Mama's Musings

Musings on Craft

Jun 26, 2020

Are you creating things with little people?  I often am!  I have a few craft books to inspire, but I don't regularly use them...  I normally search online for a specific theme, eg: "rainbow craft preschool".  Or sometimes I search for activities to use up specific materials, eg: "seedpod crafts".  I have the beginnings of a folder of ideas in Pinterest, but I forget to add to it!

We like to use materials from nature, mixed with materials that can be composted.  We try to avoid plastic, foam, synthetic fibres, over-packaged kits, single-use everything!  I remember about 20 years ago taking my tribe of small children to playgroup and coming home with at least four creations made from plastic and styrofoam, glitter and googly eyes.  And another four the next week.  And over and over until our home was filled with non-recyclable art that inevitably ended up in the bin.  We still have way too many precious creations floating...

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Friday Freebie: Curriculum Workshop

Jun 25, 2020

Here's a great opportunity...


A free video workshop - 7 Simple Steps to Create Your Own Homeschooling Curriculum

HERE’S WHAT YOU’RE GOING TO LEARN
– How to create a curriculum based on real life
– How to meet the needs of homeschool registration while remaining flexible and family-centred
– How to easily integrate skills for adult life in your curriculum

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Resource Review: Permaculture Action Cards

Jun 23, 2020

I only received these recently, but I love them already!  Not sure if this is a resource for the kids, or for me...

These Grow Do It Permaculture Action Cards were written by Charlie Mgee (based on his awesome musical offerings) and illustrated by Brenna Quinlan.  There are 63 different cards and they are large.


So far I've used them with Zeah (4) and we've done matching type activities to identify what goes with what...  eg: choose a principle card such as Catch and Store Energy.  It was interesting to hear her reasons for matching certain cards, and also useful for me to have to explain my reasons.  Because she can't read yet, we mostly used the illustration side of each card.

I love Permaculture.  I love open-ended resources which can be used in multiple ways - from setting challenges to action games to creative prompts.  I think these ones are well worth the investment, and I love how ethically they are produced, packaged and promoted.  Each...

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Q & A #1 - Reading Levels

Jun 22, 2020

My older children were independent readers at a huge variety of ages. One was reading novels at three years of age. Others learned to read around five, and progressed at a similar rate to most schooled children. A couple of them could read basic words, but weren’t independent readers until they were 8 or 9 years old. I define an “independent reader” as one who will seek some text to read for pleasure, or obtain information, without much assistance. Most of our kids jumped from “The Cat Sat On The Mat” style readers to novels or non-fiction books in a matter of weeks.

As adults, they all read for pleasure and study. They’ll often come home and scour the bookshelves for favourites to re-visit or reference books they remember.

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Why Home Based Learning?

Jun 19, 2020

“Children are being freed to learn as nature intended” – just one comment I will always remember from my 2002 research into why Australian parents were home educating their children.  I was curious as to why so many were taking the plunge into home based learning in Australia.  Recently, isolation-schooling during the pandemic has exposed the option to all families as a possibility.  Here, I explain why  a steadily-increasing number of families been home educating in Australia over the past few decades.

Some parents actively choose to home educate.  They make the decision sometime – whether when their children are infants (and even unborn), or when they feel dissatisfied with their children’s schooling for any reason.  Some parents feel that there was no other choice.  Perhaps they have exceptional or neurodiverse children, their children are sick or injured, they may be simply unable to cope with the stress...

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Childcare: Naturally?

Jun 15, 2020

 

Childcare is a matter that greatly affects parents and employers – the main cogs in our societal moneymaking machine.  Childcare benefits and tax deductions are offered as enticements but rarely are the needs of children considered by policymakers.  A focus on numbers, timeframes and dollars motivate the big decisions. Childcare is big business and is currently influencing almost all childhoods in Australia.  The Australian Bureau of Statistics tells us that 90 percent of children under five currently use some form of childcare.  Tens of thousands of Australian children are in formal childcare for more than 45 hours a week.

Natural parenting is an ideology, not a dogma.  It is about instinctively raising our young, and making informed decisions.  Does childcare compromise or compliment our conscious parenting ideals?  Are those who perceive theirs to be a natural parenting style more protective than most other parents? ...

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Socialisation: What About It?

Jun 12, 2020

Many articles have been written before on the socialisation of home educated children. Still, the question arises more often than most others. To many home educators it’s the most ironic question of all. I mean – what about it? Socialisation is the main reason some families choose home based learning. They don’t see school as an opportunity to learn positive social skills, but more as a place to experience negative socialisation. It seems surprising that those in the school community bother to ask about the home educated’s socialisation – can’t they see what is going on in their classrooms and playgrounds?

“This depends on the kind of sociability you prefer – positive and altruistic or negative and self-centred. Many parents confuse peer orientation and dependence with sociability when instead true sociality thrives on secure, independent thought.” Raymond and Dorothy Moore

Many parents of previously schooled children have...

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Friday Freebie: The Educating Parent Resource Directory

Jun 11, 2020

The Educating Parent Home Education Resource Directory is distributed through Beverley Paine’s website  and is freely shared among home educating families and support groups. 

Download your FREE 45 page copy from www.theeducatingparent.com

The directory is edited and published by Beverley Paine and April Jermey (Beverley's daughter).  They are also the family behind very popular Australian homeschooling book company Always Learning Books.

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