Friday, 30 September 2011

Spring Growth

We've had way too much rain here in Sydney lately for my liking. However the plants in our square foot garden are loving it.

One Crazy Term

Its the "school holidays" and I'm NOT planning next terms work. In fact we have got a large amount of this term's work done in the quieter holiday period. We have plenty planned that we have still not gotten to. I was aware this would happen as I had planned lots of activities for our architecture project, more than enough for 1 term. What with moving house we have got a bit behind, which I also expected. The upside? Not much planning to do for term 4, just carry on with what we have.

We also have another crazy term coming up when we will be away in the mountains for a few days, travelling to the UK for a wedding and attending our home-school camp. Add to that several trips, swimming and music lessons and we are hardly going to be in!

Keep your eye on the blog to see how we all cope.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

The Old Lady Who Lived In A Shoe

There was an old lady,
Who lived in a shoe.
She had so many children,
She didn't know what to do.
She gave them some broth,
Without any bread.
And whipped them all soundly,
And sent them to bed. 

So what exactly was this shoe house like, what materials was it made from, was it a suitable residence?

We decided to find out.....

The children have been working on properties of materials for a while. We discussed the house and what type of materials we would need - they would need to be waterproof as we want to put the house outside. Lots of vocabulary that we had learnt previously came up again.  

We used welly-boots for the main structure of the house.

First we made the windows:

The children drew their window design onto a laminating sheet with permanent marker.

They chose fabrics for the curtains and placed them inside the laminating sheet, and around the windows. Then we laminated.

We cut the windows out leaving plenty of plastic around them to help with sticking them into the boot. We used a Stanley knife to cut the windows and door shape out of the boots. 

We stuck the windows over the hole on the inside of the boot with a glue gun. R stuck on an old picture frame for the door and L used a shell. 

We made ladders for the people to reach the doors with string, matchsticks and curtain rings.

Next we used lolly sticks to make the roof structure.

R covered his roof with tiles left over from our bathroom and some metal from a tomato purée tube. L used buttons to decorate her roof.

R added a fence so the people wouldn't fall off.

Then the children added buttons and fences to decorate the boots. R made a door canopy from plastic.

Here are the finished houses.

R's finished house

L's finished house

Friday, 23 September 2011

Taronga Zoo

We joined lots of other home educators for a visit to Taronga Zoo in Sydney. As we were visiting as a group we were able to participate in a workshop about Australian bush animals before we explored the rest of the zoo.

L strokes a possum

L and the bandicoot

Being brave R has a stroke too

L and the diamond python, R had a quick touch too after a bit of hesitation

The other highlight of the day was the seal show. We saw several different kinds of seals performing their tricks.

We enjoyed the cable-car ride across the zoo with views across Sydney harbour

In the cable-car

We had plenty of time to visit the other zoo animals too.

Only a model croc!

Goat mountain

R was very impressed with these river snakes

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Venice Celebration Day

We had our end of term celebration day at our home education group. The children have been studying Venice so we had a Venetian party.

L and R in their carnival costumes

Mum dressed up too - of course!

We followed a traditional Venetian program of events. First we played games and the children learnt a little  Italian in the process. Then we had the "theatre", well a cartoon in Italian anyway. Next was the food. Each family brought and Italian dish to share. After dinner a couple of parents showed us how to waltz and we had a go with some Italian music.

R and his friend have a go at the waltz

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Play-Doh Words

This week we are learning the tricky words "are" and "all". We made the words from Play-Doh sausages. Below you can see the children tracing over the words and saying out the letters. We say the letter names (rather than the sounds) for the tricky words as they are not spelt phonetically.

Monday, 19 September 2011


Today was R's fifth birthday. Here he is opening his presents; mostly computer games and books - his two main obsessions.

This disaster of a cake is supposed to be a sea monster.