Sunday, May 31, 2009

Our week of learning - 31st May

English: Lots of reading. We read a great book on adverbs, and Billy did a computer exercise on capitalisation and punctuation.

Maths: MEP lessons (91, 113, 114, 133). Practice on the computer (Learning Ladder CDs) on place value & addition drills.

Science & Technology: After watching a show on building bridges, he made a bridge out of paper plates, toilet rolls and cardboard that would withstand the weight of his video camera. It took 3 or 4 modifications, but at last it worked!

We visited the travelling Questacon Science Show where he spent several hours with the hands-on experiments and watched a show on the "Science of Magic".

HSIE (Human Society and it's environment): As part of our study on Australian Aboriginals, he watched a video showing traditional dance & music. He also made a bark painting and painted a cardboard tube as a mini didgeridoo.

Creative & Practical Arts: Drama class. A visit to the art gallery. He made a mixed media drawing using pencils & pictures cut from a magazine, and made a plate & cup out of modelling clay. He also modelled a few things using salt dough.

LOTE (Languages other than English): No spanish this week.

PDHPE (Personal Development, Health & Physical Education): Circus class.

Life skills (cooking, gardening, housekeeping): He cleaned his toilet & mopped the bathroom - I won't say it's perfect, but he enjoyed it!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

So where have I been??!

The last few weeks have been so busy that I either haven't had the time or the energy to post much. (Not that anyone probably noticed lol!)

Most of the problem has been my external work. I teach several weeks each term at an adult education college, and the timing of the course on Tuesday nights is that I have to bring Billy home from his drama lesson, meet Pete at the school where I teach, Billy goes home with him while I continue on to teach. The last 2 weeks have been further complicated by Pete having squash on the same nights - so he's been taking Billy to squash with him and then I've been picking Billy up at 9pm when I finish work. By the time we get home and I get him to bed, it's a late night. Last week was supposed to be the end of it, but we have since found out that squash has been moved from Wednesday this week back to the Tuesday due to the &^@# Rugby League State of Origin.. Not happy Jan!

Add to that the work I've been doing helping a client out with a Powerpoint presentation that he had to present this week. It has been an ongoing drama and has meant a few more late nights over the last weeks helping him finish it.

We also took my MIL out for dinner for her birthday last night, and we went to a Science show on Wednesday night - both of which meant more late nights out.

And of course the usual craziness of our current life - circus, drama, Joeys, Auskick. Today is the first day I have not had to leave the house for a couple of weeks - and I have done absolutely nothing!!! I'll leave the state of the house to your imagination :)

Anyway, hopefully blogging will resume at a more normal pace soon!

The garden - 1 month on..

When I rebuilt the garden last month, I threw in some seeds to see what would grow. Here's how its looking now - lots of plants have popped up! There are several pak-choy plants, some silverbeet and quite honestly, I'm not really certain what most of the others are :) I'll have to wait til they grow a bit more.

Pakchoy, silverbeet and various other mystery vegetables :)

Pot of herbs

Lettuce making an appearance

Carrots and spring onions

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Wednesday Weigh-In - Wk 8

Weight loss from last week: 0kg :(
Total weight loss overall: 2.0 kg
Total cms lost off waist: 5.0cm

I've had a few late nights with work (up against a deadline for some of it) so am sleep deprived atm. Hence the lack of posts. And the bad food choices I'm making.. Bummer :(

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Wednesday Weigh-In - Wk 7

Weight loss from last week: 1kg! Yay me!
Total weight loss overall: 2.0 kg
Total cms lost off waist: 5.5cm

I took off the 500g I added last week and another 500g as well! I've been using to keep track of what I've been eating since Sunday (and to plan what I will eat). I'm not excessively counting calories, but it's been very interesting to see just how much some things are worth and to encourage me to make better choices.

I've also been pretty good on the exercise front - Billy & I went for a 40 min / 3 km walk last Wednesday, and I did another 20 min walk while he was at drama on Monday. We also walked about 1.5 km today while the car was being serviced (but that was after my weigh in).

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Our week of learning - 17th May

We've been doing a fair bit of "tv schooling" for the last few weeks. I'm incorporating the ABC school shows into our morning's work - I watch them with him so I can answer any questions or know what's going to come up in discussion! He's watching the shows designed for his age, but also ones aimed at middle & upper primary as well. This week ranged from spelling rules, rap music, telling time, life in Holland, how planes work, building cubby houses, healthy living, making friends, and emus!

English: Lots of reading. We discussed several spelling rules (plurals, -ing, and prefixes dis & re).

Maths: MEP lessons (77, 88, 89, 102, 103). We're moving ahead with the MEP curriculum by pulling some lessons out that he either hadn't done before or that I thought he needed more practice on. He has been very silly lately doing his worksheets and when I was talking to him about why he was acting up, it seems that he thinks the work is too easy and he's bored. So full-steam ahead on some stuff that's a bit more challenging!

Science & Technology: Back to our Australian animals unit - we read some books about the Platypus and he added another page to his powerpoint presentation.

HSIE (Human Society and it's environment): We watched half a National Geographic video on Australian Aborigines.

Creative & Practical Arts: Drama class. Plus he made a couple of masks using paper plates, and has started making one of his face out of plaster-of-paris (he made a flour & water dough that he could imprint his face in as the mold, then we filled it up with plaster).

LOTE (Languages other than English): Time & days of the week in Spanish.

PDHPE (Personal Development, Health & Physical Education): Auskick training and circus class, plus we did a 3km walk together around the neighbourhood.

Life skills (cooking, gardening, housekeeping): It doesn't sound like much, but he finally opened a can with the can opener by himself! He hasn't had the strength and/or dexterity to do it before now! He's also been doing some chores around the house.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Any insect lovers out there?

We found this cocoon on our walk this afternoon (or at least that's what it looks like). It had blown off a tree. Does anyone know what lives inside? Any ideas how to keep it and see if anything emerges?

ETA: It's about 15cm long if that helps anyone.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Wednesday Weigh-In - Wk 6

Weight loss from last week: I gained back the 0.5 kg I lost last week :(
Total weight loss overall: 1.0 kg
Total cms lost off waist: 5cm

So I put weight back on - not surprising really as I've been pretty slack both food-wise & exercise-wise this week. But after all, who can resist Vienetta for Mother's Day tea?!

Strangely I have lost another 1cm off my waist though?

This week is a new week..

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Our week of learning - 10th May

English: Billy finished his work on the "Seussology" unit - he used Kid Pix to create an advertisement for the "Fox in Socks & Knox in Box" stage show. Lots of reading each night as well.

Maths: MEP lessons (73-75). One more week and we'll be finished the first half of the Year 1 book.

Science & Technology: We went on an excursion with some other homeschooling families to a local zoo where we got to learn about monkeys & dingos, pat the wombat & koalas, feed & pat the kangaroos,

and for those feeling brave enough:

(It gave me the creeps to even take the photo, no way was I doing it!)

HSIE (Human Society and it's environment): We finally got to start the Aboriginal unit. Firstly I "mind-mapped" the things he could tell me about Aborigines already, then we looked at where they lived in the local area, and read a couple of dreamtime stories.

Creative & Practical Arts: Drama class.

LOTE (Languages other than English): Introductions in Spanish - eg "what is your name?", "my name is Billy".

PDHPE (Personal Development, Health & Physical Education): Auskick training and circus class, plus lots of playing with his friends at the zoo's playground.

Life skills (cooking, gardening, housekeeping): He rolled out & cut biscuit (cookie) dough to make biscuits to take to Joeys and for Mother's Day. He knitted a little square for me for Mother's Day (no idea what I'll do with it, but it's the thought that counts!)

Saturday, May 09, 2009

And the winners are...

I put the names in a hat and the winners of the book giveaways are:

Depletion & Abundance - BunnoGal from One Mum's Musings

The Party's Over - Tracy from Sunny Corner Farm

Congrats ladies! If you could send me your address (you can email me through my profile), I'll get the books off to you ASAP!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Wednesday Weigh-In - Wk 5

Weight loss from last week: 0.5 kg - yay me again!
Total weight loss overall: 1.5 kg
Total cms lost off waist: 4cm

I didn't get to do yoga or formal exercise this week but have done a fair bit of 'incidental' exercise - I helped out kicking & chasing the ball at Billy's Auskick training last Wed night, we went on a 3 hr bushwalk with the homeschoolers on Thursday, and I joined in the fairly aerobic activities like 'balloon volleyball' at the homeschool meeting on Monday. I did also do a couple of minutes skipping on Monday night.

My fruit intake has been down because I never feel like eating a piece of fruit while the weather is cold. I'm not sure how I'll address that.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Pay it forward - book giveaway - reminder

Don't forget about the book giveaway I'm running at the moment. The draw is on Friday night so don't miss out :)

Monday, May 04, 2009

Menu Plan Monday - 4th May

Notes on last week's menu:
It's been a few weeks since I've done Menu Plan Monday - I have been menu planning, just haven't blogged it.

To use up this week:

Menu Plan this week:

It's all about Quick & Easy this week (and for the rest of term!). Our after-school activities mean we don't get home til after 6pm most week nights.

Monday - ham & cheese omelettes & salad
Tuesday - beef & tomato stew in slow cooker
Wednesday - hamburgers (make patties through the day)
Thursday - sausages, mashed potatoes & veges
Friday - risotto with pumpkin & bacon (Destitute Gourmet recipe)
Saturday - Kate's Butter Chicken & Naan Bread (from Simple Savings site)
Sunday - probably out doing the Mother's Day rounds

For more exciting menu plan ideas, see Organizing Junkie's Menu Plan Monday.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Our week of Learning - 3rd May

This week has been so busy! All of Billy's regular activities (plus a few extras) started back the term - he's still doing drama & circus, but now Auskick (Australian Rules Football) has started back, plus he's joined Joeys (the youngest group of Boy Scouts). I'm sure I remember being a parent who said I'd only let my child do one activity at a time!!

English: Only a bit of copywork this week. We're roughly working through a "Seussology" unit - we read about Dr Seuss's life and Billy answered some comprehension questions. He then chose "Fox in Socks" to base a theme-park attraction around, and we read it (again) together. Lots of other reading each night as well.

Maths: MEP lessons.

Science & Technology: Australian animals unit - their habitat, lifecycle, diet, classification etc. We read about Kangaroos, and he added a page about them into his Powerpoint presentation.

HSIE (Human Society and it's environment): As well as learning about Aboriginal lifestyle at the Awabakal day, he made a Powerpoint presentation about Simpson & his donkey at Gallipoli. We also watched a documentary on the Aztecs (for no other reason than it was on and looked interesting!)

Creative & Practical Arts: Drama class started again. They also worked with modelling clay at Joeys, and he's been playing around creating music at a couple of websites.

LOTE (Languages other than English): Spanish got left behind this week - it was supposed to be on Friday but after a busy week we spent the day outside in the sun instead. Oh well, I don't think life will stop if he learns to say "My name is Billy" in Spanish this week or next!

PDHPE (Personal Development, Health & Physical Education): Lots of movement this week - the 3 hour bushwalk at Awabakal, Auskick training and circus class!

Life skills (cooking, gardening, housekeeping): He did a reasonable job of dusting in the loungeroom. We didn't have much time for anything else.

Exploring our local area: Awabakal Nature Reserve

On Thursday, several local homeschooling families went on an excursion to the Awabakal Nature Reserve in Dudley, Newcastle. It was organised through the Awabakal Education Centre, and staff members Fiona & Lisa took us on a 3.5 hour walk through the Reserve. They taught us about some of the flora & fauna of the area, and also about how the local aboriginal tribe (the Awabakal people) would have lived.

We saw some fabulous views:

and some pretty native flowers:

The kids got to make miniature aboriginal shelters using sticks & paperbark on the banks of the Redhead Lagoon:

paint their faces with some ochre that we found:

and go dipnetting in Little Lagoon to see what they could see:

It was a fantastic day (and not to mention fitted in really well with the Aboriginal Unit we're doing currently!)