Home Schooling, Uncategorized

Our Personalised Planners

After I posted on Instagram a picture of my kids homeschool planners, the lovely Erin, of Seven Little Australians and Counting, asked me if I could share what was in them. I thought it best to do it in a blog post, just incase anyone else is interested in how I try to keep my kids organised!

Every year for the past 5 years or so, I have used these colour coded checklist charts for the kids. I originally got the idea from Sarah, over at Amongst Lovely Things. The kids have had them in a clipboard and they check off each lesson as they complete it. A lesson might last anywhere from a day to a week. They can see how much they need to complete in a term.

This year, I wanted a bit more for them. I wanted to see exactly what they had completed in a week. I also wanted them to have their own calendar, weekly checklists, term checklists and I wanted them to be personalised. So here is what we ended up with;

Personalised covers which they chose themselves;

Planners Photo

The first section is a monthly calendar which I personalised for them. I left room at the bottom for them to decorate if they wished. Of course Beth will Zentangle anything, so there are patterns all through her planner 🙂

Planner Calendar

The next section has all their checklists. First the colour coded lists;

Planner Checklist

Then the history lists;

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Lastly, the final section has their weekly checklists. These are different for each child. I sign each one at the end of the week and I sometimes add in notes for what specifically I want them to do for a subject. Some weeks I am more diligent that others.

Planner Weekly Checklist

So there you have it…our planners. Any questions, just ask? 🙂

 

Family, Health, Home Schooling, My Daybook, Uncategorized

My Daybook – May

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW I SEE…the three younger kids playing soccer together.

I AM GIVING THANKS….that my trip to Melbourne for treatment for Jay went well and he now has more good days than sick days.

I AM PRAYING FOR……..sick family members, and friends that need extra prayers.

I AM LISTENING TO…laughter. Beth, Zac and Dami get on really well. Their morning tea play is often some imaginary game, playing on the swing set, or today it’s playing soccer. I love that even though they are ages 10, 8 and 4, the age difference never seems to matter.

I AM THINKING ABOUT….how to add some ‘spark’ into our homeschool routine. While we have been dealing with illness for so long, it has been survival mode here (as can be seen from the lack of blog posts). I want some enthusiasm back in our homeschool again. Maybe the up and coming Australian Homeschool Summit will help with that!

I AM LEARNING….about St Pope John Paul.  What an amazing saint.

IN THE SCHOOLROOM….we are desperately trying to catch up on maths. Most subjects can spill over into the next years work. But maths I like to finish the book in one year. After being away for 2 1/2 weeks, we are very behind.

Also, the younger kids and I are enjoying our Magic School Bus packs. They arrive once a month and have everything in there for each experiment. The kids write up each experiment and draw a picture from it.

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COOKING IN THE KITCHEN….on a keto diet we eat lots of fat. Butter, coconut oil, fermented coconut cream….yum. I am always after ways to change it up for the kids to keep it interesting. The latest are what we call ‘fat bombs’. Butter, cacao butter, cinnamon, mac powder. Yum! Jay can also now have bulletproof decaf coffee. It is by far the best part of his day.

And as always, I am always fermenting!

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IN THE MORNING BASKET…there is nothing! It needs refreshing and reorganising. Any ideas?

IN THE GARDEN… we are still trying to finish off the fence. Now that the weather is a lot cooler and the snakes are not a threat, the kids can go off into the bush to play! Hopefully we can get in some nature walks soon.

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The kids are enjoying playing in the ‘sandpit’ (a pile of sand on the ground 🙂 )

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We also enjoyed hiring a cherry picker to cut off some really high branches on our favourite tree. All the kids enjoyed a ride!

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I NEVER WANT TO FORGET….all the lessons I have learnt with Jay being sick. I know what it is like to have a chronically ill child. It is stressful, tiring and downright hard. Whilst travelling to Melbourne I often thought about the poor parents who might need to take their dying children to doctors far away to try and heal them. Honestly, there were times when we thought that the doctor might even tell us that Jay had cancer. That was scary.  We are so blessed to be able to heal Jay, there are many parents who cannot fix their child. My heart aches for them, I now have a glimpse of what it might be like to be them. I pray that they may have the strength to face each day. One day at a time.

 

In between all the treatments we did manage some fun adventure. Some highlights from our trip;

His 1st meal out in 12 months – an awesome cafe personalised Jay’s meal for him.

A happy boy after shopping at some factory outlets

1st footie match with his uncle

 

Home Schooling, Uncategorized

2017 Booklists

Thank goodness it’s Friday. I love Fridays. We work so hard all week and Fridays are our day to relax and take stock of the week so far. It’s a day for tying up loose ends and preparing for the weekend (and just maybe having sleep-ins!). When I hear a little voice ask me, “Can you push me on the swing?” I can say, “Yes!” When I get asked, “Can you read me a book?” I can say, “Yes”. “Can I make a robot?” “Can I play lego?” and sometimes I may even say yes to “Can we watch a movie?” It is Friday, right?

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We still do school on Fridays but we only do maths, a little writing and whatever they missed during the week. There are no timetables, and the kids are free to decide when they  do their subjects. But of course, there will be no movie if their school hasn’t been done!

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Today the kids have made robots, done electronics, played music, read books, constructed cubbies, designed fairy gardens, rode their bikes, wrote out recipes, wrote out book character names into notebooks and much more.  So much learning occurs even without structured school.

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With much less on the agenda today, I have had a chance to take photos and make a list of all the curriculums that we are using this year. I love seeing what other people use, and it so often gives me ideas for what I would like to use in my homeschool. So here is goes….by grade level.

Year 10 (age 15)

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English: Pearson English 10; Windows to the World; The Elegant Essay; Advanced Spelling.

Maths: MathOnline

Humanities:

Science – Chemistry 101

History – Christ the King Lord of History

Geography – North Star Geography 

Logic: – The Art of Argument

Economics: Continue Penny Candy from last year

The Arts:

Music: Guitar

Religion: Catholicism DVDs, The Teen Timeline

Year 8 (age 13)

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English: Pearson English 8; Windows to the World; The Elegant Essay; Life of Fred Language Arts; Phonetic Zoo C

Maths: Saxon Maths

Humanities:

Science –Physics 101

History – RC History – Living books (for another post)

Geography – North Star Geography 

Logic:  The Art of Argument

Business:  Life of Fred Financial Choices

The Arts:

Art: Ever Ancient Ever New

Music: Guitar

Religion: Catholicism DVDs, The Teen Timeline

Year 6 (age 10)

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English: Writing and Rhetoric Books 3 & 4; Life of Fred Language Arts; Phonetic Zoo B

Maths: New Syllabus Primary Mathematics 5A & 5B

Humanities:

Science –Magic School Bus

History – RC History – Living books (for another post)

Geography –Draw Africa & Draw Asia plus living books

Logic: One Hour Mysteries

Civics and Citizenship – Parliament

The Arts:

Art: Ever Ancient Ever New and art classes with a teacher at a friend’s house

Music: Violin

Religion: Catholicism DVDs, Bible reading for history

Year 3 (Age 8)

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English: All About Spelling Level 3; Beautiful Feet Books, All Things Fun and Fascinating

Maths: New Syllabus Primary Mathematics 3A & 3B

Humanities:

Science –Magic School Bus

History – RC History – Living books (for another post)

Geography –Draw Africa & Draw Asia plus living books

The Arts:

Art: Ever Ancient Ever New and art classes with a teacher at a friend’s house

Music: Piano

Religion: 1st Confession & 1st Holy Communion Preparation,  Bible reading for history

Well there it is! As you can see, many books are shared as I teach the kids together as much as possible. So far, the kids are enjoying their schooling for 2017, and I am enjoying teaching them as well 🙂

Family, Home Schooling, My Daybook, Uncategorized

My Daybook – February

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW I SEE…a beautiful overcast day. I can also see some gorgeous new shoots on the rose bushes. If the parrots don’t get to them, I should be able to pick some soon to bring inside.

I AM GIVING THANKS….that Jay was feeling much better than usual yesterday and he was able to enjoy his birthday.

I AM PRAYING FOR……..Jay – that his up and coming medical treatment interstate will fix his health and he can lead a normal life again!

I AM LISTENING TO…a very quiet house!!! Only one of the big kids are up so it is very quiet. I can hear many different birds chirping outside.

I AM THINKING ABOUT….how I haven’t posted ANYTHING in so long. I really want to get back into it again. I like to blog so I can document our days and have something to look back on. Hopefully I can start up again.

I AM LEARNING….more and more about the bible. This year for Religion we are focusing on the bible. Not that we don’t already know how to read it, but this year we are using lots of resources to come to love and understand scripture more deeply and to understand the timeline from Adam and Eve right to Jesus.

I AM CREATING….lists, lists and more lists. I will be in Melbourne for 2 1/2 weeks with Jay. Our GAPs diet will have to continue at home, and so will school work. The kids will need to know what to do while we are gone.

lists

IN THE SCHOOLROOM….there is plenty going on. I will have to do a separate post all on our chosen curriculums for this year. Dami is in Kindy this year. Although I prefer learning at this age to be completely natural, there are days where he wants to be like the big kids. Sometimes we enjoy a cup of tea together while he is doing his ‘Kindy’ work.

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playroom-antics
How are we supposed to do school with this little guy peering in the window?!!

 

COOKING IN THE KITCHEN….last night was a no dairy, no sugar, peppermint ice-cream for Jay’s 15th birthday. It was delicious!!

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IN THE MORNING BASKET…we are listening to Peter Nimble and his Fantastic Eyes and we are learning the poem My Country.

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IN THE GARDEN…we are fencing in the property so our new puppy won’t escape! We needed to cut down a few trees to be able to put the fence in. The logs became a good table and chairs.

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I NEVER WANT TO FORGET….a cute little moment from Jay’s birthday yesterday….Dami spent the morning bringing ‘presents’ to Jay from the playroom. He gave away his Octonaught toys, his keyboard, a backpack and some toy cars. When he was off to bed that night he also gave Jay his teddies. It was a very serious activity, he was adamant that Jay was not to give them back.

The kids enjoyed a trip on their Poppy's sail boat. The boat literally rocked Dami off to sleep!
The kids enjoyed a trip on their Poppy’s sail boat. The boat literally rocked Dami off to sleep!
Family, Health, Home Schooling, My Daybook, Uncategorized

My Daybook – November

OUTSIDE MY WINDOW I SEE….Beth and Dami playing together. That 3 year old is one lucky kid! He adores his older siblings and they are so good to him.

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I AM GIVING THANKS….. for this beautiful weather at the moment. I can’t get enough of being outside.

I AM PRAYING FOR……..family members who are ill. My Nana, who is 93, has been struggling with her health lately. She never ceases to amaze me with how switched on she is though. When you go visit her in the nursing home she gives you a running commentary  of all the old folk whose poor minds have been lost to them long ago. I think her good brain health is due to her never having her drivers licence so she would walk and take public transport everywhere.

I AM LISTENING TO…the sound of the basketball hitting the driveway – the two big boys are really enjoying shooting hoops together at the moment. They are out there at any chance they get. I can also hear the laughter from Beth and Dami.

I AM THINKING ABOUT….next year! I know it seems like a long way off but now is the time to order books.

I AM LEARNING….as always, I seem to being learning about the gut. I have loved reading ‘Brain Maker’ and now I am reading Pete Evans ‘The Complete Gut Health Cookbook’.

I AM CREATING….neat and tidy bookshelves. Not very exciting – or creative! I needed to give our playroom/schoolroom a makeover. There is still plenty of work to be done…my house looks like a bomb has gone off in it. I hate it how things always get worse before they get better 🙂

IN THE SCHOOLROOM….we are taking it very easy this term. We have enjoyed plenty of excursions, and the kids are planning their own days. All the kids know what needs to be done to finish the school year so as soon as one subject is finished, then they have less work to do. Beth, Zac and Dami are creating pretend food for their Cafe. They have finished their maths, spelling, religion and geography for the year.

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Our Zoo Excursion

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

IN THE MORNING BASKET…we are using the Baltimore Catechism each morning. I read from the text then choose one question for the kids to write in their notebooks. It has lead to many an interesting conversions about many parts of our faith.

We are also doing a fair bit of picture study. I’ll keep my method for another post, but it has been a lovely addition to the morning.

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Our morning basket time. Dami is fully dressed for the day but insisted on wearing his dressing gown.

I NEVER WANT TO FORGET….what a blessing it is to be a mother. Every day has its challenges, but also its blessings. I can choose to dwell on the bad, or I can try to see the blessings in each day. Sometimes it is as simple as a walk among the roses, or a cuddle from the three year old.

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This rose was picked and given to me 🙂

I don’t want to wish this time away because I know that in the blink of an eye they will be all grown up and left home.

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