Monday, 30 August 2010

Unschool Bowl-a-rama

For last week’s homeschool group meet-up went ten-pin bowling, which was pretty fun.

I think the highlight for Littletree might have been the pinball games. She heard about pinball machines for the first time recently, and I was having a hard time explaining to her what they are and how they work. I was a real pinball whizz as a small child, since my family owned a snack bar with video games, so I whiled away my pre-school days playing the pinnies.


The kids loved bowling as well, I started out showing them the “correct” way to hold and bowl the ball, but they all ended up just hurling the ball in their own style. Littletree began well but developed a sort of “shot-put” style in the end


It was a lot of fun, and Littletree won our game – well, I won, but only by 2 points *hides in shame*.

We won’t be at homeschool group this week, because Littletree and I are going to the Australian Unschooling Conference :D

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Birthday Gardens

This week was Purple’s 40th birthday, so my friend and I worked together to make him a new garden bed for his birthday.

It was a great project – hard work, but good fun and very rewarding. We started with a scrappy patch of the veggie garden – our soil is mostly clay, so it’s hard to get anything to grow.


We weeded and cleared the area and dug in a bit


Put in rocks to raise up the bed in a nice curved shape that followed the natural line of the garden


And filled up the new bed with new soil, shovelled in some humus dug from the compost pit and it was ready to plant


Littletree came out at the end and helped put in some of the seedlings – we planted sat soy, parsley, spinach, aloe vera, nasturtium, rocket, a few flowers for colour and some other things I can’t remember right now.


Then we mulched it and watered


and voila! the finished product was ready to surprise Purple with. He loved it :)


Thursday, 26 August 2010

Life Drawing

Here’s a sample of my recent drawings :)

A two-minute pose


A ten-minute pose


A fifteen-minute pose


I’m really enjoying experimenting with different styles and mediums

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

School is for Fish

Last week’s home school group was a fishing trip – Littletree was so excited; she’s had an obsession with fishing for a long time. Purple took her, since I was busy seeing clients.


The kids all gathered on the pier and learned how to bait a hook and cast the line.

I don’t think they caught much, Littletree caught one small fish and threw it back


In the end they learned how to scale and gut a fish; Littletree is always so fascinated with anatomy and how the body works, it’s nice for her to see how it all goes together in a real body.


It’s amazing how kids learn :)

Monday, 23 August 2010

Parenting without Punishment

07 pretty scarfA new article of mine was published on Essence of Life; it’s about the dangers of punishing children and how to raise them respectfully without punishments. You can read it HERE

(and I’m posting a cute picture of Litteltree just coz – she’s so sweet with my scarf on)

Friday, 20 August 2010

Under the Sea World

Some other unschoolers in our area roped us in to getting 12 month passes to Sea World and a few other theme parks – it was actually a pretty good deal - $75 for unlimited entry to three parks for a year, though considering how much I love going to these places, I’m not sure free wouldn’t be paying too much. However Littletree loves it, so off we went.

Mostly we spent time in the underwater viewing room. The last time we went was with one of Littletree’s friends that isn’t so interested in fish. Littletree could have happily sat in there watching the fish for hours, but her friend rushed on through and back out again in the direction of the waterslides.

So this time we went and stayed for ages watching the underwater display. It’s not exactly an aquarium, since the “tank” is more like an artificial tide pool; it’s massive, and built outdoors, but with underground viewing rooms.

Littletree spent ages with the camera trying to get snaps of her favourite fish and then looking them up on the chart on the wall – she mostly loved the sting rays and the sharks though.








Then we went out to watch the dolphin show – Littletree was really upset that she wasn’t one of the two people chosen to pat the dolphins


And we did go on some rides in the end too :)

Monday, 16 August 2010

Macadamia Castle

Last week we went with the Home School group to Macadamia Castle, which isn’t so much a castle as a petting zoo. And there aren’t so many macadamias either. But it was fun anyway, and they have mini-golf


The kids got to pat bunnies


and feed baby goats


and emus


Mostly the kids ran around having fun, and it was sort of edumacational.

Friday, 13 August 2010

Faerie Garden

I had an idea to make a little faerie path through our garden for Littletree to play on, and also as a shortcut from the street to our house.

We started by clearing a path through the rainforest undergrowth


We started on a little bridge to go over the ditch


Dug some stairs into the steep bit


I made some archways with bamboo – we’ll hang little crystals and beads from the arches, and grow flowering vines as well. I’m thinking a passionfruit would be nice.


Then it was all ready for the first test run


Littletree loves it, and it’s going to be awesome when we get it more decorated. I think we might build a little cubby house and try to put in a rope swing.

Sunday, 8 August 2010

New Floor

We’re replacing the floors in the bedrooms – when we bought our house it had mouldy seagrass carpeting, which would be okay except for the mould. We ripped that stuff up – it makes great mulch for the garden! But under the seagrass was warped, crumbling particle board.

At first I thought we could repair the old sub-floor – I sealed it,


and tried to level it with a levelling compound so we would have a flat surface to install a floating floor on


But in the end, it wasn’t saveable, and we ripped out all the sub floor


and had a friend of ours put in new boards


Then we started installing bamboo floating floorboards


It was hard work learning how to bang the planks in properly – they snap together – no nails or glue required. The instructions say “tap lightly with a hammer”, but we had to bang them in really hard.


Littletree did some of the measuring


and finally the finished product!


We love it; it looks great :) It’s now become Littletree’s favourite room – probably because the floor is smooth and there’s no furniture in there yet, so she puts on Abba songs and dances like crazy in there.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Hula Hoop-la

Littletree started going to circus classes in town last month. She loves the hula hoop best. I went along to watch this week – I was amazed at how good she is with the hoop; even hooping while walking over the balance beam, and doing two and three hoops at once!




Here’s a little video clip of her hula hooping

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Science Centre Unschooling Adventure

This week Liberated Learning held an unschooling fun day at the Brisbane Museum Science Centre. It was LOADS of fun :)

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Littletree had a fantastic time

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I got to see what it’s like to be three years old again

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We learned about optical illusions

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Air – the amazing floating ball

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And loads more! Here’s Littletree in the moving tunnel

Littletree even made a new friend – it was love at first sight

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It was an awesome day; so great to hang out with the kids and let them have fun, without pressuring them to “learn” and do worksheets about the exhibits. They learn loads more this way.

We finished up with a play in the dinosaur playground, but by the end, we were pretty tired!

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