Mama's Musings

Home Grown Kids: The Recycled Garden

May 08, 2020

Recycling in the garden has been increasing in popularity for more than a decade. In July 2008, Richard Reynolds and his team created a Recycled Garden at the Royal Horticultural Society’s Hampton Court Palace Flower Show. The creators explained, “Everything in this garden would have been thrown away if we had not intercepted it. Reusing and rejuvenating old plants is one tactic guerrilla gardeners deploy when transforming neglected patches of public space. In this way both land and plants are given a new lease of life - sustainably and cheaply.”

In the United States, more than 600,000 tons of discarded material were recycled by landscaper and artist Richard Pocopalia for garden use. Items used in his designs include old guardrails, driftwood, broken crockery and other waste. What an achievement to reduce landfill by 600,000 tons whilst creating beautiful places!

Garden recycling is a great way to inspire interest in the environment especially with kids. Finding...

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Friday Freebie! Seed to Seed

May 07, 2020

This is a fantastic, free pdf of a book designed for educators to share gardening with children.  It contains a wealth of info on planning, building, planting, maintaining, harvesting, eating and saving seeds - with relevant activity suggestions and resources.

Click on the book image to access the free download.

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Resource Review: Booko

May 05, 2020

Years ago, when searching online for less-common books, I remember using a search engine, and heading to each of my favourite online booksellers to hunt down a specific title, comparing prices, postage and stock availability to save a few dollars here and there in pursuit of some must-have tome.

One day, I stumbled across Booko.  This website made it so quick to compare prices, find second-hand options, and discover new booksellers.  I could find electronic and audio versions, paperback or hardback, new or used, various editions, 

I've never bothered to create an account, or save searches or wish lists - I just head to the site and type in the title when I'm looking for something in particular, especially older or out of print non-fiction.

I hope you find Booko useful too!

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Homeschool Advice

May 04, 2020
 
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Sunday Fun Day: Homeschool Bingo

May 02, 2020

Print a copy of this and pop it on the fridge ... how long until you can mark off all the squares?

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Home Grown Kids: Animals in the Garden

May 01, 2020

Animals are an exciting part of the gardening experience. We are blessed to have a garden large enough for many creatures, great and small.  We also have a number of exciting wildlife around our place to enjoy. Here are a few of our backyard residents.

There are a lot of ways to incorporate animals into your gardens and your children’s lives, though, even without the luxury of having a lot of garden space.

Worms are fascinating to observe. They munch through food scraps and create fantastic fertiliser for your plants.  Want to build a worm farm? Instructions are  readily available online. Alternatively, you can buy a complete kit with worms and all requirements from hardware stores, gardening centres and sometimes your local farmers' market.

Worm Observation Experiment
Worm Farm from Recycled Materials

Bird feeders are a second option for those with limited space. A simple bird feeder can be created using a pot plant saucer and some string or wire, and hung from a...

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Friday Freebie! A Yearlong Permaculture Course

Apr 30, 2020

I've just come to the end of a free yearlong Permaculture course.  It was delivered to me in weekly modules containing excellent videos with Heather Jo Flores and other inspirational teachers, beautiful artwork by Kt Shepherd and SO MUCH content relevant to people living a variety of lifestyles.


This course is suitable for older students and adults, with elements of it worthwhile sharing with younger children too (like Kt's weekly drawings).

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Resource Review: RIC New Wave Mental Maths

Apr 28, 2020

I don't normally review or recommend curriculum.  It seems strange to say it, but actual curriculum products have been a tiny part of our homeschooling journey.  There's one resource I did use for all six of my homeschool graduates all the way from Year 1 to Year 10.  It was super-affordable, Australian, took only minutes to complete each day, had Teacher's Guides (Primary and Secondary) with all the answers so I could check answers quickly, and covered all the basic maths skills.



We complimented our studies of Maths with lessons in Khan Academy, other free video Maths lessons online, games, sitting and explaining concepts a few different ways, and developing handwritten worksheets, and manipulatives such as rods, blocks, counters and rulers.  Mostly, though, we simply used these books, and I'll be using these books again, with Zeah from next year, when she is five.

Take a look at the New Wave Mental books here.

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Researching Home Education: John Holt

Apr 27, 2020

The Philosophy of Education

I first heard of John Holt when our eldest child was around 4 years old. There was a bookstore closing down in Sydney, and I bought a few titles at a bargain price and immersed myself in his wisdom. As often occurs when we are trying to absorb new information, it wasn’t the best timing and I made excuses for why Holt’s ideas were not for us.  My background studying primary teaching may have influenced my initial reaction to John Holt's message!

As we trialed different methods of home education, I was more able to grasp Holt’s philiosophy of respect and freedom. Re-reading books such as Learning All the Time and Teach Your Own every few years has allowed me to continue to trust my children’s capacity for learning and creating. 

There is room for John Holt’s philosophies in any home school, it's not just inspiration for unschoolers. We are eclectic learners – using some...

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