Cooking and some homeschool stuff!

We have put your suggestions (and those from the ubiquitous Facebook) to good use and have made lots of yummy lemony things! Because everybody should learn to cook, I got Wombat Girl in on the act, and we whipped up a scrumptious lemon syrup cake (recipe here!). 'Twas very yummy and disappeared mightily fast!

Learning those all important baking skills

Fresh out of the oven

The recipe said wait until it had cooled down...we didn't!
We have also enjoyed Middle Eastern Lemon Chicken and a "meatless Monday" Silverbeet and Lentil Soup (I added a can of chickpeas instead of the second can of lentils and also stirred through a little sour cream). Wombat Girl ate two bowls! I am also going to do some preserved lemons (because they are trendy, and all that).

What's that you say? This is supposed to be a homeschool blog? Oh well, yes. I supposed we should do some "school". We got back into the swing of things this week - Wombat Girl freely admits she missed doing school work (because, yanno, she couldn't do it by herself...). Video Boy was good without it!

After my sojourn marking writing, I felt maybe we should be doing writing on a more regular basis and maybe incorporate a little more formal study of grammar and sentence structure and the like. I came across Excellence in Writing on April's blog Learning Alongside. In particular I liked their e-books (can't be bothered for stuff to come over by mail!) and their Rockets, Radar and Robotics Technology-Based Writing, which is a good intro to their style of work. I'm a bit naughty and didn't buy all the DVDs and other stuff that goes with it, but I'm sure we'll be able to muddle our way through.

We did the first exercise on note-taking and key word outlines. No tears! A minor miracle! So I'm hopeful that we will be able to incorporate some of this into our 'program' (like I have it all planned out...).

Look Ma! No tears!
We have also been doing a bit of bookwork to reinforce the geometry DVDs in maths that the kids have been watching in my absence. Ripping through angle sum of a triangle, exterior angles of triangles and angle sum of polygons. I use a combination of bits of Maths Quest textbooks (which I have on PDF), Enrich-e-matics and Extension Mathematics (the lower secondary edition is currently out of print, but the middle secondary one is available). And the kids have fun making up their own problems and solving them (nerds!).

The textbook has links to the Cabri geometry software,
which brings some of this stuff to life 
Nerd boy adding up angles in an octagon!
We have also started on this years Murder Under the Microscope! I worked on this in a past life and have enrolled the kids as a team. For those who aren't aware, it is an environmental "crime" game where you have to identify the victim (dead animal), villian (cause) and the location of the crime scence (what catchment). We got started and did some background research on accidents and how they might impact on a catchment. We created a mindmap to track our thoughts:

I also scored some bargains at Aldi, which the kids have benefited from. First up was a you-beaut version of Marble Run, including gears! Wombat Girl has wanted to investigate gears for a while now (and I will search out some good kits to do that properly) so she really enjoyed putting it all together and Video Boy dragged himself away from YouTube to join in the fun too:

Check out all that cooperative learning!

They also had Zoobs on sale! We added 250 pieces to our measly collection and the kids covered some more floor space with constructions. It was interesting to see how their approach varied - Video Boy loved following the instructions to create cars etc and Wombat Girl loved seeing the patterns in things and creating her own version of DNA.

And finally our trampoline bit the dust. Admittedly it is well-used and exposed 24/7 to corroding sea air. It basically fell apart and was beyond repair. Luckily Kmart is having it's annual big toy sale (for which the kids are finally too old for most of the plastic junk) and had tramps on sale! We don't use the super-safe bubble-wrapped enclosure because we prefer to let our kids live on the edge, but we now have some very happy jumpers and as a bonus for me (and the neighbours) this one is squeek-free.

The old, corroded trampoline

Oh and speaking of neighbours, our new ones have proven to be remarkably quiet and respectful. I've never been so happy to be wrong in all my life!


  1. Did you bring the net home from the shop? A friend suggested putting it on the ground and using it as a cubby. Now your kids are probably too old for a simple cubby, but think of capture the flag and forts etc

  2. I'm off to our nearest Aldi to see if I can supplement our meagre collection of zoobs. I might also take a look at Science under the Microscope with ds1 to see if he likes the look of it. Thanks for the ideas, Ingi.


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