Sunday, February 26, 2012

NBTS Blog Hop - Day In Our Life

This, our final week of the hop. I hope you've had fun, made some new connections and found like minded others. A huge thank you to all of you that participated and helped to spread the word.

So this week is a day in our life, please forgive me there are no photo's for my post, ran out of time.

Woken by kisses on my face from a gorgeous 3 year old
Restless night with him still being unwell.....someone give me a coffee already
Can't believe how dark it is in the bedroom, thinking it's only 5:30am
Aha! It's raining outside.

Biggens still snoozin
Time to go stare at the computer screen for a bit ;-)
Emails . check. blogs . check . forum . check. fb . check . posts scheduled - working on it

Lego Lover stumbles out of bed
He's fairly chipper in the mornings
However he enjoys a spot of kiddie cartoons with his little brother

Little Surfer Dude is ready for play, out come his Automoblox.
Fabulous wooden, snap together building mobiles
Expensive, wishing we could get more
Thankful I found the two we have for half price

Lego Lover is, well, playing with Lego
Constructing, Designing, Creating

Tummies rumble
Now the day really begins

Chores, interspersed with play
Last minute printing for the day

Both boys at the table
Math for Lego Lover
Tot Notebook for Little Surfer Dude
Fairy Princess was up in the night, she sleeps

Fairy Princess wakes
Takes some time for quiet independent play
Washing Machine whirring

Read Aloud for Lego Lover - Usborne Story of Ships

All three at the table, oops one's gone already
Phonics & Reading Practice for Fairy Princess
Fresh juice for everyone (apple, carrot, orange, baby spinach)
A few short stories for the 3 year old, then he's off playing

Washing Machine whirring again
Dryer tumbling (it's raining)
Dishwasher, washing
Little Surfer Dude washing plastics
Water everywhere!
Fairy Princess has a moment of rebellion,
Sent to her room to think about her words & actions
Lego Lover finishes grammar

Boys are building a block zoo
Fairy Princess & I work together
She is smiling & laughing
I remind myself yet again,
That right now she needs my undivided attention to succeed with her daily work

Together we read our current 'row'
The Ballad of Skip & Nell
Lego Lover makes a list of places visited
Fairy Princess finds the matching animal cards when they appear in the story
Little Surfer Dude matches animal figurines with the cards
Together we add in the remainder of the 3 part cards
Vocabulary building for Little Surfer Dude
Word Recognition for Fairy Princess
Spelling for Lego Lover

Lego Lover instigates an art activity
Sketching the Frilled Neck Lizard in the story
Finishing them with Oil Pastels

Lunch being prepared whilst they work

Riding scooters on the deck,
Enjoying the slight break in the rain
Wishing the damn phone would stop ringing during our school day!

Here comes the rain!
Little Surfer Dude resting
Biggin's finishing off their art
Fairy Princess begins drying out rose petals

Little Surfer Dude braves the weather to play in the sand pit (underneath the cubby)
Fairy Princess begins work on her creation with left over paper from a bunch of flowers
Lego Lover continues with the Frilled neck Lizard project
I make a start on prepping the next art activity based on The Ballad of Skip & Nell

 Begged by all 3 kids to begin the art project I was in the middle of prepping
I'm not ready!!!!
We start anyway ;-)

I'm exhausted, this has been a big day for me in regards to input,
Seeing to everyone's needs, sorting out disputes, assisting with projects
All whilst being stuck indoors due to the weather
I suggest some downtime in front of the box, since it's raining outside
Now to tackle the enormous mess

What about you? How was your day?

Please add your link below.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Australian States Printable

These have been available on my Printables page for some time, however I received a message letting me know that I had accidentally uploaded the publisher file instead of a the PDF, making it more difficult for some people to grab these.

I have since rectified that, please visit this link to download a copy of these 3 part cards.

If you have never used 3 part cards before and are wondering what on earth you do with them, the following may assist:

How To Present 3 Part Cards Video

5 Ways To Use 3 Part Cards

Sunday, February 19, 2012

NBTS Blog Hop - Learning Spaces

Wow where has this week gone! I can't believe I haven't posted once since last Sunday!

I have however enjoyed reading all of the fun things you will be getting up to this year, thanks so much for sharing :-)

This week, it's all about learning spaces. So no matter where that is for you, it's time to share some of your world with us.

The kitchen table, front porch, trampoline or dedicated room? I am sure most of you are like us, in that you utilise your entire home.

We have a space (even though we don't always use it) and it really hasn't changed at all since last year, so I will direct you to that post, which includes several images.

Please add your post to the link below.

On a side note. I have had a suggestion to consider a Weekly/Monthly Wrap Up Meme (linky) for us Aussies. I feel that weekly may be more than I am able to commit to but Monthly is possibly doable.

Is this something that you may interested in? Do you already post 'wrap up style posts' on your blog, whether weekly or monthly?

Anyway, let me know what you think :-)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

NBTS Blog Hop - Our Plans For The Year

This year we've decided to focus on our own Country as much as possible.

So what does that mean for our curriculum plans?

We will still complete our Language Arts and Maths work as per usual. All of our other 'subjects' will be covered via an all Australian focus.

We kicked off our year celebrating Australia Day with a mini printable unit that gave a quick overview of the meaning behind Australia Day.

There is so much we could cover that at times it was hard to know where to even start, history seemed like a good place to anchor everything else to.
Finding a great Australian History spine isn't the easiest, we simply don't have a huge selection to choose from.

I've chosen to use Our Sunburnt Country, which can be purchased from Homeschooling Down Under.

As we read each chapter we will stay awhile, take up any interests, follow any rabbit trails and simply see where things take us. My hope is that the children will direct much of the learning that takes place around this great country of ours.

I have also purchased The Wonderland of Nature and have been fortunate enough to pick up some fabulous Australian nature stories from past Lifeline Bookfests, that will help us along our way.

Where suitable I will put together printable activities and of course will share them all with you. I know how far and few between free Australian resources are!

Ok, so what about the basics?

Lego Lover - 10 years old

Language Arts

  •            Drawn Into The Heart Of Reading Program
  • ·         Book Reports for Australian Unit Study
  • ·         Daily Independent & Read Aloud
  •           Copywork

  • ·         All About Spelling

  • ·         Institute of Excellence in Writing Program
  • ·         Daily Journal
  • ·         Copywork
  • ·         Use of Writing Centre  – Poetry, Letters, Notes, Cards, Scrapbooking

  • ·         Grammar Once A Week (still undecided on a formal Grammar Program, so for now this is it)

  • ·         Mathletics Online
  • ·         Math U See 
  • ·         Maths Online
  • ·         Qld Targeting Maths
  • ·         Times Attack Online Game
  • ·         Other games where appropriate
Mavis Beacon Typing is a new addition for the year.

The Arts

  • Private Art Classes
  • Musical Theatre
  • Dance Tuition
  • Ukulele
  • Keyboarding with Grandad

    Fairy Princess - 7 years old

    Language Arts

    • ·         Explode The Code
    • ·         Montessori Pink/Blue Series Works
    • ·         Fitzroy Reading Program
     Sight Words:
    • ·         On Track Reading Sight Word Program and Readers

    • ·         Copywork

    • ·         All About Spelling 

    • ·         Use of Writing Centre  – Poetry, Letters, Notes, Cards, Scrapbooking
    • ·         Copywork
    • ·         Daily Journal

    • ·         As part of Fitzroy Reading Program

    • ·         Maths Online Subscription
    • ·         Math U See
    • ·         Qld Targeting Maths
    • ·         Montessori Math Activities
    • ·         Math Games
    • ·         Australian Money
    Mavis Beacon Typing is a new addition for the year

    The Arts
    • Private Art Classes
    • Musical Theatre
    • Dance Tuition
    • Ukulele

      Little Surfer Dude - 3 years old

      His Montessori inspired shelves are being brought back to life!

      I have also been planing some Picture Book Units that we can all do together, on our Australian theme.

      He is participating in our Home school network Junior Sports Program and loving it.

      Plus the myriad of things that the average 3 year old gets up to on a daily basis.

      The children also attend regular Extra Curricular days with our registered school, which they love immensely and get a great deal out of. All subject areas are covered during these days with a strong emphasis on the Performing Arts.


      What about you? What are your plans for the year? Join us in the all Aussie Not Back To School Blog Hop and share your stories. Grab the button and spread the word.

      Our Worldwide Classroom

      A big thank you to those of you that linked up last week, it was lovely meet all of your children.

      Add your plans for the year to the list below.

        Saturday, February 11, 2012

        Nanoblocks - Micro Building Blocks - Have You Seen These?

        On a recent visit to the Art Gallery we decided to have a browse through their store and stumbled across a small display of what appeared to be, mini Lego blocks.

        Mini Lego Blocks!!! Yes, well no, not exactly.

        They are a Japanese invention - Nanoblocks - to be exact.

        These things are tiny. The smallest bricks are just 4mm x 4mm. Have a look in the picture. We've placed a regular 4 x 4 grey lego brick in it with a similar green  Nanoblocks version sitting on top, wow!

        The premise being that due to the minute size, the end product of the creations built with Nano blocks are much more realistic.

        At this stage there doesn't appear to be a huge range available. Lego Lover chose the Red & Green Macaw with stand. The instructions were easy to follow he put this together effortlessly, whilst relenting how very small the pieces were!! The completed Macaw is only about 5cms in height.

        Yes he's already making lists of some of the other designs that he would like to acquire.

        If you are in Australia, check out BLOCKSHOP, in the USA, My Nano Block

        It looks like we have another creative construction outlet to add to the 'brick addiction' around here ;-)

        Disclosure: I purchased our pack of Nanoblocks and have not been compensated in any way for this post.

        Wednesday, February 8, 2012

        New Linky Followers Blog Widget

        Have you all seen the new widget available for your blogs and your blog followers?

        This has been developed by the awesome Linky Tools developers, that I use and love for all of my link lists here on the blog.

        I am a huge Google Friends Connect user. I just haven't been able to go across to a reader for some strange reason. I like having blog updates here in my dashboard, I also enjoy clicking over and reading directly from the blog. I dislike that readers take that away from us somewhat.

        So I am guessing most of you know that GFC is being removed for non blogger blogs and the word is that it may go all together, forcing everyone to use Google+

        This is where Linky Followers comes into play. It works very much like GFC, just sign up to Linky Followers, add the widget to your blog and start following.

        Can you see mine over there -----------> It's the empty looking one with not many friends :-(

        Please take a quick moment to click Follow Me in the Linky Tools widget.

        Sunday, February 5, 2012

        NBTS Blog Hop - Meet The Students

        As I sit here reflecting on this same post from last year I am truly amazed at the growth, experiences and changes that these three beautiful people have undergone during the previous 12 months.

        We haven't had the opportunity to take 'real' new year photographs yet so I've had to make do with some recent Christmas snaps. I assure you though, the children have not changed in the six weeks since Christmas, well not much anyway!

        We are half way through our fifth homeschooling year and finally things just feel normal to us. There's no worries about socialisation, missing out or any of the other ridiculous statements I often hear coming from non homeschooling families.

        Life is good and we know how blessed we are to be able to provide this life for our children.

        Since last year I have given the children a blog alias. I was tired of referring to them by their ages ;-)

        Allow me to introduce Lego Lover, he is 10 years old. 

        Physically he has changed quite dramatically from last year. Just looking at the photo from back then he still has remnants of chubby toddler cheeks. Not any more. He's thinned out and shot up and has definitely entered, what we now refer to as the tween years! Oh my goodness, did I just say that!! In just a few short years we are going to have a teenager on our hands.

        Lego Lover is still the same energetic, caring, fun loving boy that I introduced you to last year. His passion for singing and dancing has taken all of us by storm. As a youngster he was such a shy little thing, and whilst he can still be reserved and is certainly no where close to becoming an, 'in your face' kind of kid, his love of being on stage and performing is certainly growing. He is continuing with his Boys Funk class and is now also participating in Musical Theatre, where he gets to sing and dance!!

        Last year I mentioned that our main focus was on reading and instilling a love of reading. It warms my heart to see him escape within a book. He is now at the, 'devour a book in one sitting' stage. Somewhere I never really thought we would be.

        He now understands, how on earth mummy can have her nose in a book all day long and never want to put it down (I only do that on holidays by the way ;-) ) He's made connections with characters, lived their stories with them and can see the value of a great book over the 'box'.

        This year, our focus is on writing. Let's see how we get on with that goal.

        My beautiful Fairy Princess, 7 years old. Hasn't she just blossomed into a young lady.

        This photo is scary to be honest. She looks so much older than her 7 years. This is really a reminder to cherish each and every day, they sure do fly by so quickly.

        And grow this past year, she has, immensely. Not only physically but emotionally too. She is still most happy outside in nature or creating in some way shape or form. Experiencing either of these things warm her heart and soothes her soul. They ground her and keep her calm.

        It is very important that we continue to provide her with lots of these types of experiences this year.

        She too has taken to dance lessons with gusto and enjoys the thrill of being on stage. Fairy Princess wanted to tackle some different styles this year so we signed up for a few trial classes. Of course she loved them all. We have certainly entered the realm of the 'dance mum'. This year she is participating in Jazz, Contemporary and Musical Theatre.

        In the few short weeks back into schooling this year I have noticed that she is much more responsive and eager with her work. Her reading is coming along slowly but nicely. She is progressing and I am excited to see where she will be with it this time next year.

        My baby, our Little Surfer Dude, 3 years old and got to live up to his blog name this past Christmas too.

        He is cuter and more of full of life than ever!

        Ok I've just read what I posted about him last year and I have to say that every word of it still rings true. We know our family was truly blessed when he entered our lives.

        This year he is finally 'big enough' to begin participating in some of our co-op activities with our homeschool network. He's excited, but a little unsure too. Never mind mummy will be there with him every step of the way.

        He is also thrilled to bits that I've finally given him some 'real school work'. He begged for it all last year but I resisted.

        I am in the final stages of preparing our Montessori inspired work area for him again. We abandoned that for most of last year as I found it too difficult to keep on top of. However this year I feel he has matured enough to work within that environment without me having to watch every single move he makes.

        And they are my babies, my life, my everything. Looking forward to yet another year of life with these guys.


        I can't wait to meet your children. I hope you will join us for the All Aussie Not Back To School Blog Hop. All you need to do is write a post introducing your children sometime during this week and come back and link it up below.

        Be sure to link to the actual blog post not just your main blog, so this would be mine -

        Don't forget to grab a button and share it on your blog:

        Our Worldwide Classroom

        To see what's coming up next week in the Aussie NBTS Blog Hop visit this post which has all of the details.

        And now it's time for you to add your link below.

        Saturday, February 4, 2012

        An All Aussie Not Back To School Blog Hop

        All Australian children are now well and truly back in school. It's kinda customary for Homeschoolers to celebrate not going back to school, many organise park days or fun beach days since the weather is generally so beautiful.

        I thought we'd also have a little online fun.

        I am sure most of you have seen the fabulous Not Back To School Blog Hop over at the Heart of the Matter Online and if you haven't, go now and check out all of the fabulous posts linked up by bloggers.

        Since our school years run to the calendar I thought we should have our own blog hoppin' fun!

        So are you ready to join in with the all Aussie Not Back To School Blog Hop?!?

        Here's how it will work.

        Grab the button code: copy the coding below and place it on your blog side bar and/or in your NBTSD posts.This will link back to the blog hop list so everyone can see who is joining in and easily stop by to visit your posts.

        Our Worldwide Classroom

        Plan your posts: the hop will run over four weeks with a different theme to post about each week. The theme's are as follow.

        Week 1 February 5th  -  Your Students. Introduce your kiddo's to us.

        Week 2 February 12th  -  Your Curriculum. Your plans for the year, resources you will use etc.

        Week 3 February 19th  -  Your Learning Spaces. No matter where it is, kitchen table, living room floor or full blown school room.

        Week 4 February 26th  -  A Day In Your Life. These posts are so much fun to read. Be a fly on the wall in someone's homeschool day. Find out what it's really like for them.

        Each week at the end of my themed post there will be a "linky" for you to add your post to.

        So let's have some fun, time to start spreading the word about the all Aussie Not Back To School Blog Hop.

        Australian Folk Songs

        In what seems like, my never ending quest, to find Australian resources for our year, I stumbled across this little blog.

        Here you can find a whole host of traditional Australian folk songs. I haven't been able to get the Aeroplane Jelly song out of my head for days....sorry if that happens to you too ;-)

        I had no idea there was an Australian Alphabet Song. I'm yet to listen to that one but hope it is fun for the kids. Here's the first chorus or two:

        A is for Australia, the land in which we are;
        B is for the bush, my boys, which stretches near and far;
        C is for the cattle which we are paid to mind
        D is for the dingo, a treacherous brute you'll find.

        So, my Australian brothers, I hope that you will see
        Signs of the times in our A B C.

        E is for the eagle hawk, which plays havoc with our flocks;
        F is for that little wretch - I mean the flying fox;
        G is for the gray-flyer, a kind of kangaroo;
        H is for the horse, my boys, we all have one or two.

        I have a feeling we could get quite stuck on this little blog. I hope you enjoy it!

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