Friday, July 13, 2012

Getting started...

It's been a while since my last post, that's because this Homeschooling business is hard work - I'm not going to pretend. I have literally taken on a new job, it may be part time, but add that to part time business owner and full time Mum - I'm getting hammered from all directions. Regardless here I am I made it!

Our first week has been awesome, but more about that later. What I want to share today is what the process is to get started so these are the steps I went through to go from being a State School Queensland Mum to a Homeschooling Everywhere Mum.

Step 1: I researched, I started with 'how am I going to teach them what they need to know?' so I google 'homeschooling Australia', I stumbled onto an awesome sight called this was a great place to start for me, Michelle has a way of simplifying what I considered a convoluted subject, this site made me realise I could really do this and introduced me to Charlotte Mason whom I have grown to love.
My next stop was to be honest this scared the begeezers out of me especially when I looked at their planning section and all the examples, but it has been priceless in my preparation of the kids curriculum (yes you have to prepare a 12 month curriculum to be a Homeschooler in QLD). This was where I found a great document that the lovely staff at the QLD Home Ed Unit prepared I devoured these sites and started to jot some things down.
I also read a number of books at the library I found "Getting Started with Homeschooling" by Beverley Paine and then found her website she is awesome - I spent alot of time here and

Step 2: I looked more closely at the templates at and I just kept writing lists of what I wanted my kids to learn, this then morphed into an 'ecclectic' approach to the curriculum combining Charlotte Mason, Curriculum texts (maths, grammar and science) and unit studies. This is how it works -
I have chose 4 units - one for each term of the year My Gold Coast, Healthy Happy Me, My Country and Plants. During each term we do the following activities and relate them to the unit topic:
  •  read  'living' books (real life stories) about each subject
  • go on excursions
  • make a notebook (a book with small project pages that the kids design)
  • lapbooks (little books made out of quad folded manilla folders)
  • handwriting practice using phrases from books they have read
  • A big project eg plan a veggie garden
  • Every morn the kids work on their curriculum texts
Step 3: I chose a template and completed it using all the resources I collected (I had to borrow the Beverley Paine book 4 times from the library). I am still at this step, I have completed Mali's curriculum now I need to copy and paste it into Jake's and slightly change his objectives and tasks for his level. I now have to send that all off the the Home Education Unit. I have already sent in the application forms and the Home ed Unit called me to ask about the curriculum - I said it is on the way, (lovely ladies - don't be afraid of them , they want to help us succeed).

Step 4: I then made up a timetable and implemented it, we deviate from the timetable but this week at least it has all worked well.

Make no mistake this has been hard work and I'm sure I have made it harder than I needed it to be. If I could start all over again I would join some homeschooling groups on yahoo and ask questions from experienced homeschoolers. Having said that I have loved this week, we have all learnt so much, I have seen changes in my 9 year old son that I thought may have been lost forever. I have watched my husband do a demonstration of an Aborigine hunting a roo (our dog Trixi). I have had time to talk to the kids without ordering them around, the TV has been off most the time - Jake said he hadn't watched it in 4 days at one stage.

So this post has been about the 'yucky' stuff , so now that is out of the way, lets have some fun.


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