Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Homeschooling Monthly Memories - Oct 2012

This month has been totally dominated by Peter Pan - with rehearsals 2-3 times / week.  The performance has started - they had 3 successful performances last week, with 3 more to finish it off this week.  It's been fantastic, and while part of me will be thankful to get back into routine, a big part of me will miss it!

Cubs 'Curriculum':
  • Billy has only made it along to one Cubs night this month due to rehearsals.  One of the dads brought along some 3 and 4 day old chickens for the kids to hold.

Intentional Learning:

Creative Arts

  • Rehearsals, drama class and Peter Pan performance.  Need I say more!  They've been performing to about 180 people per night..
  • Wrote a Minecraft parody song to the tune of Moves Like Jagger
Some of the Lost Boys back stage - Billy is in the furry orange vest.  More photos coming once I get them from my niece.

  • Australian history
    • We're reading Daughter of the Regiment by Jackie French
    • We went to the Murrurrundi Frontier Day - we caught an old train there, dressed in period costume (B was a bushranger) and watched a 'robbery' of a Cobb & Co coach

    • We attended an excursion to the Morpeth Museum where they took part in a mock trial and looked at (and in some cases could interact with) historical exhibits

  • Watching Behind the News for current affairs information.
  • Watched a BTN special on Animals and the Environment
  • He's been keeping up with information about Hurricane Sandy as he has friends in that part of America

  • He watched Brain Pop movies on the Beatles, Mayans, Aztecs, Eleanor Roosevelt, Conquistadors (that's just what I know of - he's been watching them by himself)

  • He watched a Cyberchase episodes on predicting from data, interpreting changes in line graphs and time/distance/speed
  • He's been playing a computer game called 5th grade adventures with maths puzzles
  • He learnt to play chequers

Science & Technology

  • We watched Backyard Science TV shows
  • Played the Totally Gross science board game with a friend
  • He got the circuit kit out for another run
  • He watched a BTN Special on Innovations
  • He's been helping me in the garden
  • BrainPop - videos he's watched have included - dyslexia, fire, Ada Lovelace, Hurricane Sandy, invertebrates, ecosystems (plus more - I've lost track!)

  • He watched a BrainPop movie about dialogue 
  • Learnt about indefinite articles
  • Did an exercise on exposition - including pronouns, adjectival phrases and verbs

  • He's learning Italian with some other homeschoolers - so far they've learnt greetings, asking and answering how are you, numbers and how old are you.  He's really enjoying the lessons.


  • He's taken part in archery and martial arts, as well as a game of ten-pin bowling with friends

As well as plenty of time spent hanging out with friends and family, cooking etc.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

JuJitsu Seminar

Over the weekend I attended the Australian JuJitsu Association national seminar in Sydney.

The dojo wasn't what I was expecting - it was like a giant igloo shaped marquee had landed in the carpark at the Sydney Olympic complex at Homebush.  There was one big mat inside - I was expecting different rooms or something.  We were split into 3 groups depending on belt level - there were over 140 participants on the first day - so it got quite crowded on the mat at times when people were doing throws etc :)  Our Defendo group had about 40 people there (adults and kids over 12) so we made the numbers swell!

On both days, we had 6 x 45 minute sessions with instructors from different clubs all around Australia.  The brain hurt by the end of it - so did the body!  We did a lot of wrist locks and arm locks, some grappling work, knife defense work, nerve control (I have the most spectacular bruise on my inner thigh from that!).  I honestly can't remember what else - hopefully it will come back to me when I'm at training again!

This was at the end of day 1 - I'm at the back somewhere.

As well as the seminar itself, it was a valuable weekend spending social time with members of our Defendo group.  We had shared apartments, so got to know our roomies a bit better in the down time.  We also went out for dinner on both Friday and Saturday nights which let us chat and 'bond' outside of class.

It was a great weekend and I'm hoping to do it all again next year :)

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Italian lessons

I had the opportunity to start something today that I've wanted to do for years - learn Italian.  One of our homeschool mums who is fluent in Italian (and passionate about anything Italian) has offered beginner classes, and both Billy and I are going along.

Today we learnt greetings, how to ask someone's name and how to tell them our name.

My brain hurts though - it's hard to learn new stuff when you get old :)

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Homeschooling Monthly Memories - September 2012

Another busy month.  We had our re-registration visit from the NSW Board of Studies and were successfully renewed for another 2 years.

Cubs 'Curriculum':
  • Billy attended a district wide Cuboree (approx 600 kids in attendance) which had a Medieval theme.  Activities included water activities, old-fashioned games, chariot racing, flying fox & rock-climbing, crafts etc.

Intentional Learning:

Creative Arts

  • Rehearsals have been full on for Peter Pan (Billy is playing Curly, a Lost Boy) with several rehearsals each week. 
  • His drama class gave an end of term performance that they'd written themselves
  • He's been learning more about special effects with Sony Vegas video editing software and a green screen.
  • Australian history

    • We continued our reading of Thomas Appleby - Convict Boy by Jackie French

  • He watched Brain Pop movies on the WWII, Queen Elizabeth I, 9/11 and the US Constitution


  • He watched a school show called 'Maths Shorts' covering Phi and Fibonacci numbers
  • He watched a Cyberchase episode on budgeting 
  • He watched a Brainpop movie on stocks and shares
  • We discovered an awesome addictive app called DragonBox with teaches algebra using puzzles
  • We watched a documentary on the history of numbers called The Story of One
  • He's been doing hands-on maths with measuring while cooking

Science & Technology

  • We watched Backyard Science TV show
  • He did some Java Minecraft mod programming
  • He watched a Happy Scientist video on how to tell the gender of a skeleton
  • It was Natural Disaster month on BrainPop - videos he's watched (and done the quiz) have included - tides, ageing, tectonic plates, ozone layer, winds, Neptune, hurricanes, the heart, digital animation, computer history and computer viruses.

  • He watched a BrainPop movie about plagiarism 
  • He wrote a thank you letter and we discussed how it should be set out
  • We've been playing a never-ending game of Scrabble!



  • Billy watched a TV show called My Great Big Adventure about finding our identity
  • He's taken part in archery and martial arts

As well as plenty of time spent hanging out with friends and family