Tuesday, January 31, 2017

First Excursion of the Year ~ Australian Museum

We decided to end our summer holidays/begin our new school year with a trip to the city to visit the Australian Museum.  We didn't get to have a play date with our best homeschool friends so they joined us for a BIG day out!

The weather was beastly with the high temperature reaching 39C/103F for the second day in a row, so it was AWESOME to wait out the remainder of the heatwave in an air conditioned building.  By the time we headed home in the late afternoon, the cool change was on its way!

We started the day in the First Australians exhibit and had a good long look at all the Aboriginal artifacts.

This is a boat made from bark stripped off the tree.  The tree survives the removal of the bark and eventually repairs itself enough to grow new bark in the stripped space. 

Sadly these are not the best photos I've ever taken, but we loved the hand woven baskets, the didgeridoos, and the elaborate crocodile mask.

We learned a lot about the different kinds of boomerangs the aboriginals made/used, and admired the display wall of various different spears, boomerangs, and other tools. 

These are grave markers and they are intricate and beautiful. 

Monster desperately wanted his photo taken while holding a spear and a shield. 

Map of Australia showing where the different Aboriginal tribes lived. 

Examples of the beautiful artwork were everywhere in the room. 

The boys were excited to find this Aboriginal seasons "calendar" as we've studied the differences between the "four" seasons that the Sydney area experiences in a calendar year, to the numerous seasons that the Aboriginals describe. 

From there we moved on to the Wild Planet room... 

Monkey and Munchkin were fascinated with the tank with sea urchins and sea snails and anenomes in it. 

I've always been interested and intrigued by the Bower bird, and Munchkin found it cool as well. 

Always look up in the museum... you are likely to find lizards!! ;-) 

Munchkin was very interested to read and learn about The Water Holding Frog, Spinifex Jumping mice, and Emus!! 

Always, the main reason we visit the Australian Museum, is for the dinosaur room! 

Monkey's best friend posing in front of the T-Rex mouth!! 

Monkey and Munchkin (with their respective best friends) enjoyed "digging" for fossils. 

They have seen it dozens of times, but ALWAYS stop to watch the little dinosaur video. 

Then it was on to the Pacific Spirit room, which was new to all of us. 

This headdress was stunning. Read more about it in the photo above. 

We finished our day in the Search and Discover room... with bugs, bugs and more bugs!
I find the stick insects and leaf insects fascinating!! 

The boys really enjoyed searching through the "droppings" from the stick and leaf insect cages looking for eggs.  They found several and proudly returned them to the museum staff to be returned to the cages so they could hatch and grow!! 

It was funny to sit and observe Munchkin and his best friend as they viewed things through the microscope, and carried on a lively discussion about what they were doing and seeing! 

All the children took turns holding this magnificent lady - and yes - the museum staff gave us a lesson on how to tell the gender of stick/leaf insects!!

Monday, January 30, 2017

Our 2017 Students

Monster ~ Year 6
age 10

Monkey ~ Year 3
age 7 

Munchkin ~ Kindergarten
age 4

Saturday, January 28, 2017

School Holiday Wrap-Up

Our Christmas/summer school holidays are officially over.
Public schools will start back Monday 30th of January.
We will take Monday as a bonus day, then enjoy an excursion to a museum in the city with our best homeschool friends on Tuesday.
Therefore, our first official day of the 2017 school year will be Wednesday 1st of February.
Here is a HUGE look at all the fun we had these past 5-6 weeks.

Monster decided he wanted to see if he could finish this puzzle before the new school year begins.  So many nights he worked on the puzzle while I read aloud to him. 

I added some more chores to their daily routine, as we had more time to work on life skills. Both boys alternated turns washing breakfast and lunch dishes and they did a fantastic job. 

 When it wasn't raining, or simply too hot, we ventured outside... for some practice on the skateboard...

some scootering fun... 

 and most importantly... ninja skills practice!!

The two older boys spent some time brushing up on their arithmetic skills so as not to lose the information over the long break... Monster practiced his multiplication tables and Monkey brushed up on his subtraction. 

We had the iPad on loan from the library for three of the weeks!! 

We got the opportunity to view a life cycle when we discovered eggs in the fish tank. 

 When the weather didn't allow time outside... the yoga DVD from my sister burned some of the excess energy!

More life skills for the older boys as they were expected to fix their own lunch on many days. 

 All three boys enjoyed working on puzzles and logic games.

Monster and I spent a few of his evenings of one-on-one time playing Lego Creationary. 

 We enjoyed a BBQ at a homeschool friend's house the Friday before Christmas. The boys discovered the dress-up box and imagination ran wild!!

We took our annual trip to the city with a friend to look at the lights and decorations! 

 We enjoyed the water park at Darling Harbour...

The Christmas tree at the Queen Victoria Building, the lights show at St Mary's Cathedral... 

 and the window decorations at David Jones!!

Christmas day was church in the morning, then presents, time to explore and enjoy those presents, and lights in the evening. 

The baby fish are growing... 

Another trip to the city to watch the midnight fireworks... 

We got the chance to catch up with special friends visiting from New Zealand. 

 Another excursion to the city to visit the Australian Museum with some US friends and hang out in Hyde Park with the bubble man!!

Lots of library time... Bingo 

and a games day!! 

Finally the weather cooperated enough to allow us a chance to head to the park to try out the cricket set the boys received for Christmas. 

 Another library event... the game Headbands (or Who Am I?)

The baby fish continue to get bigger and bigger!! 

Our final library event was a Magic Show that was absolutely FABULOUS!! 

There was also lots of time to play games together and continue to work on the puzzles!  All in all a relaxing and refreshing time!  I'm keen to start the new year, and I'm also extremely excited about some of the learning I hope to do with the boys.  Here's to another great year of homeschooling!!

But first... a look at all the reading we did!!