Mama's Musings

Resource Review: Moneysmart and More

Aug 11, 2020

Recently, I shared a review of a printable resource to learn about Money from Teachers Pay Teachers (which also has heaps of cool freebies too, if you want to sample what's available).  Then I reviewed the Barefoot Investor for Families.  To continue with the money theme check out this collection of over 60 resources.  From this Australian government site families can learn about budgeting, charity, advertising, enterprise, sustainability, consumerism, investing, savings goals and more.   

If you do unit studies, or project-based homeschooling, Consider including practical topics like money in your home learning journey...  it's relatively easy to gather resources and children love to learn about real life.  Some other subjects we've covered in other 'real life' units include:

growing food
animals
kitchen skills
enterprise
sewing
building
cars

Rather than a rigid curriculum, the projects have been a conscious choice to include the...

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Q & A #8 - Adulthood

Aug 10, 2020

It’s funny, they’ll often joke, if they don’t know how to do something, or don’t know something, “Well, duh, homeschooled.”  And while it’s a joke, I think they might sometimes feel self conscious that they don’t know all the same things as their peers.  But really, their peers don’t know the same things as each other, either!    People have made presumptions about them, their family and their education based on homeschool myths too, which can be awkward.   I find that it’s less common now that there is a lot of positive media coverage of home education.  Once the kids are a couple of years older, they realise they are just as well-educated as those who went to high school, and a couple of them have described it to me as “the ultimate private education”. 

 We each have different skills and strengths.  One thing they all know is that they can learn ANYTHING...

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Wild Foods

Aug 09, 2020

The term ‘bush tucker’ refers to Australian native foods – the huge variety of fruit, nuts, seeds, leaves, birds, mammals, roots, bark, fungi, herbs, spices, flowers, reptiles, insects, aquatic plants and fish. ‘Wild foods’ is another way to describe these, and includes non-native but often abundant food sources.

Wild foods are the ultimate in spray-free, packaging-free local food. So long as they are harvested in moderation from clean environments, they are a very low impact food source. These were once the only means of food and medicine for indigenous Australians – they are a valuable and viable resource worth learning about.

Our family have been discovering over many years and though each change of season, native and wild foods on our small farm and in the surrounding areas in Far North Queensland, Australia. Some we have found include red and yellow guava, lilly pilly, Atherton nut, lemon aspen, native ginger, pipturus and...

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Friday Freebie: Nature Study Resources

Aug 08, 2020

Marie from Nature Study Australia has collated a fantastic list of free resources for homeschoolers looking to include Nature Study in their learning journeys...  We've used some of Marie's resources before, and I attended her workshop at the Australian Homeschooling Summit.

Once I started looking for nature study resources, I found there were hundreds, including freebies, available online.  If you have any recommendations, please let us know what you're using, especially Aussie products!

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Q & A #7 - Fun

Aug 03, 2020

Apart from the sheer hard work of juggling six kids and their varied needs, I actually did feel guilty at times that we were on this almost-constant “holiday”. Our kids didn’t have to wake to an alarm, they had lots of freedom through the day with what they ate, where, when, if they were reading a book they really loved, they could just lay on the couch and finish it in a couple of days. We always tried to travel outside of school holidays to avoid the crowds, went to the beach whenever the weather was best, watched a movie after lunch when we needed a rest, took trips to the city on school days so that the shops, museum etc were quieter. And yes, even our “school work” did not seem to resemble “school” at all.

I’m pretty sure some neighbours and relatives wondered what on Earth I was doing to the “poor kids”! It was easier once the older ones were, well, older, and everyone could see that they were turning out better than...

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Q & A #6 - University

Jul 27, 2020

This never seemed to me like a possibility, and I don’t think the kids worried about it too much either. Even when I first went to uni in the 90s, many of my fellow students were not school-leavers and had entered uni via an alternate route.  I've just enrolled  myself in another university course, 25 years on, and the process was quite simple and 100% online.

When my older kids were teens, a Certificate course was a good entry path into further education, so they started studying those as part of what would be their “senior studies” at around 15. For the younger kids, they also chose certificate courses, and they are also accessing bridging courses into their preferred field. These courses are offered by many universities, and I wish that’s how I entered uni – instead of leaping from high school into the foreign land of tertiary study!

Five of the bigger kids have completed Certificate Courses (such as a Cert 3 in Business, or a Cert 4 in...

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Resource Review: The Barefoot Investor for Families

Jul 22, 2020

When The Barefoot Investor by Scott Pape was published in 2017, I heard about it everywhere and so grabbed myself a copy in paper and audio editions.  I read the book, listened to the audiobook (read by Scott himself), joined a facebook groups where the concepts were discussed, subscribed to the Barefoot emails....  And yes, I opened the ING accounts!  The books are less than $20 each (new), and are also available as ebooks and audiobooks.


We didn't implement all of the ideas in the book - a lot of the Barefoot steps we were already doing, or didn't apply to us.  The way Scott simply and humorously laid out the strategies he suggests made it easy to implement a few easy changes which meant instantly increased savings, decreased expenses, and reaching goals more quickly.  Reassuringly, he reminds readers often to "tread your own path."

I bought this book for some of my younger siblings and adult children, I loved it so much!  I've...

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Q & A #5 - Curriculum

Jul 20, 2020

We used various resources for learning. Collectively, our children attained academic knowledge from text books and workbooks, apps and online learning programs like Duolingo, Rosetta Stone and Khan Academy, online courses from free 4 hour short courses through to Certificate IV level qualifications, reading, documentaries, You Tube, tutors and mentors, classes – and probably a dozen other means of which I’m not aware! Their learning programs were extremely flexible and by the time they were teens they were almost entirely self-designed and self-driven. Some of their favourite ways to learn, especially in earlier years, included Unit Studies or Projects, co-operative learning (where we’d do the same Unit Studies as other families, and come together to share regularly), and classes like art, pottery, Italian, and co-op group lessons on science and math topics.

It’s good to remember that you’re always free to change things. If a book or course isn’t...

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Resource Review: Teachers Pay Teachers

Jul 14, 2020

Do you use printable resources?  Check out Teachers Pay Teachers for free and cheap resources!

Teachers Pay Teachers is an online marketplace where teachers (and homeschoolers) buy and sell original educational materials.

Just search for what sort of resources you need, eg: "Australian Money" then narrow down the results using the approx age level on the left, as well as your maximum price and the resource type. Try to be as specific as you can - I just searched for Australian Money resources for P/K/1 level and there are over 850 items!  Please note that prices are in US dollars.


For US$5 I just bought a 56 page pdf download with 4 games I can print and use right away.  It has lists of what we need (eg: dice, counters), cards, game boards, instructions, and "coins" (but we'll use our plastic ones or real money).  

I played (and made) a few money games with my older children when they were young.  I found it gave them the confidence to go into a real...

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Q & A #4 - Family Relationships

Jul 13, 2020

For us, home education had a positive influence on our family relationships. Like all families, we’ve had our highs and lows, and several challenges, but I think the amount of time we spent together helped us through these.

Remember that you are family, primarily. Don’t get bogged down in “education” as a priority over your relationships. There’s a lot of parenting left to do! Make the most of the years you have together.

Some good things to consider...

What “family time” does your family value? Do you eat meals together? Have a shared hobby? Go out for coffee or a meal? Commute places regularly? Go to church, yoga, meditation, gym, the pool, sport or other regular outing or activity? Make a commitment to each other to continue these things. If you don’t have specific family time, discuss what you might like to share, and how you’ll all commit to that.

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