Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Run off our Feet...

 The last few weeks have been very hectic with events and finishing our school work and sending Willow off to Adelaide. 

Firstly Willow headed off to Adelaide just over a week ago, to spend some time with our family there and to head off to a homeschool camp down south with her cousins.  Presently she's at the homeschool camp, and by all accounts has been having a fabulous time.

Prior to her leaving she had quite a bit of school work to get through, and we had also arranged for her to go and try out a homeschool class for creative writing at Katherine's Place, in the hills.  Willow felt generally the class was of benefit, so we are considering whether she may attend regularly for a term.

Willow, Gabriel and Arden all also went to workshops at the Fremantle Literature Centre, and had the opportunity to learn about how a book is made.  Willow and Gabriel's group was fortunate to also have the chance to meet the author (Mark Greenwood), of the book that their group was looking at.

This week has seen us taking it a bit quieter, although we were out at a St John's Ambulance class on Monday.  Both Gabriel and Arden found this helpful.  The museum was very interesting, and until Monday I had no idea that the name of St John's was connected to St John's Wort.

Today we are planning for Arden's 6th birthday tomorrow.  We've started part 1 of birthday cake making.  Soaking the flour in milk, to break down any phytates. 

We added some milk to make the flour nicely moist and mixed it in. 

Then we needed it in, ensure that it was damp, before covering, and setting aside til tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Physics, maths, Parliament

We're very close to coming to the end of our planned work for this year, which I am very pleased about, it has been a rather hectic time. 

Last weekend we visited Western Australia's parliament house, for their open day.  The tour was interesting and informative.  Damien previously took Willow and Gabriel to see South Australia's parliament house, and we discovered one main difference between the two, and probably any other lower house in the Westminster system- the WA one is furnished in blue!

Anyway here's some other recent work.
Willow working on cutting ice using a knife, for physics.

Willow's geometry- the parabola and hyperbola.

Gabriel's geometry- his limacon and my cardiode.

Star shapes. Mine is first, followed by Gabriel's.

Using our JUMP maths workbooks, working on more geometry.  Creating pyramids and prisms out of toothpicks.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


I'd been hoping to get to an art/craft open day last weekend, but unfortunately it didn't happen as I had a sore neck.  Instead we did our usual thing, which was hang out in the cultural centre, whilst Damien busks.

We're almost at the end of our planned work now, which is lovely.  Currently we're reading Peter Pan and Ivanhoe.  Peter Pan, as the kids will be going to the ballet in December, and Ivanhoe, as Gabriel is doing a block on medieval history.

Medieval history has been filled with some interesting activities,as well as some written pieces.  Arden's been getting a bit involved too.

This is Gabriel's castle plan.

Then our attempts at illuminated letters.
Gabriel's "T"

Arden's mixture of letters.

My "P"

Then Gabriel's final activity for the week, was a diagram of a Viking Longship.  He was given the choice of learning about Caliphs, Viking boats, Germanic tribes, or the Templars.

Arden and I have come to the end of his alphabet work.  He can read a few words here and there, and has been experimenting with writing words quite a bit. Tomorrow he's off to a class about making a book.

These are our recent paintings of letters.

Arden's "O" painting of a pot, followed by mine.

Arden's "U" painting followed by mine, of a tub.

Willow's currently working on physics, so far she's progressed through sounds and light.  She's done some interesting experiments involving waves in water and seeing how they move, and also some experiments with lenses, and how they focus light.

Thursday, October 3, 2013


Officially it's school holidays here, but we're working on this time, since Damien was made redundant a while ago, and whilst having started a new job, has not received his first pay.  It didn't seem worth having holidays yet, so we'll be starting ours mid- Nov which will make for a nice long Summer.

Last week saw us head down to Fremantle for a puppet show at Spare Parts Puppet theatre.  This time they were doing Shaun Tan's book "Tales From Outer Suburbia".  We own and love this book, and it was well worth seeing.  They cleverly made a model size suburbia, which they would zoom into, to tell us the various stories of suburbia.  We had a bit of a wander around Freo, whilst we were there, visiting our favourite book shop and getting fish and chips.  Arden was excited about buying his own fish and chips, as he recently started busking the harmonica, and has been doing quite well at it.

It also happened to be the weekend before the AFL grand final, and Fremantle happened to be in it, so it was covered with purple and white in spots.  This was one of our favourites.

This is Gabriel's geometry drawing from last week- an octagon spiral.

 This was from Willow experimenting during geometry.  This week she's moved on to loci.

A previous picture from geometry, beautifully finished.

This weeks painting with Arden.  We were working on "I", and making the fillings for our words using it.  Mill was our word for our painting.
This one is mine.

This is Arden's.

Willow headed down to the show with some friends this week, and had a fabulous time.  Apparently she only spent $3.50, as they had a lot of vouchers for rides, etc.  Mostly she'd really wanted to see the horses.  The weather was beautiful for it, but will be back to rainy tomorrow (I like the rain, but it's been nice to have some warm days again!).  Finally Damien and I took a class in four beat blues, which we are now teaching Gabriel, Willow can already do it quite well.

We've also booked Willow flights to Adelaide- she's saved enough for the first leg of her trip to a homeschool camp at the end of the year.  Now she just needs the second half!  Gabriel's also keen to visit Adelaide, and is saving for a trip to visit family next year.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Camping to Cooking

I've been busily spending the morning trying to make arrangements for Willow to attend a homeschool camp.  At this stage we're just booking the first leg of the trip- to Adelaide and later when she's saved some more, we'll sort out the rest.  She's been wanting to go on a homeschool camp for quite some time, so she's pretty excited at the idea of it.

Willow's also has been busy explore lots of aspects of Ninjago and Lord of the Rings.  This is her singing "Pippin's Song", though my preference is for "Golum's Song", though the recording doesn't do justice to just how beautiful her voice sounds.  In relation to Ninjago, she's been making up her own fan stories, and some poems too.

Here is some of her other work for the week.

Progressing through geometry

Blanket making- this rug is being woven using a square loom.

Gabriel has been working on geography- we're looking at the Asian region.  This last week saw him doing some map drawing, and writing about New Zealand and the Maori people.

Gabriel's map of Oceania

Geometry from the last two weeks- spiral drawing

Arden has been busy working through his jump maths book doing some basic adding questions, which he's been loving.  He's also currently into Jamie Oliver and doing quite a bit of cooking.  This week we've made scones, and oat cakes together, making sure to soak our grains overnight.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

My Shop

I have made a shop on Etsy, called HomemadeHandicrafts. It's a School project. Here's the link to the page:
I hope you like the items - feel free to browse!

Monday, September 9, 2013

My stories

Hullo Readers!
Apologies, I have not posted for ages. But I am now!
I have been taken over by a Ninjago theme craziness - and I have been writing lots of stories. The First one I have ever put up is here:
It's called Stormchild and the Ninja, by me (my username on there is Spinjisumaster). If you have a Lego ID, and want to comment, feel free to!
Thanks! Perhaps I'll start posting more again soon.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


Over the weekend Damien took Willow, Gabriel and Arden to see Circus Oz.  Everyone enjoyed the show, and Willow went hunting for the performers, both to have a chat, and get autographs.  Apparently Arden laughed and laughed, so much so that Damien was concerned people near by may not be able to hear!

Arden went for his first try busking on the weekend, playing harmonica, he made up his own songs, and did amazingly well.  He's been very pleased all week, that he has some money that he made himself.

This week Gabriel did a sketch for his main lesson work on ancient Rome.

Willow has been out and about at poetry workshops this week, learning about Haiku poetry at one, and a mix of poems at the other; including dada.    This is her poem blog: The blog of Poems.

Arden and I have been doing some maths this week using JUMP workbook 1.

Here's some geometry by Willow and Gabriel.

And Gabriel's.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Class Dismissed

This film looks like it will be interesting, for anyone wanting to learn more about homeschooling.



It's been a time of change around here, so hopefully it will all lead to somewhere good.  Damien  was made redundant and has also  started a new job. Plus Willow's volunteering at City Farm has come to an end, but it does look as if there may be alternative opportunities for her in that realm. 

Damien took Arden to see "Room on the Broom" at the Heath Ledger Centre.  Arden was a bit worried about the dragon in it being too scary, but he was pleasantly surprised when he went to see it.  When Willow and Gabriel were about Arden's age, I used to almost be able to recite the book off by heart, everyone loved it so much.  Arden though prefers some of the other Julia Donaldson books, like Tiddler, Tabby MacTat and Monkey Puzzle

Waiting for the performance to start.

Gabriel has been working on his next block this week- part two of ancient Rome, Willow is on to geography and Arden has been working on vowels, and how they are the fillings that help us make words.  We've also started reading 'The Boy Apprenticed to an Enchanter'.

Gabriel also did a little more drawing of zebras this week, after having a solid few weeks of modelling them- we will be looking at pattern planning in the next week or so.

Willow has been back on to doing some beautiful geometric drawings, which I've forgotten to photograph this week (and being stuck under Irving I can't do it now) and Gabriel has been working on the King's and Queen's crowns and cardiodes.  Arden's been getting involved in geometry as usual too.


And cardiodes- Gabriel's followed by Arden's.

Arden was the recipient of some left overs from a local cafe last week- which he was very happy about - here are some of the bits he received.
And finally this is one of the mosaics that Willow had been working on during her time volunteering.

Thursday, August 8, 2013


Willow made this terrarium at City Farm, when she was helping out there.

Back to School

So our 6 week break is over, and we started school again this week.  It was great to get back into organised activities at home, and so much of the work was interesting.  I've decided next year, that we'll have a 2 1/2 month summer break and start mid February, as having the longer break in the middle has gotten us all rejuvenated for the second half of the year.  So we'll be looking at a 4 week break next winter.

Gabriel was continuing on with his English block we started last term, and this week we were looking at sentence structures, whilst continuing with reading "Beowulf" and Padraic Colum's King Arthur stories. 

We looked at a pictorial proof in geometry this week.

My version.

Gabriel's version.

Gabriel has progressed onto modellling for his craft project, and is currently modelling zebras, before he will eventually move onto planning his project.

Arden and I continued working through the alphabet this week, looking at the letters L and Z.  Next week we'll do a mix of activities, before moving onto the vowels.

Here's our modelling.


And our painting for the week.

This is my lamp painting.

Arden's lamp painting.

Willow is onto working on her computing block.  Damien is taking her through the basics of hardware, and she's teaching herself touch typing using Ktype and tux type.  (Damien works in IT and we have linux as our operating system at home.)

I bought a few new books recently: "The Little Prince" and also "Between Form and Freedom" and also "The Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby and Child Care."  We've all been enjoying "The Little Prince", and it's been our lunch time read for the week.  Arden is particularly enjoying it.  I wasn't sure how much I'd like "Between Form and Freedom" as I'd come to realise quite some time ago that homeschooled teenagers are different from schooled ones, waldorf or not.  Generally this book is a schooled child's book and not a home educated child's book.  There are bits I'm finding really annoying, but there are a few good bits in there too.  The last book I haven't had much of a chance to look at properly yet, but I cut out all pasteurised dairy, after reading that this can cause some babies discomfort when breastfeeding, and Irving is certainly cheerier now.  I wasn't having a lot of pasteurised dairy (milk and cream at home are raw) but now I'm pretty much sticking to raw.