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