Thursday, April 29, 2010

LEM Phonics

This week we are off and running with our new Phonics program called LEM. This seems to be a comprehensive programme that teaches listening, speaking, writing, reading & spelling. The program is suitable for around the first 4-5 years of schooling depending on your child & uses the five senses to consolidate the learning process.
I will start at the beginning with the girls for now while introducing the sounds & next week will do the placement tests to see exactly where they are at.
Jessica has beautiful handwriting so she will be able to move on to cursive writing which she is very excited about.
Maddie will be starting from scratch with the handwriting as she is really a work in progress as far as handwriting is concerned. This program has a strong emphasis on handwriting skills which is something that I really like.
I guess like all curriculum we would love to be able to fast forward a term & see how it will work for our children.
I have included a link to their brochure and to another website Learning Made Easier that gives you a contact providing this product.

Sunday, April 25, 2010


This morning we headed off to our local Dawn Service. It was an opportunity for us to express our gratitude, remembrance & show pride in our nation. To see the War Veterans there each with their own story to tell some stories etched on their faces as the Last Post was played on the bugle & a minutes silence observed. Many of them surrounded by their families all who seem to be full of pride.
This was a great experience for us as a family. The kids loved to see & hear the Pipe Bands playing and all the school children marching, many wearing their family medals.
We loved the inscription written in the back of Photographs in the Mud. It's found on the Kokoda track -

They are not dead not even broken;
Only the dust has gone back home to earth;
For they; the essential they; shall have rebirth
Whenever a word of them is spoken

Well we have spoken of them & remember them & will continue to do. Thank-you to all of you who served & are serving.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


Well I did it! My very first truly homemade lapbook. No download and go on this one, I had to put something together all by myself. I used a a few things from a website ANZAC Day for Early Childhood . This had some great activities for the kids, both interactive online and printable. well worth the visit if you are looking for something for ANZAC day.

The first section dealt with World War 1 & Gallipoli. The second part of the Lapbook looks at now and how we also think of those who are fighting & or serving in the military now.
We will also be reading Photographs In The Mud. The book is set on the Kokado Track in 1942, Jack & Hoshi are on opposing sides in the war who meet in battle & find they have a lot in common. It is a touching book about the reality & human tragedy of war, for both the soldiers & their loved ones at home. This is a beautiful book!
The second book is What Was The War Like,Grandma by Rachael Tonkin. This is a fantastic book that goes through the day in the life of a girl in Australia during the war. It explores the hardships experienced by those at 'home'. I believe it is out of print but may be available at the library.
We will be working through the lapbook on Saturday,then off to our local Dawn Service on Sunday. Lets hope the rain holds off for the morning.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Term 2 Wk 1 Planning

Well we are back to school after a slightly extended Easter break. This term we are starting LEM Phonics. I am rather excited as about this as we found that LLATL just didn't appeal to girls. The LEM program is a little more well rounded and seems as though it will move along at a better pace for us.
Math U See is moving along wonderfully though. As Jessica has just joined us she is having a crash course in Primer and then we will decide between Alpha or Beta in a few weeks I would say. Maddie is making her way through Primer very nicely.
Story Of The World is so much fun. We cut back on history so as to pick up the pace with maths and literacy but that was probably not a good idea. You need the roundness that these subjects give you in the week. so we are back to twice a week with this one. Yesterday we learnt about the Israelite's. The girls made coats like Josephs and then then spent the afternoon running around sing " I am a miracle child" as Joseph does in the movie. Self esteem is not something my children lack!!
Artistic Pursuit book 2 is great. We love getting together with our other homeschooling friends on a Tuesday and sharing this class. We then follow this with our Book of Virtues Character Studies. This month we have been examining Compassion. These lapbooks have been fantastic. I will do a separate blog on this later in the week.
Exploring Creation with Zoology 1. We are rewinding this so Jessica can get the basic principals. Maddie doesn't mind because science is one of her favorite subjects.
We do these with the lapbooks as well so it adds another dimension to the curriculum.
This Friday we will do a mini unit study on ANZAC day. Look at the meaning, history and our own family stories of grandparents service as well as my soon to be son-in-law who is in the Australian Army. I'm still trying to put it together in a lapbook style unit study as I wasn't able to just google one ready to print out as usual. Makes you realise just how much work goes into creating one of these from scratch.
An exercise in appreciation all round I think!
Well this is how the week is planned lets see how it goes!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

CSIRO for Science Fun

One of our favourite sites for science is the CSIRO. You are able to subscribe to their weekly Science by Email which is fantastic. It's free and they have some very fun experiments that quite often compliment what you are studying that week or a quick flick through the archives of experiments usually helps you out. They conclude every experiment with an explanation that even the very 'science challenged' can understand. Take a wander around the web site because they have some amazing information on there for us bigger people as well. It's fun so when you get a minute I would recommend that you take a look.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Today I Am a Proud Owner of...

a new Electric Pressure Cooker. I have wanted one of these for sssooo long, you have no idea. I'm a homestorage freak as well as a homeschooling mum. As you can see from the photos these containers are 2 deep and reach right up to the sky. I love cooking from scratch with the back to basics ingredients. After 21 years of mothering and living on a teachers wage (not sure how well teacher's get paid in other countries but that is a whole other blog). I love cooking with grains, beans and lentils. I have a whisper mill to grind flour but it was just so hard to cook with dry beans etc if you forgot to soak them the day before you had to be brave enough to leave them bubble away on the stove top for hours.
I have just made Brown Lentil soup in 8 minutes plus cooling time and it is DELICIOUS!!!

Electric Pressure cookers are relatively new to Australia and I am so happy to finally have one. The adventure into the big city to collect it is also a whole other story, which even now exhausts me to think about it.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Homeschooling is Contagious

Well as of next week we will be homeschooling all 3 of our youngest girls. Jessica the 9 year old is going to join us at home to give it a go. I heard her & Maddie talking about it & Jessie said "But who do you get to play with in your lunch break?" Because lets face it in the mind of a 9 year old what else is there! Very enthusiastically Maddie says in a way like 'Jessie are you totally not thinking' MUM!!!! Mum plays with us then too, for Maddie that was just the most way cool thing as well! Jessica still had a crease in her forehead, not totally convinced that playing with MUM all day was as cool a thing as it is to Maddie.

But when you are teaching them at home in the Lords way only blessings can follow. I'm excited at having all three girls here everyday, it really is an answer to our prayers.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Thursday, April 8, 2010

What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?

This week as part of my TOS Homeschool Crew 'tryout' we've been reviewing one of the E Books from the Wanna Be Series - Firefighter. I have to be honest when I first flicked through it I thought NO, not really going to be relevant for us here in Australia. Plus all I could see was how much research I will have to do to make it relevant. Well actually I am pleased to say that I was wrong. Sure I had to look at our building codes which were easily located and to explain. Recruitment requirements were a little different and I included the US history and Queensland history which for me was so interesting.
We had loads of fun on our own QLD Fire & Rescue Service website. Loads of online games and colourings for the kids to do which help to solidify the things covered in the unit but with a real Australian flavor. Most importantly that we ring ooo for emergency.

When I grow Up I Want to be a Firefighter has been so much fun.
The highlight for us was learning about the role of the dogs, both in history and still today. When you see an American firefighter or fire house you see a dog. We had no idea what that was all about. We knew that they worked in forensics, and as cadaver dogs but the need for them in the early history of the fire brigade was so fascinating. I won't give it away here you will need to purchase the unit study to find that one out and at $8.95 per unit it is well worth the investment. You and the kids will not at all be disappointed.

We spread this unit study over 1 week as it's quite comprehensive, but a user friendly unit study. Given the nature of this series it's able to work equally as well for multi ages which is fantastic when you are homeschooling multi aged families. It covers Science, Maths, Literacy, Grammar and more.
As we used this with 7 & 4 year old girls they were totally enthralled. They loved playing dress ups, sliding down the pole off our deck(it was safe and not too far from the ground). Making the model of the Robotic Arm out of Styrofoam was also a great highlight.

This series which also includes 10 other careers to explore together can be purchases individually for $8.95US each or as a package of 10. Samples of each EBook from the Wanna Be Series is available on the wedsite.

Take a sneak peek for yourself. This is the beauty of The Old SchoolHouse Store as you're able to get a good look inside so you're able to make the best choice for you and your families needs.

Maddie and Lucy gave this unit a big yyyaaahhh, when asked if they enjoyed this one. I think the trip to the Fire Station scheduled for next week has also added a yippee to it!