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Studies in Australian History – Week Three

2 August, 2013

This week included two days out of the house, which meant not so many picture books were read this week, and I’m ending the week feeling like I need a holiday. Neither of the picture books we read directly linked into our studies, but they are both by Australian authors.

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Captain Kangaroo… Let’s just say I wouldn’t buy it. Or rush to read it again. Not awful just… Meh.

An Ordinary Day… It’s all about the art. It’s a lovely little story, told mostly through the illustrations. We’re even going to try some of our own.

Last week, I read The Goat Who Sailed The World, for myself, to see if I would get Zoe (almost ten) to read it… But there were a few things in it that I felt were really inappropriate for that age group, things she doesn’t need to be introduced to at that age. I’d consider reading it aloud but at over forty chapters… It would take us quite a while to read… But don’t be surprised if I come back next week saying that’s the only book we’ve read…

As far as our travel through time is concerned, we’ve covered about 200 years of naval exploration and discovery of Australia. Lieutenant James Cook has just laid anchor in Stringray Bay (later to be renamed Botany Bay). I’m really enjoying the notebooking pages available from Homeschooling Downunder that we are using. And I keep forgetting to use our Australian History Pictures… Must get them out for the kids to colour when next I read aloud.

We also took advantage of our trip up the Blue Mountains for a group bushwalk to check out some more local-area Aboriginal history.

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There were two sites I hadn’t been aware of, where there were Aboriginal rock engravings, not far from our bushwalk site, in Faulconbridge and Lawson. We had issues with finding the first using google maps (the best way to locate it is to put the coordinates into your GPS – 33.70565 S 150.52417 E) but we found it eventually.

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The second, on Kangaroo St Lawson (named for the kangaroo rock engraving), was much easier to find. The rock platform was also great fun for some “surfing”… Until someone face-planted…

We then travelled up to the Aboriginal Cultural Centre in Katoomba… Which is basically a shop that has a show about eight times a day, which includes aboriginal dancing. So, unless you’re going up for the show, it’s not worth the trip. However the Blue Mountains Chocolate Company up the road was well worth the drive ;-).

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So we had a lovely day out and made use of our trip to enrich our understanding of local Aboriginal history.

And I almost forgot to include our art activity!

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This week we’ve been working on an Enchanted Lands art project from Deep Space Sparkle to help us learn a little about map-making and cartography. It’s also our first artwork with water colours so its been a bit of a learning curve, but great fun. I can’t rate the lesson plans from Deep Space Sparkle highly enough. They have seriously revolutionised our art lessons this year.

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Now I don’t think I’ve forgotten anything else…

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