Monday, April 20, 2009

Our week of Learning - 19th April

I'm trialing a 4 weeks on / 1 week off school schedule atm, and this week was our week off. Luckily, as it coincided quite nicely with a number of school-holiday activities that looked interesting.

Boy have we been busy!

On Tuesday he went to a school holiday workshop at the local library where he made an "African drum" (out of a carpet roll cardboard tube, twine, a plastic flower pot, and Resistance rubber). It sounds tacky, but it actually looks pretty good and works quite well!

On Thursday, we headed off down to Newcastle to see "The Grimstones: Hatched". It was awesome! If it's coming near you, go and check it out. It's a marionette puppet Gothic fairytale adventure - think Addams Family! The story is narrated entirely in sign language by Asphyxia, one of the puppeteers, and translated into speech by the other puppeteer, Paula. Basically the storyline: The young girl, Martha Grimstone, can read people's dreams. She knows that her mother, who is still mourning her long dead husband, wanted to have more children, so she sneaks into her grandfather's spell room, and casts a spell to make a baby. Unfortunately, Martha is not very magical, and the baby ends up with 3 legs! All is well though, they love the baby and it brings her mother back to reality.... Check out the trailer at the bottom of this page. Go and see it if you can!!

Friday saw us head up the road a bit to a local artist & homeschooling mum's studio for an art workshop using ink. Bernie taught them techniques such as wax resist and wet on wet, and gave them the opportunity to use various nibs, brushes & quill pens. (Do I sound like I know what I'm talking about? Cos I don't really!!)

Pete has a course on in Sydney this week, so we decided to make it a family weekend beforehand. We drove down on Saturday morning and then Pete & Billy did some male bonding at the Aussie Rules football match (Go Swans!). What a shame there were only 2 tickets and I was forced to stay back in the hotel room, read & nap!!!

Yesterday (Sunday), we battled the school holiday crowds to see the Star Wars exhibit at the Powerhouse Museum. Even for someone who's not really into the Star Wars thing, it was quite interesting. There were lots of displays in glass cases which didn't do much for Billy (a glance, "wow", then onto the next!), but because we were there just as it opened, he was able to get onto quite a few of the interactive things as well. He got to ride on a hovercraft and play with magnetic "vehicles" to demonstrate travelling by magnetic levitation. He played with robots that you could try different wheels on - eg normal wheels, tractor treads etc - and see how they went over various obstacles, and then program them by downloading instructions to have them negotiate a longer obstacle course. I'd bet that it would be almost impossible to get near those ones later in the day.

Remember the force, Billy!

After the Star Wars exhibition, we had lunch, a play on the really cool playground, and then back in to see some more of the Powerhouse Museum.

We saw some good exhibits on computers / robotics, transport through the ages and space, but by then we were all starting to lose it, so we called it a day.. Forunately, we bought a yearly membership so we can go back another (non-school-holiday) day and see the rest of it! (It cost us $65 for a family country membership for a year and free entry to the Star Wars exhibit vs $60 for the Star Wars exhibit alone - it was a no-brainer really when we're only 2 hours drive away or 3 hrs by train!)

We treated ourselves to a refreshing gelato before heading back to the hotel to rest our weary feet!

Today Pete stayed down there for his course, and Billy and I had the adventure of catching the train home by ourselves. Mum & Janelle (my sister) picked us up at the other end, and drove us to our door - great service!

So at the end of a very long week, I'm exhausted and not really organised for the week ahead! It's a fairly easy one though I think.


Suji said...

Woohoo...what fun :) I really love the weeks off don't you? Great to just let the learning happen naturally. Only the getting back to the routine part for the next week is a bit of a bummer I guess (for me at least). Billy looks so happy and contented. Wish we were there too :)

libby said...

Lots of fun times. We were at the exhibit upon opening too and my girls were first to ride the hovercraft thing - not that they were that impressed :-). Love the photo of Billy eating the ice-cream.