Our Reasons for Home Education:

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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.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Geography Fun

WoW, I just can’t believe how fast time is flying these days. We are counting the days to the boys’ horse camp in September at which time hubby & I will also be going away for a few days’ break.

Due to my 3rd grader’s intense dislike to textbooks & worksheets, I have had to do quite a bit of research into finding material that wouldn’t be met with protest. I have come across a whole bunch of educational games for Geography and have posted them on my Science Recourses page under point C. Earth Science (Geoscience).

Here are some of the best resources I have found so far.

  • Google Earth Explore the world in 3D from anywhere. Get the  world’s geographic information at your fingertips.
    • Fly to any place around the world.
    • See 3D buildings, imagery, and terrain.
    • Find cities, places, and local businesses.

  • Geography for Kids An in depth online geography textbook written for kids. Learn about the world around you. Geography is the study of the Earth as it exists today, focusing on the surface, the atmosphere, the oceans, as well as the distribution of plants, animals, and people.

  • Rader’s Geography 4 Kids If you are looking for physical geography or earth science basics, stay on this site. It's not just for geography for kids, it's for everyone. This site has an introduction to the earth sciences that includes topics on the Earth's structure, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere (for a start).

  • Africa for Kids African Geography with free Video Clips, Games, Powerpoint Presentations and Clip Art.
  • South Africa's geography and climate by
  • Sheppard’s Software will help you gain a mental map of the world's continents, countries, capitals, & landscapes!
  • National Geographic for Kids’ geography games.
  • Digital Dialects free to use and fun online Geography Games.

  • PlayKIDSgames for geography & puzzle games.

  • Learning Games for Kids A great of geography education can be effectively taught through geography games and map games. These geography learning games help form the basis for understanding our country, our states, our world.

  • Geography Map Games More than 25 games to learn geography and have fun! As more than 3 millions players, find the countries, find the states, locate cities of USA, of UK, Canada, Europe and many other countries. And be warned : speed is very important!

  • Geographic learning about geography and the countries of the World.

  • Test your Geography Knowledge geography quiz.


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


This post features on the South African Carnival of Homeschool Bloggers (SACH 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. We hope you enjoy the carnival as much as we have!

SA Home Schooling Blog Carnival #6

Thursday, August 18, 2011

First Home Educating Anniversary

Tuesday marked our 1 (4)st anniversary as a home educating family. WoW, what a hectic year it has been.

Of course I made the mistake of starting off “doing school at home”, hence we've had our fair share of stress & frustrations trying to address Misha's learning problems. Getting him to sit still long enough to fill out those numerous worksheets or read his readers was a major mission. He would freeze at the mere sight of anything resembling schoolwork.

Last week he finally started asking to read his readers. He has finally discovered his ability to read & his confidence is growing steadily. According to Tannie Hettie, his motor skills are finally on track, his Afrikaans is also improving & by the end of this year he should be totally independent of her assistance. I can only but thank God that we’ve had her all these years…


Although he still has much resistance to worksheets, today Misha spent many hours reading, making sentences & doing math with “Reader Rabbit” & “Jump Start”. When we told him his was doing “school” this late at night he insisted it’s not school, it’s “learning games”. It seems we’ve found material that works for him & he’s slowly regaining his “love for learning” & for this I’m truly grateful.

What was meant to be merely a year long intervention to get Misha back on track turned out to be the beginning of a whole new journey in our lives. We’re enjoying our new found freedom. It’s so nice not to have to be up early every morning & we’re definitely not missing the early morning peak hour traffic. I so enjoy having the boys home and for most of the time, they are also getting along so much better.

Today I am honestly glad I eventually adhered to Clive’s request to home educate as it turns out in the end it was the best decision we could have made.

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Dialogue in the Dark

Today we visited the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre in Johannesburg and took a guided tour of a very unique exhibition.


This extraordinary exhibition provokes a change in perspectives. We were able to experience what it must be like to be blind. Being led through a park, by our blind tour guide we were able to “explore” & “see” an every day environment from a very different perspective. We were also led through a store, were able to “window shop” with the use of hands & other senses only. Lastly we went into a café and were able to purchase juice & snacks still in the dark. We were able to experience drink juice in the dark & chat to our blind guide who answered various questions shedding some light into the life of blind person.

This exhibition is highly recommendable as it will allow attendees to experience first hand what it must feel like to be blind even though it is only for 45 minutes. It gives you a new appreciation for your eyesight & empathy for the blind.


Of course after the Dialogue in the Dark the boys decided they wanted to do another exploration of the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre. We spent another 2 hours exploring the exhibitions before heading back home.


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!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

2012 Direction

* A dead end is just an opportunity to take a different direction*....

and that’s exactly what we’re going to be doing where schooling is concerned… Although I know that both our boys may be well capable of completing the Cambridge exams, I’m still not convinced that it is the right option for us due to the fact that it doesn’t cater for their learning styles.

For next few years Misha will be doing Switched on Schoolhouse Bible Based PC curriculum. For next year he’ll do SOS 4th Grade Core Subjects (Bible, Language Arts, Science, History & Geography), SOS Health Quest as well as Math 4: Teaching Textbooks. Additionally we’ll address spelling with All About Spelling ~ Level 1 as well as SpellingCity. We’ll also use Editor in Chief CD-Rom ~ Grades 4-5, Level A1 to improve grammar, punctuation, spelling, capitalization, and critical thinking. In addition to that, he can also play Reading Blaster, Math Blaster and whatever other educational games we find that he enjoys in order to practise his skills.

With Jesse already heading for Grade 9, high school has been a huge concern for me. Fortunately I have recently discovered that Alpha Omega Publications, also has a K-12 distance learning academy. Fully accredited through AdvancED, Alpha Omega Academy offers electronic curriculum with Switched-On Online® and Switched-On Schoolhouse and print-based curriculum with LIFEPAC and Horizons. Each Christian curriculum offers unique benefits and features for the student's education.  Alpha Omega Academy is listed in the International Registry of Schools & is also a member of the Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI). We’ve decided to go with AOA for high school from grade 9 onwards as it will allow them to continue using Switched on Schoolhouse through to Gr. 12 and still obtain an accredited high school diploma.

For next year Jesse will be doing the SOS 9th Grade 5-Subject Set (Bible, History & Geography, Language Arts, Math, and Science), SOS High School Health as well as Teaching Textbooks Algebra 1 Kit. For additional spelling practise he’ll use SpellingCity. He will also do Editor in Chief CD-Rom ~ Grades 9-12, Level C1 to improve grammar, punctuation, spelling, capitalization, and critical thinking.

I’m well aware that the boys interests & “likes” may still change over the next few years and that we may have to re-evaluate our aims from time to time, hence I will stay abreast on HESA requirements etc. so we can make changes where & when necessary.

For now I’m at peace with this direction & we trust that at the right time, God will pave the way & open all doors necessary for further studies.


If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.
If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence
If children live with fairness, they learn justice
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with acceptance, they learn to find love in the world.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

WoW Moments

WoW, I’ve been absolutely amazed this week.

Quite honestly, when we started home education in August last year, I felt structure & curriculum was very important. The kids needed to follow a curriculum & learn to accept the discipline that came with that, so I thought. After all, I had my doubts about how “relaxed homeschooling” or “unschooling” could be beneficial to any child. After all we couldn’t afford to let them lag “behind” on schoolwork or wait until they “were ready” to learn at their own request. What if they weren't ready until well into their teenage years? It just seemed too risky, hence they needed to "do school" every day. I had them do assignments, worksheets, tests and all Le-Amen’s other requirements & by the end of the first term, I was totally exhausted & am quite sure so were the boys. They probably felt homeschooling pressure was worse than private school…

I have since read quite a few eye-opening articles:

… to name just a few of the many I’ve read. I’m so glad I stumbled upon these articles & forums, else I probably would have been totally stressed out & a nervous wreck by now trying to do school with two boys disliking it.

2011_0711_154331In the last two terms I’ve learnt to relax the “school at home” & allow the boys time to deschool, have fun, explore & learn things "their way". This was very hard for me because I'm generally a very structured & disciplined person. I finally decided to let go with Misha completely last term. I would give all the "theories" a try & decided to trust God with the results. I left him with only the curricula he enjoyed. No more "pushing" to complete worksheets & "forced" reading, just pc based subjects, educational games, loads of playtime, cuddle time & encouragement.


Amazingly enough, I am now starting to see the transformation first hand. Since last week he's occasionally picked up a book to read all by himself. He's even asked for worksheets at the oddest times. Yesterday morning, when I asked him to play his reading game, much to my surprise, he actually asked to read a book instead. We even managed a long Afrikaans lesson because he wanted to. Late afternoon, long after school hours were finished he grabbed and read another book. Then, in the evening he took his Afrikaans reader & practiced the double vowel sounds.

Today he spent some extra time with Tannie Hettie, who is very impressed with his improvement. This evening, he’s doing reading activities online at Starfall.

His motor skills are finally where they should be. He’s flourishing into a confident reader & even his Afrikaans is improving steadily. Not bad for a child who until recently hated reading & schoolwork with a passion just under a year ago. I'm pleasantly surprised & overjoyed as it seems he may be slowly regaining his love for learning.

Now I just need to find a way to also help Jesse regain his love for learning before he gets to Gr. 9…