It is amazing just how many ‘Books’ we can go through in a week!

It is amazing  just how many ‘Books’ we can go through in a week. We had decided that we would go to the library once a week, for around an hour at a time. During this time we would return any borrowed books we had finished reading from the previous week and choose new ones to borrow and take home to read for the next week.

This was working wonderfully at first, well at least for the first two weeks, now however the speed at which my children are reading their books is incredible, so much so that we have recently started going to the Library twice a week just so that we can keep up with their love of reading and exchange their books for them.

The incredible thing is that as members of the State Library of Tasmania, we are able to borrow up to 15 books each. so as the Girls and I all have our own membership, we get to bring home 45 books each week.

NIK usually borrows books that are light and interesting and have lots of colourful pictures. Since we have started borrowing books from the library her appreciation of books has grown immensely. Almost every day she now will grab her books and try to get ‘someone’ – anyone! to read with her.

JAHG on the other hand has such a great understanding of words that she almost always borrow chapter books. This is wonderful as the stories are more involved and she gets a lot out of them. She still enjoys reading aloud to me at times, so i try to make time for her to do this as often as possible. recently she has been reading a series of books by Daisy Meadows, called Rainbow Fairies. these books are on the easier side fr her, but as she also reads some that are more attuned to her level and ability, I allow her to indulge in these easier books as often as she likes as we definitely believe that reading MUST be fun and exciting! Plus there are many days where JAHG will read three or four of these books just because she wants too.

I tend to borrow books that will supplement and hopefully engage the children in our learning. The Tasmanian State Library has a wonderful system that if the book is not at your local branch, you can place a hold on it and it will be delivered to your local branch ready for you to collect and read. This means the ‘State is our Oyster’ as we can borrow and read any books available in the whole state, what a wonderful system!! No longer are we restricted by municipalities like you find in the state of Victoria where we used to live.

So for us going to the local library is part of our weekly home education program and a wonderful place of information, friendship and support.

Our HomeSchooling Adventures so far in December 2008

Well we have officially been home Educating our Children in Tasmania for around a week now and it has been an amazing time.

We have managed to cram so much into that week and still have two days off. I have taken to organising work for JAHG and setting out what has to be done and then she can choose what she will do and when (within reason) she will complete the work. Each task has a deadline and it is up to her to ensure that she manages to meet them. So far this has been working for us all, but at some stage it does not then we will re assess how we handle this side of things.

Even though we have only officially be Home educating in Tasmania for a week, we have been doing Home educational activities for the whole of December 2008 as Josephine was ‘on holiday’ from her normal school, until the registration from THEAC came through. So here is a little of what have we achieved so far in December as our Home Educational work. I have however only just started to keep track of what it is exactly that we are learning and doing now that we are officially registered with THEAC, so a lot of what we have been up this month so far may not be listed below.

We have enjoyed the following:

Field Trips

Saturday, 6th December 2008 – Salamanca Market. Where we discussed the different foods, produce, items for sale. Salamanca market is a very colourful and vibrant place, full of people, aromas and lots of very different and interesting things to buy. This was a very enjoyable experience for us all.

salamanca-39

Salamanca Market

Sunday, 7th December 2008 – Richmond Gaol. This was a fantastic living history experience for all concerned. The children explored Richmond Gaol and learnt about the Australian Convict era and History. The displays were very informative and the information provided around the Gaol were very well written and easy for JAHG to read and Understand. We stayed in the Gaol for around three hours, exploring, photographing and Discussing what it must have been like to be a convict and living in the Gaol all those years ago. The children experienced different aspects of Convict life as they lay on the sheets for beds and felt how hard and uncomfortable it was to sleep there, they also looked through the bar windows to better understand the feeling of being trapped. Other things they actively engaged in way sitting in a solitary confinement room with the door shut, having to endure the pitch black, lack of noise and horrible conditions. A lot of fun was had by all. It is wonderful that Josephine has now expressed an interest in visiting Port Arthur and the Female Factory in Hobart to get an even greater understanding of how convicts experienced life and lived in Australia. We are sure to add these places to our list of future Field trips in 2009!

Sleeping Like the Convicts Did.

Sleeping Like the Convicts Did - Richmond Gaol

Tuesday, 9th December 2008 – Trip to Cradle Mountain. Our Trip to cradle Mountain was to explore Nature the landscapes and enjoy the outdoors. Unfortunately the weather was not the greatest so once we arrived at Cradle Mountain, we had to re assess exactly what we would do. We did however walk along the Boat Shed Walk, as the severe weather did not allow us to do the whole Dove Circuit Trek. This was a wonderful day with us stopping all along the way to look at the different types of landscapes we encountered on the four hour journey to cradle Mountain.

Walking to the Boat Shed - Cradle Mountain

Walking to the Boat Shed - Cradle Mountain

Reading

Olivia Helps with Christmas – Ian Falconer
The Christmas Unicorn – Anna Currey
Fern the Green Fairy – Daisy Meadows
Country Angel Christmas – Tomie DePaola
The Tiara Club, Princess Katie and the Silver Pony – Vivian French
Saskia the Salsa Fairy – Daisy Meadows
Rebecca the Rock ‘n’ Roll fairy – Daisy Meadows

WorkSheets

Maths,
Spelling,
English

Art Activities

Santa for all Seasons – Devise clothes and a mode of Transport for Santa in every season of the year.
Drawing Christmas Scenes

Educational TV

Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe – How to Make Potato Chips
Dirty Jobs with Mike Rowe – The Muffin Monster – All about what happens to everything that goes down your toilet!

L.O.T.E. – languages Other than English

The children enjoyed Polish language lessons with Nanny Irena. These fun and interactive lessons included how to say the colours in Polish, Letters of the Alphabet and Animals just to name a few!

Home Education and Pocket Money!

We have also changed the way that we manage ‘Pocket Money’ and how the children get it. Before the children would just get pocket money for being well behaved, but as we wish to increase their input and ability to earn money and be responsible for it, we have devised a system where the children have a list of tasks to do each day, Mostly things they do anyway, with just one or two harder tasks and they now get a specified amount of money for each task completed (all money provided at the end of the week). This means that if, say JAHG completes all tasks in any given week, she has the ability to earn $10.50 per week. However as each Task is worth 30 cents each, if she does not choose to complete a task or forgets to do a task, she will not get the 30 cents for that task, that week. We have found that this concept is proving to be very interesting for JAHG, especially. It has been great as she tries to keep in her head the amount of tasks she has completed followed by the number of Cents she gets for each tasks. Without even knowing it she is doing some Maths evaluation each day to add up the number of Tasks she has completed and multiply that by the amount of money she will receive to establish her overall weekly pocket money so far.

As time moves on we will be changing the amount of money each task is worth, in order to continue to help JAHG use this experience as a Maths exercise. We hope this will help her to see Maths as a fun subject and something she uses in daily life. Plus the more she actively participates in this ‘Pocket Money’ Exercise the more money she will be able to have.

Obviously this system is modified and made more simple for NIK as she is only three years old, but she is able to ‘earn’ Pocket Money also :)