Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Waratah Adventurers at Botanic Park

We are part of a homeschooling group that meets in various parks to interact together and explore nature. This is our first excursion this term.

don't fall in!

then there were 3

now there are 4!

Don't you just love the hive of activity in the foreground and the uni students in the background looking tired from all their studies in the world of academia!
Waratah means red flowering tree

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Barmera Senior Cub Camp

Ds had a fabulous time away at his senior cub camp. The temperatures were around 39C but they still managed to do some really exciting things. His first comment'the food was good!!" is always a good sign of a well planned camp!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Journey North Week Four

"Looking for a Mystery Class clue?
This year's 10 Mystery Classes are located in eight different time zones.
When daylight saving time occurs, the 10 Mystery Classes will be located in eight different time zones." This is our clue for the week.Below is our data for this week:

m/class    wk1  wk2      wk3       wk4     wk5       wk6      wk7       wk8      wk9      wk10
























































  And talking of time, care to share your favourite time titled/themed books for kids: I'm starting with "A Wrinkle in Time" by Madeline Engle "Tom's Midnight Garden"by Philippa Pearce "Grimble" by Clement Freud
"Earthfasts" by William Mayne
"A traveler in Time" Alison Utley

Monsoon Afternoon

As part of our ongoing study of Asia we read Monsoon Afternoon by Kashmira Sheth.. While this was probably designed for a younger reading age both boys examined the artwork with delight. We liked the note at the end of the book which described how the monsoon in her childhood meant the end of the mango season and the start of school.We nearly always read these notes by authors at the end of books as they either add to the information within the text or as in this case give us a peek into the authors own life. Altogether this is a very pleasant book to read. The text in which the small boy asks his grandfather a series of questions is beautifully complimented by the watercolor paintings of the artist.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Jungle Book Part 1

 As  part of his grey wolf award for cubs(which is I think the highest award you can receive in cubs) ds had to prepare a diorama of part of the Jungle Book to show to his pack. Cub scouts are very loosely based on the characters in the Jungle books(Baden Powell and Kipling were actually friends)Ds painted the inside of a shoe box a good jungle gree. Next , using advice he gleaned from the internet and other makers of dioramas(!), he made some tree shapes from foil.
 These were then covered with papermache.
 It proved quite a sticky business!
Below are the trees waiting to dry. while they were drying ds covered part of a small balloon with paper mache. This would be the cave of the wolves.

 Finally ds made the figures he was going to put in his jungle. He had to blend plasticine colours together to make just the right wolf colour!

Above you can see the painted box with the figures.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

We were fortunate to view an exhibition of the artist Tomono Tadakuma Wynn at the Migration museum recently.In the 1970s Tomono Tadakuma left her traditional, patriarchal Japanese family and came  to Adelaide to study print-making and painting.This was not an easy choice for her to make. Her art and the exhibition encapsulates her   life. The exhibition includes samples of her art, including her beautiful calligraphy but it also has some of her kimonos and some belonging to her mother as well as beautiful dolls her mother makes.

Tomono’s first impression of Australia dated from when she was a child in Tokyo.  She saw an image of a remote desert Aboriginal man lighting a fire.  To Tomono, as she grew up within the strict conventions expected of a young Japanese woman of samurai ancestry, Australia came to symbolise freedom.

Tomono also asked some of her friends to come along and perform the traditional tea ceremony. She challenged us in our busy lives to find something to do, such as making our own cup of tea(western style) and really think about the elements involved in the activity. To slow down and consider the pouring of the water into the jug, the waiting time for it to heat the pouring of the water into the cup over the tea and waiting for it to steep and finally drinking slowly and really focusing on what we are tasting. A useful exercise I think.

The Japanese tea ceremony takes many years to perfect. One of the ladies said she had only been learning for 6 years. Another said that they all had children at home, families to look after and work to do and it may seem strange for us to consider why they would take time out to practice an activity that is not going to achieve anything visible.

But she said "this is for us, pointing to the women doing the ceremony, this is time for us...and we take it back when we go on with our lives"

 Finally Tomono asked for volunteers to be dressed in traditional Japanese dress. My oldest son was chosen because he was the tallest male there but  you can see he was a little too tall for the costume.

The morning was a lot of fun.

I'm not sure how T. felt about having all these people to dress him!

                      Don't they all look wonderful!

Below is a wedding komono. Apparently there are 40 layers of clothing needed to dress for your wedding.As it was the ladies said their own dress for this morning had taken well over an hour to get ready!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Journey North Week Three

We were given a picture of a polar bear to help us solve the mystery this week. Not the picture above but I thought it was too cute to miss!
Using the clue of where the bear can be found was easy for both boys.they had both read a certain book about a particular group of penguins when they were younger. Anyway amongst other information the book describes that penguins and polar bears do not inhabit the same polar region. So if penguins live at the south pole, guess where polar bears are found(apart from zoos!)?!...Easy!
Here are all the mystery classes coloured in, on our graphs for weeks one to three. As an added activity we decided to table all the photoperiods to date.

  Another clue we were given was that there are more classes in the northern hemisphere.

 Here are our Northern hemisphere classes

 And our Southern classes with our own results below

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A challenge of a hill!

A great day yesterday was concluded at Challenge Hill. After all that cognitive workout it was
good to do something physical!
"The obstacle course on Challenge Hill is a major fun feature of Woodhouse, and one of the best of its kind in Australia.

It does demand a level of fitness, but if tackled with care and consideration, will provide fun for all!
Challenge Hill is a great test of physical fitness and mental agility
it's a great team-building exercise and it provides thousands of people with great entertainment, and some good healthy outdoor exercise.
Before using Challenge Hill, please speak to a Warden, so that you may be briefed on the use and safety requirements of the course." quotes courtesy of this site
See you there next time!