Sunday, April 26, 2015

Australian History with SKWIRK

During the lead up to ANZAC Day we spent the week exploring the topic further.

I also had the kids jump on to Skwirk and work their way through the appropriate levels for each of them that covered Australian History, looking in particular at the ANZAC topic.

I have children in three different levels of the Skwirk program so I thought I would give you a glimpse inside each of them and how they cover Australian History via screen shots from within the Skwirk program.

**As you all know our family have been given a subscription to Skwirk to be able to give you a peek inside. All opinions expressed from here on in are those of my kids and myself.**

My eldest is currently in the Grade 7/8 Level. 


At this level in the Australian Curriculum, history is mostly world history, but it does contain a full unit on ANZAC day, exactly what we were looking for.

Within each chapter there are reading passages, various images, animations and short video clips.

Each chapter begins with a reading passage.


This is just one of the many images that can be found within the ANZAC Unit.

video

Several short video clips, are included. This particular one gives you a glimpse inside the trenches. (excuse the quality of the videos, they are taken with my iphone)

video

Animations are also included within the unit, again a brief view of the conditions in the trenches.


If you like to give your children tests they are also included here.

My middle child is using the Grades 3/4 Level



Skwirk is completely curriculum aligned and in this level Australian History has a focus on Exploration and Communities.

Here you can see the topics covered within the units of work.


This is the next level up from the K - 2nd, which primarily uses animated content for young children. At the 3/4 level it is similar to the upper levels with reading passages such as the one seen here.

Whilst they are shorter and more simple in nature when compared to the 7/8 level I would personally still like to see this level supplemented with animations and many more videos for the children of this age group to watch.

I feel this is the trickiest level when it comes to readers, most kids by this age are reading at some level or another, but whether they want to be reading often remains to be seen. 

If there was a way they could still access all of the information but in a video format I think this would make a big difference to this particular level of the program. At least I know it would in our house.


Once again, there are several images all related to the content for the children to view.

Find A Words seem to be the go to game for this particular unit of work. My daughter really enjoys these at the moment so they are a nice bonus.

In some of the units there are also animated activities.


Whilst there are no exams at this level, most of the topics within this unit have worksheets that can be printed. Each worksheet shows the appropriate codes required for outcomes.

My youngest is currently in the K to 2nd Level


Here, as it does with the Australian Curriculum, history has a focus on the family, the child and exploring what history actually is.

video

The topics for the younger years are primarily animated video concepts, which are relatively engaging for the child to watch.

They generally always have a short game at the end of each video and the information presented is also included in the unit in written form as a read aloud option.

Whilst Skwirk is not our primary resource, I do really like knowing that I always have a curriculum linked product, that is quick and simple to use when we want to supplement what we are currently working on.

Would You Like A Half Price Skwirk Subscription?


Skwirk have very kindly offered all of you 50% Off a 12 month subscription, simply by using the code - worldwide - on sign up.

This code is only valid until April 30th though so you need to be quick!

Jump over to Skwirk and register now.

Happy Homeschooling,
Kylie

Disclosure: Our family has been given a subscription to the Skwirk Website in return for my reviews. All opinions regarding Skwirk are mine (and my children's).

Saturday, April 25, 2015

ANZAC Day 2015 Picture Diary



We spent some time each day this week on the importance of ANZAC Day and remembering the sacrifices made by others.

I've put together what we covered this week in pictures.

Our picture book collection grows each and every year. We were particularly moved by The Red Poppy this year.

We completed our WW1 Coin collection that was put out and distributed through our local newsagent.


This 45 minute mini documentary retraces some of the steps from the landing in ANZAC Cove and the battles that followed in the hills. Very informative, we all learned a great deal from this one.

My eldest has been reading My Fathers War.


We watched several you tube clips.

During read alouds we painted our own version of a field of poppy's.

The kids purchased a badge each to wear during the march.


This is a Scottish clip, but still explains the story of the Poppy quite well.



Made ANZAC Biscuits.


We received a great pack put out by Veteran Affairs and spent some time looking through some of what it included.


The ABC interactive Gallipoli website is a wealth of information and we watched several of the clips on this site.




This song, The Little Red Poppy, was actually on a disc in the back of the book, The Red Poppy. It is very beautiful and extremely moving.

We visited our national War Memorial a couple of years ago and we spent some time looking back over the photographs and talking in detail about the various exhibits on display there.


Utilised our Skwirk subscription to extend the learning further.


Attended our local ANZAC March to cheer on the diggers and other participants, including my son, who marched with his Cadets Troop.


Shed many a tear as we imagined what an absolutely horrible experience it must of been.

 I do feel it is important we continue to remember, without glorifying war. Our younger generations need to know these stories, the complete stories, and so we will continue delving deeper into the ANZAC legend with each coming year.

Lest We Forget

More ANZAC themed posts:



Looking for more ANZAC Day Ideas? 

Visit my Pinterest Board:



Follow Kylie @ Our Worldwide Classroom's board ANZAC (Australian) Day on Pinterest.



Happy Homeschooling,
Kylie


Thursday, April 16, 2015

Cultural Geography Through Literature



Travel and Literature, quite simply these are two of my favourite things!

If I could be off traveling the world with my children right now I would be, wouldn't we all?!

Today we just opened one very exciting package that may just be the next best thing.


A special delivery from our new friend Crameye! He is going to be sharing his adventurous worldwide travels with us through his writing.

*I received he complete set of Series One from The Adventurous Mailbox, all opinion expressed from here on are purely my own and those my children.*


I have to say that I am most impressed with the attention to detail that The Adventurous Mailbox brings.

Even the shipping box, is sturdy, fully printed both inside and out and was addressed to include each of my three children personally.


Inside were three letters, one each for the kids and again personally addressed. Truly we haven't even looked at anything yet and I'm impressed already.


A little Crameye sticker is used to hold the letter closed. Inside, again addressed to the child, the letter goes on to explain just a little about the package they have received.

It also includes a card with their secret code to access Crameye's World, an online kids area where they can play games, win prizes and learn even more about the world around them.


The books come in yet another hard cover slip binder. This is such a huge plus for me, it means we can always keep the set together and can find them on our shelves quickly and easily.

Series One contains a set of 8 books, covering the countries of Finland, Taiwan, Brazil, Thailand, Greece, Tanzania, Peru and Peru Too. Currently there are plans in place to expand this range to 40 books.

Whilst we've looked through the package and so far genuinely like what we see we have decided to hold off making a start on reading about Crameye's adventures until next week.

I am going to use these as a read aloud so that all three of my children can experience this adventure at the same time.

But, sshhh, don't tell the kids! I couldn't help myself, I had to take a glimpse inside book one to see for myself what it was like.

Let's just say that I'm pretty confident that the kids are going to enjoy these immensely, they are absolutely written to the primary ages, but I also feel that lower high school kids will probably enjoy them also.

The writing style is really quite funny, frank, down to earth and clearly written by your average 12 year old boy (or there abouts because I don't actually know his age). Even though I only got a few pages in, I had already had a good giggle or two.



On top of the Adventurer Package of books and access to Crameye's World, you can also choose to add as an optional extra, access to The Teachers Lounge, where you can access lesson plans, printable resources and worksheets to use alongside the books.

I am really looking forward to getting started with these and the additional lessons from the teachers lounge.

I'll be back soon to share my kids reactions to the stories and lessons, so be sure to keep an eye out for those.

So, what are the costs involved I hear you ask?

Set One of Eight Books currently sells for $79 (USD)
Teachers Lounge Access is $20 (USD)

However The Adventurous Mailbox has offered a pretty neat deal for you to grab your own copy for your family.

The Adventurous Mailbox Homeschool Promotional Deal

Using the coupon code HSadventure at checkout, you will get the Teacher's Lounge for free (originally $20/must be in shopping cart for coupon to work) as well as $10 off the Adventurer Package Series One Books.

So, basically your family would receive the Adventurer Package (like the one I have just shown you) plus full access to the 100s of lessons in the Teacher's Lounge for just $69.00 (USD). The coupon code is valid until June 30th 2015.

https://theadventurousmailbox.com/


I'll be back soon to share the details of our adventures with The Adventurous Mailbox.

Happy Homeschooling,
Kylie
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