Friday, December 31, 2010

Blog move

Hi friends,

I have changed to a different blog name. If you would like to come visit I am over at Some old posts from here may get a bit of spit and polish and be reposted over there but I am also hoping to post fairly regularly this year as a journal. I find looking back over my past is a great way to improve my future.

Best wishes

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Here's the latest!

So for all of those you who know me or have been following for a while you would know we have been trying to find a new home for a while. About 3 weeks ago, after over 6 months of looking, we got to the stage of deciding that maybe where we are isn't so bad. It does have wonky floors, the hallway slopes, the old horsehair plaster walls are falling apart but we fit here, the yard is great and I love this suburb. And as a side bonus the rent is about $100/week cheaper than anywhere else that might sort of suit us.

After making the big decision we then did a big clean out of all that excess furniture we were carrying in case it suited the next house (a big thing when renting all the time) and decluttered all sorts of other stuff. Three big trailer loads later the house is looking a lot tidier. We bought a couple of pieces of furniture and a couple of window air conditioners so that this house will be comfortable for quite some time.

I even braved the garage over 2 weekends and cleared it out. I know have somewhere to store outgrown clothing, our Christmas stuff and hubby's brews.

So for those of you who know where I live, I am still here! Come visit!

Best wishes

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Teaching or Learning?

And here we come to one of the really damaging myths of education, namely, that learning is the result of teaching; that the progress of the child bears a direct relation to methods of instruction and internal relationships of curriculum. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

The Story of the First Street School
By George Dennison"

This quote is so true. As I "teach" my children and really begin to understand how they learn I have found that most of their learning is not due to my teaching but despite it. As a mother and a homeschool teacher my ego would like me to think that I am Very Important in the process of my children learning but I have learnt that I am here to facilitate, encourage, guide and love only, not to teach. What teaches my children is not inside me but is inately within them. Their strengths, their interests, their view of the world!! All this is a much bigger part of what they learn and how, than what I am as a teacher or the curriculum I use.

Best wishes

Monday, November 8, 2010

Technical Drawing

This is a particular passion of mine. All my boys will be doing at least level one outlined below. I think these skills are just so necessary to be able to communicate to someone what you want or need from an item in three dimensions.

My opinion of what needs to be covered:

First level (and almost essential IMO)
- plane geometry (possibly covered elsewhere if you have a good maths program), things like dividing a line of unknown length in to 5 even segments, or dividing an unknown angle evenly in half, proportionals, polygons, tangents, little tricks for doing things like drawing a line parallel a certain distance from a line you already know
- involutes, archimedian spirals, cycloids, epicycloids, hypocycloids (at least an understanding if not necessarily a strong knowledge)
- orthographic projection - at least first angle, ie plans, elevations, sections and an understanding of the different line styles used to represent hidden parts etc
- understanding of scales, tolerances and fits
- basic architectural drawing (just in case they ever choose to build or extend their home)
- basic isometric drawing (horizontal lines represented as 30 deg to right and left to show a 3D image)
- how to create either orthographic projections from isometric drawings and vice versa
- basic perspective drawing with only straight lines

Second level and beyond
- any of the above that will require circles and curves, could be hard for a fine motor skills challenged kid
- more complex orthographic projections of two solids intersecting and being able to show the shape of the cut into one to fit the other, think gutters intersecting and knowing the shape of the "hole" if the main shape is rolled out flat
- true shapes of truncated simple solids

I am currently looking into what text to use. This may take some research but I will get back to you on this.

Best wishes

PS Aha, found the text I used in a slighter younger version. Check out this one available through Booktopia in Australia.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

My Project List

I recently updated my list of projects. I use the basic system outlined by Mark in this post.

I realised that it wasn't working as effectively as I would have liked. The main problem was flicking through nine pages of writing to find the odd things still needing work. I did what I call a restart and rewrote all the things still needing work onto fresh pages. I managed to shrink 9 pages down to 2.

This system is working for me again.

I find that is the way with most organisational methods I come across. If it works for me at first then when it stops working it is most likely "I" have created the problem, not the system. Sometimes it takes a restart and a return to the basics of the system for it to flow effectively again.

Best wishes

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Homeschool Tip for This Week

If you are having trouble keeping up with all the things you need to read out to your kids because it ties up time you need for dishes or folding washing consider using a recipe book stand to put the text on and sit it on the window sill in front of you while you do dishes or beside you as you fold washing.

I use a perspex one so that the book stays protected from splashes.

Best wishes

Monday, October 25, 2010

Bathroom safety tips!

* never store plugs on the bench or where anyone under the age of 4 can reach (ask how I know not to do this! lol)

* store only bath mats, hand towels and face washers under your sink, avoid nasty and dangerous chemicals down low

* keep all razors up high above the height even an 8 year old can reach (my 8yo has no eyebrows thanks to mum's razor!)

* spread the shower curtain out when finished, don't leave clumped at one side of the shower

* use a small coloured plastic basket per child for their toothbrush, a cup and any other little personal cleaning items; place each on the tiled shelf usually at the end of the bath or next to the shower

* never put fancy soap beside the basin, and definitely not soap with a plunger

* keep benches as clear of clutter as possible as it makes it easier to clean up the inevitable puddles

Best wishes