Tuesday, May 31, 2011

When Everyone Else is Working....

I'm not entirely sure what most are up to in school these days.  Miss Ant would be in year 2 if she were still in the NSW public school system.  We don't go grade 2 work anymore, we enjoy a wide variety of 'levels' all that match where Antonia and Vincent are up to.....that's when we do school work, that is ;)

This is what we do when we don't do 'school' stuff, and be quite honest, this is when we get most of our 'life learning' done and we all get to experience the WHY in 'why' we learn certain things!  I also can't possibly include everything, as we have lots of 'life skills' days, so I will just share what we did today  :)  I am not going to point out the learnings....I believe the photos speak for themselves!

Today we got our stand all prepared for the next Home School Market Day!  This will be our 1st one but I have heard it's great fun!  The kids all set up a stand with home-made/2nd hand goods to sell and they each get $100 in home school currency. It's a great activity!  Anyway, Miss Ant has been working very hard over the past few weeks, getting her stuff in order. Secretly she can't wait until I get my A into G and get back into doing real markets!

Here, we have a box......the contents of this box are all the marvellous goodies that Miss Ant and I put together today for her stall!
We have:
- Sculpey buttons and beads
- Sculpey pendants/charms
- Hand made greeting cards
- Fans
- Bracelet making kits!  

Here is a closer look at the bracelet kits (as these are my fav!), Miss Ant did this all herself.  The writing, the stamping, the hearts, the bead choosing and most importantly...the idea!  Each kit comes with stretchy rubber thread, beads, momento felt hearts and instructions.

A bracelet for a friend who has just welcomed a little brother :) 
Now, if only I could be that efficient and get the Milo vest finished for the little man!

The vest......this is what I did today .... still not finished!

And to finish the day off, Miss Ant sat down and joined me on the couch and under a rug for a spot of knitting xxx

Love is a better teacher than duty.
- Albert Einstein

Monday, May 9, 2011

Are We Finally Sorted?

It has taken a whole term, but I think we have finally got our curriculum sorted! We don’t follow any set curriculum, I take what I like from all styles and adapt it to what’s best for our family. Here’s a basic run down on what we might cover in an average week (at the moment!) with what ‘style’ you might classify them:

- Chapter or 2 of Ancient History - Classical

- Guided Art Lessons - Monart

- Maths workbooks (we use Singapore Maths)

- Maths worksheets – to reinforce what we just are covering in the workbooks

- Living Science – we are doing the MrQ Science curriculum (it’s free and fabulous!) Mr Q

- French….only idly though! - Classical

- Nature Journaling – Charlotte Mason

- Comprehension/grammer (Singapore System) - Classical

- Story writing

- Independent projects – free choice (At the moment, my crazy Royal-wedding-obsessed child is doing a project on the Royal family!)

- Gymnastics (and Kinder Gym for Vince at the same time as Ant’s lesson)

- Piano (Ant is doing Simply Music Piano lessons with a fellow Home Ed parent)

- Ballet

- Swimming

- Baking

Don’t be alarmed and scared of all that…… it doesn’t really take any great skill, you don’t need to be a rocket scientist or a professor to cover it all! I also run a business from home, have usual home-type duties and have a 4 year old to entertain too! We pretty much get all of the ‘school’ type stuff done and dusted in 2-3 mornings! Somewhere in there we also meet up with friends at least twice a week (and by meet up, I mean play for ½ a day!) and go on a planned excursion approximately once a week.

Let me introduce you to our current favourite, the ‘Story of the World’ History curriculum by Susan Wise Bauer Susan's Books 

We are on Volume One, Ancient History, learning about Nomads, Ancient Egypt, The Fertile Crescent…. Learning about the geography of the 1st civilisations and why the 1st people farmed the way they did, what devices they used, how Historians and Archaeologists discovered these things……in fact, we have learned what the difference is between history and archaeology! All I can do is sit back in wonder, I fathom what amazing topics my home educated kids can explore and learn about while their counterparts are lining up and waiting with their hands up in the classroom (not saying that it’s better as such, just that we have such an amazing choice and can use our time exactly how we want to!) . Ancient history is only one of them! And what a fantastic resource ‘Story of the World’ is. We have the book…the one that has the stories and information and equally as important, we have the activity and lesson plan book. The activity/lesson book comes with all the sheets for photocopying, like maps and colouring pages too. And yes, I know some are shaking their heads at the thought of a 6 yr old learning something like ancient history but I assure you, it is totally within their realm! ‘Story of the World’ was written to be adapted easily for any child from yr 1-4, the activity book includes map work right down to art/craft and science experiments, it’s up to you as to how much detail you want to cover. What’s even better still, is I have found this website that has a quiz for every chapter! Quiz The kids are loving following this history curriculum so much that, at Ant’s request, we are now doing it twice a week!

So,are we finally sorted?  I highly doubt it!  There is  so much to learn, so much to discover that this curriculum will change....and you know what?  We welcome that!