Friday, November 27, 2015

It's OK To be Ordinary!

Is your homeschooling brand strangling your homeschool?

I don't proclaim to be something I'm not. To put it quite simply I'm just your average ordinary mum doing what I feel is best for my kiddo's and one of those things is the choice to educate them at home.

There is so much out there in the homeschool world to ponder, to think about, to consider.

Am I doing this for all the right reasons?

Am I giving my kids the education they need and deserve?

Am I ensuring that I look after myself through all of this?

Have I got everything I should have in my arsenal to homeschool my kids?

Have I considered our homeschool philsophy?

What about plans? Not just for now but for the entire year and all of the years that are ahead of us?

Have I considered all of the brands of homeschooling?

Yes I like to call them brands because really that is what they are. Boats all do pretty much the same thing but they too come in all different brands. Yes some brands will suit us better than others or some aspects of certain boat brands will suit us better than other aspects but at the end of the day they are all still boats.

That is why I have never fully aligned myself to any particular brand of homeschooling.

I simply do what works.

Do what works for today.

Do what works for each child.

Do what works for me as their guide and travel companion in this adventure.

I don't need every single aspect of what we do to be scripted to the finest detail. In fact I want our homeschool to be completely the opposite of that.

I don't need to be told that I'm doing it all wrong if we choose to use math curriculum but call ourselves unschoolers.

I don't need to worry if I am fulfilling the correct requirements of the morning basket routine to state that yes I am indeed using a morning basket.

I want to be able to enjoy nature with my kids in any way that it pleases us without the worry of being told, "But Miss Mason would've done it like this".

It brings tears to my eyes to see you mummas that are out there trying so damn hard to get things right in your homeschool. Working tirelessly every single day of your lives in your homes, only to be torn down by well meaning other homeschool mums.

I see it all too often in the homeschool groups I am a member of. A question is asked or a statement is made about something that is getting done in a particular home and bam! You have a barrage of well meaning people jumping up and down telling you how you are doing it all wrong!

Actually I had this exact thing happen to me recently in a facebook group.

I have been looking very closely at a particular curriculum item that is gaining popularity among Christian homeschoolers. It is produced by a Christian family and appears to be a fabulous looking, thorough and very well put together curriculum.

Now, I ustilise many resources in our homeschool that are produced by Christian publishers because quite frankly their personal world view bears no relevance on if the product will be great for my kids or not. What I do normally like to know upfront though is just how well these resources will work in a secular homeschool.

I downloaded the available samples and from everything I saw I was impressed, but I still couldn't answer my question about whether it would work in a secular home. So I jumped on to a facebook group for secular homeschoolers hoping that amongst the thousands of members someone would've used the particular resource. 

Almost immediately I was basically told to go away and to not ask such a question within that group and not only by one person either. Are you kidding me? Isn't this exactly one of the reasons why we have secular homeschool groups so we can give feedback to other families on resources we may be considering?

Thankfully I am a confident long term homeschooler, imagine if I was just beginning my journey. How may responses like that affected me? Suffice to say I deleted my one and only post in that group and have left it.

Why is it ok for someone who knows absolutely nothing about me or my children to go ahead and tell me that what I am doing or potentially going to do is wrong? How is that Ok?

Why is anything wrong, aside from abuse, if it works in that particular home, for that particular family?

Why is it wrong if the family enjoy doing things in a way that works for them?

Why is it wrong if it gets the results the family is aiming for?

This homeschooling gig really is just another part of this thing we call life. There is no right way to do it. We are simply all doing the very best we can and no we do not need to fit under a particular homeschool brand.

I'm going to say that again just in case you missed it. We do not need to align ourselves under any particular homeschooling brand to be successful at homeschooling.

We really don't!!

So what do we do then?

Stay tune for part two of this post coming soon.

Happy Homeschooling,

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

France ~ The Eiffel Tower

So I figured it was about time I shared some more details on our recent trip to France. You might remember the Madeline post! This time we visited the Eiffel Tower. One of the most visited and well known structures in the entire world!

France Unit Study Free Printable

As is always the case with our group activities we have a large age range of children, from five up to fourteen years in fact so it can at times be a little tricky putting together something that will work for the entire group.

This time the information presented was pretty much the same for everyone but the output from the various age groups was much more appropriate.

As you can see here we had a simple tracing exercise for the youngest of the children and the middle to upper primary group completed a question and answer sheet after chatting about and watching a short informational video on the Eiffel Tower.

I actually struggled to find a video I was truly happy with, either my searching abilities this time around needed some work or there just isn't much out there in the form of short documentary style videos about the Eiffel Tower.

After watching the video and a having brief discussion the oldest of the group wrote a short informational report about the Eiffel Tower. They were given a list of questions to answer within the report. As a group we worked through all of the topics and discussed as necessary or when various points were raised.

I do enjoy working with older kids for this reason. We generally are not a group of one teacher and several students. I am simply one of them, together in that group all learning what we can, asking questions, sorting through the information and coming up with something that works for each of us.

I have included these Free Eiffel Tower Printable Worksheets as a download at the bottom of this post.

For a bit of fun we all took a ride on the Eiffel Tower Elevator. Well as close as we could get to a ride whilst remaining firmly planted here in the living room.

I love the view you get from this angle though, it is well worth watching.

There are quite few different Eiffel Tower Crafts out there on the web. I knew I needed something simple due to time constraints and the wide variety of ages of kids that I was dealing with.

In the end I went with the Straw Eiffel Tower Craft as it gave some level of flexibility, was simple enough for young ones and the older kids could add their own flair to it.

I googled a template and printed it on light weight card as I knew there would be loads of wet glue being added to these during the process. The template itself is really just to use as a guide so it doesn't need to be too particular.

I just love how even with such a simple activity they all came up with their very own different ideas.

When it came time for the older kids turn I gave them a great deal more choice with materials. There were of course the straws in varying colours, but I also laid out buttons, beads, pretty little paper flowers and other small bits and bobs envisioning them all having a grand old time turning their plain template into a beautiful rendition of the tower.

Alas, they all, but me, chose the straws. Oh well you know what they say about never working with children ;-) hahaha!

And that was our visit to the Eiffel Tower.

Would you like a copy of the Eiffel Tower Worksheets I shared above?  Please use this link to download a copy for your personal use.

Happy Homeschooling,

Come on over and join me at

Facebook ~ Pinterest ~ Instagram ~ Google + 

Looking for more French themed activities? Visit My Pinterest Board
Follow Our Worldwide Classroom's board Country Units: France on Pinterest.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Free Printable Letter To Santa Writing Paper

Free Letter To santa Writing Paper Santa Letters

A few years back I created some very simple

Free Printable Letter To Santa Writing Paper

for my kids to use to write Santa Letters. Like most things I pull together I share them with you. Little did I know that the writing paper post would still be one of my most visited posts on the blog. During this time of the year the visits go through the roof. I'm kind of figuring that all your kids really like to write letters to their dearly beloved Santa.

You can still grab the original Santa Letter Paper at this link.

This year I decided to add a few more into the mix, just to brighten things up, add a splash more colour and all that jazz.

There are three new totally different Letter To Santa Papers for you to download for your personal use.

The candy cane border and the silhouette Santa off delivering his gifts are just the cutest aren't they!

For those kids that might like something more traditional we have a simple Christmas Tree, all lit up with a few gifts ready to open on Christmas morning.

I know that most younger children really like to draw something to send to Santa so this letter paper allows that, with a much smaller writing space.

Download the Free Printable Letter To Santa Writing Paper here.

I hope your kids enjoying writing their Letters To Santa with these.

Merry Christmas and Happy Homeschooling,

Come on over and join me at

Facebook ~ Pinterest ~ Instagram ~ Google + 

Looking for more Christmas themed activities?
You will find 300+ Ideas On My Pinterest Board.

Follow Our Worldwide Classroom's board Seasonal: Christmas on Pinterest.
Related Posts with Thumbnails

Blog Design by: Relevant Designs