Posts Tagged ‘geography’

Nature Study–Close Up

March 7, 2013

Possum is 6 years 10 months

Bandicoot is 4 years 8 months

Little Princess is 2 years 2 months


One of the tricky things I am finding with homeschooling is to fit in all the “extra” subjects.  You know, anything that isn’t one of the Three Rs.  It seems, in an attempt to keep up with (or ahead of, because there is always the extra pressure when homeschooling) the best students in our local schools, I am unintentionally NAPLANing Possum.

For example, we are currently working on a Reading Recovery Level of 16.  Compared to our local schools, this is a bit slow.  Of course, nationally, this is about a year ahead of where the average lies.

Realising this, and realising that Possum was not having as much fun learning as either of us would like, I have decided to take a step back and put a big effort in to getting the other subjects covered.

Our main “curriculum” (not that we are covering it to the letter) is Mater Amabilis.  I love the way it is done.  It works with our interests, pushes us just enough in the other areas and allows room for Possum to keep working ahead in Maths if he likes.  It is also quite easy to “Australianise”.

In Level 1B (equivalent to our Year 1), the main Earth Science focus is on water.  Specifically, right now, we are looking at waterways.  As a part of this, we need to choose “our waterway”, which is the one that we will use as our study focus and visit eight times during the year.

Today we made our initial visit.

We sat with our eyes closed to listen and smell and feel the air.  We looked.  We discussed who uses the river just there and how.  We recorded various observations and sketched interesting things.


And two of the three kids ended up in the river.

(This lead to the observation that the wet moss on the rocks was slippery.  It also lead to tears and extra washing for me.)

I mustn’t have been too surprised.  After all, I did have a towel in my bag.


Now I find the timing of this particular incident funny.  Just today I got this article in my in box from one of the blogs to which I subscribe.  I have to laugh:

Do you remember how much fun field trips were as a school student? I can only imagine how NOT fun they must have been for the adults. The constant worry of losing kids, the noise and chaos, shushing kids when tour guides spoke, slowing kids down, hurrying kids up – it had to feel like herding geese. Home schooling field trips seem to be a little more relaxed for us as teachers and parents.


Can you imagine taking a group of kids to the ocean for the day as a field trip?

Hmm.  I can imagine.  Do you think there is a reason why my kids still haven’t been taken to the fantastic tidal pools on the rock platform at one of our (relatively) local beaches?


Le Mans

May 16, 2011

Possum is 5 years

Bandicoot is 2 years and 10 months

Little Princess is 4 months


Sometimes the best laid plans….


Well the truth of it is that I wasn’t as organised for this round of the MotoGP as I would have liked to have been – my planning was out by a week.

Still we managed to have our French worksheets and discussion about France.

And as for French food and culture, well, umm.  Good thing we know Frere Jacque! In the end we settled for a rather indulgent meal of croissants (the bakery had sold out of breadsticks for my other plans).  There were complaints from Possum that the croissants were plain and not pain au chocolat (what have we done??), so I used large doses of Nutella and a few melted Easter eggs to remedy the situation.

Hopefully I will be better prepared for Catalunya.

Teach them what they love to learn

May 4, 2011

Possum is 5 years

Bandicoot is 2 years and 10 months

Little Princess is 4 months


It might be obvious, but when I have been struggling so much to get by at the moment (what with a new member of the household, lack of sleep, baby reflux, my depression etc etc) and getting the boys involved in any of my homeschool ideas felt like beating my head against a wall, it helped to remember this.  We had a lot of fun doing it last year.

So what do they like?

MotoGP, of course!

They know the riders in all three categories, their numbers, their nationalities, their bikes etc etc etc  So here is what I am going to do.

In addition to all the discussion about riding and racing, times, numbers and other real-life maths, I am going to do a little bit of geography based around each track.

We have a world map on the wall in the lounge room because they love maps and are always asking questions about other countries and places.  We will use this to locate the country in which each round is run.

I will also make a little worksheet for them with a map of the country, showing the capital and the location of the track.  On this sheet, I will also have a national flag for them to colour.  (They already think that flags are really cool.)

And, added to that, we will eat something from that country.  Let’s see how we go.  Hopefully this will encourage more discussion and enthusiasm.


France, here we come!