Our Reasons for Home Education:

Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Although he was achieving good results, he wasn't reaching his full potential because his love for learning had been destroyed & hence his grades were steadily declining.

Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Completely failed by the system, he hated school, was always tired & homework time was a major frustration for both of us. He was severely frustrated & quickly heading to become yet another ADHD statistic.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Sci-Bono Discovery Centre

imageToday we visited the  Sci-Bono Discovery Centre in Johannesburg together with a group of other homeschoolers as our first field trip for the year.



The boys started their tour building walls with mini foam bricks. They had five minutes to move the bricks & mortar, build the walls of the “building”. It took some coordination & teamwork as well as parental assistance, but finally they got it done. Although it took way longer than the allocated time to build, they had loads of fun “experiencing” the mini Murray & Roberts building site.

Sci-Bono ~ Murray & Roberts

After tearing down their newly built walls, packing up they all got to tour the rest of the exhibits.

Sci-Bono ~ 2

his projector soccer “field” was a huge hit amongst the kids. The moving dinosaurs had some of the smaller kids quite scared.

Sci-Bono ~ 3

There were just so many exhibits. So much to touch & figure out how it worked… the boys had a blast…

Sci-Bono ~ 4

Whilst the little ones enjoyed a break from all the walking, in the Lego in the pit, the older kids puzzled Africa… now where do all those pieces go & what is that country called again?

Sci-Bono ~ 5

Finally, teamwork paid off & Africa was once again complete… Off to the next section for some more stuff to see, feel & explore…

Sci-Bono ~ 6

All in all, we must have spent at least 3 hours at the centre exploring & if it hadn’t been for Junior Engineering on our schedule for the afternoon, I’m quite sure the boys would have spent many more hours exploring the centre.


This post features on the South African Carnival of Homeschool Bloggers where South African home schoolers share experiences, ideas, philosophies and much more. You can join the carnival too by heading to the South African Carnival of Homeschool Bloggers sign up page. In the meantime, head to SACH Carnival #5 – Science for this week's carnival. We hope you enjoy the carnival as much as we have!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Friday, February 11, 2011

Left-Handed Learners

I was myself a left-handed learner and remember the pain and agony of having been forced to become right-handed. Handwriting was the one area where I failed all my life & this didn’t do my self-esteem much good. To this day I still write like a crab & am unable to even do my signature consistently the same.

According to Wikipedia there are 4 types of handedness:

  • Right-handedness is most common. Right-handed people are more dexterous with their right hands when performing tasks. A variety of studies suggest that 70–90% of the world population is right-handed.[4][5]
  • Left-handedness is less common than right-handedness. Left-handed people are more dexterous with their left hands when performing tasks. A variety of studies suggest that approximately 10% of the world population is left-handed.[6]
  • Mixed-Handedness is the change of hand preference between different tasks. This is common in the population with about a 30% prevalence.[1]
  • Ambidexterity is exceptionally rare, although it can be learned. A truly ambidextrous person is able to do any task equally well with either hand. Those who learn it still tend to favour their originally dominant hand.[2]

This article, How to Determine if Your Child is Left or Right Handed by Backup Care describes Hand Dominance as well as the Indicators for Hand Dominance.

Below are some links with info & suppliers that might help you avoid similar struggles with your left-handed learners.

Local Info & Suppliers

Left-handedness is not a curse by Isebell Gauche

Left-Handed Child in the Child Magazine. Left-handedness used to be a stigma that parents and teachers tried to eradicate. Here are some tips for keeping that in the past. by Denise Pape



Left-hand Learning is a South African website that offers a comprehensive service dedicated to left-hand learners, their parents and educators!! Providers of left-hand products and workshops. Email Tracy or contact +27 (83) 417-3316


are the main Importers and suppliers of ergonomically designed left handed stationery and accessories for children and adults. Email Admin or contact +27 (11) 794-1696

International Info & Suppliers

LeftHandedChildrenOn this website you will find all the information and advice you’ll need to help left-handed children from nursery right through their school days to overcome the annoyances and frustrations of living in a right-handed world. You’ll find lots of ideas and resources specifically for left-handers, giving them the best techniques for adapting right-handed teaching and resources across the school curriculum. Armed with these techniques, left-handed children can learn new skills confidently and efficiently, without awkwardness or frustration, leaving them free to achieve their potential.

alh_logoLeft-handed products and information for lefthanders since 1968. Offers over 250 left handed products  that make a REAL difference -  see how YOU can benefit from  using left-handed equipment.

Rosemary West's Left Handed Page Your left hand, your right hand, and both sides of your brain

Please visit this page frequently as I will be posting regular updates as I find more resources.

Misha’s First Attempt at LapBooking

After weeks of dragging his feet filling out the numerous worksheets supplied by our curriculum provider I finally came across a human body copy work book. Then I stumbled on Lapbooking & thought I would give it a try & let Misha turn the worksheets & notebooking pages into a lapbook instead. At least this way we have less protest than with the worksheets… he could sit with tis for hours without complaining about getting tired.

Here's his first attempt...

Friday, February 4, 2011

Tutors, Co-ops & Other Group Activities

  • Brightsparkz Tutors offer high quality private tuition for all subjects, grades 1 – 12.  The Tutors travel to you!

    • Johannesburg Tutors email or contact 073 145 7572
    • Cape Town Tutors email or contact 084 404 4006
    • Pretoria Tutors email or contact 073 145 7572
    • Port Elizabeth Tutors email or contact 084 404 4006
  • Online Tutoring At, you get a professional online tutor whenever you need help. You work one-to-one with your tutor in our online classroom on your specific homework problem until it’s done.


EducationSupport6is a family orientated education support organization offering educational courses, outings and other educational services to parents and their children. Offering hands on practical work in: Earth Science, Astronomy, Model Making, Basic science, Outings + tours, Taylor made request, Atmospheric science, Working with maps, History, Photography & Family outings. Email Barry Bryant or contact +27 (11) 022-9791 or +27 (82) 331-8194

imageat the Science department of the The University of Pretoria. It was formerly known as the Exploratorium. They have regular science shows per grade and take around 50 kids. Email or contact Yvette on +27 (12) 420 3767


  • Design & Technology Tutor in Discovery, West Rand near  the Discovery Hospital and the Discovery Methodist Church. Group classes offered at R100 per class, by an Interior Designer/ Draughtsman able to tutor in the following areas:

    • Graphic Design – Designing logo’s, fonts, graphic layouts etc…

    • Draughting – Computer draughting (Auto Cad, 3D Max) as well as sketching on paper.  Architectural structures, machines, organic structures…

    • 3D Modelling
    • 2D and 3D Animation
    • Technology today and how it applies to our world
    • How Stuff Works

For more information email or contact Edward dos Santos on +27 72 778 6563 or +27 11 674 3022 (Nat. Dip. Interior Design ’98- Wits Tech)

  • Woodworking at Milty’s Training Academy, 121 Mainreef Road Technikon, Roodepoort. Contact Rose Sauerman on +27 (73) 113-6922 for info/bookings



Individual as well as group lessons in Discovery – near the Discovery Hospital and Discovery Methodist Church, on the West Rand. Lessons are a half an hour once a week, Monday to Friday from 14h00 to 18h00 at very reasonable prices for ages 5 and up.

Email or contact Louise dos Santos +27 82 301 4797 or +27 11 674 3022 (Nat. Dip. Light Music ’97- Pretoria Tech)

Please email me if you know of any tutors or group activities worth recommending. Please include contact details, area as well as subject & comments.

Please visit this page frequently as I will be posting regular updates as I find more resources.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

5 weeks down…

Wow, the time is just flying so fast these days. Jesse’s already finished his first month of homeschooling & Misha’s at 5 & half months. I’m amazed a the overall difference in the boys these days.

I thoroughly enjoy having them home. They both seem so much more relaxed. Misha is more confident & happy too. They even get along much better & fight less. As a matter of fact, the whole atmosphere in our home is much more settled & relaxed.


Boys at play.

We’re slowly getting into some sort of routine. Jesse seems to be coping fine with the homeschooling so far. I am however still slightly concerned about all the group work in his books & am rethinking what teaching aids we should add… I will be looking out for some teaching DVDs etc. to help him along. Of course I still catch them playing & wrestling often when I leave the room, but I enjoy seeing them bonding like this…

As for Misha, progress is still very slow. He is now able to read, however slow, but his confidence is getting better. He actually does a lot more reading aloud without being asked to these days. That in itself to me is major progress.

I’m needing to rethink the whole teaching strategy. He’s currently spending a whole lot of time doing worksheets when we’re not doing controlled outside play & instead of 20-30 minutes each, he takes anything from an hour and more to finish them. He’s interest just doesn’t seem to be there. I must admit, I cannot fault him on that. Doing worksheets all day, must be terribly boring. Now I’m considering Lapbooks as an alternative. What if I incorporated all those worksheets into lapbooks to make his learning a little less boring?


On Tuesday Misha had his first lesson back with Tannie Hettie for this year. She’s very happy with his improved reading & handwriting. The cursive handwriting is causing confusion, so she’ll be addressing that over the next few months. I trust that this year will be the last we’ll require her assistance.

For starters, I took him to Eyetek in Town Square across Hillfox yesterday for a complete developmental eye test. Turns out he is a little more far sighted  than usual & his eyes move too much when he concentrates. He will need to do some visual therapy & wear reading spectacles when doing school work as his eyes get too tired when focuses. By 10am this morning I received a phone call that  the spectacles were ready. That’s the fastest I’ve ever been able to collect a pair of specs.


Misha trying out his new specs.

This afternoon, Misha had his first afternoon of chess back at his old school  which will continue on Tuesdays & Thursdays. Jesse’s starting next Tuesday. I of course, need to get back to gym for my back & neck, which I will do twice a week from next week on after dropping them for chess.

Tomorrow Misha has a visual therapy session so I can learn exactly what visual exercises he needs to do daily & thereafter they go to Junior Engineering. That will mark the end of yet another school week for us.

“A poor surgeon hurts 1 person at a time. A poor teacher hurts  them in groups of 45”