Some geography and history ideas.

Or – Society and Environment ,as these combined subjects are called in Australian curriculum documents.

We attend a once a week group with other homeschoolers. We call it Group Learning but it most probably is similar to many of the homeschool co-ops mentioned in the US.

We have a theme each term and mums take turns planning and teaching on the theme. There are three age groupings – preschoolers, primary school and secondary school. Although last year we broke the primary school group into older and younger readers.

This term our group has been studying India, Kenya and children living in poverty. How we can make a difference. The group has been using the free lesson plans from the Kids4Kids site – and we have made leaky tins for water dispensers, produced our own elastic band balls, made lapbooks, tried an African stew – and many other things. Fun lesson plans, especially with the addition of library books and the use of our DK Encyclopedia of World Geography.

At home, in addition to any follow ups from our Group Learning theme, we have been into a Middle Ages rabbit trail. It started with Anthony and perhaps his interest was piqued by a documentary on Foxtel. Or perhaps it was piqued by his rpgs set in medieval times.

Regardless, the Middle Ages has been our trail.

We found many books on our shelves on this topic. We read a bit from the DK Encyclopedia of World History. I am looking for some Middle Ages related movies – we love watching DVDs together – and talking non stop!

Thomas and Anthony are making a castle out of balsa wood, using plans from the site Build Model Castles.

And we wrote a Middle Ages timeline.Here is page one from Anthony’s notebook. The scan is not very clear but at least you can see some of the colour in the time bands!

I am reading aloud “The Writing on the Hearth” by Cynthia Hartnett, as our “Middle Ages read aloud.” I read this to the older boys when Jonathon was about eight. A good book.


Teaching With Movies

This is the name of the new book I have written for the Australian educational publisher, *Ready Ed Publications.

Gerry ( dh ) and I have written a series of maths books for this publisher in the past. They mostly publish resource books for teachers, often with many photocopiable activity sheets.

Anyway, Teaching With Movies was fun to write last year – and my sons enjoyed doing many of the activities here at home.



Three of our sons will be confirmed this week – and each has an older brother as a sponsor.

We finished our confirmation lapbooks back in February and they have been read and re-read numerous times this week.

What did we include in our lapbooks?

* A small book with a biography of their Saint names.
*A flip chart on the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
* A poster on the fruits of the Holy Spirit.
* Diagrams and pics illustrating the theological and cardinal virtues.
* Reproductions of appropriate artwork – each chosen by the individual son.

St Athanasius, St George and St Andrew pray for these three confirmation candidates.