Mama's Musings

Frugal Homeschooling 101

Jun 05, 2020

Home educating on a budget may seem like a challenge at first, especially if you are attempting to gather as many resources as your average classroom. There is no need to rush out and buy a lot of equipment that you may not need. First, sit down and write a “wish list”, then highlight the items you feel are most necessary to begin.

There are many alternatives to expensive educational resources. Here are some ideas to help you save money in setting up your home learning space.

- Buy furniture which has multiple uses. Consider a large, second-hand dining table over individual desks, for example - or just use your dining table! Use open shelving rather than cupboards for storing supplies and books. This allows the children to see what is available for their use and is less expensive.  We've used bolt-together galvanised steel five-shelf units to hold games, puzzles, and construction kits.  The children can see everything on the shelves and they remain...

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Friday Freebie! Homeschool Styles Masterclass

Jun 04, 2020

My friend Kelly George from Fearless Homeschool who organises the Australian Homeschooling Summits has a fantastic FREE masterclass outlining the main points of the 8 most popular homeschooling styles. 

She explains what eclectic home education looks like, and how you can use multiple styles to create an interesting, varied, and effective education for your children.  This is how we've home educated for over two decades, and we're confident that it works!

Head over to Fearless Homeschool to access this Homeschool Styles Masterclass HERE.

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Resource Review: Home Education Network

Jun 02, 2020

Home Education Network (HEN) is a non-profit organisation providing support and information for home educators, mostly in Victoria (Australia).  Even though I'm not based in Victoria, I've been a member of HEN for many years.  

HEN is a parent support network which offers a vast array of resources, activities and camps within Victoria.  As an interstate member, I have used HEN for information, inspiration for local events, the subscription to the quarterly magazine Otherways (this is a big drawcard for me), other HEN publications, and discounts to resources (like Rosetta Stone membership to learn languages).

Membership starts at AUD$25.

Home Education Network: Mission Statement

As home educators, we believe that children have an innate curiosity to learn and grow and, when given the freedom and support of family and friends, they will have the best opportunity to reach their full potential. We are dedicated to raising self-motivated, broad-minded, confident,...

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Three Reasons I'm Glad We Homeschool - Part 3

Jun 01, 2020

This is the third and final post in this series.  See the first and second three reasons here and here.

LEARNING OPTIONS

Each of our six graduates have learned various things in various ways, to suit their learning styles.  Some studied independently a lot, others loved co-operative learning with their siblings and/or peers - including classes, all of them have studied something online at some stage, and some really liked to learn from me, or their Dad, or another adult working closely with them.

THE VALUE OF REST

There are plenty of years of busyness in adulthood.  I am glad our lifestyle allows our children to rest when they are tired, rest when they are unwell, rest when they are growing (physically or emotionally).

I love that they can walk into our forest, and gaze at our flowing creek, and ponder all of life.  

Sometimes I've been frustrated with how much they've rested, as teenagers, but now I know it was what they needed at the time.

GROWING...

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Seasonal Fun: Winter

May 31, 2020

Garden:

There are a few flowers and vegetables you can plant in winter. Do you have some produce to harvest from your Autumn planting, or seeds to save from the last surviving plants? Keeping the food garden growing during Winter gives us a good reason to venture outdoors each day. If your garden isn’t producing it’s a great time to mulch well to deter weeds and feed the soil for Spring.

Play:

If the opportunity to play outside is limited, gather natural toys. Have a box of seedpods, dried leaves and pebbles for your little ones to sort. Some of these items may become puppets, some may become money in a store, some may build a scene and others will just be held and treasured. A natural modelling material is beeswax. It can be used to create small figurines and sheets can be rolled into candles.

Craft:

Winter allows us time to be creative together. To make a snowy scene - draw or colour a page with crayon (press hard) and paint over with white acrylic paint....

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Home Grown Kids: No Dig Gardens

May 29, 2020

A no-dig garden is also known as sheet mulching or lasagne gardening. It is built by layering materials on top of the soil or in a large vessel, thereby creating a friable and nutrient-rich environment in which to grow plants, especially vegetables.

Why no dig?

No-dig gardens are quick to build and require little on-going maintenance. They mimic nature with their layers of organic matter decomposing and being added to in time. There is no tilling and a covering of mulch so weeds are less of a problem. Because digging isn’t required the method is suitable for all gardeners.

How?

You can begin on any fairly flat surface, including using an old bathtub or other recycled raised bed. Ideally, the garden will receive at least five hours of sunshine per day. If building on the ground you might like to edge with wood or rocks if you have them, but it isn’t vital to the project and is something you might do later. Creating a no-dig bed directly on the lawn is fine, too. The...

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Friday Freebie! All About Learning Press Resources

May 28, 2020

I heard about All About Learning Press during the recent Australian Homeschooling Summit because they were one of the sponsors.  I went to their site to check out what they offered, and found a TON of free resources.  They have ebooks, checklists, activities, articles, posters, quick guides and apps.  

I'm embarking on a phonics journey with Zeah right now, and found a few really useful tools on this site - but it's not just for smalls!  The game sheets, for example, look like an excellent tool I'll use in future.

 

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Resource Review: Australian Homeschooling Summit 2020

May 26, 2020

From May 4th to May 15th 2020, I participated in the Australian Homeschooling Summit.  I presented a workshop during Week One about our family's 25 year home education journey.

I've also had the pleasure of enjoying other workshops and bonus sessions by Aussie home educators Lusi Austin, Kelly George, April Jermey, Andrew Lord, Karen Willson, Erin Hassett & her graduate homeschoolers, and Heidi Conway.  And there are at least a dozen I hope to watch or listen to in the coming weeks!  Even though I have six home ed graduates myself, there is so much of value in these workshops for me as a parent as I embark on this journey (again) with 4 year old Zeah.


The Summit was run mostly through a Facebook group, where there were Live presentations and watch parties, as well as a lot of bonus materials, opportunities to network, and Q&A with the presenters.  Workshops were also accessible directly via the Australian Homeschooling Summit website live,...

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Three Reasons I'm Glad We Homeschool - Part 2

May 25, 2020

Following on from last Tuesday's post, here are another three reasons I'm glad we're a home educating family...

TALKING

Homeschooling has allowed our children the time to talk to us - their parents, each other, neighbours, friends, other parents in the home ed group, their various tutors and coaches, team mates,employers and fellow staff at their jobs, professionals and more.  As with many home educated children, most of ours are very happy to have a conversation with anyone,and have gained a great deal of knowledge and confidence by doing so.

AVOIDING PEER PRESSURE

Not altogether, but for the most part, home educated children and teens are more free to be themselves, and to ponder the possibilities in life and learning.  They are able to make choices without too much influence of their age peers.  

FREEDOM

This can be scary, but also so empowering.  I feel blessed to allow our children so much freedom during their childhoods.  Freedom to choose,...

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