Friday, January 24, 2014

Australian Flag

Over at Lessons Learnt Journal she has a download for an Australian Flag- great idea for Australia day or for learning about Australia

Thursday, January 5, 2012

New Year and finally back

I cannot believe how long it has been since I last posted! So much has happened, we have moved states, bought a house and are slowly getting organised!

Fitting 5 kids into a 3 bedroom house has been a challenge, as has setting up our workboxes when we no longer have a seperate school room and now have to share the dining/lounge space with our school things.

We have started school this week and I will share more of that soon. Hubby is in a new job that is still on the other side of the country, new job has meant a new shift and we are adjusting to a 9 days away and 5 days home routine. This means that we are going to homeschool year round, formal bookwork done while Dad is away and "holidays" when Dad is home when natural, informal work will happen.

We have lots of changes planned with our curriculum this year and I will share them in another post. My new years resolution is to blog more :) and hopefully have a better record of what we did in school this year. So heres to a more settled school year with no moves!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Moving :)

Sorry for the lack of posting lately.  But I have just got regular internet back after our BIG move.

We have just finished packing up everything and moving across the country back home.  We have been blessed to be able to stay in a friends house for 3 months while they are overseas on mission work.  We have been house hunting and found a house the first weekend we were back.  We are waiting on final approval from the bank but it looks like by the end of September Godwilling we will finally have our own house after 8 long years!!

We did not expect to be away from home so long.  It was supposed to be a 6 month stint with us all together as a family, while the baby grew and Hubby finished the job he had to do.  It turned out to be 2 1/2 years!!  We met lots and lots of friends who we will miss, were part of the fantastic Noah’s Ark Playgroup for kids with special needs, and managed to get ourselves close to debt free.  All in all our time in Kalgoorlie brought many blessings.

Unfortunately Hubby’s job has not finished and at this stage he had not found work else where so we will be going back to a FIFO (Fly in Fly out) role.  So this will bring big adjustments to our family.  The older kids can remember those days but the youngest 2 cant. 

So this last week has been spend unpacking boxes, setting up our workboxes and getting ourselves ready for school again.  Meanwhile the kids are enjoying exploring the new backyard, finding caterpillars and go-carting down the driveway!  After one ripped skirt and one crash the rules are Jeans, shoes and helmets!!  Little Man is enjoying meeting his cousins and being introduced to a whole new BOY world!!

We also joined our local library and bought home a whole pile of books – now life is starting to feel more like normal.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt

bear hunt

It has been ages since we rowed this book.  So long ago that I don’t have a record of it!  Only have records for the last 2 years – the rest are in storage in another state!  So in preparation for a re-row here are some resources I have found around the web.


Other Homeschoolers share their Rowing of the book

Joyful Mother of 6 Children rowed going on a bear hunt here.  I LOVE her sensory tub ideas, in fact I love all her ideas!

Delightful learning shares here.  I love that she shares a video of the author reading the book.

The Bough Family make a bear hunt guide here.

Workbox ideas (all of the ideas below would be great additions to a workbox)

HomeschoolShare has a Bear Hunt Lapbook on their Resources page  More ideas from the HomeschoolShare Message board here

Circle Time Poster for We’re going on a Bear hunt here.  This would be perfect for children to use to retell the story.

Patterns for We’re going on a bear hunt from Kidzclub (can download in color or black and white)

more patterns for felt board this time from MakingLearningFun*com, they also have a 3D map for the story, and an emergent reader.

And a Story pack (Please note this is from Sparklebox – see blog post here first )


I know that a little while ago there was some debate on line about using Sparklebox.  In case you are not aware the owner of the website is a convicted pedophile.  I link to Sparklebox resources on a regular basis and at this stage I do not intend to stop this but I want people to know so they can choose to or not use them.

The story is listed here and here

I have no intention of debating the issue raised here.  This post is only so people can make an informed decision before they choose to use the resources. 

If you feel uncomfortable using the resources here is a list of other sites providing similar free resources as Sparklebox does.


Mrs Pancake

SEN Teacher

First-School – not as colourful but one of the first sites I ever used and still come back to use it.

Best Primary Teaching Resources – not all are free but most are.


I will try to add more to this page as I find them.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Sonlight Surprise–One and Zero by Kathryn Otoshi

I found a surprise in my mail box today.  A parcel from Sonlight.  But  I already have the new catalogue and I didn’t order anything.  Inside was a book …

and a letter explaining my special gift from Sarita Holzmann president of Sonlight Curriculum.

The book is two books in one – one side is One by Kathryn Otoshi and the other side is Zero by Kathryn Otoshi.


I had never read these books before or heard of the author but as soon as I opened the  books I was impressed.  The pages are clear with simple illustrations, simple number concepts and colours but such a deep message.  One deals with bullying and standing up to a bully.  Zero deals with the fact that we all are important we just need to find our value.  I had some quiet time today with only my “baby” home, something that rarely happens so before he went to sleep we read the book together.  He loved it.  Wombat is 2 1/2 with developmental delay and Hypermobility Syndrome.  It was good to see him pointing to the pictures, the simpleness of them seemed to appeal to him.  Next week  I am going to read it to the older girls and see what they think.  For me it has joined my book list of favourite books.

I was also impressed with the fact that Sonlight has done it again.  I did not have to do anything to get this book.  It arrived a complete surprise.  A gift to me.  What other company does this sort of thing?  Especially to overseas customers?  We are in Australia and so many times any specials offered by many companies are sent to those in the US only. How many companies send you a gift for faithful business. A gift to help you encourage your children in being able “to step up into the roles God has called them to”*

Thank you Sarita and John.  Sonlight has made a difference in our homeschooling journey and I appreciate the work that you do, supporting me in homeschooling and in providing such great books for us to read together. 


* (quoted from the letter accompanying the book from Sarita Holzmann)



Interesting Links regarding these books

Interview by the Author Kathryn Otoshi

Kathryn reads her book ‘one’ on Youtube

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Become a Charlotte Mason Teacher

I was sent a link to the blog ChildlightUSA and in particular the post on becoming a Charlotte Mason teacher.  I recommend reading this post if you are thinking about using Charlotte Mason’s principles in your homeschool journey.

I will be adding this blog to my list of favourites to read. Enjoy Smile

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Curiosity Files–Puffer Fish Product Review


The Curiosity Files™ : Puffer Fish

Explorations with Professor Ana Lyze—Expert in Outlandish Oddities
A FUN unit study for kids ages 8–13

I know it is school holiday time but the kids wanted something to do and I was given this product to review so this week was a good time to use it.

I have never used any of the Curiosity Files before.  They are published by The Old Schoolhouse Magazine.  Each File is $6.95 for a downloadable Ebook in PDF format or you can get a downloadable bundle of all 9 books for $46.00 (or $49 if you would prefer them on CD).   In the series are Cicada-Killing Wasp, Blue Diamond, Blue-Footed Booby, Dung Beetle, MRSA, Platypus, Red Tide, Zombie Fire Ants, Quicksand and Puffer Fish.  All unique and interesting subjects.

The series are written from the point of view of a child asking questions of Professor Ana Lyze (the name appealed to Zebra (10) as she is just starting to understand plays on words).  The information presented about the puffer fish was interesting and even though we had done a short study before on the fish we learnt some new things.  My children love the Magic School bus and this reminded me a little of them  – (zany and strange things of nature)  The difference is that this series are God focused.  The kids (and I) really enjoyed reading about the fish and not having to wade through the normal evolution biased information which seems to be in nearly every book you pick up. 

The information about the fish was interesting, clearly written and simple to understand.  This is the first bit of the Ebook which was a huge 85 pages.  You could print this up if you wanted to or do as we did and just read it off the computer.

puffer fish review

The next bit of the Ebook is a review which we did verbally (you could do it as a written test).  I was impressed that the girls could answer all of the questions except one.  Then the fun starts or it would have if my printer had not died. I was disappointed that at this present time I was unable to print out any of the worksheets and lapbook components.  I think there is enough work here for 1-2 weeks of work.  Every subject is covered –

  • Bible study and memory verses
  • Math, history, and geography investigations
  • Literature and suggested book list
  • Writing, spelling, and vocabulary activities
  • Beautiful copywork pages (manuscript and cursive)
  • Science observations, projects, and experiments
  • Discussion questions
  • Art, crafts, drawing, and coloring pages
  • Lapbook and notebook pages
  • Internet resources and video links
  • Complete answer key at the back making it very easy for Mum to check work.

It would also be perfect to use for a science fair project topic.  pufferfishpagespray

I liked that it was perfect to use with the workbox system as you could just print the bits you wanted and add to the kids boxes.

The age range was 8-13 and I think this was fairly accurate. My children are 5,7,9 and 10.  There were bits that could be used with younger children and my 5 year old was happy to listen to most of the information.  There was a lot that was above my kids work wise so this unit would be perfect for a family that likes to do unit studies together.  Just print and give the appropriate bits to each child.

Having tried this one  I would  buy more in the series as I feel that they are really worth the small cost ($6.95) as all the kids can use them, it was a simple and easy way to do a whole family unit study with no preparation on the part of Mum other than printing out the relevant work sheets.  All the information needed was included along with a list of links for more learning if you wanted to learn more. 

I was very impressed to see a section for kids with special needs giving ideas for extending their learning, with hands on ideas.  Having a son with special needs and a nephew with autism it is nice to know that they can be easily included in the unit study as part of the family with out Mum having to alter things specially for them.


Did you know that to become a qualified chef in Japan you have to do 2-3 years of study, and if you make it to the end of the exam have to eat your fish?  About 100 people die each year from eating Puffer fish?  Just some of the interesting facts included in the book.

If you would like to try a sample of this ebook click here.  If you would like to purchase this ebook or others in the series click here  or go to The Old Schoolhouse store website and search under Curiosity Files.


**Please note  I was not paid to write this review. 

I was given a free copy of the product for the purposes of review. ***

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Holidays time

Down under here the first term has just come to an end and we are on holidays for 3 weeks (at least our family is! Smile).  I haven’t planned anything for the holidays except relax and enjoy our selves but the girls have a few ideas they would like to try so we will see what happens. 

So for all of those in Australia who follow the school term a big Happy Holidays to you!  and see you in 3 weeks time

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

From Akebu to Zapotec

Akebu to ZapotecSonlight had a extra download in 2009 (It was called Core 1 Tips – but with the cores renamed and the website under change I am not sure how to find it Sad smile

I am going to provide the direct links that were given in the Sonlight download for this book.  Please note these link direct to the PDF’s – they were really hard to find and link to any other way.  I found these really good – I printed up the map for the kids to mark the country on and the info about the country I printed for me so I could share more about the people as we read about each one.  They are from  There was so much more we could have done with these lessons – but if we took every rabbit trail we would NEVER finish a core!!




Akebu people – supplemental lesson PDF

Brokpa People – supplemental lesson PDF

Chut People – supplemental lesson PDF   we read about these people after we had read some books about the Vietnam war, which made the people and the place seem a little bit more real and closer to home for us here in Australia.

Dongxiang People – supplemental lesson PDF

Elkei People – supplemental lesson PDF

Fania People – supplemental lesson PDF

Gusilay People – supplemental lesson PDF

Hrusso People – supplemental lesson PDF

Ica People – supplemental lesson PDF

Jumjum People – supplemental lesson PDF

Kulango People – supplemental lesson PDF

Libido People – supplemental lesson PDF

Melanuau People – supplemental lesson PDF

Ngizim People – supplemental lesson PDF

Osing People – supplemental lesson PDF

Phuan People – supplemental lesson PDF

Quechua People – supplemental lesson PDF

Rajbanshi People – supplemental lesson PDF

Safwa People – supplemental lessons PDF

Temacine People – supplemental lessons PDF

Umeda People – supplemental lessons PDF

Vadar People – supplemental lesson PDF

Woleai People – supplemental lesson PDF

Xibe People – supplemental lesson PDF

Yinbaw People – supplemental lesson PDF

Zapotec people – supplemental lesson PDF


We made a cover for our notebook which you can download from HS Launch here

There are prayer journals for your children to pray about some of the people they read about here at (Lesson 7-8) the prayer cube (lesson 6) is a cool idea too.

There are pages here from Jjn3beans’s homeschool Launch Page (sorry I am not allowed to link direct to the downloads – but they are listed on the left side of the page)

This book made a HUGE impression on Duckie, she included the people in her prayers and reminded us to also pray for them. It never ceases to amaze me how different things appeal at different times, we have read the book before but this time for her it was so different.