Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Swimming & Reading (not at the same time LOL)

Bugsy performed solidly at swimming this term and consolidated himself into stage 4.  Flossy comfortably passed stage 6.  Chicky swam well and as she's in the pre-school program doesn't pass stages, although now that she is 5 i've been told to enrol her into a stage 2/3 class as that is where her skills are at.

I will be interested to see how they go over the summer.  We will not be doing our regular swimming this term and instead will be participating in the Education Department In term Swimming Program which will see the kids swim every 'school' day for 2 weeks.  They will also be doing surf club over the summer and i'm lead to believe (have not actually confirmed) that they can pass swimming levels through surf club.

Chicky has now completed the second set of Nora Gaydos Readers and whilst she's desperate to move onto the blue box (level 2) there is a bit of a step up so i've managed to convince her to finish the first set of I See Sam Readers first :)


Take care
Amber xx

Friday, October 12, 2012


When my blog is quiet it means, you guessed it, we are super busy!

Just a quick update :)

Chicky has completed the first set of Nora Gaydos Readers and is powering through the second.
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She has also finished Go for the Code C which means she's now ready to take the big step up to Explode the Code Book 1.

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Not much else to report right at the moment.

Take care
Amber xx

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Planning for 2013

WOW!  The past year has zipped by at a VERY rapid rate of knots! It's time to plan and purchase for 2013 already!

Flossy will be year 4, Bugsy year 2, Chicky Pre-Primary (US K equivalent) and Possum will be 2yo.

So here is what we have planned for a super fun year -

Flossy age 8, year 4 -
Galore Park Junior Maths book 2* & 3
Kumon Word Problems Grade 3* & 4
Khan Academy
Logic workbooks & games
Galore Park Junior English Book 2*
Classical House of Learning History & Literature (SOTW4)

Bugsy age 7, year 2 -
Rightstart C
Kumon Word Problems 2
Khan Academy
Logic workbooks & games
All About Speling 2* & 3
Explode the Code 6, 7 & 8
I See Sam Readers*
Writing With Ease 2

Chicky age 5, Pre-primary -
Rightstart B
Kumon Word Problems 1
Logic games
All About Spelling 1 & 2
Explode the Code 1, 2 & 3
Handwriting Without Tears My Printing Book
I See Sam Readers*

Possum age 2 -
Speech Therapy
Occupational Therapy

Together -
Auslan using various resources from Bilby Publishing

Engineering is Elementary which i will flesh out to include cultural study for Bugsy & Chicky as their 'program' for the year.  We will spend 2 weeks on each book, which will include the engineering project and geography/culture for the country.

Lego Mindstorms, Snap Circuits 750 & other STEM programming activities as listed here.

Come & Look with me (art appreciation)

Various art and crafts as instigated by the children

Nature study

Music appreciation (classical)

Swimming, surf club & Scouts

Bugsy & Chicky will not 'tag along' with Flossy for SOTW4 this year.  I think it is too heavy for them at their ages/maturity and Flossy will follow her own course of study mostly independently for the year.  Bugsy & Chicky will instead have a STEM focus for the year and Flossy will join in as her science.

Yes, we are changing up our maths.  Flossy completed the entire Miquon line up as per our maths scope and sequence posted here.  You learn a lot about a program when you complete it from start to finish that you wouldn't know without using it in it's entirety.  Whilst i love Miquon and what it has to offer i have learned that it isn't going to be the right fit for Chicky and i think Bugsy is far enough into it that it's time for a change for him.  He's set off on the right foot as Miquon is such a solid foundation that it's the right time to change him.

We are also dropping Latin.  This has been a really tough decision for me.  I can see and completely understand the benefits that Latin has however it is taking up a significant portion of my time working with Flossy and understanding it all.  Possum needs to learn more Auslan as he doesn't talk.  So we will be switching Latin for Auslan for the time being.  I already have Latin Prep from Galore Park which is what we were going to do after Getting Started with Latin.  I will now shelve this and hand it on to Flossy to complete independently maybe in year 5 or 6.

Items marked * are programs that we have been working on this year which need completion.  As we school year round we start new books as and when required, not necessarily at the beginning of the year which means that some books hang over to the following year :)

Tentative plan for 2014 is an Australian History year for everyone before beginning the 4 year history cycle again in 2015.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Saturday Afternoon Drawing

A bit over a week ago a friend passed on to me a DVD she received free with some Faber Castell pencils.  She had purchased several packs of pencils, all came with DVD's and she had several copies of the same one.  Her children had enjoyed it and she thought mine would too.


After lunch today whilst Possum napped we watched the first segment on drawing a cartoon style koala.  It's the first chance we've had to look at it.  It's not a teaching DVD per say , the artist just talks you through what he is doing step by step.  We got all our supplies ready and just paused the DVD after he completed each step so that we could work along with him.

Having children with some perfectionist qualities we had discussed before hand that every artist produces different work even when drawing the same thing.  They should be proud of their efforts because if we wanted an exact copy we would just photocopy the drawing and not bother with the hassle of drawing it ourselves.  In the spirit of artistic license the children chose to omit features the artist had included and add in some of their own.  For the most part however they stuck to what they were shows.

Here are their final products.




I will be keeping an eye out on my future Faber Castell purchases to check for free DVD's, certainly worthwhile.

Amber xx

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Olympic Lapbooks

We've just completed our Olympic Lapbooks, they were so much fun!  I pulled various pages from the resources I listed here and we also read the books listed too.  The children were all so engaged in this format of school.  They were eager to get to this part of their day and create something they could treasure.

The lapbooks are a concertina fold so the cover page saying 'My Olympic Lapbook' ends up being the front :-)  I removed their names from the bottom of the cover for the photo's.

Here are their final creations.








I did almost all of the writing for Chicky, but I did write what she told me too.  Bugsy did about half of his writing and Flossy did all of hers complete with her own research.

It was unanimous that their favourite athlete is Lauren Mitchell.  During our discussions it was revealed that anyone can bike, run or swim but not everyone can do all those cool tricks!

Favourite sports were split Flossy chose diving, Bugsy fencing (although he is most disappointed not to have seen any) and Chicky chose gymnastics.

We still have a few things to fill in this week including the medal tally and the weather in London but everything is stuck in its place and just needs a quick note each day until the Olympics are over.

We've had such a fun time doing 'Olympic School'.  Have you done something special for the Olympics in your homeschool?  We would love to take a look.

Amber xx

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Possum Update

Big drum roll for Possum.....

at 1 year and 10 months...

Possum now weighs...


What a long time coming that has been!  We had a review with the paediatrician this past week and he was satisfied that Possum is finally putting on some weight even though it's very slow.  We now have a green light to start some dairy and gluten food trials again.

We also had a review with our feeding team which consists of a speech therapist, occupational therapist, dietician and physiotherapist.  They were all VERY impressed with his progress.  He is biting and chewing his foods better.  He is not as scared of foods as he was.  He is more willing to try things even if he spits them out.  They were satisfied to the point of saying they now feel his food preferences reflect a more normal fussy toddler than a child with feeding issues and they don't see a need to see us again.  He's also drinking plenty of water both from a straw and a sippy cup, this was another of his issues.

All the hard work is paying off!

He's such a happy boy.  I had to share these photo's taken today :)

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Amber xx

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Girls Keeping Busy

Flossy and Chicky have been busy the last few days.

Flossy entered a short story competition and i would love to share her story with you but it is a condition of entry that we keep it a secret until we know if she has made the short list, so you will have to wait.  She also wrote a poem this morning which i can share :)

For koalas flowers are teacups as they sip gum nut tea and in the underwater flower of the anemone clownfish smile and jellyfish float free, and for the lucky lady red gum honey bee the flowers help make sweet and yummy delicious red gum honey.  Sometimes flowers grow on a tree and yet sometimes they're in front of me.

Chicky has completed the first box of Bob Books.  Woohoo!  Another up and coming reader in the family.


Amber xx
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