Australian Animal Fact Sheet-Free Printable!

Hi everyone!  I’ve got a new printable to share!

Free printable: Australian Animal Fact Sheet.  Perfect for unit studies, animal lovers, and anyone who loves koalas.  And really, who doesn't love koalas?

While we’ve travelled around Australia we’ve had the chance to see animals we haven’t come across before.  Many I had never heard of!  Animals like pademelons, brolgas, and jabirus.  Not to mention all the animals we know and love like crocodiles(!), emus, and kangaroos.

I created this fact sheet for the kids to record some information about the animals we’ve come across.  Now that we are (almost!) done travelling we will continue to use it at home. These would be perfect for a unit study on Australia, or if your child is an animal-lover. So many animals in this country are found only here, so I wanted a sheet that had a map of only Australia on it.

fact sheet

The best part?  It’s perfect for all ages! Younger kids can just draw illustrations in the boxes, or write just the numbers and short words while you fill in a few other details for them. Here’s my 6yo’s koala fact sheet:

Free printable: Australian Animal Fact Sheet.  Perfect for unit studies, animal lovers, and anyone who loves koalas.  And really, who doesn't love koalas?

This is my 8yo’s cassowary fact sheet:

Free printable: Australian Animal Fact Sheet.  Perfect for unit studies, animal lovers, and anyone who loves koalas.  And really, who doesn't love koalas?

My 11yo’s tasmanian devil fact sheet:

Free printable: Australian Animal Fact Sheet.  Perfect for unit studies, animal lovers, and anyone who loves koalas.  And really, who doesn't love koalas?

You can download the file here, you’ll be directed to box.com.  You don’t need an account to download the file.  I will soon be moving this blog to Wordpress and once that’s done all these files will be downloaded directly from this site.  Yay!

You might notice I changed the conservation status section on the printable.  I wanted it to be easier for young kids, so now they only have to circle one instead of writing it out like in the ones my kids did above.

I’ve got more Australian-themed printables to share that we’ve been using during our travels.  Stay tuned!

Why Our Homeschool is Way Off Track

For the last 17 months we have been living in our caravan and travelling around Australia.  Before that we spent over a month in America.  Before that we were packing up and moving out of our house. Our homeschool hasn’t looked like homeschool for a very long time.  We’re very much off track from where I envisioned we’d be.  Where I hoped we’d be.  Why?

Why is our homeschool way off track?  Hint: We've been too busy learning! | Our Aussie Homeschool

Because we didn’t take a trip around Australia so the kids could sit inside the van and do schoolwork. At the beginning of our trip I had my sights set too high.  There was no way we could have managed a complete curriculum with all subjects unless we wanted to sit in the van and do schoolwork all day.  But what would be the point of that?  Why travel around the country just to spend your time doing what you’d do at home? 

We tried different routines.  We tried having ‘explore’ days and ‘school’ days.  What we discovered is that we needed time to rest from our ‘explore’ days, so our ‘school’ days became ‘rest’ days.  So we tried school in the morning and exploring in the afternoon.  Which didn’t work because it wasn’t enough time and we’d be worn out too easily after a morning of schoolwork.  What has worked the best for us is half ‘school’ days on our ‘rest’ days.  But sometimes our ‘rest’ days were just ‘rest’ days with no schoolwork in sight.

Because we had multiple excursions a week. Can you imagine if your kids in school were going on field trips/excursions nearly every day?  How much desk work would you expect them to get done?  Imagine kids in school: the excitement over the field trip, the preparation, the traveling, the event, the return travel.  Should they sit down and do their maths before or after?  During the pre-excursion excitement or the post-excursion exhaustion? 

You can see the dilemma we’ve had.  We visit museums, national parks, beaches, etc. multiple times a week.  We lose whole days when we pack up the caravan and drive to a new town.  (No car schooling for us, but that’s another post!)  

Because even the basics were hard to manage.  When lessons build on each other, how do you teach them if you can’t do them consistently?  When curriculum requires memorising something and you don’t review it often enough.  When curriculum refers to the previous lesson like you did it yesterday but you haven’t done a lesson in over a week, and you won’t do the next one for another week.  We ended up dropping subjects altogether, and using random workbooks for others.  Workbooks that I probably wouldn’t have used before but have been perfect for this trip.

Because we were too busy learning.  We’ve had so many adventures.

Too busy learning to do schoolwork! | Our Aussie Homeschool

Now the big question.  How do we get back on track?  After this season of unschooling, how do we go back to formal schoolwork?  Or do we?  How will our homeschool look different when we stop travelling in a few weeks? 

I’ll be writing more about all this in the weeks to come.  Thanks for reading!

So…Big Things are a ‘thing’ in Australia!

Here’s something you probably didn’t know about Australia.  (Unless you live here, of course.)  Australia has a thing for ‘Big Things.’  Like this Big Prawn we visited recently in Ballina, New South Wales.  (Which is pronounced BAL-in-uh, not buh-LEEN-uh.)

The Big Prawn near Ballina, NSW.  | Our Aussie Homeschool

See my kids way down there underneath the prawn?  It was huge, perhaps one of the biggest Big Things we’d seen in our travels.  These ‘Big Things’ are all over Australia.  Here’s a Big Mango we found in Bowen, Queensland.

The Big Mango in Bowen, QLD | Our Aussie Homeschool

This Big Captain Cook was in Cairns, Queensland.  It seemed randomly placed at the side of the road in amongst businesses.  I imagine it didn’t start out that way.

Big Captain Cook in Cairns, QLD | Our Aussie Homeschool

This Big Marron was near Denmark, Western Australia. Such a beautiful blue!

Big Marron near Denmark, Western Australia | Our Aussie Homeschool

This Big Oyster was in Ceduna, South Australia.  When we asked a local where to find it he gave us a very strange look and told us there was a ‘kind of’ a big one as you come into town.  It was certainly one of the smaller ‘Big Things’ we saw, but definitely qualifies since it’s so much bigger than a real oyster.

Big Oyster in Ceduna, WA | Our Aussie Homeschool

Here’s a Big Penguin from Penguin, Tasmania.  He wasn’t nearly as big as we thought he’d be, but he was lovely just the same.  Pity for him that he has his back to that gorgeous view.

Big Penguin in Penguin, Tasmania | Our Aussie Homeschool

And perhaps the best known, the Big Banana in Coffs Harbour, New South Wales. 

The Big Banana in Coffs Harbour, New South Wales | Our Aussie Homeschool

These are just a handful of the Big Things we’ve seen in our travels.  We’ve been travelling around Australia for over a year now and we are wrapping up our trip in a few weeks.  We’ve seen so much.  I’ll be sharing more about our travels and getting back to homeschool blogging soon. 

Cheers!

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