Thursday, 28 February 2013

Fairy Houses

We continued our sketchbook challenge theme of dwellings this week. We got 3D with these mini card houses available from scrapbook stores. They come flat packed and plain so we folded them up and used collage to decorate them.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Fossil Puzzle

Today we worked on our evolution unit study from Intellego. This week we found out how difficult and frustrating it is to be a palaeontologist. In the activity the children "discovered" a few bones at a time and they had to make assumptions about the creature they had discovered using the evidence they had found. It was interesting to see how their ideas about what type of creature the bones came from evolved as we worked through the activity; first they thought it was a T-rex or a diplodocus, next maybe a plesiosaor. We finally worked out that it could have been a flying reptile or archaeopteryx.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013


We finally got around to doing some real life design technology. We are always running out of bookmarks at home so we decided to make some more. Firstly we looked at those we already had and evaluated the designs. We found many problems with our current collection.

  • Ripped and torn
  • Folded and scrunched
  • Nibbled
  • Too small for large books
  • Tendency to fall out of the books
  • Magnetic ones had too strong magnets

We discussed ways in which the designs could be improved to address these problems and we discussed which materials would be appropriate. 

The children drew their ideas on paper and then constructed their bookmark.

L chose wood and fabric for her design. R used metal (from a purée tube), which was laminated for strength and safety. L's design is at the top of the page. Here's R's.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Dragon Boat Races

Today we went along to Darling Harbour in Sydney for the Chinese Dragon Boat Races and activities at the Maritime Museum.

The children tried their hands at Chinese lantern making, dragon shadow puppet making and boat making.

We also went on a kids regatta tour which involved wearing some strange costumes and playing some boat games in the galleries.

We also had the opportunity to see a Chinese calligrapher at work who wrote the children's names in Chinese along with some good luck symbols.

Tornado Hits Our Road

Last night our road was hit by a mini tornado. Luckily our house was not damaged but others suffered badly. Lots of neighbours lost walls, trees, fences, and roof tiles. A few poor people had their windows blown out or their cars hit by trees. This morning we did a little disaster tourism along with most of the other residents.

Saturday, 23 February 2013


The children have been asking for a while to make their own feather quill pens; I think they saw them at one of our museum or convict excursions  First we watched this YouTube clip to find out how pen nibs work.

Next we watched this tutorial on how to make a quill pen from a feather.

We had some bird feathers around the house that we had collected on a nature walk. The kids gave me instructions on how to cut the feather with a knife as they are a bit young to do it themselves. Then we had a go at writing with the finished quill and some metal dip pens.

L did lots of patterns and letters whilst R drew this fabulous castle - complete with running commentary about the characters inside and the castle's construction.

By R

By L

Friday, 22 February 2013

Space At The Powerhouse

Today we joined the Little Explorers home education group for a visit to the Powerhouse Museum for a tour around the space gallery. We all got to wear headphones which made it easy to hear our guide, and the tour was made more interesting with music and sound effects. We also managed to catch a very interesting talk on how rockets are built.

L imagining she's in space

Afterwards we had a look around at other exhibits in the museum. We particularly liked this Strasbourg clock model. It shows lots of information in addition to the time including the positions of the planets and stars, the days of the week, moon phases and tides. Lots of little characters come out of the clock at various times in the day. We're thinking of making our own version.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Scrapbook Page

Here are some scrapbook pages that we made using out pictures from the Chinese New Year Parade.

By R

By L

By Mum

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Pirate Cruise

Today we joined our home-ed friends for a pirate cruise on the Southern Swan around Sydney harbour.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Chinese New Year - Twilight Parade

Yesterday night I took the children to the Chinese New Year Twilight Parade in Sydney. It is the biggest parade outside of China itself. It took about an hour and a half for the amazing floats, dancers and dragons to go past. Here a a few of the 400+ photos I took.

The HUGE snakeskin shed from the snake in the picture above

Toddler lion