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Homeschool Life - August Wrap Up

You know when you feel like you are just going from one thing to another?

Well, this month has been really unsettled. what with working for National Parks, going to Canberra, job interviews, working at the library, meetings for National has been a bit hectic! The kids have erred a bit on the "unschool" side of things (I prefer to think of them has having lots of natural learning experiences), but they have also been pretty good at completing any bookwork I left for them on the days I was working.

However, even Video Boy claimed he missed doing "real" homeschool!  So it was really lovely to have a few uninterrupted days together at the end of the month.

Happy to have his mum home!

So August, what do you have to show for yourself??

English - As you no doubt aware, earlier this month we headed off to Canberra to see The Mousetrap, so on our return, I Googled "critical review theatre" and made up a Word document comparing theatrical elements (In what ways did the set, costumes, sound, lighting, characters, dialogue, pacing, direction and special effects contribute to the play?). If I haven't mentioned it before, I have no idea how anyone homeschooled before Dr Google was invented. Anyway, the kids typed in their answers and now have a better idea of what goes into making theatre.

We are also continuing on our Graphic Novel unit of work.  We were discussing "closure" where the real magic of graphic novels happens in between frames. So I printed out two consecutive frames and got the kids to draw what they thought would happen between them:

Video Boy's efforts

Wombat Girl's interpretation
They have (as always) been reading a lot - Video Boy is heavily into Terry Pratchett and was very excited to see I'd found the 4th book in the Bartimaeus series (he is currently in battle with Hubby to read it). Wombat Girl is re-reading Breaking Dawn, finally read the first Skulduggery Pleasant and is nearly finished Lauren Child's new book Ruby Redfort - Look Into My Eyes.

Maths - we are still working on geometry. We have worked on angle sum of quadrilaterals, using equations to find unknown angles, parallel lines and planes (co-interior, corresponding, and alternate angles).

Maths and tea

We watched another episode from Great Courses Geometry DVD on parallel lines and planes. Professor James Noggle may well indeed have spent the last 30 years letting students in on the secrets of lines, planes, angles, inductive and deductive reasoning - but for us, he could do with a little less repetition!

Good lord - could it get any more repetitious?

Now I know how Bella felt getting injected with vampire venom...

Anyhoo, we spent quite a lot of time this month on Khan Academy. I knew that they have a stack of great videos on their about maths and science, but we explored a bit more and found excellent practice questions and the Mind Map of Maths with adding/subtracting to calculus and everything in between.

The kids logged on with their Google accounts, I am their "coach" and I can get reports on what they have been doing. They are very motivated to get more points and upgrade their avatars and I love that it is self-directed learning. Wombat Girl was very determined to sort out parabolas and their equations and Video Boy conquered conic sections (also related to parabolas). I am a total convert and enjoying doing my maths too (spent yesterday afternoon remembering functions!).

This is a brilliant video by the brilliant Vi Hart on parabolas and doodling in maths class:

Vi Hart also makes an appearance on Khan Academy in their brand new Computer Science section where she translates her maths doodling into programs. Loving it, I tell you!!

Science - In addition to Vi, we love Minute Physics.  We spent quite a bit of time catching up on their latest offerings. It was also Olympics month, so this video was appropriate:

We also discovered V-sauce and particularly enjoyed the video exploring how much the internet weighs (haven't you always wondered?):

In "real work" we finished up our unit on microbes and our lapbooks:

Video Boy also found an excellent website/game called Cell Craft - where you protect your body from incoming disease and learn A LOT about cell structure in the process. He beat the crap out of me with his knowledge gleaned from this game. He was all over it!

Visual arts: We just received our notification in the mail that we have to re-apply for homeschooling registration from the NSW Bored Board of Studies. It's been nearly two years! So apart from spending a bit of time reviewing what we've done in each KLA (that's eduspeak - Key Learning Area or subject for you and me) and planning out what we might get done in the next two years (both kids are adamant they won't be returning to school), I thought that perhaps we needed some more "pretty" up on the walls. You know what that means - art.

I've not been great in the art department. I don't do mess. But it turns out I do actually like creative activities. Working at the library means I get to borrow a stackload more books, so I got out some for inspiration (and left none for anyone else):

However, before I emptied the library, I stole got my ideas my dear homeschooling friend who pays a tutor to come teach her poppets art on her work day. Works well for me, that arrangement!! So we spent a pleasant afternoon creating our Alien names. Wombat Girl wanted to use bubble-writing instead of cursive for her name, so I said "why not?" and let her go for it.

Mirror images

Using different media

Only Wombat Girl could turn her name into a bunny!

I can't show you the finished products, because they have their real names in them. But I can show you mine:

Cool, hey?

From the same website, I found a Futuristic cityscape activity to do the next week. Video Boy is soooo into this one!

We aren't finished yet, so hopefully next month I will have more lovely art to show you.

I'll finish up this month with a lovely quote from Video Boy, who quite often inspires me to keep going on this crazy path we've chosen:

"I don't think I could actually be able to go back to school now, even if you wanted me to!"

If you've blogged about what you've been up to lately in your homeschool, join up below in my linky thing!


  1. Wow, you guys always do such cool stuff.
    Thanks for all the great links!

    1. Isn't funny how other people's stuff always looks much cooler than our own stuff? I want my own river in my backyard :-)

  2. I'm going to have to check out the graphic novel unit. I have one little boy who would love that! I also love the cityscape idea.

    Have you checked out the blog 10minutemath? He has some great little math posts.

    1. I haven't seen that blog - I will go check it out. Planning some maths raving in an upcoming post :-)

  3. Ingi, I love seeing what you all are up to. Your children look so happy and engaged in these photos. We love Doodling in Math Class over here, too.

    1. Happy and engaged! They do, don't they? Even though I am "suggesting" those activities, I only do them if the kids are keen(ish). And for the most part, they do enjoy them :-)

  4. <3 the way you cross out some words and replace them with others - Very witty :)
    E.g. 'Bored of Studies' instead of Board of Studies :P


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