Mama's Musings

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...


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!


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...


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...


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!


Resource Review: Art Supplies - Lyra Pencils

May 12, 2020

I learned fairly early on in parenting that poor quality art supplies just weren't worth buying.  Instead of paying 99c for a packet of pencils that broke and split and gave a mediocre result on the page, I invested in German-made Lyra pencils for our children.  These have lasted years, being topped up from time to time with a new packet or some metallics or skin tones for variety.  I used to sell Lyra pencils when I owned Spiral Garden, so was lucky to buy a stash of them at wholesale rates.  Years on, though, I don't hesitate to pay full price when it's time to restock the pencil jar, because they are awesome!  They're still available from Spiral Garden, as well as most art supply stores and even Officeworks.

We mostly use the Super Ferby range - they're thick, so they're strong.  They smell good, and they feel good in our hands.  Most of the Ferby range have only natural wood on the outer case, which is good for smalls who like to chew pencils...


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...


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.


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!


Homeschool Advice

May 04, 2020
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