Category Archives: Resources and Organising

Kind of Ready for School

Look what the postie left at my door today!

When the day starts with books, it’s gotta be good.

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Nope, no school textbooks in this bundle of goodies (ick!),

just real books (and a couple of dvds).

I think you can kind of guess what area of Science we plan on studying this year.

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I’ve slowly been getting ready for the start of the school year.

First, I did the important thing and ordered books.

You can’t learn stuff without books.

Then I printed out my diary planner.

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As you can see, we’re well planned.

But, then again, I’m not one of those ‘plan-out-every-single-lesson’ gals.

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I plan as we go,

based on what we just learned

and where our questions are leading us.

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Oh and I’ve spruced up our homeschool area.

You should have seen it before.

Thank yourself lucky that you didn’t!

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See my nice new book bag.

My mum made it for me for Christmas.

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I’ve even done some bookshelf cleaning.

Well, the shelves in the homeschool area.

The rest are still waiting for some attention.

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This is the shelf where I store all of the stuff we are currently using

(plus a hodge podge of stuff that doesn’t live anywhere else).

Our current stuff is on the shelf with the horse head bookend.

Okay, so there’s a lot of hodge podge stuff in this shelf.

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We’ve kind of already started school actually.

Well, technically we never stopped.

We’ve continued reading aloud through the holidays.

The books we’re currently working through are in these book baskets.

Today we finished off “Black Potatoes” about the Irish Famine (excellent read)

and continued working through “Spices and the Devil’s Cave” (excellent book about 15th century explorers).

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Check out the mini bookself I made with baskets.

I’m feeling pretty clever about it.


And, finally, because I know everyone loves a good ‘shelfie’,

here are my two favourites from this room.

(You should be able to click on them and get a closer view).

Shelf One…


And Shelf Two…


Well, that’s enough thought about school for today.

I’m still on holidays after all.



Posted by on January 19, 2017 in Resources and Organising


CIRCE – One of My Favourite Websites

Have you discovered the CIRCE Institute?
CIRCE is a treasure trove for educators looking to educate Classically
(that is, educating with the primary goal of cultivating wisdom and virtue).

CIRCE is one of my most visited websites during the week.

I’m always reading something from CIRCE.
There are lots of articles and posts to read

(Mostly recently I read “From Arts to Subjects“.)

I listen to all of their Mason Jar podcasts,
where Cindy Rollins shares her wisdom and experience.
I’ve also started listening to the Close Reads podcasts.
(I’ve recently been listening into their discussions about Jane Austen’s book “Pride and Prejudice”).

And that’s just two of their six podcast channels!

I also love, love, love their audios.
There’s a whole bunch of free audio,
Lately, I’ve been listening to everything by Angelina Stanford.
(Most recently, I listened to her “The Ancients versus the Moderns” audio about Gulliver’s Travels,
so, now you know what I have to read next).
I don’t get into my car, if I’m going to be driving by myself, without an audio from CIRCE!

CIRCE also has a free magazine,
(although for non-US residents, it’s only an online publication, that doesn’t have a print option,
which breaks my heart and I’m still trying to get over).
Every year I hang out for this magazine, and, then, I read it more than once.

(If you are looking for something good to read over the holidays, the latest issue was just released.)

CIRCE even has books and curriculum for you to buy.
I know!  These people have all my favourite things.
Next year, we’ll be starting their writing curriculum, “The Lost Tools of Writing“.
I’ve also ordered their literature guide for “The Iliad”.
I’m very keen to have a look at that.

Oh and I loved their two recently released books by Cindy Rollins,”Mere Motherhood” and “A Handbook for Morning Time“.

At CIRCE, I find pointers towards all my Classical Education needs

– Truth, Beauty and Goodness.

If you haven’t visited their website,
you should.
(No, this is not a paid promotion.  I just wondered what I could share today and decided that I should share one of my favourite website.)

Holidays = Cleaning

Now that the holidays are finally here,

they don’t seem like as much fun as I had anticipated.

Why is it that we look forward to holidays?

We should think this thing through more thoroughly,

as holidays at my house always mean cleaning –

doing all those chores that built up during the year

So, then, how is a holiday an actual holiday??

And when do we get one of those real holidays,

where we lie back on a lounge, being fed grapes

(although chocolate would be better)

while we do nothing but read??

Well, while I was sorting out this dilemma in my head,

I attacked some of our very messy cupboards.

Every cupboard and drawer in the house needs attention,

but, I started in the family room.

This is our kind of Sciencey cupboard.

Talk about disaster zone.

Stuff has to be just tossed in

because there’s no neat way of doing it.

Brace yourself –

This was before,

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and this is after.

Much better

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The top shelf has a lot of miscellaneous things,

but, since they are ‘often used’ things,

they go into accessible baskets.

There are also a few collections in dishes

– shells, marbles, optical toys, gems etc.

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On the second shelf,

there are various Science kits and resources,

plus seemingly a lot of rocks

(New homeschoolers – You too will have collections of rocks in your house soon.)

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The bottom shelf has more Science kits,

plus some technology and design kits to make up,

a whole dish full of currency from around the world,

some 3D shapes (some plastic ones and some handmade by my FIL),

some pulleys, thermometers, magnets, a puzzle

and even a bird’s nest.

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The Math and Games cupboard was just as horrid as the Science cupboard

but look at it now.

All nice and organised

(although there’s plenty of stuff in this cupboard just waiting to go and live at my nieces’ house).

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The top shelf has all sorts of card games and flashcards.

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The second shelf has various Math supplies

like clocks with moveable hands, scales, fraction pieces, more games, hot dot cards,

plus a toy microscope and even a skeleton (in the plastic white box)

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The bottom shelf has more games and Math type activities.

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We found a few old favourites in this cupboard,

and it took us twice as long to clean it

as we had to stop and have a game or ten.

We played with the Logic Links.

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You use counters to try and solve the puzzles.

Some are very easy

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and others are much harder.

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We built the soma cube.

(Do you know how?)

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Then we pulled out the soma cube card challenges.

One of my sons is excellent with these sorts of spatial challenges.

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We played Shape By Shape,

which is a tangram-like game,

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and Top This, another spatial game,

which requires you to make the same arrangement using different blocks.

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The kids were also reacquainted with Rushhour Junior.

After a few rounds, I remembered that we also own the original Rushhour game,

which I’d put away when the kids were little,

waiting for them to be big enough to play.

They are more than big enough now.

So pulling that out was a bit like Christmas coming early.
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I suppose that’s a good thing about cleaning

– reacquainting yourself for all your goodies.

We also filled a bag with goodies to share with others.

Now, to attack the bedroom cupboards.

If you don’t hear from me again,

I’ve gone into my WIR,

never to be seen again.

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Posted by on December 12, 2016 in Family Life, Resources and Organising


Simply, “Wow!”

Last night we watched an AMAZING documentary –

David Attenborough’s latest release, “Life that Glows”.

We’re not huge fans of David Attenborough.

We’re not really animal people and his evolutionary preaching is a bit much.

But we simply loved, “Life that Glows”.

Yes, it was about animals and, yes, we were beaten over the head with evolution,

but God’s bioluminescent creatures just WOWED us.

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My family has never said so many WOWs.

I know my jaw was often dropping open in amazement

at the spectacular bioluminescent creatures we were seeing.

The photography is simply incredibly.

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I would soooo love to see fireflies in the wild

and this dvd made me desire it even more deeply.

But now I also want to see bioluminescent dinoflagellates

These create Red Tides in the daytime,

but it’s the blue glowing waves at night that I want to see.

We are going to have to purchase our own copy of this dvd.

We HIGHLY recommend it!


Posted by on July 31, 2016 in Resources and Organising, Science