by Shannon Lush and Jen Fleming
The Why Files
How Stuff Works: which also has sections on
science and on computer stuff.
Then there are the BBC, ABC and channel4 science related websites:
ABC Science have a good look around as there are links for many things on this front page for ABCScience
Channel 4 Science including some good online learning stuff
Channel 4 Science for Kids with areas for specific age groups:
BBC Schools oriented Science UK-centric but only some of it.
BBC Science & Discovery has a newsletter and message board:
BBC History Newsletter with a scientific aspect
BBC Learning Science
Maps from the most simple outline of Australia to detailed geology and geophysical maps of all or part of Australia.
There is so much of use on the web for home educators, but the trick is
It was very hot today (33degC) and on the way to the shops S (7.5yrs) declared he was so hot his brain felt like it was frying and that was it this hot in the desert atm? To which I replied that it was probably hotter. He then wanted to know where was the driest place on Earth? I
suggested it might be Antarctica as it doesn't 'rain' there that being the definition of a desert and technically Antarctica is a cold dessert, but that maybe it was also somewhere like Death Valley in USA. We decided to check this out on the internet when we got home. We now know that it is the Attacama Dessert on the Western coast of South America.
One of the power poles up the road was replaced today and the old pole was lying on the verge when we went shopping... on its base was a lovely record of the soil types from surface down to about 2.5m. This was mostly white sand. On the way home I asked S where we usually see white sand, to which he replied the beach. I then told him how this area was once part of a beach, in fact all of the Perth coastal plain has been beach at some point. Then we got talking about when this happened, before or after the dinosaurs and why (changes n sea levels).
I made the comment that there are places up North in WA that have rocks not just millions of years old but billions of years old on the surface and we discussed how this could be (Australia's crustal plate not having been recycled by going under another plate for that long and building up and wearing down of rock/soil) and how old the earth was in relation to
the solar system and the big bang.
Just a sample of the learning that takes place whilst we are out doing the shopping....
next 24hr Comic Challenge is on October 7th 2006.
" What is 24 Hour Comics Day?
It's an international celebration of comics creation. Cartoonists all
over take the challenge of trying to create a 24 page comic story in 24
straight hours. Many gather at special events in comic book shops,
schools, and other locations."
try the auto function - it comes up with some cool images
I've got into collage recently as a result of a flickr group called Collage Kids.
As a result the boys are asking to do crafty things, yay! I need to tidy the big table off so that it can be used just for this sort of thing instead of a dumping zone for all and sundry. It's great when living life and following your own interests leads to natural learning in the kids too.
Once I get to take pics of these things I'll post them here via flickr.
What does this have to do with home ed? Well, what doesn't when home ed is about learning from life!
Here is a fun thing that some photo bloggers on flickr have come up with newcastlesecret.
Virual chat room via chalk tags in the real world:-)
New technologies bring new ways of doing things, including playing...
now all these guys have to do is meet face to face:-)
I've had lots of fun on Flickr, sort of a visual version of yahoo groups:-) Lots of great photos (and a fair amount of crud - but that's the web for you) too many lovely shots my favourites file is bulging.
So much of home education for the parent is learning to let go and let
the learning happen. This is what I call the parent's deschooling
process. Learning to let go of our own assumptions of what education
entails - school, rote learning, assignments, testing, etc and also
letting go of the inner voice that tries to get us to abide by societal
norms, whether they be right or healthy for us or our families.
Here is a quote from an email I got from Beverley Paine recently which describes
this process better than I can:
"Ask yourself 'why do I want them to learn or do this?' often - and
don't restrict this to the obvious educational lessons in life. I
questioned things like cleaning teeth three times and day and why
children should wear shoes... I continually test my assumptions by
imagining if I'd do and think the same thing if I lived in a different
era, place, culture or as a different person. My beliefs and attitudes
are forever being adjusted in the light of my new understandings.
Homeschooling life became a lot easier for all of us when I learned to
recognise those imperatives that came from MY head and heart. Most of my
earlier educational goals were based on what I thought people wanted me
to do, what I thought was expected of me, as well as my fears that
people would think I wasn't good enough as a mother or educator if I
didn't live up to these expectations (which were guided by the parenting
I had as a child, as well as the onslaught of messages from a
hyperactive consumeristic media!) My homeschooling learning programs
weren't centred, they weren't grounded in what each of my children
needed to learn next in their lives, based on who they were, but on what
society said they should be, and what I should be... and what I needed
to own to get there...
Once I slowed down and stopped rushing in to satisfy those unknown
others, or the nagging critic in my head, I had time to watch and listen
to my children - as they played, as they talked to each other and to me,
as they worked. I was surprised by how much 'work' my children did each
day. I used to think that they played all day, but when I stopped trying
to organise their time so much I saw that much of their play taught them
the very lessons I'd spend hours preparing! Learning, play and work soon
became inseparable. For children, learning is invisible. It's a pity we
make it visible - that only leads to confusion. "
Home Education is very much a lifestyle choice, not just an educational
A useful blog for medievalists (SCA and the like) and others interested
in Historical stuff:
"This page exists to introduce and co-ordinate the History Carnival, a
showcase of weblog posts about history (and historiography and history
teaching). It's modelled on Tangled Bank (for science blogs), the
Philosophers' Carnival (for, well you guessed it, philosophy blogs) and
Carnivalesque (on the 'early modern' period in history). And since the
History Carnival came into being, two more carnivals that may be of
interest to history bloggers have come along: the Skeptics' Circle and
the Carnival of Bad History."
houses (or at least rooms) made from live trees...
and here is some furniture to go inside:
Get a frozen chicken's eye view as you fly through a jet engine, and
watch the temperature and air pressure change as you progress through
the fans, combustion chambers and exhaust. (Flash, sound)
Science toys to make and play with -- great for kids and teachers.
Fear of Physics explains stuff: why satellites don't fall but other
things do; what the Doppler effect means; what happens when two things
collide; how physicists solve problems...
The changing atmosphere in 2005
A Public lecture held on 21 February 2005 at the Australian Academy of
Science by Nobel Laureate Professor F. Sherwood Rowland, Donald Bren
Research Professor of Chemistry and Earth System Science, University of