The latest in learning :)

It has been a really busy couple of weeks for us. We have started renovating the backyard, which is a bit of a task as we have a 6 week deadline. Miss 2 and Miss 11 months will become Miss 3 and Miss 1 within a week of each other, so we are under the pump to have a yard that is child friendly for the upcoming birthday party 🙂 So the girls have been helping us lay turf and plant gardens. Miss 5 also helped me build a bookshelf for the office, to hold all of her “school stuff”. Miss 11 months has been sick with a little cold and teething, which has kept us at home on and off. We have also resumed swimming lessons for all three girls, and Miss 5 has started in a Musical Theatre class. We have had 3 play dates and we’ve been to a homeschool science class. We have actually been so busy working in the garden and socialising, that we haven’t done all that much in the way of book work! Am I worried? Not in the least 😉
Tying in with our learning about Ancient Egypt, I found a science activity where you “mummify” an apple. I had made plans to do this with Miss 5, however when we were ready to start, I discovered that Miss 2.5 had eaten the last of the apples! Not discouraged, Miss 5 and I decided that a potato would probably be just as good. So we tweaked the instructions a little and mummified The great Pharaoh Potatohead. The girls got a bit of a kick out of the face I had carved into the potato. If you want to know how we did this little activity, you can find the instructions here.
We also had another Jamie Oliver cooking lesson. Last week Miss 5 picked a recipe that included a sausage pasta dish, a basic rocket salad, and frangipani tarts. She did a phenomenal job. I was so amazed at, not only the skills she showed, but the finished product. Let me tell you it tasted as good as it looks in the photos. Husband had seconds and Miss 11 months just inhaled the pasta 🙂
Our homeschool science class took place at Scitech in Perth. In the class Miss 5 met other children roughly the same age who homeschool. This was something that I thought would be a big deal, but something that Miss 5 kind of took in her stride. It’s funny how children define, and redefine ‘normal’ so quickly and efficiently. I am still new enough to this lifestyle that I see homeschool as “Homeschool” 🙂 Miss 5 just sees it as the way we live, simply and without complication or stigma. The children were taken into a lab on the premises, and they read Green Eggs and Ham by Dr Seuss – which is a favourite of ours – after they read the book they made green slime, which they got to take home. We left Miss 2.5 with her Granny for a few hours, so we were able to take advantage of some time just the two (and 11 months!) of us. We wandered around Scitech, played with the interactive exhibits and had a lot of fun. Miss 5 liked the plasma ball the best, while I fell in love with the robot who was reciting lines from Star Wars 🙂
We have also tried our hand at felting. I’ve never done it before and I thought it would be something that Miss 5 might enjoy. I watched you tube clips and googled tutorials, then, when I thought I knew enough to guide them through it, Miss 5, Miss 2.5 and I made our first felted square. Miss 5 has plans to cut the square, and make book marks out of it. We have bought little tassels to tie onto the tops. She wants to give one to her Granny, send one to her Grandma in Sydney, send one to her Aunty in Canada and keep one for us. I’ll post some photos of the finished product when they’re all done!
Otherwise, we have been doing some reading eggs, some maths puzzles and lots of reading out loud. Her interest in Ancient Egypt is beginning to wane, and she is showing a curiosity towards other countries. So we have put a giant world map up on the wall and we’re always running back and forth to the Atlas. She is fascinated with Easter Island! The girls have also spent a good deal of time watching our resident Bob Tail Lizard. He lives in our front garden and with the heat we’ve had lately, he has been making himself known fairly often. The girls have been talking about reptiles and how they keep warm, and also discussing ‘Bobs’ diet and googling what he eats.
And there has been, as always, LOTS of time for play, getting dirty and exploring the world. We have a moderator assigned to us from the Department of Education. She is a lovely lady, who is our go to for advice or help, if we get stuck. She is also the one who makes sure that Miss 5 is learning, and making improvements from year to year. When we met last, our Moderator made the comment “she will learn in spite of you”. I have been thinking about that often lately. I truly believe this is the case. Our children will learn. They will learn in spite of their parents, or their peers, or their siblings, or their school. Miss 5 is certainly learning, and I am happy giving her the best kind of learning environment that I can.

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