Mama's Musings

Resource Review: Little Lifelong Learners

Apr 16, 2020

I really like how, equipped with a printer and laminator, I can "create" resources to suit our learning needs at home!  Last time I was so focused on early childhood education, the Internet wasn't the treasure trove of free and cheap resources it is today.  Sometimes it's overwhelming how much is available, so today I'm sharing a gem I've used a few times - Little Lifelong Learners.




Researching Home Education: John Taylor Gatto

Apr 15, 2020

The Philosophy of Education

'At the pass we've come to historically, and after 26 years of teaching, I must conclude that one of the only alternatives on the horizon for most  families is to teach their own children at home.' John Taylor Gatto

John Taylor Gatto wrote Dumbing Us Down nearly 30 years ago. It sold over 200,000 copies and subsequent editions have been printed with additions. I first heard about Gatto in discussions on home ed. email lists. I followed a link and read some of his essays and became a fan! I read Dumbing Us Down when John Taylor Gatto was coming to Australia where I was excited to see him as the keynote speaker for the National Home Education Conference in 2007.

Gatto was New York City and State Teacher of the Year at various times in his career. He taught at a school where students everyone else had given up on were sent, and he did a good job with them ­ but in a creative and unorthodox way. He let them out of school,...


Giveaway! Free Tickets to AHS 2020

Apr 14, 2020

Do you want a free ticket to the best Aussie homeschooling event of the year?  

The Australian Homeschooling Summit is BACK!  We’ve got an amazing list of over 25 speakers and 30 workshops for you this year.  It was postponed from March/April and now begins on 4 May 2020.

Enter to win your free ticket here
(Or if you've already bought your ticket, a refund)

You’re in the running just by entering, but here’s the great part – you can get MORE entries by fulfilling certain actions.
· Share it with your friends (because they’ll want to come too, right?) and you’ll get 3 more entries for every friend who signs up.
· Follow or visit our amazing sponsors, and you’ll get 5 extra entries – each!
Even if you haven’t done statistics with your kids yet, you know that the more entries you have, the higher your chance of winning.
So enter, share, and cross your fingers.
Best of luck!



Home Grown Kids: Snack Patch

Apr 11, 2020

When learning about plants, like most other subjects, regular observation and participation is the best teacher.  For a child (and most of us adults) there is no better incentive to garden than harvesting food to snack upon!

When creating a snack patch for children, consider creating a low, narrow garden bed or use pots so that they can reach to sow seeds, water plants, remove weeds and eat their crops.  Garden beds can be made from recycled objects quite inexpensively.  Starting with a small area or a few pots, even one planter box is enough to assist the child in developing an understanding of producing food from seed to table. 

Other useful items include small garden tools, a watering can, and a basket or bucket to collect produce.  Hats, garden gloves and boots offer protection for gardeners of all ages.


Examples of food plants which are quite easy to grow and fabulous to snack on include snow peas, green beans (climbing or bush varieties), cherry...


Friday Freebie! Homeschooling Global 2.0 Summit

Apr 10, 2020

You can watch all the video interviews from the 2019 Homeschooling Global Summit for free until 17 May 2020!  Click on the image to access this offer:


Musings on Nature

Apr 09, 2020

Nature really is the ideal muse.  It has been an important part of our home education journey for over two decades.  My favourite things to do in nature are: walk, take photos, harvest wild foods, swim in lakes and rivers, beachcomb, collect tiny treasures for our nature shelf, gaze at the clouds (or the stars, and the moon), grow food, create ephemeral art and observe animals.  My other favourite thing is sharing these experiences with my children, and their friends.

I hope you have an opportunity during the current situation where it's difficult to get out and about, to still be in nature, in any small way, every day.

Nature Play Australia exists to support educators and families to increase the amount of unstructured play time children spend in nature.  They offer various tools, projects and resources nature play.  Click on Locations on their site to access information specific to your state.  And there are extra resources here to support families...


Resource Review: Free Range Learning

Apr 08, 2020

How Homeschooling Changes Everything

Free Range Learning by Laura Grace Weldon is a book I bought to share with our local Home Ed Reading Circle last year.  It's a large format paperback, of around 300 pages.  Because of its presentation and title, I was expecting it to be another book about the benefits of home education. It's SO much more! The contributions from home educators all around the world give a beautiful, heart-felt insight into the culture that is homeschooling.  It's simplicity is inspiring!

The chapters in Part One are a great guide to the content of this book:
Natural Learning Happens Everywhere
Nurturing the Learner
Work, Play & Other Essentials
Connecting With Others
Collaborating Benefits Everyone
Homeschooling Changes Everything

The whole of Part Two is a well-presented series of chapters outlining the possibilities for learning in each subject area as well as talking about travel, field trips and full-spectrum learning.

In my 20+ years of...


Researching Home Education: Ivan Illich

Apr 07, 2020

The Philosophy of Education

'Together we have come to realise that for most men
the right to learn is curtailed by the obligation to attend school.' Ivan Illich

I’ve long been interested in the philosophy of education. When studying education at university in the early 1990s, I loved learning about Paulo Freire, famous for the quote, "Education is politics. It can be used to liberate or domesticate a people." There was much talk and reading during that first year of my degree about individualised education and we were almost led to believe that there was an educational revolution happening. Apparently, when we walked into classrooms in less than four years’ time we would achieve amazing things in ways never possible before. Many of us had completed high school only months earlier and were doubtful that what the lecturers were arousing in us could ever be put into practise.

About a quarter of the students studying education dropped out before the first semester ended....


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