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, February 27, 2011

On the road again

15 years ago
I was travelling with the boys father
we had a bus and a doberman and a wonderful time
and now-

The boys and I are heading off into the wild blue yonder.

We are following the road
where ever it may lead us
Leaving our beautiful home at Maclean will be hard but we have a wonderful house sitter who will look after our feathered friends and our pets.And we do have a lovely home on the roadThis is Sunny- our 'Stealth Camper"
This is where One of the boys will travel when we are driving and with the seats dropped back Mr12 will sleep here, Mr7 and I will be in the bed in the shot above.This is where I will be driving with one of the boys beside me.

Sunny will be a stealth camper, because at night we will put up screens in the windows that will block all the light and give us 100% privacy on the inside. We should be able to park anywhere and just look like a van parked on the street, but we will be safely, comfortably snuggled up inside for the night.

We are planning on an 8 week journey through NSW and Victoria.
Hoping to catch up with friends and family and to just to spend some time together, the 3 of us, having fun and exploring new place, meeting new people and road schooling.

I am just taking the basics school wise as I think the boys will be learning so much anyway. We are taking MUS for maths and have copied the lessons onto a thumb stick to conserve power on the laptop, and I have photocopied the work sheets. For language arts we will be doing a travel journal- I am thinking the boys will cover L.A., creative arts, geography and some history in their journals, but we will also be doing copy work and narration and poetry Tuesdays- we are taking Henry Lawson, Banjo Patterson and Slim Dusty along for the trip. We are also taking our Australian History books- Our Sunburnt Country and The Wide Brown Land and will be visiting lots of museums and historic sites on our journey as well as the War Memorial in Canberra.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Aboriginal Studies

The boys and I have been really enjoying our Aboriginal studies and I wanted to share some wonderful resources, I am sure there are many more but these 3 sites were fabulous for us.

Map of Arnhem Land (taken from the site)
The Dust Echoes series is a collection of twelve aboriginal dreamtime stories collected from the Wugularr (Beswick) Community in Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory, Australia.

The stories were recorded as audio and then interpreted as short animated movies by some of Australia's most talented emerging animators, and have enjoy screenings at film and animation festivals all over the world, to great critical acclaim.

The Dust Echoes series was produced in two parts. In 2004, working with the Djilpin Arts Aboriginal Corporation in Arnhem Land, the first four animations were produced by the ABC in Association with Deakin University. In 2007, The ABC then went on to produce an additional eight animations, again working with Djilpin Arts. See individual animation credits for more details on each animation.

This website aims to further explore these beautiful stories, to educate and entertain young people in order to instill a respect and thirst for the wealth of indigenous culture and stories on our door step.

The Australian Museum (Taken from the site)

Storytelling is an integral part of life for Indigenous Australians. From an early age, storytelling plays a vital role in educating children. Stories help to explain how the land came to be shaped and inhabited; how to behave and why; where to find certain foods, etc.

Gathered around the camp fire in the evening, on an expedition to a favourite waterhole, or at a landmark of special significance, parents, Elders or Aunts and Uncles use the stories as the first part of a child's education.

Then, as children grow into young adults, more of the history and culture is revealed. Adults then take responsibility for passing on the stories to the following generations. In this way, the Stories of the Dreaming have been handed down over thousands of years.

All the storytellers you will meet on this site are active in keeping the stories alive and passing them on the next generation.

These are stories of the history and culture of the people, handed down in this way since the beginning of time, since the Dreamtime.

Indiginous Australiana (Taken from the site)

Indigenous Australiana is a site about the Australian Aborigines and their links to their past beliefs and culture and present day existance in European society. This site is a new site that has been redeveloped from the Adnyanathanha Aborigines of South Australia site created by these students entered last year. The Adnyanathanha group from the South Australian Flinders Ranges is covered in depth. Through the use of various media, the site aims to develop a wide variety of skills and broader knowledge about the Australian Aboriginal groups for people of all ages. It aims to develop a better understanding of the Australian Aboriginal culture and to counter negative stereotypes. The site focuses on the Dreaming stories of the Adnyamathanha people as well as thier environment, language, lifestyle, technology and visual arts. It also discusses the subject of reconciliation between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Australians and the eight key issues involved. There is an extensive activities section for teachers and students of primary and secondary schooling. It covers language, art, cultural and extended learning activities such as acrostic, image and word recongnition, crosswords with movable letters, scenes with moveable images, planning camp sites, analysing dreaming stories, critical thinking and source analysis activities. Frequent meetings were held as we found that we were able to work more effectively when working closely with each other. It was difficult to find free time as every one had to balance other commitments.

Sunday, February 6, 2011


There is an old dirt road,
it was built by convicts between Grafton
and Glen Innes,
many many years ago. These days it is just a very picturesque track
along the Boyd River
and it has lots of magnificent scenery,
some beautiful camping and picnic areas, a ghost town and a really really old tunnel.Daddy and Mr7 found some kiwifruits and did some harvestingOur Ghost town was Dalmorton
a very interesting place that was once a thriving town of 5000 people and 13 pubs!
These days it is abandoned, state forest/ National Park with a rangers residence the only habited building, but back in the days of the gold rush, or when the timber getter's lived there...and our old tunnel is known as being convict built,
Mr12 found a micro batand on closer inspection,
turned out to be a whole family of micro bats
Mr7 and I were quite taken with this strangler fig,
growing on the inside wall of the tunnel,
with visions of a leafy cliff and tunnel in future years.Boys being boys they were starving to death by now
so we found a shady spotby the beautiful lively Boyd River
for our picnic,
complete with weeping bottle brushes and rocky gurgling rapids
followed by a lovely cool off on the riverthe water was so clean and freshand mightily powerfulpummeling uswith a lovely watery massagebliss

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Maclean Floods January 2011

Some images of the flooding here in Jan 2011We were so lucky, we have a river that does flood regularly, but it was a nice slow and gentle flood, living in our house during the peak was like being on a houseboat, the sparkling water reflecting into our safe and cosy house. It was so quiet with all the roads blocked apart from all the helicopters in the day time. The bats were not bothered at all.We were gripped to the media though, watching and listening with shock and horror at what was happening elsewhere in our poor flooded country.

Out and About~the local trawlers were tied up to the bridge over South Arm, out of the main Clarence River flowthe road to Lawrence
The Maclean showground
the levee bank
our engorged river
this house is on the other side of the river normally, not in the middle of it.

Some views of our backyard~

very waterfront for 5 days, this is around the peak and the water just went for miles and miles in every direction.

Some of our special backyard visitors~

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Yaegl significant Aboriginal cultural sites

The boys and I have started our new year of homeschooling.

Mr12 is starting high school level work at home and Mr7 is doing year 2-ish work. We are using some wonderful curriculum materials and the boys are very keen to use it.

One of the topics we are doing is Australian History and using 2 different spines-

Our Sunburnt Country from Downunder Literature


Australia, the wide brown land for me! from Adnil Press

we are starting out with Aboriginal history and headed off today on a tour of our local Aboriginal Peoples Significant sites. Our local mob are the Yaegl people around the lower Clarence but we might also look at Bundgalung people who traditionally occupied land north of the mighty mighty Clarence Rv and spend some time with some Gumbaynggirr people who have a wonderful cultural centre at Arrawarra and a yummy bush tucker cafe.

Our tour today was a self drive one

and we picked up a little pamphlet from the Maclean tourist info at Ferry Park

We learned so much
this is Ulugundahi Island behind the boys
it was an aboriginal mission in the early 1900s and Ulugundahi means ear in the local Yaegl language because the island is shaped like an ear.

This is Reedy Creek, the first Goorie camping area in Yamba
Mr7 thinks the semi permanent structures on the beach would be much nicer to live in back then than the big brick residences that dominate this lovely area today.

walking through our magnificent coastal bushland

we ended up on some magnificent beaches

and the boys found some sticks!

Mr12 had to test out his strength, picking up huge logs and rocks and pushing and pulling at everything he thought might budge.

So this was our wonderful homeschool classroom this afternoon