Monday, 30 June 2014

Emperor's Crown

Today we used rubbing plates and metallic crayons to make the leaves for these emperor's crowns.

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Roman Roast Wild Boar

Today the children cooked pork Roman style. It was served with a delicious spiced red wine and honey sauce.

Here's the recipe.

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Roman Roast Chicken

For dinner the children cooked a Roman dish of Pullus Fusilis; roast chicken stuffed with meats, spices and wine. It was delicious. Find the recipe here.

The children have been doing lots of reading around the subject of Romans. Here a pic of L relaxing whilst reading some Roman myths.

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Roman Soldiers

Today we have been learning about the Roman army. The children made these life size soldier paintings by drawing around their bodies and adding on the armour with acrylic paints.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

At Home in Rome

Today we were learning about life at home in ancient Rome. The children baked these Libum -Roman cheesecakes. You can find the recipe and many others here.

Over the next few weeks we are also going to be making some mosaics. We started off with a very simple design on squared paper. We'll try more complex designs as we go on. R made a patterened floor whist L's mosaic depicts a soldier next to a fort.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014


We are just beginning a unit study on Romans. We're using the Story of the World as our base curriculum. I have the story book and the resource guide which contains printable maps and worksheets along with recipes and suggestions for other activities, crafts and games. We're also following the Romans unit study from Intellego.


I'm combining these 2 unit studies with geography and history lessons plans from QCA (village settlers and Romans). We have quite a few books of our own on the subject of Romans which we will supplement with more library books each week.

We recently visited the UK which has quite a few Roman sites. The children already have a good idea about Roman life from these visits. We have also been studying Antony and Cleopatra in our English lessons. See these previous posts:
Ancient Britain
Antony and Cleopatra
Bath Spa
Museum of London
British Museum

To begin with we have been learning some vocabulary and discussing invasion and settlement and how the two can be linked. We talked about the Celtic people who lived in the UK before the Romans came and how the 2 groups were different.

We looked at maps of Roman settlements and discussed reasons why these sites were chosen, for example close to water and other resources and easy to defend. The children then designed their own perfect settlement with everything the new arrivals would need.

We have looked at Roman numerals and learnt some Latin which the children loved. We found out that lots of modern words have Latin roots.

We will be spending around 3 weeks on this topic with lots of hands-on activities, crafts and cookery. Watch this space.

Monday, 23 June 2014

Going it Alone

Just recently R was diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome (or “Autistic Spectrum Disorder level one” to use the latest ridiculous official name for it). Now whilst I wasn't surprised at the diagnosis, having suspected it for as long as I can remember, I was surprised at the reaction (or lack it) from other people.

Beginning with family. There are times when I feel very much like a single parent going it alone. No one seemed to want to discuss the psychologists report, whether they even agree with it, or what it means and how we can help R. No one was interested in finding out about Asperger's. Web links and book recommendations were ignored. Heads were stuck in the sand. It wasn't talked about.

Moving on to our paediatrician. To accurately describe our paediatrician I would need to use many unprintable expletives so I will just say instead that we didn't get on. I took the several pages of the psychologists report along to the paediatrician for some feedback and referral for OT. We were in the room for less than 15 seconds, this being the first (and last!) time we had met this particular doctor, before he’d decided that R had given him too much eye contact, couldn't possibly have Asperger's. He then proceeded to infer that we had lied to the psychologist on the parent questionnaire and that the psychologists report was wrong. At this point I still had the report in my lap, the doctor had not yet even opened it. In 15 seconds he had decided to ignore the psychologist’s report, which was compiled after 3 one hour sessions with the child and a battery of tests, in favour of his own diagnosis based on R entering the room. After wasting our time and money for about 20 minutes, talking to us like we were idiots I finally got my OT referral after 3 times of insisting on it.

By this time I was beginning to doubt my own sanity, wondering if I had actually made up the answers to the psychologists questionnaires. Considering whether it really was all in my mind. Had I given my child a label that was totally inaccurate?

All I can say is thank goodness for Dr Tony Attwood. Our lovely psychologist directed me to a full day workshop/lecture in a nearby town on Asperger’s for parents and professionals. These workshops are arranged by SueLarkey who was also one of the speakers along with Dr Michelle Garnett and Dr Tony Attwood. If you can get to one of these workshops then make sure you don’t miss them, they are inspirational. All the speakers were amazing but especially Dr Attwood who had the audience of around 700 in fits of laughter along with tears of sadness. The speakers described people with Asperger's and how the condition affects their lives. It was like a documentary on R. At last here was confirmation better than any piece of paper that the diagnosis is correct. I didn't feel so crazy and alone any more.

Dr Attwood and the other speakers discussed ways that we can help children with Asperger’s syndrome. It was recommended that schools spend a minimum of 1 lesson a week on social skills. I'm hoping to add some time every week for social skills into our home education routine along with fine and gross motor skills, feelings and emotions and sensory play. Of course all these “subjects” are not in the NSW curriculum that I'm supposed to be following and time may need to be sacrificed from other subject areas to make this happen. I'm hoping my AP will be sympathetic and put the needs of the child before the needs of the Board of Studies as we are almost due for “inspection”.

I picked up several books and other resources at the talk. I'm nearly through the stack on my coffee table. More are on the way. I don’t know if anyone else will look at these things or attend a future talk by Dr Attwood but I sure hope so.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Final Treasures

Our treasure chest is now finally finished. For the last items to go inside L made this death mask. The children have always represented death by faces with crossed out eyes. R made a ceremonial, jewel encrusted dagger.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Rockin Kiama

Bombo Headland

Today we drove south to Kiama to have a look at some volcanic rock formations including The Blowhole, The Little Blowhole and the Boneyard at Bombo headland . The formations can be reached as part of the 22km Kiama Coast Walk which we hope to do when the weather warms up. Alternatively you can drive to each site in your car.  We stopped for delicious fish and chips at Kiama Harbour, just below the visitors centre and Blowhole. We also took in the Bonaira Native Plant Garden and it's rainforest walk. Of course there was time to collect rocks and shells including some pumice specimens which fascinate the children as they float on water.

 The Blowhole

Little Blowhole

Bombo Headland

The Boneyard

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Recital in C

L has been leaping ahead in piano lately. Here's a video of her practising her piece "Recital in C".

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Tarts and Cheesy Men

This week the children cooked white chocolate and raspberry tarts and cheesy men.