Friday, December 11, 2009

Schools Out

Another school year over. Where does the time go? Are we really finished yet another year of school?

K had her kindy graduation day today. A bittersweet moment for both of us. She struggled greatly with the transition of going to kindy at the beginning of the year and I struggled with that too. Seeing my baby girl terribly upset when I left her every time was not easy to deal with and often wondered why on earth I was doing it. Especially since I knew that she wouldn't be going to school. I struggled alot with sending her to kindy and if I should have really bothered.

She has definitely grown alot this year, although it is very hard to say how much kindy has had to do with that. Obviously there are some deifinite positives to going to kindy, some of which include, interaction with other adults, other children (although that may not always be as desirable as what one thinks!!) being able to make lots of mess, working with/alongside peers and probably a few others that I have forgotten to mention.

However, as homeschoolers, I strongly believe that if you are active within a homeschool group, your kindy aged/preschool child has lots of time to play with friends, lots of unstructured craft time, lots of time singing and reading then kindy really isn't worth it.(in my opinion anyway)

K and I have talked today about kindy and how the year went for her, she is sad to see it end but does remember all too well how hard it was for her to go alone with out mum near by. In 3 years time I'll have struggle with this all over again, when I make the decision if I will send C along to kindy or not?

Today, K and her kindy friends played lots of party games and they had a special visitor stop by for a while. K really isn't so sure of this guy, even though he was handing out lollies she still really didn't want to go near him. Can you blame her?

Each child also had their special moment in the spotlight. Where the teachers read out a little piece about the things the child had accomplished through the year. They were given a portfolio, that had had a tremendous amount of work put into it and a small gift. It was a nice way to end the year.

Our homeschool group had a casual year end gathering a week ago down by the bay, cool breezes, good friends, some party food and fun....what more could you want! I have no photo's as I didn't take any, just enoyed the time that day.

A couple of weeks ago we had our very first family picnic. This was a fabulous day! We are so blessed to be part of such a great bunch of people. We have all become really close friends, this year has definitely been very kind to us in that way. We never would have thought that this time last year we would have had the dear friends that we have today.

Great spot, at the waters edge under a shady tree. It was so nice to have all of the dad's there with us.

Most of the kids (some are off swimming) posing and being silly. I'll be honest and say that my kids having friends was a big a worry for me in regards to homeschooling. We are a social bunch and love our friends and don't believe in keeping to ourselves, our friends are a very important part of our life. So obviously I am ecstatic that my kids have great friends, friends that we want to spend time with outside of group activities and friends that I also want to spend time with YAY! Love you guys heaps :)

So that's it, the end of the 2009 school year. We are officially on summer break (ps for 6 weeks) so whilst my posting about school activities will be little to none over the next few weeks we'll still be very busy, busy learning, busy having fun and busy enjoying life.

Check out what others have gotten up over at The Preschool Corner and Homeschool Highlight Reel.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

It's My Blog and I'll Do It My Way

Ok if you just read my earlier post you know what this is all about. If not you'd better have a quick read and make sure you hop on over to the Snail's Trail as well and read Momma Snail's post about Getting Real In The Blogging World!

This inspired me to make a little button. Nothing fancy (button making is not my forte) but a button none the less. I figured that to always have it there in my sidebar glaring at me should hopefully remind me to keep it real. To keep the blogging in perspective, to not get carried away. I guess I figured I could kinda use a little help in that way. What about you? Need some help? Then you could always grab the code and put one in your sidebar too, it might just help! :) :)

Bloggers and the Blogosphere - It's my blog and I'll do it my way!!!

I've had part of this sitting in my draft posts for awhile now and Momma Snail has given me the nudge I needed to finish it and put it out there.

What's the go with the bloggers leaving blog land of late? They've been dropping like flies. Everywhere I look there's yet another post about someone leaving their blog or opting out of their regular meme's or taking 'blogging vacations'.

Is it just the time of year, when everyone feels the pinch for time. Or is it just the pressure that we women folk place upon oursleves to always please others?

We start out with all good intentions, the blogging is fun, we meet some wonderful people out there in the blogosphere. Other women, mum's, just like us. Mum's with talent and really cool ideas, ideas they are happy to share with us. Blogging is fun, it connects us with other like minded people, or at least we think it does.

We're taking photo's of every little thing, we're doing projects with our kids because they'll be cool to blog about. We're 'thinking' of topics to blog about, what do our readers want to see/read? We're scheduling posts here there and everywhere.

We're watching our followers list grow and we're joining in with loads of other mum bloggers meme's, so that we might get a few more followers on our blogs!

Then all of sudden, sometimes it seems to be overnight, for others it happens gradually, the blog becomes a chore, a place of promises made that maybe we just can't or no longer want to keep. A place that more and more takes us away from our family, our children, our husband and our life....our real life.

Blogging isn't real life!

It needs to be kept in perspective. One's blog can quickly and easily creep up on you and before you know it it has taken over your life and your online blog friends are becoming more important than your real life friends and family. The need to keep up your posts so you don't lose readers is always on your mind and it is becoming bothersome.

Why? Why do we do this to ourselves. Keeping a blog is and can be a wonderful way to document one's journey (wherever they might be headed), to share with others, to learn from others, why do we insist on making it a chore?

Really how is it going to affect our real everday lives if we lose a reader here and there? What's going to happen to us if we don't commnet for a while on blogs we normally comment on? I mean really? Or what if we miss a week or two of a meme we take part in simply because for once we couldn't be bothered to take any photo's or we just wanted to enjoy the day with the kids without the worry of the camera.

Is it really all that bad?

Are our readers really not going to forgive us for that? If that were the case are those the sorts of people you would call a friend anyway?

For most of us when we started our blog it was for us, for a fun way to document what we get up to. It was a bonus that we could also log on and see what everyone else was getting up to too and even bigger bonus that we gleened some really neat ideas from other mums out there in the blogsphere.

Somewhere along the path of the blogging journey it stopped being about that. It stopped being an online journal, a diary, a record and started becoming a real live reality blog show ('cept we only show the perfect bits of our lives), where we were more concerned about our readers than anything else.

Yes your readers have some importance, but who is your blog for? Ask yourself that question. Who do you keep the blog for? I am sure that once you sit down and ponder this thought for a moment you'll quickly realise your answer.

Please hop on over and read this post by Momma Snail about keeping your blogging real, she has a way with words!

And remember - It's my blog and I'll do it my way!!!!! Are you singing it now? huh are you? LOL!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Free Printable: Christmas Patterning

My latest printable is for the younger ones amongst us.

Christmas Patterning!

This was way more time consuming than I had originally anticipated. I did have plans to have the page you see here, plus a page of religious symbols and one of more generic Christmas symbols. All of that resizing and cutting and pasting got the better of me so I only have the one sheet. Plus plenty of small graphics to use with the patterning sheets. Maybe next year I'll come back and add a page or two to the document.

For now I hope you can still put this too good use. I will be printing, cutting my strips into seperate pieces and laminating mine. You could however just glue the pieces straight onto the strips.

Please let me know what you think!

Download this file here.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Christmas Fun 2009: Snowmen, Cooking, Trees & More

Welcome to Week 3 of our Christmas Fun 2009 Linky. I can't wait to see all of the fun Christmas things everyone gets up to over the coming weeks. To join in with the linky just link here to this post from your Christmas Fun Blog Post and don't forget to come back and add your link into the McLinky field at the bottom of this post.

Although not required, but it would be nice to see around the place, is the code for the Christmas Fun Button over there in the right side bar."

We took a drive into the city this past week to view the gigantic Christmas Tree they display every year. This was the first year we've seen it so the kids couldn't believe their eyes. We hope to make this part of our annual Christmas Traditions.

Not such a great photo but a family shot none the less. :)

We also strolled up the mall to have a peek at the Christmas window displays that Myer (department store) puts up every year.

This year the theme was, Olivia Helps With Christmas.

We knew that that large tree would truly come to life after dark so everyone was pretty eager to see it. This photo does nothing to show how magical it looked, but it was stunning, completely lit up and solar powered too!!

Thought it was about time we started some Christmas Cooking. We try to start with something super easy and super yummy as it always gets the kids extra excited to try the other recipes out.

First up a simple sugar cookie recipe.


* 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
* 2 cups white sugar
* 4 eggs
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 5 cups all-purpose flour
* 2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1 teaspoon salt


1. In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).
2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
3. Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely. This recipe thanks to All Recipes

We decorated them with a simple icing sugar mixture and some sprinkles.

The blue bowl was the wrong colour choice for a photo, ah well, not going to move them just to get a better shot hehehe.

I've opted out of putting up our extra large tree this year. With a 16 month old baby in the house I just didn't feel that it was worth the stress. I don't believe in not allowing little ones to touch and feel things and obviously the tree and all of its decorations would have been off limits.

Not to mention that I had many a flashing before my eyes of the tree ending up on top of C with him caught underneath that I just felt it was safer, kinder and easier to go without this year.

We have the small advent tree that we will start adding decorations too once some of the gift bags are removed.

K and I decided we would make our own backyard, stick tree. Ok this isn't definitely for everyone, but I really like it. We are lucky enough to live on a decent sized piece of land that has lots of gum trees, so finding a 'stick' that was suitable took no time at all. We shredded the dead leaves and gave it a spray of silver paint.

Popped it in a pot of sand and rocks and it is now on display on our Christmas table. There's still lots of room on it too continue to add the kids homemade decorations, which really are so much nicer than the store bought ones anyway, don't you think?!

K made this sweet little decoration at kindy this week too. A coloured picture of baby Jesus and craft sticks glued together, sweet and simple.

I keep forgetting to share some of our books too but I've included a couple this time around.

Rocking Horse Christmas by Mary Pope Osborne, is the touching story of a rocking horse and how he is passed from one generation to the next.

Dashing Through The Sand is a funny look at Santa's travels around Australia.

The following recipe is from a freebie supermarket magazine.

White Christmas Crackles

2 cups Rice Bubbles
50g butter
1 cup white marshmallows
30g white chocolate melts, melted (I think you need a little more than 30g)
20 jaffas (we used christmas m & m's)
mini patty cases


Place rice bubbles in a large bowl. Combine butter and marshmallows in a small saucepan and melt over low heat until smooth. Pour onto rice bubbles and stir to combine.

Spoon mixture into mini patty cases and leave to set for about 20 minutes.

Spoon white chocolate over the crackles and place a Jaffa on top of each one. Leave to set.

I saw this idea here and thought it was very cute and another relatively indpendent craft (do you get the feeling I like those type, I can set them up and off they go)

For this though we used Craft Foam Sheets that I cut into strips. The kids first painted a wash on a piece of A4 white card and then set about laying down the pieces of the tree. I gave them some glitter glue (other sparkles which they chose not to use) and the off cuts (thinking they could possibly add gifts under the tree).

I am so impressed with how these turned out they look great on the wall in our Christmas Display area. Can you see the little face on K's tree trunk? She went a bit wild with her glue but that's what you get for leaving a 5 year old that loves glitter working freely on her own!

Every year the kids Grandma makes them a Advent Calendar (aren't they lucky). For the first years she made a new and different one each time but over the last couple of years has settled on a simpler reuseable design.

It is simply circles of fabric, with a little trinket or chocolate inside (she had to fit 3 in each this year) tied with ribbon and a cardboard circular number for the countdown.

This year K added all of the bags to the tree herself. (with a little of my help) Every year whoever is awake first sits very impatiently waiting for the other to get up so they can open the next one on the tree. It only took C 3 mornings to work out that he got something inside those things and he was also right there beside them waiting for his little goodie too!

The kids had another Art Class this week with our Home School Network. We asked for a Christmas feel this time.

Snowmen and Perspective

Oil Pastels
A3 Sketch Paper

Step 1: Start by folding the sheet of paper 5 times horizontally. The top section is for the Snowman's Hat, then as you move down the paper you add a circle of sorts for each part of his body, making them larger as you go. The last (bottom) section is for the land (grass, snow whatever you choose).

Be sure to make your snowman quite big and have him going off the edge of the page a little, you want him to be right there with you once you're done.

Younger artists may need the help of a template to trace around for this step.

Step 2: Using a sponge add the background colour, making sure not to cover over your snowman.

Step 3: Using either the back of your paint brush or a Q Tip add dots of white acrylic for falling snow.

Step 4: Then it's time to decorate and complete your snowman. Add lots of vibrant colours for his hat out of Oil Pastels. Maybe some buttons and an extra special nose.

Step 5: Optional but does look really cute. A Christmas Tree added to the horizon line far off in the distance.

You can either add green oil pastel/paint for grass or leave the bottom section white for snow.

The kids loved how these turned out and so do I.

These art classes have been so much and I love that in the one class we have children between the ages of 5 and 13, all working on the same project all very different results. We are really looking forward to more art classes next year.

What Christmas Fun have you been up to this week?

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Great Litter Hunt Winners

And the winners are

Elise and artsy momma. My son did the drawing this time so you can thank him.

Please contact me ladies so we can organise the postage of your book.

Thanks again to everyone, looking forward to the next milestone so I can have a couple of little giveaways!!!

Friday, December 4, 2009

My Free Printable Materials

I'm going to start gathering links to my printables all here in one place. It seems easier to start this now (when I only have a few printables) rather than come back and do at a later date.

Links to all of my printable material is below the Terms Of Use, thank you for taking the time to read the terms.

Terms Of Use For Our Worldwide Classrooms Free Printable Materials

I enjoy creating materials for my children to use and happily share them on Our Worldwide Classroom free of charge.

There however a few points that I do feel necessary to make regarding the use of my materials.

Please do not:

• Store or host any of my resources in any electronic retrieval system or any other website of any description.
• Sell the files for a profit, that also includes printing, laminating and selling.
• I believe what goes around comes around and I give these freely with that thought in mind.

You are however more than welcome to:

• Link to my blog, or particular blog post, using a standard text only link or with my button. The html code for this is in my sidebar. If you wish to use an image of one of my files on your site please contact me first.
• Save the downloaded files on your personal computer to print copies off for your use only.
If you have any questions at all about these terms or about our materials please feel free to contact me via email.

Thank you for taking the time to read these terms and for abiding by them. I hope you enjoy the materials.

All of the downloads on this blog and the blog contents are copyright of Our Worldwide Classroom © 2009. All rights reserved.


Christmas Patterning
3 Part Vocabulary Cards
Number Sequencing Cards
Christmas What Is It Cards
Letter To Santa Writing Paper

Active Alphabet Winners

My daughter did this draw (after I wrote all the entires out and checked we had the correct number of entries per person) she loves doing little giveaways so I new she would enjoy it when it was for real.

And now for the big announcement ;-)

Drum Roll Please.........
The 1st Winner is Adriana
The 2nd Winner is Nicole, Tired Need Sleep

Ladies please contact me to arrange postage of your Active Alphabet Packs.

Thanks so much for everyone that entered this it was fun, I definitely can't wait to do it again.

There's still time to enter the 2nd part of the giveaway. This one is for slightly older kids but you can always pop it on the shelf for later. Check it out here >>>

Thursday, December 3, 2009

100 Posts Giveaway Part 2: Blatto & Lu's Big Day Out

Part 2 of our 100 Posts Giveaway is 2 copies of The Great Litter Hunt. Blatto and Lu's Big Day Out!

Blatto and Lu are Woopits and just love that all of the humans are going around dumping litter and turning all of the streets, drains and bays into one big grotto!

This comic/story book will get your kids thinking about litter and where it goes.

I have 2 copies of this book to giveaway. To enter the giveaway please adhere to the following guidelines:

  • 1 entry for leaving a comment stating that you wish to enter the giveaway
  • 1 entry for following my blog (you must leave a seperate comment letting me know)
  • 1 entry if you have my blog button in your side bar (you must leave a seperate comment letting me know)
  • 1 entry if you blog about this giveaway and link back to this post (you must leave a seperate comment letting me know)

The Great Litter Hunt Giveaway will close on the evening of Saturday 5th December (AEST)

The 2 winners will be announced within 24 hours of closing. All entries must check back in here to see if they have won as the winners will need to contact me to arrange the shipping of your Great Litter Hunt Book.

Thanks for entering and spreading the word about our giveaway, good luck!

PS Sorry about the poor photo quality, it's raining and overcast and I just can't get a decent shot.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Free Printable: Christmas Number Sequencing

Here's my latest free printable, 2 sets of Christmas themed number sequencing cards.

There are 2 different designs and both sets go up to 20, just print, cut and laminate, simple.

Go here to print a copy.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

100 Posts Giveaway: Active Alphabet

This giveaway is now closed.

Our very first giveaway to celebrate reaching 100 posts!!!

Active Alphabet is a board book for young children all about the alphabet and getting active. It is full lots of animals doing funny 'active' things. The book encourages the children to join in with the active fun.

The parent guide, also included covers the Alphabet from A - Z with all sorts of fun activities to help you get your little ones active.

I have 2 copies of this set to giveaway. To enter the giveaway please adhere to the following guidelines:

  • 1 entry for leaving a comment stating that you wish to enter the giveaway
  • 1 entry for following my blog (you must leave a seperate comment letting me know)
  • 1 entry if you have my blog button in your side bar (you must leave a seperate comment letting me know)
  • 1 entry if you blog about this giveaway and link back to this post (you must leave a seperate comment letting me know)

The Active Alphabet Giveaway will close on the evening of Thursday 3rd December (AEST)

The 2 winners will be announced within 24 hours of closing. All entries must check back in here to see if they have won as the winners will need to contact me to arrange the shipping of your Active Alphabet Pack.

Thanks for entering and spreading the word about our giveaway, good luck!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Christmas Fun 2009: Foam Trees and Other Fun

"Welcome to Week 2 of our Christmas Fun 2009 Linky. I can't wait to see all of the fun Christmas things everyone gets up to over the coming weeks. To join in with the linky just link here to this post from your Christmas Fun Blog Post and don't forget to come back and add your link into the McLinky field at the bottom of this post.

Although not required, but it would be nice to see around the place, is the code for the Christmas Fun Button over there in the right side bar."

We didn't actually get in as much crafting this week as I would have liked but we were busy with other things. I guess there's still plenty of time left before Christmas isn't there!

The crafting highlight was definitely these,

Yet again another super simple craft that looks fabulous when finished, Craft Foam Christmas Trees.


Craft Foam
Paper (to make template)
Cardboard Rolls
Glitter Glue
Christmas Sparkles/Decorations

I just grabbed a piece of white paper and cut it to the size of my craft foam and then hand drew a Christmas Tree on it. I traced around that template onto the craft foam and cut it out so they were ready to decorate for the kids.

The decoration supplies were pretty simple as well, glitter glue in Christmas colours and some sparkle of some description.

And they were off, decorating to their hearts content. Adding a star here, an angel there and a candy cane here.

Once they were all done I just used masking tape to adhere them to a cardboard roll, you could also use glue. Or why not hang them from a garland!

This miniature forest of Christmas Trees looks great on our Christmas display table.

K did this Dot Marker Santa page. This is her first time using dot markers (I know very sad) and she had a ball. I got the page from Making Learning Fun.

I found these "Search For A Santa" activity pages in a book store a couple of weeks ago. Kinda like a Where's Wally type thing but the one page can be used twice, first by the younger kids (pre readers/early readers) and then by the older kids. Brilliant, now that's value for money!

Across the top of the page it has the pictures (with words) of what needs to be found and then down the side it has a long check list of items.

This one has grand plans but I am not sure if it will actually take shape. The kids are pin punching out each letter of MERRY CHRISTMAS, they will then decorate them with sparkles and hang them on a garland. It is a big job though, that pin punching (embossing tool punching in our case hehehe) takes a while so I'm not sure if this one will beat them. Maybe I've printed the letters too large?

We got an area in the dining/family room ready for our Christmas display table, added our Wreaths from last week, our Christmas Trees from this week and set up our Nativity. It's still looking a little bare so we need to get in some good fun crafting this week.

The highlight of or week hands down was K's Nativity Concert at kindy. She's quite shy so we really weren't sure how she would cope with this but she did a wonderful job. It took her a while to smile up on stage but she got the hang of it and thoroughly enjoyed her time in the spotlight.

She's even saying she would like to do some more things on the stage now!

Christmas is quickly approaching, there's always so much to do. Time to check my supplies box for what fun things we'll create this week. We gathered some pine cones from Nan's during the week and are hoping to find some gumnuts at Grandma's so we can also create with nature.

What kinds of Christmas Fun did you have this week?

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