Thursday, 30 June 2011

Native American Tipi camp

Today was the day that everyone from our home education group gathered together to celebrate Native American culture. We have been studying together for 8 weeks. Each family had made one or more tipis and we set up camp outside.

setting up camp

Everyone had decorated their tipi in a different way and some were very authentic. The children wore their feather headdresses made in a previous session.

R and L with their tipi and rain-sticks

A very authentic tipi by one of the older boys

R tries out a neighbours tipi

The children had another go with darts and spears.

Probably the best part of the day was tasting lots of Native American dishes including popcorn, "buffalo stew", roast duck and chicken, our pumpkin bread, cookies, berry pudding, bean sauce, and "whale blubber".

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Pumpkin and Pine-Nut bread

We have our Native American celebration tomorrow so the children have cooked pumpkin and pine-nut bread to share with their friends. We used a sweet butter-nut pumpkin. You can find this and lots of other Native American recipes here.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Watercolour Portraits

Today we had another go at making portraits. First we used pencil to draw and divide an oval with guide lines to show roughly where to position the features. Next we drew in the eyes, eyebrows, nose, hair, mouth and chin. We used markers to go over the feature lines and then rubbed out our guide lines. Lastly we finished off the piece with watercolour paints.

R's self portrait - I love the tribal mask look

L's self portrait with floating hair

Monday, 27 June 2011

Pineapple Cake

This week's sweet week cookery made by L and R was pineapple sponge cake, served with home-made coconut custard. Yum-tastic!

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Food Pyramids

As part of our project on ourselves we have been discussing food groups and what each group provides the body with. I printed these food pyramids out from Ellen McHenry's Basement Workshop. The children coloured the foods, discussed the food groups and glued the foods on the pyramids. There's also a 3D pyramid to assemble which has a different food pyramid model on each side - suitable for more in-depth discussion with older children.

Friday, 24 June 2011

Altered Books - Covers

We have been working on our altered books at our home education group. At last they are finished - here are the covers.. We used paper stencils and acrylic to add pattern to the background. Then we added collage items over the top. The spine was finished off with a strip of lace. 

L's altered book on butterflies
R's altered book on giants

Thursday, 23 June 2011

The Suns Are Out

Today at our home education group we finally released our concrete suns from the mould. It was a tense time as the plaster around them was chiselled away, hoping they wouldn't break.

L's concrete sun
R's concrete sun
Mum's concrete sun
 So now we have to find a place in the garden to hang them up. 

Altered Books -Page 3

We have been working on our altered books at our home education group. Here is page 3. We used paper stencils and acrylic to add pattern to the background. Then we added collage items over the top. The more layers the better.

L's butterfly book

R's giants book

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Balanced Meals

The children have been learning about different food groups and what each group contributes to the body. We have discussed the importance of eating foods from each food group to keep us healthy. We made our own "fake foods", the children had to choose items from each food group; energy foods (carbohydrates), growth foods (protein), fruit and vegetables - (vitamins and minerals), and bone building foods (dairy). Here's what we made from real dried food, cotton wool, sponges, beads, buttons, wool, paint and glue.

Meatballs with rice, broccoli and carrots in a tomato sauce topped with grated cheese -  by R

Sausage on toast with tomatoes, peas, carrots, grated cheese and ketchup - by L

Pasta with ham, peas and carrots in a cheese sauce  - by Mum

Fine Motor

I make sure that we have plenty of time to develop fine motor skills. R in particular needs lots of practise. I use things like threading, sewing, puzzles, hammer and nails, fuzzy felts, peg boards, playdough, construction toys, Jenga, and Kerplunk, along with dot-to-dots- handwriting sheets, cutting, pasting and tracing. I rotate the activities and the children can choose which to do. They usually have a go at everything. 

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Australian Museum

Today we headed into Sydney city to the Australian Museum. This museum houses mainly natural history specimens along with Aboriginal artefacts. First we went to see the Birds of Paradise temporary exhibition. Unfortunately we couldn't take photos due to the specimens delicate nature. We saw many exotic birds along with ceremonial headdresses and other items made from their feathers. L and R dressed up as birds and strutted their stuff in front of the camera. 

Next we went to "Search and Discover", the hands on area. We spent quite a bit of time here using the microscopes and touching specimens.

They also have a variety of live creatures in this area including lizards, spiders and stick insects. R helped out by sorting through stick insect droppings to find the eggs which he removed with tweezers into the collecting pot.

L admires the stick insects

We had a go at drawing some of the birds we had seen in the exhibition. 

Bird of Paradise by R

Similar to "Search and Discover" the museum also has a hands on area aimed at under 5s called "Kidspace". Here we investigated more specimens and also had a play.

We then went to look around the other permanent galleries including "Surviving Australia", "Dinosaurs", "Minerals" and "Skeletons". All of these have specimens to touch and "Surviving Australia" also has many live creatures such as snakes and crocodiles. 

Digging for dinosaur bones
Digging for dinosaur bones

Too small to ride the bike R powers it with his hands instead