Welcome to Secret Hippie's Homeschool pages!

We have homeschooled our children on and off for 20 years and now we have the youngest 2 of the 5 are starting off on their own 'schooling' experience and we want to share the journey. We hope to show you our ways of providing a rich but thrifty education.

We are ECLECTIC homeschoolers. We have tried strict 'school at home' to 'unschooling' and found we were most comfortable somewhere in the middle! So expect to find bits of both. We hope that you find some ideas that might help you with your own homeschooling journeys.

It might be good to know that we are not staunchly 'schoolers' or 'homeschoolers" we see pros and cons to both, we understand life's circumstances are different for everyone and even the needs of a family change, sometimes even quite suddenly. For those that have children at school, you might find some fun low cost activities to do with your children :o)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Holidays have been and gone.

Isn't it always the way on holidays, down comes the rain!
We caught a cold from our last Questacon trip and coughed and splattered our way through the break. Now we are better we are finding it very hard to get into a routine again, holidays are so nice but it's time to get going again!

Over the holidays I had an Extra Lesson Practitioner test youngest for school readiness. Just as I suspected he isn't quite ready to learn to read. His body awareness is excellent but auditory processing is not at the point where he will clue on to reading.

So we are doing Sound Therapy with him. This is an extremely nice process of listening to classical music and doing some activities, catching bean bags, standing on a balance board. It is a system that was developed by a guy called Alfred Tomatis, "the French ear specialist who developed the discipline called audio-psycho-phonology, meaning the psychology of speech and hearing."
Here he is doing his sound therapy.
Yes for all the audiophiles, the child is using Grado's ;o)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Colin Buchanan for CAPA

Certainly covered CAPA on this one.
Colin Buchanan is fantastic, he is theologically sound and relates so well to the kids.
Colin and Nudge "God Rock"

Canberra Concert
Just a comment on CAPA (Creative and Performing Arts) I discussed with Mr registration that we are not a 'dance-y' family and he agreed that the boys education would not be severely hinder by not knowing the Pride of Erin. I was really pleased that our interest in music, drama and performance and visual arts was adequate. Phew! Unless we appear to have a Billy Elliot in the house I'm skipping dance lessons ;o)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Volcano making

We did some book work in the morning and then had some fun getting our volcano under way.
We bought an Aldi volcano set. Putting the mould together.

Pressing the sides together
Oh great, the plaster of paris went off in seconds :o(
Big dud. Must have been old plaster.

Dad saves the day with base coat from gyprocking the walls! 

Woohoo looking good! Tomorrow we'll paint and set it off!
We stopped to make afternoon tea. Coconut jam slice

Base: 125g melted butter & 1/2 cup sugar and add 1 egg, 1 1/2 cups flour
and 1 tsp baking powder.
Press into tin
Heat up jam, coat base then mix up 2 cups coconut mixed with 2 eggs and 1/2 cup sugar
Spread on top of base.

Into the oven 180 deg C for 30 mins

Yum, all done. Cool in tin before cutting up:o)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The boat adventures and secret mysteries to unravel!

After a really fun trip to the beach and a special boat ride investigating nooks and crannies on the river. We continued on the theme of boats and adventure with the Famous Five (Enid Blyton) jigsaw puzzle complete with a mystery! We found the jigsaw in a second-hand shop ages ago, this was a perfect tie in to the weekend.
Subjects covered: PD H PE-outdoors, water safety, sun smart etc
HSIE: Natural environment, getting along with others, history with story of great grandfathers etc
Science and Technology: boat, natural environment, boat engine, computer use -reversing type and mirrors 
Maths- patterns, shapes, decoding doing puzzle 
English- listening to story, comprehension, answering questions, writing own clues 
The boys off on a river adventure

Read story (on top) and complete jigsaw puzzle

After story and puzzle there are questions to answer, the answers were backwards!

Checking answers in the mirror
This lead on to making our own clues that you can print out backwards using Word. You can do treasure hunts or answers to any questions, whatever you want, it's just fun needing a mirror to decode.

Since randomly finding a puzzle is not probable, the point of the post would be to tie activities together, see where they lead and how cool backwards writing is ;o)

Outdoor classroom

An adventure to new beaches covering PD H PE, Science, HSIE, Maths (count the steps), English and CAPA -the boys will write a recount of their adventure with pictures and present oral presentation, this is as simple as telling me about their day with DDad and DD
Investigating local beaches

The path lead to a great view

A surprise on the way down

How blessed to live in such a country

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Craft time

2 cups bicarb, 1 cup corn flour and 1 1/4 cup water

I added food dye to water and you cook on stove top

Stir constantly, looking good at this stage

It went solid quickly

Place in bowl with damp cloth to cool. It dyed my tea towel :o(

Having fun

A christmas decoration?

Drying over night

Monday, September 12, 2011



In Australia September heralds the start of Spring.
Whether we are homeschooling or not we like to connect our children to the creation.
Other than a few cents in printing costs, these activities cost very little.

Colouring sheets:

More colouring and writing activities:

Spring Crafts:

Google for more. Be mindful that it is not Easter here as it is in Spring in the Northern Hemisphere.

You tube is great for songs, for example this little song with words: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4LPLGwFb-A&feature=related

Consider nature walks Charlotte Mason style:

A nature table is a lovely thing to have in the house. It is a table where a seasonal scene is set up and the children might add treasures they have found from their walk like a flower or a fallen birds nest. They can be any thing you want, include hand crafted figures and flowers, anything that represents Spring in this case.

Visit the library and look for books on Spring.

Keep a weather chart for a month or longer so the children can observe the weather we get in Spring.

Get the children in to the garden, maybe a garden of their own? http://homes.ninemsn.com.au/outdoor/tipsandtricks/8218951/childs-play-gardening-tips-for-kids

A computer maths game covers maths and technology; http://www.topmarks.co.uk/Spring/SpringMaths.aspx?age=ks2 Unfortunately this is an Easter type Spring activity, fun all the same.

Park play

We had to get some shopping done today and stopped the park and had a cliff top walk.
Healthy choices,sun/sunscreen, getting outside, fresh air,  physical activity, co-ordination and body strength, social interaction with other park users. Using appropriate behaviour. Lots of boxes ticked there ;o)
Wow, action shot, changing hands

He didn't hang there for long.

Much easier, fireman's pole.

He hung on to the end.

Cooking Dinner

Don't underestimate the educational experience of cooking!
Life skills, maths, reading, healthy choices to name a few.
Spooning the cooked ingredients onto the pastry

Pinching the parcels shut

Into the oven

Dad got them out

Yum! Curry puffs and yoghurt

Friday, September 9, 2011


Spelling with magnetic letters and white boards.
Intruder alert!
Slight distraction.

Older child made a sentence.

Going slowly, building confidence.
Spelling Kindergarten/prep/early stage1

If you think spelling is something you want to do at this stage, you can make up your own lists or Google spelling lists.

Something like this seems good, I'd be happy to use it: http://www.superteacherworksheets.com/spelling-levela.html
These download as a work sheet which you might like the child to do, or use it as a list and make up your own activities.

Use magnetic letters on the fridge or a magnetic white board. Or get out scrabble if you have it to form the words. Or cut out the alphabet and form words.
Make the words with play dough (homemade of course).
Write them in the sand/dirt or even a floured bench.
Make the words into 2 sets of cards and play a matching games.
Make up sentences using the spelling words. Have the child tell you a few different sentences with the same word.
Paint the words, finger or brush.
Chalk on the footpath.

Starting to think about making a curriculum

Organising your curriculum 
Starting with kindergarten/Prep
Also known as Early Stage 1

I need a “frame” to work with, so I started with the Key Learning Areas (KLA's):

The following is available on the Board of Studies Web site. I found it to be a very dry and quite frankly an unclear process. Each subject is set out differently, I could not find the same information for each Subject. For example I couldn't not find the scope and sequence for each subject. They may be there, embedded in site but not to be seen by me :o-

The Foundation Statements are a good start.

Here's what I have decoded!

HSIE (Human Society and it's Environment)
Science and Technology
CAPA (Creative and Performing Arts)
PD H PE (Personal development, Health, Physical Education)

These are the same for all the primary school grades/stages

The KLA's are broken down further into “strands”:

ENGLISH: Talking and Listening, Reading, Writing
MATHS: Working Mathematically, Number, Patterns and Algebra, Measurement and Data, Space and Geometry
HSIE: Change and Continuity, Cultures, Environments, Social Systems and Structures.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY: Investigating Scientifically, Designing and Making, The Natural Environment, The Made Environment.
CAPA: Visual Arts, Music, drama, dance.
PD H PE: Fundamental movement & physical Activity, Healthy Choices, Self and Relationships.

Then you might look into Scope and Sequence for clues on the sorts of units of work being done in the schools. You can use these for your own curriculum or do your own thing.

HSIE:School Days, This is me, Places We Know, Meeting Needs
SCIENCE/TECHNOLOGY: Growing up, What do we eat, Hot/Cold, Kids care

Also there are Outcomes to look at and Indicators that you can print out and mark off as your child reaches each indicator if you are so inclined.

If you are like me, in the past, at this point it all looks too hard and fall in a heap and decide to buy curriculum. There is nothing wrong with doing this and as confidence grows you might develop your own to supplement or follow completely.
However, I hope that the posts that follow might help you to make your own, I'll post as we use or try them.
Remember every school is not studying the same thing, teachers can chose different ways to achieve the outcomes with their class.

Why is any of this important? Apart from wanting to actually educate our precious children, it seems to me a good idea to keep up with what is happening in the schools, albeit loosely, so that if your circumstances change at any time your child will slip into a school without too much up set to the child and be at a similar level to the other children. You just don't know what the future holds.

Thursday, September 8, 2011


We are located in NSW, Australia and the law requires a child at the age of 6 to be either in school or registered for homeschooling. (Or exemption to not register).
We have just gone through the process.
Check out Board of Studies NSW find the homeschooling information and read through the forms. Before you fill, scan and email them back, you need to be prepared for your visit from Mr Registration! Once you email the forms back,  you receive an email saying someone will be in touch. You need to be prepared before this process starts. It was a week later I had Mr Registration at my door.

In the pdf package it tells you on page 11 (from the 2010 pdf) the sort of things Mr Registration is interested in. There are 7 bullet points to take note of.
At the time of the visit, if approved (or not!), Mr Registration fills out a Recommendation Sheet for homeschooling that has a space for 4 comments, as below:

1. Teaching/Learning
This is the sort of thing I had but it's not necessary, you can come up with your own stuff.
You don't have to buy any thing.

2. Facilities, Learning Environment and Resources
This is our craft room and school room, holder of lots of resources and a nice working space.

3. Recording of Student Learning Experiences and Progress/Achievement
I started with a diary system but a friend recommended a sheet with the key learning areas.
It's easier to tick then write a brief comment if you want.

4. Other
We had no comments under heading. I can't comment on what this might contain.

I found our Mr Registration to be a lovely man who was very easy to talk to and discuss our plans in a very open and honest way.

I had way over prepared in hind sight, I had no idea what to expect and I felt like this 'person' coming had the power of life or death in his hands! I perspired so much and got stressed completely unnecessarily.

You do need to know what you are planning to teach your child, it is good to have resources and a nice working environment and they want to know how you are going to record your learning experiences.

Remember they are open to a wide range of homeschooling techniques. They just really want to see dedication to your child's education, most parents feel the same! We just want what's best for our children don't we.