Interview at Learning Alongside

Interview with an Australian Home Educator

 

I’m honoured to be a guest today over at Learning Alongside as part of April’s series of interviews with Australian home educators.  April blogs about home educating in Australia and her experience home educating her two children.  April’s blog was one of the first Aussie homeschool blogs that I started reading regularly.  Her blog has led me to many other great blogs and many great resources.  Head on over to Learning Alongside to see the interview.  While you are there have a look around her blog and at the other interviews in the series, you are sure to come across something you’ll like.  Thanks April for including me in this, I’m new at blogging and still find it a bit terrifying unnerving that there are really people out there reading this, I’m truly flattered.

Layers of the Earth

Along with our astronomy lesson on earth we talked about the various layers that make up our planet.  I’ve always wanted to make a play-dough model of the layers of the earth, here was my our chance.

Layers of the Earth Project

After reading the text in Apologia Astronomy we took a look at these Parts of the Earth Nomenclature Cards from Montessori for Everyone.  We matched up the definition cards and using the mini-poster as a guide created our own little book of the parts of the earth to place in Skeeterbug’s notebooking journal.

Parts of the Earth Nomenclature from MFE Parts of the Earth Nomenclature from MFE Parts of the Earth Nomenclature from MFE

Here’s a book we’ve really enjoyed on this subject.  It’s a Sonlight book for one of their preschool cores, though it works for many ages.

How to Dig a Hole to the Other Side of the World

Click the pictures to see a closer view.  The book discusses what you would find when you are digging your hole to the other side.  Great book, very detailed, lots of discussion points.

How to Dig a Hole to the Other Side of the World How to Dig a Hole to the Other Side of the World

Then we made our play-dough earth.  This was definitely the most colours I’ve made at once, I think the most we’ve done before is two.  We used cocoa powder for the brown, which worked very well but gave it a slightly different texture from the others.

Layers of the Earth Project

Random land masses.  I was not going for accuracy at this point.

Layers of the Earth Project Layers of the Earth Project

Hmmm, I think you forgot to put Australia on here.

Layers of the Earth Project

But I forgive you and aren’t I cute?  (That’s my We Choose Virtues poster in the background, waiting to be hung in it’s new home in our kitchen.)

Layers of the Earth Project

After all that hard work I did, we sliced it in half.

Layers of the Earth Project

I know the proportions are all wrong, but they got the point.  And I got to take pictures of all the lovely colours!  :)

Layers of the Earth Project Layers of the Earth Project Layers of the Earth Project

Look at that missing tooth!  He made it all the way to 7.5 before losing his first one. 

Layers of the Earth Project Layers of the Earth Project Layers of the Earth Project

This project seemed like it took an entire afternoon!  But the kids love to be in the kitchen and it was fun to spend all this time with them.  (As opposed to all the other time I spend with them.  Everyday.  All day.  The curse blessing of being a homeschool mum.  For some reason there was less bickering this day, so it was fun.)  Their favourite part of making play-dough is adding the colours.  Ladybug loves her play-dough.  She is the only one that has continued to play with it since then. 

The activity listed in the notebooking journal was to make an edible earth out of rice bubbles (krispies), a red gumdrop, and melted chocolate chips.  I thought this would be better, but shhhh!  Don’t tell my children, they’ll feel cheated.  Skeeterbug is looking very forward to the lesson on Mars so that we can make an edible Mars rover.  I don’t think I’ll be able to get out of that one!

First Day of School Booklet

It’s that time of year that many Americans are beginning to plan for the next school year.  I thought this might be a good time to share this booklet I made to capture a bit about my kids each year.  This is something we complete at the beginning of each year.  We don’t finish it all in one day but spread it out through the first week or so.  It’s a place to record vital stats and favourites.  It makes me laugh no end to fill these out with my kids.  Click the image below to download the file (the link is also at the bottom of the post).

First Day of School Booklet

Pictures of the assembled book…I printed my sample in black & white but don’t worry, the file includes all the lovely colours.  Click the pictures for a closer view.  Some of the pics aren’t the greatest quality, sorry.

 First Day of School Booklet

Inside front cover is blank.  The first page has a place to glue a picture and record some vital stats.

First Day of School Booklet

Next pages: what grade are you in, what do you want to be/do when you grow up, what do you want to learn about this year.  How many teeth do you have, how many have you lost, what is your favourite food.

First Day of School Booklet

This page is for a handprint and footprint.  My son’s foot just fits at 7yo (covering the text).  Next year we will have to angle it sideways, maybe overlap with the hand a bit.  Maybe we’ll do each in a different colour.

First Day of School Booklet

I thought this page about favourite colour would be a good place to glue on some pictures from magazines or catalogues, etc.  The second page is to record favourite toys and what you like to play.

First Day of School Booklet

The last page records favourite book, song, movie.

First Day of School Booklet

Two options for the back cover…Bible verse or not, since some of you may want to use it in a classroom.  Option 1:

First Day of School Booklet

Option 2:

First Day of School Booklet

These were designed on size A4 paper, if printing on letter size you may need to choose Fit to Printable Area.  The back of the first page (the page with the front and back covers) is left blank.  The rest can be printed two-sided and folded to create the booklet.  Or, print one-sided, cut apart and staple together to form the booklet.  I didn’t number the pages so that you can put it in whatever order you like or leave out some pages if you choose.  These instructions are on the first page of the file download.

This file can be downloaded here.  Click here for a list of all my printables (more to come!).  Thanks for visiting!

The Gruffalo’s Child

We recently saw the theatre performance of The Gruffalo’s Child.  Last year we enjoyed seeing The Gruffalo, so I was excited when Tracey over at Little Men in My Library posted that they’d just been to The Gruffalo’s Child.  I quickly checked and found out it was headed our way!  Without that post I wouldn’t have known it was coming.

 Gruffalo's ChildGruffalo's Child

We spent the week leading up to the performance enjoying some Gruffalo activities.  We read through each book and acted out the stories using dioramas.  The backdrop for The Gruffalo diorama came from here.

Gruffalo Diorama

Come, have tea in my treetop house.

Gruffalo Diorama

Where are you meeting him?  Here, by this lake.  And his favourite food is…Scrambled Snake!

Gruffalo Diorama

I also made one for the Gruffalo’s Child.  I realised afterward that the background image I used was copyrighted and I should not have printed it.  So I’ll only give you a small peek.  That’s a Gruffalo cave to the right that Jitterbug insisted we add.

Gruffalo's Child Diorama 

We also did various printables.  Some from the Gruffalo website, some from here using original images.  The Gruffalo site has great printables- masks, finger puppets, maze, etc.

Gruffalo Activities

I found some pics from last year…

Gruffalo Activities Gruffalo Activities Gruffalo Activities Gruffalo Activities

Back to this year…we did story sequencing for each book.

Gruffalo ActivitiesGruffalo ActivitiesGruffalo ActivitiesGruffalo Activities

Ordinal number practice.  Who did the Gruffalo see first?  Who did the Gruffalo’s child see first?

Gruffalo Activities

Matching words.  Good practice for Jitterbug, he can’t read yet but is learning to match up the letters in the words.  (I just noticed he’s got owl upside down here!)

Gruffalo Activities

We played pin the poisonous wart on the Gruffalo’s nose.  Found this idea here and made my own.  Someone couldn’t keep her blindfold on.

 Gruffalo Activities Gruffalo Activities Gruffalo Activities Gruffalo Activities

We made Gruffalo crumble, from the recipe here on the Gruffalo website.  We also had Poisonous Warts, Mouse Poo, Scrambled Snake, and Roasted Fox.  I found the ideas for these foods here.  When I saw her Scrambled Snake I realised she must be in Australia also.  She has some great Gruffalo party ideas.

Gruffalo ActivitiesGruffalo Activities 

Look, that’s me!

Gruffalo Activities

Can’t forget the Owl Ice Cream!

Gruffalo Activities

I purchased this activity book but forgot to use it.  I remember flipping through it and finding activities that both my 4yo and 7yo would enjoy, so we will have to take a look at it one of these days.  Maybe a wintry, rainy day.  I’m sure we’ve got a few of those to come.

The Gruffalo's Child Activity Book

I just found this book at the library.  One of our other favourite books by Julia Donaldson is A Squash and a Squeeze, there is a song for it in here that tells the whole story.  Looking forward to listening to it.

The Gruffalo Song and Other SongsThis has become a rather long post…The Gruffalo is definitely a favourite around here!

The Gruffalo

The Gruffalo's Child

We love the movies also by the way, very true to the book.  They actually enhance the book rather than being distractingly different.  These stories are fun to act out as well.  Fly like an owl, slither like a snake, walk through the deep, dark wood as the mouse.  Very fun!

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