Tuesday, January 22, 2013

World Wide Wanderings: Japan Wrap Up

We wrapped up our Japan Unit by all coming together to complete the lapbooks with all of the little bits and pieces the kids had been working on.

Designing the covers for their lapbooks. The only requirement here was that the cover image at least had to relate to Japan in some way. They ended up with maps, some Mt Fuji scenes, sushi, flags and carp fish.

Most of the kids have never completed a lapbook before and it's been awhile for my kids too, so doing it all together was a good exercise for them.

The covers from my kids lapbooks

And the inside finished pieces. We may add a couple of photographs, especially of the crafts they did since they won't fit inside a lapbook.

Look how proud they all are of their finished work, grins from ear to ear!

For something special, we took the kids out to a sushi train, they loved it and it got them trying even more sushi varieties too!

My Japan Board on Pinterest
Mini Booklets from Homeschool Share

  • Countries Visited By Continent

              South America

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Sketch Tuesday - Robots - Our First Time

Have you seen Sketch Tuesday?

Each Tuesday a new theme is posted, everyone has a week to complete their sketches and send them in.

Just for fun! Just for the love of drawing!

We are hoping to participate this year, although it may not be every single week.

This week the theme was 'Robots'.

It's interesting to marvel at the differences and similarities between the children's drawings. The yellow robot is actually quite small,

Whereas, even though yellow in colour, this guy fills the entire page.

Delicate fingers for lots of grabbing on this robot come martian.

Visit Sketch Tuesday to see loads more!

Sketch tuesday

Friday, January 11, 2013

Easing Into 2013

With Daddy heading back to work this week, after the Christmas/New year break it seemed like a good time for us to start getting back into a routine of sorts.

Very slowly though, schools here are still on holidays for another few weeks, so whilst we actively completed something every day, things are still very relaxed around here.

Here's a glimpse of our first week of easing back into things:

I had misplaced this book, we started reading whilst we were away ages ago, but after finding it again it was decided that we would pick it up where we had left off.

We've started working through the Goops, a quaint book of manners printed sometime in the early 1900s. The kids are giggling their way through at all of the antics of the Goops though and comparing them to their own manners.

We made a start on our veggie patch and have enjoyed a small amount of planting. All 3 of them enjoy getting their hands dirty!

We wrapped up our World Wide Wanderings Japan this week too. I have a post coming on the wrap up.

Whilst studying Japan we realised that a Volcano Unit was in order. We kicked that off this week, with reading, documentaries, art activities and a few mini books.

I can't believe Valentines is looming just around the corner, everyone was keen to get started on some fun 'lovely' activities!

There was also plenty of time spent in the pool and hanging out with friends, enjoying the long hot summer days!

All in all I'm pretty happy with our first week of easing back into things.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

World Wide Wanderings: Japan Day 2

 Day two of our trip to Japan was filled with just as much fun and learning as our first day.

I have no idea why we've waited years to get this sort of small group fun happening. It is so worth the effort. If you've been thinking about doing something like this I encourage you to give it a go. I'm sure you will love it and have as much fun as we are having with our World Wide Wanderings.

We began the morning with an art and mapping project combined, that I found via Pinterest, which uses oil pastels, water colours and their memories from last week. The finished maps look amazing.

Sara took everyone through a Shinto Creation Myth, which got them all thinking.

Lunch, of course, was none other than Sushi rolling and Japanese Green Tea. Joh brought along her gorgeous authentic Japanese Tea Set. Everyone had lots of fun with this, not to mention quite a bit of a mess. There's definitely an art to rolling sushi!

Tracy took everyone through the Boys Festival of flying wind sock Koi fish. This was such a fun activity, the wind socks looked amazing decorating the BBQ area, it was sad to take them down.

We will all gather once more to wrap up our last couple of items for our travels through this amazing country.

 I am linking this post to

My Japan Board on Pinterest
Mini Booklets from Homeschool Share
Mapping Activity from Ellen J Mchenry 
Boys Wind Socks from The Crafty Classroom

  • Countries Visited By Continent
           > Asia

                 > Japan

          > South America

Thursday, January 3, 2013

World Wide Wanderings: Japan

This year we are planning on getting together with a small group of friends and doing some cultural trips around the world.

We actually spent some time covering Japan just before Christmas but I'm only getting around to blogging about it now.

It's a fairly laid back and simple process, but once it all came together the kids and adults alike had a great time.

Basically each adult prepares a couple of activities related to the country, then we all come together and complete those activities. We did Japan over two separate days and filled a good three hours each day! We can't wait to do another one, loads of fun!

We started the morning off with Joseph giving us all an introduction in Japanese. He told us his name, where he lived, how old he was etc. The kids all thought this was great!!

I then showed them all this four minute video from national Geographic Traveler, it gives a good quick overview of Japan and the culture.

Sara spent time on geography with the kids. Locating Japan, discussing continents, oceans, seas and bordering countries.

After discussing land mass and the size of Japan, especially in regards to its' population. Joh found this fabulous image that gave the kids a great sense of how small, in relation to their own country, Japan really is.

I printed off a few relevant mini books for the kids to complete during the course of the morning.

I read them all, The Crocodile Bridge, a Japanese Folk tale, from the book Around The World in 80 Tales.The story of why the Hare has a short fluffy tail!

Tracy took everyone through the amazing celebrations and holidays that the people of Japan celebrate. Here the children are marking them off on a calendar, just to give them an idea as to how many different celebrations there actually are in Japan.

One of these particular celebrations is for girls, Hina Matsuri (Doll Festival) it centres around dolls. The girls place dolls in their window and then take them down the following day. The superstition behind this being that if they forget to take their doll from the window, they will have trouble marrying. During this time the family prays for their girls good health and happiness.

Tracy brought along her supply basket full to the brim for the kids to create their very own Egg Dolls for this special celebration. 

They were all so engaged in this activity. Each and every one of them put a great deal of effort into their doll creations.

My guys were as proud as punch of their little egg dolls. They are now on display in our front entryway.

This was definitely a great way to have a bit of cultural fun with friends. We can't wait for our next one!

I am linking this post to

My Japan Board on Pinterest
Mini Booklets from Homeschool Share

Doll Festival, make an Egg Doll

WWW: Pangea
WWW: If The World Were A Village
WWW: Continents & Oceans

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Bringing In A New Year!

As a homeschooling mother I embrace this time of year completely. After spending the last few weeks in a time of reflection on the year that has passed. Time considering the activities that did and did not work for us as a family, and for my children as individuals, the new year brings with it a newness, a time for starting fresh.

Each year I always wipe the slate clean, I don't allow myself to get bogged down in the past. If a certain curriculum was a disaster then so be it. We let it go and move on. That is one of the true beauty's of homeschooling. We aren't tied to any one single thing.

With each year, I have children that are also another year older, this year mine will turn 12, 9 and 5, we are very quickly approaching the high school years, exciting times ahead!

Right now though we are enjoying the wonder that this time of year brings, loads of sunshine, swimming, backyard cricket and golf, reconnecting with family and friends that we don't always have the opportunity to spend extended amounts of time with throughout the busy year. It truly is a wonderful time of year.

We have many exciting things planned for the year ahead. We are teaming up with a small group of families to undertake some more 'structured' learning activities at home on a regular basis, or a Learning Circle as we like to call it. The kids will be embarking on their first overseas holiday in the not too distant future. They are also very excited to have more horse riding on the agenda this year, plus Lego Robotics and Sewing/Handicrafts are high on the priority list.

Our one big plan is to get a veggie patch happening. Something we've talked about for awhile now and after seeing the younger two enter my friend's garden as if they had entered Eden I knew that this was the year we had to make it happen.

We will very slowly ease back into the swing of things from next week. More than likely just some very gentle activities around the breakfast table to ease us all back in to the year.

On a blogging note, I've missed this space immensely and the connections that I had made with several bloggers, it is a wonderful community and my hope is that 2013 will see it flourish once more.

Happy Homeschooling!

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