My Life Home Schooling i n Australia 2013. Contents. Natural Learning Projects Out And About Family Traditions Birthdays Christmas Easter And Other Traditions Project Learning Project Learning Benefits Bethany’s Greek Dinners Project Learning Next Year Why I Home School
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In Australia there are many choices for schooling which parents can choose from:
My mum has registered me with the Home Education Unit (HEU) for home schooling.
I do curriculum/ project based home schooling. My mum also likes the classical, Charlotte Mason, Montessori and natural learning styles.
I have been home schooling since I was 9 years old. So I have been home schooling now for about 6 years. Before I started home schooling, I attended a private school.
My mum chooses resources for me to complete which she thinks will build my skills in different areas as well as being interesting and engaging for me.
We try out different methods each year including resources, schedules and study locations.
We home school during the four school terms and take holidays the same as public schools do. (2013 Terms) and (2014 Terms).
We start school at 10:30am and work for four hours until 2:30pm. We do not have breaks during this time like school would.
Usually we would do the first hour math, second hour English, third hour another subject like social studies and the fourth hour is for project work.
We tend to do school work at any time if we feel like it; even if it is on the weekend. Also if we go out and do something else during school time, like go to the park, then we will just change our plans for the day.
School work is usually done in my room, in the lounge room and on the deck.
We use a variety of brought curriculum for our home schooling as well as creating our own natural learning projects!
These math textbooks have been written by a female television actress just for girls. They are easy to understand and fun to read!
The Danica McKellar Math Series
Math Doesn't Suck: How to Survive Middle School Math Without Losing Your Mind or Breaking a Nail/ Kiss My Math: Showing Pre-Algebra Who's Boss/ Hot X: Algebra Exposed/ Girls Get Curves: Geometry Takes Shape
We plan to use this series throughout next year.
The Excellence In Writing Program and YWriter
This writing program teaches you how to write by using key words to rewrite sentences in your own words. It then gives you dress-up writing techniques to use which improves your sentences.
This program is taught by Andrew Pudewa through a series of DVDs.
We also use Ywriter Software to plan and write our own stories and books.
Next Year!Next Year We Are Going To Start The Following Writing Curriculum:It teaches you everything about how to write a novel in one year!
The Lab Of Mr Q
Australian History In Pictures And Stories
Hands-On History Series
We do our own activities for social studies which include a weekly family reading/discussion group with informative articles we find on the internet. We also watch movies from the Top Documentary Website and mark where they are from on our world map. We write down discussion notes and have a discussion about the documentary afterwards. We also look up the country in the atlas to learn more about it. Learning about other countries is also done through our communication with our pen pals in France, Canada, England and Switzerland.
My mum wants us to do summer and winter sports. We are going to do ice skating in summer and probably tennis in winter. We are not very sporty people, but it will be nice to get out and active more.
At different times in my life I have done piano lessons, violin lessons, art lessons, karate lessons, drama lessons, gymnastic lessons, Irish dancing lessons, netball and choir. I wouldn’t say that I’m an expert in any of these, just that I have tried them out over the years. At the moment I am not going to any lessons as we are having a break with baby Harry to care for. I am learning a lot about caring for babies now that I have a baby brother.
We also do lots of project work for other subjects
Our eBay Project!
Out And About
My mum likes us to have lots of new experiences and to spend lots of quality family time together.
Every Sunday we go to the markets to buy our fruit and vegetables together. We walk around and decide what vegetable and fruit we want and then buy it from the stall holders. We try and get value for money as well as the freshest home grown produce. We also eat breakfast at the markets as there are always lots of stall holders who sell different types of foods. We usually get Transylvanian Cheese Pie and Poffertjes.
We try to go out each week to new restaurants or to new places. There are always new beaches, waterfalls, nature walks, light houses, lakes or towns to visit. We don’t mind driving long distances, so we often go on trips for the whole day.
We are currently exploring the area of Ipswich where we live. We have only been living here for 2 years now and before that we lived in Brisbane.
Mum made a list up of the best 20 parks around Ipswich for us to explore. We try to go to one each week to see what it is like. My sister and I ride our scooters and rollerblades. We also take lots of nature photos while we are at the park.
Next year mum is saving up for us to try some fun short courses together. She wants us to get out into the community and learn skills from experts in different fields. She has found some short courses for knitting, origami, cooking, gardening, jewellery making etc.
Getting out and about is a big part of my learning experience. Mum believes that we learn a lot from exploring and experiencing the world around us.
We have a family tradition that on birthdays we must do something that we have never done before. We also have to eat out at restaurants for breakfast, lunch and dinner on our birthdays. It is such a fun day and we all look forward to the next birthday.
As we grew up Christmas was mostly about Santa. On Christmas eve we put milk and cookies out for Santa and carrots and a bucket of water out for the reindeer. On Christmas day we opened our presents under the Christmas tree. Also during the month of December we have always done lots of Christmas crafts and cooking.
Over time our family traditions for Christmas have grown and we are doing a few different things this year for our baby brother Harry. Mum wants to continue these new traditions every year.
Christmas Tree Day - On the first Sunday of December after my birthday, we will decorate the Christmas tree and watch Christmas movies all day. Also we will put up the household decorations and the Christmas stockings. We are also going to make snowman shaped pizza to eat.
12 Days Of Christmas Sweets- Mum will wrap up 12 lollies or chocolates that have a Christmas theme e.g. Santa, Snowmen, Reindeer etc. and also matching Christmas ornaments. These are matched with Christmas stories that have been found on the internet and printed out. Every day we will unwrap and eat the lolly, put the ordainment on the Christmas tree and unroll the story to read. Baby Harry will just get Christmas ordainments until he is old enough to eat sweets.
The Polar Express Light Show - We watch the movie The Polar Express and read the book. We then get into fun Christmas clothes and put Harry into his bed. In his bed is a golden ticket for the Christmas express. The ticket gets hole punched as we hop into the car. Then we drive around looking at all of the Christmas lights, eating special snacks and singing Christmas songs.
Happy Christmas Around The World Advent Calendar - We have a jar with paddle pop sticks with flags from 24 different countries and the words Happy Christmas in each language. Each day of the month we take a stick and say Happy Christmas in that language to each other.
Outings - During the month of December leading up to Christmas we will go on a number of outings. We will go into Brisbane city and look at the Christmas window displays and the Christmas treeat night. We will go to the Christmas Caves which are special Christmas themed shops. Also we will go and get Santa photos for Harry and take Christmas photos at different decorated places around the city. The Carrols by candle light in the city is another activity we will do.
Last year we went to a restaurant called Sizzler on Christmas Day for lunch. It was really nice because it had lots of yummy Christmas food on a smorgasbord and it was cool with the air-conditioning. On Christmas day here in Australia it is really hot so it was nice to spend a few hours in the air-conditioning. We have decided to have Christmas lunch there every year and we have already brought our tickets for this year.
As most of our closest Family and Friends live far away from us, we visit them on Boxing Day and later after Christmas.
We also celebrate Easter and have always had the Easter Bunny deliver Easter eggs in a nest made out of a towel at the end of our beds. After we wake up in the morning we find our eggs in the nest and have to search for the other eggs hidden around the house. We also have an Easter story that mum has been telling us since we were little. Of course we do special Easter crafts and cooking during this month as well. In Australia we have the Easter Bilby that comes as well as the Easter bunny.
This next year mum wants to celebrate special days from other cultures such as The Chinese New Year, St Patrick Day, Halloween etc. She wants to decorate our kitchen window in the theme of each day celebrated and hopefully go out into the community and partake in celebrations for that day. As Australia is very multicultural we have large population groups from different cultures around the world who celebrate these special days in Australia.
Having Family traditions for birthdays, Christmas, Easter and other events all bring the family together and help us spend special time together. Mum believes that home schooling gives families more time to enjoy family traditions and therefore helps to strengthen the family bond.
I complete different types of projects which I must follow through from idea to presentation.
This school term I have been working on two large projects:
eBay – We have set up an eBay Store using my mums account called Second Hand Mania. We have gone out every Friday to the Recycle Area Of The Logan Tip. Here they sell toys really cheap every Friday at 10am. We have to be very fast to get the toys because everyone runs in wanting to buy them first. After we have got enough toys, we clean them up and make them into packs to sell. Next we advertise them on our ebay store and sell them. Most of the time we have local pick up but sometimes we have to post the toys. Postage requires a lot of working out. So far we have sold a number of packs and have made $135. We are all sold out now and we have to relist some more toy packs. This project is really fun because we get to go second hand shopping every Friday and to make money. This first week of selling mum did it with us using her money. This next week mum is giving us our own money to buy and sell our own items. She has challenged us to try and make more money then what she initially gives us through our buying and selling.
Minecraft – My sister and I have been given the challenge to make our own Minecraft server. Minecraft is a computer game. We have been working very hard at getting this done. My Minecraft world is about Animals and Bethany’s is about Mermaids. They have to be made so that children can play on them in a safe and supportive environment. Bethany has nearly finished her Minecraft map and is going to launch it on a server soon. Once our maps are on their own servers, we will be able to add mods and other stuff. This project is really fun because I have learned a lot about using Photoshop and other software required for different scripting or editing within my map. Our goal is to run a free child friendly Minecraft map which will hold 50 players at a time.
My sister Bethany is currently completing a project about Greek Cooking. In this project she cooks with mum 28 Greek dinners which mum plans and then she plans and cooks one week of her own Greek dinners. They are planning to repeat this process with meals from other cultures. They plan to do French, Italian and then Mexican. Each day they cook for quite a few hours to make these special meals and they set the table nice as well. While we eat we listen to Greek music and have candles. The whole family really enjoys eating these special meals together.
Everyone helps out as much as possible with our projects to try and make sure they will be successful. So everyone gets involved and excited about them.
Mum encourages us to complete projects that we are interested in. This means that at times my sister and I will do the same type of project and at other times we will do different projects.
Project learning helps me to feel more confident with doing different tasks and provides me with a variety of skills. Project work is never assessed like projects would be at school. Also most of the time there is no real set time limit. I just work on it until it is finished. Then I start on the next project.
We are currently working out some new projects for me to do next year:
Breeding Guppies - I am going to self-study aquaculture next year with the purpose of learning how to breed guppies. I have already got six fish tanks brought ready for this project. All I need to get are the pumps and other fish tank equipment now. Once I have a few different breeds of guppies established, I will sell them at the local markets. Mum will help me organise and set up a market stall for selling them.
Websites - I also am going to run two websites next year. Mum and I have already set them up and they are nearly ready for me to start adding content to them. These websites are actually self-hosted WordPress blogs which we run on the domain name as a website. They are surprisingly really easy to make and run.
The first website I am making is called My Coffee And Chocolate Kitchen and it is going to be about cooking with coffee and chocolate. I have the challenge of making 100 coffee and chocolate recipes that are successful and enjoyable. These will be posted on my website. Hopefully people will follow me as I complete this challenge and make nice comments.
The second website I am making is called Florinda’s Photo Diary. This website is where I will post lots of the photos I take and explain how I took them. It will be like a diary of my photography. I would also like people to comment and follow along with this website as well.
Once I have achieved my goals with making my websites and getting lots of followers, I will try to make a best of book for each of my websites. So for the Coffee/Chocolate website I would have 100 of my top chocolate and coffee recipes on the site in the book. Then for my photography website I would have a book with the best photography activities to do. Mum says that she will show me how to sell the books as an instant eBook download and also as a print on demand physical book or CD. This will most likely not be done until 2015 as I will need all of 2014 to actually do all of the activities for my websites.
When it comes to completing projects mum likes us to complete projects which might also earn money. She wants us to feel confident with earning money in different ways and to learn about providing a service/product and also buying and selling. Mum talks to us about how important creative and productive skills are in the workforce and encourages us to be as creative and productive as possible when it comes to our projects.
I love home schooling because I have choice about what I learn and how I learn it. Also I am able to do work at my own skill level and learn information in sequences that both challenge and match my abilities. I get more opportunities when I home school which I would not get at school. At school I would not be able to do my project work as they tend to focus on just completing boring workbooks. I really enjoy the freedom and support that my mum gives me while I home school. I have made some lovely friends who also home school and I get to be apart of a home schooling community. Yet at the same time I get to meet and interact with the wider community while I complete my learning projects. Lastly, I get to spend more quality time doing interesting activities with my family.
Thank you for learning about home schooling in Australia and about my life as a home schooler!