I appreciate art & craft for kids inspired by nature, using natural and recycled ingredients. I prefer my children not be exposed to art & craft products which contain ingredients they shouldn’t be putting on their skin (or in their mouths, as they do!). I don’t want to add to landfill once the fun is over, so ideally what we consume when being creative will return to the Earth.
We don’t need to buy expensive natural kits or products to choose nature craft. Instead of looking in a discount store at the over-packaged foam, plastic and glitter items, head outdoors to find treasures you can use.
There are books in the library, and many websites dedicated to creating from nature, but it’s great to be inspired by the items you find, and your child’s imagination. Ephemeral art is a creation that happens once, not with the intention of creating something to keep. It might be a mandala created from leaves during a picnic, or a funny face made from...
Phew! I've been a bit quiet on the blog while I tackle my first full-time semester of uni in over 25 years! It's been a great big learning journey. I have just a few weeks to go before a long summer break.
When I'm not at my desk working or studying, I'm trying to pop out to my garden regularly, because it's so calming for my mind. And harvesting great big bowlfuls of produce is also appealing... we have snowpeas, shelling peas, a couple of varieties of green beans, some broccoli, tons of leafy greens - Asian greens, lettuces, kale, spinaches, several edible flowers, gooseberries, mulberries, black sapote, chokos, lemons and lots of herbs in abundance right now. The chickens are also laying, and two hens had chicks recently. So life on the farm feels great!
To read some of my writing about gardening, go here.
Zeah and I did a Wild Weed Walk the other weekend. We both loved it! I used to take my bigger kids to lots of...
Interested in reading more about including book reviews in your home ed journey? Interested in a TON more homeschool freebies? Check out this collection by Sarah Shelton on the Homeschool Giveaways and Freebies site!
Spring is time to sow the seeds of new beginnings. Begin any family traditions you have had in mind.
Give the garden an overhaul. Feed it well, mulch and prepare for planting. You may be interested in finding a guide for planting by the moon. There are special calendars designed to show the most appropriate times for particular kinds of garden tasks. Old gardeners simply advise – when the moon’s going up (waxing) it’s time to plant above-ground crops. After the full moon, when it’s waning, it’s time to plant your root crops (like carrots and potatoes). If you planted some bulbs earlier in the year, you may be lucky enough to have flowers blooming already! Enjoy the warm afternoons and get dirty in the garden with your little ones. If your garden is a potted one - transplant, feed and try some...
I've been listening to The Brave Learner on audible for a few weeks now, and I'm really enjoying it! As I listen to each chapter, I'm thinking "Yes!" Julie Bogart succinctly describes the learning adventure our family have lived for the past last 25+ years. To hear her describe how she learned to create a rich learning environment (and lifestyle) for her children, and trusted their choices and abilities is a beautiful reminder of how our own home education journey was also heart-centred and adventure-driven. Would I make the same choices again? Absolutely! I am, with Zeah who is 4 and will have a different experience to her siblings aged 16-26, but hopefully it will be as full of fun and love and help her to grow to be independent and brave adults like her siblings (she's already quite brave!)
Want to hear more? The Brave Learner is on Audible (your first title is free). It's also available as a paperback for around AUD$25 -...
I loved themed learning at any age! From reading Teddy Bear's Picnic and eating outdoors with babies, right through to teens writing essays inspired by concepts in a sci-fi movie they watched or novel they read...
Last week I read The Rainbow Fish to Zeah and the little ones I babysit, then we did some simple related activities.
The Rainbow Fish, with his shimmering scales, is the most beautiful fish in the ocean but he is proud and vain and none of the other fish want to be his friend—until he learns to give away some of his most prized possessions.
Sometimes the activity is so simple it's completed by the end of the story, and other times, we can spend a week or more immersed in the theme of a much-loved book.
When I looked online for activities related to The Rainbow Fish, there were hundreds of free ideas including arts & crafts, colouring pages, worksheets, games, loose parts play, snack ideas, and more! Learning like this is a little like a...
Have you used Khan Academy? Our teens have used it so much over the years (and still do), especially for Maths!
I used Khan Academy myself recently as I needed some further explanation on some Maths concepts for one of my university subjects. The lessons complimented the uni content perfectly and filled in the gaps I had so I could proceed with my assignment.
And something for my readers who aren't Aussies - they have a great section on Personal Finances with US information and links. So if you were a little let down by the Australian-centric info I shared here on Wednesday, check out Khan Academy! it's FREE!
Recently, I shared a review of a printable resource to learn about Money from Teachers Pay Teachers (which also has heaps of cool freebies too, if you want to sample what's available). Then I reviewed the Barefoot Investor for Families. To continue with the money theme check out this collection of over 60 resources. From this Australian government site families can learn about budgeting, charity, advertising, enterprise, sustainability, consumerism, investing, savings goals and more.
If you do unit studies, or project-based homeschooling, Consider including practical topics like money in your home learning journey... it's relatively easy to gather resources and children love to learn about real life. Some other subjects we've covered in other 'real life' units include:
Rather than a rigid curriculum, the projects have been a conscious choice to include the...
It’s funny, they’ll often joke, if they don’t know how to do something, or don’t know something, “Well, duh, homeschooled.” And while it’s a joke, I think they might sometimes feel self conscious that they don’t know all the same things as their peers. But really, their peers don’t know the same things as each other, either! People have made presumptions about them, their family and their education based on homeschool myths too, which can be awkward. I find that it’s less common now that there is a lot of positive media coverage of home education. Once the kids are a couple of years older, they realise they are just as well-educated as those who went to high school, and a couple of them have described it to me as “the ultimate private education”.
We each have different skills and strengths. One thing they all know is that they can learn ANYTHING...
The term ‘bush tucker’ refers to Australian native foods – the huge variety of fruit, nuts, seeds, leaves, birds, mammals, roots, bark, fungi, herbs, spices, flowers, reptiles, insects, aquatic plants and fish. ‘Wild foods’ is another way to describe these, and includes non-native but often abundant food sources.
Wild foods are the ultimate in spray-free, packaging-free local food. So long as they are harvested in moderation from clean environments, they are a very low impact food source. These were once the only means of food and medicine for indigenous Australians – they are a valuable and viable resource worth learning about.
Our family have been discovering over many years and though each change of season, native and wild foods on our small farm and in the surrounding areas in Far North Queensland, Australia. Some we have found include red and yellow guava, lilly pilly, Atherton nut, lemon aspen, native ginger, pipturus and...