Mama's Musings

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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Home Grown Kids: A Creative Garden

May 22, 2020

Time in the garden need not be only about planting, feeding, watering and harvesting. Another way to enjoy your garden is through art.

The garden itself is often seen as a form of art. Using plants’ colour, texture, shape and size the gardener creates a landscape of beauty. By adding accessories, either natural (such as stones) or man-made, we enhance and individualise our growing spaces. By looking at others’ gardens, parklands, nature, books and magazines from the library, and online, we can collate ideas of what appeals to us and from there gradually shape our garden through the addition of new plants or other items.

Gardening is the art that uses flowers and plants as paint, and the soil and sky as canvas. Elizabeth Murray.

Throughout history gardens have also influenced artists’ paintings, photographs and words. Famous garden artists include Paul Cezanne, Claude Monet and Georgia O’Keefe. Of course for many children, their first artworks include...

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Friday Freebie! Head Heart Hands Planner Sheet

May 21, 2020

Here's another daily planner tool!  A good use for this one would be to print once and laminate, and use with a whiteboard marker.

The Head Heart Hands holistic approach to organising our days is one we have used throughout our whole parenting and home education journey.  It gives rhythm to the day and helps remind us to strive for balance.  It is also flows with the natural energy for most of us.  Here are some examples:

Head tasks in the morning - academics, budgeting/bills, phone calls
Heart tasks to recuperate - music, reading, or reading aloud together, cuddling, resting
Hands tasks to engage our bodies - craft, gardening, long walks, sport, cooking

Download your copy here.

 

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Resource Review: Art Supplies - Crayons

May 19, 2020

Following on from last week's review of Lyra pencils, good quality crayons are also really worth buying.  We invested in Stockmar Crayons (sticks and blocks) and Crayon Rocks for our children, and they've lasted years. 

The Stockmar Crayons are made of beeswax and come in a tin or a wooden box.  They're popular with Steiner/Waldorf educators and families.  The blocks are especially suited to small children, and activities such as crayon rubbing.  The sticks are strong (ours have not snapped or bent) and offer the same brilliant result as the blocks.  Neither type crumbles or smudges - they are so smooth.

Crayon Rocks are made from soy wax and come in a drawstring bag.  They're ideal for teaching pencil grip and were designed by an occupational therapist.  These are even more smooth on the paper than the Stockmar crayons!  They're not quite as long-lasting (because the wax is slightly softer), but they're still a...

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Three Reasons I'm Glad We Homeschool - Part 1

May 18, 2020

Some of the reasons I'm glad we're a home educating family include...

READING

As an avid reader myself, I'm so happy to be able to give our family the opportunity to read and read and read.  Homeschooling has allowed our children a lot of time to read.  They can read to suit their interests and abilities. 

Our children learned to read when they were ready.  They were aged 3 to 8 when they read independently.

Oh, and books.  Homeschooling = books...  So many books!  Being homeschoolers means guilt-free home library building!

SPONTANEOUS LEARNING

We have had so many occasions when we've come across wildlife, for one example, and had the time to photograph it, research it, draw it, write about it, talk about it to others...  Time is such a precious commodity, and without it, spontaneous learning is difficult. 

A lot of our most memorable learning situations were spontaneous ones.  No one remembers my handmade phonics readers, doing...

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Home Grown Kids: What's In The Box?

May 15, 2020

It is vitally important that our children have access to fresh, wholesome, affordable and tasty food.  The freshest food is local food.  Food from the earth, not wrapped in plastic from a store.  The most local is our own backyard, balcony, or a school or community garden.

Potted gardens are quick to establish.  They are ideal for those renting, living in small spaces, with changeable weather or anyone just starting out. This is possibly the perfect ‘garden’ for small children because they are so defined and more easily controlled than a traditional vegetable plot. You may have some space on your rooftop, balcony or steps to begin or add to your garden right away with pots.

On our family’s farm with hectares of arable land we grow a lot of our food plants in containers because they are easy to manage.  I can move them around to suit the weather, the drainage is excellent, they are more easily protected from free-ranging chickens and...

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Friday Freebie! Daily Planner Sheet

May 14, 2020

Something simple is often the best tool for the task!

Here's a free printable - day to a page for those busy, busy weeks!

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