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)

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)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

End of year dinner?

Hi everyone

An end-of-year dinner has been proposed, but we'd better get it organised quickly! Suggested venues include Eturusco and Filadelfios, but I guess it depends on what places have booking available now. So, if you're interested, please email Kathrin or Nicola ASAP, so a booking can be made. We will aim for just after the Homeschooling allowance has been paid, so there's no excuse. :-) If there is enough interest, the dinner will over-ride the last cafe evening at Nova.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Not School Photo 2011

Hi everyone

Just a reminder that our meet-up this week is combined with our annual "Not School Photo", at Rotary Park. We have held this each year as a record of the children currently belonging to the SHEAF group, and it would be great to see your family there. Bring your camera, lunch and dogs - there is a dog exercise area adjacent. Please let me know if you will be coming, so we have an idea of who to wait for. If it is raining, postponement date is 14 December.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Homeschool declaration and allowance forms due

Friendly reminder that homeschool declaration and allowance forms are due back at the Ministry of Education on Friday 25th November (NEXT WEEK).

If you haven't got your form yet, give the MoE a call - they may have a wrong address, or for some reason may think your child isn't being homeschooled anymore. Definitely worth following up :)

P.S. It pays to make a copy of the forms for your own records before sending them back - in case of them going astray in the post.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Wednesday meet-up - Botanic Gardens

Wednesday meet-up will be at the playground at the Botanic Gardens. Meet from 12.30, bring your lunch

Pottery class Nov 18th - Full

Claire says the pottery class for Friday 18 November is full now, but if you would like to put your name down as a reserve, please email her.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Pottery class Nov 18th

Also I have talked to the fabulous Marion Familton about having a
one-off pottery morning this term. She is not able to do Wednesday so
we have made a tentative date of Friday the 18th November for 2 or 3
hours in the morning. We will try and do something that we can complete
in one morning. Let me know by e-mail if you are keen and I will
confirm details. I think last time we did pottery she charged $10 per
child. This will probably be held at the Otago potters co-op rooms in
South Dunedin. There will be a limit on numbers for this one. If this
is something you are keen for your children to do but the date doesn't
suit let me know also and we can talk to her about organising something
for first term of next year.

Contact Claire to book in

want to stay in Dansey's pass during our Duntroon trip?

Here's Claire's info:
I rang the park and they have several cabins available on Wednesday
night so we are going to stay there after we visit the Elephant rocks.
We have a two bed cabin for $60. Is $36 for one adult and then $12 each
for the children. They also have a bunk house available which sleeps 8
(I think) which is $48/night for 2 adults; $10/child, $15/extra adult or
$30 for a single adult, if a couple of families wanted to share works
out a bit cheaper. Have to bring sleeping bags but everything else is
there. Here is the link to their website:

Contact Claire if you're interested!

Elephant Rocks update

From Stacey - I can HIGHLY recommend the Vanished World fossil centre in Duntroon, too - it's $5 entry, but worth it. It might be worth making a booking as a school group, too - they have actual bits of sandstone in a work-room that you can brush away and expose actual fossils in. Totally cool. Even without making a booking, it's a good wet-weather alternative.
From Jan - There are toilets at the elephant rocks now, so no need to make special detours en route.
Also the rock drawings at Takiroa had a rock fall last year so you cant get too close to the drawings, but there are some others that are closer to the elephant rocks that can be easily viewed. However they are up a steep hill / steps so buggies are out for getting to them.
Also, Claire has suggested staying the night at Dansey's Pass, please email her if you are interested

Reminder of details:
meet at Elephant Rocks, Duntroon 11am (need to leave Dunedin about 9am)

Contact Nicola if you're planning to go so we can keep track of each other en-route.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

City of Dunedin Cadet Unit

We were given a brochure today about the City of Dunedin Cadet Unit - something I didn't know anything about, so I've included some links below for those who might be interested.

Cadets are for 13 - 15 year olds (boys and girls) and it looks like they do a lot of army-type actvities - drill, first aid, shooting, bushcraft, navigation, radio telephone procedure, etc. The fees are only $45 per year, and a uniform is supplied. There are also Air Training and Sea Cadet Corps in Dunedin.

For more info, email dunedincadetunit@hotmail.com or phone 466 4462.

Trip to Elephant Rocks near Duntroon

Next Wednesday (Nov 9th), we've planned a trip to the remarkable Elephant Rocks, near Duntroon. http://www.vanishedworld.co.nz/elephant.htm

As it's quite a drive (just under 2 hours), we thought we'd leave town around 9am to meet there at 11am, so that everyone has time for a walk around and some lunch before heading back to Dunedin. Here are Google's directions to the Elephant Rocks

There are other interesting sites nearby also, which are worth a look while you're in the area, such as those featured on the Vanished World trail http://www.vanishedworld.co.nz/trailmap.htm and the Maori Rock Art at Takiroa http://planmyplay.co.nz/_webapp_186496/Takiroa_Maori_Rock_Art

Please let me (Nicola) know if you plan on coming, so we can make sure we wait for anyone who's running late or gets lost :-) If anyone is interested in car-pooling or has room in their car for others, please let me know, and don't forget lunch, drinks and cameras! This trip isn't suitable for dogs, as the Elephant Rocks are on private farmland, with warnings about sheep measles posted all around. Also, it probably pays to mention that there are no toilets in walking distance, although there are in Duntroon which is about 5 minutes drive away.

Intriguing Dunedin Street Walk

This Wednesday (pending weather) we'll be doing one of the Intriguing Dunedin Street Walks from Book 4 (the red one): "A Forgotten Railway, That Ferry, and Tealess Tearooms" (Walk 2).

We'll meet at 12:30, and need to allow about 1 1/4 hours (that's about 2 hours in SHEAF time) for this walk, which starts and finishes at the cul-de-sac end of Heath Street in Andersons Bay.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Next week, plus Museum trip details

Hi all

First off, a reminder about our first week of Term 4 - we have a cafe night on Wednesday 26 October at Nova, as well as a museum trip.

Michelle only has 10 kids booked for each museum trip so far, and has to have at least 12 for them to go ahead. If you haven't emailed her to book but would like to go, please do so today! Our first museum trip is a bit more expensive than usual, but should be very interesting - here are the details for each workshop

Robotech workshop - a technology blast!
Wednesday 26 October, 12.00 - 1.30, $6.50 per child
Levels 3 - 5
Curriculum Links: Technology (Technological Knowledge)
Looking for a robot that will do just what you tell it? Come along to our interactive hands-on exploration and programming session. Designed to encourage and engaged all from the beginner to the more advanced inventor in your class.

Wednesday 23 November 12.00 - 1.30, $6.50 per child
Levels 1 - 6
Curriculum links: Science (Making Sense of Planet Earth and Beyond)
Put the southern skies within your students’ reach in our portable planetarium. Topics covered include the sun, the phases of the moon, the life cycle of the stars and constellations including Greek and Maori tales. Includes high school extension.

Mini Beasts
Wednesday 7 December 12.00 - 1.30, $3.50 per child
Levels 1 - 5
Curriculum links: Science (Making Sense of the Living World)
Trainee entomologists are needed; so bring your students now! BUT BEWARE. There are more insects in the world than any other type of animal and new insects are being discovered all the time. Students will learn how to recognise an insect from imposters, so expect to get up close and personal with real insects. Includes learning a waggle dance and searching for insects in the fabulous Nature Galleries.

The 2012 NZ Homeschool Diary - advertisement from Stephanie Walmsley of The Broadroom

(Claire has used this diary, and I'm sure would be happy to chat about how it worked for her)

The 2012 NZ Homeschool Diary is ready! Hot off the press, just arrived, looking gorgeous, and ready to be sent out!
It's beautiful!
It has 200 pages.
It has new sections.
And the price is lower than 2011!

As well as appointments, homeschool record keeping and planning pages, the 2012 New Zealand Homeschool Diary contains a wide variety of beautiful additional pages like planning pages, space to record recommended book titles and books read, quotes, calendars, important dates, and more.

The diary is available in three formats:
A4 on a spiral binding
A5 on a spiral binding
Downloadable PDF for you to print yourself.

I also asked the printer for a couple of copies of A5 size diaries not punched or bound, for you to punch yourself and put into your own ring binder. And to really please you, there is a free gift for everyone who buys the diary.
To read about the free gift go to http://softpro7.com/product-info.php?pid32.html
To see a sample of the diary, go to http://www.thebroadroom.co.nz/download/2012-NZ-Homeschool-Diary-Sample.pdf
To find out more details about the diary go to http://www.thebroadroom.co.nz/new-zealand-homeschool-diary.html

I'll be in touch again soon with news of the Student Organiser.
'Isn't a new diary a wonderful thing? I love the fresh start and the whole year stretched out before me.'

Swimming lessons

As this Monday is a holiday, our Swimsation lessons start back on the following Monday, at 11am.

For those who haven't been to them before, our group gets the school discount, which means we pay quite a bit less per term than the general Swimsation lessons, and get a whole hour per session - a half hour swimming lesson, then a half hour water activity (these include things like kayaking, water polo, water safety, aquarobics and diving, among others).

Lessons are suitable for all stages from beginners to advanced. As Term 4 is a short term, this could be a good time to give them a trial! The cost for the term is $65.10, and to book, email albrown@dcc.govt.nz

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Trampoline Holiday Programme

Daphne Stringer will be running trampoline sessions with the Dunedin Gymnastics Academy next week. These sessions are open to everyone, and cost $10 each.

Sessions will be at:

Tues 18 Oct, 1-3pm Trampoline open session 7yrs+

Wed 19 Oct, 10.30 - 12.30 Trampoline open session 7yrs+

Wed 19 Oct, 1-3pm Trampoline advanced session 12yrs + or MAG/WAG S3+

Email Megan Kerr at dunedingymnastics@gmail.com to book, as they will only run each session if there are enough numbers.

Address list updating time!

Nicola emailed out the updated SHEAF address list this week, which is usually a prompt for people to then check their details and remember to tell her of changes ;-)

So go on, don't be scared - check your family's entry and if there's anything wrong let her know, and she'll update it again very soon.

Fun link of the week

"Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide" - need I say more? http://www.wordle.net/

Facebook page

If you're a Facebook person and you haven't already liked our SHEAF page, please go and have a look, and like us if you want to!

Stacey often adds useful and exciting links (which all members can do) and the SHEAF blog also updates there. Once we get to 25 likers, we can change our Facebook address to something more user-friendly than the current https://www.facebook.com/pages/SHEAF-Dunedin/140594826018161 so please go and see if you think we're likeable :-)

Term 4 dates

Kathrin has almost filled up our Wednesday afternoons for Term 4 (see next week's newsletter for updates), but if you have anything you'd like to organise, please let her know (and maybe email me as well, as she's still having a few email issues).

Also, don't forget to email Michelle if you'd like to book for any of the museum trips next term - details in Diary Dates section.

Orokonui Events

October 8th to 24th, School Holiday Programme “Forest Fiesta”

Wednesday, October 12th at 7.30pm: Landmark Lecture - The Meaning of Eco - Science or Brand with Professor Kath Dickinson, the new head of Otago University’s Botany Department. At St David St Lecture Theatre. Entry by banknote donation. (poster attached).

Thursday, October 20th at 2pm: Reaching the Next Generation through Enviroschools with Jenny Neilson, DCC Education promotion officer and Tahu Mackenzie, Orokonui’s educator. At Orokonui. Entry $5 donation.

Wednesday, November 16th at 7.30 pm: Why is it we get all these earthquakes? with Simon Cox, senior scientist at GNS in Dunedin. At Orokonui. Cost $5 donation. (Humble apologies to those of you who came here for Simon’s talk in September. We had to postpone it due to the Sirocco tours and neglected to advise members.)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Time to update contact details!

Hi all

While Kathrin luxuriates in the great fun and relaxation of moving house and settling in, I'll be doing the SHEAF newsletter. Speaking of moving, Kathrin, Tammy and I are all moving house this month, so now is probably a good time to update the address list. Please let me know of any changes, additions or if you'd like to be removed.

From Nicola

A week of sad news

This week, we extend our sympathies to two families in our wider home educating community.

Last Friday, Craig Smith of the Home Education Foundation died of a brain tumour that he had been battling for only a few months. Craig has been a major source of support and information for home educators in New Zealand since the 1980s, and his loss will be felt deeply by the community for many years. We extend our heartfelt condolences to his wife Barbara, their children and their grandchildren. Details of his funeral (which can be watched by live videostream) can be found on the HEF website. http://hef.org.nz/

Closer to home, I'm sad to say that Annabel's husband Kevin passed away very early this morning, having not woken from his coma since his cardiac arrest last Monday. Annabel and Kevin home educated in Dunedin for several years before moving away a couple of years ago, and many of us remember them well. We wish Annabel and the children peace and comfort during this hard time, and grieve with them for the sudden loss of their husband and father.

Both funerals will be held this Friday - for details of Kevin's funeral, please contact Stacey.

Holiday activities at the Otago Museum


It’s all go at the Otago Museum these school holidays; from bouncing balls to Animals Antics – there’ll be no time for boredom!

Rugby fever continues at the Otago Museum these school holidays, with a whole afternoon of rugby related revelry to kick it off at Future All Blacks Arvo! On Sunday 9 October join special guests Rugger the Small Black, Harold from Life Education Trust and our very own Manu Moa for a day packed with rugby fun, rugby science and rugby skills.

Want to look like a real All Black? Enter the ‘Design the Ultimate Rugby Player’ competition to win your very own 2011 All Black Jersey. See the Information Desk or our website for the entry form and be at Future All Blacks Arvo to see if you’re the winner!

We’re staying with the All Black theme as we go ‘black and forth’ through the galleries with a trail to discover the meanings and mysteries of black. Grab a Go Black Trail from the Search Centre throughout the holidays – and it’s free! Or if you’re after a rip roaring adventure tour, join our Ringmaster as he tells the dramatic story of the Lawrence lions, and gives accounts of the wondrous beasts that would have once featured in the greatest shows on Earth in Animal Antics on Wednesday 19, Friday 21 and Saturday 22 October.

Freaky Science goes ‘Plastic Fantastic’ these holidays, when we use crazy chemistry to discover just how polymer-iffic this versatile material can be! Then in ‘Brilliantly Bouncing Balls’ we’ll dissect and experiment with balls of all shapes and sizes. Don’t miss the free Freaky Science shows at 2.30pm every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday during the holidays from 11 October.

Discovery Squad goes around the world and beyond these holidays, as we get wild on ‘Wild West Monday’ and see how to save the planet from your backyard on ‘Eco-Warrior Wednesday’. Be there on ‘Spring-sational Thursday’ as we banish the winter blues, or brave it on ‘Haunted Halloween Friday’ to create creepy crawlies for tricks this Halloween. Find the full list of Discovery Squad days on our website.

Robots are getting musical these holidays as you create your very own Robo-popstar! Compose an anthem to support the All Blacks or lay out some funky electronica and prove that even robots can have rhythm in Robot Idol Workshops every Monday, Wednesday and Friday during the holidays.

Meanwhile, Mighty Parasites are the talk of the Tropical Forest – join us to discover the awesome adaptations of these incredible survivors daily at 2pm; and encounter brain bending optical illusions as you see how your brain and eyes mislead you in ‘Seeing is Believing’ on the Interactive Trolley, also happening daily throughout the holidays at 3.30pm.

Finally, the Scinema Festival is back for 2011. From Worm Hunters to Wild Things, take a fresh look at science with this year's specially selected films, screening daily in the Discovery World Theatre.

Visit www.otagomuseum.govt.nz for full details, as we get fired up these holidays for some fantastic family fun!


The National Council of Home Educators (NCHENZ) has just released its 3rd Quarter Newsletter for 2011. It can be read in full here:


***Inside the newsletter:***
- Introducing our new Executive
- Feedback from the recent ERO and MoE meeting
- Proposal to allow under-16s to enrol in the Correspondence School as Young Adults
- New-look NCHENZ website – including a Classifieds Listing Service! (Buy, Sell, Exchange your curricula online!)
- NCHENZ membership is now FREE
- Painless ways to raise funds for NCHENZ
- Support for the Smith family
- Like us on Facebook

Kind regards
Stacey Wilson
Co-coordinator, National Council of Home Educators

Museum Trips - how to book

The museum needs 12 kids per visit minimum. If I haven’t got 12 confirmed a week before I will have to cancel the visit, so I need to know who wants to come and they need to confirm with me at the very latest the beginning of the week prior to the visit . If it’s easier they can pay the entry fee to me via internet banking as I don’t have change on the day . Bank number provided by email if requested .


Energy production resources

Thanks very much to Kathrin for organising the gasworks museum tour last week. It was very interesting, and even little Ben found plenty to keep him amused :-)

Obviously coal is not a very clean, green energy producer, so if anyone wants to look at some environmentally sustainable energy info with their kids, Zilowatt looks like a great resource: http://zilowatt.org/

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Otago Museum trips for the rest of the year

Here are the rest of the museum trip dates

26th of October Robotech $6.50 per student
23rd of November Starlab ( including high school extension material ) $6.50
7th of December Minibeasts $3.50

These all start at 12.00 and it would be great if people could let me know if they are going to attend

Thanks to Michelle for organising these for us all.

Irish Beat dancing at the Celtic Arts Festival

Irish Beat
Choreography: Kathryn Olcott
Music Arrangement: Sean Manning
Date: Sunday 25th, Thursday 29th September
Time: 2 pm, 7:30 pm respectively
Venue: Community Gallery, Otago Settlers Museum
Cost: $15/$10

A dance and music show that brings together the wealth of Irish talent from Dunedin and beyond. Combining traditional dance and music with contemporary arrangements, the show presents a modern display of Irish step dance accompanied by fresh take on traditional Irish music. Aspiring to preserve the traditions of Irish Step Dancing and Music, Irish Beat unites an accomplished group of musicians, singers and dancers to present a show that is as inspirational as it is entertaining.

Full programme available at

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Museum Trip - NEXT WEEK (21st Sep)

Hi everyone

A late change to next Wednesday's (21 Sept) meet-up - Michelle has organised a workshop at the Otago Museum, on "Defense and Attack"., 12.00 - 1.30.

Please contact Michelle for more details and to book.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

This week: Mosgiel Park

Hi everyone
Just a reminder that our Wednesday meet-up this week will be at Mosgiel Park, from 12.30.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

park meet up today :)

Hi everyone
Just letting you (non ski-ers!) know our family will be at Mornington Park this afternoon from about 12.30, if you'd like to join us. :-)

Monday, September 5, 2011

Trip to Gasworks Museum

Hi everyone
First this week, a reminder there will be no meet-up on Wednesday, due to the ski trip.
And an addition to our diary dates - I have booked us for a trip to he Gasworks museum, in South Dunedin. on 28 September at 12.30. Entry is by a gold coin donation per person. We will see the works in operation, and have a guided tour, lasting around an hour. Please email Kathrin promptly if you wish to attend.

See http://www.gasworksmuseum.org.nz/ for more information.

Dahlia tubers and Raspberry plants for sale

From Tania:

Hi, We are selling Dahlia Tuber's 1 for $3 . 2 for $5 or 10 for $20 don't know what colours or what sort but $7 elsewhere for 1!
Also Raspberry Plants $10 each

Phone Tania for details

Sunday, August 28, 2011

This week's meet-ups

Hi everyone

First this week, a reminder we are meeting at the Edgar centre this Wednesday, from 12.30 - 3.00. Bring bikes, balls, racquets etc. There is a door fee of $2.50 per participating child. Also, remember there will be no Wednesday meet-up next week, with so many members away on the ski trip.


Spanish lessons anyone?

Kathrin has been asking about the possibility of Amadeo doing Spanish lessons for the children. The time he is available is Saturday evening, at John McGlashan school. He hasn't confirmed cost yet, but last time it was around $10 per child, for an hour long lesson.

Please email Kathrin if you are interested.

HEART retreat


Would you be able to pass this fantastic opportunity on to those in the SHEAF support group in Dunedin.

It promises to be the highlight of the Home Schooling Mums' year!

This is the very first HEART Retreat in the South Island. You may have heard of the annual North Island HEART at Totara Springs, Matamata? This is that fantastic weekend for US!

28th to 30th October at Pudding Hill

Our theme is HOPE, and it is our hope that you and a delegation from your support group will be able to attend. We are in the process of applying for funding, so if anyone has special circumstances where cost is a barrier, get them to register and email in their circumstances.

Hope all is well for you all in Dunedin

Nina Wright
The HEART Team

Please reply to nrwright@clear.net.nz if interested.

Note: the HEART retreat is a Christian retreat for homeschooling women.

Monday, August 22, 2011

This week's meet-ups

From Kathrin:

First this week, our Wednesday meet-up will be the Intriguing Dunedin Street Walk, Walk 1, Book 4 (red): Runaway Trams, a Shipwreck and Royalty!
Meet at the bottom of Calder Ave, North East Valley, 12:30pm. There will be some hills (i.e. there is an optional walk up Baldwin St, and a not-so-optional part on surrounding steep streets), so beware!

Also this week, Thursday 25 August 7.30 - Big People's Night out - Nova Cafe, The Octagon. Come along for coffee, dessert and conversation

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

Homeschool Art and Design Competition

From Claire:

Have you ever wanted to see your designs feature on the cover of a book?
Well here's your chance....

Put pens and pencils, paints and pastels to paper, or use any computer program that will allow you to convert to PDF, and design a cover for the students' Homeschool Organiser.

The winning entrant will:
· see their artwork on the cover of 'The2012 NZ Homeschool Student Organiser'
· receive a free printed copy of 'The2012 NZ Homeschool Student Organiser'

Winning a competition like this will look great on your CV if you have ambitions towards pursuing a career in some aspect of art or design too!

So get cracking! Entries need to be in by Saturday 10 September.

Small Print
1. The competition is open to any NZ currently homeschooled student who is aged 10 or over.
2. The winning design will be the front cover of the 2012 New Zealand Homeschool Student Organiser.
3. The winner will also receive a printed copy of the Organiser for his/her own use.
4. The words "The 2012 New Zealand Homeschool Student Organiser" need to be in the design.
5. The winning design will belong to The Broad Room and The Broad Room may make slight changes to the winning design to allow it to fit within the parameters of an organiser cover.
6. We are looking for originality and style that will appeal young New Zealanders and make them glad to own the Organiser.
7. The design needs to appeal to both girls and boys. (so no fluffy pink flowers or extreme male sport styles)
8. If you have any questions email: stephanie@thebroadroom.co.nz
9. You can send as many entries as you like.
10. The judges' decision is final and no discussion or correspondence will be entered into.
11. The winner will be announced Saturday 1 November 2011.


Craig Smith's health, and a request

From our inbox:

Craig and Barbara Smith from Palmerston North have faithfully served the home education community in New Zealand and elsewhere for many years. Some people will know that Craig was diagnosed with a brain tumour in July. Barbara would really like to encourage him with stories of people who have been home educated. Would you please help her? She makes the following comments on their website:

I want to do something special for Craig. He has been involved in the Home Schooling movement since 1985. He has written a History of Home schooling in New Zealand from his point of view. Now I think it would be great for him to hear the history of Home schooling in New Zealand from your point of view.

What is the history of home education in your area from your perspective? Who has inspired or encouraged you? What has motivated you? What has brought you together with other home educators and strengthened you? We would very much appreciate hearing your stories. Please write in or email. Even if you are overseas, perhaps you have a testimony about how Craig, Keystone, HEF* or the home education movement in New Zealand has encouraged you. Do let us know. Thanks

Smith’s e-mail address: mail@hef.org.nz

Smith’s website address: www.hef.org.nz

*(note: ‘hef’ stands for Home Education Foundation)

For those who want to keep up-to-date with Craig’s health, please Google ‘Craig Smith’s health’ and the website details will pop up. Alternatively, go to the Smith website, click on ‘About’ and then type ‘Craig Smith’s health’ in the search field.

Would you please send this note to home educators in your area.

Thank you,

Anna Leech

Home educator in Upper Hutt

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Postponed: Intriguing Dunedin Street Walk

Hi everyone
Today's planned walk through North East Valley has been postponed until next week.
Stay warm!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Wednesday meet-up change of plans

Hi everyone
Due to unforeseen circumstances, tomorrow's meet-up will not be the IDSW walk, rather a meet and play at Mornington Park, Mailer St, Mornington. The IDSW will be held next Wednesday.
See you at the park tomorrow!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Fermented drinks, vinegars etc evening


This will be the third evening of four on fermentation and will cover:

How to make home- made vinegars (catch up from last months evening).

What refined sugars are doing to our health and why we should avoid them.

How you can make your own soft drinks that are probiotic and low in sugar.

How to fortify those sodas with vitamin C, bioavailable calcium and other essential minerals.

An introduction to Milk Kefir and how to make it.

How to make sour dough cakes – a basic recipe you can adapt.

Location: Waitati.
Time: 7 p.m. Wednesday 10th August.

These evenings are free but a small charge ($5.00) will be made to cover costs for any cultures you require . Usual price on internet is around $20.00 so this is a good opportunity to acquire cultures at a low price. Please note that the sour dough evening is now available on youtube (google Dieteasily, Back to basics sour dough).

Please note that the evenings will be filmed.

RSVP Carolyn or Shana as there are limited places. Sour dough cakes will be served for supper to show you that you can serve healthier treats to your family.

Please note we will be having an evening on seaweeds. How to harvest and dry and why they may be essential to your well being. This is an insert evening and will probably cover the making of bone broths and why they were traditionally fed to sick people.

Contact Shana to book

Dunedin Free Event-Finder

From Nicola -
Free events in Dunedin, updated regularly:


Springboard Diving

A free introduction to springboard diving is available with Dive Otago for the 4th term. It is usually on a Monday from 3.30 - 4.30. The only requirement is that participants are able to swim 20m.

A one year diving scholarship is offered to a diver with promise at the end of the term. Dive Otago have been running these classes for the last two years and as far as I know will be doing so next year in case next term doesn't work for you.

If anyone is interested please contact Claire

Intriguing Dunedin Street Walk

This week (August 10th), our Wednesday Meet-up will be one of the Intriguing Dunedin Street Walks, NOT the Caversham Dog Park as was in one of the newsletters. Details are -

Intriguing Dunedin Street Walk - Walk 1, Book 4 (red): Runaway Trams, a Shipwreck and Royalty!
Meet at the bottom of Calder Ave, North East Valley, 12:30pm. There will be some hills (i.e. there is an optional walk up Baldwin St, and a not-so-optional part on surrounding steep streets), so beware!

We don't have any other activities booked in for our Wednesdays, so if you have been thinking about booking us in to do something awesome, now is your chance!

Contact Kathrin or Nicola to book in an outing or meeting.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Victory Beach this week!

Remember - Wednesday's meet-up is a trip to Victory Beach on the Peninsula

Pyramids and Victory Beach, Okia Reserve - 12pm, Wed 3 August - can we find the wreck of the Victory steamship?
Before you think you can't be bothered, look at this great pamphlet:


(Allow about 30 mins to get there). Go to Portobello and turn right at the sign “Hoopers Inlet/Cape Saunders”, onto Allans Beach Rd. When you get to the inlet, turn left to stay on the unsealed part of Allans Beach Road. Take the first left into Sheppard Road which becomes Papanui Inlet Rd. Turn right into Dick Road and continue to the end where there is a small parking area.

Map here

Low tide is around 1pm, so this gives us an hour to get to the beach from the car park (it's a fairly easy walk, mostly flat), so that hopefully we can see some of the shipwrecked Victory. No dogs allowed, as there are penguins and sealions in the area, and it's probably not suitable for pushers as can be a bit squelchy. Bring warm clothes, drinks, lunch and cameras. Closest toilets and shops are in Portobello. (Raindate will be 11:30am, Wed 17 August, to suit the tides).

Educational stuff here

Monday, July 25, 2011

Weekend Reading - beating the homeschooling blues

Beating the Homeschooling Blues (Instead of Singing Them)

"You’ve met her. It’s week eleven of the school year and she’s on week three. She can’t bear to let her kids skip a single Saxon problem. She is swimming in writing manuals from last year’s convention…and she hasn’t found time to start reading them yet.

"Art supplies cost too much. Soccer practice conflicts with dinner. Her toddler wrecks the read-aloud time. And the field trip notice on the refrigerator is past the sign up date. Worst of all, she has unsorted laundry on the bed. Woe is she!

"And boy is she tired. Exhausted. Hasn’t slept in six years. Hasn’t eaten a full meal in four. Hasn’t had a hair cut in ten. And what’s a manicure, she asks?

"Wait, is this you? I know it’s been me at various times along the way...


I know I needed to read this, today :)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Fishy Superstars at the Aquarium at Portobello

Saturday 16th - Sunday 31st July 2011

Open from 10am - 4.30pm daily

Will you be anywhere near Portobello this holiday? If so, pop in to meet our team of marine superstars - Ritchie McClaw, Brad Thornfish and Daniel Cod, to name but a few of the the Aquarium's first fifteen! There's a Cadbury chocolate fish if you can find them all! Design your own super fish, and hear about the super powers of some very special marine creatures. Fun for all ages.

Find the Fishy Superstars - Spy out the marine athletes in the Aquarium and find out who is most powerful.

Sustainable Fishing - Catch the right fish and land yourself a chocolate one (courtesy of Cadbury!) ... yum!
Count the Chocolate Fish Competition - One fish, two fish, three fish, four fish, five fish, six fish, more! .... if you can guess the number of chocolate fish in the jar, you could win the lot!
Design a Superfish - What makes a fish a Superstar? Size? Speed? Strength? Super powers? Draw and describe your own Superfish.
All Blacks of the Sea - Never mind the All Blacks of the rugby field - what about the Blackfoot Paua, and the Black Cod? Animal encounters every hour with the "All Blacks of the Sea" .

Fish Feeding - Help to build up the strength of our sporting sea creatures! Fish feeding every Wednesday and Saturday from 2-3pm.


Aquarium entry fees:

Self-Guided Visit: Child $6, Adult $12.50, Family $25

Guided Tour at 10.30am: Child $11, Adult $21.50, Family $49


NZ Marine Studies Centre and Westpac Aquarium, University of Otago

Hatchery Road, Portobello, Dunedin, New Zealand

Email marine-studies@otago.ac.nz

Phone 03 479 5826

See our website: www.marine.ac.nz

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Cheese Rolls, anyone?

And from Donna
Dear All
Would you like to buy some cheese rolls?
We are fundraising for Alix's Hockey team yet again!!
$18 for 3 dozen or $6.50 for one dozen
If you are keen... please email me back and we'll arrange payment and delivery.
We are making them on 14th July.
Thanks for your help!
Donna and Alix : )

Home Education Awareness Week 31 October – 5 November 2011

Home Education Awareness Week (HEAW) is later this year because the fourth term begins later – October 25. We have traditionally held HEAW in the first or second week of the fourth term, trying to miss Labour weekend. So this year the Home Education Awareness Week is 31 October through to 5 November 2011

Home Educators all over the country use this as an opportunity to do something special to raise their profile locally and develop a bit of positive public relations. This helps in gaining the movement a bit more credibility, especially when applying for grants or discounts with resource suppliers, or for admission to tertiary institutions or gaining help and advice from schools and perhaps even the use of some of their resources. And of course the benefits would be examined by more people, thereby bringing more people into the home schooling movement and your local support group.

For more information on HEAW go to: http://hef.org.nz/2007/home-education-awareness-week/

Craig and Barbara Smith are available to speak at any activities/meetings/conferences/workshops you may be organising for this.

For more information Free Call 0800 100 692

Dog day

Emily has suggested a puppy/dog afternoon for our final get-together for the term - we will meet at Caversham Dog Park on Wednesday 13 July. from 12.30 until 3.00. There is a playground nearby for the children, so please do come along even if you don't have a puppy or dog - it would be a nice opportunity for the children to see all different breeds and ages of dogs. Bring your lunch to eat at the park, and be a ware the park can be quite muddy, so dress accordingly.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Spend the day at the Ecosanctuary

From Stacey:

Hi everyone,

Our family is planning on spending the day at the Orokonui Ecosanctuary on Tuesday the 26th July (2nd week of school holidays).

We've booked into their Pondlife Perusal session at 2pm of that day but if you don't manage to nab a space in that class they have art and craft activities, and a forest treasure trail set up for anytime throughout the week. They have a cafe, too, for lunch and warmth.

The activites are part ofthe Cadbury Carnival, so we anticipate copious quantities of Freddos :)

Come join us for the day!

If anyone would like to carpool, let me know and I can match up bottoms with car-seats, and if I hear back that the Pondlife Perusal session isn't suitable for under-4s then maybe we can do some child-swopping for an hour and a half - I'll look after yours if you'll look after mine, sort of thing :)

More info about their holiday program here

contact Stacey for more information

Monday, June 20, 2011

Big People’s Night Out - July

Cafe Evening this Thursday, at Nova cafe from 7.30pm. Hope to see you there for dessert and coffee! (or hot wedges, or herbal tea, or hot soy milk with honey...)

SPCA Junior Members Day

There's a Junior Members Day at the Otago SPCA on July 20th

Catty Do Day

Uur Junior Members day this time round will be held in the July holidays, and this time we will be focussing on cats - big ones, fluffy ones, floppy ones, yorng ones, bald ones......,and some surprises!
We'll learn how to take good care of cats and kittens, and we'll have experts to talk to us. And of course, we have lots of Haven cats and kittens to give you hands-on experience-

The Catty Do Day wil be held on Wednesday July 20th from 10 am to 2 pm.

lf you would like to attend, please let us know and we'll contact you soon to give you all the details.


More info about being an SPCA Junior Member: http://petpals.co.nz/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=79&Itemid=47

Student vs Wild homeschool entry

From Claire -
Student Vs Wild

Some homeschoolers from down South Canterbury way (with the help of 4 North Canterbury Homeschool boys) have put in an entry into the Student Vs Wild competition.

The prize is a scholarship for 20 students from your school to attend a week at the Sir Edmund Hilary Out door pursuits centre in the North Island.

To win we just need lots of votes - the entry with the most votes wins one of the scholarships so please vote for us (if you like our video) by going to this site:


(If this link dosen't work you can get there by googling "Student vs Wild" and then click the site listed at the top - which is the Youtube site)

To Vote: Click on the "Vote" tool bar. Select the
" HOMESCHOOLED STUDENT VS WILD" entry and click on the green thumbs up button.

Feel free to forward this onto who ever else you think may be happy to vote for our entry.

The entry required was a 4 minute video showing "How you would survive in your school yard for a week." Hmm so with limited time and students available - here's what we came up with.

Thanks for your vote
Kay Paterson

Evening on vegetable fermentation

From the CHEF group -


This will be the second evening of four on the subject of fermentation and will cover:

How good gut health and probiotics are essential for strong immunity and a healthy mind and body.

How to make sauerkraut easily and foolproof.

How to make Moroccan and Indian preserved lemons.

How to make lacto fermented vegetables/pickles and health tonics.

How to make lacto fermented mustards and ketchup (tomato sauce).

Other bits and bobs if we can fit them in.

Location: 811 Mt Cargill Road, Waitati. More parking further down drive at 813.

Time: 7 p.m. Wednesday 22nd June.

These evenings are free but a small charge ($2.00) will be made if you wish to purchase pre-made sour dough starter and recipe sheets from last months evening on sour dough.

The third evening will cover-fermented drinks – kefir, ginger beer (the original probiotic kind our Great Grannies made), and beer, including Blueberry Beer. The aim is to make drinks that add to our family’s health. A sour dough cake recipe will be demonstrated as a bonus!

If there is enough interest we may do a fourth evening on fermented dairy products – yogurt, cheese (cottage, feta and ricotta).

Please note that the evenings will be filmed. RSVP Carolyn or Shana 482 1111 as there are limited places. Sour dough cakes will be served for supper to show you that you can serve healthier treats to your family.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

New at the Broad Room

From The Broad Room, via Donna -

I have a new article on my website. Check it out here: What Homeschoolers Can Learn From Shakespeare

And if you have a question you would like to ask me about homeschooling, click here:
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/VZQLNTF leave your question (all anonymous) and we will have an online Q&A soon.

Happy mothering,



School holidays activity

Something for the next school holidays, from our inbox:

Volunteer Otago is pleased to announce that we will be offering a school holiday programme, albeit shortened, in July.

It will run for three days only (Wed 20th to Fri 22nd July) from 10am until 3PM, from the Pioneer Women's Hall on Moray Place opposite Countdown. It is offered to twenty-five 11-15 year-olds.

The schedule will run like this:

Wednesday -getting to know each other, lunch, SPCA visit
Thursday -Baking for the foodbank, foodbank visit and lunch, Community gardens visit
Friday -Planning a radio show, lunch, performing radio show, wrap up.

I look forward to hearing from you as you secure a place for your young person!


Jess East
Jess East Holmes -Youth Volunteering Coordinator

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Lantern Making Workshops

Dunedin Midwinter Carnival,

Lantern Making workshops are filling up fast.


Can we find the wreck of the Victory steamship?

Pyramids and Victory Beach, Okia Reserve - 12pm, Wed 3 August - can we find the wreck of the Victory steamship?
Before you think you can't be bothered, look at this great pamphlet:


(Allow about 30 mins to get there). Go to Portobello and turn right at the sign “Hoopers Inlet/Cape Saunders”, onto Allans Beach Rd. When you get to the inlet, turn left to stay on the unsealed part of Allans Beach Road. Take the first left into Sheppard Road which becomes Papanui Inlet Rd. Turn right into Dick Road and continue to the end where there is a small parking area.


Low tide is around 1pm, so this gives us an hour to get to the beach from the car park (it's a fairly easy walk, mostly flat), so that hopefully we can see some of the shipwrecked Victory. No dogs allowed, as there are penguins and sealions in the area, and it's probably not suitable for pushers as can be a bit squelchy. Bring warm clothes, drinks, lunch and cameras. Closest toilets and shops are in Portobello. (Raindate will be 11:30am, Wed 17 August, to suit the tides).

Trip to Sutton Salt Lake

Sutton Salt Lake - 12pm, Wed 6 July - New Zealand's only inland salt lake!!

(Allow about 1 hour to get there). Head towards Middlemarch. When you reach the Sutton area (just after Shannon), turn sharp left at the railway tracks, into Kent St, which becomes Kidds Rd. Stay on Kidds Rd for about 2.3km, until you reach the DOC Sutton Salt Lake car park area on the left.

Bring warm clothes, drinks, lunch and cameras. There are toilets and shops a few minutes drive away in Middlemarch. No dogs allowed as the walk is on farmland.
(Raindate 12pm, Wed 13 July).

Monday, May 30, 2011

A reminder about Student ID cards - NCHENZ supply student ID cards for Home Educated children - http://www.nchenz.org.nz/tag/id-card/

Vision and Hearing Checks - free

A reminder about the free Vision and Hearing checks our children are entitled to :

Dunedin Central - Dunedin Hospital, ph 03 476 5800 Every Monday morning (Vision, Hearing and Glue Ear).
South Dunedin - Aurora Health Centre, ph 03 455 0006 Approx 1st Thursday each month. (Hearing and Glue Ear).
Mosgiel - Mosgiel Health Centre, ph 03 489 5135 Every 2nd Friday morning. (Vision, Hearing and Glue Ear)
All by appointment only.

June Big People's Night Out

We will be having another Cafe evening, on Thursday 23 June, at 7.30, Nova Cafe, the Octagon.

Intriguing Dunedin Street Walk

Our Wednesday activity this week will be a walk, from the Green Intriguing Dunedin Street walks book - walk 5: Killiecrankie Pass, Calderville and The Darley - meet on the corner of Embo and Murray Streets, Kew, approx 2 hours. Meet at 12.30.

Monday, May 23, 2011

German lessons, anyone?

Nicola wants to know if any children are interested in learning German - We need a minimum of 3 children, it costs $10 per 1 hour lesson, and classes will be at either 4 - 5pm Mondays or 4 - 5pm Tuesdays in Harwood. Email Nicola for more information or to book.

Dr Jay Wile conference in Christchurch

From our inbox:
Are you home educating/teaching? Are you concerned that your children/students develop a biblical worldview? Do you want them to have strong convictions?

Then join us for an inspirational time of upskilling, networking and learning from a fantastic international speaker!

You can't afford to miss the “Science by Design” conference!

Date: Tuesday 14 June, 2011
Venue: Bishopdale Reformed Church, 90 Highstead Road, Bishopdale, Christchurch
Bookings: Email tmfrater@slingshot.co.nz or phone (03) 347 3119
Online Bookings, and to see a full programme:
http://www.learnex.co.nz/Editable/conference/FirelightJayWile2011Christchurch.shtml or

Monday, May 16, 2011

workbooks, craft supplies etc

From Kathrin:

One of our ex-homeshooling families has dropped off some materials from The Correspondence School, to be shared among our members. There are supplies, workbooks and cassettes for all subjects, including craft supplies and rolls of paper, science, maths etc, and they mostly seem to aimed at lower-primary age children. Please email me to arrange a time to view.

knitting afternoon

From Donna -
...I'd be keen to host at my place an afternoon (on a sheaf day ie- Wednesday @ 12.30pm) for anyone wanting to learn or extend their knitting skills. I have quite a lot of knitting patterns for kids (and adults too) that are easy and fun! Aimed at beginners and those who just want to be re-inspired! (is that a word?)

I will book it in for Wednesday 25 May, please RSVP directly to Donna

soaking, sprouting and sour-doughing

From Shana (CHEF group) -

Dieteasily.com is sponsoring an evening on

Grain Fermentation

This will be the first of three evenings on the subject of fermentation and will cover:

  • Preparing and taking care of a sour dough starter
  • Making a no-knead wholemeal sour dough bread
  • Making a no-knead sour dough bread with wheat sprouts (includes making sprouts and grinding them without a flour grinder)
  • How to soak and ferment grains to increase nutrients and remove anti-nutrients
  • Making a gluten free fermented pancake batter using whole brown rice

Location: 811 Mt Cargill Road, Waitati. More parking further down drive at 813.

Time: to be advised

There will be no charge, but a small charge will be made if you wish to purchase pre-made sour dough starter or kefir grains.

The second evening will cover the fermentation of vegetables, vinegar and mustard
The third evening will cover-fermented drinks – kefir, ginger beer, and beer.

In the future we may do an evening on fermented dairy products – yogurt, labnah and feta cheese if there is enough interest.

Please note that the evenings will be filmed. RSVP Carolyn or Shana

Ski trip

From Claire

I have been in touch with the Cardrona ski field and got rates for a homeschool group to go up this year. If we go offpeak and midweek the rates per person would be:

Lesson Base rate is $22 (Compulsory)
Day lift ticket Midweek $16
Rental Std shaped ski set $15
(or Snowboard $22)

So total $53 per person per day if you have to hire gear. Cardrona encourage the use of helmets and these can be hired for an additional $10 and you can hire ski clothing for $20 (I assume per day).

Accommodation is still to be determined so if anyone has a family holiday house etc that could be used or knows of some cheap accommodation please let us know. Feel free to organise your own accommodation and just meet us on the mountain but we do need to know numbers in advance.

We need a minimum of 15 people which I think we might have already having talked to a couple of families who are keen but the more the merrier!

At present the dates we are looking at are the 5th and 6th of September but have not confirmed these with Cardrona yet.


Contact Claire to book, or for more details.

Free art classes

from Nicola -

I've been contacted by a qualified and experienced art teacher who is currently studying at the College of Education. He has two projects to complete, one of which must be community based, and one which involve speaking to people about home education.

As part of these assignments, he is offering 5 or 6 free group art classes to children aged around 7 - 12. There is no particular limit to the number of kids he can take in the group, and the classes will run on a weekday from around 4 - 5:30pm - the day/dates have yet to be set. The classes will involve the principle techniques of painting and drawing.

If you're interested, please email me with the day/s of the week you'd prefer, or for more information.

Intriguing Dunedin Street Walk

This Wednesday our meet-up will be a walk from the Intriguing Dunedin Street walks books.

Book 3 (green), walk 4 - "The Clear, Midlothian and St Leonards on the Hill" approx 2 hours, meet near 28 Stonelaw Tce, Maori Hill.

Careers Services talk - venue change

The Careers Service talk booked for this Wednesday is now being held at Nicola's house instead of Selina-Jane's. Please RSVP to Nicola

As a reminder, the blurb from Careers services -

I would be very interested in talking with you to learn more about the experience of home-educated learners and about ways in which we can support home-educated learners and their families with careers advice and guidance. As an agency we produce a range of excellent career education and information resources that teachers and parents can use to support the career development of their young people

Fundraising for Mornington Scouts

From Nicola
45 rolls of toilet paper for $20. Email her if you want some.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Dessert / Supper Night

From Tania -

This is just a night to chill, chat and eat .

Bring a sweet and come for a cuppa and chat.
Mothers with bubs and Fathers are also most welcome. :-)
Friday 27th May 7pm onwards, Tania's Place

If you have books, etc to sell then you are welcome to bring them.

contact Tania for more details

Unschooling camp in North Island

Via RUA - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/R_U_A/ -
Rangi woods is booked for our first unschooling conference!

Mark your diaries for

FEBRUARY 17th-19th 2012

At -

"Rangi Woods", Pohangina Valley, Manawatu (30mins drive from Palmerston North).

We can have an extra day (the Thursday or the Monday), will let you know as it is dependant on another booking.

We are thinking of .....

discussion groups/circles (dads, challenges of unschooling....etc) ideas please.
If you would like to run an activity (older children encouraged to do this too)or offer any workshop/service
Shared meal (s)

Please spread the word in the unschooling community, mark the dates and if you have something to offer let me know.

More details later!!

Jane and Tracey

Careers Services

From Selina-Jane -

Selina-Jane, I have been referred to you as a key contact within the home-educators network. I am practice leader for Career Services in Dunedin. Career Services is New Zealand's leading provider of independent career information, advice and guidance. We are a government organisation and aim to provide all people living in New Zealand with access to the best careers information, advice and guidance to achieve their life goals. This means promoting the importance of career planning at every stage of a person’s life.

I would be very interested in talking with you to learn more about the experience of home-educated learners and about ways in which we can support home-educated learners and their families with careers advice and guidance. As an agency we produce a range of excellent career education and information resources that teachers and parents can use to support the career development of their young people.

I look forward to hearing back from you.

Kind regards

Tess Livingstone

Selina-Jane has suggested a dessert evening either at her house or Feast Cafe, on Wednesday 18 May for a talk on careers for our children - please contact her to book in.

Tennis - new arrangements

From Ted -
We are still going to be playing tennis this winter but, with the business, setting a time is difficult. If anyone is interested in playing some tennis they can email me and I can let them know when we are going to play and meet them at the courts.
Email Ted for more information

Big People’s Night Out - May

We will be having another cafe evening this week, on Thursday, from 7.30 onwards. Meet at Nova cafe for dessert and coffee. Or tea. :-)

Thursday 12 May - 7.30 Cafe evening - Nava Cafe. Meet us for dessert, coffee and conversation!

Contact Kathrin
for more info

Friday, April 15, 2011

Fascinating-educational-and-worthwhile-in-every-way links

From Nicola:

Here are a few links that might interest some of you—I’ve blatantly stolen them from the BBC World show Click, so full credit to them for sharing!

RSAnimates: http://comment.rsablogs.org.uk/videos/
The RSA is short for “Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce” - might not sound too exciting to all, but they’ve created some amazing animations that illustrate and explain some very interesting talks. Also, see the main site www.thersa.org for more. [our household is also a fan of RSAnimates - stacey]

Toondoo: http://www.toondoo.com/
For anyone who has ever wanted to create their own comic strip, but doesn’t necessarily have the artistic ability...you could spend hours here— “ToonDoo was the happy result of brainstorming session that was aimed at creating a new way of expression for those who do not have the talent to draw. You can now just drag-drop or click to create comic strips that express your views, opinions, angst or to just have fun, loads of it!”
I haven’t checked their parent site www.jambav.com but it sounds interesting too: “Jambav is devoted to creating a unique array of free and customizable online games of educational value for children of all abilities.”

Sistine Chapel Virtual Tour: http://www.vatican.va/various/cappelle/sistina_vr/
For those of us who probably won’t be visiting the Sistine Chapel any time soon, here is a beautiful virtual tour without the crowds! Just click and drag your mouse in whichever direction you want to move, and use the + and- signs in the bottom left hand corner to zoom in and out. The Sistine Chapel includes frescoes by many of the greatest Renaissance painters - Michelangelo, Raphael, Bern-ini, Botticelli and others. Lovely!

Super-Important Announcements

  • Thanks very much to Christy for creating the treasure hunt the week before last—it was well enjoyed by all, and we were very impressed by the efficient organisation, the cryptic questions and the fantabuloso prizes!
  • A very belated congratulations to the talented, Irish dancing Liam for raising $70 for the Christchurch earthquake relief effort, busking with a friend!
  • Finally, this is the last newsletter of Term 1, and the last one from me (Nicola) for a while. Please send any newsletter related goodies to Kathrin from now on (what a special birthday treat for her ?)!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I am slack!

Sorry all - yes there is a newsletter this week. No I haven't uploaded it to the blog yet. And it isn't going to happen tonight either.

I am off to bed to try and fight off the beginnings of a cold.

If it's any consolation, although there are some very cool websites and links that Nicola has found, there aren't any major activities coming up as this is the last week of term! (yep, swimming etc all go on hold for a couple of weeks).

I'll flick the notices up on to the blog tomorrow evening. Stay tuned for some great links.


Monday, March 28, 2011

Upcoming events

Only 3 weeks to go till the end of Term 1! Don’t forget that you need to book for the Treasure Hunt at Chingford Park this Wednesday if you plan on coming (email Nicola), and also for the poi workshop on 13 April at Kathrin’s place (email Kathrin).

Careers Services

Selina-Jane and Nicola are in the process of organising a talk with Tess Livingstone of the Careers Service one evening next term. In the meantime, if you have children that are preparing to look for work, see the following link for Careers Service workshops being run in conjunction with the library.


Dental Services for High School aged children

A quick reminder that children aged between 13 and 18 are entitled to free dental care, regardless of whether they are homeschooled, at school, work, unemployed or on a course. The School Dental Service is only available to children up to the age of 13, and then they must enrol with a dentist if they wish to receive free care. If you’d like a list of dentists who accept new adolescent patients, email Nicola and she’ll send you a copy.

New Zealand Homeschooling on TV

Thanks to Kathrin for forwarding these two links to recent articles on NZ homeschooling:



Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The art of poi

From Kathrin:
I have a DVD on The Art of Poi, and am happy to host an afternoon at my house, where the children can make and learn about Poi. The DVD covers - Learn the Art of Poi, Poi history, Poi Song and Dance, Long and Short Poi actions and Poi making, and runs for about 20 minutes. We took just over an hour to watch the DVD and make the Poi. When families book to attend, I will send a materials list for making the Poi. If anyone can't make it, they are welcome to borrow the DVD.
Date and time to be confirmed - 12:30pm, Wednesday 13 April. Email Kathrin to book.

Treasure Hunt - more info

From Christy:
Hi everyone,

I'm hoping that the weather will be great next Wednesday so we can go ahead with the treasure hunt and possibly a few games! :)
If you are interested in coming, could you please let Nicola know by Thursday 24th so she is able to tell me on Friday of how many are coming. Thanks! I just want to make sure that there will be enough prizes. ;)

Hope to see you there! :)

The treasure hunt will be at 12:30pm, Wednesday 30 March at Chingford Gardens - our raindate is 6 April.

Monday, March 14, 2011

NCHENZ newsletter (plus Student ID card info)

We've just received the latest NCHENZ newsletter (thanks, Stacey!) which is chockfull of info, including details of how to apply for an ID card for our older children. This can be used to prove that they are not truanting, or to show that they qualify for child/student fares on buses, movies etc.


Music course

From the CHEF newsletter:

My course - www.thecontemporarymusiccourse.com - is perfect for Homeschoolers.
Here are a couple of reviews you may be interested in and want to let your students and/or teachers know of.
Click here to read Homeschool Review by Michael Leppert
Review by Barry Walmsely - Music Teachers Association NSW, Australia

Clive Cockburn
Film and Television Soundtracks
Tel. 64-9-373 9904
P.O. Box 137210
Auckland 1151
New Zealand

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Craig and Barbara Smith visit -updated details

The conference programme and the venue have been confirmed for this CHEF event. For details, click on the entry for April 2nd in the Diary Dates section of this blog


Baby Bunnies looking for a new home

From Donna:

Here are some pics of our baby bunnies, these pics were a couple of weeks ago...they are now almost 6 weeks old, and can leave their mum in another 2 weeks.
We have 5 for sale ($10 each). If anyone is interested please phone Donna or Hayley
Many Thanks

Music in the Community

From Tarnya Burge of NCHENZ:

A new article has been added to the NCHENZ website:
Kind Regards Tarnya

Support for Christchurch Home Educators #2

Another message from our mail-bag:

I’ve been contacted by a woman who has come down from Christchurch temporarily - not sure for how long. She home schools two boys, 12 and 14 and wanted to get in touch with other home schoolers with boys of a similar age. I wonder if you'd mind contacting the other SHEAF mothers and seeing if anybody could help her.
Thanks, Sue McMillan
Contact someone who gets the email newsletter for contact details!

Support for Christchurch Home Educators

From our mail-bag:

Hi there,
We are a unschooling family who live in the Lyttelton Harbour basin.
A while back there was an email to the homespunlearning yahoo group offering support to chch home edders.
A group of us in Lyttelton have been stitching hearts every day since 1st March and giving them to people to lift their spirits and create a gathering point to come and chat and find support.
We will be doing some work with children next week in school lunch breaks and will be at the Memorial service.
We are need of old blankets, buttons, thin wool and big eyed needles so that we can keep doing this work.
If any of your families have any of these spare we would really appreciate this.
Alternately people could get together and make some hearts and send them down.
You can find out more about this project at www.watchingkereru.blogspot.com
If there is anyone interested they can send me an email (see the blog for the address) and I will send them the address to send it to.
Thanks so much,

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Kids Journal:

From the CHEF newsletter: The Kids Journal

Dear Readers

We have some great things planned for 2011. Who would have thought in 2007 when we published our first issue that we would come this far - 4 years of printing your children's fabulous stories and artwork in our magazine for kids! So thank you to everyone who has supported us by sending work in and subscribing to TKJ. HUGE thanks to our advertisers. They have helped us for the first time in nearly 4 years to break even financially (almost). It is that time again – subscription renewals. Despite the increase in post etc we will keep prices the same. $32 for a year's subscription ($7 plus $1 post per issue) or $8 plus $1 post for non subscribers.

The account:
The Kids Journal: National bank: 06 0925 0427583 00. Then forward me an email confirming payment and with your postal address.

Our 40 page magazine is better than ever this year, with more colour and great quality glossy magazine paper. What a great way to display your children's work after each term and to encourage them to give their best effort. So I look forward to receiving your items for publication in our April issue. Closing date for submissions is March 18th. You do not have to be a subscriber to submit your children's work for publication.
Keep writing and keep smiling

SPECIAL OFFER: If you tell someone about TKJ and that person takes out a subscription with us for 2011, you both get 10% off. That's only $29.20 subs (or $6.30 per issue)

BETTER YET: If you tell 2 or more people about TKJ and they all take out a subscription for 2011, you all get 20% off your subscriptions. That's only $26.40 subs (or $5.60 per issue)
* See conditions below.

So tell your friends and community about TKJ and together we will get kids passionate about reading and writing.

ABOUT US: I am a home schooling mum, whose children wanted to have a outlet for their writing and wanted to encourage other children to write. My eldest daughter (almost 19 now) came up with the name for The Kids Journal. She has now left home to train for local and overseas mission work. My son (a reluctant writer – now almost 17), who finally found a reason to write something, is now no longer sorting pages and stapling issues of TKJ together, but working for an engineering firm. Fortunately I have 2 at home still to help with this "family hobby". Laura is 12 and loves all things literary - be it reading or writing. She made the loudest complaints when I pondered out aloud whether to continue TKJ into the future or not. Lastly I have Tom, who can't wait to start submitting things, and loves hearing all the stories his "friends" send in.

Special Offer Conditions: The friends that you join cannot have had a subscription in 2010. When your friends join and send payment, please ensure they mention your name otherwise we cannot process your discounts. You will be contacted once they have made their subscription payment to confirm the method by which you want to receive your discount (cheque or internet banking). You will only receive your discount once your subscription payment has been made. Multiple subscriptions to the same family do not qualify for discounts.

(p.s. SHEAF isn't sure of The Kids Journal's email address - perhaps ask Selina-Jane :) )

Apologia Science Author visiting NZ

From CHEF newsletter (from Erena at Learnex) :

ADVANCED NOTICE: Mark your diaries! We are giving you advanced warning so you can save up some supervisory allowance :- )

Dr Jay Wile (www.apologia.com) is planning a visit to NZ this June. Dr Jay was extremely well received by adults and teens alike last time he was here. Dr Wile is an author and the founder of the ever popular “Apologia Science” curriculum but he speaks on a number of topics of interest.

Craig & Barbara Smith visit

From the CHEF newsletter:

As promised, Craig & Barbara Smith are coming back to Dunedin this year, on Saturday 2nd of April. More details are to come as things are organised, but mark this date in your diaries. Craig & Barbara are great speakers, and last year's visit was wonderful! We all wanted more, so asked them to come back - we are delighted they agreed!

Special Thanks to Shana & Katie who have taken on the job of organising these seminars for us! They are very eager to have more helpers if anyone is keen....many hands make light work! You can contact either myself (Selina-Jane), Katie or Shana if you are able to help.

CHEF meetings

From Selina-Jane, coordinator of CHEF (Christian Home Education Fellowship);

Next meeting:
This will be on the 11th March at Halfway Bush Church (corner of Colinsay & Balmain Street's) at 1.00pm.
The following meeting will be on the 25th March at The Lighthouse Church, Green Island at 10.00am.
It is my intention to follow the pattern of alternating churches and morning/afternoon meetings for our get togethers. Hopefully this will suit mosre people.
Please do come along and chat and catch up!

To find out more about CHEF, please contact Selina-Jane

Treasure Hunt

Christy has very kindly offered to organise a treasure hunt and games day for us for our Wednesday meet-up on 30 March, at Chingford Gardens. I’m not quite sure what it will involve—but there will be chocolate, so be warned if you’re not a chocolate-eater!! Please email Nicola with numbers if your children will be coming, so that Christy can make sure she’s prepared enough treasure! The raindate is 6 April. Thanks very much, Christy :-)

‘Your Face Here’ workshop at Otago Museum

There are still a few spaces left for the museum trip next Wednesday, so email Nicola if you’d like to book.

The cost is $3.50 per child.

Click here for more info: http://www.otagomuseum.govt.nz/your_face_here_422.html

Tennis - change of time

Due his family’s new business commitments (congratulations on The Joyful Vegan caravan, Ted and Tanya!), Ted, Palin and Taia will now be playing tennis at 2pm each Tuesday at the Logan Park club, rather than 12:30pm.

All welcome!

Our condolences.

We received the very sad news that Roger, husband of Annette and father of Tabitha and Jeremy, died yesterday morning. I’m sure all SHEAF members will join me in passing on our sorrow and much love to Annette and the children, and gratitude that the memories of the very happy times they spent together, especially in their adventures last year, must be a treasured comfort to them now. I would also like to thank Annette very much for keeping us updated during what must have been an unimaginably difficult time for them all.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Google Science Fair seeks budding Einsteins and Curies

From Stacey:
Saw this around about on the web, and thought it looked good - there are some great prizes, but just the experience of entering would be cool. Entries Close April 4th:


Google Science Fair seeks budding Einsteins and Curies 1/11/2011 06:00:00 AM

Are you a student who loves science? Do you have a good idea for an experiment that you’d like to share with the world? In 1996, two young computer science students, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, had a hypothesis that there was a better way to find information on the web. They did their research, tested their theories and built a search engine which (eventually) changed the way people found information online. Larry and Sergey were fortunate to be able to get their idea in front of lots of people. But how many ideas are lost because people don’t have the right forum for their talents to be discovered? We believe that science can change the world—and one way to encourage that is to celebrate and champion young scien-tific talent as we do athletes and pop idols.

To help make today’s young scientists the rock stars of tomorrow, in partnership with CERN, The LEGO Group, National Geographic and Scientific American, we’re introducing the first global online science competition: the Google Science Fair. It’s open to students around the world who are between the ages of 13-18. All you need is access to a computer, the Internet and a web browser.

You may have participated in local or regional science fairs where you had to be in the same physical space to compete with kids in your area. Now any student with an idea can participate from anywhere, and share their idea with the world. You build and submit your project—either by yourself or in a team of up to three—entirely online. Students in India (or Israel or Ireland) will be able to compete with students in Canada (or Cambodia or Costa Rica) for prizes including once-in-a-lifetime experiences (like a trip to the Galapagos Islands with a National Geographic Explorer), scholarships and real-life work opportunities (like a five-day trip to CERN in Switzerland). And if you’re entering a science fair locally, please feel free to post that project online with Google Science Fair, too!

To enter, register online and create your project as a Google Site. Registration is open through April 4, 2011. Please note: you must get parental or guardian consent in order to compete. You can check out the complete rules here. After April 4, we’ll begin judging and will announce our semi-finalists in early May.

The semi-finalist projects will be posted on our online gallery, where we’ll encourage the public to vote for a “people’s choice” winner. From our list of semi-finalists, we’ll select 15 finalists to bring their projects to Google headquarters on July 11 to compete in our final, live event, where world-renowned science judges will select a winner in each age category, as well as a grand-prize winner.

Here's an example of a great science fair project site to inspire you. We asked Tesca, a U.S. high school senior from Oregon, to create it for us based on an award-winning project she’s been working on for years. Tesca’s objective is to make hospitals more efficient using artificial intelligence—a world-changing goal, to be sure.

So if you think you're the next Albert Einstein, Marie Curie—or Larry Page or Sergey Brin—sign up today for the Google Science Fair. Prove once again how science can change the world!

Posted by Cristin Frodella and Samantha Peter, Education Product Marketing Managers