Category Archives: Homeschooling Diary


Portland is a town on the South West coast of Victoria. If you are interested in reading more go to this site for more information about it’s history.

Portland is about 1 1/2 hours from our home and is about the same size as our local town Hamilton.

The first thing we did was take a trip on the local tourist tram.

Here are my men ready to go.

This tram took us along the water front, pass the wharf and up onto the hill overlooking the ocean. At the top of the hill is an old water tower that has been converted into a war museum.DSC_1923They had some great displays in there of the different uniforms and weapons used during the war years.DSC_1917They also had some great murals on the wall.DSC_1918There was a lookout at the top and 130 steps to get there and more displays as well but we didn’t have time for that this time, maybe next time.

A picture of the steps and the top of the tower.

Below are pictures of the ocean front and the wharves. Portland loads more than 300 ships per year.

DSC_1928You can see the wharf in the photo below and the big brown mound is wood chips, and stacked beside them nearer the water is bundles of logs. These chips and logs go to China for processing.DSC_1929 We visited our Uncle and Aunt for lunch and then they kindly took us on a drive around to the spot where our uncle goes fishing. The weather wasn’t right for fishing that day so we just had a look. Here they are below with my husband and our no 2 son. We are at Shelly Beach look out.DSC_1948Here is a photo from the look out, you can’t see the beach from here but it is on the other side of the shrubs.

DSC_1947We then went to Bridgewater for a cool drink and no 2 son collected some shells, and then they took us to Cape Nelson Light House.

It is a very dangerous sea around this light house and as you can see below they have the cliff fenced off.
DSC_1949 We had a lovely drive and then we went to the fish and chip shop for tea. As we were waiting for it my husband found this huge Blue Fin Tuna in a fish waste skip.  DSC_1963They kindly agreed to pull it out so that I could get a photo of how big it was.
DSC_1964It was just as well I still had my cold because I couldn’t smell anything fishy.

That was our day out in Portland and we hope to go again and maybe pick a day when the fish are biting.

Blessings xxx


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Now, I am not one of those mothers who can wander around outside and teach a science lesson without a book. I need books, I need help with ideas, but sometimes God just says here you go here is your lesson today.

After we had finished picking apples and stored them in our carport, our No 2 son found this amazing caterpillar.

Here it is, it was huge and a lovely bright green colour. It was pretty spectacular as caterpillars go. Our 7 year old son wanted to feed it to the fish but I encouraged him to find a container and give it some vine leaves to eat/sleep in and leave it be. Sometimes our son can love these things to death (literally).


The next morning I went out to see if it was still alive, and it was. I did think it wasn’t far off dying as it was slow and sluggish. But guess what????

It was getting ready to make a cocoon and weave itself away for a while.

Below are pictures of it starting to weave the cocoon, you can still see the caterpillar inside.  It curled the vine leaves around itself too.DSC_1175



This only took overnight to do, now it is about half the size and quite hard.DSC_1253I’m not sure how long it will take to hatch.  Some books say 2 weeks some say 2 months, but we wait with anticipation.

I was going to leave this until it hatched but I couldn’t wait to share with you another facet of God’s awesome creation.

What lessons has God given you from his creation???


My daughter wanted to make some tornadoes in a bottle after our good friends had shown us how they did it.

They are actually quite fascinating and she had a lot of fun doing this.

DSC_1234Here are the instructions.

Take 1 glass bottle with a good lid, make sure you don’t have any labels on it.

Fill the bottle about 3/4 full with cold water and add a good squirt of dish washing detergent.

Add the lid and shake in a round motion, and look out for the tornado.

Our daughter then decided to add some food colouring to see what it would look like.

DSC_1244It was hard to get a clear photo but you can just see the tornado in the middle of the bottle.

As we don’t have tornadoes here it was a good time to discuss them and how damaging they can be.

Just a note: I found that if you didn’t add enough detergent it wouldn’t really work, so if you find the same thing just add a little more.



I’ve been reading on different blogs about the “one” word for 2015 that God had given and I didn’t really have one or really think I needed one (no offence to those who do).

But guess what – I had a revelation and I think God gave me a nudge and gave me a new phrase for 2015…


I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about how to get my little ones, (9 and 7 years old) excited to sit and do school. Well guess what the revelation was – it’s my problem, not theirs.

I have been expecting them to work hard at their work, while I work hard at my work.  We are not working together but we are working separately.

I am feeling pretty remorseful and guilty and somewhat shameful about sharing this.

I finally got it, the reason they aren’t excited is because I’m not excited to teach them.

Now I love having my children home, I always have and I always will, but I have gotten slack in the teaching stakes.

I’m pathetic really, so I believe the “no excuses” is God’s way of saying no more.

  • I’m tired, I didn’t sleep well – NO EXCUSE
  • I’ve got  cooking to do – NO EXCUSE
  • I need to clean up – NO EXCUSE
  • I need to do the washing – NO EXCUSE

I’m sure if I think harder I could come up with heaps more, but these few are bad enough :-(.

So I’ve decided to get up earlier, spend time in God’s word, do some exercise, do some blogging and be ready to start the day when the children get up.

I’ve also decided to put aside the other things that I feel “NEED” doing and leave that till we’ve finished school.

It’s worked this past week and I pray that I can continue being excited to school my children and have that passion wear off on them.


Do you have a passion to school your children??? What ways do you stay excited???  Any advice will be gratefully accepted.


This post is linked up at…

Woman to Woman Word Filled Wednesday


Now I am not a glue, feathers and glitter type of mum, just ask my oldest daughter, but I really enjoy making Christmas cards.

No 2 daughter and son have been helping me and they are really creative with glitter and glue.  I have to take lots of deep breaths when the glitter comes out and not let it get to me 🙂 .

imageHere they are with some of the cards we have already made and making some new ones as well.

This year I bought all our card already cut from our local newspaper office.  I got 80 cards for $14.00, this is much cheaper than buying them from the cheap junk stores in packs of 10 and the card is much nicer.  The packaged ones are normally shiny and hard to work with. The ones I got are just plain matte cards that anything (including glitter) sticks to.

I am hopeless at drawing Christmas trees so I tried a few and then got smart and just drew 3 triangles at different sizes and used these.



I bought some corrugated card this year in lovely shiny Christmas colours and I have heaps of scrap paper and supplies left over from last year.  I did purchase some more printed ribbon with Christmas designs on them for $2 a roll and we use quite a bit of this.

Instead of gluing on the pieces of card we used mounting tape which gives it all a slight 3D effect.  One warning, once you put this tape on you cannot remove it, it is there for life.

Now I’m not that big on Christmas trees but they do look great on the cards, but I wanted something that said that Jesus was the reason for Christmas, so we made stables as well.


No 2 daughter did a great job of drawing Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus, even I didn’t get that creative.

I normally write a greeting on each individual card but when you send out about 60 it gets quite tiring, so this year I am printing out one to put inside.  I am trying to work smart this year, below is what I decided on.


I then also signed it digitally from all our family.  So now all I have to put in is the names of the people I am sending the card to, and address the envelopes.

Making cards is very easy and fun to do and it is something we can do as a homeschooling art session.

Do you make your own cards at Christmas time?? Can you give us some other creative ideas??






Just a preamble to this post:

I love my children and they are really fantastic, but they are very normal children.  This post is about our No 2 son who is 6.  He is actually a really great kid, he is loving and caring and never cuts short the hugs or kisses.  So here goes….

No 2 daughter and son
No 2 daughter and son


I must admit I am struggling at the moment with schooling.  Our no 2 son is giving me a run for my money and is really trying my patience (which isn’t my greatest gifting at the best of times).

It is probably because he is such a goer.  He runs everywhere and just wants to get outside to his tadpoles and the likes. He scratches, and sings, and hums and so on before even looking at his books.  He can ask a variety of questions (all in a very short period of time) that don’t relate to any schooling he is looking at.

Some of these questions are:

  • What’s for lunch mum (this is usually asked about 1/2 an hour after breakfast);
  • Mum did hell create sickness (this was this mornings – I had to be careful how I answered this);
  • Are we going to town today;
  • When will Dad be home;

and so on and so on, you can see a pattern here!!!

He can sit over a maths lesson for over an hour (I’m actually being very generous here!!!)

I am sure he is not unusual in homeschooling circles but he is challenging.  I am encouraging him in his reading and trying to explain how the world will open up to him once his reading improves, and he says that he understands this – but the outdoors just call him.

He loves playing the piano and is very good at it too, so practice for that isn’t too big an issue.  He can even sit still during the 1/2 hour of his lesson (much to his teachers amazement).

His older brother was the same but my memory doesn’t go back far enough to remind me how I dealt with it.

Don’t get me wrong, he is fantastic outside and helps his father a great deal.  His sister and him get in the cows for milking, he brings in our wood, he will take rubbish away for me without complaint.  He just can’t settle down and concentrate on his school work.

If anyone can give me any ideas on getting one very active boy to sit still and concentrate – I would be very grateful.



No 2 daughter and son are out hypnotizing chickens.  It was something that they saw on a “swamp man” type reality show.

They say it actually works and if they keep practicing as much as they are now, I’m sure it will.  Though I do feel somewhat sorry for the chickens, but they seem to be very long suffering.

They have finished their school for the morning and our outside enjoying the sunshine.  Spring is here in Victoria Australia and summer is coming quickly.

I have been trying to teach them to get into their school in the morning and in the afternoon they can go and have fun, doing the things they enjoy.  Sometimes this theory works and some times it doesn’t.

Some mornings it is a hard slog just to get through a maths lesson.  I get frustrated and they get stubborn.  No 2 son spends too much time fiddling and scratching and singing and not enough time actually doing his work and No 2 daughter spends her time telling him to be quiet or poking him.

Oh the joys of normal, happy, healthy children.

If they were at school I wouldn’t have the pleasure of seeing them succeed with their schooling or seeing them blossom from being outside, creating games and camps and cubbies.

If they were at school they wouldn’t have time to help Dad when he gets home, because of their homework.

If they were at school I wouldn’t have the pleasure of helping them through their attitudes or squabbles.

If they were at school someone else would be seeing them achieve.

Some days are hard, really hard, but the joy and pleasure and good times override the bad and makes this homeschooling experience a totally right thing.

So if you want to see your children really achieve, keep them home, release the chickens, teach them all the good things and let them play in the dirt – it is our God given responsibility.

No 2 daughter and son
No 2 daughter and son

If you are thinking of homeschooling I want to encourage you to give it a go, you won’t be sorry, you may be tired and grumpy but in the long run you will never be sorry.

Deuteronomy 6:7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way and when you lie down, and when you rise.

PS: Today was one of those hard days so I am writing this to encourage myself as much as everyone else.

This post is linked to….

Hope In Every Season


I always said that I would never homeschool and I mean NEVER…

I have now learnt that you never say NEVER.

Sometimes we just don’t know the road that God will take us on.

We started homeschooling around 13 years ago.  Our No 1 daughter had spent her primary years at school and No 1 son had done a year of schooling and finished prep.  I really don’t remember the turning point that made us change our minds but I do know that the change has been (for us) the better.  No 1 son had difficulty learning to read so when we brought him home we taught him to read using phonics, and within 6 months he was reading well.  We found that if you gave him things he was interested  in to read, he would read more, his first novel was Swiss Family Robinson.

We brought No 1 son home first and started him off with No 1 daughter returning to school for her first year of secondary education.  A christian friend suggested we meet this lovely family who had been homeschooling for years.  Well to make a long story short we met this family and brought our daughter home to school as well.  We had never met a more well adjusted friendly bunch of children who greeted us at the door and didn’t run away to play on a computer game.  They were well spoken and could give their opinion with respect and confidence.

Our decision was made – we would homeschool both of our children.

It hasn’t always been easy, but I think God has led us to this place to develop not only our childrens characters but also our own.  I must admit my patience level isn’t great and I hope that has improved somewhat.

Since then our No 1 daughter has finished school, worked various part time jobs, whilst running her own sewing business and has now been married for 2 years and has 2 beautiful daughters.  She has a wonderful husband who is supportive and caring and really looks after her well (Her husband is the youngest son of the family who’s character convinced us to homeschool).

No 1 son has finished his schooling, and completed a farm apprenticeship with his Father.  He has been working now for a couple of years.  We only hear good reports about his attitude and character and it is so pleasing to see him forge a life for himself.  He is caring and considerate and terribly generous both with his time and money.

God has truly blessed us with these 2 children and our hearts burst with love for them both.

God then blessed us with more children some years on, when WE finally decided that 2 wasn’t enough.  I think it was when WE decided to let God take over our lives instead of us controlling it (this is another post I am sure).

We are now homeschooling No 2 daughter and No 2 son.  It still isn’t always easy but it is very rewarding.  I am older now and have finally realised how much I enjoy being at home and how much I enjoy having my children here.  I now no longer need to be a super mum, involved in everything and doing everything.

So we have got quite a few more years ahead of us of homeschooling but we look forward to where God takes us in that time and the character he will develop in all of us and the journey it will be.

PS: even though I write this post from my thoughts and feelings, my husband and I made the decision to homeschool together.  He is the headmaster in our school and I am the teacher.  I have a wonderful headmaster to turn to when I have issues that I need help with.  My headmaster is a great support and without him I couldn’t do the teaching that I do.


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