Thursday, July 17, 2014


Over the years I've read a number of articles discussing the benefits of learning cursive and its importance in creating synapses and cross brain connections.  All of my children have taken a preference to doing a fancier style of cursive, and generally speaking I have taught cursive around the age of 9, or in around class 4.

This year, however, I am teaching Arden, cursive at the age of 6 in class 1.  Last year, to cover government requirements we did letters and worked on printing and some basic reading.  We also happened to read "The Secret Garden" again.  In the process of reading it, in particular a passage where Mary and Dicken's sister are speaking, it occured to me that Mary could do cursive but *not* print.  In the section that I was reading Martha (Dickon's sister) says that he can read print, but not cursive, and Mary says that she thinks that she may be able to print.  Previously I had always taken it that Mary hadn't learn to write yet.  Anyway, for some reason I interpreted it the other way this time, that she could write, as in do cursive, but not print.  So I did a bit of research, and found that it was once usual to teach cursive first.

Anyway Arden is loving learning cursive, he says that it's easier than print and it certainly seems to have improved his ability to print.  We did a month of daily cursive, and now we are doing a cursive session once a week, but the aim is to make most written work cursive.

Here is Arden's most recent work.  His sentence was inspired by "The Highway Rat" by Julia Donaldson.

Here is a little bit more interesting reading on cursive.


We're currently on holidays- we decided that we like having a longer break during winter, so we've taken four weeks this time.  Turns out it is very useful, when we've ended up with so many events on!

We all went to see Spare Parts puppet theatre perform "The Little Prince", which is one of our favourite books around here.  The  puppet show was nicely done we thought, but we thought it was a little sad, how the kids couldn't just run with the imagination in it, and had to box it into reality.  The whole "that's not real" type of thing. 

We also had a homeschool excursion to Wilkinson's homestead in Gosnells, and took a walk along the Canning River.  The Homestead outing covered a good range of topics, fruit picking, making do and olden days school.  The kids all liked getting old fashioned names.  It was a very wet day, and we were lucky that it stopped raining before the end, so that we could pick some lemons and oranges to bring home.

Willow and Gabriel both performed in their Circus' schools latest show- Clowns vs Ninjas.  It was quite entertaining, and Willow certainly enjoyed the Ninja role.  She likes lego Ninjago, so the Ninja theme appealed to her very much.

Arden was excited to go for his first try at iceskating.  The rink was rather small and quite busy, but with the little people session it was still fairly good for space.

Arden and I have been on a few bird watching nature walks- around King's park, near the River and at Herdsman Lake. 

Observing ripples in a giant puddle.

Down at Herdman Lake.


Some school work from earlier this year. Arden's first knitting project.  It has since been wet felted, and is awaiting being used for a craft project.

Gabriel's lego construction of one of Leonardo da Vinci's contraptions.

 Arden experimenting with tangrams.

We purchased a sewing machine earlier this year, and it has finally come out of the box, so Willow, Gabriel and I have been experimenting with it.  Gabriel and I have just been doing some lines.  Willow has been making little purses.