Spring brings us longer days and an awakening world outdoors.
The arrival of colour and new life fills our spirits with a sense of hope.
Acknowledging seasonal changes is one way for humans to experience the rhythm of life. As our children witness the unfolding of each season, they grow a little and appreciate the wonders of nature. To know each season through walks, observation, activities, and games helps our children to develop a more intense relationship with planet earth. In most of Australia, the seasons are not as marked as in other climes… There may not be snow-capped rooftops or dazzling autumn leaves, but there are many less obvious signs that we are a part of the cycle of nature known as the seasons.
A seasonal table or shelf is one way to reflect the changes we witness through displaying items from nature, art and craft and dioramas. The table can also reflect festivals and other events that mark the cycle of our year. For ideas on creating a seasonal table...
Following on from the post about our Oceans Unit Study earlier this year, I've collated some info about our Dinosaur Unit Study to share with you. Zeah is five, and she loves learning-by-doing, so we've done a lot of hands-on learning, as well as enjoying an epic Dinosaur Trail roadtrip!
Some of our Term 2 & 3 activities have included:
Castle & Kite, KiwiCo* and My Creative Box* activity boxes have come to the rescue again, with Zeah undertaking lots of creative Dinosaur activities with her Nanny on Tuesdays. I like that I can leave these boxes for them and go into the office, and everything they need is on hand. The activities give quick results, provide something to show off when I arrive home, and there's little waste involved because of how these activity boxes are designed.
(*use these affiliate links for a discount for your family, and mine).
We've found lots of Dinosaur books in the library, op shops, our own shelves, and...
Grow sunflowers planted in a circle with an opening as a doorway, or tents made with climbing beans… A living place to play! Flowers and vegetables like nasturtiums, cherry tomatoes and purple beans to pick and eat while outdoors. Make daisy or dandelion chains and mini fairy gardens.
Use the bath tub or paddle pool with bark, walnut or seed pod boats. Explore science with hoses, funnels, cups, coloured water and float or sink fun. In a bucket or tub wash dolls clothes and blankets or dress-up items and dry them in the sun. If you have a sandpit, recreate the beach with water, twigs and shells. Imaginative play has endless possibilities and water will entertain most children for most of a long, hot afternoon…
Seashell windchimes using driftwood, sew buttons onto hats or dye them bright colours, watercolour painting, pinwheels,...
Phew! I've been a bit quiet on the blog while I tackle my first full-time semester of uni in over 25 years! It's been a great big learning journey. I have just a few weeks to go before a long summer break.
When I'm not at my desk working or studying, I'm trying to pop out to my garden regularly, because it's so calming for my mind. And harvesting great big bowlfuls of produce is also appealing... we have snowpeas, shelling peas, a couple of varieties of green beans, some broccoli, tons of leafy greens - Asian greens, lettuces, kale, spinaches, several edible flowers, gooseberries, mulberries, black sapote, chokos, lemons and lots of herbs in abundance right now. The chickens are also laying, and two hens had chicks recently. So life on the farm feels great!
To read some of my writing about gardening, go here.
Zeah and I did a Wild Weed Walk the other weekend. We both loved it! I used to take my bigger kids to lots of...
Interested in reading more about including book reviews in your home ed journey? Interested in a TON more homeschool freebies? Check out this collection by Sarah Shelton on the Homeschool Giveaways and Freebies site!
Spring is time to sow the seeds of new beginnings. Begin any family traditions you have had in mind.
Give the garden an overhaul. Feed it well, mulch and prepare for planting. You may be interested in finding a guide for planting by the moon. There are special calendars designed to show the most appropriate times for particular kinds of garden tasks. Old gardeners simply advise – when the moon’s going up (waxing) it’s time to plant above-ground crops. After the full moon, when it’s waning, it’s time to plant your root crops (like carrots and potatoes). If you planted some bulbs earlier in the year, you may be lucky enough to have flowers blooming already! Enjoy the warm afternoons and get dirty in the garden with your little ones. If your garden is a potted one - transplant, feed and try some...
I've been listening to The Brave Learner on audible for a few weeks now, and I'm really enjoying it! As I listen to each chapter, I'm thinking "Yes!" Julie Bogart succinctly describes the learning adventure our family have lived for the past last 25+ years. To hear her describe how she learned to create a rich learning environment (and lifestyle) for her children, and trusted their choices and abilities is a beautiful reminder of how our own home education journey was also heart-centred and adventure-driven. Would I make the same choices again? Absolutely! I am, with Zeah who is 4 and will have a different experience to her siblings aged 16-26, but hopefully it will be as full of fun and love and help her to grow to be independent and brave adults like her siblings (she's already quite brave!)
Want to hear more? The Brave Learner is on Audible (your first title is free). It's also available as a paperback for around AUD$25 -...
I loved themed learning at any age! From reading Teddy Bear's Picnic and eating outdoors with babies, right through to teens writing essays inspired by concepts in a sci-fi movie they watched or novel they read...
Last week I read The Rainbow Fish to Zeah and the little ones I babysit, then we did some simple related activities.
The Rainbow Fish, with his shimmering scales, is the most beautiful fish in the ocean but he is proud and vain and none of the other fish want to be his friend—until he learns to give away some of his most prized possessions.
Sometimes the activity is so simple it's completed by the end of the story, and other times, we can spend a week or more immersed in the theme of a much-loved book.
When I looked online for activities related to The Rainbow Fish, there were hundreds of free ideas including arts & crafts, colouring pages, worksheets, games, loose parts play, snack ideas, and more! Learning like this is a little like a...
Have you used Khan Academy? Our teens have used it so much over the years (and still do), especially for Maths!
I used Khan Academy myself recently as I needed some further explanation on some Maths concepts for one of my university subjects. The lessons complimented the uni content perfectly and filled in the gaps I had so I could proceed with my assignment.
And something for my readers who aren't Aussies - they have a great section on Personal Finances with US information and links. So if you were a little let down by the Australian-centric info I shared here on Wednesday, check out Khan Academy! it's FREE!
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:
Rather than a rigid curriculum, the projects have been a conscious choice to include the...