Welcome to our blog!

Welcome to the SHEAF Blog.

Despite our best intentions, we're not great at keeping this blog updated with our latest happenings. We are, however, definitely an active group, meeting at least once each week during term time.

If you'd like to make contact with Dunedin home educators, our contact details are in the column, below right.

We send out a weekly email newsletter with details of upcoming events, courses, gatherings etc.

You can also find us on Facebook (page is visible whether you're a facebook user or not)
http://www.facebook.com/SHEAFDunedin

Have a look through this blog to see the types of events we have organised in the past. You'll also find links to other blogs and articles that we find useful or informative, on the off-chance that you'll appreciate them too :~) (Look for these more general blog-posts under the label "Weekend Reading")

If you're not currently on our email list and would like to contact us, please email us at the address you can see in the column on the right. We'd love to hear from you!

(Last updated May 2013)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Weekend Reading - Erasing the Fear of Homeschooling

Hi all, this weekend reading link was suggested by Kathrin. A most excellent discovery.

Heather Sanders, a guest blogger at the Pioneer Woman blog, talks about her initial decision to homeschool, the almost overwhelming fears that accompany that decision, and how she worked her way through them. If you're at the start of your home ed journey, you may find some comfort here - even if it's just the reassurance that someone else knows your pain! And if you've been walking this path for a while now it can be helpful to remember how incredibly scary the whole thing was back at the beginning. Also helpful for those recurring panic attacks that beset us all from time to time :)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Diary Dates - 20 Sep 2010

There are a few changes to times etc from what has been previously listed. These are highlighted in red.

Term 3

every Monday during term time, 11:00 - 12:00pm: Swimsation lessons; 12:00pm on: lunch and socialising. If you are interested in joining the lessons, contact Swimsation at Moana Pool. Otherwise, just turn up!

every Tuesday, 12:30 - 2:00pm approx: tennis at Logan Park tennis courts. Contact Ted for more information.

10:30 - 12:30pm, Wednesday 22 September: Otago Settlers Museum trip "Sea Legs". Bookings essential - contact Kate Jenkins or email Nicola.

1:00pm, Wednesday 22 September: Meet up at Mosgiel Park, next to the library.

7:30pm, Wednesday 22 September: Big People's Night Out, Nova Cafe.

10am, Friday 24 September: Orokonui Ecosanctuary trip


Term 4

7:30pm, Thursday 21 October: Big People's Night Out, Nova Cafe.

1:00pm, Wednesday 10 November: First Aid workshop for intermediate aged kids. Contact Kathrin to book

Friday 12 - Saturday 13 November: Tirohanga Camp. Contact Stacey to book

Wednesday 17 November: Life Education Trust visit, Calton Hill School. Contact Annemieke to book

Remember, if it's raining, our outdoor meet-ups or walks will usually be cancelled/postponed.

Orokonui Ecosanctuary Trip

From Julie Wiel:

The trip is scheduled for Friday, 24th September....if weather is bad we will postpone till 4th term (could be hard to schedule, so please pray for good weather).

Cost: $5 per child, babies are free, but a donation would be nice. Extra adults please make a donation.

Make sure you wear walking shoes - it is a downhill 90 minute walk to see the saddlebacks & NZ's tallest tree (this is an optional walk). You will need water bottle & jacket. Transport back up the hill will be provided.

You can bring your own lunch, or buy at the cafe there (pretty pricey) if you are staying the whole day.

Morning: 3 groups for children
* 7 years & below (incl. pre-schoolers)
* 8-11 years
* 12 years & upwards.

Littlies will be doing fun stuff & walking to a viewing platform

8-11 year olds will be working with "tracker tunnels" for catching pests (made with ink and cardboard).

Older ones will be tree planting. We can put up a plaque, but cost for this is $100, so let Julie know if you are keen.

If you take the motorway out to blueskin nursery (at Waitati) the sanctuary is signposted from there (initially brown signs, and then later changing). Please allow plenty of time as it is a long windy road up to the sanctuary.

We need to start promptly at 10.00 am, so please make sure you arrive early.

There are still places available if you are keen to come along.

Congratulations Corner

Congratulations to all the kids who played at the Saturday Morning Music Classes concert today! It's always an achievement to make it to the end of the concert, not to mention the term :-)

Life Education Trust caravan

From Annemieke:
On 17 November we have two sessions booked with Harold the Giraffe from the Life Education Trust. It will be held at Calton Hill school, but Jacki has organized two sessions for home schoolers only.
The sessions are as follows:

9.00-11.00am for 5 - 8 year olds. The program is: Harold's picnic, food for energy, space invaders.

11.20-1.40pm for 9 - 13 year olds. The program is: Body journey, warrant of fitness.

The cost is only a few dollars per child, around $4, depending on the amount of children coming. These classes are usually very educational and fun, and I am taking the last bookings now. Please let me know this week if you are coming.

Annemieke

Monday, September 13, 2010

Diary Dates - 13 Sep 2010

Term 3

every Monday during term time, 11:00 - 12:00pm: Swimsation lessons; 12:00pm on: lunch and socialising. If you are interested in joining the lessons, contact Swimsation at Moana Pool to book. Otherwise, just turn up!

every Tuesday, 12:30 - 2:00pm approx: tennis at Logan Park tennis courts. Contact Ted for more information.

12:30pm, Wednesday 15 September: Meet up at Dinosaur Park/Marlow Park, bring bikes, scooters, the usual multi-wheeled objects, and clothes to protect from the biting St Kilda winds.

10:30 - 12:30pm, Friday 17 September: Otago Settlers Museum trip "Dominoes". Bookings essential - contact Kate Jenkins or email Nicola.

10:30 - 12:30pm, Wednesday 22 September: Otago Settlers Museum trip "Sea Legs". Bookings essential - contact Kate Jenkins or email Nicola.

12:30pm, Wednesday 22 September: Meet up at Mosgiel Park, next to the library.

7:30pm, Thursday 23 September: Big People's Night Out, Nova Cafe.


Term 4

7:30pm, Thursday 21 October: Big People's Night Out, Nova Cafe.

1:00pm, Wednesday 10 November: First Aid workshop for intermediate aged kids. Contact Kathrin to book

Friday 12 - Saturday 13 November: Tirohanga Camp. Contact Stacey to book

Wednesday 17 November: Life Education Trust visit, Calton Hill School. Contact Annemieke to book

Remember, if it's raining, our outdoor meet-ups or walks will usually be canceled/postponed.

9 Weeks until the 2010 SHEAF camp!

The camp is shaping up to be a bunch of fun. So far I've heard back from about 9 families, and there's room for about 6 more families, so be in quick!

At this stage, I plan to assign a cabin to each family group, leaving the actual arrangements to each family - but there will be enough room in each cabin for the family assigned to it! (the cabins come in 4-bed, 6-bed and 8-bed sizes). I hope to have all families with little pre-schoolers in the warmer lodge-type cabins. There is also apparently space (with electrical hook-up) for 2 caravans/motor homes if anyone would like to bring their own bedrooms with them (the cost is still $10 per person).

The price for day-visitors is $5 per person - so any family who has members not totally keen on spending the night can have one or more people join us on Saturday morning for the day.

So - to recap the details:
location - Tirohanga Camp, near Mosgiel
when - 4.30pm Friday 12th November to 3pm Saturday 13th November
cost - $10 per person plus about $10 per family (for firewood etc). $5 per day-visitor. Pre-schoolers free.
food - BYO and potluck

Contact me for more details and to book in!
Cheers
Stacey

AVKO Tour (on Dyslexia)

From Learnex, via Selina-Jane and CHEF:

Don McCabe, Research Director of the AVKO Educational Research Foundation, and author of over forty books (including the Sequential Spelling series) will be visiting NZ at the end of next month. Don is dyslexic and has dedicated his life to helping dyslexics become literate rather than being limited by labels.

We’ve only just been advised about the tour so are hurriedly looking at organising a few events. If you are based in Dunedin, Christchurch or Wellington and are interested in helping to organise or attend an event, please contact me off list ASAP. Don uses a multi sensory approach to teaching literacy as he teaches all four skills of writing, reading, spelling and listening at once.

If you haven’t heard of Don McCabe before, check out this YouTube link (I think it was originally from a TV documentary) as he takes a 17-year-old dyslexic through his first lesson at the AVKO Dyslexia Research Foundation. You will be able to watch the young man's face as he discovers that Mr. McCabe has "tricked him" into being able to read and spell instantly the word malicious!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNvIpDJwPfg

Also, he has just put up a new video called, ”You Can’t Teach What you Know if you Don’t Know that you Know it” which deals with some of the ridiculous English spelling anomalies.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cIwUR5uTRE

These videos and other AVKO on YouTube are worth a look even if you are unable to attend a seminar.

The dates we have are as follows:

Oct 27 Dunedin
Oct 28 Christchurch
Oct 29 Wellington

We are still trying to twist his arm to have something in Auckland date yet but this hasn’t been confirmed.

Erena

(The AVKO tour is brought to you by The Firelight Foundation. The Firelight Foundation is the non-profit wing of LearnEX – www.learnex.co.nz .)

New Zealand Vegemite Spelling Bee

From Selina-Jane and CHEF:

My name is Janet Lucas and I am the organiser of the New Zealand Vegemite Spelling Bee. I would appreciate it if you could forward the information below about the spelling bee to parents of year eight students as the event has changed. It now starts when the US Spelling Bee starts (now) instead of next year when the students are in Year Nine.

The enrollment process has also changed. Schools must enrol directly with Scripps online in the US and pay $US99. Home schooled children are eligible for participation in the New Zealand Vegemite Spelling Bee. They follow the same enrollment instructions as a school does but pay a $US10 enrollment fee.

For more information go to: http://hef.org.nz/2010/new-zealand-vegemite-spelling-bee/

Marine Conservation Tours

From Selina-Jane and CHEF:

Saturday 11th - Sunday 19th September 2010

Love New Zealand sea creatures!

Meet the unique and diverse creatures that live in the harbour on your doorstep and find out how you can help to ensure they are there for future generations to enjoy.

In celebration of Conservation Week, join a 10.30am tour at the NZ Marine Studies for half the normal price and take home a free Rocky Shore Guide.

Normal price for a guided tour is $21 Adult, $11 Child, $48 Family, with concessions available for Seniors and Students. During Conservation Week these prices will be 50% off.

To book a place, please phone the NZ Marine Studies Centre on 03 479 5826 or email your request to marine-studies@otago.ac.nz


><(("> ><(((*> ><(("> ><(((*>


New Zealand Marine Studies Centre
University of Otago, Marine Science Department
Hatchery Road, Portobello, Dunedin, NZ
Open daily from 10am - 4.30pm
WWW.MARINE.AC.NZ

Children's Commissioner looking for 12-15 year old young people who are passionate about Aotearoa New Zealand

Also see your newsletter for the three YPRG attachments for more information.

CHILDREN'S COMMISSIONER IS LOOKING FOR NEW MEMBERS FOR HIS YOUNG PEOPLE'S REFERENCE GROUP

The Young People's Reference Group is one way the Children's Commissioner hears first hand what it's like being young in New Zealand. The group provides their views, and looks at potential solutions to key issues affecting New Zealand/Aotearoa. Members of the Young Peoples Reference Group serve a two-year term, they are seen as staff to the Children's Commissioner and their contributions are woven throughout the work of the Office.

Do you know of young people who are interested in speaking about issues that impact on children and young people? Want a chance to influence decision-makers? Aged between 12-15 years? Are good at working in a team? Currently connected to school groups, community groups, church groups, their local hapu and iwi or sports club? Like to work hard and are looking for a challenge?

The Children's Commissioner covers all costs for members of the Young People's Reference Group.

Then the Children's Commissioner, who is a voice for children and young people in New Zealand/Aotearoa, is interested in hearing from them. The Children's Commissioner would be grateful if you could mention this opportunity to young people you are connected to.

WHAT IS IN IT FOR THEM
· Being a strong voice to decision-makers
· Learning about government and decision-making processes
· Learning about Aotearoa New Zealand and our diverse communities
· Building confidence around public speaking
· Developing your writing skills
· Working with different young people and adults from around Aotearoa New Zealand
· Building media skills
· Attending conferences
· Coming to Wellington four times a year
· Having fun and eating lots of food
· Being paid for their time

Attached is a recruitment flyer and quick guide to the Young People's Reference Group that may be used for promotional information.

Application forms can be downloaded at www.occ.org.nz/yprg We are happy to send applications out, please request one via 0800 22 44 53 ex 808, or email children@occ.org.nz with your address and we will send you one.

If you would like to learn more about the role and the Office of the Children's Commissioner check out: www.occ.org.nz

All fully completed applications can be sent to:
Rebecca Blaikie
Office of the Children's Commissioner
P O Box 5610
WELLINGTON 6145

Applications to apply for the Children's Commissioner's Young People's Reference Group will close at 5pm on Sunday October 31, 2010.

The deadline has been extended as many of the applications received to date are from young people who unfortunately fall out of the age bracket of the group. The Children's Commissioner needs to receive applications from young people under the age of 16, as this allows members to serve a full two-year term with the opportunity to stay until they are 18 years of age.

A decision around successful applications will be made in early December 2010. The new members will have their first meeting in February 2011.

Work requirements for those on benefits

Email from NCHENZ:

NOTE!! The new work requirements for beneficiaries that affect homeschooling parents come into force at the end of the 2010 school year. See the information direct from Paula Bennett at
http://www.nchenz.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/Tarnya-Burge-07-09-10.pdf

http://www.nchenz.org.nz/2010/09/07/more-on-dpb-and-work-requirements/

Recent legislation has seen changes in the work requirements for beneficiaries. Until now parents on a benefit who homeschool their child(ren) were generally exempt from these requirements, but no longer.

The regulations now require that homeschooling parent on a benefit must show that "it would be unreasonable to expect the child to
attend school because of the family's circumstances" for them to be granted an exemption from work test requirements. Section 6 (2) (c) of the new regulations.

Circumstances under which an exemption might be granted are that the child has special needs, or that the family lives too far from a school.

Note that these regulations affect those on sickness and unemployment benefits as well as the DPB.

I strongly urge all homeschoolers to support our fellow homeschoolers who are being affected by these changes. We never know when we might face the same situation ourselves.
Please leave a comment on our webpage
http://www.nchenz.org.nz/have-your-say/

Regards from someone who has been a single homeschooling parent.
Penny Bilton.

Co-ordinator of NCHENZ

Chemistry courses confirmed for Feb 2011

From Nathalie Thomas:

We are running two chemistry workshops for home educating families at Otago University on 16 and 17 February 2011. Each workshop runs for three hours. The focus is on practical work and using equipment and chemicals in the laboratory.

Cost per workshop is $40 for one student or $75 for two students enrolling together.

Forensics workshop Students will practice being a forensic scientist by examining powders and using chemical tests to identify them.
Suitable for children 11-17 years (note that a parent needs to attend with their child if the child is under 14 years of age).

Year 11 Chemistry Workshop We will look at precipitation reactions, identifying unknown ions and rates of reaction. These practical chemistry experiments support NCEA level 1 science of the New Zealand curriculum. Some pre-study of chemistry theory is required. Suitable for children 14-17 years.

Courses are run by Nathalie Thomas, a fully qualified science teacher (and home educating mum) with a degree in chemistry. If you would like more information or a booking form, please email Nathalie on: info@science-for-home-educators.co.nz.

Best regards,

Nathalie Thomas, MSc, DipT
Science for Home Educators
PO Box 179
Katikati 3166
Bay of Plenty
Ph (07) 5490383
www.science-for-home-educators.co.nz

Kiwi Conservation Club needs a new co-ordinator

The most recent KCC newsletter sent out a request for a new co-ordinator for the Dunedin branch. This work involves about 16 hours per month, which includes organising trips and writing the newsletter.

If you think you could help, email Mark Hanger at markhanger@naturequest.co.nz, or ring Mark or Janet Ledingham on 489 3233.

For more info about KCC, check here: http://www.kcc.org.nz/ (quite a few of us are KCC members - their magasines are in the library too, if you want to have a look)

Dunedin Kids Market

The first Dunedin Kids Market will be held next Sunday (19 September) from 10am - 2pm, at the Bayfield High School Gym, on Shore Street. Pre-loved clothes and toys for 0 - 8 year olds will be sold, as well as new products for all. Here's their blurb:
Well the countdown is on! We have 56 stalls booked so far with something for everyone....clothing, gifts, toys, children's accessories, photography, d├ęcor, you name it we’ve got it. As you wander around the stalls treat yourself to a hot coffee and BBQ sausage sizzle or something sweet from the Elm Row bake stall. It is going to be a great day out!

Term 4 planning for SHEAF activities

Donna and Ted have both suggested that we do some short bush walks next term, possibly on a weekly or monthly basis. Donna recommended the book "Dunedin Tracks and Trails" by Antony Hamel (I'm not sure if that's the same book Ted also had), which she bought from Paper Plus. Nicola'll keep you posted with any plans!

Otago Settlers Museum trips

Kate Jenkins has booked two visits to the Settlers Museum to participate in two separate programs, both aimed at primary aged students. They have said that it's important we keep the maximum number of students to 20, so bookings are essential. Here are the details:

* Friday 17th September 10.30-12.30 “Dominoes” – looking broadly at toys and specifically at dominoes
* Wednesday 22nd September 10-30- 12.30 “Sea Legs” – interactive simulation of a long sea journey

If you're interested, please email Nicola and she will pass your details on to Kate so that we can confirm there are enough spaces.

First Aid workshop for intermediate aged kids

First Aid workshop - aimed at students year 7-8 (give or take a year or two!) Covering CPR, first aid, etc.

Wednesday November 10, 1.00pm. Gold coin donation.

Contact Kathrin to book

There is also the possibility of another workshop next year for high-school students, which will provide NZQA credits when completed. Cost would be around $150 per student. Please let her know if you would be interested in this course. Kathrin also has a few packs left over from the St Johns workshop recently. Email her if you missed out and would like one!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Weekend Reading - Drowning doesn't look like drowning

This weekend reading is a public service announcement. With summer coming up it is good to brush up on those water-safety skills. For me, the most frightening bit about this article was the statistics - about 50% of kids who drown do so within 25 yards of a parent or other adult, and of those, 10% will drown while the adult is watching them do it, having no idea that it is happening. We all know we need to watch our kids in the water - but do we know what we are watching for?

Drowning doesn't look like drowning
by Mario Vittone

And while we're on the subject, have a look at this website by Surf Lifesaving Australia. It's all about how to recognise a rip current (and there are cool animations). In short, the calmest bit of a surf beach is usually the most dangerous, but again, it helps if you know what you're looking for!

Safe swimming!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Diary Dates - 6 Sep 2010

THIS WEEK

2:00pm, Wednesday 8 September: Intriguing Dunedin Street Walk, green book 3, walk 1. Meet on The Esplanade, St Clair. Note the change of time - please email NIcola if you plan to come on this walk so that I can confirm the time with you.

Kate Jenkins is trying to organise a trip to the Otago Settlers Museum this Wednesday morning - if it is confirmed, it might be best for our walk to be scheduled a bit later than normal, for people who want to do both activities. The walk is quite flat, and should only take 1.5 hours, so I think 2pm might work out - let Nicola know if you want to come and that time doesn't work for you!


Term 3

every Monday during term time, 11:00 - 12:00pm: Swimsation lessons; 12:00pm on: lunch and socialising. If you are interested in joining the lessons, email Adrian Brown at albrown@dcc.govt.nz to book. Otherwise, just turn up!

every Tuesday, 12:30 - 2:00pm approx: tennis at Logan Park tennis courts. Contact Ted at for more information.

(time to be confirmed) 2:00pm, Wednesday 8 September: Intriguing Dunedin Street Walk, green book 3, walk 1. Meet on The Esplanade, St Clair.

12:30pm, Wednesday 15 September: Meet up at Dinosaur Park/Marlow Park, bring bikes, scooters, the usual multi-wheeled objects, and clothes to protect from the biting St Kilda winds.

12:30pm, Wednesday 22 September: Meet up at Mosgiel Park, next to the library.

7:30pm, Thursday 23 September: Big People's Night Out, Nova Cafe.


Term 4

7:30pm, Thursday 21 October: Big People's Night Out, Nova Cafe.

Friday 12 - Saturday 13 November: Tirohanga Camp. Contact Stacey to book

Wednesday 17 November: Life Education Trust visit, Calton Hill School. Contact Annemieke to book

Remember, if it's raining, our outdoor meet-ups or walks will usually be cancelled/postponed.

From the CHEF Newsletter:

Mark Wilson: Piano and Song (note, this is not Stacey's husband - he just has the same name!)

Lunchtime concert, Dunedin Hospital Chapel, Thursday September 16, 12.30pm

Koha gratefully received by Otago Healthcare Chaplaincy. Often introduced as Queenstown’s and Central Otago’s most-loved musician, Mark is just one beneficiary of neurosurgery in Dunedin. Diagnosed last year with a brain tumour he survived radical surgery and was eventually able to return to the Queenstown musical scene. In town for routine monitoring of his condition, he offers this concert as a gift in gratitude for both the care and skills of the hospital’s medical professionals and the spiritual nurture of the chaplaincy service. Blind from birth, Mark is a graduate in classical piano performance, a recorded jazz performer, a player of keyboards in bands including the well known Master Blasters, a singer with a wide repertoire, the principal organist at Queenstown’s St Peter’s Anglican Church and a composer of works including hymns. Expect to be delighted by a wide range of music and witty banter from Mark in this programme.

Anna Barham

Congratulations Corner!

  • Congratulations to Leighton, Palin, Aster and Miro for competing in the South Island Chess Champs in Ashburton last week! Scores were still being tallied when I last heard, so fingers crossed for a great result!
  • Congratulations to Emily and Liberty for their great work baking and selling cupcakes for the SPCA’s Cupcake Day last week. They raised over $30

Otago Settlers Museum

Last chance to see . . . The Smith Gallery, Across the Ocean Waves, Kai Tahu Whanui ki Otago, Windows on a Chinese Past, In The Rumpus Room and Just Passing Through. As part of the ongoing redevelopment programme at the Otago Settlers Museum, the current museum galleries will be closing as from Monday 27th September, until the redeveloped museum opens again in late 2012.

Check your email newsletter for the attachment "OSM Last Chance to See" for September and school holidays activities.

NZR BUS STATION FOYER RE-OPENING DECEMBER 2010: In early December, after extensive refurbishing, the NZR Bus Station Foyer will be re-opening, looking as splendid as it did in 1939! This will be the base for the Otago Settlers Museum from December 2010 until late 2012 when the fully redeveloped Museum opens. The opening hours will be 10am to 5pm daily (Closed Christmas Day). Admission Free.

VIRTUAL MUSEUM: Keep an eye out over this period for museum events held elsewhere, and watch out for our new website in October!

For further information, please contact:

Jennifer Evans – Exhibitions Team Leader

03 474 2735

jennifer.evans@dcc.govt.nz

Swimming Lessons - Term 4

Here are the details for our Term 4 Swimsation lessons. If you would like to join us, email Adrian Brown at albrown@dcc.govt.nz The hour-long class includes 30 minutes of swimming lesson, then a 30 minute water activity.

Mondays 11am to 12pm
Dates booked 11/10, 18/10, 1/11, 8/11, 15/11, 22/11, 29/11, 6/12 & 13/12/10
Cost 9 lessons @ $9.40 = $84.60 per child

Friday, September 3, 2010

Weekend Reading - Mr G

"He's the superman of science, and he loves to play with fire
The things he'll do, you can too, if you so desire
Do try this at home with Mr G!"
My kids love Mr G. Here's a link to his 'Do Try This At Home" series...


He also has "30 Seconds With Mr G" - also good value!

(but beware just searching YouTube randomly for "Mr G" - there's also an Australian singer of the same name who is not entirely family friendly... Once you follow the link, then click on the username mindpaint to see 'our' Mr G's other videos )