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.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Oh My Stars! what did we get up to?We were thrilled to get a break in the cloud cover last night to get out and have a look at the sky with our binoculars, we went out before dinner and identified the Southern Cross and gazed at the moon. After dinner we went out again and everything had moved much to the delight of my boys.

We have been learning that stars have a life cycle-
(I love homeschooling I get to learn so much right along with my boys).
I had no idea stars were born, grew through various life stages and then declined to death.
Mr11 did his first ever web quest, and Mr6 and I made word stars to hang everywhere to play word games.

Of course stars have long been a topic or beauty, mystery and inspiration with many poets, songwriters and artists paying homage to them and a lesson on stars was just too tempting not to break out the pastels and have a little bit of Van Gogh Starry Starry Night play, accompanied by Don Maclean.
Mr6's pastel
Mr11's pastel

Squidoo Lens
Starry Starry Night
The Wonder of Stars and galaxies (including an astrophysics lecture)

Origami Stars
3 stars
mini star

Some more Space Links thanks Nicole.
NASAs Landsat
Canadian Space Agency - great teachers section here with lesson plans and image library

Sea and Sky lots of good school links
space.com great star info

Psst Karisma, I hope we didn't get you with that falling / disappearing star :-)

Launch Successful

We have had a successful launch of our new term topic.
It started out a bit rocky with Mr6 not feeling 100%, so Mr11 read him a Magic School Bus book on space to set the mood.
Then we talked about ancient people and what they may have thought of the night sky, we looked at myths and legends and wondered what prompted people to start trying to understand the heavens and what they did with the knowledge they gained- a way to record the passing of time, a way to plan farming activities and navigation.

Today the boys have been learning about the first astronomers and we have been thinking about how mysterious the world really was back then.We read about Ptolemy and his belief that the world stood still and everything circled around it, then how Aristotle came up with the amazing concept that the Earth was not flat! So Mr6 did a little experiment with his ship the Purple Lady and he saw how the ship just disappeared at the edge-
but managed to slowly and evenly navigate around a globe, we marveled at the hundreds of years it took for Aristotle's radical theory to prove true.
We also looked at Copernicus and Galileo, Mr11 did a report on Galileo and learned a lot about this fascinating man and the consequences of being true to your science in that time we also covered Kepler's laws of planetary motion and Newtons discoveries.
After some lunch we looked at constellations and Mr11 did a pinprick southern cross.
The weather is cloudy and showery here at the moment which is a shame for our planned night time astronomical activities but the ducks are happy and so is the garden and the lorikeets.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

History of Astronomy and Art Lessons

From Creation Myths to the Big Bang

Astronomy Timeline

A History of Astronomy
this one has lots of links

A Brief History of Astronomy
University of California


Space art lessons

Spheres in space

Space Activities

Fun things to make and do

Work in a Space Journal
include L.A., handwriting,
art, experiments, research.

Design a Satellite

Build your own Satellite

Canon Creative Park

The Space Place - Nasa activities
inclubing building a solar sail, strong objects from flimsy materials.

Explore a satellites centrifugal force

Space alphabet with Mr6
A is for Astronaught, etc

Recycled art
space suit
space craft

Make a sundial

Design a little green man or woman

Online Live Telescopes free to play with

Bradford Robotic Telescope

NASAs MicroObservatory Robotic Telescope Network

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

New Unit Study SPACE

Next week we are starting a new term, it will be our third term so far this year and we are donning our astro suits and heading out into space.

I am collecting resources at the moment and am going to share them here.
Web Sites-

David Reneke is one of Australia’s most well known and respected astronomers and lecturers, with over 40 years experience in astronomy.
This site was passed on to me from my Mum- thanks Mum, and has lots of great resources, links and a news letter.

Astronomy for kids
this one looks good for Mr6

Sydney Observatory
link for monthly skymap for the southern hemishpere

Southern Sky Watch
providing a monthly and yearly overview of what is happening out there.

Sky and Telescope Magazinewebsite for the magazine of the same name, loads of info here on all sorts of topics, tune up your telescope , news, astrophotography, etc, lots of great stuff including Stargazing with Galileo that is one I know my 2 will enjoy.

Nasa Kids Club has games and activities online

Star Child a learning centre for young astronomers, lots of resources here for teaching.

Amazing Space this one is built around the Hubble Space Telescope and has lots of info and teaching resources as well, including some pretty impressive graphic organisers for all of those lap book fans out there.

Kids Astronomy
a fun site from the kidsknowit network
Places to Go

Australian Telescope Array at Narrabri Observatory

Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium
In the Brisbane botanic gardens, Mt Coot-tha

Mt Kent Observatory near Toowoomba in Queensland

Mt Stromlo Observatory Canberra

Siding Springs Observatory near Coonabarabran, and the wonderful Warrumbungles

More links

The Science Spot lots of space links

Squidoo Amateur Astronomy lens

and some for my history fan

Astronomy History

History of Astronomy - loads of interesting links here

Ancient astronomical tools- ask an astrophysicist


DK Astronomy

Astronomy by Dan Green

Of Numbers and Stars the story of Hypatia

Astronomy for Begginers

A childs intro to the night sky

We have taken the telescope to be fixed, printed out the sky maps and now I need to gather all the space books onto the homeschool bookshelf and hang up new posters.

Monday, May 17, 2010

International Museums Day

Mr11 and his lovely friend and I had a wonderful day on Sunday-
"Discover Adventure in Grafton International Museums Day 10 set to be better than last year From 1pm on Sunday 16 May the Friends of the Grafton Regional Gallery will host the International Museum Day Discovery Trail, amassive CBD wide event!! Enjoy a family friendly free discovery trail around the Grafton CBD starting at the Gallery, with stops atGrafton Branch Library, Clarence Valley Conservatorium and the Prince Street Recycling Station. The day will finish with activities and afternoon tea at the gallery. It’s an afternoon to enjoy our beautiful town and join the family for some fun and adventure.In conjunction with Clarence Valley Council as part of the Healthy Active Scheme the Friends of Grafton Gallery have joined forces with other collecting institutions to host a discovery trail stopping at four different locations around the CBD. Adults and children alike will delight at the wide range of fun activities on offer; there really is something to please just about everyone.A discovery map pointing the way around the day will be available at the first stop at Grafton Regional Gallery from 1pm. Using your map you will be able to follow the trail around the CBD and participate in the art activities, games, tours and more at each stop. There will be opportunities to win prizes and be creative.At Grafton Branch Library, who are hosting a special Sunday opening for the event you can learn all about the new library for Grafton and design you own fantasy library with everything you can imagine included. This is a chance to think about how important our Library collections are to the community. Selected drawings created on the day will form a Library display after the event. The Library will also be open for loans and returns.The Clarence Valley Conservatorium on Villiers Street will open its doors for an interactive music making opportunity where the extensive collection of musical instruments will be on display, many of them available to try out. The talented musicians on staff at theConservatorium will offer impromptu performances and information about the wide range of services on offer.The day includes a strong environmental theme with a stop at the Prince Street Recycling Collection Station.Where Suzanne Lynch the Clarence Valley Council Environmental Education Officer can help you create recycled art work while providing information about the importance of recycling and how to use the recycling stations located all over the valley.Stroll back to the gallery for art activities based around the fabulous exhibitions on display, prizes for completed Discovery Trail quizzesand an opportunity to be one of the few people in the world to see inside the hollowed Collection Room, full of art treasures. The collection room tour will focus on work acquired through the Jacaranda Acquisitive Drawing Award (JADA), the Grafton Regional Gallery’s flagship biennial exhibition of contemporary drawings. At the gallery you can also try your hand at macramé and marbling techniques in the Hippy Craft section inspired by Chester Harris:Posters from the Aquarius exhibition and listen to local aboriginal artist Alison Williams tell stories inspired by her work in the A focuson the Aboriginal Collection exhibition.
The Friends of Grafton Gallery will also be offering a selection of delicious treats for afternoon tea in the beautiful courtyard.All activities, games and tours are free making the event a great option for the whole family. If you would like more information about how to come on the Discovery Trail on the 16th call the gallery on 6642 3177 or visit the gallery website at www.graftongallery.com.au . Bookings for the gallery collection room JADA tours are essential if you would like to participant in that component of the day.The day is a JADA fundraiser funded through the Healthy Active Scheme."

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Congratulations Daddy
We are very proud of you and the four years of hard work you put in.

Thursday, May 6, 2010