Friday, July 20, 2012

Facebook #TakeTwo

I posted a little while ago about having set up a Facebook page to accompany this blog but a few people had mentioned that they couldn't access it... and, that would be because somehow even though the FB page existed, i hadn't pressed the magic "publish" button. Ahhh... right. So, now I have.

Please "like" it cos it's awful lonely over there right now ;)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Paddle To The Sea

We have been reading Paddle to the Sea by Holling. C. Holling all year. Yes, you heard that right. all.year.

But what a journey it's been. In many ways it's just a picture book, with a full page illustration for each 1-page chapter, about a little wooden canoe. But this little wooden canoe, carved by hand by a Nipigon Indian child has a destiny far beyond the landscape of its creation; traveling through the Great Lakes of Canada towards it's final destination... which we are 3 short chapters away from.

This was one of our very first Charlotte Mason-inspired reads, taking the approach of slowly, gently traveling through a book. Absorbing it. Living within it. We generally only read 1 chapter a week (there are 27) and I have the boys narrate the chapters as we go... and the dipping in and out approach is an interesting one.

I recently discovered that there is a short film (30 mins, 1966) which was nominated for an Oscar in its day. We will watch it in celebration when we finally finish :)

At the beginning of the year we visited a timberyard and selected timber with the plan to make our own canoes... Ummm, that never happened. Whoops! A bit of a #mamafail there ;) I'm not the handiest person ever.

I can, however, get an art project off the ground *smile* and this was how we narrated our reading yesterday: wet-on-wet painting (starting with yellow, then adding blue to make green) which we let dry and completed today with the addition of some very crumbly white charcoal pencils. and a little coloured-canoe being tossed in the waves.

We will miss Paddle! But I know he will live on in our hearts, I think that's the true gift of taking it slow :)

What books have you and your children been savoring?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Well, the holidays are over! And I didn't get any of the blogging done that I had planned. Oh well! 

We did have lots of fun... a jam-packed first week with special friends visiting from Melbourne and family staying too. Busy fun.

Week 2 started with a trip to Seaworld and then followed with a rainy week staying on the Gold Coast. It was a shame about the rain but it did mean we got involved in a few homeschool group activities; rollerskating and then a play-centre meetup. 

We got home in time to have a rare lazy weekend at home. Dreamy!
What did you do over the holidays? x

Thursday, July 5, 2012

From Mesopotamia to Ancient Greece | Planning our History Cycle

I am in planning mode.

I woke early and took a few peaceful hours to get my head around what learning about Ancient Greece entails. I don't remember much about it from my own education so it was actually pretty exciting diving in and getting an understanding of how all the random bits of information I have collected in my mind over the years wraps around a timeline of events.

I used a book called Ancient Greece - Voyages Through Time by Peter Ackroyd  as my information-spine. Can I mention how helpful this book was? Brilliant.

I took more than 5 pages of notes. I definitely absorb what I'm reading best if I can make notes as I go.  It makes a real difference to me but is a pretty time-consuming way to do things.

My plan starts with this book Gilgamesh: The Hero. The Epic of Gilgamesh, a poem from Mesopotamia, is amongst the earliest surviving works of literature.

I have  been sourcing a lot of stories and myths. Both on kindle for iPad and in book form.

So, I imagine many hours snuggled up on the couch, keeping warm and reading together. But, we'll also be starting to work through The Story of Science: Aristotle Leads The Way by Joy Hakim, with accompanying Teacher's Manual and Student Quest Guides.

I think that we'll be with the Ancient Greeks for some time. Lol. There's so many concepts to visit!

And finally, I'm attaching a bunch of links I want to look at here for my own benefit. Perhaps they might be handy for you too :)

Montessori 3-part cards 
This Philosophers Overlook from Eclectic Living
Theoi Greek Mythology
Ancient Mesopotamia for Kids
Mesopotamia from The British Museum
Ancient Greek activities including Greek Alphabet
D'Aulaires' Book of Greek Myths. On my wishlist.
Greek code breaking activity
A Waldorf approach to Ancient Greece
The Montessori Great Lessons
The Story of the World
Wall map
Living Books and Crafts to Teach Ancient History - Squidoo
Sumerian Children's Songs
An Ancient Mesopotamia Lapbook
Greek Classics For Children - squidoo
Ancient Greece reading list
Minoan and Mycenaean Comparison and Contrast
Famous Men of Greece - The Baldwin Project
A Story Of The Golden Age of Greek Heroes by James Baldwin
Tales of the Greeks: The Children's Plutarch - The Baldwin Project
Ancient Greece squidoo with videos
Ancient Greece Odyssey: The Citadel of Mycenae
Ancient Civilisations Lesson Ideas - squidoo

Btw, last term we spent a long time working through The Big Picture Book. It covers 4 billion years of evolution... in 48 pages! We did a drawing and copywork for each page. For a reasonably little book it ended up being a rather big project to undertake but one I can recommend in advance of starting to study early man and ancient history.

Have you studied the Ancient Civilizations? I'd love to hear about your highlights, your favourite activities, books and resources if you would like to share :) 

A Walk In Our Neighbourhood

I have been inspired by the lovely JoJoEbi at A Bit Of This And A Bit Of That for what must be years now. She's a Brit-expat living in Japan and embracing all things Montessori and crafty (please do yourself the favour of visiting her site if you're not familiar with it :)

Anyways, Jo recently posted the first of her series of Neighbourhood Walks Around The World and offered to link up other blogs that would do the same. You can see the full tour schedule here.

So, here's my neighbourhood... The first 6 photos are items that had to be included and the rest are just a few extra things I thought were cool. Enjoy!

1. A post box:

Australian mail boxes. Big and little.
2. A local store/cornershop:

This is the closest shop to our house; a little fruit and veg store with yummy gourmet deli bits, gluten-free bread, milk, free-range eggs, that sort of thing.

3. A manhole cover:

I honestly don't know if there are any proper manhole covers around here. This was the best I could do!

4. A park/play area:

We have a little one just next door to our house but my boys love this one about 15 minutes away much more.

5. A view of a typical street:

6. Local form of transport:

There used to be trains in our area but they stopped years ago. There's not much public transport to speak of so most people have their own car.

+ We live near a particularly stunning beach :)

+ Happy seagulls.

+ There's plenty of funky kids running about.
+ A little further afield (about 5 hours south/west)

+ It was thrilling to see the late-autumn leaves lining the streets on our recent road-trip (our local trees are more tropical so we don't get many around here)

+ Home :)

What are the favourite things about your neighbourhood? x

Sunday, July 1, 2012

It's the holidays!

It's the holidays... and H has finally been allowed to start reading Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire. Wow, it sure is quiet around here all of a sudden ;)

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