Australian Curriculum, Family, Health, Home Schooling, Parenting, Uncategorized

The Perfect Homeschool? – or Not!

planning-shelf

It’s planning time again! It feels like only yesterday that I was planning for 2016, and here I am again thinking about what books I need to buy for next year. I was thinking the other day, for the first time since I started homeschooling 10 years ago I am not excited for the next school year. Planning and organising is my passion, so why no enthusiasm?

It took me a while to work it out, but I think it is because I feel that this year was a total flop. So many curriculums which I planned on using, just didn’t happen. Life threw me a curve ball. Term one was three broken bones in the family. Then term 2 we began our huge detox as a family.

Little did I know back then that we would go into survival mode.

Little did I know that Jay would spend most of his days unable to move off the couch. His detox was so debilitating that school was not a priority….his healing was our focus. So one by one, each subject got put completely on the back burner. Our daily plan become this;

Having a good day? Then get as much school work done as you can.

Having an average day? Then do maths and english.

Having a bad day? Then do your easy online subjects (religion, geography) and your textbooks which you can just read (science, history) –  we ditched anything that involved writing for these subjects.

Having a terrible day? Watch documentaries, listen to audio books, rest and relax. Just try to get outside for a small walk and some vitamin D. Even if you have to crawl out there….just get yourself outside.

 

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Soaking up some vitamin D, and some brotherly love.

I was so worried when it was time for our moderator to come (in Western Australia we have a person come out from the Education department to see how our homeschooling is going). Jay said to me, “Mum, I have nothing to put in my portfolio!” After having a little panic, I realised that although we had no concrete proof of learning, I know that he has still been learning and expanding his mind.

I decided to look at each individual subject and list every book that he has read. We also noted down all the tests he has had and what he learnt from them (DNA tests, bacteria tests). He has also learnt a huge amount about the body and how it functions. He is even now thinking when he finished school he would like to be a chiropractor and functional doctor.

So this year was not a waste. His portfolio still looked great, even though it was very different to each of his past 8 years portfolios.

So while I sit here sifting through curriculums, talking to the kids about what their interests are for next year, and thinking about what worked and didn’t work this year, I have to keep in mind that you never know what another year will bring. What challenges will you face? How will your goals and plans change? As I have done for the last ten years, I will search for curriculum that meet the needs of my kids but I will be prepared to change whatever I must as life always takes us in directions which we cannot control.

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The path is long….and hard

What never changes though is the fact that God is by our side. With the help of Mary our mother, the angels and saints we will continue to strive to do our best and even though we fail many times we pick ourselves up and keep trying. Will we ever have the perfect homeschool? No, but we will continue to do our best and that is what we are expected to do.

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My biggest achievement this year, climbing Bluff Knoll

 

Australian Curriculum, Faith, Family, Home Schooling, My Daybook, Uncategorized

My Daybook – September

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW I SEE….a beautiful spring morning..it is truly magnificent!

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My morning walk, down the back of our block.

I AM GIVING THANKS….. that the term is nearly at an end. Holidays are in sight and we are taking time out to go down south for a week – I can’t wait!

I AM PRAYING FOR……..a dear friend’s children who have been in a car accident.  And I am praising God that they miraculously came out ok.

I AM LISTENING TO….Zac cooking an omelette for his breakfast. At 8 years old he is quite a whizz in the kitchen….he makes awesome omelettes and scrambled eggs.

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I AM THINKING ABOUT….how to add more steps into my day. I bought a fitbit for my birthday with some vouchers that I had. I am so pleased that I got one, it is really helping me to get more steps into my day. Hopefully I am going to be fit enough to climb Bluff Knoll in a few weeks!

I AM LEARNING….all about the gut. I am reading and enjoying ‘Gut‘. The big boys are also reading it. I love that they are learning so much about their body at such a young age.

I AM READING…. I have a number of books on the go right now. ‘Anne of Green Gables’, ‘A Story Formed Life‘ ‘Gut’ and ‘Brain Maker‘.

I AM CREATING….checklists to show my homeschool moderator. I know any day now she will call and make an appointment to come and see me, and I want to be prepared!

IN THE SCHOOLROOM….we are enjoying our world war one studies. I have been using Bloom’s Taxonomy with the kids lately and it has really enhanced our homeschool experience. Here is a good post explaining how to use it in your homeschool.

We have also just finished ‘On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness’. It was such a fun read-aloud we didn’t want it to end! Now I have to decide on the next family read-aloud. Any suggestions?

COOKING IN THE KITCHEN….as always… our GAPs food and plenty of ferments.

IN THE MORNING BASKET…a new read aloud! I don’t know what yet. We are also learning about Handel by listening to these. Maestro Classics is a wonderful site for teaching the kids more about Classical music. They also have downloads to integrate into other learning areas.

I NEVER WANT TO FORGET….How much fun it is playing games with the kids. We have plans to spend most Saturday nights playing games. Last games night I played Labyrinth with the younger kids and then once they were in bed Paul and I played Dominion with the big boys. Our games cupboard is quite extensive as I buy the kids a new game every Christmas. One of my most treasured childhood memories is playing games with my sister. We still reminisce  about the games we used to play. My kids still play the exact games now, in fact Labyrinth is from my younger days. I can’t wait to play games again with you one day my lovely sister!

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The fire after it had burnt down a fair bit

 

We had an awesome bonfire on Saturday night. The kids had a ball riding the motorbike and playing tag with friends in the dark. They also played ‘King of the Castle’ on a huge pile of dirt. The aim was to stay at the top of the dirt pile as long as you could – all the other kids would try and pull you down. As you can imagine, they were all filthy and black by the end of the night – I wish I had a photo of that!

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The dirt pile…it looks bigger in real life!

PLANNING FOR THE WEEK AHEAD…organising costumes for our drama concert and trying to finish off subjects for the term.

Australian Curriculum, Essential Oils, Home Schooling, Uncategorized

Lemonade to Leadership

A Review of Lemonade to Leadership

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As I have mentioned briefly in other posts, we have completed a wonderful course this year. It is published by the Institute for Excellence in Writing and is called “Lemonade to Leadership”.

 

The Australian Curriculum has a learning area called Economics and Business. To cover a lot of the scope and sequence from this learning area I thought it would be a good idea to do this course. The plan was to spend Friday afternoons learning how businesses run, and eventually starting up a business of their own.

 

The course has been far better than I anticipated. I only used it with my kids in grades 8, 6 & 4. It was well suited to all these age groups.

 

Considering they have a Dad who runs his own business, they already knew that they would need to put in a lot of work to get any results. The hardest part was learning the basics of  how businesses are run – all they wanted to do was make their products and make some money!

 

They conducted market research on their chosen products. They interviewed people about what business names would be good.  They made business cards and brochures and decided on a slogan. Then they were free to make their products!

 

Jay and Dom decided on home-made, 100% beeswax candles.

trade fair candles

 

Beth made her own lip balms (scented with our Doterra essential oils of course!)

Simply Lips Trade Fair

At the end of the course it suggests that you have a Trade Fair to get experience at selling your products. I was able to organise one within our homeschool group. Lots of people joined in and we were able to raise money for a charity at the same time.

 

Even though Zac didn’t do the course with us, he made up a business name, made business cards (with his big Bro) and made his own products to sell at the fair. His business was called ‘Fruity Fruits’ and he sold dried fruit and fruit leather.

Fruity Fruits Trade Fair

I am very proud of my little entrepreneurs. It has been a wonderful way to end the school year and wrap up such a wonderful course.