I don't normally review or recommend curriculum. It seems strange to say it, but actual curriculum products have been a tiny part of our homeschooling journey. There's one resource I did use for all six of my homeschool graduates all the way from Year 1 to Year 10. It was super-affordable, Australian, took only minutes to complete each day, had Teacher's Guides (Primary and Secondary) with all the answers so I could check answers quickly, and covered all the basic maths skills.
We complimented our studies of Maths with lessons in Khan Academy, other free video Maths lessons online, games, sitting and explaining concepts a few different ways, and developing handwritten worksheets, and manipulatives such as rods, blocks, counters and rulers. Mostly, though, we simply used these books, and I'll be using these books again, with Zeah from next year, when she is five.
Take a look at the New Wave Mental books here.
I first heard of John Holt when our eldest child was around 4 years old. There was a bookstore closing down in Sydney, and I bought a few titles at a bargain price and immersed myself in his wisdom. As often occurs when we are trying to absorb new information, it wasn’t the best timing and I made excuses for why Holt’s ideas were not for us. My background studying primary teaching may have influenced my initial reaction to John Holt's message!
As we trialed different methods of home education, I was more able to grasp Holt’s philiosophy of respect and freedom. Re-reading books such as Learning All the Time and Teach Your Own every few years has allowed me to continue to trust my children’s capacity for learning and creating.
There is room for John Holt’s philosophies in any home school, it's not just inspiration for unschoolers. We are eclectic learners – using some...
Few things in nature hold as much magic as seeds. With a small fistful of seeds, children can observe the full life cycle of plants. They can observe how plants reproduce from watching plants flower, go to seed and germinate.
To save seeds from your garden or wildflowers, collect them at maturity during the late morning on a dry day. Clean them to store in a cool, dark, dry place for re-sowing. If you have enough seeds sprinkle them around the garden to see when they come up again. Collecting your own seeds will save on seed costs, create a connection with nature through the seasons, and improve your gardening success rate as the seeds adapt to your locale. For more detailed instructions on cleaning seeds to store and save, look to resources such as The Seed Savers Handbook.
Various types of plants have different methods for sowing and saving seed:
Annuals usually grow from seed through part of a year, then seeds are saved and stored or lay dormant in the ground until the...
I only recently came across Twinkl. Someone shared a link to a resource on Facebook, and I went to check it out. I discovered that Twinkl had heaps of fantastic resources suitable for Zeah (4) which I could print and use straight away to compliment our learning about Australian Animals.
Twinkl are currently offering everything on their site for FREE because of Covid-19. There are hundreds of thousands of resources, including a Home Learning Hub for use during school closures for children aged 3 to 16! They always have a whole section especially for homeschoolers here - it includes not only subject areas, but themed resources (one of my favourite homeschool methods). Twinkl also offer specifically Australian resources, resources in various languages, a wellbeing section, resources for students with special needs, and a cool Twinkl Create tool for making your own resources specific to your family's...
Learning is Natural. School is Optional.
Grace Llewellyn is an unschooling advocate, and highly esteemed author. She wrote her book, The Teenage Liberation Handbook, in 1991 at 26 years of age. I first read it before my older children were teenagers.
Grace Llewellyn taught public school for a year. It was more than long enough to show her that something was wrong with the system. She then took a year off to travel and figure out what it was she wanted to do – since teaching was all she was qualified for. During that year she discovered the work of John Holt. Like so many who read his work, a few pages was all it took to convince her, but she went on to read most of his books.
Refreshed and with hope that she could make a difference Grace spent the next two years teaching at a very small private school, where she had complete control over the curriculum. Of this time she says, “The fact remained: they weren’t that...
Plants are amazing. They are the foundation for all life on Earth. Within the realm of plants there are some which amaze more than others…
Why grow ordinary varieties? As a gardener, you can choose to grow rare and unusual plants. Amaze your family and yourself with less common vegetables – colours, shapes, and sizes that aren’t often seen or expected. Many ‘green’ vegetables exist as purple cultivars – beans, carrots, capsicum, potatoes, cauliflower and broccoli are readily available from heritage seed sellers.
The tiny and the giant are also incredible – from bite-sized tomatoes to wheelbarrow-worthy squash – it’s a wonder to young and old to grow and eat food not normally seen at the market. Even asparagus, a delicate fern with rapidly shooting spears is delightfully different in the vegetable patch.
Cacti and succulents are fantastic hobby plants. Children are attracted by their diversity and love to collect these potted...
Use this Simple Planning Activity worksheet to prompt you to make goals and meet them on your home based learning journey... (click the title or image to preview the download)
This sheet is a sneak peak of the free workbook available with my Homeschool Confidently workshop at the Australian Homeschooling Summit 2020. This online event includes dozens of free downloadable resources.