Mama's Musings

Q & A #7 - Fun

Aug 03, 2020

Apart from the sheer hard work of juggling six kids and their varied needs, I actually did feel guilty at times that we were on this almost-constant “holiday”. Our kids didn’t have to wake to an alarm, they had lots of freedom through the day with what they ate, where, when, if they were reading a book they really loved, they could just lay on the couch and finish it in a couple of days. We always tried to travel outside of school holidays to avoid the crowds, went to the beach whenever the weather was best, watched a movie after lunch when we needed a rest, took trips to the city on school days so that the shops, museum etc were quieter. And yes, even our “school work” did not seem to resemble “school” at all.

I’m pretty sure some neighbours and relatives wondered what on Earth I was doing to the “poor kids”! It was easier once the older ones were, well, older, and everyone could see that they were turning out better than...

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Friday Freebie: Gratitude Page

Jul 31, 2020

Gratitude is a bit of a buzz word again, isn't it?  As we are faced with a lot of fear and change, isolation and information, I figured it might be a good time to share one of my favourite mental health tools...

I first started consciously practicing gratitude when I read Simple Abundance in 1995.  More than any other tool, gratitude has helped improve my mood and mindset consistently during the past 26 years of motherhood.  Gratitude journals, gratitude meditations, gratitude lists, gratitude apps - I've tried them all!  I also like to ask my children about their favourite part of their day, an outing, a trip, or an activity.


Today's freebie is a gratitude worksheet - a big brainstorming session you can do alone or with your children, family or friends.  Afterwards, if you don't already, you might like to try recognising "three things" you're grateful for, do this in any way you like - on your phone or a notebook, out loud or in your head before...

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Q & A #6 - University

Jul 27, 2020

This never seemed to me like a possibility, and I don’t think the kids worried about it too much either. Even when I first went to uni in the 90s, many of my fellow students were not school-leavers and had entered uni via an alternate route.  I've just enrolled  myself in another university course, 25 years on, and the process was quite simple and 100% online.

When my older kids were teens, a Certificate course was a good entry path into further education, so they started studying those as part of what would be their “senior studies” at around 15. For the younger kids, they also chose certificate courses, and they are also accessing bridging courses into their preferred field. These courses are offered by many universities, and I wish that’s how I entered uni – instead of leaping from high school into the foreign land of tertiary study!

Five of the bigger kids have completed Certificate Courses (such as a Cert 3 in Business, or a Cert 4 in...

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Resource Review: Ultimate Homeschooling Bundle

Jul 27, 2020

Are you as intrigued as I was about the Ultimate Homeschooling Bundle, a collection of resources created by experienced homeschoolers?

I had early access to this bundle and have previewed a lot of the resources over the past two weeks.  I downloaded, unzipped, saved, filed and printed like it was Christmas!  I kept unpacking more and more goodies and I was AMAZED at the quality!  I figured that if there were at least TWO resources of great value, it'd be more than worth the purchase price of just under US$30...  Out of 51 resources, I presumed there'd be value there...  And I was right!  And so I'm sharing this bargain (which is available for THIS WEEK ONLY), with you.

From what I've seen so far, there are at least threecourses I want to do ASAP, two planning tools I will try out (always, always tweaking systems here!), some learning resources I will use with Zeah (4) today, and some stuff I'll save for later on - I've downloaded and...

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Friday Freebie: Parenting Webinar

Jul 24, 2020

5 Social Lessons Every Child Must Know

with Nicholeen Peck

In order for children to be successful socially they need good examples to model after. And what better model to use than yourself? In the webinar, 5 Social Lessons Every Child Must Know, avid homeschool and parenting expert Nicholeen Peck will go through the tools children need to interact with peers while learning social conduct from the best examples they have, their parents.

I almost always find useful tips and tools, and of course encouragement in parenting workshops, webinars and books.  I've been parenting for 26 years and I'm still learning!

This FREE WEBINAR with Nicholeen Peck is on TODAY!  So book now!  It may be recorded for later viewing, check back for more info.

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Resource Review: The Barefoot Investor for Families

Jul 22, 2020

When The Barefoot Investor by Scott Pape was published in 2017, I heard about it everywhere and so grabbed myself a copy in paper and audio editions.  I read the book, listened to the audiobook (read by Scott himself), joined a facebook groups where the concepts were discussed, subscribed to the Barefoot emails....  And yes, I opened the ING accounts!  The books are less than $20 each (new), and are also available as ebooks and audiobooks.


We didn't implement all of the ideas in the book - a lot of the Barefoot steps we were already doing, or didn't apply to us.  The way Scott simply and humorously laid out the strategies he suggests made it easy to implement a few easy changes which meant instantly increased savings, decreased expenses, and reaching goals more quickly.  Reassuringly, he reminds readers often to "tread your own path."

I bought this book for some of my younger siblings and adult children, I loved it so much!  I've...

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Q & A #5 - Curriculum

Jul 20, 2020

We used various resources for learning. Collectively, our children attained academic knowledge from text books and workbooks, apps and online learning programs like Duolingo, Rosetta Stone and Khan Academy, online courses from free 4 hour short courses through to Certificate IV level qualifications, reading, documentaries, You Tube, tutors and mentors, classes – and probably a dozen other means of which I’m not aware! Their learning programs were extremely flexible and by the time they were teens they were almost entirely self-designed and self-driven. Some of their favourite ways to learn, especially in earlier years, included Unit Studies or Projects, co-operative learning (where we’d do the same Unit Studies as other families, and come together to share regularly), and classes like art, pottery, Italian, and co-op group lessons on science and math topics.

It’s good to remember that you’re always free to change things. If a book or course isn’t...

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Friday Freebie: Soil Resources

Jul 16, 2020

We love anything to do with DIRT here!  And we love resources collated by others!  So I was pretty excited to see that another homeschool mum (Jeannette) had shared these:

FREE RESOURCES ALL ABOUT SOIL

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Resource Review: Teachers Pay Teachers

Jul 14, 2020

Do you use printable resources?  Check out Teachers Pay Teachers for free and cheap resources!

Teachers Pay Teachers is an online marketplace where teachers (and homeschoolers) buy and sell original educational materials.

Just search for what sort of resources you need, eg: "Australian Money" then narrow down the results using the approx age level on the left, as well as your maximum price and the resource type. Try to be as specific as you can - I just searched for Australian Money resources for P/K/1 level and there are over 850 items!  Please note that prices are in US dollars.


For US$5 I just bought a 56 page pdf download with 4 games I can print and use right away.  It has lists of what we need (eg: dice, counters), cards, game boards, instructions, and "coins" (but we'll use our plastic ones or real money).  

I played (and made) a few money games with my older children when they were young.  I found it gave them the confidence to go into a real...

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Q & A #4 - Family Relationships

Jul 13, 2020

For us, home education had a positive influence on our family relationships. Like all families, we’ve had our highs and lows, and several challenges, but I think the amount of time we spent together helped us through these.

Remember that you are family, primarily. Don’t get bogged down in “education” as a priority over your relationships. There’s a lot of parenting left to do! Make the most of the years you have together.

Some good things to consider...

What “family time” does your family value? Do you eat meals together? Have a shared hobby? Go out for coffee or a meal? Commute places regularly? Go to church, yoga, meditation, gym, the pool, sport or other regular outing or activity? Make a commitment to each other to continue these things. If you don’t have specific family time, discuss what you might like to share, and how you’ll all commit to that.

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