Skip to main content

Happy 1st birthday!

I just realised Defying Gravity is one year old! One year (and three days - don't forget the three days) ago I started off with a Homeschool Mother's Journal post. Just launched straight into it - no background on us or anything! I had only just discovered the wonders of blogging and thought it might be a nice way to record what we do. Fiddled around a bit with the design, came up with the name and voila! Blog created!


I think it has been a fabulous year, full of ups and downs and interesting things and thoughtful moments. I hope I can continue to post well-written, humourous, insightful blogposts. Failing that, I hope the photos are good!

We've been pottering away this last week or so.

We have been watching Federation on ABC iView. And when I went searching for some "meat" to put on the bones of this excellent program, I found wonderful (free!) resources from the Museum of Australian Democracy in Canberra (which is on the "to do" list now). We have been learning about Australia's population at the time of Federation (1901 for overseas readers who don't get to learn Australian history), interpreting data from tables and creating pie graphs on Excel.

We have been continuing our algebra - a mix of Maths Quest textbook work, Algebra I from Great Courses DVDs and also, just to mix things up Joy of Algebra (also from Great Courses). We love Art Benjamin - he makes maths fun! I have to share his opening joke:

I first discovered the Joy of Algebra when my father asked me to solve the following problem - if 1q + 1q is 2q, and 2q + 3q is 5q, what is 5q + 5q?? I thought about it for a second and responded "10q" to which he said "you're welcome!".

Ahh, gotta love a bit of maths humour!

Using algebra to solve a Fibonacci "magic" trick

In science, Wombat Girl has been working through Science Focus 1 as I helped Video Boy with his physics.

We were looking at particle motion in waves, and I was sure that I had seen a Surfing Scientist video about that, so we Googled. We found a lesson plan with detailed instructions on how to make an animation using Powerpoint. Unfortunately we don't have Powerpoint 2010, so to turn the animation into a video for upload (to say, a blog), you have buy software (which I'm not prepared to do at this point!). So, I did a screen snip (imagination waves moving):

We have also been on a "field trip" to look at the fossils on the local rock platforms. They are sedimentary rocks (mudstones and siltstones for those interested) and were formed in the Permian, about 270 million years ago - before dinosaurs, but after trilobites (so, none of those found). But they are pretty spectacular:

We took plasticine moulds of the fossils and will soon make plaster of Paris casts (soon).

Unfortunately, the much anticipated Drama lessons have been postponed until Term 2, but Wombat Girl has been enjoying her piano lessons very much. I found this book in the library and we have been enjoying learning about the different periods in classical music (supplemented by my extensive iTunes libary!!). The second half of the book goes into detail about the different sections of the orchestra.

Lots of reading...especially by Wombat Girl...

Sometimes one book just isn't enough!

Oops - what is that doing there?! My reading choices are always high-brow...

Are your kids into Minecraft too? For those not in the know, this immensely popular game is deceptively simple - you "mine" stuff (hunt for different resources) and then you use that to "craft" stuff (to mine better stuff). If you play multiplayer (apparently considerably more fun), you also work together. My kids are close to being addicted to this game, having now set up a server, installed and set up Skype so they can chat to their friends (and weirdly, to each other from different computers in different parts of the house) as they mine and craft. Video Boy has also been busy setting up and capturing himself playing PS3 games and uploading them to YouTube. Just as well I'm pretty techo, or these kids would have left me in the dust by now!

I have to say that as far as "video games" go, Minecraft impresses me with its use of imagination, construction, use of technology, science, strategy and social interaction. I'm reasonably happy to let them spend time developing those skills!

They've have lots of time to work on Minecraft and also delve into the world of documentaries...

Barney's Barrier Reef 
Museum of Life I've been very, very busy...stay tuned to find out what I've been up to!!!


  1. Happy blogiversary, Ingi. I enjoy popping in and seeing what y'all are up to :)

    1. Thank you so much verdemama - the compliment is returned!!

  2. Happy 1 year anniversary!

    Oh I love your honesty about your reading choices :). I love your honesty period! You guys bring a smile to my face (your daughter reading two books at once. My daughter plays her DS and watches television at the same time :).)

    They are not into Mindcraft yet but I sure have heard about it, who knows maybe it will become an interest but for now they are still happy with Animal Jam and Club Penguin.

    1. Well, you've got to balance all this high-level cognitive stuff with a bit of trash every now and then (and honestly, who doesn't want to know how Scary Spice lost her baby fat?).

      You wait - they will be into Minecraft! It's lots of fun (and educational too, I keep telling myself).

  3. Happy anniversary!
    I really enjoy coming here every time. To get inspired.
    Thanks for the great sharing for the past year.

    1. Absolutely my pleasure! Your pictures inspire me to do better too :-)

  4. Happy Anniversary!
    And thanks for all that you share.
    I'm so glad that yours was one of the first homeschool blogs I came across when we started our hs adventure.

    1. Sometimes I wonder if I share a little too much, but I can't censor too much - it's just not me.

      It's a wonderful adventure, isn't it? I can't get over how much we are enjoying it - it seemed so scary just over a year ago, and now I can't imagine doing anything else :-)


Post a Comment

Bloggers LOVE comments! We are pretty needy that way, so go on, leave some love :-)

Popular posts from this blog

Pssst...wanna be a fly on the wall?

My Students + Curriculum + Learning Spaces + Real Life = A Day In the Life

This Day is from last week when I thought it was A Day In The Life but it was Learning Spaces instead...probably just as well, because the last few days have not been worth blogging about (or maybe there's a big blog post in there lurking away, but I just can't deal with it right now)...anyway...

This week is the last of our Aussie NBTS posts and a's a long post!! So if you stay to the end, you have done well and earn bonus points.

I think a lot of people who don't homeschool are curious as to what our days look like. Those 6 panel Facebook memes have been doing the rounds, and of course there was a Homeschool one:

He he he!

The night before the Day in the Life: I should preface this Day with the fact that we had a late Night watching Ferris Bueller's Day Off. It was on TV, but we got out the DVD to skip the ads. I feel that some movies are just a compulsory part of any child&#…

I see...

We've had a couple of interesting weeks here. Video Boy has inherited his mother's shocking vision - he has myopia (commonly known as short-sightedness or near-sightedness). It occurs when the eyes focus light in front of the retina, leading to unfocussed vision.

Close up is usually OK, but distance vision is pretty fuzzy:

For me, even the couple would have been blurry! I was "medically blind" which meant I got my optometrist fees covered by Medicare (yay!).

So, Video Boy has had glasses for a couple of years now - he has broken one pair and then lost the replacement pair (grrr) and so for a couple of months, his world has looked like the picture on the right...and he was squinting to watch TV, read signs, pretty much all the time.
So, we went off to the optometrist last week to get us some new glasses!
The optometrist is up on all the latest research - with Wombat Girl, we bought a software program with special "lenses" and she had to do a practice session…

52 Ancestors - So Far Away

This week's #52ancestorsin52weeks is Father's Day - but of course, it's not Father's Day in Australia, so I'm going to do the theme we had a couple of weeks ago when I was away - So Far Away.

When you first start doing your family tree, it's exciting to see how "far back" you can go with your branches. Until last weekend, the furthest back on my direct line was Benjamin Broome, my 9th great-grandfather born in 1646 in Kidderminster, Worcestershire, England (grandfather of John Broom in my carpet story), which I thought was a long way back!

Last weekend, I was searching back to see if I could see a link between the Freemans on my Dad's side and the Freemans on my Mum's side (spoiler alert - not yet). Anyway, I was having a search on Joseph Freeman (my 5th great-grandfather born in Gloucestershire, England in 1765) and his wife - Sarah Arkell (my 5th great-grandmother also from Gloucestershire, England, born in 1767). Well, I had her father John…