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.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


Some bird art I was inspired to play with today.

Sometimes I just need to be creative for me!
I will finish them off tomorrow

They are charcoal, conte and pastel over collage canvas panels

Friday, August 21, 2009

Week 4- Raptors- field trip

Yesterday we had our weekly bird watching field trip

This weeks focus is raptors and we have quite a variety living near us.
We have wedge tailed eagles, sea eagles, osprey, brahminy kites, whistling kites and nankeen kestrels that we see regularly.
Mr10 is looking for nesting sites up in this big old tree.

We also get an occasional glimpse of black shouldered and black kites, goshawks and brown falcons. I love the raptors and always feel a thrill when we get close to one.
Cowans Pond was our first stop

We set up at the picnic table, lots of food, our art supplies basket, field guide, journals, etc but the mosquito were so thick and I had forgotten to bring any repellent so we made a hasty retreat.
We quickly packed everything back into the car and found the mossies were not too bad if we stayed in the sunshine.

Mr6 wanted to 'be' a lorikeet, so tasted the nectar- the judgement was- yuck, its yummy

Our resident forest scientist came with us.
a.k.a. Daddy

some lilly pillies

We had a nice walk around this lovely place and no one got any bites, but I will need to get some repellent in the car

There is a fish farm on the way home and we often see raptors near there.

We went to a little riverside reserve near the fish farm to do some work in our journals and watched lots and lots of raptors riding the thermals.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Yuraygir National Park- week 3 birdwatching field trip

Yuraygir is a huge national park, more information here, the part we visited on this trip is more south than last weeks visit. We started at the southern end of Sandon Beach at Illaroo camp ground.

We set up on a table in a beautiful spot and started to talk about feathers, wings and tails.

The trees were filled with bird song and birds were flitting about every where.

Mr6 constructed some little wings to feel how birds wings feel.

Mr10 was busy journaling about the different shapes tails come in and what they are used for.
We were hoping to see some kookaburras
and this inquisitive little fellow came to visit us!

We sat enthralled as he flew and perched quiet close to us.

We had the opportunity to watch him for about 15 minutes, in that time he perched on various branches and watched the ground. We were a little concerned he might catch a snake right near us, but we really wanted to see him do the swoop and bashing technique all kingfishers use to kill their prey.
He did swoop and caught a worm, conveniently right next to us. He bashed it and swallowed it, with his small but appreciative audience riveted on his every move. There was also a little butcher bird catching worms and our friend the kookaburra was very interested in what he was doing as well.

After a while the little birds started to sound their alarm calls and the honey eaters and minor birds began attacking our kookaburra friend and after a valiant attempt at nonchalance he made a hasty retreat.

Thank you Mr Kookaburra- Mr6 commented that
"Our kookaburra was probably a homeschooled kookaburra doing a study unit on people, and was studying homeschooling kids this week!"

We settled down to journal about our kookaburra, when we heard some loud rustling in the undergrowth, and then our next visitor arrived.

A Goanna or sand monitor- He is also known as Gould's monitor or a racehorse goanna.
Varanus gouldii.

Mr6 was closest so he took the photos. He is a good little photographer.

We watched him until those little sentinel birds once again sounded the warning calls and then the bird troops all converged on Mr Goanna and harried him away as well.

We headed down to the beach to see who we might find there.
The beach was piled with stuff washed in by the big tides and rough seas we have been having.

Perfect for adventurous and energetic little boys!
They found 2 coconuts, just like Robinson Crusoe apparently.

We drove over to Minnie Water next and went for a bush walk through some bird filled banksia and melaleuka bush on top of the cliffs.

There were lots of birds here, we saw sea eagles up high, and black cockatoos, lots of little bush birds and our 2 little friends.

We really didn't spend much time here as the sound of the surf below was distracting my 2 little birdo's
and they wanted to go and build castles on the beach.

Some of the journal pages inspired by this trip.

On our way home we kept an eye out for birds and saw lots of kookaburras, but we also passed 2 wedge tailed eagles close to home. One was on top a a telegraph pole at the side of the road and the other one flew really low across the road in front of us- A terrific lead up to next weeks theme- Raptors.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Bird feeders

More art journaling today

The boys are doing some lovely work

Mr10 is really enjoying doing the 10 minute freewrites
( Writers Jungle)

and we made bird feeders

with pine cones covered in peanut butter

and rolled in seed

then hung through the garden with blessings to all our birdies.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Week 3 Kookaburras and Kingfishers

We started our week with a rousing chorus of
Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree,
Merry , merry king of the bush is he,
Laugh Kookaburra,
Laugh Kookaburra,
Gay your life must be...

well maybe not quite rousing, with an over enthusiastic mother, an awkward ten year old and a very loud and out of tune six year old.

Of course Mr6 asked the curly question of the day..
What is gay?
I explained it was a lovely old fashioned word meaning happy,
Mr10 explained it also means same sex couples
like our friends .......... & .........

Anyway we moved onto a science activity inspired by this one to look at all the different types of beaks birds have,

We looked in one of Mr6s favourite books
"The Man who loved to Sing"
by John Winch
at this picture.

Then the boys used a variety of tools and implements to mimic different types of birds beaks, while we discussed the pros and cons of each and what type of bird has this type of beak.
It was a lot of fun.

We moved onto learning about our beautiful laughing kookaburra who sits outside my bedroom window every day,made some mini books for their lap books and the boys did some paintings in their journals.

Mr10 did a 10 minute freewrite on flying and wrote and acrostic poem.
Mr6 started writing out the kookaburra song for this weeks copywork.
We all did an activity from Tony Ryan's thinkers keys and today's was a brainstorming activity.