Saturday, February 26, 2011

A Summary of Sorts...

of what has been going on over the past three weeks...things we've gotten up to (still can't upload photos but hey at least I'll have the memories written down here of what we have been doing!) Thought I would share some of what we've been doing in homeschooling. There are a couple of pdf sheets that i've made up recently and that the kids have benefited from using so I thought I'd share them here too. Please let me know if you use any of them, if you find them helpful :)


* Took the kids to a mission aviation show where they could sit in the cockpits of various planes. They loved that!
* Continuing work on our Amelia Earhart study using THIS STUDY FROM THE 'DOWNLOAD N GO' SERIES. I also downloaded THIS 'FLIGHT' STUDY WHEN IT WAS ON SALE FOR JUST $5 RECENTLY. We'll be starting on this one soon.

Amelia Earhart


* We went and checked out THIS SUPER COOL LOOKOUT OF BURRAGORANG VALLEY where we could see part of Sydney's Water supply for miles and miles. It was amazing. I went there as a kid and it was so great taking our kids there too to enjoy the view as well. 


* We've been continuing with our work on STORY OF THE WORLD (S.O.T.W) ANCIENT TIMES. We've been going slowly through this over the past 2 years...very slowly and the kids really love it. We do lots of mapping and talking about different countries that are mentioned in the texts. We sometimes go off onto a little unit study or an extra lapbook or something as we go through it too. This week we talked alot about India. We learnt about the Indus River and Indus Valley, coloured in India on a MAP (THANK YOU DONNA YOUNG!) and read about the story behind the Taj Mahal. We marked down the dates of when the construction began in our BOOK OF CENTURIES (LINK HERE IS TO THE FREE DOWNLOAD. WE HAVE A DIFFERENT VERSION BUT THIS ONE LOOKS THE SAME). We watched a small portion of a video on the Taj Mahal in an episode of Around the World in 80 Gardens. My sister went to India last year and returned with a big photo for us of the mausoleum. So we looked at that and compared it with the image that we saw on the screen as the video was playing.


Stass read aloud a couple of pages from the 'Story of Australia' Childcraft book that we've been using over the past couple of years. We heard about explorers' Hume and Hovell + Charles Sturt. We looked at the journey's they took on our Australian map. We also read about bushranger Ned Kelly and the Kelly Gang. The kids coloured in THIS SHEET while I read aloud to them. We also checked out one of painter Sidney Nolan's artworks about Ned Kelly.


* Over the past few weeks, the Torah Portion (a part of the Scriptures that we read through each week) has been on the materials used for the High Priests and for the tabernacle construction. I think it was maybe 3 weeks ago now but there was the description of the breastplate and ephod which the Cohen Gadol (High Priest) would wear. There was a description of the pomegranates that were to be worn on the bottoms of their garments and so we bought some pomegranates. We studied them closely and the kids filled in THIS PDF I MADE CALLED 'NAME THAT FRUIT OR VEGETABLE'. We downloaded a recipe and cooked up some choc-ginger and pomegranate muffins. The kids didn't mind them but I'd have to cook them again I think to get them really used to the taste and texture of the pomegranates.

* Another of the Torah portions involved the description of the Ephod and Breastplate which the High Priest wore. We used many of the links and resources on the TORAH SCHOOL BLOG. We decided to look at what the precious stones would look like (I just googled them) and then coloured in THIS PDF I MADE about the colours and names of the precious stones. I also made a different one up where older children could write the names of the stones too. We used the NIV version of the stones listed and tried to get as close as we could to the correct colours. The next day, I bought some white tshirts and drew up a breastplate on the front of each shirt. Using their sheets from the day before, the kiddos coloured in the squares of the breastplate using some Crayola Fabric Markers I'd bought from ebay some time ago. They really enjoyed this activity. I just have to remember to heat-set the shirts before they get chucked in the wash! lol!

* The brief study we did on these rocks made me think that it was time to do a little more chatting about how rocks are formed. We read from a couple of books on the 3 major types of rocks; igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic. There were some interesting facts about them so I made a song up about these three types and the kids love singing this song now! lol :) Whatever works hey! We also began chatting about the rocks that are in the Geo-kit I bought at the post office last year. Brett installed THE USB MICROSCOPE onto the back computer. We bought this last year for $50 and man is it worth it!!! It plugs into your usb drive and you can get 10x, 60 x and 200x magnification on it. You click the photo button and it captures the image that is on the slide! Then you can store and compare images of varying magnification. I made up THIS PDF to be used with this microscope for sketching specimens. I was really surprised at how much Liji in particular attended for this lesson. He LOVED sketching the feather and rocks we put under there! We also let them try changing the light sources to see how that affected the image on the screen.

 USB Microscope

 * Another science thing we did this week was from a book I was given. It's a teaching resource unit introducing the concepts of friction, movement and many other basic science principles. We carried out a number of experiements from this book including putting a nail into a piece of wood and then stretching a rubber band around the nail and dragging the wood over different surfaces to see how friction affects the speed and movement of the board. We did this over grass, over wood and rocks in our backyard then went out (safely!) onto the road and dragged the wood and then down to the end of the street over the bumpy rocks! They thought this was so much fun and it proved to be a really good hands-on learning experience for them.


* The artist we studied last week was FRIDA KAHLO. What a tragic life-story she had. They coloured THIS PAGE IN  while I read aloud from our 'History of Art' book. I picked it up last year from an Angus and Robertson book clearance store for about $12 I think. It's a big colourful coffee table book full of prints.The kids filled in THIS PDF I MADE CALLED 'FAMOUS ARTISTS'. They enjoy telling me their answers to the questions, I write them up on the whiteboard for the boys (Stass does her own composition) and then we use it as copywork exercise. My kids like having these to fill in (hence why I made them because they were asking for something a little more!) We looked at Kahlo's works, talked about her pain and suffering and watched some of HER BIOGRAPHY THROUGH THIS YOU TUBE VID. Some of it wasn't suitable for our children so I stress that watching this with them is important so you can censor when you need to. Our kids did enjoy the basic study we did on Frida and sketching some of her work too.

* Made birthday cards for Brett's birthday (today!) Happy Birthday honey!!!


* I had my 12 week ultra sound this week for bubba # 5 (although according to our dates we were alot closer to 14 weeks than 12!) We all went along as a family to enjoy seeing our new little precious family member. The kids sat excitedly waiting to see the baby moving on the screen and hearing the hearbeat. All looks great with bubby - praise Yah! (God). We got to take home a cute little pici. The only disappointing part was the sonographer who was quite cold and rude. I'm sure she was just having a bad day but I'd be lying if I said her attitude hadn't deflated our joy a little. Anyway, I just keep reminding myself that no matter what anyone says, I know what God says about children; that they are a blessing. That's how we feel about each one of them. We are starting to read about what size the baby is and how it is growing now inside me. I am feeling gorgeous little flutters inside alot as the baby moves and when it was on  the screen during the ultrasound, it was jumping up and down and I could feel it as I saw it moving! So precious :) The all-day sickness is nearly all gone although some days am still feeling queasy and not like eating much. Am reading a book called 'Natural Birth at Home - A collection of Australian Home Birth Stories'. Can't remember if I posted that before or not but anyway am really enjoying it!

*  Brett took the kiddos BMX riding this week for the first time. They loved the track although the boys had a few stacks and came home with some scrapes to prove it all! Stass had a BLAST and wants to go back again soon! She was the only one who could manage the course so she was pretty chuffed with doing that. Brett video'd the kids and they enjoyed watching it back later and giving a running commentary on it all!

* Attended the golf clinic again this week. The teacher commented afterwards to me that Stass has a good swing on her! I didn't even know what that meant! lol. Apparently she hit it onto the fairway on her first hit!


* Ethan photographed a gorgeous parrot in flight. We are beginning to print off these photos, label them and stick them into a photo album full of nature-only shots. It's a work in progress!

* Liji made a bon fire set-up the other day and asked Brett if they could light it at night and toast some marshmallows which they did and enjoyed immensly!

* We spotted an eagle circling this week while we were visiting my parents. We talked about eagles being scavengers and why Yah (God) considers them as unfit for eating (see Leviticus 11 + Deu 14 for more details).

* Nan + Pop kindly invited the kids over to pick some fresh beetroots which they had all planted together. I cooked them up the other night to go along with some meatloaf and man were they delicious! Thanks Nan and Pop!

* We harvested from our garden this week, about 10 medium-HUGE size squash! And also the first of our carrots! Yay thank you Yah!

* We enjoyed hanging out near our local waterfalls yesterday with Ben + Jas for Shabbat lunch. Was lovely to sit in the shade and eat nachos! The kids loved climbing trees there and kicking the footy around.


* As you can see, when we are filling out science sheets or art sheets, we are writing. So there's not as much to say here. But, I did decide to employ an ABA technique (ABA is an approach to autism therapy and recovery) that I have used in the past but have decided to use again for Liji and his spelling and reading and writing efforts. You can CLICK ON THIS LINK to see how the therapist uses the marbles into the jar to give an instant incentive to the little boy. Because Liji has some difficulty in breaking up words and sounding them out phonetically I thought I'd try this. And so far it has REALLY helped! I drew up a card for him with 5 smiley faces. As soon as he gets one cup full of marbles, he gets one of the faces on the card punched out. Once all 5 faces have been hole punched, he gets the reward which he chose (an icecream!). The first day I used this incentive system we got through about 3 times MORE work than normal and he was about 10 times MORE happy and co-operative too! Yaaaaaaay for breakthroughs!

* The other two kids also asked for their own faces sheet with an icecream reward at the end so it is working well for all the kids :)

* Stass has been setting up little reading corners and reading aloud to the boys nearly every day from the Cul-de-sac series that she loves so much. I have a new book coming in the mail from the UK for her and (thanks to Christine and Bridget for the recommendation!!!) am thinking about buying her some books from the Billabong series soon.

* Went to the local library together and borrowed some books.

* Each wrote a letter and drew a picture for our sponsor child this week (this is long overdue!)

* Stass wrote a thankyou letter out to Aunty Iris for her birthday gift and we delivered it to her.

* Hebrew lessons are still going on. The kids have been practicing their Aleph Bet still and have been learning to write Aleph.


* All kids continuing on with their Math U See work along with using their 'blue' books.

* Played with the wooden Tangrams set we have to make patterns according to the design in the book.

* Living maths; rounding up and down to the nearest ten as we shop together.

* Used their pocket money to purchase something of their own choice at Koorong this week.

* Baked together and all the kids measured various quantities from the recipes.

* Christine also got me onto KHAN ACADEMY VIDEOS AND EXERCISES which Stass has really gotten into. It's good to see others explain maths concepts in different ways.

Other bits and pieces...

* Inspired by PAMELA OVER AT HOME SHALOM I took the plunge and decided to cut the boys' hair again myself. It's been a while since I've done this (I used to cut everyone's hair but the boys often go with Brett and have a boy-date and get their hair done then). We are trying to cut costs though so thought it would be good to refresh how to do a good boy hair cut. I watched THIS YOU TUBE VID about how to do it and it turned out really well! Both the boys (and I!!!!) were pleased with it.

* Inspired by AMY OVER AT HOMESTEAD REVIVAL I am going to be making MY OWN DEODERANT ONCE AGAIN. Some may know that I tried something similar once before but it ended up in me having a reaction to the bicarb soda and getting cysts that were supposed to be removed twice (thankfully when i turned up for the procedure, they had disappeared!) This has only happened when I've used just bi carb soda so I am tweaking Amy's recipe a little and subsitituting for Arrowroot instead. Am keen to try it this week and will let you know how it goes!

* Have had to employ the 1,2,3 Magic Technique (we've been using this for about 4 years since I did the short course in it) with Zippi! And it is actually working. She has been showing some stimming (self stimulatory behaviours) and other obsessive traits (some which we saw at this age appear in Liji) which I know can just be age related....we are hoping it is just that.

* I have written a song in the past fortnight called 'I am of Israel'. Might share it here one day :)

* I made my own multi-purpose home-cleaning solution again...done this before, gotten out of the habit and now getting back into it again! Roughly 3 tablespoons vinegar to the rest water into a big ol' spray bottle. Cleans benches and anything else along with my windows (streak-free!!!).

* Had a lovely craft night with my lovely friend Mel. We used to teaching scrapbooking together and she was the one who originally inspired me to design my own line of stamps. She's a successful artist and designer and best of all, she's a loving friend that I feel blessed to know. We hadn't gotten together in ages to craft so it was SO nice to take some time to do that!

* I am reorganising my family planner folders (like the Fly Lady's Control Journal). I have three; one for everyday household needs, one for recipes and the other for addresses and contacts, etc. I am giving them an overhaul and making them look a little pretty at the same time! Well, I'm trying to! Another work in progress!

* Started work on cleaning out the walk in robe in our room. Things are now labelled in big boxes (was a big job this one!) and I only have some small culling jobs left in there. I rearranged a bookshelf and some small filing cabinets to make room for where bubby's clothing is going to go. About 1/3 of the way through this job.

* I was blessed to be able to enjoy a pamper day all to myself last week! I know, it sounds decadent, but I really needed it and Brett was home happy to school and look after the kiddos :) So I got a sleep in then went up and had a big hot vegetarian breakfast by myself at a local cafe and sat there reading for a couple of hours. I was able to buy some flowers and run some errands that needed to be done. Then went and had an appointment in the afternoon by myself and came home to dinner being half cooked by Brett and I cooked the rest with him. Was a very relaxing time, one that I won't be forgetting quickly!!!

* Been rehearsing the songs for my friend's wedding coming up next month. She asked me and her uncle to sing together and play for the wedding. We've done this for I think 3 other siblings so it was real honour to be asked. They are like family to us and I am looking forward to this wedding. I've known the bride-to-be since she was almost 10!

* Have cooked some new recipes recently including: cajun chicken in the slow cooker, oriental chicken in the slow cooker, a pear, cinnamon + almond flan, turkey + asparagus bowtie pasta salad, blueberry muffins and almond slice.

* Am really in nesting mode at the moment (I always nest early in pregnancy!) and every cupboard, every nook and cranny I seem to be looking at thinking about cleaning and culling and organising them! Don't worry, I'm only going slowly! I acutally love having the energy to go through things and get better organised before bubby comes along. I've done the girls' room from top to bottom and and the boys too. The backyard outdoor boxes were rearranged and culled on Friday. I'm planning on going through the saucepan cupboard this week if I get a chance.

Well, that's about it. Alot has been happening over the past couple of weeks and we love it!
Learning + relationships + living all go hand in hand around here and I wouldn't have it any other way!

More another time,
Love Lus x


Erela said...

You designed or are designing stamps? We (ok - I ) need 'sacred name' scriptural stamps ;)

Enid said...

Love the energy when the pregnancy...!! You got so much done..and write it all out..I lov eit!

lusi said...

Hi Erela,
Sorry...I used to design stamps but haven't for some time now. If you find a 'sacred name' stamp though could you please also let me know? I've been thinking of trying to track down some recently too.
Bless you,
Lusi x

And thanks Enid for your sweet comment!

Christine said...

super busy!

I didn't know it was Brett's birthday! Happy Birthday Brett from all of us :)

Erela said...

I will :)

Sumara said...

We use Khan Academy too. T and I love that site.

Good to hear everything's going well with bubba 5. It's fabulous sharing those ultrasound moments with the siblings. :)

I've been slack again - I promised T I'd call you today to see if there was a day we can come up for a visit, plus organise a BBQ one Sunday. But I will talk to you soon, I promise! xo.

lusi said...

No probs mate!!! Honestly, I'm exactly the same at the moment! We will catch up soon though :-)
Big love to everyone!
Lus x

(Kerri) said...

Thank you so much for your sweet comment on my blog. I have enjoyed reading your story. How you came to the Torah and about your son's journey out of autism. Wow, on both accounts!! How amazing. I have a couple of things, one to share, the other to ask....Have you heard of the GAPS diet? It stands for Gut and Phsychology Syndrome. It may help to overcome the saly....I can't remember that word, but the chemical in most fruits and some veggies :-) Sorry brain fog.

The other was a question for you. My hubby has been having major issues with reconciling the OT and NT. It has caused him great grief, anger, confusion and the like. It has severly affected his relationship with the Lord. It is hard for me to see him walk through this. He is having a hard time figuring out how he can relate to a God who made mothers eat their own children, and other horrid things. He can't see the OT God and the NT God as being the same. Big issues for sure!

Also, I was reading your FAQ and it brought up a question both he and I have had from the past. We had dinner one night with a family who were Messianic Jews (I hope that is the right term). They were talking about the temple being rebuilt. My hubby was a bit shocked only in that he feels that after God sacrificed his son for us, it would be a 'slap in the face' to him to try to offer up sheep/doves, etc. Kind of like telling God that his ultimate sacrifice wasn't sufficient.

I somehow came across YWYH Leads and another blog, 8 of a kind family, and it has really intrigued me about your beliefs. I hope you see my question as sincere, as it is meant. This is a "new" world to me.

Blessings to you and your family!

lusi said...

Hi Kerri!

Thanks so much for popping in and leaving a comment! Love getting to know new blogging friends!

I have a friend whose children are on the GAPS diet with some success. Will look into it more. At the moment we are having more good days than bad even as we ease back onto regular (high saliculate but still-nasty-chemical-free) foods. I will do some more reading up on GAPS though.

In response to your question...i totally appreciate where you are coming from. Undertaking this journey to really dive into the Truth of God's Word has been a new and exciting experience!

May I just share a couple of thoughts that have helped us along this journey? For us, we, as a family have come to understand (through reading the Word, prayer and the Spirit's leading) that the Torah (God's instructions) are our Father's loving instructions to His children. We are one family and there is only one set of house rules! (Numbers 15:15-16) We are one people of God, one body (ephesians 4:4) regardless of whether or not we are naturally born of Israel or a foreigners who enter into covenantal relationship (just like Ruth did!) with God. We are His people and that people are named Israel. We have been grafted into Israel (Romans 11) and therefore all the same house rules that apply to the children of Israel also apply to us! Understanding His instructions has given us so much freedom and joy and has actually helped us to understand the Bible as one whole book so much more!

Yeshua (Jesus' actual name) said that He did NOT come to abolish even the smallest stroke of the law and that not until heaven and earth pass away would any of it disappear (Matthew 5:17-19).

We are learning all the time but are really enjoying studying the Truth of the Word through the whole counsel of the Word of God.

I'm not sure that helps, I hope it does in some way but please keep in touch and let me know your thoughts!

Much love to you,
Lusi x


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