Everyday Education

Finding learning in everyday… finding learning through our play


April 2016

School Holidays…

We’ve kicked off our first week of the holidays with DVD/Movie montages & Pop corn – Yum! …Zoo trips with friends & cousins… Making loads of mess indoors (as the winter weather sets in this is becomming a popular option for the kids)… lots of reading books… playing pretend in our boat… experimenting with some healthy cooking- GREEN pancakes were a hit! …enjoying the backyard… and even a Wedding!

Yes even in the holidays we are busy bees.


I wanted to quickly take the time to note about Mayhem- he has amazed me over the past week at how his behaviour has once again settled back and his helpful little self has returned (although he still has a big melt down whenever he’s tired)… this morning as he offered to help me with Monkeys nappy change, he sat up on the table and asked “Would you like a story Monkey?”… to which he began to tell him the story of “Peter Rabbit”.

Now- he has only ever heard this story via audio CD in the car- and I honestly wasn’t sure how much of it he was actually taking in- however – to my amazement he was reciting the story word- for word to his little brother- along with all the musical animations to go with it!

Mayhem has always been wonderful at remembering stories- even before the age of 2 he could open up his Slinky Milinki book and “tell” you the whole story as if he was reading the book- however- I always thought that the pictures were a good prompt and the visual cue was what helped him to remember the story.. now I know that this (the visual aid) isn’t a necessity to his memory- but that he infact has quite a good ear!

In one instance it bothers me that he’s always had issues with glue ear, perforated ear drum/ infections for the majority of his little life- although not a bad case – it sometimes makes one wonder- if these issues hadn’t occurred how much more could he have possibly advanced himself- especially if he is an auditory learner.

Anyway, with this new insight I will make an effort to purchase/ borrow (from the library) a few more audio books to play on a regular basis- and car rides are a perfect place for this (the learning never ends!).

If you’re on school holidays- we hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!



(Picture borrowed via


Term 1 Revisited

That completes our first “School” term> It’s now School Holidays & I’m going to use this time to re evaluate our term, learning, look at some new goals and interests we’d like to follow up on. I’d like to get some resources together and prepare for “term 2”.

(I’m currently choosing to follow the school term because the requirements for home educating is that you can prove that your child is receiving the same (if not more) learning time than children attending schools. In truth because you are not restricted by time as a home educator you would probably find that home educated children get more than enough education time as other students.

You’ll note I don’t keep timing the children’s activities- their day starts at the crack of dawn (which is why they often are watching a DVD while the adults in the house are still trying to rise) and they continue to play & learn right through till they are being forced into bed (even though they would much rather continue to play and explore and cause havoc throughout the house).

Ideally we would have more of a routine by the time we start our “official” home school year next year- this I’m sure will become easier as we find our groove. In the last couple of weeks we have started a “Chore Chart” where each morning the children need to complete the “jobs” on their list in order to choose one DVD to watch that day & in the evenings another set of “jobs” in order to choose one Bed Time story each before bed. This in itself is helping us all to establish more routine- as the kids really want to just get on and watch something! (or as Mayhem informed me the other day “I need to do my jobs, so I can get money to save up for another thunderbird!” – he’s been listening to us telling him that Grandad and Daddy go to work to earn money & he wants to be just like them.

Although there isn’t a lot of schedule keeping or order to our lives currently, there is one thing that is for sure (as we’ve found out at the end of this term) is that there WILL be hiccups along the way (such as sickness/ injury)- this is why I initially decided to go with 6 day weeks to begin with & only one “day off” a week – as to be prepared for times where BLOBBING, REST & RECOVERY were necessary.

  • Of course much is learnt during these  (sick)days as well- learning how to be compassionate toward their siblings, helping to comfort and look after one another, understanding that sometimes in life we need to take the back seat and put the needs of others first, and seeing/ experiencing first hand why it’s important to look after ourselves- Not to mention being grateful and making the most of the good times!… ALL of this is a wonderful lesson in life! (and in saying this I guess those rough 2 weeks have probably been of great benefit to us all).


Mum suggested making a map of our city and pin pointing different locations/ activities  we could do with the kids (e.g. Train rides, attractions, Parks, Mountains/ Volcanoes) and allow them to pick a place that we visit each week- so we give this a try next term too.

Over the ‘school break’ there’s always plenty of family activities aimed at children so we will definitely be checking a few of them out & take photos of all our adventures along the way.. in the meantime enjoy the break & we’ll be back posting in 2 weeks time!

We Visited some great places this term including:

Stone fields

Gypsy Fair


Great Grandma & Grandads

Nanny & Poppas (+ Aunts, Uncle & Cousin)

Great Nanas (where our Great Aunts, Uncles, & cousins also come for family lunch)

Hampton Downs Raceway

Steel Mill lookout

Awhitu Winery

Manukau Heads Lighthouse

Rocket Ropes

Butterfly Creek

Dinosaur Kingdom


Parks/ Playgrounds


Pet Shop



Puponga Point



Kauri Carnival


Buddy Walk


Refuse & Recycle Centre (with Natural/ Unschooling- Home Educated Facebook group.)

Kelly Tarltons

Russell, Bay of Islands

Puhoi Cheese Factory


We’ve done some fun stuff too:

Baking/ Cooking

Play dough- sensory- texture, colour, smell

Bike riding

Kite flying

Bubble making

Computer games

Watching DVDs

Reading books


Colouring in

Sticker book activities

Magnet play


Duplo play

Train play- Building/ Construction

Water play- colours/ slide/ balloons/ rain



Dress Ups

Music Play

Balancing- Swiss Ball, Bikes, Boards


Maths- number recognition (chalk, bikes, counting)


Looking after & playing with the animals

Ball play

Jumping- ground, trampoline, jolly jumper

Creating little worlds (dinosaurs)

Pretend play- imagination- kitchen, toys, Boat

Nature play- exploring backyard, parks, muddy puddles

Made recycled craft- wind chime

Eye tracking

Tummy time- play mat, bath

Free exploration- garden, parks, home

Audio Books

Car/ Digger Play- getting mucky, racing


We’ve had so much fun… and I can’t believe we have done so much in the space of one term! I honestly don’t think we did this many field trips in the space of one YEAR when I was at school…

…I can’t wait to see where we end up next term!

(watch this space)

Day 75…


  • Breakfast
  • Play with our toys
  • Watch Read DVD


  • We went to meet up with Nanny, V, Aunty V, Aunty Y and cousin Monster for Brunch
  • Played on the playground
  • Had a look at where the cheese gets stored- there were lots of big ones and even a cake made of cheese wheels!
  • We had something to eat and drink
  • Chased the ducks and watched the water fountain from the bank
  • We played with the toys and had an over all amazingly good time together


  • Played with our toys together and on the playground with Nanny
  • Had dinner
  • Bath time/ PJs
  • Birthday Cake

HOME for ZZZZzzzzzz’s


Day 74

  • Watched Paw Patrol & Wiggles
  • Breakfast
  • Feed Barry & Cat
  • Played trains/ Thunderbirds
  • Dressed
  • Mayhem Kindy
  • Watched the wind chime outside- Mischief had an investigation- shaking each object before smacking into the other- listening to each sound and telling Mummy that the spoons were used for “dinner”! Monkey watched the whole thing in wonder- eyes wide and ears listening (sensory).
  • Mischief baking with cookies with Mummy & Bread with Mama

Measuring, colours, vocab, Fine motor skills, sensory- smell, taste, touch, see, shapes, counting- “we have 1 man, 2 flowers and 3 stars on the cooling tray!”

  • Naps
  • Mayhem comes home with Mama with Ice-Creams! Yummy!
  • Play
  • Have dinner
  • Baths
  • Bedtime



Day 73

Due to yesterdays explosions we had to keep Mayhem home from Kindy.. on top of this Poor Monkey was running a fever & hasn’t been well… Looks like a quiet day today.

  • Watched a few DVDs
  • Played trains and toys
  • Played leapfrog and computer games
  • Danced and sang songs
  • Read Stories


Day 72

  • Watch Your Baby can read
  • Play
  • Do our chores
  • Visit the Zoo: We wanted to check out the newly renovated enclosure at the safari park & Meerkat tunnels- Very cool! And we LOVED watching the tiny baby turtles in their turtle crèche!

The visit – started good- Followed by the rascals jumping in the fountain again (this time fully clothed) – continued on quite happily- only to end in an explosion on the wrong sort! (at least we were able to laugh it all off)




  • Home
  • Bath/ showers, PJs
  • Dinner
  • Stories
  • Bedtime

Day 71

After coming home safe and sound- at 4am after I changed Master Monkey I turn to put him back to bed… only to find it has been taken over by little people! (I smile) Pop Monkey back in his bed & find a cosy spot on the couch- It’s good to have them home again… just like they never left!


  • Chores completed: Breakfast, Put dishes away, Dress, Feed Barry/ Cat, Brush teeth, makes Beds
  • A DVD kind of day- we watch a few new ones (Paw Patrol & Dora)
  • Play in the boat, swing,  bake and sleep


Days 67-70

Day 67:

  • Mayhem goes to Kindy
  • Mischief & Monkey hang out with mummy, do some shopping, pack bags
  • Mayhem and Mischief go to Russell, Bay of Islands, with their Mama & Grandad for a long weekend break!

  • Meanwhile- Master Monkey has a great time hanging out with Mummy & Daddy- going out for Brunch, lunch with Nanny & Grape Picking in the evening.



Day 70:

They arrive home after an awesome time away with lots to share about their adventures.

When children travel, especially internationally, they gain a new perspective about their place in the world. They see beyond their own backyard and their minds are opened to different cultures, standards of living, and ways of life. Through travel, kids can learn that happiness can come in many forms.

Traveling with children is effective and educational not because children remember it or fully appreciate the significance of a piece of art, a historical monument or immersion into another language or culture, but simply because it contributes to their growth by increasing the number of neural connections in the brain.

Day 66

A Kelly Tarltons kind of Day

  • Breakfast
  • Do our morning Jobs
  • Kelly Traltons

We got some activity books and searched and found stamps throughout our visit. We saw some funky creatures- penguins, fish, turtles, sharks, crabs and stingrays… we played in the play area, and explored and discovered… we climbed and crawled, we ran and jumped, we played, read, touched, ate, listened, counted, laughed, danced and enjoyed the pretty colours too!



  • Home
  • Played outside in the boat, dirt and water
  • Mischief Bath & Pjs
  • Mayhem leapfrog
  • Monkey nap
  • Dinner – Much to mummy’s AMAZEMENT the kids did really well with their dinner- Mischief gobbled down her chicken & couscous and Mayhem left only one chicken kebab- YES he actually ate ALL the carrot & cucumber on his plate WITHOUT whinging!
  • Mayhem Shower & PJs
  • Monkey Bath & PJs
  • Story & Bedtime

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