The first writing, SOTW1 week 4

This week we read chapter 3 of Story of the World which covers the first forms of writing. The girls learned about different styles of early writing, especially hieroglyphics and cuneiform, and the some of the media used in early writings, including papyrus, clay tablets and stone.  Then we explored some of these early writings and media for ourselves.

First we started out making “papyrus” inspired by this blog post. This turned out great and they are very proud of their work. This was followed by writing on clay tablets in cuneiform, writing their own name in hieroglyphs and a free painting to allow them to explore using pictures as a means of writing.  Lastly we made cartouche inspired necklaces out of oven bake clay.

Making “papyrus”


And the finished product drying in the sun


Clay tablet writings:

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Cartouche inspired necklaces


Paintings, they both chose to convey a scary message, you can tell that through Liv’s expression (LOL) and Kat’s monster (center bottom).



This has been a great week, we have all enjoyed exploring early writings and the girls loved all the activities, especially the messy ones of course.  Homeschooling is such fun!


Here is our history schedule for this week: SOTW week 4


Nile river updates

Just a quick post to show how our Nile River models are coming along. They are really starting to grow nicely.


Day 1



Day 7



Day 11



Day 15



Strange but it seems every time I go out with the girls to check on the progress and take pictures the horses and trees seem to be in different locations, very odd.

Anyway, the girls are loving this activity and they beg to check on their models every day. They are hanging out to flood them again (tomorrow) and I can see us checking these models daily for at least a couple more weeks so expect another update in a week or 2.

SOTW week 3

We had an amazing week here learning history, the girls are just loving every minute of our history lessons and beg to do more every day (now I call that a win)!

This week we covered chapter 2 of Story of the World volume 1, this chapter covers the first Egyptians living along the Nile.  In addition to our weekly readings and book work we discussed irrigation canals and the flooding of the Nile, and what that means for the people, animals and plants etc. We looked up Egypt and the Nile on a world map and examined where the Kingdoms of Upper and Lower Egypt were located.  The girls then watched a YouTube story Croco’nile before moving onto the activities.

Our first activity was an immense success; making a model Nile. They filled a plastic tub up each with potting mix, added a foil “Nile” down the middle and then decorated their scene with farm animals, trees and rocks. We even had a giant fish swimming in one of our Nile’s lol.  Once these were decorated to the girl’s satisfaction grass seeds were sprinkled over their creations carefully avoiding the actual river bit. The final step (which surprisingly turned out to be the most fun of all I was informed) was “flooding” their Nile so that their crop could grow.  And now comes the hard part, waiting. Hopefully these models will sprout soon but in the mean time they are asking to check every few hours, it could be a very long wait for Mummy at this rate.

Decorating the banks of the Nile.

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The finished scenes.


And finally the most important step, flooding the Nile!

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For our second activity day we did Pharaoh crafts and dress-ups.  They made arm bands and bangles using toilet rolls and stick on gems, and them made Pharaoh collars from an old cereal box decorated with pieces of coloured paper.

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My little Pharaohs all dressed up.


And not to be left out, our baby had a blast wearing the left over piece of the cereal box as a collar, kept her amused for hours!

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Well that about sums up our week of history here except for one small tangent that had me off googling to discover if ants have teeth in order to resolve an ongoing debate between us all (while the girls completed their Pharaoh jewellery). For the record ants do not have teeth and mummy won that debate lol. What a great week it has been, I love homeschooling!


And finally, here is our history lesson plan for this week: SOTW week 3

Prehistory, week 3 (11/2 – 15/2/13)

And back to updating from last term with out prehistory studies.

This week we were very busy learning about the Ordovician, Silurian, Devonian and Carboniferous periods, wow that is a lot!  We learned about the first fish, early ocean life, the first trees and the first land animals; especially amphibians and insects.  Highlights of the week were discovering the size of some of the early insects (they were really HUGE), the girls figuring out how jawless fish must have ate and then racing around the house pretending to be jawless fish sucking up their food lol, and making models of the Carboniferous Period with a friend.

We did 4 timeline lapbook pages this week (although I can only find pics of 3). This timeline is really starting to take shape nicely.

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For our hands on activities this week we made Cooksonia plants (well attempted to at any rate lol) and life size giant dragonflies.

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And finally for our weekly craft session we made Carboniferous Period models, all three girls had a blast doing this.

Under construction:


The finished products, they are very proud of their achievements:


And finally, our baby desperately wanted to join in the activity day too, just too darn cute!


I love homeschooling!

Edible cell models

We have literally just finished making edible cell models for science. The kidlet is in the background asking repeatedly when she can eat them (after dinner, now stop asking!) and I have managed to get away for a minute of peace and quiet, ah the bliss!

So today’s science looked like this: read about the basic features and differences between a plant cell and an animal cell; plant cells are rectangular and are typically green from the chloroplasts while animal cells are round. Then we made a model of each type of cell using fruit and jelly. The animal cell is in a round dish with a single strawberry for the nucleus and the plant cell is in a rectangular dish with a strawberry nucleus and many grape chloroplasts. Very basic but I think she has mastered the content of this lesson so yay and I bet the girls will enjoy eating this experiment later, yum.


Story of the World, week 2

We have had a short school week this week due to a day off on Monday to visit Movie World and then ANZAC day on Thursday, subsequently our history for this week has not been as thorough as normal however we still had a great week.  This week we covered chapter 1 of Story of the World and learned about nomads and the first farmers.  Here are my plans for this week (we only got through half the listed books): SOTW week 2

The girls had a great time. First they did the student pages from the Activity Guide while listening to the chapter, then we did some additional reading and book work.  In the afternoon we had our weekly activity session with a friend in which we made “prehistoric game bags”. After the sewing activity the girls all put on their cavegirl costumes (from our prehistory studies) along with their new game bags and we all headed down to the local playground to build (half) a shelter, apparently “fishing” in the pond was more exciting than shelter construction after 15 minutes so it never got finished, lucky they did not have to sleep in it!

Sewing their game bags:

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My little nomads all dressed up and wearing their new bags.


Building the shelter

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And finally “fishing” in the pond

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Homeschooling is such fun!

Story of the World – week 1

After years of researching, planning and admiring plenty of blogs on the topic we have finally begun our journey through world history, starting with ancient times. I cannot tell you who is more excited, myself or the kids, but lets just say we are all very eager to get stuck in to this fascinating topic.

We are using Story of the World by Susan Wise Bauer as our spine along with the accompanying Activity Guide and will also be frequently referring to The Usborne Encyclopedia of World History and The Kingfisher Atlas of World History (this is really a gorgeous book).

This week in addition to our reading we completed an archaeological dig in the garden, made up the first history pocket “What is History?” using {this} book and the girls each made a pictorial timeline of their lives, post and printable to follow: find them HERE.

Working on their history pockets:

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This has been a really fun week and a great introduction to history and archaeology. You can download my plan for this week here: Introduction