Thursday, May 30, 2013

Exploring our local area - Mt Sugarloaf

As one of the last requirements of the Grey Wolf Award (the highest achievement in Cub Scouts), Billy has to lead a small group of Cubs on a 2hr hike. He's chosen the hiking trail based on website reviews and personal recommendations, and has sent the note out to his chosen Cubs, but we figured a practice hike beforehand would be a sensible idea. :)

So today we headed off to give it a test run. We took a friend and her daughter with us - the friend is a keen bushwalker so we hoped she might stop us getting lost somewhere along the line :)

The area we hiked is known as Mount Sugarloaf - a local landmark.

Firstly we walked to the summit from the carpark - about 15 mins walk. It was quite steep in places - probably to be expected for a summit - but the 360 degree views were amazing.

We retraced our steps back down to the carpark, then after a short detour (to look at the view of course *cough*), we found where the next trail started! When we stopped for a snack, we were supervised by these friendly kookaburras. They were pretty tame - obviously used to hanging around the BBQ area waiting for leftovers...

The trail was fairly easy walking in most places - and we managed to not get lost! (If you know my sense of direction, you know how unusual this is!)

Almost at the end of the trail, we found 'Hole Rock' - a large boulder with a hole going right through! We spent quite a while here - had a snack, climbed the rock and generally had fun.

We really enjoyed the morning and Billy feels much more confident in leading his hike next weekend.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Homeschooling monthly memories - April 2013

April was taken up with school holidays, so most of the regular activities were paused for a few weeks. I'm sure he did more than this during the month, but I wasn't recording, so I'm going off photos and my very poor memory :)

Cubs 'Curriculum':

The cubs had former Olympic road cyclist Scott Steward talk to them about bike and scooter safety.

Billy marched with his Cub pack in the ANZAC Day march. (For the non-Aussies, ANZAC Day is our to remember those who have fought and died at war.)

Intentional Learning:

Creative Arts

  • Lots of movie making and editing
  • Billy took part in a 2 day Glee-style Musical Theatre workshop during the school holidays.


  • Australian History
    •  Billy created a video about ANZAC Day

  • We finished reading "Pennies for Hitler" by Jackie French about a German boy who escapes from Germany to London and is then evacuated to Australia during WW2.
  • Also read "Hitler's Daughter" by Jackie French exploring the idea of Hitler having a daughter.
  • We went to Steamfest - a local festival celebrating everything steam - steam trains, steam engines etc. Billy also had a lovely chat with a coin collector about old Australia currency.

  • He continued using the Mathletics curriculum.
  • Graphing of data.
  • Real-life use of Maths in cooking

  • He had his last lessons of Italian for a while. Classes aren't running in Term 2 (as his teacher is off to Italy!) but we will try to keep up practice. 
Science & Technology
  • Watched episodes of Scope
  • Watched the documentary Stephen Fry's Top 100 Gadgets
  • Set up a Minecraft Server hosting company and is running into real-life difficulties of getting clients to pay!

    • Read "Staying Alive in Year 5" by John Marsden
    • Reading Rangers Apprentice Book 2
    • We went to an author's talk by John Marsden, author of the Tomorrow When the War Began series. We enjoyed the school talk so much, we went back that night for the adult talk.
    Billy meeting John Marsden and getting books signed


    Playing AFL games 

    Went ten-pin bowling with friends

    As well as plenty of time spent hanging out with friends and family. And lots of cooking with only minimal supervision.

    Finger buns

    An old classic - jam drops - using my grandmother's handwritten recipe!