Football cards for organisation
Any type of card collection is good for teaching organisation. The cards can be grouped into categories, teams, themes, type of cards and organised and re-organised in different ways. I can't count how many times I'…

Teaching Kids Aboriginal History - Telling Our Own Stories to honour theirs

Upon her arrival in Australia as an immigrant 60 years ago my grandma's husband and other new migrants worked together to build a series of homes for their families. This beautiful, large home with elaborate features was designed and constructed by a community of people helping one another.

The best part was the backyard overflowing with fruit trees and patches of flowers and exotic plants that sprawled across half an acre. I used to spend hours exploring and picking fruits and vegetables with my grandma, playing hide and seek and watching goldfish in the pond. There was also a sun room that overlooked the garden and I spent hours as a child and teenager reflecting, daydreaming and being inspired by God's creation.

It was one of my favourite places in the world. 

It was a place I felt safe, valued, loved and cherished. I never believed that this home, this garden, this important piece of my childhood and my family would ever disappear. I imagined one day that I would live there w…

Teaching Small Children About Australian Aboriginal History

In order to know where we are going  we need to know where we've been  Roy C. Owens
Our first day in Alice Springs, Northern Territory was spent at the telegraph station museum and reserve. It is the original site of the first European settlement in Alice Springs. It is also the place of the 'spring' that gave the place its name. It operated as a telegraph station for 60 years before becoming a school for Aboriginal children. This is a nice way of saying a place where they put half-caste children when they took them away from their parents.

I felt quite overwhelmed at how sketchy my knowledge is of Australian history especially chatting with one of our close friends (a local) who has been living and working with Indigenous people for over 15 years. Just one conversation with him makes me feel like an ignorant fool!

It was an exciting realisation that as a homeschooler I have the power to teach my kids Australian history in the way that I feel is necessary. 

I won't be teac…

Accepting Our Child's Uniqueness

I love this.

It reminds me of the importance of recognising our children's uniqueness. It is meaningless to compare them to one another and meaningless to expect of them something that is not who they are. Our children will continue to surprise, amaze, irritate and disappoint us but we must always accept them for who they are - not wish (even secretly) they were more like someone else.

The only person they are supposed to be is themselves and our role as parents is to make sure they know this!