Every truth has four corners: as a teacher I give you one corner, and it is for you to find the other three. Confucius

29 March 2011

Hi Everyone,

I have come across a gorgeous idea for a family creative writing group on soulemama a parenting blog. I just loved the aesthetics and ceremony of it all...if you enjoy different ideas for writing with the family, chances are you'll appreciate this :)

Talk Soon, Cynthia x

28 March 2011

Hi Everyone,

We've had a fairly major shift in our house over the past week.
Alexandra our fourteen year old has decided to resume homeschooling rather than continue with Open Access. She began studying by correspondence in January of this year after quite a few years homeschooling so this was a big decision.

I admit that it was kind of a relief because I saw that she was repeating a lot of what she had already learned and was spending many hours each day on the computer. My main concern was with following through on what you commit yourself to.

I questioned myself about how much to force a child to continue with something that may be fantastic for some children but just doesn't fit your kid. So when
Alexandra approached us and said she really wasn't happy with how things were going, we thought seriously about how to respond.

Eventually my husband and I decided that if she learns more quickly and effectively from home, it's illogical to continue with learning by correspondence. As our usual policy is that if things aren't working and they aren't likely to work, change them, we contacted the school and withdrew her the next day. The fact that Abby had been homeschooling for five years with a current exemption made this choice a lot easier for us.

I think it is important to acknowledge others, so we asked Alexandra to contact and thank each of her teachers for their time. There is no doubt that the skills of the specialist teachers far outweigh mine, and I freely admit this to Abby (like she wouldn't notice herself!) But the bonus of learning at home, is that I am usually around and I can make time to follow through on tricky concepts, or refer her on if necessary.

We have also been looking at options for entry to university/TAFE, which are a lot broader than may first appear. I'll keep you posted on that one :)

There is still a part of me that is uncomfortable with making waves, and saying 'Thanks for your time, we've decided on another option' but on a gut level I know we've made the right decision. And really, homeschooling at this time is not a mainstream decision so I have gotten used to being assertive over time.

The rightness of our decision has been confirmed for me by witnessing
Alexandra over the past few days. Since recommencing homeschooling she's read a book on teenage film making, is formulating a script, and planning to contact friends who may be interested in making a short film with her. Her excitement for learning is back and I really couldn't be happier....

Talk Soon, Cynthia x
PICTURE - VIRTUAL TO REALITY

25 March 2011

What to do Next

Hi Everyone,

Well, as I mentioned in the last post, Jay is now officially a homeschooler. I had been churning over in my mind exactly how to facilitate his learning in a practical way.

Until he turned six I had just been following my nose with his learning, but have been feeling a bit of additional pressure to add something, to get a bit more structured.

Over the past couple of weeks I have been very tempted to sit him down to do an organised maths or phonics programme but held back to see what came about naturally, and low and behold, he motivated himself.......again.

First of all, he asked to do some Story of the World. We are looking at Egypt, and he literally spent 2 1/2 hours drawing, copying Heiroglyphics symbols, writing various english words and asking for additional information about the subject matter.

Later he asked to do a lapbook and did a project about the solar system, including properties of various planets and we discussed their suitability for human habitiation...mainly in pictures of course...he is only six :)

The next day we played Monopoly, which he loves, and he practised counting, addition, subtraction and handling money in a socially enjoyable way.

Later he discovered our flower presses and he and Freida went out to collect lavender and arranged them in the press before making a birthday card for one of their friends.

I take all of this as a reminder to trust my children and their desire to learn. They are curious, motivated children and if I don't de-sensitise them with mind numbingly boring drills they will do just fine, often without my well-meaning intervention...

Talk Soon, Cynthia x

22 March 2011

Officially Starting Homeschooling

Hi Everyone,

Well, now my little boy has turned six and is officially a homeschooler! Of course he's been learning for six years, but now I officially have to account for when, where and how he is learning :)


I find this interesting because I do understand the need for children to have a well rounded experience of the world. However there is a small part of me that says
I care for my children more than anything, as a family we've made many lifestyle adjustments to enable us to homeschool the children, why can't we just get on with parenting them, which includes educating them? I wouldn't bother homeschooling if I didn't want what's best for them so why all the jumping through hoops?
I don't mind the review process, it's just the principle that irritates me.


In Australia the process of homeschooling entails parents/guardians registering their child with a school just so that the carers can then apply for and hopefully be granted an exemption...it defies logic. Why not just register as homeschoolers and leave it at that. Have regular reviews if that's deemed necessary for the well being of the child, but why not find a more direct way around these archaic laws?


Someone suggested to me that a virtual school would be a viable alternative. I can see the attraction of this as opposed to walking into a school to register your child, only to tell the busy office staff that your child won't really be attending, but you need to put junior's name down just in case. In case within the next twelve years, homeschooling doesn't work for you and you need a spot in a school.


Luckily our local school was really helpful and offered to send us the online newsletter and generally made me welcome but I don't mind admitting I felt uncomfortable walking in there.



Anyway, that's my rant out of the way...and I must say at this point that I have honestly never had a negative experience with the review process. All of the reviewers I have encountered are genuinely kind, interested people concerned with the well being of my children and I am happy to spend one morning a year chatting with them.

I get helpful information about resources available to us as homeschoolers and I do like the motivation to get all of our bookwork into a folder every now and then. Who knows when I'd get to it otherwise, we're just too busy going out having fun, learning, and generally getting on with the business of homeschooling.......



Talk Soon, Cynthia x


PICTURE - STOCK PHOTOS

21 March 2011

Health and Physical Education

Hi Everyone,

This is my final post in this series on the eight learning areas of the Education Department. I will focus on Health and Physical Education, from early childhood through to teenage years.

The three basic strands of Health and Physical Education are:

Physical activity and participation

Personal and social development

Health of individuals and communities


The activities that these strands incorporate are pretty self
explanatory, so I'll just give a few examples of how we meet these requirements in our family.

Physical activity and participation is basically exercise of some description, whether it be at home, in a group, dancing, walking, bike riding, whatever fits. I personally find this quite easy when the children are young as most kids are doing incidental exercise throughout the day.

As
Alexandra got into her teen years, we needed to plan more for regular exercise (judo, archery, bike riding, walking, trampolining etc) with her choosing what she enjoyed it was not hard to facilitate. For the younger children, trampolining, bike riding, running, beach trips and general play is ample exercise to meet these criteria.


Personal and social development and health of individuals and communities focus on the child socially in relation to self-esteem, group skills, hygiene, a healthy lifestyle, understanding, compassion, equal opportunities.

We tend to discuss a lot of personal issues so the self-esteem component came fairly naturally to us, and our homeschool groups allowed plenty of opportunity for give and take, joining in etc.Being at home is a natural way to teach about life skills such as hygiene and healthy eating.We briefly looked at the food pyramid, but generally we incorporate healthy living into our lives everyday and that covers a large part of the curriculum.

One year we followed the Special Olympics in the media, which opened up some wonderful opportunities to discuss the experiences of people with a disability, why buildings have ramps, and how we may behave around people who have special needs. We also borrowed Link Magazine (Disabilities SA) from the library to read first hand accounts of how life is for people with a disability, physically and emotionally.

Alexandra volunteered within our community over several years and I think that this experience really allowed her to gain a practical appreciation of how things are for others.

Some state government initiatives provide rewards to children for logging their physical activity online similar to the reading challenges where children record books they've read and get a medal according to how many they've signed off on. We didn't follow up on this so can't really recommend them or not, but here are a couple of links to investigate further if you would like to:
Premier's Be Active Challenge (SA)
Sporting Kids Challenge (NSW)
Minister's Physical Activity Challenge (ACT)
Get Moving Tasmania (TAS)
Premier's Active Families Challenge (VIC)
Unfortunately there were no QLD, NT or WA equivalents available.

To record health and physical education for reviews, we simply took photos of our outings, stored activity and sports certificates and did some projects. Topics for projects were the Special Olympics, sports which interested the children, healthy eating. Once we turned health and PE into history by looking at the olympics from the time when the Greeks began competing...very interesting for everyone, and it crossed over into society and environment, so a good result all round.

Talk Soon, Cynthia x

PICTURE - ORBITALS -NICHOLAS STEDMAN

19 March 2011

Society and Environment (SOSE)

Hi Everyone,

Today's post covers Society and Environment (SOSE) which incorporates Geography and History.

Because SOSE covers a wide range of topics, opportunities for weaving into other learning areas such as LOTE and English are numerous.

According to the Education Authorities, SOSE consists of four strands, these being:
Time, continuity and change
Place, space and environment
Societies and cultures
Social systems
Time, continuity and change cover history units ranging from primary to upper secondary ages and from personal to local to world historical study.

Place, space and environment and Social Systems incorporate geographical and environmental study, where we fit in, how our lives are affected by being a part of society. They also look at the impact of choices made by those in power (governments/leaders passing environmental and human rights, scientific laws etc) and by us on a personal level (eating locally produced foods, caring for our beaches etc) and similar sociological concerns.

Societies and cultures incorporates the study of people/religions/living environments around the world as well as closer to home.

We have utilized the
National Geographic Website extensively as the information is accurate and up to date. There are loads of interactive educational experiences, and it naturally deals with all four of the SOSE strands. A free bi-weekly e-zine is an extra bonus.

We also use the Story of the World books by Susan Wise-Bauer to cover the history side of SOSE as it's entertaining, fun and grows with the child as he/she gets older and becomes ready for the next stage of learning.

I have used lapbooks often to keep learning interesting as they're a great way to allow your child to run with an interest and incorportate it into specific areas of study. Lapbooks can be made using a template or created according to your child's imagination. The most important thing with a lapbook is that a child can balance their project on the lap (hence the name) and share with others, which can be really validating for a child of any age...Jay's been making and sharing lapbooks since he was quite young and happily pigeonholes anyone who walks through the door to show them his latest masterpiece :)

As a family, we are naturally interested in history, the world around us and how various social structures impact people's lives. As a result, meeting the criteria for society and environment is quite simple, the strands I've just presented are merely a formal way of classifying what a naturally curious child will want to investigate in everyday life. So relax and enjoy!

Talk Soon, Cynthia x


PICTURE - OLD MAP - GOOGLE STOCK

17 March 2011

Languages Other Than English (LOTE)


Hi Everyone,

In this post I will be looking at Languages Other than English (LOTE). Regardless of the language experience you choose to share with your child, there are several categories listed with the Education Department to cater for the different entry points (skill levels) of language learners called pathways.

Pathway one refers to children and students with little or no prior knowledge of the target language.

Pathway two refers to children and students with some prior learning and use of the language.

Within each Pathway there are two entry points as follows:

Entry point A refers to students who learn the language from Early to Senior Years Bands (R-12).

Entry point B refers to students who learn the language from Middle to Senior Years Bands (8-12).
It is not necessary for you to be fluent in a second language to support your child in doing LOTE. You can easily learn alongside your child, hire a tutor, or focus on culture rather than actual language learning, all are viable options.

Having clarified this, I'll share with you how we've managed the LOTE component of the curriculum. We've chosen to include Spanish and French as part of our studies because both languages are so widely spoken around the world, and because they are quite similar to English alphabetically.

Alexandra used the Rosetta Stone Language Programmes, which are interactive CD Roms and are as good as any I've seen. At this point, Jay and Freida listen to French and Spanish sing-a-long CDs in the car, and will start the computer based language programme when they're a bit older.

The LOTE requirements for younger children are generally more about cultural awareness than learning a language per se. This may mean preparing and enjoying food from countries other than our own, listening to multi-cultural music, reading about and discussing life in other countries, learning about and performing multi-cultural crafts, customs and songs as well as or instead of learning basic LOTE skills. In the early years, what you focus on is really up to you.

As your child gets older, learning about cultural differences around the world is just as important as memorising a language, and the crossover with Society and Environment (SOSE) is quite significant.

The language resources available online are numerous, and many of them are free of charge. Alternatively, your local library is bound to have a supply of language programmes in book, DVD, CD and CD Rom format. It is not necessary for you to teach up to a certain standard unless your child will wish to join a language programme at an upper secondary advanced level...even then there are ways to catch up.

The lesson I have learned from teaching my kids LOTE is to relax and enjoy the process. Putting too much pressure on yourself as teacher and child as learner can take away from the magic of exposure to the world and it's diversity of people. Celebrate cultural days, cook and share multicultural meals with your homeschool group or as a family, lapbook various countries and make the most of this opportunity to learn alongside your children...and enjoy :)

Talk Soon, Cynthia x

PICTURE OLD GLOBE GOOGLE IMAGES

15 March 2011

Design & Technology

Hi Everyone,

Today I'll look at Design and Technology, which incorporates technical studies and home economics along with more recent technological advancements. The basic outline given for design and technology in the South Australian Curriculum Framework is as follows:

CONTEXT
Explains the content and purpose of the activity

TASK

Provides clear instruction about the task or problem

REQUIREMENTS

Focuses learning activities, specifies directions or places limitations.

CRITIQUING

Provides direction for examining the four phases of any technology:
the intention, the design, the manifestation, the use/misuse/abuse/disposal.

DESIGNING

Describes requirements for investigating, devising, evaluating, the trialling of materials, techniques and communication of ideas and information.

MAKING

Establishes conditions for creating the product, process or system; includes skills, techniques, materials and responsible resource management.

CRITIQUING/EVALUATING

Provides direction for evaluating the product, process or system against agreed criteria; includes communication of findings and reflecting on processes used and the outcome.

To me, these descriptions indicate that design and technology is process oriented, and the fundamental principle is for students to consider, plan, carry out and critique an activity for it's effectiveness. This may be making a go-cart, a foot stool, a plastic bowl, knitting a scarf, baking a cake, preparing a meal for 10 people, the opportunities are enormous, as long as this sequence is applied.

For example a couple of years ago, Alexandra learned to spin wool and turned some of it into a scarf. To get to this point, she needed to decide what she wanted to achieve (context/intention). She didn't know how to spin so she had to source a spinning/knitting class and a wheel (design/requirements). Attending the class, she was tutored in spinning and knitting (making), she corrected her technique where necessary and made adjustments to complete her scarf, looking for ways to improve technique for her next knitting project (critiquing/evaluating).

This same formulae may be applied to cooking a meal. The student may decide what sort of meal he/she wants to cook and for how many people (context/intention). A recipe must be found and a shopping list written with appropriate amounts of food, and food is bought (design/requirements). Cooking the meal, the child uses these ingredients to create the desired product (making) adjusting technique/amounts as necessary. A discussion of the meal may prove that the cook is happy with his/her effort, or that some changes may improve the next effort (critique and evaluation).

In looking at technological advances within society, older children may look at these stages of development from an objective viewpoint and consider ramifications of different inventions (ie green energy, stem cell reaearch, robotics etc).

In using these principles, whether it's for simple woodwork, craft or inventions, or the more complex activities of older students, it's the process of preparation, making and evaluation that are important...the activities just make it fun and interesting, so enjoy your creations!

Talk Soon, Cynthia x


11 March 2011

ART

Hi Everyone,

Art is divided into three focus areas throughout the childhood years. These areas are Arts Practice, Analysis and Response, and Literacy.

In practical terms, this means that children are creating their own works of art using a variety of techniques and mediums (writing, drawing, painting, movie making, photography, dance, computer animation, music, sculpture etc). The children may make a comment or analysis about their own artwork, and share their observations and responses to various artistic forms and works from other artists. Another aspect of the art curriculum is looking at art in the wider context of society, from a modern and historical perspective...how does art change our lives, and how does it reflect what's going on?

There are many interesting ways to facilitate art as it's broad enough to encompass everything from abstract painting to drama and dance. I find that having good quality paper, drawing and painting equipment, as well as craft supplies easily accessible is a good start in keeping an interesting art curriculum running. We have a craft cupboard that the children can reach, and they can set up art activities whenever they feel like creating something. Because they always have access to these materials, they tend to treat them with respect, clean up and put materials away when they're finished.

We do planned art activities occasionally, but often the children's enthusiasm comes from creating something which represents their interest at that time. Jay will sit and draw knights and vikings for hours, or build them out of lego. He will cut pieces of coloured paper out and build collages of palace or feast scenes just for the joy of representing what he's passionate about. Alexandra has built and illustrated a full cast of characters for a book she's writing, she's built characters from clay and used charcoal, oils, pencil and watercolours to illustrate at different times...it's just a lovely organic process that needs little prompting from me.

We tend to incorporate a lot of our art activities into the outdoors through garden design, nature studies, sculpting with clay or sand, building teepees, costume design, building a campfire and so on...

I also have a good supply of quality art books which we look through and discuss on a fairly regular basis, and all of my kids are quite interested in looking at detail and meaning within paintings. We study the lives and times of various artists informally as we're looking at their work. I framed a variety of fine art pictures and hung them on the wall where the children can see them, so quality visual art is a part of our everyday lives, just like music, dance or drama. We also visit the public art gallery and museum on a regular basis just to look around as well as doing the occasional school holiday programme.

In my experience, external art lessons (drama, dance, visual art, music lessons) can vary a lot in price and intensity. Abby went to art, music and drama lessons for a few years, and still loves the visual arts, theatre and playing guitar, but I don't consider paying a lot of money for external lessons necessary for a full art experience. Many homeschooling families will skill share if particular parents can play an instrument, paint, dance, whatever. This keeps costs down, allows children to share lessons with their friends, and to be instructed by people they already know.

In homeschooling our family, we generally encourage our children to do their best, to honour committments, and to extend on what they enjoy. We don't force an interest in artistic pursuits they're not passionate about, and they have always found plenty of fulfilling interests to keep them occupied.

Talk Soon, Cynthia x

10 March 2011

Science

Hi Everyone,

Today I'll look at Science. The Education Authority mandates for teaching science have a fairly universal theme.
Most state/country outcomes will encourage tuition in earth and space (earth and space science), energy systems (physics and biology) and matter(chemistry).

This is fortunate as most children will be exposed to these themes in their everyday lives without even realising it, and facilitating science then turns into a simple matter of recording what you observe and backing that up with some experiments.


The amount of resources available for teaching science is enormous, and in our family, we find it really exciting to look for a cool experiment to do, hypothesise (predict) results, find the stuff and record findings in different ways (drawing, writing, sculptures, photos, poems, dioramas whatever fits)....a good resource for experiments and information is the CSIRO website, under DIY science.

Another fun way to do science is through Nature Study. If it's a gorgeous day outside rather than stay in we will pack our sketchbooks, pencils, watercolours and specimen containers and head to the beach, the forest or the Botanic Gardens. From a young age, our kids have been observing, discussing and recording their observations of nature. I have a wonderful book called Keeping a Nature Journal by Clare Walker Leslie and Charles E Roth. It gives ideas and examples for recording plants, animals, the seasons and so on. This ties in with Health and Physical Education too as the kids invariably run around for at least half an hour before we settle into observing/recording anything.

Craft and science can tie in nicely too...my kids have made solar system models as mobiles, coloured chalk on black card (set with hairspray), as 3d models...and that's just dealing with space. All subjects areas can be dealt with in this way if you get a good science project book or simply google the topic you are working with. We use My First Science Book a lot as the pictures are large enough for younger children to identify necessary materials and steps needed to complete the experiments.

As Alexandra got older, she looked at Biology, Chemistry and Physics in more detail. Once again, because she loves books, we used text books as a basis for study. We talked a lot about societal and ethical implications of things to keep issues relevant and interesting and she used a variety of medium to record her findings.
There are plenty of on-line science options too if your child is likely to be more engaged that way.

Finally, it's worth mentioning that the CSIRO put out bi-monthly science magazines (Scientriffic for the younger reader and Double Helix for older children). They hold plenty of interesting information and activity-based functions, for a small membership fee, children of all ages can participate in a wide range of science based learning experiences. Your local Astronomical Society may also have regular viewing nights so you can experience looking at the night sky through a high power telescope.

Happy Experimenting!


Talk Soon, Cynthia x

PICUTURE-SCIENTIFIC ELEMENTS-STOCK IMAGES

09 March 2011

Mathematics

Hi Everyone,

Today I'll share what I know about Mathematics. I readily admit maths is not my forte, but I did manage to homeschool my daughter sufficiently well for her to make the transition to a year 10 school maths curriculum with ease earlier this year. This shows it can be done, even if you're not a highschool maths teacher :)

The Education Authorities have fairly universal and clear guidelines regarding expected mathematics outcomes for children of different ages.Basically the areas expected to be covered in a maths programme are:

Exploring, analyzing and modelling data
Measurement
Number
Pattern and algebraic reasoning
Spatial sense and geometric reason
Terminology and symbols

Providing concrete mathematics experiences for the young child tends to be easy, as most maths programmes start off this way, or you can create your own experiences. For example, exploring, analyzing and modelling data is simply collecting information about things and recording this by graphing them.

For the younger child, this may mean looking at how many birds they saw on the walk to the shop. At home you may discuss how many were blue? how many red? then represent this by glueing different coloured paper, feathers, or whatever on a piece of card.


For the middle years child, simply alter this according to their ability (traffic survey, survey people's food/music preferences etc) and use different methods of recording for different types of graphs (bar chart, pie chart etc). Perhaps get into posing questions and predicting/testing outcomes to keep things interesting.

For the older (13+ year old) child, data will encompass posing questions, sampling and population, interpreting data, cumulative frequency, finding the median, mean and mode etc. Which is basically like the younger child's curriculum in more depth.

All of the subject areas may be dealt with in a concrete way...cooking, art, crafts are fantastic ways to develop numeracy, measurement, pattern, spatial sense and terminology, it's all in how you present things. If you're creative you can make maths a hands on experience well into the upper primary years.

For the 13+ year old child, I have found that a good quality text book is the easiest way of ensuring complete coverage of the year's requirements. Alternatively, Math-U-See, Maths On Line and Mathletics have all been given rave reviews by a variety of people I know...it just depends whether you and your child work best with books, by touch, by online (one way) tutorials or interactively online. Personally, we used the Zone Textbooks for Alexandra and she enjoyed that as she's quite booky and prefers pen and paper to computers.

Just remember, there are many options for mathematics and it really is worth investigating your choices before you spend a lot on a curriculum.

Talk Soon, Cynthia x

PICTURE - THE AMBASSADORS BY HANS HOLBEIN THE YOUNGER, 1533






07 March 2011

English

Hi Everyone,

Today I'll look at english. There are no hard and fast rules for teaching your kids english, but there are certain areas that the Education Dept would encourage you to cover.

For younger children these are usually learning to read and write within the first couple of years of schooling, and generally sharing lots of literary experiences. There are reams of ready made resources for english such as Jolly Phonics, Reading Eggs (ABC), LEM amongst others. At this age I believe that as parents reading, talking and spending time with your child can be as thorough and inspiring as any of these.

For the middle years child, learning grammatical rules, creative writing, identifying characters, looking at different styles of writing (novels, plays, poetry, basic media observation, letter writing etc) as well as possibly doing some drama, show and tell, whatever suits your child is generally ample.

Lapbooks are a brilliant way to encourage your child to read and write more, doing unit studies which span across several learning areas to keep children engaged.

My children love Spike Milligan and Pam Ayres' silly verse, and Alexandra has had a go at writing her own poetry quite often, as well as reviewing poems. There is also a resource called Teaching English Through Art which looks fantastic and I have friends who swear by it. This is about the age when appropriate media reviews can be introduced to identify various identities and issues within our society, and by sitting with your child you can intelligently direct their responses to things.

Writing letters to relatives, pen pals or organisations is another skill that can be acquired at around this age, and can be a really nice way to connect socially too. Cloze activities for the more structured learner can also be fun, as can book reviews, there's a whole series of book reviews you can do on Harry Potter so I hear..not sure of link but will investigate and get back to you if you register interest. There really is loads you can do if you look around and you're a bit creative.

For the older child, a slightly more complex curriculum/learning programme may be required, such as a detailed analysis and opinion of current events, looking at literature with more levels of meaning, analysing poetry in depth, identifying characters in more detail and building their own characters and storylines in creative writing etc. This may all sound a bit alarming, but it is really something you graduate into over the years and kids are generally very astute at character analysis and very creative, given enough space and interesting writing prompts.

Alexandra and I used a lot of different styles of novels, non-fiction,poetry books and film and Lex wrote a lot of reviews and character analysis (through writing, drawing, discussion, poetry etc). With the right resources and encouragement it really is not hard to engage your child in english. I introduced Alexandra to Shakespeare through movies with modern english (Romeo and Juliet, Othello etc), audio recordings and then plays in written form. Eventually she joined a drama group and rehearsed A Midsummer Night's Dream feeling absolutely comfortable with the language...it's all about how you present things.

As your children get older there are also creative writing and poetry competitions to enter online and via magazines etc, if they're comfortable with competition it can be really inspiring to enter the ranks with other writers to improve on style and experience :)

Remember that you know your child better than anybody else, so feel free to fish around for ideas and resources, identify what works for you and your family and make the guidlines fit around that...the possibilities are immense.

Personally I use retrospective programming, which means that I write out the programme after we've done an activity/unit of study. I follow what my children are interested in and run with that, having a loose idea of where we're headed and it generally works out that we cover all curriculum areas required more than adequately. I check how we're going every couple of weeks and add some more maths or whatever when needed.

I'll look at Mathematics next post.....

Talk Soon, Cynthia x


PICTURE - GOOGLE PHOTO STOCK

06 March 2011

Learning Areas for Homeschooling

Hi Everyone,

As promised I will spend a bit of time on the learning areas. The eight learning areas are pretty much standard from state to state, country to country...they are English, Mathematics, Art, Society and Environment (history & geography, sociology etc), Design and Technology (used to be known as Technical Studies and Home Economics), Science, Health and Physical Education and Languages other than English.
I will give a brief description of expectations you may find from education authorities for each learning area, and possible activities which could meet these requirements.

In each state of Australia, the curriculum frameworks are available to view online. They can be wordy at times, just remember that a basic outline of requirements is really all you need to educate your child at home.

The addresses of these sites are:

South Australia

New South Wales

Victoria


Tasmania


Northern Territory


Queensland


ACT


Western Australia

I will look at specific learning areas starting with English in my next post.

Talk Soon, Cynthia x

All Things Birthing

Hi Everyone,

For those of you interested in pregnancy, birth and beyond, I have set up a blog for just these issues :) The blurb is as follows:

I am looking to share information, stories and experiences from birth professionals and those who have been there before... a not-for-profit, non-judgemental support network for parents and those who work within the field of birthing.


I am passionate about safe supported birth. I value the right of parents to choose their preferred birthing options. I believe in giving birth due reverence.

My vision is of an ongoing stream of articles, book reviews and sharing. Some researched and written by me, and some sourced from within the birthing community. If you are interested in submitting, ideally articles will be accessible for all readers (not too much jargon etc) and subject matter will be open to whatever aspect of birthing you have experience and knowledge in.

Just click on the link under My Blogs label to the right of the screen.

Talk Soon, Cynthia x

PICTURE - ALINE AND PIERRE - RENOIR 1887