Archive for the ‘drawing’ Category

I feel kind of self-conscious more people are reading the blog, so I need to write something more profound….but I won’t!

It’s Day in the Life day – continued on from a tradition started by the Blue Skies unschooling group when we lived in Colorado…I hereby promise to document our day – beginning to end – 3rd Tuesday of the month!

Today Kai and I were up pretty early, maybe around 8.30am. Kai had a ‘plate of food’ for breakfast – nuts, baby corn, craisins, piece of bread with mayo…and mostly played his DS for a while – he’s into Lego Chima at the moment and has been multi-tasking between the Lego game and a DVD from the library!

I helped him find some walkthroughs, and he watched some TV – Adventure Time is too funny – really! He also went outside to chop some logs with his axe, then did bit of whittling with a new knife Brett bought him recently.

For lunch he had half a stick of garlic bread and a bowl of noodles….

After lunch we went for a walk, and to find a local geocache – one of the only one’s we haven’t yet found within walking distance of the house! We found it…

photo 1 (8)

Kai also noticed some ‘fairy mushrooms’ just up the road…

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(terrible photo – sorry – iPhone!)

and we saw trees with cool tessellations in the bark!

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A somewhat better picture…but I should have taken the good camera!

When we got home he played more DS Chima, and watched ‘The Flamin’ Thongs’ – a new and hilarious cartoon about an Australian family with mullets! (true story!).

We just had dinner – he had fish, potato wedges and broccoli, and probably some ice cream in a minute…

Before dinner he designed a game – you play it with action figures – it looks like this:

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It’s only 6.50pm, but since I’m supposed to be working this evening, I should wrap this up! I foresee some Deadly 60, more Lego Chima on the DS and on the TV, and bed around 10.30pm.

Oh, and I wanted to add this link – we just watched ‘You’re Skitting Me’ which is a pretty awesome show – and Kai likes this skit – it’s pretty funny!


Hope y’all had a wonderful day too.


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Oh crikey! Well, what can I say….we’ve been living life, doing fun stuff, and…erm…not blogging much about it…

In no particular order, here’s some stuff we’ve been doing for the past 3 weeks!



We visited the Adelaide Gaol on Open Day….this is Kai pulling the lever in the old hanging tower…we also overhead this priceless line from a little boy about Kai’s age as we walked around “This place looks just like my school, Mum.”….ah, from the mouth of babes!?

We went on a guided tour of the Botanical Gardens with Odysseus…and learnt about how the Ancient Greeks used plants…



Apparently a cyclops lived in here!

Kai dissected a spider (we think a female mouse spider…it had very big fangs!). He also swatted a mosquito and we looked at it’s stylet…



We tried ‘Knightly Sword Skills’ class, and loved it…



We met up with new friends.…who love to skate and surf….yay! (and play on slides!)



They’ve all buggered off to Bali for now…but coming back soon!

We had one very wildlife-y week…we went to Cleland and met the new golden wombat (photo by Kai)



We also went to the zoo for it’s 130th Birthday! And we did something else I’ve forgotton!

And last weekend Kai went for his first winter surf, in his new steamer wetsuit….followed by a hot chocolate!



We’ve also done loads of geocaching, with friends and just us, and we hid our first cache…Kai’s played lots of Minecraft – particularly Pokemon and LOTR….and has rediscovered his PokePark Wii game the past two days and is loving it!

I’m sure i’ve missed lots, but that’s about the gist of it all!  Oh, and i’ll leave you with Kai’s very Zen drawing….



It’s a Chinese man meditating…and levitating…he said he got the idea from an Eyewitness DVD, though i’m not sure which one as yet!

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There are two major foci in our house at the moment – LOTR and Pokémon….pretty much every activity has been based around those two  things for the past few weeks! And, though I do say so myself, I think I am pretty good at finding stuff that facilitates Kai’s interests these days (believe me, it took me a while to get a hang of this!)….So, here’s what we’ve been up to..

Kai asked, ages ago, for the LOTR movies for his birthday, and so he got the Trilogy then…..and then spent some of his birthday money on The Hobbit….

He’s been watching them a whole lot! He’s also been much more into Minecraft lately, and we discovered a Lord of The Rings Mod…..Oh yes, he LOVES it! And it was only my second attempt at installing a Mod, so I was pretty happy with myself too!

The Mod allows you to use all sorts of Middle-Earth items….including pipes (and beer!). Kai has been very interested in pipes, mostly because of the Mod. He likes Gandalf’s pipe. He REALLY wanted a pipe. He doesn’t want to SMOKE a pipe (seriously, why would he!?) – he likes the way the pipe looks in the movie. So yesterday Brett came home with a pipe he got from the tobacconist shop in town. Kai was VERY happy – he slept with the pipe on the chair next to him!



Download the Mod HERE (it gets monthly updates)

Aside from items that might seem inappropriate for a 7 year old, he also got interested in wax seals from watching LOTR, and asked if we could make some. I’ve never made wax seals, so of course I consulted google. It told me you needed to go buy wax from a stationary shop……but Kai wanted to do it NOW (a trait he might get from me?!)….and I remembered that, about two years ago, in some crazed moment, I purchased some highly overpriced Steiner modelling beeswax. Said beeswax has sat untouched since then, and may I say it worked beautifully as a wax seal when melted on the fireplace (it’s that cold now, yes)!



Kai used a variety of things for stamps – English and US coins, my ring, some other stuff that didn’t work so well! Coins worked really well.

We also found Aragorn’s Quest Wii game in the library, which he is currently playing….and we also go the movie companion book for The Hobbit from the library, which is pretty cool….we’ve watched youtubes on how they made an Orc look like an Orc, and how they digitially crafted Gollum and the Azog the Defiler in The Hobbit….Oh, and we found a funny site that had LOTR mad libs….

The second major focus of life at the moment is Pokémon….lots and lots of Pokémon! The Pokémon love also started with a Minecraft Mod – Pixelmon. Then Kai moved onto some Pokémon annuals we got from the Op Shop a while ago….for his birthday he got PokéPark Wii game and some Pokémon trading cards.

He has designed new Pokémon through genetic crosses…



This is a genetic cross between Pikachu and Beedrill (apparently!). He also drew a very detailed new Pokémon which he is yet to name!


He spent more of his birthday money on another Pokemon book, and has been pouring over the life cycles of his favourites! He spent yet more birthday money on a cuddly Cubbchu, which goes everywhere with us and sleeps next to him (yes, he sleeps next to a cuddly toy AND a pipe!).

He also sorted all of his cards in to different ‘element’ types and drew a picture of each one. We counted how many of each as a tally, and I asked him if he wanted me to make a pie-chart out of it – he did – so I put the data in excel and he helped me make a colour coded pie-chart with Pokemon symbols – it looks pretty cool (even though I do say so myself!)


Kai’s Tally Chart


My Pie-Chart!


So while Kai has been busying himself with all things LOTR and Pokémon, I continue to document stuff for the DECD and our record keeping…..I find that his passions naturally lend themselves easily to my documenting things as “Unit Studies”. Without impacting Kai at all, I simply sort out all the stuff he’s been investigating (books, movies, video games, trading cards, etc, etc…) into whatever learning area (most fit in at least two, often 3 or 4!) and put it all together in a powerpoint print-out with a lot of photos….

I know some people think (or find) that sorting things into KLA’s impacts on their deschooling, but for me, it works the opposite way –it reinforces the simple fact that we can cover everything that school could cover, and a LOT more (and have a lot more fun!), as we go about our day-to-day life, and it also highlights how laughable it is that schools try and partition activities into ‘subjects’, as most of Kai’s activities could be classes as at least two, usually more, KLA’s!

So, if you are one of the people for whom recording/reporting seems to set back your deschooling, I offer these ideas. Firstly, if you are registered in a state that requires reporting, for whatever reason (peace of mind, family reasons, because you took a child out of school….whatever!), then try not to approach recording and reporting with a negative attitude or the idea that it WILL set back your deschooling process. If you dread it and bemoan it, chances are it will be detrimental to both life and your deschooling.  But it doesn’t have to be –honestly! Use it as a deschooling tool! See how many KLA’s a single activity could be placed under, and realise how limiting it is to try and categorize life into school subjects. Amaze yourself by seeing how much you’ve covered by following one of your children’s passions! Laugh to yourself when you make up a Unit Study for something a bit off-the-wall (so far this year, I’ve compiled Unit Studies on Surfing, Pokémon and Lord of the Rings – see if you can beat that!).

For those of you who might be interested in such things, or if you have trouble figuring out what acitivity can fit where in your KLA’s….here’s what I have for our LOTR Unit Study (if anyone’s interested I’m happy to share Pokémon too!).

English: we read books, we did a Mad Lib, Kai practiced tracing calligraphy type writing (which could probably also be Arts, or Design and Tech!)….

Design & Technology: we made wax seals (could also be Arts, and the safety aspect (melting) could go in Health and PE), and investigated the history of wax seals (which is also history, and  so could be in Society & Environment!)….

Health & PE: We did swordfighting at park day, and archery, and he wants to cook some ‘Hobbit’ recipes (which we haven’t got to yet! Cooking can also go in Design and Tech, and Maths)……

Society & Environment: We went to the Medieval Fair, and last night the Autumn Pagan festival (where we watched the torch parade and burning the Wicker Man)…….

The Arts: This was mostly media/movies and special effects, including you tubes and the Movie Companion book for The Hobbit.

Maths– he’s played 3 different games related to LOTR – Lego Wii, Aragorn’s Quest Wii and LOTR Minecraft Mod! (they also cover  Design & Tech, The Arts and English!)

We haven’t really covered LOTE, although we have seen a lot of New Zealand scenery in the movies and in the movie companion book, so maybe I could work that in somehow! And we haven’t covered Sciences…i’m still thinking on that one! But i’m pretty sure it’s okay to skip a KLA or two in any Unit Study…right!?


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Oh my stars! Talk about blog neglect!  Here’s a potted summary, with lots of photo’s, of the past month…

Lots of drawing and weapon design.



Kai’s ‘control’ centre…

Stop off at Coober Pedy and found an opal….and visited the Opal Museum.



Real life Minecraft!

Visited Nana’s in Victoria and hung out with cousins and friends, and went to a homeschool meet…




Developed a great love of Pokémon….including books, Minecraft mod (Pixelmon), trading cards, drawings, and now Wii game! And a Pokéball birthday cheesecake!



Genetic cross between Pikachu and Beedrill!


My Cheesecake!

And it was Kai’s 7th Birthday at laser tag – photo’s are on my new laptop……not quite syncing the whole thing yet!

Lots of geocaching (much more successful now I have iPhone and the Geocaching.com app!)


Went to Woody’s Challenge  Hill with the homeschool group…


Got some Spacey op shop bargains…



Planet mobile AND we got a star globe – for $4!

Went to the Surf Groms reunion…(and Kai’s first time in a steamer suit – getting ready for winter surfing!)


More skateboarding at the skatepark….we updated the ‘bone’ cabinet and made it look more like a ‘museum’ at Kai’s request….(and it’s now featured on Sandra Dodd’s site….http://sandradodd.com/museum)



We made Maklouba – Bedouin upside down rice – in a short revisit to International Food Night! Can’t find a photo – must be on the other computer….but here’s a link! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maqluba

 and finally….the 2013 Gumeracha Medieval Fair was yesterday…



Kai went in costume, as a Knights Templar – this is us looking at the blacksmith.

Yeah…that about sums it up! Exhausted much!? I shall endeavour to write more regularly. Honest! But hey – you can’t complain when life is so full and fun that you don’t have time to write, right!?

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Well, this is going to be a bit of everything – DPP for two days, and Day in The Life! Just because i’m slack, been busy and the internet keeps going out because it’s hot!

So. Starting with DPP Day 17…Sparklers!



DPP Day #18 (today – obviously!): Two headed dragon (one head spews green acid, the other one some kind of red stuff – apparently!)



Day in the The Life.

Well, I could have skipped it. I felt  like skipping it. But it’s the last one of 2012, so I decided to just suck it up!

We got up (Kai and I) around 9.30am. Kai had pancake for breakfast – he’s been on a bit of a pancake thing of late! We go through phases where I forget all about them, and then phases where we remember and make them all the time!

Yesterday we had a CRAZY day, two parties in one day! So today we were both pretty happy just to hang out at home. It’s been hot though – over 30 today….Kai watched some TV, then watched some Spliced on iView…while eating watermelon.

I had an article to write (by tomorrow – yikes!), so I worked on that and took him more snacks and juice. Around lunch time it was getting VERY hot, and we decided to jump in the pool…

Kai also did some drawing with his new oil pastels – including the above two headed dragon, and also this rather fetching dragon with spikes on it’s wings!



In the afternoon after our swim and waterfight, he played a bit of Wii in his room….and looked like this for a while…..



I went off to the gym, and then braved the late night shopping to get the last of the presents. Apparently the boys went out to the oval and did some fly casting practice, and a quick visit to the playground. When I got home, Kai and I played a game of Junior Monopoly, and now he’s asleep (just – at 10.45pm)….

So. That was our day. Pretty chilled – which we needed after yesterday! I hope y’all had a fun day with waterfights and games too!

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I can’t believe another week has gone by already!! I’ve thought, this week, after a series of events, I might post more unschooly theory stuff, but at the moment I like to keep this blog a happy place…recording our fun days and showing what unschooling reality can look like…

So. It’s another update!

Since last Wednesday it’s been a busy week (as usual, it seems!). Kai’s pretty into Pirates still (re-overtaken Ninja’s!)…he designed his own Pirate Flag after we read about the different types of pirate flags for different pirates…


I don’t know why it’s showing the wrong way around, and I can’t seem to fix it! But obviously it’s a man being stabbed with a hook! Still not as scary as BlackBeards flag, we decided!

We went to the Op Shops the other day and scored big time!!


All that for $12!! Seriously! We got full sets of Junior Scrabble and the Jumanji board game ($5 the lot!), a copy of Age of Empires for the PC ($1), and some other DVD’s and games, and obviously two lovely skirts for me ($1 each!!)…Yay!

We went to our friend Llogan’s 7th birthday party at the ice skating rink. It was awesome!!! They had an hour of snow play first, before skating.


Spinning on the ice in this was probably Kai’s favourite thing!

Yesterday we went to the Maritime Museum, down at Port Adelaide. Our first trip, it fits with our current Pirate theme….Kai loved the museum, especially the tall ship, the pieces of eight, and the talking cat ‘Scuttlebutt’!


The kids also got to sit inside the cabins they would have had, had they been 10 pound poms on the immigrant ships from England!


It was a really good, interactive museum – we joined for the year, and i’m pretty sure we’ll go back soon!

After the museum we climbed the lighthouse…


And then went on a dolphin cruise…..


We didn’t see any dolphins, unfortunately, but the kids had fun…until Kai fell on deck and smashed his head into a metal pole :/ ….a late night trip to the after hours doctor confirmed all was well (I was worried as we found some blood in his ear a bit later on)…all seems well today, aside from a whopper of a bruise on and around his ear…

Erm…what else?? We’ve played some Junior Scrabble since we got the set…we tried Jumanji but it’s quite complicated and we’ll need to really sit down for a while to figure it out!

Kai asked to do some science experiments with food colouring. So we did the old flower/water transportation one. Kai asked if the length of the stem would make the flower change colour quicker – so we decided to find out and cut 3 flowers with different length stems and we made it a ‘proper’ experiment this time….and Kai was happy to help me fill in a table and colour in a graph …


Turns out he was right! The flower with the shorter stem (red colouring) changed colour quicker than the blue and green!

However blue turned out to make the prettiest flower!


And finally, very exciting, Kai’s book arrived! (Look away now Nana, if you don’t want to spoil your Christmas present!!)…Kai narrated a story to me, and then drew illustrations, and we made a book with Blurb.

I was a little hesitant, as it’s quite expensive, but we were really happy with the resulting book – it’s a *real* book!! And looks awesome!


The front cover….


A peek inside (there are other illustrations! haha!)

I’m really pleased with the final result, and so is Kai. If you have a child that loves writing stories and drawing pictures, i’d really recommend it, and Blurb is the only company I found that has an Australia page/Australia postage – all other sites are overseas….

So, that’s it for this week!


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Week two of school hols….busy busy here!

Last Wednesday, after my last post, we headed to the Planetarium for their school holiday show – a star show and then ‘Wildest Weather in the Solar System’. I’ll admit I was a little nervous about taking Kai to the Planetarium again, because last time he really, really, REALLY disliked it!! And it put him off anything to do with space for approximately a year (until now!)….but he saw the shorts for the show, and said he wanted to go….

Anyway. Success!! He loved it! Hooray (and not just because it’s an hours drive!!)…and we kept the star map and hope to use it a lot – unfortunately we can’t see the Scorpion from our house because of trees, though!

On Thursday I wrote all about our day already, no need to revisit that!

Friday we had a Giggly Kids performance at 11am. I thought we were going ok for time, but then got lost due to roadworks on the way! We missed about 10 minutes, but Kai really loved the show – he was up and dancing on the stage!

Then we went to our friends house, and the kids played Wii, Minecraft and other stuff….

Playing Dance Party on the Wii!!

On Saturday, I honestly can’t remember what we did!!  Oh! I went shopping to the mall, alone, for about 3 hours! The boys played Wii and watched TV I think! Kai probably played some Minecraft, he’s suddenly gotten in to it much more than before!

He drew this picture on the weekend…

…apparently it is a ‘motherboard’ to control a space ship. I told him it looked like tessellations, so we googled some tessellations in nature, and noted how much his picture looked like this tree…(a Corymbia tesselaris or Morton Bay Ash)

We also found a cool Minecraft video that a kid had done as part of a math project on tessellations!

(I know there is a way I can put the youtube video up, but I don’t know how! haha!)

Sunday morning Kai asked to do the milk/food colouring/detergent experiment. So we set that up….

I’m sure everyone in the world knows this experiment, but if you don’t – here’s a link!

Then we did our chromatography t-shirt….it came out pretty cool!

We sort of followed these instructions, I used surgical spirit as the alcohol. I soaked it in cold water to try and ‘set’ the colours after (and get out the stink of alcohol!)…it ran a bit, but still looks good! And it’d be totally easy to add more chromatograms at a later date if these fade…

And on Sunday night, we headed into the city for the OzAsia Moon Lantern Festival…..aside from having to park MILES away from the park, much fun was had by all, and much lantern swinging ensued!

Kai loved the “Astro Boy” lantern the best!

Yesterday we stayed home…and Kai played Minecraft…. And I cleaned, gardened and cooked….Kai decided he wanted to skype/Minecraft, so we set him up with a Skype account and he spent much of the afternoon and most of the night Skyping and playing with his friends. He was loving it!

So. That’s our week. A couple more school holiday activities to get to this week, and WHOO the Adelaide Zombie Walk on the weekend!! Can’t believe it’s been a year already since the last one!

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