Thursday, August 2, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: the land of Chaos

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Our HS Series: Babs, The Binder System

Meet Babs, (aka "Big Ass Binder System) hence "BABS" in polite company ;)

She is the frame work behind our school. Shes my Personal Assistant, she's everything. Without her, the sky would fall, and Chicken Little would be screaming her (him? it?) little head off.

Although we have moved on a little from her, we still use her, she's just more "streamlined" (more about that in a later post)

We'll start from the most important bits.

These are my "guides". I have been known to clutch these in a death-like grip. They are mine. Anyone touching them knows the universe may and will implode around them *jokes*.

To the left (blue) is the "Weekly Guide" This holds the schedule for the week, and all associated worksheets. The Middle (green) that very egocentrically has "Miss Edumacated" branded on it, is my Teachers Guide/Reference (hey, I like my name! :p ) binder. The one to the right (flowery brown) is my science Binder, which contains most of the Teacher stuff for science (so at least I *appear* to know what I am doing!)

Let's show a bit more about them.

This is my terrible cursive writing on the tabs of the Teachers/Reference Folder.
Tabs I have are:
Calendar: Everyday stuff/notes for trips/DH's work schedule
Supply Lists: Contains what is says, all the supply lists from curriculums
Movie Lists: Lists for Science, General, and History
Library List: I put everything together here and this helped me use my local librarys online Lists (I created Weeks 1-36 with them, then added appropriate books, all I have to do is check them all and hold them near the week I need them. I keep these are they are a backup hardcopy in case the library loses my lists.
History: Has various references/teacher cheat sheets, review cards etc
ABCs: Bits from our Pre-K curriculum that can't be organized by week
VIP/Misc: This has a protector sheet behind it and holds all my membership/support groups/subscriptions/receipts etc.

Here for example is a page from the "Supply Lists" tab, notice all the crosses/marks, I do mark-up my stuff! lol.

Now onto science:

My Science Binder has tabs for the different "threads" so a General/Overview, Animals, Human Body & Plants. All my teacher stuff and Lapbook components go in here.

Now back to that lovely binder shelf, or more specifically this part:

These are my binders that hold "all" of the schedules and worksheets. There are Six binders, each with six weeks worth of work in them, and each, originally named from 1-6.

And they each have tabs in them labelling the weeks with all the stuff behind it, so I can just grab a new week and plonk it into my "Weekly Guide" Binder.

Heres a little look see at the schedule I made up (used excel for weekly schedule pages and word for notes pages. We have 3 "schedule" pages per week. One Core, One LA, and One Electives, plus the "notes" pages. (Don't have a picture of Core page, but its roughly the same as the electives page).

This is the Language Arts page, its a little hard to see, but the vertical rows are colour co-ordinated with the Pre-K LA. So when I glance at what Atlas is doing I can just glance for the same colour down below and see what I can give to the littlies, to occupy them, if need be.

This is the electives page, the bottom bit just says that the littlies follow along (for both this & cores) if they want to.

And these are the "notes" pages behind the schedule. They are divided by day, then further by subject, for stuff I have to explain further about.

Heres a close-up:

Lastly, we were doing 1 Chapter of SOTW a week, which meant a few chapters would be left over. I just put the extra chapters in a display book, to do over the holidays:

So thats Part 1 of "Our Homeschool Series". Stay Tuned for further Parts!

And Happy Planning!

Miss Ed.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Quick Lil Post

I'll be putting up photos of the schedule I "used" in the next 2 days. I just wanted to note that I'll no longer be following this schedule.

Originally I was following The Well Trained Mind Book to pretty much the letter, but as some mums do, I got blindsided a tad about the "perfect school" as opposed to the "perfect school for my child" which is, in fact, pretty much the total opposite. So after a year of lagging through this perfect ideal, we are going back to basics. Hence, the curriculum sell-out listed on another post.

We're going more into the way of using a Themed program for each year (loosely followed) with some more Project Based & Natural Learning. i want to take a step back and focus my whole time on Chaos (who will hopefully be going in to get a referral for an assessment & OT) & Atlas (whom we have to work on with her Diabetes & phonics) so everything other than that will be counted as less-important, thus the more relaxed lifestyle.

I have noticed even coming up with this decision, has relieve a big load of my shoulders I was not aware was there. We got much more "schooling" done in the past 3 days, then we did in the past 2 weeks, which, to me is absolutely amazing. Its confirming my choice, that although we are not following the Classical Curriculum of SWB, we are following something that is teaching my children to be life long learners.

But, we'll see how we go with this approach. :p


Miss Ed

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

When the curriculum comes tumbling down...

It one of those times we're people see me as a red glowing monster. Yes, you should stay out of the way, NO I am not mad, but I will be if you keep asking.

For the love of all that is gold, please leave me alone!

That pretty much sums it up.

So, obviously the "norm" thing for me now (every year) is a couple of weeks into our lovely planned curriculum, I scrap most of it.

So we're a few weeks in, I'm behind with my posts, I haven't even downloaded any of the images from the camera (so several hundred photos from the past few weeks are on there)

And I also went through all the stuff we've either dropped or are not using, and all I can think is..."Did Rainbow Resource suddenly expand in Australia? Mainly my library?"

So I am concentrating on removing all the extra stuff from there, so like I can pretend it never happened. Because it didn't, and if DH says elsewise, I'll go get him a beer, he'll forget all about arguing with me.

And now blogger hates me, putting a moving scroller across my screen so I couldn't access my blog.

So yep, still here....unfortunately :p I will have to get stuck in to getting caught up with the blog this weekend, and probably do quite a number of blog posts, and timer set them, as I think life keeps getting in the way of blogging every weekend.

Until then, I am randomly adding, removing and playing around on Pinterest: so you can follow me there (I think there is a link over the right hand side also>>> ....somewhere.

Miss Ed

Monday, May 14, 2012

Final Countdown!

Its on, its here.....its....oh dear.

Yes, we're into the final countdown before our new school year begins, currently one week away.

I'm pretty much running round sounding like Chicken Little, because....ya know, the sky is most definitely falling right now (just IMO).

I have a huge, overwhelming, completely weird supplies list (okay, so in say a months time, when anyone asks for information on who built *that* totally wasn't me.) I know my supplies list may look a little weird when you tally up all the receipts....but I swear officer......its homeschooling materials (cause yeah.....10 tonnes of flour, 2 feet of aquarium tubing, potting soil, peroxide.....they are *all* just general homeschooling materials) oh and don't forget the 10 marbles, 6 Lima Beans (because 5 just ISN'T enough!), used (yes, you heard me right, used) coffee grounds, and 2 pairs of stockings (yes, for school....because why would you want to actually use them as clothing? *baffled look* )

Officer, just ignore the wilted celery on the table, its for science, and the shaving cream mess on the floor, all kids need sensory play......yes, I'm aware the ants in the ant farm are all dead....let's count that as the Lifecycle part of Science covered okay?

I'm thinking, though, on these trips of those spy cameras would light up the faces of homeschooling parents everywhere. I could take photos of each checkout operators face when they see the conglomerated supplies. I managed to get a slight taste of these "facets of faces" last weekend when I did a "teeny" shop for geography and a trip to get a library card. Several times I found myself peering behind to see if there was another person who warranted the incredulous looks....nope, was lucky me.

Anyhoo the main point of these trips will be to get most of the un-perishable ( needs to find the proper word for that :p ) supplies for the entire school year. I have decided it will require going to no less than 5-6 different stores, and a total of 2 days......two days for shopping, 3 grumpy kids, 1 harried mum and DH who is atttttt his witssss end (yeah, that was me trying to be funny with the "12 days of christmas", in case you couldn't tell).

The rest of this week is going to be spent doing the final household nitty-gritty bits, little parts of h/s plans, and the WHOLE of Sunday will be spent organzing the purchased supplies....and I will also take photos of all of our learning areas whilst the kids are asleep....before they wreck it for the new year (its like a right of passage/celebration, who can destroy mummies weeks of hard work into school areas and catching up with household stuff, in the smallest timeframe far Chaos is still in the lead with 20 minutes to completely oblierate the main living areas, 2 bedrooms and the bathroom (I found him encased/wrapped in a HUGE pile of TP he had unwrapped (about 20 rolls worth....the entire room looked like snow had come) the other 4 rolls were ripped into tiny shreds and scattered over the lounge and dining) all of this as done in the time it took for me to feed the dogs and hang the washing out. What a legend. :p

So because I am in such a jolly mood I will leave you with some parting notes:

1. The best persuasion is to tell a child should she not go to sleep, she'll not be allowed to play her DS in the morning. Child dutifully started snoring within a minute. I found this to be the best reason for getting the DS out of storage ;)
Useful Idiom: It's about time!

2. The worst idea I have ever had was to pretend I was dead/sleeping, and conked out on the floor. Chaos proceeded to grab my ear, and scream "WAKE UP, MUMMY!" right into it. Its 3 days later and my ear is still ringing.
Useful Idiom: On the tip of his tongue

3. Tonight, we were baking our potatoes in the oven, and DH was whipping up a colourful cake. We were getting weirded out to find out our potatoes were getting colder.....turns out the element seems to be broken (or something more sinister) and we now have no oven. Translation for kids: No cake.
Lying Idiom: A Piece of cake!

Now, off I must go to get my Aquarium tubing and Potting Soil.

Miss E.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Weekly MissEd - Enrichments

Time for our week in review (finally starting to implement this!)

We've been overhauling the house (as per past posts) so have stopped our unit studies and anything else we had going on.

But heres a few activities we have done in the past week:

- Checked out some Ipad/Iphone Apps

- Volcano Play - We used the Pocket Volcano from Mad About Science. First I filled the chamber with baking soda, and the kids took turns pouring vinegar into it. Then once the bottle of vinegar was used up and all in the bottom of the tub, I poured it into two seperate bowls, and added Blue Food Colouring to one and Green to the other. I then filled the tub with baking soda, and they played with that for a little bit. Once that got boring, I gave them spoons and let them pour the coloured vinegar onto the baking soda to create wonderful fizzles. For a little while, Atlas commented it looked like earth. Then they had glorious fun upending the bowls into the tub and watching giant eruptions everywhere. They then used the spoons to stir it into a thick gooey mess and spooned that back into the bowls. It probably would of been fun to then do some sort of painting with it, but we didn't have time.

- Science Tub Play - We got out some new toys from the science place (Sticky wall bugs, stretchy sticky octopus and a Magnet Set) The girls had fun throwing the Bugs and the Octopus at the windows and a couple of times onto the ceiling. Chaos was blissfully unaware of the goings-on as he was very much into his new Magnet Set (he loves magnets). We spent a good hour playing with these, and then I brought out the Caterpillar (winds up, then moves similar to a real caterpillar) the kids had fun trying it on different surfaces, Chaos was upset it wasn't magnetic (lol) and tried to follow it with his magnets and the girls took turns putting their bugs on the back of the caterpillar for a ride.

We also found this new site:

We Give Books
 - You can read free (good) books online, from DK Books to Picture Books to Madeline.

Heres a little bit about how it works:

We Give Books is a free website that enables anyone with access to the Internet to put books in the hands of children who don't have them, simply by reading online.
Simply choose the charity you want to read for and then select the books you want to read. For each book you read online, we donate a book to a leading literacy group on your behalf.
The more you read, the more we give.

So you get to read free books, and help out others! Amazing. We've signed up and have our own little library going on. tea's ready! Catch you next week

Miss E,

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Loungeroom Overhaul

So, I finished overhauling the library (a few posts back) now it's the loungerooms turn.

I actually did both the kids bedroom & the loungeroom one after the other over a couple of days, as I switched furniture out.

The kids room was always a mess. They had a bookshelf in there that books would constantly fall off of, their play kitchen which clothes and other items would disappear beneath and two toy storage boxes. Their clothes, books, toys etc, would just make this overflow of mess that was hard to contain. And there was no room to add a conventional laundry basket to contain dirty clothes. Now its been cleared. The cats frequently spend their night on the toy kitchen :p

The loungeroom is a weird L shape, with another L added onto it via hallways. This means it would be practically impossible to have a couch in there (ridiculous I know, but I saw the last persons set up before we purchased the place, and having a couch in there means you need to shuffle round and can hardly move. So this was set up as DH's den. It has his armchair and big TV and his PS3 (men and their toys.) since it was his domain, but also held all the various electronics (phone, DVD player, modems, routers etc) that entire area was a BIG, ENORMOUSE jumble of tangled cords/wires (seriously, if you know me IRL, you know this is my nightmare....I hate tangled cords....I have been known to just completely disconnect everything throw the jumbled mess into a storage tub, close the lid and toss it in the garage). At the top of the lounge/L is our giant cat tree. The cats only use the cat tree when the dogs are in the house, elsewise they are inside the curtains basking in the sun.

The room are now clean, tidy and organized.

Kids Room: Everything but the bed was removed (the kids share a king size bed for the moment, they prefer to snuggle with each other over being alone *awww*) The Cat Tree (with a LOT of humphing and hawing) was moved my moi into the bedroom. I told DH he now HAS to do the raingutter bookshelves if he wants anywhere to put the books :p I hopefully have lit enough of a fire under him that it should be done sometime in the next few weeks. A Laundry basket will be put behind the kids door now that there's room. The cats were gloriously happy to have the cat tree in that room and spent a majority of the evening glaring down at everyone from the top of it.

Lounge: Kept DH's "den", but completely removed all the wires, cleaned under everything, and slightly moved the corner shelf, now all wires are labelled, OCD'ed :p, wound up and taped (or wound and used twisty wires to hold), and are all nice and neat (now this was a LOT of effort.....where's that medal? :p), with the cat tree gone, I had that weird top of L hallway bit, so I have put the kids bookshelf, the big wooden toybox, our mini chalkboard table & chairs, and our cane chair, as well as all of our wooden baskets there, and this will become the kids nature/seasons nook. They can play, and bring in items from outdoors etc...more on this later :p

Next up I have to start catching up a bit on the washing and moving some storage items from my room to the storage room. The next "real" challenge will be re-organizing the bathroom (boring to you guys :p ) and then the kitchen/dining (which is basically more cleaning...boring) and the teachers closet (*gulp* ummm....its a mess in there.....I may need chocolate before I attempt that)

Miss E.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Your friend in the fridge

The following is an unedited conversation with my daughter.......

Atlas: What friends did you have when you were younger mummy...

Mummy: (I was trying to type something out) ....Well, I had an invisible friend. A pretend friend no-one else could see.

Atlas: I have a pretend friend.....she moved away

Mummy: um....*trying not to laugh*

Atlas: What? She moved out of the fridge.....her bed was made of ice-cream.

At that point I lost touch with reality for a few seconds and couldn't stop laughing. BTW, this was during her curiously asking about Egyptians and the Afterlife/embalming etc, so this conversation just came out of nowhere.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Pinterest Projects are HAZARDOUS

You walk onto pinterest (well your fingers walk, but same old, same old) and find all these amazing projects, kid inspired crafts and things that SHOULD you actually do them, rather than pinning and forgetting, will make you the best mother in the world. *snort* yeah.

This is a myth. There are many seemingly innocent projects that can go extremely awry.

We have done many of these pinterest projects, and is about 80/20 (80% goes awry) An example of one is the "Bubble Snake Maker"

This activity looks great! Your kids will count you as the fun mother who provided an amazing activity to keep them occupied all afternoon. So ^ above is what this should look like. I know its usually meant for older kids, but my children (6) (4) (3) are great at doing this sort of thing! After all, they can blow bubbles in the milk and create an overflowing volcano with the straw, so this seems like the perfect NO. Just NO.

What actually happened went something like this: "Hey kids, look what super cool mummy made!" **oooooooohhhhhh** "So what you do is this (demonstrates)" **yyeeeeyyyy, our go, our go** "Okay, have fun!" The kids then proceed to "breathe in" with their lips over the bottle **cack cack, cough, cough** "Oh, silly Chaos, you okay? Sweetie you breathe out through in, see (over exaggerates on breathing in away from bottle, and blowing out in bottle) so do you want to try again?" **yes, yes, I do it** ............. **cack cack, cough cough**

Yep. I had to end up being the "bad" mummy and confiscating the "Snake Maker".

Do you have any Pinterest projects that flopped?

Contemplating the MESS!

I'm sitting here....procrastinating as usual (this time its procrastinating in going to bed......during the day I am tired, then once everyone else is in bed, I enjoy my quiet & alone time so much, I have the singular thought "I can sleep when I'm dead".

Upon my procrastination journey through Pinterest (My link to my boards is right over there >>>) I started thinking about the mess children make and the myths some people seem to believe (that or they have major denial mode kicking in, I am guilty of this too). They think if they limit or take away the toys, this will limit the mess.

I am coming forward to say THIS IS NOT TRUE. Children have the imagination & determination to make a mess from whatever comes to hand. Locking your cabinets & cupboards won't help either. Gosh forbid you leave one singulat cupboard unlocked, they will find that cupboard and create mass destruction.

My children are capable of making the GROSSEST mess compiled just of their lunch ingredients & paper. I can go into my beautiful just cleaned loungeroom, and find that they have left the dining area, jettisoned themselves across the house, and created a mess of crumbs, crust, apple skin and cut up miniscule paper ALL OVER my just vacuumed carpet. They have got this routine down pat to two minutes. 120 seconds and the loungeroom goes from decor magazine to landfill. AND for the LOVE of all that is holy, do NOT let my children get a hold of tomato sauce or peanut butter. I made the mistake of leaving both on the benchtop whilst I went out back to feed the dogs. BIGGEST mistake ever. I came back inside to find one of the dining chairs re-upholstered with peanut butter, said butter was trailed all across the wall, into the hallway across my whitegoods, and smeared all around the walls of the bathroom. The entire tomato sauce bottle was upended on my carpet. Cleaning peanut butter off the toilet wall has to be the most gross situation.

And my children aren't the only ones to try to dip into my never-ending patience. My DH has big feet, thus big shoes, and has the habit of taking them off in the middle of the hall, middle of doorway, middle of room, anywhere where I am likely to go a** over t** and nearly kill myself.

And the final drama? The toilet paper has to be locked away. The children will rip it into pieces and create snowmen, and if they don't touch it and you leave it (h I don't know, where its MEANT to be) then the cats seem to think the TP is some sort of alien bent on attacking them, as you'll wake up to it shredded into pieces and them still skulking around waiting for the TP to attack again.

I gave up on rugs about a year ago, after going through about 10 rugs in 7 years. My children seem to congregate around the rug, and plot ways for its demise. This includes, but is not limited to: - Yoghurt splats, leaving their "leavings" (when they were younger of course), said tomato sauce, stashing noodles and rice just to smoosh into rugs, and many other bewildering situations.

Now don't get me wrong, my children, DH & my cats are nice, good people. :D They just have certain creative centers that seem to focus on destructive imaginative. If I clean a room, internal sensors on anybody in the house automatically "pings" and knows, and they head towards this lovely shiny room, and become.......NOT my family, people I don't know. They go absolutely barmy, like a snowstorm, until room is suitable for their messy tastes again, they calm down and leave.

Luckily, I have a special secret whenever I am getting frustrated and upset, I just head over to Parenting Illustrated with Crappy Pictures and suddenly, I'm giggling and laughing and everything is okay again, I soldier on.

So whenever your having a bad day, and everyone has got you down, just head to her site, and rest assured, everything will seem okay again :D

Miss E.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Re-organizing & Getting Ready for the New School Term

These days are flying by!

Our new school year will begin 21st May.

I've cleared the schedule for the next month until then to do cleaning (ignored whilst planning, so house is a bomb-site), deep cleaning & maintenance, re-arranging and re-organizing.

I love this idea. The kids know we start school in roughly a month, we've stopped any unit studies/natural learning we had going (although they still learn amazing things every day), and they understand they are helping me get ready for the new school year. They haven't even made a fuss about me slowly taking away all the toys!

I've finished the library (which i'll admit, amidst planning and spreading out on the floor in there, I made the room a mess a couple of times!

Heres the summary of the overhaul to the library:

- Completely cleared & cleaned shelves & cupboards
- Labelled EVERYTHING. lol. Labelled all the shelves, filing cabinet draws and the art cupboard
- Cleared out all the stuff that didn't belong in said drawers & cupboards (what the? TP Holder? 3M Sticky things.....OH so THATs where my otterbox iphone holder went!
- Collected up every book in the house wiped any covers that needed it, and put all books on appropriate shelves
- Recycled books past their prime (sorry kids, Lola & Charlie are falling to pieces)
- Put board books and plain silly kids books (heres your simpsons colouring book Chaos) back into the kids room.
- Put everything back into appropriate cupboard area
- Cleared middle bookshelf for all enrichment/extra activity stuff
- Put return book basket back ontop of art cabinet (temporarily filled with misc craft supplies till I get some organizing baskets etc)

And you know what? I had NO reason to complain! I have PLENTY of room in my little library! I have four empty filing cabinets ready to re-fill with Art Supplies, History/Geo Supplies, Craft Supplies and Science stuff. In my art cabinet there is now room for the pile of scrap paper (all paper before was in the bottom drawer of the filing cabinet, loose and was just everywhere.), pile for the folders/laminating pouches etc, and an empty slot for the copy paper once I release it from my "clutch" (currently under computer table in my bedroom). Bottom shelf has been cleared for misc/more craft supplies, and on the other side I have a clear file crate with suspension folders holding a rainbow of construction paper (and my photo paper at the back). Also managed to fit my year plans into the top shelf of the bookshelf.

I'm SO excited, I actually have a workable library with loads of room :D

Next up, I have started on the loungeroom, so once I clear, and clean that tornado of a room, I figured out what to do with that weird shape of our "loungeroom" (our house was originally one not really meant for kids, so the lounge is a mini L shape thats very odd, I have an expanse of narrow room (or wide hall) back to the library. I'm going to make this into a Nature Area! :D We're studying biology/life science this year, so we're going to be having a little area to congregate our nature supplies,put all our critters, and its also going to be a little waldorf-inspired play area for collected nature supplies (think nature table/shelves, waldorf playscape, seasonal tables, that sort of thing) It'll give me something to do with all of these wicker baskets I have collected to (everyone keeps GIVING them to me for some reason :/ LOL)

My plans are to get the Dino-scape/cardboard playset up tommorrow night (pics!) and I'll also hopefully find somewhere they have them in stock so I can link.

Right....enough procrastinating (although in my defence I am waiting for the vacuum cleaner to charge up again :p) back to work for me.

P.S. Yes, will get pics of school areas, once they are stocked, right now, they are looking empty till DH raids the postman :p

Miss E.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

A timeline of Me: What I actually look like

So any coming across me on any forum, will see my "classic" avatar

But what do I ACTUALLY look like? Well, it changes any given day. Yes, I do need glasses, no, most of the time I don't wear them. Actually I need to go get some more, I have been through so many pairs over the years, I just sort of gave up :p (My children spent about 4 long years consistently destroying each pair of glasses I got)

This is me about 7 years ago (sans makeup, professional photographer)

And about the same time, a photo taken by myself, with makeup:

And this was about 18 months ago, (sans makeup, self-taken)

And this was sometime last year (camera phone, no make-up, and obviously annoyed that I had to take a photo of myself (I hate photos) No trickery. My kids wall is Purple, and my hair is RAINBOW

I've sort of been ignoring my hair of late, which means I have plentiful roots of my natural hair colour (which I haven'y seen since my teens, I'm naturally a sort of mousey blonde that sparkles and changes with the sun, I didn't like it because of the sterotypes and it was that fair (and my hair was already fine) that it looked like from far away that I was bald Oo )

So my avatar would be me, before I became a rainbow fairy, if I was a good girl wearing my glasses (and not squinting at everything) and probably just after I have had a shower :p Elsewise I pretty much look like the above pics (or a fair amount worse). So I much prefer my avatar, its pretty much putting my best face forward, so to speak.

Oh and Dressing Gown and Uggboots are my wardrobe staple when home ;)

Miss E.

Monday, April 16, 2012


That is a current simple fact.

Its been one week since I last blogged (I promised myself to regularly update this blog) and what do I have to show for it? NOTHING.

Oh, its not like I have been sitting around doing nothing, on the contrary, I am have been running around like a chicken with its head cut-off.

But anything I have done is not photo-blog worthy, not even photo-less blog worthy. A WHOLE post about nothing. Interesting!

I finished the basis of my planning, its all done and raring to go, unfortunately, instead of purchasing the camera I said I would.....I went and bid (and won) an Ipad. Well it was cheap and I REALLY needed one. Apart from the obvious fact that I seem to be the only homeschooling mother without one (or so it seems when you ask for suggestions for resources/curriculums and everyone replies with ipad apps) I actually DID have quite a number of personal reasons I needed it. The main being DS learns so much from my iphone, but has problems with the small screen, another is that I desperately needed a place for my picture book ebooks (Kindle DX does not work so well for colour picture books).

I've also been getting stuff for the continent boxes, purchasing online supplies needed, and helping to edit a really, really cool Living Maths book. But none of it is really blog-worthy on its own (well the LM book is, but I am really not at liberty to say more right now :p )

I am hoping my old camera magically appears and I can get just a few photos out of it of the binders, but at least I have done my duty and not let a week go by without blogging ;)

Hopefully in the next few days (still busy with that book) I can get onto my other computer and upload pics of this really cool Dinosaur book my son has been playing with.

Until then, I think I am going to sleep. I think I've come down with the flu :(

Till next time
Miss Edumacated

Monday, April 9, 2012

Planning & Organising...The Circle of Life

I've had a few people PM me in one of the many forums I visit, in hopes that I will have that "perfect" planning/organising/scheduling solution for them.

I'm afraid I probably don't

I'm good for ideas, but won't be able to come up with a solution for your unique situation, why? Because only you can do that.

The fact of the matter is, NO-ONE will have a perfect planner system that will work for every single year of their child/ren's homeschooling journey. They may have one that they "make do" with for the whole of the cycle, if its not in them to come up with something different or change it.

Because your children & you, all change throughout the homeschooling journey. Just because a particular curriculum or planner may work for you this year, does not mean it will work next year. In fact, in most cases, it won't. It's in us to evolve, change & re-arrange, so this comes across in our learning styles and in the way we organize.

Last year we went with the workbox/filebox/crate system. And this worked brilliantly, for that year, if you'll remember we were also using Sonlight, already planned out, and I could just dump the appropriate sheets into that weeks folder. This year, I started to plan that way, only to realize, I just had too many sheets in each weeks folder, I am putting together my own whole curriculum from different curriculums/resources. The sheets were getting bent, the box wasn't holding up to the weight and it was just generally starting to be annoying.

This year we are going with a binder system ala Sonlight style. I think this will work quite well (I will be photo-blogging next weekend on the whole binder system, so you'll have more info then.

What about next year? Well I can tell you now, the binder system probably won't work for us then. Next year I will have 1 in preschool, 1 in Kindergarten/Prep & 1 in 2nd Grade. The Binder will just be too all over the place, everything won't fit in unless I have about 10 binders, and it will just be higgledy-piggledy. My initial plan thinking now, will probably be to mostly use Proclick Binding to make whatever subjects into individual books. I will probably have one folder for stuff like pre-k/kinder stuff. I will also pro-click the lesson planner. So everything will be via child & subject, then student & Teachers manuals

And What about the year after that? Well....thats quites a whiles away :p But since by then, the children can really start having individual subjects and not relying on me to initiate each subject (the youngest will be in prep/kinder by then) I will probably get on the Workbox/drawer wagon and follow that. or individual weekly books, or student binders etc.

Right now, all subjects are pretty much teacher intensive as my kids are young. I have to hand everything out, explain everything, and generally lead the whole herd through the day :p. So as such, I have to look at ideas best meant for the "teacher" and not directed towards the student.

The Point being, don't get frustrated if your current planning isn't working out. It happens to the best of us, and your system will always be evolving! I think probably the best chance you have of finding a "perfect" planner is finding someone in a similar situation (curriculum wise) and with similarly (is that a word? hmmm...dictionary time after this!) aged children, and see what they are using.

Try to remember what styles you are currently using, as this most affects your end planner. (e.g. if you are using something like AAR, a workbox system isn't going to work out very well, unless every drawer is filled with "lesson with mum" :D lol )

Good luck with your journey!

Miss Edumacated

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Why I haven't posted for a few days...

I just missed Wordless Wednesday, which would of explained it without writing. I have been snowed under with doing the final notes for my planning sheets (basically the final bit before plonking everything into folders and pronouncing myself done).

Unfortunately this involves a great amount of desk space.......oh and apologies for the picture, I won't be getting a new camera till next wednesday, so this one has been take with my iphone.

Yep. Thats half a giant folding table (the kind they set-up for markets or impromptu meetings :p ) You don't want to see the other, trust me on this. I think I have enough energy drinks to create a life size pyramid. Plus 2 bottles of tomato sauce....because, yeah, there just essential on your desk.

So once I find the table again, I will post more...I promise :D

Miss Edumacated

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Mums time to Get Creative!

When homeschooling your child, sometimes you tend to forget YOU need an outlet too!

Some people, like myself, can get quite crabby when we don't have a creative outlet in the works.

So remember to schedule a little time in for yourself, even if its just once a month, to do a fun little project. This can be cross-stitch, sewing, crafts etc.

There are so many things that you could try, even just once. Here's some of my past projects for ideas:

Sheet Felt:

3D Felt (Merino wool) Art Sculpture:

What I like to call Zen Landscaping:

Digital Scrapbooking or Making your Own Signatures:

Making Pixel Art/Skins for the Game Mincraft:

Fire Hydrant Skin

Old Monitor Man

Egyptian God Horus

Participate in forum swaps. This is a swap I sent out to someone years ago:

If at the end of the day, you don't have time, and are in need of stress relief, why not use your childs face for your art? :p

OTHERWISE at the end of the day, you'll be taking out your stress on something you own, like your ...I don't cake topper for example?
RIP Bride Groom, What Happened when Adelaide got ahold of it

So now that you've done reading this, go pencil in a lil mum time into your planner, you deserve it!

Miss E.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

How do you do it all?

This is a question I have been asked many, many times. We may only be "new" to formal homeschooling (1 yr) but after planning this year, and the things we got through last year with two littlies hanging on, everyone seems to want to know.

After the last PM today, I decided to blog about it.

Answer is.....I don't!

The "ideal" solution for us would be for me to make my own curriculum, completely from scratch, but unless I have a year between each "schoolyear" and no children around, that is not going to happen!

What we do (and so you don't think I am totally crazy, I have seen a few other homeschoolers who do this) is yes, I buy mutiple curriculums/resources for one subject. This may not be the most money-efficient means (well, its definitely not) but it allows me to customise a subject to our liking with a minimum of fuss.

For the subject at hand, I gather all the materials/curriculums/resources I purchased. Then I usually have one item/curriculum as the spine/base (for History this is Story of the World, for Science its Elemental Science) then anything else I rearrange according to the layout of the spine item. Once that is done, I simple go through each mini subject and pick and choose the books,activities etc to suit our current set-up/year.

Most of the items I purchase are teacher manuals/digital curriculums etc, stuff that can be re-used for reference/activities/curriculums throughout their schooling. We follow "very loosely" the WTM way i.e. the 4 year rotation of history. So anything we don't use this year, can be used on our next two rotations (yes, believe it or not, some of the stuff I purchased now can be used for the child in year 9).

So *thats* my secret. I don't actually do it all, and if I did, I would probably have gone completely mad by now! :D Its just a matter of holding tight to how you want the final subject to turn out. For us right now, videos and arts & crafts trump everything, as with the combined ages of the kids, this is what can be done/viewed by all, and enjoyed by each ones individual learning style. After that comes games & books, last is worksheets. My children are not very worksheet styled, so experiments, documentaries, art, craft and DIY games work much better to help them retain that knowledge.

Before we have even begun the year, my daughter is entranced with all that is *egyptians*, this came from 3 things. The start of it was a simple papyrus picture in a frame I picked up, she wanted to study it for ages, then, by pure accident, I started watching a documentary on King Tut, she was absolutely fascinated, and asked more about it, where I led her to an online game about Egyptian Mummies. Now she's become so obssessed she even wants me to make her dibetes logbook into Egyptian themed complete with "an Egyptian flat person on the front and hieroglyphics inside and LOTs of gold mummy!". I have promised her a trip to the museum in the City towards the middle of the year, when they have an exhibition on Egyptian mummies on, she's counting down the days.

So yes, my advice is to not do it all, if a curriculum/program suits you fully, stick with it. I have found most programs in their unaltered states don't suit us, as we require a very vigourously interactive program.

So hopefully your not thinking I am supermum now!

Miss E.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Health, Safety & Etiquette DIY Curriculum

WOW! Three posts in one day....yeah, I tend to do that, lol.

Anyhow, today I give you a major link-dump. I am currently making my own Curriculum as others out there aren't suitable for us. This has Australian sites and information, so if you not in Australia, just look up your local Fire, Emergency Service, Police etc websites. I looked at all websites around Australia, as for emergency numbers they are the same, and its harder to get Aussie Kids stuff.

This is just draft links, not my curriculum, but from where I go from here, its a bit hard to post (copyright and all that from anything I add/purchase etc), so with these links,this will hopefully help you make your own Health, Safety & Etiquette Curriculum.

Be warned, this link list is REALLY long!

Health, Safety & Etiquette


Professor Bumblebees Guide to Type 1 DVD

Grandma Sandy

Diabetes Food Pyramid Bingo

Bee Healthy Diabetic Logbook

Diabetes Colouring Pages

Dealing with Diabetes with Arthur

It's time to learn about diabetes

Healthy Food, Nutrition & the Pyramid

Crunch & Sip Poster in Resources

Importance of drinking water

Has hydration and nutrition lesson plans

Health and Nutrition Activities

Sesame Street Health

Nourish Lessons

Dora's food guide pyramid printable

My 5 senses

I can be a scientist – my 5 senses unit

My 5 senses mini unit

Smelling Bottles

5 Senses Unit Ideas:

My 5 senses Unit

Doctors & Germs

Germ Blow Painting

Official Handwashing Lesson:

Handwashing Printables

Cover your cough

Doctor and Hospital Pretend Play Printables

Doctor is In felt play set

Fake Cast for Doctor Kit

Storytime Bandaids

Props Printables

Pretend Hospital

Cover your sneeze free circle guide

First Aid

Venomous Snakes and tick bites

Kids guide to First Aid

I want to be a doctor ebook

Kids guide to First Aid – PDF Version

Activities/fun for Doctor/Nurse Theme

Colac Kids Ambulance Page

Ambulance – Emergency Helpers Programme

Be an Ambulance Hero Dial Zero Zero Zero

Doctors Dramatic Play Set

Poisons Safety

Hospital Roleplay

Doctors Surgery roleplay

Fire Fighters/ Fire Safety

Funtastic Folders Fire Safety!-F-is-for-Fire-Safety?it=1

CFA Victoria – Programs, Resources etc

Fire & Rescue NSW – Resources, Downloads & Activities etc

Fire Links (Mainly Sparky Resource Link)

Firetruck Dramatic Play

Ideas and Games for Fire Theme

Fire station Roleplay

SES, Flooding & Water Safety

Lessons Plans (SES)

Water Safety Lesson Plan

Safe Passage Teachers Guide (Might be useful)

Being Sunsmart/Skin Cancer/Sunscreen/Slip Slop Slap

Cancer Council Sunsmart Resources

Sunsmart – Resources, links downloads

Printable Resources for Sun Safety

Sun Safety Activities

Recycling/Trash/Earth Day

Read and Understand article about what to recycle

Recycling Resources

Wee (little) Recyclers download Kit

Earth Day Recycling Activity Packet

Recycling! Thematic Unit

Police/000/Stranger Danger

Police Roleplay Resources

Roleplay – Missing Person Form

000 Resources – Police

Police Officer Resources

Police Unit Study

All About Me Book

Little Houses – to Learn Address, Safety etc

Stranger Danger Roleplay

Stranger Danger Worksheet

Alternative to Stranger Danger

Police Roleplay

Road, Car & Street Safety

Projects & Resources

Kids on the Move Downloads:

Car Safety for Kids

Kids on the Move more activity downloads

Car Safety Acitivities

Car Safety Songs


Ideas for Dental Theme

Dental Activities

FUNtastic Folders – T is for teeth!-T-is-for-Teeth?it=1

Dental Theme Printables

Toothbrush Painting

Lets play dentist

Shared Reader Activities

Dental Health Curriculum Unit

Dentist roleplay

Manners & Etiquette

Remember your manners

Manners from Toddler Bites

Tea Party Etiquette and Manners

Mrs E's Extraordinary Manners

Manners Please!%3A--Poems-and-Activities-That-Teach-Responsible-Behavior?it=1

365 Manners every kids should know kindle ebook

Emotions, Feelings and Bullying

My Feelings Lesson Plan

Emotions (Check Preview)

Understanding Emotions Unit Study

Bullying Lesson

Bullying Lesson Plans

Exercise/Activeness & PE

Nourish Active & Exercise

Fitness for Children

Family Time Fitnes

Chores & Cleaning

NONE. We are planning to make up a chores chart for the kids, and have a cleaning role play area for that week. fun with all those links!

Miss E.


Curriculum Flip-Switch

Is it only me, or before school begins for the new year, do you also suddenly jump around and backtrack all over the place?

Because it is starting to not be amusing.

This, however, is my final change, *holds hand over heart* I promise!

So changes ahoy!

-Scrapping Explode the Code (my daughter does not appreciate the repetiveness of the book) we will keep the books around in case of a need to review, but we won't have them anywhere on the lesson plan
- Adding in All About Reading Level 1. New program, I already had the readers, but just found out the teachers part has come out, and that was the final push needed to decide to go on to that instead

- All About Spelling will be moved back to start Level 1 in the middle of the year (week 19)

-After jumpstarting around A LOT on this, I have decided to put 1a&1B back to next year, and just do Part B this year, instead of skipping ahead, so sticking back to the original plans from back yonder. I will be adding in Maths Lessons for a Living Education Book 1 & Life of Fred Elementary Series.

So there we go, a few simple (yeah right!) changes to our curriculum!

P.S. A link dump for the Health, Safety & Etiquette curriculum will be up in the next few days!

Miss E.

Monday, March 19, 2012

A little a very long time

WOW! Six months have passed without a word from me! (oopsy daisy!)

Rest assured, I am still here plugging away at stuff. Unfortunately a whole bunch of things clashed together over that period making it practically impossible for me to concentrate on my blog and other areas.

First, I had a bit of a run-in with my CFS making me tired, irritable, and generally foggy brained, so was concentrating on getting myself through that area. Second, we had a nice family break, just us, and that was amazing. Third, house issues came to the forefront, fixing things up, then finally a couple of weeks ago up until about a week ago, the floods hit.

We were alright, the floods didn't "reach" our property, but our yard was flooded, lol. Our driveway was like a running river and there was an enormous pond in our backyard (the dogs played mud wrestling through it). The closest the floods got was around the corner from us (which had me constantly using my iPhone to check it and make sure it wasn't coming closer). But we were "isolated" to a degree that we couldn't get to any town to stock up on supplies. All 4 towns "near" us were closed off, and the main highway at the end of our road was also closed.

We are on aerial? I suppose you'd call it, Internet. Unfortunately early on in that flood, the local tower for our Internet was underwater. So we were rural without Internet or land line (our land line is VOIP). I thanked everything for my iPhone, as it allowed me not to go insane (game apps), check current emergency warnings, weather sites and of course, current road closures (safari), and of course, allowed me to stay in touch with my husband (who was able *just* to get to work throughout the floods, thanks to back/off-road options) and with friends who were worried.

Anyway, all that babbling aside. We should be almost/just beginning our new school year, but I have delayed it on several accounts. Because of how sick I was, we got behind (although they had plenty of arts/crafts, educational movies, ed games, and "electives" to fill up that time), and two, because I have decided to get A through her Maths at a more accelerated pace. She'll be doing Part B of her Singapore Math (originally scheduled for this year) before beginning the new "school term". She honestly is not getting challenged enough (I believe I wrote about this before), so we essentially want to skip ahead with her Maths (I've added in some supplements that are sure to challenge/entertain her as well) so whilst I am getting back up to date/finalising the new school year, we will be concentrating on Part B Math and a little phonics (I deliberately slowed down the phonics workbook so she would have something other than maths to work on). Other than that we'll just do Monthly crafts (current project -Easter).

And for a little tidbit to apologise and to keep you happy - I have been working on two things, a new organisation/planning system to wow the mind (affectionately named BABS (but OLLY in public, will tell you why soon), and a from scratch Health, Safety & Etiquette curriculum (the original curriculum I was looking at was very lacking, so spurred me onto create my own). So soon I'll post with glorious photos and details of those (yes, the blog is a bit short of photos lately, need some more pretty goodness :p )

See you soon!
Miss Edumacated