Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Homeschool Misfit Awards


LOL I just stumbled on to the Homeschool Misfit Awards. I bet there's a great deal of home school bloggers that could fit into these and I for sure am one of them.

Just reading through the categories I found myself chuckling away remembering that somewhere in my blogging adventures I fit that category and that category, oh, and that category too hehehehe

Anyway, go have a look for yourself. How many categories do you fit? 

Homeschool Misfit Awards

Monday, October 17, 2011

Happy 10th Birthday

It's Lego Lovers 10th Birthday today, so we are off having fun with his awesome new gifts. He had a fabulous party, perfect for a 10 year old boy and was surrounded by his totally amazing friends!

I will blog about his party, but I am terribly behind with my posts and want to try and catch up first so it may be a couple of weeks.

Until then, I'm off to kiss and hug my sweet boy.

Friday, October 14, 2011

The King With Horse's Ears

The King With Horse's Ears is a folk tale that is believed to have been linked to the Ancient Greek legend of King Midas.

A slightly longer read when it comes to picture books, the story of King Mark is one to be heard by all!

King Mark keeps a secret, a secret about himself that he is utterly ashamed of. He fears the thoughts of others, if his secret is revealed. 

Don't we all have a secret about ourselves that we keep hidden, far within, untouchable by no one, simply because of our fear of what others may think of us?

There is one person, however that knows of King Mark's secret and he too is trapped by it. This secret causes him ill health, as I am sure many a secret has done to others over the course of time.

Eventually the secret is revealed and as generally occurs in real life, the beholder of the secret experiences the lifting of a burden. A burden they have often carried with them for years. He realises that he had nothing to be ashamed of after all.

If only we could guide our children to believe in themselves no matter how 'different' they may appear to be. I know this is something that I strive for with my children, especially after realising later in life (ok I'm not that old, but....) how your opinions of yourself really do shape and mould who you become as an adult. 

Breaking free of negative thoughts  that we have carried with us throughout our lives is truly freeing. But what if we didn't have those negative thoughts to begin with? Do you think that is even possible?

I was pleasantly surprised to see that this book is written and illustrated by Australians, although they are both living overseas. The illustrations are intriguing and the story even more so.

I think this is one that will be kept in the, 'too read regularly pile.'

I am linking this to What My Child Is Reading.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Ipswich Art Gallery - Mirror Exhibition

After spending a good few hours in the morning sun, getting up close and personal with some of our native wildlife we ventured indoors to the Ipswich Art Gallery.

In the entrance we were all enthralled by this enormous Kaleidoscope. See the little camera on the top left catching all of the images. Every move, wiggle, jump or hop was caught and projected onto the screen.

The main reason we visited the Art Gallery today was to see the Jeannie Baker Mirror Exhibition.

On first entering the area I thought this would end up being one those super quick visits, until we took the time to look more closely.

The exhibition showcases the artwork from Jeannie's book "Mirror". This artwork is paperpiecing at it's finest, truly magnificent. I was first introduced to paper piecing when I began scrapbooking Lego Lover's baby photo's, it was a simple yet effective way to embellish the pages.

Jennie's paper piecings are so inspiring. Lego Lover and myself spent our entire visit wondering just how long each one of the pieces would have taken to create. The photographs really do not do them justice.

It didn't take everyone long to find themselves seated at the creating area. Lego Lover was enthralled with the images in the book. Hence this is on our current wish list of books to buy.

Little Surfer Dude is in an amazing cutting sensory period. I mean he is literally cutting everything. So whilst he did create, his piece didn't last long enough for me to photograph it!

Whilst Lego Lover was extremely impressed with the artwork he chose to wait until he has the book in his hot little hands (at home) so he can study the images more, before tackling any kind of intricate design work.....yes true perfectionist here (anyone else have one of those).

He ended up with a simple but playful one eyed monster. I believe it was the use of sticky tape as the only option that held him back from trying other creations

Little Princess Girl, however was full of concentration whilst working on her piece. Torn waves, teeny, tiny fish and crabs. This really caught her attention and she immersed herself fully in the activity.

I do believe that this particular exhibition has now finished, it is however travelling the country so be on the lookout for it at a gallery near you.

What a day in Ispwich, it was huge but lots of fun.

We visited the Nature Centre
Called into the Enviromental Centre
Played in Queens Park 
Finished up here at the Gallery.

We still have a few others thing to see in do in Ipswich, maybe another day.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Queens Garden (Ipswich) Playground

Once we had some lunch in our hot little hands, we moved on over to the Playground component of Queens Park, gathered ourselves under a shady tree, straight down on the grass. No picnic mat, shoes off, feeling the earth beneath our toes.

After a few bites the children were off. Who could resist a playground that was not only brand new to them, but one that was as well kept and gorgeous as this.

Surfer Dude is in that in between stage in playground land, he's kind outgrown the little kids structures but he finds the larger ones a slightly scary place at times.

Although, he often tries to tackle them.

The playground area is set into the side of the hill, which creates a whole host of smaller play areas for the children to explore.Although not so great if you are the sort of parent that needs to have one eye on all kids at all times.

At the base of the park are twin bright yellow slides, that, to the bigger kids disappointment, were a little slow, but still enjoyed several times, none the less.

Surfer Dude loved hanging upside down within this rope area.

Add water to a play area and you will entertain the children there for hours. Two large water pumps, that really pumped water, into small river like channels, is a great inclusion to this play zone.

Surfer Dude was most disappointed that the train was without a steering wheel, he was planning to head off exploring, but when you are unable to steer your train, well, let's just say he wasn't having  a bar of that.

No matter your age or size, the lure of water play eventually grabs your attention.

The playground also boasts a large spider web climbing area, swings and a wheelchair swing. With large amounts of shady trees surrounding the perimeter.

When next visiting Ipswich this playground will be a definite on our must do's, with a picnic lunch in hand.

Want to see what else we got up to whilst visiting Ipswich on this particular day. Have a look here and here.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Ipswich Environmental Education Centre

After spending a couple of hours at the Ipswich Nature Centre, we headed over to the Environmental Centre, right next door to the Queen's Park Cafe.

The Environmental Centre is a smallish building situated at the top of Queen's Park. There were a few touchy feely tables out with various items from nature. The children loved these.

A nice collection of birds nests, eggs and snake skins are kept behind glass in this cabinet.

However there was at least one birds nest they could pick up and inspect more closely.

The centre offers an array of brochures covering many environmental issues within Ipswich. There were also flyers showing off things to do around Ipswich, including many great looking walking trails.

The back corner was complete with children's tables and chairs and an abundance of nature inspired colouring pages.

We took the opportunity to wander through the Nature Centre whilst waiting for our lunch to be prepared at the next door cafe.

A word of note, take your own lunch with you and have a picnic, unless of course you are happy to pay nearly $50 for a few basic sandwiches and a couple of drinks.Both my mum and my jaws nearly hit the floor when the cashier gave me the total of our bill......definitely the only downside to our day.

We visited the Ipswich Nature Centre earlier in the day, you can read about that here.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Ipswich Nature Centre

Things to do in and around Ipswich seem to be the talk of the town at the moment. Everywhere I turn someone mentions something great to do in Ipswich. So I figured it was about time we ventured over to that neck of woods, again.

We took my mum with us, its' been a while since we have spent an entire day together, something we must do more often :-)

Our last visit was quite some time ago and we spent our entire time in the Art Gallery. Oh hang on, we have been to the Train Museum a few times also.

The Ipswich Nature Centre far exceeded all of our expectations.

Actually I should probably reword that as I planned this day with no expectations, something I've been working on for awhile now. Removing expectations funnily enough also removes the feeling of disappointment, we often have when our expectations are not met.

If only we could enter a situation with no expectations at all. Reducing expectations gives us the opportunity for our hearts and minds to be truly open and so we often find ourselves pleasantly surprised by the experience at hand.

This particular day is true testament of this.

The Nature Centre is located in central Ipswich, within the Queens Garden precinct. Parking is plentiful, though I would expect it to be an extremely popular destination on weekends and school holidays. Entry to the Nature Centre is free. At the gate they have a donation box, every penny placed in that box is well worth it.

Australian wildlife abounds here, in these gorgeous, well kept gardens.

Extensive board walks elevate the visitor from the ground, giving a superb view of the encompassing wildlife enclosures.

Lego Lover and Princess Girl delighted in pushing little Surfer Dude around in his pram. Surfer Dude of course obliged, why walk when you can be pushed! As you can see, they've gone off ahead to see what surprises were in store for us.

I know most three year old's don't want anything to do with their pram/stroller, however Surfer Dude has never been made to stay in his, riding in it has always been his choice. Up until he began to walk he was always in a sling (or carried) and even after walking took hold he enjoyed being carried. Our stroller was there as an option on outings where we felt that it may be of use. It has never been a place where he was made to stay seated and strapped in.

The freedom of this and utilising the stroller as a true tool and not a neccessity is surely why he loves to 'ride' in his stroller on occassions like today.

The wildlife enclosures themselves were extremely well maintained and built to a very high standard. With every turn we continued to be impressed with the quality of the Nature Centre. This little Quoll caught Surfer Dude's attention.

Oh such is the life of a wombat, sleeping the day away.

The turtles are in the process of shedding, a new experience for us to witness.

An abundance of wildlife also calls the Nature Centre home. A sure sign that even the caged animals here are happy.

Baby water dragons soaked up the warmth of the sun.

Looking back over one portion of the gardens, beautifully maintained. A pleasure to wander through. Ipswicher's should certainly be very proud of this place.

Further towards the back of the centre they have a good sized Ampitheatre where we were all intrigued by the mosaic work that was intwined within this structure.

A terrible photo, but it's not often that I get the opportunity of being in them with the children, the sun was glaring in our eyes.

The centre also houses a small farm area with your regular baby farm animals, pigs, calves, chickens, guinea pigs etc According to a small sign hanging in the area they also have regular feeding sessions where the children can get up close and personal with the animals.

The Nature Centre can be found at Queens Park, Milford Street, Ipswich.

Opening Hours
Tuesday to Sunday: 9.30am to 4.00pm
Public Holidays: 9.30am to 4.00pm
School Holidays: 9.30am to 4.00pm, 7 days a week. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Homeschooling Meme

Two weeks break, not quite what I had planned, but well worth it none the less. Prior to my break April tagged me in a homeschooling meme that has been doing the rounds.

1) One homeschooling book you have enjoyed.

Gee it's been so long since I've read a homeschooling book I'm not even sure I can answer that........ok I just checked my shelves. I know in my early days Beverley Paine's Getting Started with Home Schooling and Learning Without School really helped me settle into things.oops that was two books ;-)

2) One resource you wouldn't be without.

Do I even need to answer that? The computer of course!

3) One resource you wish you had never bought.

In all honesty I have utilised something from most things I have purchased. If I had to list something I would say Peak with Books, simply because FIAR is far better for our needs.

4) One resource you enjoyed last year.

Math U See is definitely a staple in our home. Great program!

5) One resource you will be using next year.

No idea lol! Next year is still a long way off for me. We are also very much teetering on a more child led approach (have been all year) with a montessori influence so I can't really answer that one at the moment. We are open to all possibilities :-)

6) One resource you wish existed.

I am going to steal April's thoughts on this. A regular home schoolers Conference, with Curriculum displays and second hand stalls right here in Brisbane, thank you very much.

7) One resource you would like to buy.

To be honest I have stopped looking at resources, we have a.l.o.t however a full cd rom from either Montessori Print Shop or Montessori For Everyone would be a fabulous addition to our homeschool!!

8) One homeschooling website you visit regularly.

Well of course I would have to say Connecting Queensland Home Schoolers.

9) One homeschool catalogue you enjoy reading.

lol I wouldn't call it reading perse, but the Rainbow Resource catalogue is one huge compilation and a great place to start if you are looking for something in particular.

10) Tag other homeschoolers

ok I could really get carried away here, however I'll try to be good ;-)

Sound Schooling
Life's Little Distractions
Mumma of 4 Boys
My Cup Is Full & Overflowing
Towards The Sun
Tired Need Sleep
The Homeschool Den
Adventures In Mommydom

Ok that was kinda fun! Thanks April. :-) Looking forward to seeing your responses to this.

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