Sunday, April 29, 2012

Homeschooling Monthly Memories - Apr 2012

Most of this month has been school holidays here in NSW (and in our household).  So while there's been a lot of learning, we're still not back in the swing of 'intentional learning' yet.


Kite making
Carrying the pack flag in the ANZAC Day march
Games learning countries & their flags

Other activities:

Started a new circus class
AFL season has started back up - with their team winning 2 out of 2 so far

It's been a big month of visits with friends including having a friend sleep over.  He also spent time with cousins from both sides of the family.
We farewelled friends who are about to travel Australia for an indefinite period of time.  This is the most awesome piece of play equipment I have ever seen in a free playground!!

Intentional Learning:

We travelled to Sydney Opera House to watch the Bell Shakespeare production of 'Macbeth'.

There's also been time spent 
  • coding
  • making videos with friends and editing with special effects (like reversing the film, slow motion etc)
  • more card tricks
  • lots of Minecraft, TF2, Portal 2 etc
  • and lots more...

Monday, April 23, 2012

Orange Belt Grading

Saturday was Defendo grading day for me.  I went into it feeling focused and reasonably confident, but for some reason, once we got to the techniques part, it was as if everything I knew flew out the window.  You know that feeling when you sit down for an exam and nothing looks remotely familiar?  I was completely blank.  My training partner seemed to be suffering from the same problem, and I think our nerves were feeding off each other.  It didn't help that we were the only two going for the higher belt.

Afterwards my sensei said that by half way through the grading, he had decided to only award us black tips (kind of like a half-way mark to the next belt).

But we rallied, somehow, and dug deep enough to scrape through to our orange belt!

So I have a mixture of pride that I did it, and disappointment because I know I could have done better - but regardless, I have my orange belt!!

I have at least 12 months to prepare for my next belt - so I need to practice enough to transfer the knowledge from my head to my muscle memory.  Obviously it doesn't stay in the head under pressure :)

I love this photo - this was before round 3 of 4 of 'back-to-back' ground fighting, with about 5 minutes to go of our hour long grading.  We all look completely and utterly exhausted!

I did it!!

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Homeschooling Monthly Memories - Mar 2012

This is part of a monthly wrap-up post meme run by "Our Worldwide Classroom".

Once again, I'm amazed at how much we pack into a month!  So here's Billy's March...

March has involved days out:
Circus Workshop
Media studies - Harry Potter exhibition
A water-pistol day (in the rain!)
Another nerf day.

And learning new skills:

Cubs has provided plenty of fun and learning opportunities:

Billy carting
Clean Up Australia day
Making a Jungle book resource and running the game on the pack night

Weekly activities are back into full swing - dragons martial arts, archery and drama.  Footy training has started back, with a trial game today.

We're focusing on a few areas this year as far as 'intentional learning' goes:

Australian history
  • Watched an episode of My Place series 2
  • Viewed an exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum about shopping in the 1800s.
  • We're reading a couple of great books by Jackie French:
Tom Appleby Convict Boy
Grim Crims and Convicts: 1788-1820 (Fair Dinkum Histories S.)  

  • Billy's been continuing to change his plugins for Minecraft using Java.  
  • He's been learning how to use 3D animation software called Blender

  • Watching Cyberchase for maths concepts, and playing the Cyberchase Quest online
  • Life maths like measuring (cooking), budgeting
  • Building scale models using Minecraft - he's currently using our house plans and Google Earth to build a scale model of our house.

  • Watching Backyard Science and Scope
  • Reading  George and the Big Bang by Lucy & Stephen Hawking

  • George and the Big Bang (George's Secret Key to the Universe)
  • Trip to the Powerhouse Museum - hands-on exhibitions on steam, experiments and space
  • Built an LED clock using a kit
  • Reviewing particles in matter - how solids, liquids and gases move.  Triggered by this video demonstrating the 3 states of matter using Minecraft.

  • Finished the 1st Deltora Quest series by Emily Rodda
  • Started Peter Pan