Thursday, 24 August 2017

Birch Grove Water Colour Paintings {Virtual Fridge}

This Week
The week before last I shared a featured an amazingly easy art project over at Homeschool Coffee Break: water colour Birch Grove project.  This was one of the most effective and easy art projects we have attempted.  I was rather pleased with the results of this project.


Ethan (11)

Laura (12)

Nathaniel (12)

Are you on INSTAGRAM ?  You can now use your IG account to link up an show us your art adventures.

This weeks Feature

This weeks feature is from over at Homeschool Coffee Break.  I always love to see the progress of budding artists.  Kennedy's art inspires me to keep doing art projects with my children.

Your Turn

I invite you to take some photo's of your children's artistic pursuits put them in a post and link up with me I would love to come over and see the wonderful art your children have enjoyed doing.
Virtual Fridge Link Up


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Please NOTE by adding your links to the Virtual Fridge link up YOU are giving the hosts of the Virtual Fridge link up permission to use a photograph from your blog to feature 
your ART along with a link to your art/tutorial.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Planning & Record Keeping {Homechool Review Crew Blog Hop 2017}

Welcome to day three of the Back to School Blog Hop with the Homeschool Review Crew. Planning and Record Keeping for home eduation need not be a complicated task nor does it need to be a stressful one.  Keeping it simple will illiminate many headaches for you and your family. As a friend recently pointed out: providing too much information is often driven by our need to justify ourselves.  It also can become a stumbling block to successfully passing a review or inspection. 

Planning to Home Educate
If you are in the planning stages of home educating one of the first things you will need to do is find out what the legal requirements are for where you are living.  Home Education is a viable and legal option in most countries/states in the world.

To find out more about the registration requirements take a look at

Home Schooling in Victoria Australia

Legal information
  1. Queensland
  2. Northern Territories
  3. Western Australia
  4. South Australia
  5. Victoria
  6. Australian Capital Territory
  7. New South Wales
  8. Tasmania
Record Keeping
The requirements for record keeping are different everywhere.  Currently in Vicoria we are awaiting to hear about what our new record keeping requirements are going to be. In anticipation of the changes I was introduced to a fabulous app called KeptMe. KeptMe has been optimised for accross platform performance meaning it can be used on all your devices i.e. apple, android and pc.   It is currently being used by many different schools in variouse countries around the world (including in the USA).  I highly recommend this app for it's ease of use and the beautiful report it produces in pdf for you to download and print should you ever require one.

Why do I like KeptMe?
  • I like that it is easy to use.  I simply snap a photo on my phone. Add it to KeptMe.  
  • I can easily select the template (This year I'm using year six Victorian Curriculum) I want to report and within that template ALL the information I need is at my finger tips.
  • It's a fabulous way to show friends and family who want to know what your children have been up to.
  • It's easy to use with multiple children in one family
KeptMe Timeline of Learning

KeptMe keeps a timeline of your entries.  Here is a Learning Timeline I created in less than an hour  with KeptMe.  I like that I can see at a glance which Key Learning Area is needing information in my report by the absence of a little graphic.  Each of the graphics you see within the report page above correlates to a full page report within the document.  This timeline of learning also demostrates the regular nature of our home educating.

 Here is a sample page using the Victorian Curriculum Year 6 template.  As you can see I took a photo of the vidoe we watched and then added in a couple of notes under observation.  I then read through the different Learning Areas and added a tick to the boxes which were relavant to our learning.  KeptMe then added these sentances to the bottom of the page.  These are a direct quote from the official Victorian Curriculum for year six.

Here is another sample.  We did a unit on volcanoe's and covered both geography and science.  You can see that KeptMe has colour coded each subject.

KeptMe can be customed to use anywhere and is so easy to use that your older children can keep records of their own learning.

KeptMe is FREE to sign up to and a breeze to use. Please note you will need to sign up as an EDUCATOR in order to access all these functions.  I will do a full tutorial in a few weeks time and show you how to use KeptMe.


  1. Jodi – Insane in the Mombrain – Jodi is blissfully (?!) rocking this homeschooling journey with three punks still at home. It’s “not back to school” time, because she schools year round, but it is time to get organized and refreshed. Let the fun begin!
  2. Karen – Tots and Me…Growing Up Together – I am a homeschool mom of 4 young children. This year I will be teaching a 5th grader, 4th grader, 2nd grader, and kindergartner doing 1st grade work. I’ve been blogging since my 5th grader was doing home preschooling at 2 1/2 years old. I love sharing what we are doing in our homeschool (lessons, crafts, recipes, books we are reading, and LOTS of pictures). Stop by and see what we are up to. I love making new friends
  3. Kelly – God’s Writer Girl – Kelly is the single mother of a unique teenaged boy with diagnoses of Asperger’s Syndrome, ADHD, and Learning Disabilities. Her blog, God’s Writer Girl, focuses on offering encouragement for life’s journey for which she draws inspiration from her own life: eight years of homeschooling, her son’s perseverance and abilities, and her own journey with chronic pain and illness.
  4. Kellyann – Walking Home … – I am a homeschool mom of 3 (who are currently in each school bracket – elementary, middle, and high school aged) who is passionate about helping others reach their homeschooling goals and potential through reviews and teaching, training, and mentoring others. I also help co-lead a large homeschool group coordinating field trips, events, classes, and activities.
  5. Kemi – Homemaking Organized – I have been homeschooling for 8 years and have found that one of the best things I can do is to share what I’m discovering along this journey.
  6. Kirsten – Doodle Mom’s Homeschooling Life – Homeschooling mom, former senior market analyst, former Biophysicist. Now I write blog posts about homeschooling and product reviews for the while my teens sleep in.
  7. Kristi – Classically Quirky Learning – An overview of what homeschool looks like for a couple of 2e kids.
  8. Kym – Homeschool Coffee Break – I’m about to start my 20th year of homeschooling – wow! My three oldest kids have graduated, and my youngest will be a junior this year. We’re eclectic homeschoolers, and the focus with this youngest student is definitely music and the arts. I love coffee and history, and try to encourage other homeschool moms through the co-ops and fellowship groups I’m in, and through my blog.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Homeschool Supplies {Review Crew Back to School Blog Hop}

Welcome to day two of the Homeschool Review Crew Back to School Blog Hop 2017. Yesterday we talked about Curriculum/Resource Choices, today's topic is: Homeschool Supplies. Over the years some things have remained a constant and this year I've added two new things which I now consider essential to our homeschool.

A printer is a huge investment in your home education journey.  We have used all sorts of printers from dot-matrix, ink, and now we have a lazer printer.  I managed to buy this one second hand.  It was a choice between colour or a black only printer.  I settled on a black print only printer as 95% of my printing is in black only.  I love this printer.  It's a wireless printer meaning I can print from any device in the house.  Each page I print costs me less than a cent to print so I print guilt free when ever we need something.

Comb Binding Machine
With the growth and accessability of the internet market for home educating families I recently discovered that I was spending a lot of my homeschool budget on binding digital products after I had downloaded and printed them AND I had growing piles of paper all over my house!  This was begining to annoy me and I finally invested in a comb binding machine.

  I purchase the covers and the combs on eBay.  You can view a two minute how to use a Comb Binding Machine on YouTube here it's a lot easier than you think to bind your own books.

I have found that over the years my supply list has remained fairly static.  We are a book loving family here and as such book marks are always in demand.  One of my favourites is the Magnetic i-clip.


Each clip measures 57 mm from tip to tip when open, 18 mm wide and 28 mm from edge to tip when closed.

Because they are magnetic they do not fall out of the book.

Meaning you can use either side to mark the exact spot on the page you stopped reading.

They are 2 mm thick when closed and do not damage the book you are reading.

They are available as 
They are fairly popular and sell out fast but be persistent till you get the ones you want.  I buy mine from Book Depository.  They come in a pack of eight

Years ago I was introduced to the UHU line of glues by a friend and I have never looked back.  We had tried all sorts of glue sticks and were getting really frustrated.  Some would dry before you even had a chance to adhere it to the page and others would simply peel off a couple of weeks later.  This is no longer a problem since we now use UHU Stic Glue.  I look for this and stock up when it's on special.  We use UHU glue sticks for most of our notebooking and timeline glue needs.

One of my pet hates is sharpening a pencil and the lead is broken inside.  Grrrr it frustrates me endlessly.  When my teens were younger this drove me to Warehouse Stationery NZ where I spent a while reading the backs of all the coloured pencil boxes in an effort to find a better pencil that I did not need to sharpen and sharpen and sharpen again!

I discovered that Faber-Castell had a new type of pencil on the market and were advertising SV bonding.

Faber-Castell Tri Grip Colour Pencils
What is SV Bonding ?
SV stands for the German word "Sekuralverfahren" meaning secural bonding or (secure-all bonding). The SV Bonding is a process of gluing the lead to the wood on both sides and the full length of the pencil. This results in strengthening the lead to prevent breakage, provides for better sharpening, which produces a fine point. All Faber-Castell pencils are SV Bonded. SV Bonding is a Faber-Castell trademark.

Cheap scissors are a waste of time and your finances.  They don't cut the paper well and end up being the biggest source of frustration to you and your student.  Go to the store and try out the types they have there.
  • See if fingers fit the grips and whether they are comfortable.  
  • Check the blades. Are they sharp ? Straight ? Even ? Well made ?  
Do yourself and your student a favour and spend more than 99 cents and you will get years of happy tidy cutting from your students.  

What are your favourite homeschool supplies?  I'm looking forward to hearing more 


Meet some of the Crew participating in this weeks blog hop:

  1. Diana – Homeschool Review – Diana has been home schooling since 1992 and has tried many styles of home schooling. Her blog reflects home schooling, crafting, and family life.
  2. Elyse – Oiralinde: Eternal Song – My name is Elyse. When I asked my family to describe me, they said I am an “introverted gypsy made of music.” My online moniker is Oiralinde, which is an elven word meaning “eternal song.” My life is full of music: love, laughter, and memories.
  3. Felicia – Homeschool 4 Life – Well, it’s back to school time and we homeschoolers have more to do than others to get ready. We not only have to gather supplies and plan new schedules, but we have to gather curriculum all while trying to figure out how to keep track of grades, life, and schedules. We all could use a little encouragement and guidance during this transition time from summer to school. That’s why we’re here!
  4. Hillary – Walking Fruitfully – I’m a mama to six, from 7 years old up to 16. We homestead and homeschool our crew in a relaxed, Charlotte Mason-inspired way, even through high school. We strive “to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” Colossians 1:10
  5. Jacqui  – Homestead Bounty Blessings – I am a wife, mother, teacher, homesteader in training, and believer in Jesus, my Savior. My blog, Homestead Bounty Blessings, shares my journey in gardening, chicken keeping, homeschooling and homesteading.
  6. Jacquelin – A Stable Beginning – This blog is my attempt to document our busy but BLESSED lives raising and educating our children for His glory. A child of God, wife to one, and mom to 6 fabulous kids. We are in our 9th year of homeschooling using a Classical ~ Charlotte Mason approach. Come along for the good, the bad & the ugly.
  7. Jenn – Treasuring Life’s Blessings – Jenn is a mom to 8 children. She shares about her everyday life, homeschooling and favorite recipes.
  8. Jennifer – Dear Homeschooler – I am a homeschooling mom of two, sharing my experience of teaching in homes, in schools, with Special Needs, and online ESL to build a community of home educators.

Do you have a blog? If so, you’re invited to share your blog posts about what curriculum you are using or some of your favourite curriculum you have used with your family.

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