4Cs – 21st Century Skills

These competencies — known as 21st-century skills — are summed up as the “4Cs”).

They include the following:

Students are able to work effectively with diverse groups and exercise flexibility in making compromises to achieve common goals.

Students are able to generate and improve on original ideas and also work creatively with others.

Students are able to communicate effectively across multiple media and for various purposes.

Critical thinking:
Students are able to analyze, evaluate, and understand complex systems and apply strategies to solve problems.

Ways to do Homeschool Mathematics (without a Textbook)

Maths concepts can be taught mentally very well and without textbooks until about 12 years old.

  • times tables – rap rote, skip counting … also divisionmathpostcard

  • Rolling dice and getting him to visualise the number rather than counting them individually.

  • mental arithmetic is excellent :: if i have this many and you eat this many … how many left?

  • Use fingers to show patterns, skip jumping/counting, read stories with maths concepts in them, read recipes.

  • Baking

  • Make a pizza pie together, make symmetrical patterns with toppings? and teach basic ideas of fractions. 1/2 pie – 2 pieces the same size …

  • MEASUREMENT (give them a real tape measure at 5/6 yo, with the OSH talk)

  • tape measure – arms, legs, strides; door posts, table height, step treads, etc ..

  • How long is your thumb in centimetres? how long is your cubit? stride? doorway

  • estimation  … sensible answer?

  • How many wheels on those 3 trucks and 4 cars …? How many legs on those bugs …?

  • gardening, planting, design …

  • patterns and series, eg diff types of leaves, 10×10 (100 block) colour in …

  • map / atlas reading – note scale, NESW, distances/time, latitude / longitude, poles …

  • bus timetables – how long to go from A > B… every how many minutes …

  • for fun, learn to count to twelve or twenty in 5 different languages

  • draw shapes w/ruler, pencil, protractor, and compass

  • Big and Bigger numbers : what does 1000 look like? 1,000,000 …

  • consider big counting questions. How many chickens killed every day in NZ/the USA? How many trees in a particular forest? How many glasses of water before a particular water reservoir runs out?

Keep mathematics as an everyday part of life. The siloing (isolating or separating off) of maths and other disciplines is what sucks the joy, discovery, and relevance out of them. http://learning-reimagined.com/conrad-wolfram-maths-reimagined/

Of course you could use YouTube and Textbooks, but keep the interest and fun factor high.








Homeschooling Under Fives

A lot of learning happens without pens, pencils, felt pens, books even (shock, horror). Mix up whatever you do, working with the stages of your child/ren.foundations of faith child tree

Homeschooling is nothing mystical or special – it’s just enjoying running in the park, turning over leaves, window-shopping, engaging with the world around you like a happy (I’d like to say, normal) family. Books and desks are not the only way to learn reading and writing (that’s what schools do and it kills the pleasure of learning often) – enjoy life around you doing ordinary everyday life stuff.

Lego, cars, blocks, balls, boxes, being mother’s little helper are excellent imagination starters for 2-3 year olds. Remember you are the mother and if you want them to sit and ‘read’ a book with you for a few minutes, then that is what you work towards.

Choose what is really important to you and your family in life (your priorities), then pursue those. You are answerable to God, your husband and child/ren, and yourself for the choices you make. If your child isn’t speaking and reading by the time he’s 10-11 yo, then come and see me. (But you probably won’t need to)   🙂 

Don’t buy in to others’ comments. Comparison is a killer – it leads to pride or shame/ rejection/ depression. None of that stuff you need on top of the responsibility of being the fantastic mum + helpmeet that you are.

The best thing for your child’s mind is you smiling, chatting, touching, engaging – even for short bursts throughout the day.


HS: Sample Week in a Homeschooling Home

Friday 25 May 2012

Tamati Coffey (TV1 morning weather guy) introduced Hamilton Community Gospel Choir on TV1 Breakfast Show for their 30 seconds of fame singing “Lovely Day”. Grace in the front row; Mark in the back.

All Petra Bagust was interested in was their Paua wraps (tops).

27 May 2012

another migraine. when i bend over my brain feels like it’s falling out. still up after midnight. sinus issues still too. bit down, but boxing on.

28 May 2012

^ Homeschool Activity – Today :
~ 3x cups, 3x plates (2 sizes) – consider colour, pattern, design. Stack eg as an afternoon tea ‘tower’.
~ Character quality – dictation : Flexibility opp. resistance.
~ 10 mentals – x10, percentage of
~ w/Grace – scanned through 4x English texts > increase word power (Rdrs Digest), work with poetry, comprehension, short stories
~ Grace – set up study desk by fridge in dining room
~ Nathan – practiced printing clear numbers on whiteboard
~ peeled, chopped, grated, froze veges > 1x soup bag, 3x stir fry bags, 2x stew bags. What a team!
~ Sausage satay casserole for dinner, using one of the stew bags.

Tuesday 29 May 2012

~ Made a sausage (satay) casserole and put in the freezer for the South Island in a couple of weeks.

~ Choir for Grace. Petrol + Groceries with NJ. Nathan had a piano lesson with Alison.

~ I Bo.lted some excellent homeschool resources. Getting a useful collection on there now.
~ Also watched a safety film on riding a segway! About $100 to hire in Queenstown.
~ watched some design programs on Choice TV. Bed at 11.22pm.

31 May 2012

Thursday is about done! already. Found some pages on Atoms for G’s Chemistry class. 2 loads of washing out.

Bert + Barbara popped in for a cuppa and catch-up. Made pumpkin-based soup. Lunch.

Kids did science and maths.

Yesterday organised a bookcase for Mark’s books – he’s pleased. Not sure what was achieved today – certainly winter is here … and it can be quite chilly in the mornings.

Some Recent Links


http://www.homeschooling-ideas.com/strewing.html – Strewing – the art of leaving interesting things in your environment for your children to find and interact with.

http://www.teach-nology.com/ – lesson plans, worksheets, printable generators
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Teach-nologycom/107363172624986?ref=mf = their Facebook page


http://nzhomeed.wordpress.com/ – NZ home education support groups. Check out rest of website, especailly if new to homeschooling.

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=207213913219 – Homeschooled NZ Facebook page

http://muir.massey.ac.nz/bitstream/10179/1227/1/02whole.pdf – thesis – “Parental Choice and Education – Homeschooling in NZ”

NZ CONSERVATION – natural and historic

http://www.doc.govt.nz/getting-involved/for-teachers/meet-the-locals/ – again trim the URL > www.doc.govt.nz/


http://www.khanacademy.org/ – 1600+ videos of maths, science, and “other stuff”

http://www.mathsisfun.com/ – activities etc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_hNL__IJxGw&feature=player_embedded – The Making of a Masterpiece – baby development


http://www.connectthethoughts.net/offers/11520-20100816-1st-Your-Weekly-Journal.pdf – a week in history (hournal) – trim back the URL for a look at the website.

http://heartofwisdom.com/homeschoollinks/free-sample-lessons-and-book-excerpts/ – as it says


http://www.daily-writing-prompt.com/daily-ten-prompts.html – guidelines to help getting started with writing


http://www.jmeacham.com/emergent.readers.htm – Mrs Meachem’s Emergent Readers – scroll down or f7 search page

GENERAL – mix of subject areas :

http://www.senteacher.org/Links/ – aimed for special needs children, but great resources for under twelves. All sorts of age/activity generators. One of my first homeschool favourite websites. ***

http://it.coe.uga.edu/wwild/pptgames/ – general, making powerpoint games …

http://www.ellenjmchenry.com/id1.html – Basement Workshop

http://www.kidsknowit.com/ – Learning Activities

Enjoy your days learning with your children!

Feel Good About Home Education

Feel Good about …


http://classicalworld.wordpress.com/2008/10/21/why-do-people-homeschool/ – yay for dedicated teachers!

Homeschooling .. or is that feel good about not doing school in Quebec?



Freedom of Choice …?

http://libertyvsleviathan.wordpress.com/2008/10/21/homeschool-health-and-leviathan/ – immunisation and homeschooling


Thinking Children …

http://kidswhothink.blogspot.com/ – hard boil the eggs first? what fun!

Feeling Good!

http://hnracademy.wordpress.com/2008/10/21/125/ – I call her Mummy

Children’s security

http://leaphomeschool.files.wordpress.com/2008/10/famcirexpelled1.jpg – cartoon

Having time to look at these art barcodes!



original : October 2008

HS Science links

This in NO way is a comprehensive list. I’m not a scientist, but a curious home educating mother.353px-Monarch_Butterfly_Cocoon_6708

These are some of the what-I-think-interesting sites that I’ve stumbled on in my 10 years of homeschooling.


General or All

https://www.youtube.com/user/bozemanbiology – more than biology, science in general (high school level)

How Stuff Works – also http://science.howstuffworks.com/

Science from the Beeb – 4-11 yo
+ Teacher resources – 9-10 yo
Teacher’s (or home educating parents’) resources : scienceclips

+ teachers : 3 pages of lesson plans and worksheets

3D Papercraft – see the Science section

Krampf Experiment newsletter – www.krampf.com


Exploratorium – www.exploratorium.edu/educate/index.html

Science resources – http://camillasenior.homestead.com/resources.html

Janice VanCleave’s Science Fair Handbook (Scientific Method, topic research, sample project/report, display, presentation and evaluation) – http://school.discovery.com/sciencefaircentral/scifairstudio/handbook/index.html

(thanks to Gin at Bryant Academy – bryantacademy@comcast.net)



Biology for kids

Some anatomy printables


NZ Science Learning Zone – earthquakes, volcanoes, ice house

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTL_U_K1eP4T885-JL3rVgw – GNS Science channel : earthquakes, volcanoes, tectonic plates, ice + snow, fossils


http://www.squidoo.com/physicslapbook – Jimmie

Life Sciences

Life Science downloads – parent and student copies –

http://eequalsmcq.com/elem%20life%20science%20websites.htm – extra resources, mainly BBC
parent and student copy – better on dsl for 2-10 MB download.
Great resources for topics like: sense, human body, classification etc.

Dinosaurs –


http://www.webelements.com/– click through to further info on each element

Can sign up for ‘Elements’ email at: www.howtoteachscience.com – Teresa

webquest – http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/homeschoolingmommaof4/Chemistry

Science Fairs

Don’t know where to start?  (by UGA)  – www.libs.uga.edu/ref/scifair.html

Science Fair help

More project ideas for elementary projects – www.uga.edu/oasp/gsef/sources.html

Middle School Science Fair basics – www.uga.edu/oasp/gsef/gsef/basics.pdf

Discovery Channel Young Scientist Challenge  –

Discovery Channel Schools (Science) Curriculum Center –

NASA lesson plan search – http://questdb.arc.nasa.gov/lesson_search.htm#search

Newton’s Apple teacher’s guides – www.tpt.org/newtons/alpha.html

Cyber-Fair (a resource elementary students) – www.isd77.k12.mn.us/resources/cf/steps.html



Freaky Ice Hand

I know my DS8 will enjoy doing this!  Check out the rest of the website – for budding scientists or the plain inquisitive.

HS : Home Educators’ YearBook

Home Educators Yearbook

Before the year ends, here’s one way to have a record of your Homeschool year :

  1. Buy a small-medium photo album
  2. Check there are plain cards slightly smaller than the sleeve in each sleeve. This keeps pages firm, esp if no photos.
  3. Grab a camera and do some catch-up photo-taking. Capture people and places on film or disk.
  4. Front-Title page – express yourself creatively. Name – Year – Title

DOUBLE PAGES (may need more than one pair)

  1. “Class” pictures – gather up photos of friends and family you see a lot of throughout the year.
  2. Clubs + Classes – list or photos of who you do your co-op lessons with, go cycling, play music or sport …with. Reduce certificates to fit.
  3. Pictures, sketches, or list of special ‘field trips’ and outings eg. Ball, Zoo, Swimsafe …
  4. Favourites – colours, places, music, quotes, sayings, … for yourself and your friends.
  5. Academics – big learnings for the year, projects, lapbooks, countries studied … Reduce pages to fit. The size of your photo album will determine if you have a page for each month.

Those with scrapbooking tendencies could frilly it up. You could buy several albums at a time – a different colour for each child? Each year? Make it your own.

And enjoy the memories you’ve been creating all year.

– Johanna W, 2007