Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Interesting bytes

Just taking a moment to share some of the interesting bits and pieces taking place here recently!

We had a wonderful time at an athletics carnival this week last term.  The kids actually participated instead of shying out at the last minute!  No pressure, they just loved being with their friends and went in running races, long jump (J. won a ribbon), high jump, tug of war, hurdles, throwing and novelty events.  I'd love to share the group photo, but can't be bothered asking a hundred people for permission!

Obviously inspired by watching lots of Bear Grylls shows this year, the kids created a water filter using things they found in the yard and an old t-shirt.  They did it all while I was inside answering an email ... earlier they'd decided to wash toys and scrub pavers just for fun!  They mixed muddy water in a pit they dug in the gravel path, and I heard one child comment that it still tasted a bit dirty after the filtering process ... at that point I joined the conversation to say that although their filter might be great, there could unfortunately be pesticides or chemicals in the ground in which they mixed their water (we live in suburbia).  I didn't manage to catch it on camera.  They are keen to go camping so they can try out some other bush survival skills ... shelters and fire I can get excited about, but I'm not keen to replicate scenes involving snakes, bodily fluids, carcasses or knives!

A friend lent us an Engineering Connections DVD, in which Richard Hammond reveals the secrets behind some well known super-structures.  We spent several days last term learning about bridges, photographing and drawing them and building models ... the DVD increased our understanding of engineering exponentially!

Inspired by Suji, I created a free Weebly website to organise links to the websites the kids use.  The kids can now click on THEIR page, and easily access whatever they need to via neat drop down menus, organised mostly by subject.  MUCH easier and cuter than our shared, crowded Safari bookmark bar.

We discovered Storybird, which is a fun site where you choose from heaps of awesome artwork to illustrate stories you create.  I set up a 'school' for my family, where we have a class library of the stories we write using Storybird.  It's FUN!

E. and I went to Kid's Camp during the holidays ... 5 days of crazy fun and fellowship for about 60 Year 3-6 kids.  I was surrogate Mum for 5 delightful Year 3 girls, whilst E. shared a dorm with 8 other 8-9 year old boys!  Not a lot of sleep was had, but the fun included dawn walks, Gala Night plays, elective activities like Survivor, Bootcamp, Chocolate Making, Beading; a photo challenge.  The Olympics involved lots of water games ... and a flouro porridge war!

I have been reading a stack of highly recommended Home Ed. books ... they deserve (and shall have) a post all of their own.

Our days have been rich in recipe invention, books shared, Bible reading, bike rides & impromptu picnics, family, friends and fellowship.  We're all full of energy and loving the warm, sunny days of Spring.

How are things at your place?


  1. Sounds like you've got your energy back :) I'm checking out Weebly now - I love the idea of setting this up for Nathan to see all his links easily.Thanks for sharing.

  2. So wonderful to read a post from you. It sounds like you've all been having a great time - the camp sounds like a lot of fun. Hope to run into you at an event someday soon :)

  3. Lovely to hear from you again! what wonderful learning happens when we just let the kids be! I'm learning to go with the flow and let my dd learn from what's going on around her and what she's interested in. She loves Richard Hammond too btw:) I'm working on a post for my blog which has been rather quiet as I've just not had the head space to blog in the last couple of months.

  4. Thanks for commenting, it's nice to know who's reading, and lovely to know someone took time to write! Much appreciation, V. xox

  5. Still waiting on that Home Ed books review...hint!

  6. Eeeek! I'm still keen to write it, Jeanne. But getting more sleep (which is good) has a price (less 'me' time for writing).

    You might also have to poke me to remember to write a 'Top 10 Cool Tools' post which is waiting to jump out of my notebook and onto the screen ... :)


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