We are a creative homeschooling family of 3. I have homeschooled my 2 boys from the start and we do lots of unit studies and get out into our beautiful part of the world as often as we can.
As the boys are getting older and we are getting busier I find I am posting less about our journey but will continue to update occasionally.

Friday, January 30, 2009

The Name Game

I have just started following Annes blog at http://flyinfreedom.blogspot.com/ and she had this little game. So here goes-

The Name Game. Use the first letter of your name to answer the questions. Your answers need to be real places, names and things. Nothing made up :-> (You cannot use your name for #3 boy/girl "name" question.)

1. What is your name: Louise

2. A 4 Letter Word: Love

3. A Boys Name: Louis

4. A Girls Name: Lara

5. An Occupation: Leopard keeper

6. A Color: Lilac, Lavender and Lemon

7. Something you wear: Lip balm

8. A Beverage: Lemonade

9. A Food: Lasagne

10. Something found in the bathroom: Light switch

11. A place: Lamington NP

12. A Reason for being late: Lost keys

13. Something you shout: (pick up the) LEGO (off the floor)

So who's next?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Not Back to School Pool Party

The Clarence Valley Homeschoolers and Natural Learners
held a Not Back to School Pool Party yesterday

I know I am feeling it in the muscles after running up those stairs far too many times with Mr5 Untill he was happy to go with his brother and then a lovely homeschooler called Grace.

There was a good turnout a dozen families or more and we must have had over 40 kids!
We also held a planning meeting- in the baby wading pool- now that is a great place for a meeting! We are planning on a whole lot of activities in a co-op type set up.
We will all meet at a hall, 2 Mums will do pre school stuff with the under 5's then the rest of the kids will sort into 2 age groups >10< and have a choice of different activities- tennis, cooking, paper mache, car maintenance, handcrafts, drama etc. It sounds like it will be a great and busy term and I really need to make the extra trip into town for the boys to get that regular contact with other kids.

We met some new homeschoolers and Mr10 made a new friend.
A great day was had by all and people want to make it an annual event!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Ned Kelly's helmet

Our Mr 5 was inspired to finish off an old project so he got his paper mache Ned Kelly helmet that we made a few months ago out of the bus and has been painting it up.

He got his big brother and faithful hound to help .

It took lots of concentration,

and then he had to wait an agonizingly long 5 mins in the wind and the sun for it to dry


It sure is amazing what you can do with an old cerial box,
and he assures me it does not squash his nose at all!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

New Year, New Term, New Curriculum

Our new term is shaping up to be another busy, fun and exciting time.

We are going to do Antarctica as our main study unit this term.
I sent away for a free package from the Australian Dept. of Environment and Heritage- Antarctic Division and received lots of great posters, stickers, book marks, DVD and lots of lovely glossy information.
This is a comprehensive website with a lot of great info for teaching and terrific links.

We are also using a great article the lovely Fliztea sent me out of a National Geographic mag.
Exploring Antarctica- E&R Publications- thanks Kym
and the
Live from Antarctica 2- teachers guide

Since I put up the posters it has inspired the boys to bring out their relevant treasures to support our Antactica unit- they are already learning.

Mr5 has dug out all of his plastic marine creatures and assembled the seals and whales ready to start school next week lol. Mr10 has bought out some relevant books and placed them on the shelf ready- they know our routine and how I like things to be set up and are helping- they are both keen and eager to start as well.

We do a main unit study each term and work on this after we have done our other work.
This year I am getting more serious and buying a fair amount of curriculum.

Mr10 will need to work more independently this year, he already does to a certain extent but this year Mr5 will be starting and I need to teach him how to read and write so I will be focusing more on Mr5 than Mr10.

Mr5 will be doing Jolly Phonics
and he will also join in with our Antarctic unit and anything else I am doing with Mr10 that appeals to him and lots of art and craft, play games, cooking, gardening, swimming lessons, art club etc.

Over the course of the year Mr10 will be doing

For Maths
Math .U.See,

For English/ Language Arts he will be doing
Bravewriters Writers Jungle

Growing with Grammar

and he will also be working on reading out loud, narration, and poetry writing and reading.
Of course I will have to prise him out of a book every time I want him to do anything so I wont even mention reading.

For Science and Technology
we will do lots of things through the year but will be regularly working out of
Ellen McHenry's Basement workshop and we will be following her periodic table curriculum-
The Elements
This woman is amazing and the boys and I have loved exploring her web site and her ehow articles.

For HS&E
The Story of the World

Exploring Feelings
Dr Tony Attwood

Other than that he will be swimming, having art lessons at the art club, playing with and looking after his animal, and working on being more responsible.

We will be starting off slowly next week, easing into a full workload as all of this wonderful curriculum I have ordered arrives.

Creative Morning

We have woken this morning to a slightly cooler day with a lovely soft drizzle.
The boys have been outside and have come in out of the wet and they have both started creative projects without any input from me!

I love it when they spontaneously start to teach themselves.

Mr5 has opened up some plasticine type modeling clay and is making a tree with purple flowers

and some little rainbow lorrikeets

Mr10 has requested a new art diary and some oil pastels to create some images of our pet lorrikeet Emerald.

focusing on his very active model

a work in progress

Emerald has been moved to a position of prominence to do some life modelling and supervise the boys in their rendering of her species.

We are drinking chai and listening to the soft sound of the rain on the tin roof, the warble of the magpies and the cheeping of our budgies and other visiting birds to our bird feeder.

I hope the rain keeps falling, our gardens really need it and its a lovely respite from the heat.

And we are going to make some rice paper rolls for lunch.
A nice meal to prepare together.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Patriotism or Yobboism?

The boys are being Ancient Romans today.

Mr10 and I had an interesting chat today.
We were looking at a catalogue and it had a heap of items with Australian, maps, flags etc. clothes, socks, backpacks and more. I asked him if he would like some of the socks and was surprised at his strong reaction.

"No Way Mum, I am not a yobbo!"

We don't have a TV, and have never had one.
We don't do commercial radio or magazines, we do have an occasional newspaper but I don't know how he has formed such a strong association.
I asked him about patriotism- he is proud to be Australian and he loves Australia, he loves where we live but he does not like "that type of Aussie" and does not want to be a Yobbo!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Fantasy Play

Our little one loves to dress up.
In his dress ups box he has costumes to be a pirate, a leopard, a cowboy, an elephant, an astronaut, a cat, an alien, a witch or a wizard, a king, a prince, a ghost, red riding hood or the big bad wolf, he has a green tunic that can be many things- Robin Hood or any number of characters from Brian Jacques Redwall series, a rock star ( he was one of those this morning, singing into his light sabre, playing his ukulele and dancing on the lounge). He has a toga and an ancient greek costume, a roman soldiers outfit and many others we have created from time periods we have been learning about.

He is constantly creating characters and costumes and today he found a bonus-

I have been reorganising things, getting ready for our new year of school and he came across a face painting kit, he immediately went and got his face painting book and started to choose who he wanted to be.

And he wanted to be a vampire.

And he wanted to suck Daddy's blood.

And he wanted to be very scary.

And he was!

And he was a very cute little vampire,

who was so wanting the neighbors to come over or some visitors to pop in.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

hot hot hot

It has been rather hot lately so we have been spending a fair bit of time in,
on or near the water.
I am a water girl and always like to be around water,
so will take every chance I get to be at the water anyway.

We have had a few days at the pool lately and the boys both went on the water slide for the first time.

Our big boy adores it and just runs up those stairs to slide back down all day long.
This is great for his self confidence and water confidence.
He has been making lots of 'mates' and having so much fun,
He has also had his first sunburn- twice now!

Our little one likes to ride with Mummy-

Here is Mr10 helping Mr5 back down the stairs
as it was just a bit too scary without Mummy for Mr5.

We have also been spending time at our beautiful river
The Mighty Clarence River.

And hanging out in our little pool at home.

Besides cooling off I have had a rather busy time lately.

I have been researching curriculum for next year, I really want to get Mr10s maths back on track, he used to really enjoy maths but a couple of years ago he just lost all the ability he had over the 6 week summer break and he has never really got that enjoyment back again so he has not been enjoying it at all an his learning in this area has been well, stilted-
So I am looking at Maths U See, it is scary looking at the price but I think I am just going to bite the bullet and do it! I think the manipulatives will be just perfect for both of my kinesthetic learners, and besides they are sort of lego- ish so that will make them really cool in their eyes.
I am planning on visiting a local Mum who uses it with her homeschoolers one day next week to have a good look and maybe even borrow a dvd to check it out as well.
I have also ordered in some Jolly Phonics workbooks for Mr5 from the wonderful Book Depository www.bookdepository.com
The other things on my wishlist are Bravewriter- The Writers Jungle and The Arrow at www.bravewriter.com.
The Elements- http://ellenjmchenry.com/id98.html

We have also done a big stationary shop, I just need to get some copy paper and a few art supplies and we should be done.

We had a BBQ with my two favourite girls and their wonderful families- as one of them will be starting chemotherapy next week, and as they have both been recently diagnosed with cancer I thought I better get myself off for a medical check up, so I have been seeing my Dr and having some blood tests and I will be off for an ultrasound next week to check out some lumps, and then back to the Dr for more tests- My DH has also been off to see the Dr and have some tests of his own.

We have been fighting an ongoing battle with stinkbugs in our citrus trees for months now.
We have picked off a zillion by hand, we have hosed them off, we have thrown washing up water onto them, sprayed them with flour and water and we finaly resorted to pyrethrum, but they are still coming back in huge numbers-

Dh was out there the other day waging war on them and Mr5 went down to help and he was sprayed in the eye by one.
He started screaming and ran up to the house, it is an acid they spray and DH had got some onto his face earlier in the day and said how painful it was.
Our poor little one was in a lot of pain and so distressed, we flushed it out with lots of water and he had a swim and an iceblock and seemed to be fine.
The next morning his poor little eye was so swollen and purple I took him straight into the hospital, they tested his eye for ulceration and thankfully there was none, they were also very concerned about an infection in that area as it is so close to the brain. So he was dosed up on pain killers, steroids, anti histamines and antibiotics .
The next day- today he is fine, all the swelling has gone and he is back to himself, just a little bit purple under his eye still.
Meanwhile the bugs are still in our citrus trees!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Louise's Art Space

I am launching my online art gallery today!
You can see it here


Friday, January 2, 2009

Animal Madness

As if a cat,

a dog,

two bugies

a fish tank,

a fish pond,


ducks and lizards was not enough.

Mr10 got some new Rainbow Lorikeets.

So Mr5 decided he needed a pet of his own-
Mr10, also known as Nature Boy has "ownership" of most of the other animals, and Mr5 didn't want one of Mr10s hand me downs- so the negotions began.

Mr5- "mmmm I think I want a mouse for my pet"
Dad- "B!@@&y Rodents, we are not getting any more of them"
Mr5- "mmmm well I would like an elephant"
Dad- "It would't fit in your room"
Mr5- "Well what about a big enormous snake"
Mr5- "A rat?"
Dad- "No"

And on and on it went- the next morning Dad had softened on reflection and whispered,
Maybe we should let him have a mouse,
and as we needed to go shopping for a new bird cage,
we would be visiting all the shops that sold "rodents"

Now I have a long standing passion for Dobermanns,
and DH is a great admirer as well,
we have been with a Dobie,
for most of our 20 years together.
Our last beautiful Dobie was Ari and he passed over 3 years ago,
with 2 young boys and no time to put into the training of another Dobe we got the boys a whippet cross.
But always planned on getting another one when things settled down here a bit.

So when DH spotted the Free to Good Home ad for a Dobie,
of course I bent down and asked Mr5 if he would Like a Dobermann for his pet.
Yes Please he enthusiastically replied.
So we rang the people, went out and met her and we now have a lovely lady Dobie living here, it has been so long and having her here is wonderful.
She is 7 years old, she is so quiet and great with kids and animals,
Mr5 is so in love, and Meg is ball mad,
perfect for an energetic little 5yo boy.
He is constantly asking Mummy can I go and throw the ball for My Dobie?
She has fit in so well, it is almost like she has always been here.
All in all she is the perfect pet for our little Mr5.

We have also had a big aviary building project happening here, to rehome the budies and move some animals out of the house.

DH has done a fantastic job using bits and pieces to make their wonderful new home.