Friday, January 30

What I have been doing for 2 weeks

This last fortnight has been a busy one for me. I have been doing housework which has increased a little due to some fleas that have decided to take up residence. I have been enjoying our pool with our kids in the heat of summer. I have also been organising and planning school further.

School is only 2 days 15hrs 22min
away here in WA(I have a cool countdown thingy on my desktop). I am down to lesson planning and getting resources and supplies necessary for the next term of workbooks, science experiments, lapbooks (thanks for the paper Mum), unit studies and individual lessons of topics I've chosen. We approach homeschooling in a truly ecclectic fashion.

I don't need to do the "back to school" shopping as I don't require brand new items each year. I needed to get some student paints in primary colours for art that we'd run out of as we'll be exploring Hues, Shades, Tints, Tones and Monochomes throughout this year. The only other items of stationery I seem to regularly buy is printer toner and white out. We tend to go through these things, even though I don't print many things (I think???) and the girls don't make many mistakes (they think???) !!!

After two months of holidays we are all good and ready to get back to the books. The girls and I finished school in the last weeks of November or early December so it's been a LONG Christmas break. Dave finished a week or so before that and he will start his degree 2 weeks after we start.
Over the holidays at different times I've said to the girls if they want to go back to school yet, a purely hypthetical question because I wasn't prepared to yet, and Natasha has wanted to start back since the beginning of Jan whereas Olivia has only been saying yes since last week.

That's my update for now. I have lots of ideas for future posts including some input from hubby, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, January 14

18 days

As I sit here over my morning coffee my little ticker on my desktop tells me it's 18 days until the beginning of Term 1. This excites me and fills me with dread all at the same time. The excitement comes from a new year, some new books/stationery and a return to the school routine. The dread comes from having to plan the new year, find the books and return to the school routine!

How are you going with your homeschooling preparations? Do you buy things through the year and use them immediately or do you save things up until the new year to use then? Do you buy everything as the end of the year or the last week before term begins?

For us, I've researched (many, many, MANY hours of research) which books to use and as I have the funds have bought them. In 2007 we were in the position to buy the rest of the books needed for primary school english, maths and health for both the girls (so 5 years for one and 3 years for the other). This has taken a huge weight off my shoulders to have finally found the ones that we like and stick to them. So most of my work is finding and implementing lessons for the rest of the Curriculum Framework Outcomes.

Here in Western Australia it is legal to homeschool. We have to register as a Home Educator and the girls are registered as our "students". We also need to show that we are covering the outcomes of the Curriuculm Framework, a document which teachers spend 11 weeks learning about at Uni. Basically the outcomes are Science, Maths, Art, English, Physical Education and Health, Technology and Enterprise, Society and Environment and LOTE (Languages other than English). We cover each of them at some time through the school year, focusing on the more important ones, English, Maths, Science, PE&H, Art and Society and Environment (which is basically social studies). Once a year our district moderator comes out to be shown if you are covering all this and the girls are learning. They report to the Education Department and you are "allowed" to continue for another year. This is compulsory from the time your child is 6 until 16years old. There is no payment, allowance or funding from the Goverment at all as in other countries around the world, even though we save them a heap of money by not sending our children to public (goverment) schools. But that's another post I'm sure!

Monday, January 12

New Resource

Today a new resource arrived in my mailbox. A book by John Hudson Tiner called Exploring the History of Medicine. This is the second book we have of his, we bought Exploring Planet Earth last year. I find them simple, easy to use and they have a Christian perspecitve. A good addition to our Science section of our homeschooling library I think, considering Olivia has "Veterinarian" in her sights at this stage in life!

Saturday, January 3


This holidays my girls have been so busy.

They've swum, sung, bounced, played, read, watched, learnt, run, hit (with a bat), thrown, skipped, hula-hooped, loved, unwrapped, listened, enjoyed, joined-in, cleaned, tidied, drawn, coloured, written, constructed, brushed, dressed, made, explored, ridden, and scootered, just to name a few!

I'm so glad we have the freedom to allow the girls to do so many things and that when holidays are over, things wont change that much, we'll be adding in extra learning, everything else is just a normal part of their lives! (I kinda wish I was a kid again!)

Friday, January 2

Regular Blog

I blog regularly at In Him. Please come and visit often. I've set this blogger account up as purely a homeschooling blog, where I can blog about our adventures as a homeschooling family.

Now for introductions, I'm Larissa. I live in a small country town in the Central Wheatbelt of Western Australia. I'm married to Dave who is currently studying a Bachelor of Ministry via extension. His blog is the PASSION Blog. Together we have 2 girls who we've homeschooled since the beginning of 2004. We are entering into our 6th year this year and intend to continue all the way through. The oldest will be 11 in a few months and the youngest will turn 9 in a few weeks.
Our family looks after our big dog Billy, our old cat Kuching, our young cat Chloe, our grumpy rabbit Thumper and our 3 aging chooks (hens) Jessie, Sasha and Speckles. We are not planning to add to our menagerie anytime soon!

As I enter into the new year I am beginning to get into planning mode for the start of the school year in a few weeks. I bought books for the rest of primary school for Maths, English and Health last year, so that's covered, but the other learning outcomes; LOTE (languages other than english) , S&E (society and environment) , T&E (technology and enterprise), PE (physical education), Art and Science have to be organised. I also need to plan how much work the girls will be doing out of the books and how fast to progress. We stick to this pretty much but I gauge how the girls are going and reinforce or layoff as needed. So we're flexible within the organisation.

Being Summertime here in Australia, its hot. Today, however, is forecast to be 44.c (111.f) maximum temperature, the hottest I've ever been in if we hit it. I think we got to 43.c (109.f) one day last year. It's reached over 32.c (9o.f) everyday, mostly over 35.c (95.f) since Dec 21st. So for more than 13 days now. I've almost had enough. I'm glad we have air conditioning, that's for sure! Especially at night as we've been getting down to between 15.c and 25.c (59.f - 77.f). So consequently I've slowed down and have absolutely nothing planned to do today except stay cool! We have a little blow-up pool under a pergola for the girls to cool off in and occasionally we'll hop in too for a bit. So that's good for them to enjoy during Christmas holidays.

I'm off to hang some washing out, it's windy as well as warm so it'll be dry in no time!