Finished HWOT Book!

Skeeterbug just finished this Handwriting Without Tears book.  It’s actually a Grade 1 book.  I’m not sure why he is only finishing this near the end of Grade 2, I guess we just didn’t work through this one and the previous one fast enough.  The difference between this one and the Grade 2 book is the size of the lines and the amount of words/sentences vs. individual letters.  I probably should have just bumped him up without finishing this yellow book.  I’m still debating whether to do the Grade 2 book next, or skip him to the Grade 3 cursive book.  I think we’ll probably concentrate on the Grade 2 Printing Power book and maybe alternate it with the cursive book if he’s keen.  These books are quite thick and do take quite some time to work through if you are only doing a page or two a day.

HWOT: My Printing Book 

Just to show you he isn’t always thrilled with the pictures…

HWOT: My Printing Book

Making Brown

Back when we made our volcano I didn’t have enough brown paint on hand.  I quickly googled to see what colours we’d need to make brown and found that mixing all the primary colours would work beautifully.  (Don’t laugh, I really didn’t know that!  I thought that would give me grey or black.  An art teacher I am not.)  We quickly mixed some up.  So pretty!

Making Brown PaintMaking Brown PaintMaking Brown PaintMaking Brown Paint

I will never have to buy brown paint again!

Strengthening Fingers

The other day Skeeterbug asked if we could do school at the kitchen table.  Which was nice because it’s a much bigger table.  It just meant dragging everything out from the schoolroom, and then putting it all back later.  Ladybug happily got herself some peanuts to snack on while we worked.  (No peanut allergies here!)  I was watching her and thinking how much she was working her little fingers to shell the peanuts.  She was so concentrated on her ‘work’.

Shelling Peanuts

And so satisfied to be able to do it herself!

Shelling Peanuts

Fine motor skills the fun way!

A quick holiday

We recently had a short holiday in Warrnambool.  We stayed near the beach for a few days.  This time of year beach weather in Victoria is, um, questionable.  We had one good day, sunny and nice but not all that warm.  The next day it poured rain.

Beach!

The kids enjoy jumping the waves.

Beach!

Ladybug always runs afterward, lest she be sucked into the vast ocean.  She did fall down, getting thoroughly frightened and soaked.  Jitterbug fell too, he was soaked but not frightened.  :)

Beach!

The weather was great for kite flying.  Actually, people tell me it’s always windy near Warrnambool.

Beach!

I’m always afraid she’s going to let go of the string!

Beach! Beach!

We admired the local fauna.  :)

Warrnambool

There is a great playground in Warrnambool, Lake Pertobe Adventure Park.  This was our second time visiting, we still haven’t gotten to all of it.  There are many great play areas there.  This is a giant maze.

Lake Pertobe Adventure Park

We love the flying fox.  This one is for under 12, there is one on the other side for over 12 and adults.

Lake Pertobe Adventure ParkLake Pertobe Adventure ParkLake Pertobe Adventure Park Lake Pertobe Adventure Park

A quick trip to Tower Hill Nature Reserve.  I guess that USA jumper along with our accents mark us as tourists wherever we go!

Tower Hill Nature Reserve

It’s quite a steep hike to the top.

Tower Hill Nature Reserve 

We did spot a koala!

Tower Hill Nature Reserve

The emus were not shy.  They were coming quite close to a family trying to enjoy a picnic lunch.  The family, even the kids, all raised an arm straight up in the air to look taller, standing up at times.  The emus turned away from them every time one of the adults stood up with an arm raised.

Tower Hill Nature Reserve

Then a trip down the Great Ocean Road.  Rain was rolling in which made for some pretty pictures, and a quick trot back to the car!

Great Ocean RoadGreat Ocean RoadGreat Ocean RoadGreat Ocean RoadGreat Ocean RoadGreat Ocean Road

That last pic is the Twelve Apostles, but on a different trip when the sun was shining.  I tweaked my back and couldn’t walk all the way down there this time.

Great fun, it seems like it is officially camping season now.  The weather has warmed up considerably since our trip a couple of weeks ago.  We’re ready for our annual week-long camping trip to the beach!

How big is Jupiter? Two model solar systems!

Have you ever heard that Jupiter is so big that it could hold all the other planets combined?  One of the extra activities listed for our Jupiter lesson was to make planets to scale out of salt dough.  Then mush all the planets except Jupiter together to see which is bigger.

So here they are from right to left.  We still include Pluto.  I followed the recipe but was a bit annoyed when it didn’t make enough salt dough to make the planets to the scale it called for.  I quickly made some more and still couldn’t get them the right size, but we made do.  Saturn and Jupiter were both a bit smaller than they were supposed to be.

How big is Jupiter? ~ Our Aussie Homeschool How big is Jupiter? ~ Our Aussie Homeschool

Then we squashed them all together.  Except Jupiter of course.

How big is Jupiter? ~ Our Aussie Homeschool 

Jitterbug was very annoyed with us for ruining the planets.

How big is Jupiter? ~ Our Aussie Homeschool

In the end our Jupiter was bigger than all the others combined.

How big is Jupiter? ~ Our Aussie Homeschool How big is Jupiter? ~ Our Aussie Homeschool

The kids were so interested in this that I thought it was a good time to quickly go back and do one of the activities we’d skipped.  I think it was from the space rocks lesson.  Again, from right to left…

Model Solar System ~ Our Aussie Homeschool

  • Sun- soccer ball
  • Mercury- sprinkle (100s & 1000s)
  • Venus & Earth- peppercorns
  • Mars- red sprinkle
  • Asteroid Belt- salt
  • Jupiter- bouncy ball
  • Saturn- large marble
  • Uranus & Neptune- peanut halves (these probably should have been bigger)
  • Pluto- sprinkle

We’ve done this before but more than a year ago, I’d guess.  When we went to our local sceince museum to see the transit of Venus earlier this year, they had a similar activity with some distances too.

Model Solar System ~ Our Aussie HomeschoolModel Solar System ~ Our Aussie Homeschool

Pluto rolled away before this shot!

Model Solar System ~ Our Aussie Homeschool

This stayed on our table for a whole day.  It was so fun to look at!  The next afternoon we found Ladybug eating the asteroids (salt).  Skeeterbug asked if he could eat Mercury (a sprinkle).  There was a sprinkle planet for each of them.  Then they finished off the asteroids.  When I wasn’t looking, Ladybug ate Venus (a peppercorn).  Oops!  Tears ensued, and that was the end of our model solar system.

Another activity we skipped was a scale of the distances between the planets, we might have to do that as part of our wrap-up of astronomy later this year.

The Phoenicians

We just learned about the Phoenicians in Story of the World.  We learned that Phoenicians were famous for their coloured glass and glassblowing.  We made pretend coloured glass from wax paper and crayon shavings as an activity to go with this lesson, following the instructions in the Activity Guide.

To grate the crayons I used a rotary cheese grater that had been sitting in my drawer for over a year and never used.  (We grate cheese often but use another grater.)  This one is now reserved for crayon use, it worked really well!  Jitterbug especially liked using it.  (That’s our sugar cube pyramids on the table next to him.)

 Crayon Shavings ~ Our Aussie Homeschool

That tongue comes out any time he is concentrating on something.  Sigh.  I’m in love with this kid.

Crayon Shavings ~ Our Aussie Homeschool

Crayon shavings look so pretty!

Crayon Shavings ~ Our Aussie HomeschoolCrayon Shavings ~ Our Aussie Homeschool

The directions said to choose a picture, lay it on a piece of wax paper, then cover it with crayon shavings and coloured thread.  Lay another piece of wax paper on top and iron.  This is Skeeterbug’s.

Coloured Glass ~ Our Aussie Homeschool

We made a collage from the leftover crayon shavings.  That gold-coloured crayon was harder to melt than the other colours.

Crayon Shavings ~ Our Aussie Homeschool

Once the crayon is melted it’s a bit hard to see the picture behind it.  You can just make it out if you hang it in a window and let the sun shine through it.  Here’s Skeeterbug’s, he is the only one that used some of the thread.

Coloured Glass ~ Our Aussie Homeschool

Jitterbug was disappointed and thought I’d ruined his when I ironed it.  I think he just enjoyed grating the crayons and thought I’d ruined his hard work.

Coloured Glass ~ Our Aussie Homeschool

Ladybug placed her crayon gratings all in a lump so I spread them out a little for her.  I’m surprised she chose only one colour.

Coloured Glass ~ Our Aussie Homeschool

Here’s the collage we made from the leftovers.

Coloured Glass ~ Our Aussie Homeschool

This counts as an art project, right?  That’s what I like about the hands-on history and science we do.  There’s other things worked in.

Coloured Glass ~ Our Aussie Homeschool

We also made Phoenician bread from the recipe in the SOTW Activity Guide. Ladybug was my helper.

Phoenician Bread ~ Our Aussie Homeschool

Skeeterbug wandered in and asked if he could have a piece of the dough.  I tore off a small piece for each of them.  A few minutes later I saw that Ladybug had torn herself a piece from each one of these to eat.  Her mouth was full of dough!  Sneaky girl. 

Phoenician Bread ~ Our Aussie Homeschool

She loved stacking these and moving them around on the tray.  The recipe called these pita bread.  They were quite thick (we used wholemeal flour).  Bland but very filling, good topped with cheese.

One of the other projects for this chapter is to make dye from blueberries or red cabbage and use it to dye pasta.  We might come back to that one, I think the kids would be fascinated.

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