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)

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

John Taylor Gatto's book "The Underground History of American Education"

From Jewel via NZUnschoolers@yahoogroups.com:

Hi all, John Taylor Gatto's book "The Underground History of American Education" free to read online in it's entirety: http://www.johntaylorgatto.com/chapters/index.htm

"You aren’t compelled to loan your car to anyone who wants it, but you are compelled to surrender your school-age child to strangers who process children for a livelihood......"
Cheers Jewel

Swim for Life Passport

Water Safety New Zealand are encouraging children to improve their swimming by giving them a free swimming passport booklet. As they achieve certain goals, parents or coaches sign them off, and there are also chances to win various prizes. To register for a free swimming passport, go here: http://swimforlife.co.nz/register

Next Big People’s Night Out

At the last BPNO we discussed trying a new venue, so next month will meet at
The Church café at 50 Dundas St, 7:30pm Wednesday 23 March. All welcome!

Girl Guide Biscuits

From Stacey:

Ella is selling Girl Guide biscuits this year. Please contact us if you would like some!
  • plain - $3pkt. 15pkts per carton. $45 per carton
  • chocolate - $3.50 pkt. 18pkts per carton. $63 per carton
  • minis - $3.50pkt. 16pkts per carton. $56 per carton

No order too big, no order too small :)

NCEA and NZ curriculum resources

For past exam papers, exemplars and details of each NCEA subject & standard: http://www.nzqa.govt.nz/qualifications-standards/qualifications/ncea/ncea-subject-resources/

The New Zealand Curriculum is available online at
or to order print copies phone 0800660662. You might need to supply the number on your exemption certificate, so have it handy.

Preparation of survival kits

We’ve been very slack at organising a survival kit our emergency plan at our house, but I’m feeling very motivated after the earthquake. Here are a few useful links regarding setting these up:
What’s the Plan, Stan? Civil Defence site for family preparation
Frugal Kiwi DIY Emergency Survival Kit preparation on a budget
Survive-It complete survival kits available for purchase from Civil Defence for those not on a budget! (you can also buy individual bits that might be lacking from your own kit - like those reflecty survival sleeping bags, or water purification tablets)

Canterbury Earthquake

From Nicola:

After the terrible earthquake in Christchurch last week, everyone seems to want to do something to help our northern cousins. Here are a few links I’ve come across recently, not all of which involve giving money, as I know this can be a struggle for many of us at times.
There were some great ideas and links in the latest (free) email newsletter from NZ Gardener magazine. If you don't subscribe, have a look at their website - they allow open access to past issues once the new newsletter is mailed out, so the Feb 25 newsletter will be available this Friday.

There are many crafty auctions being set up to raise funds for Christchurch—here are a few I found via Facebook Ginger Pye blog
Adopt a Cantab - looking for volunteers to connect with Cantabrians who just need a friendly ear on the phone to talk to.
Quake Escape— matching up those offering accommodation with those who need it (also Accommodation for Earthquake Stricken Cantabrians)
Otago Quake Help— collating Dunedin offers of accommodation
BabyJam — will donate 50c for everyone who signs up for their free online goodie bag offer (for parents of children 0—10 years)
CurrClick - have put together a fundraising package for NZ Red Cross: I’ve just had a quick look at this bundle and it seems to include mostly downloadable products, with a Chrsitan perspective. From Tanya Burge via NZHomeEducators@yahoogroups.com: “CurrClick and several publishers have teamed up to raise funds to aid those affected by the Christchurch earthquake. We have a new bundle with over $234 of great products available now for a $20 donation. All donations will go to the New Zealand Red Cross.”

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Christchurch Earthquake

For any international readers, be reassured that Christchurch is 5 hours drive to the north of us here, and so Dunedin itself is unscathed.

We are all, however, devastated by the news that continues to flow out of Christchurch, and our thoughts and prayers are with the people of that city now. Many of us have friends and family there and are watching and waiting for news.

Kia kaha, Christchurch, we've got your back, and we're helping in every way we can think of.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Critical Thinking Course

This looks like quite a good wee course from what I've seen (briefly!) - for those not familiar with blog-type formats, once you click on the link below, you'll need to scroll to the bottom of the screen - to work through the course in order, you'll need to start at the bottom and work your way up :)

Hi everyone,

If you are looking for a means to teach Critical Thinking from a New Zealand and Christian friendly perspective (it is not heavily Christian, just not anti like a lot of these courses are - it would suit non-Christian groups as well) then I invite you to take a look at my Fallacy Friday series on MandM http://www.mandm.org.nz/tag/fallacy-friday which sees a new instalment published every Friday. The first four lessons are already online, the next will be up later today and another the following Friday and so on... It is most suitable for teenagers through to any adults who may want to learn too.

I am also available to teach this course as a seminar. I live in Auckland but am happy to travel - I could do the course as an intensive over a couple of days for out of town groups or we could do it by Skype connection.

Once I have published all the lessons on MandM I intend to publish my course as a self-teaching critical thinking resource for home-schoolers, schools, lay people, etc.

I hold a PhD from the University of Otago, a Masters with First Class Honours and a Bachelors from the University of Waikato and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Secondary Teaching from Bethlehem Tertiary Institute. I am qualified to teach philosophy, critical thinking, ethics and religious studies at both secondary and tertiary level. I have been teaching my subject areas in a tutoring/adjunct lecturing capacity within universities and tertiary institutions for 14 years now and this year will be my third year of teaching in a relief-teaching/ guest teaching capacity within high schools. I have extensive experience writing for and interacting with lay people on the topics of my area of speciality, some of you will be aware of my blog MandM and of my monthly column "Contra Mundum" in *Investigate Magazine*.

I have been speaking to church, home-schooling and community groups and have been involved in youth programs and community outreaches for years. Finally, Madeleine and I have home-schooled all of our 4 children, on and off, over the years and have shared the responsibility for doing so, so I very much understand home-schooling and the need to speak and present the material in plain English to young people.

I am currently not working so I would like to charge something for teaching a course and of course would need my travel costs covered but I am aware of the need to make it accessible and of the fact that home-schooling families are usually one income families so if you are interested let's talk, I am sure we can work something out.

Matthew Flannagan (Dr) PhD, MSocSci (Hons), BSocSci, DipTcgSec
(contact via his blog, linked above)

Kia ora from Pukekura: Taiaroa Head update

Thanks to Stacey for forwarding this to us:

Kia ora all

Toroa/Albatross Hatching is finally over!

Our first chick hatched on 16th January and the 26th chick hatched on 12th February. Two chicks died within their first few days (one we suspect died from accidental crushing by its parent while the other chick died from microbial infection).

With 24 chicks alive it is the second highest number the colony has had, however we still have a long way to go to having all 24 surviving until fledging time in September. For example, currently the last chick is on a course of antibiotics. It has not begged for food from the adults, lost a significant amount of weight and has other signs of a probable microbial infection. The most common entry point for microbes is through the opening into the umbilicus (e.g. microbes picked up from nest or introduced into the chick via fly maggots) and once inside the chick's system, death often follows.

The use of antibiotics on very young chicks is a 'last resort' and the success of antibiotics is reliant on many factors relating to the type and timing of the infection and the resilience of the chick. As this chick isn't begging from the adults we are supplementary feeding it liquids and salmon (kindly donated from New Zealand King Salmon) and we will continue to do so until such time when the adults take over the role of feeding their chick.
The above photo of white-blue-green (WBG) shows her here with her 2 week old chick. WBG is our current oldest bird (42 years) and although WBG and her partner have produced chicks in the last few years, all have died. (Last year during a warm day, WBG showed signs of heat stress and while moving about on the nest in an attempt to cool herself, she accidentally stood on her newly hatched chick, killing it. In the previous year their chick was fly blown and died and in the year before that, microbes entered their egg through a minute crack which lead to the embryo's death). WBG's story has been popular with media as has another female-female pair we have this season, who have a chick of their own (egg was fertilised by an unknown male).

The Mukojima photos (below) are from Tomohiro Deguchi, (the researcher in charge of a Short-tailed albatross translocation project), whom I worked with in 2007 and 2008 on Mukojima (a Japanese island about 1000km south of Tokyo).
In 2008, 10 short-tailed albatross chicks (about 1 month old) were moved from an active volcanic island, (Torishima) and then hand-reared until fledging on Mukojima (400km south of Torishima). Each year since 2008, fifteen chicks have been moved to and then hand-reared on Mukojima in the hopes that they would imprint on Mukojima and return there to breed after a few years at sea.
A new colony on Mukojima would create another population and one safe from volcanic activity. This type of translocation hasn't been done before with albatross (other than a trial with another species in the previous year), and the age at which ground nesting seabirds 'imprint' on their location is unclear (i.e. there was a risk that birds may have already 'imprinted' on Torishima having spent their first month there and could go back to Torishima to breed rather than going to Mukojima) but just 6 days ago the team on Mukojima reported one of those 10 chicks from 2008 has arrived back at Mukojima after its first three years at sea!! A great result from a collaborative team from Japanese NGO's and government organisations and the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The photos of Y01 shows him in his adolescent plumage and wandering around the site that contains this years hand-reared chicks.

Cheers Lyndon

Science for Home Educators

Some of our families attended a chemistry workshop and a science seminar run by Nathalie Thomas of Science for Home Educators last week. As usual, she was a mine of cool information. There was much measuring and mixing of chemicals, and a little bit of writing, and we even got to play with a beautiful Atomic Absorption Spectrometer, which produced different coloured sheets of flame according to which element it was analysing.

Here are some of the links she shared with us that might be useful for science inspiration!

Nathalie’s site, where you can hire science kits and DVDS for about $10—$15 per term: http://www.science-for-home-educators.co.nz/

User Friendly Resources: http://www.userfr.co.nz/welcome.asp Nathalie recommended titles such as Super Science and Reinforcing Science from this site. They give access to the first 10 pages of many of their publications so that you can have a good look before you buy.

Scientriffic magazine for ages 7+ http://www.csiro.au/resources/ScientrifficMain.html
The Helix magazine for ages 10+ http://www.csiro.au/resources/The-Helix.html
If you subscribe to either of these through The Royal Society of New Zealand (http://www.royalsociety.org.nz/), then you don’t have to pay international postage charges.

The Royal Society also produces the Alpha magazine, for more serious science buff kids, free to download from http://www.royalsociety.org.nz/publications/teaching/alpha/

Nathalie recommended The Book Depository for many of her favourite titles—they have free shipping worldwide: http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/

The Royal Society of Chemistry also has many free resources http://www.rsc.org/Education/Teachers/Resources/OnlineResourcesHome.asp

Nathalie made the fantastic suggestion of running a local homeschooling science fair. Her homeschooling group does this each year, and invites a local scientist to come and judge the children’s projects. Winners can then possibly go on to enter regional science fairs. If anyone would be interested in organising this, please let me know!

Diary Date change

Our meet up for 2 March has been changed to Mornington Park.

Intriguing Dunedin Street Walks

Nicola's scheduled our next Intriguing Dunedin Street Walk for 23 March. This one tours around Fernhill, and is found in Book 3 (the green one). For those who don’t have copies, Kathrin has recently found them at EzyPrint Solutions in the Octagon. They are fantastic way to get to know areas of Dunedin you might not normally have reason to investigate (and you also get to support a local author in the process).
We’ll meet at 12:30pm, at the intersection of Princes, Manse and Stafford Streets—and yes, this will be a hilly one, so be warned!

Weetbix Tryathlon

The Dunedin Weetbix Tryathlon will be held next Sunday, and the closing date for entries is 25 February. Go to http://tryathlon.weetbix.co.nz/Venues/mosgiel.aspx#courseinfo for more information, or to register. Don’t forget your Weetbix codes if you have them to get a discount on the entry fee. Harper had a fantastic time last year, and can’t wait for next weekend!

Community Children’s Choir

A new choir for children aged 7—13 years is starting up this week, on 24 February. There are NO auditions, and practices are held at 4pm on Thursdays in the Music Suite at the College of Education on Union Street. For further info, phone Carole Randall on 476 7233 or email her

Carole says “The purpose for this choir is to foster a love of singing in a choral setting where children’s voices are carefully developed with a range of suitable repertoire and sound vocal training.”

Many of our homeschooled children have been to Carole’s choir before, and I think all have really enjoyed it, and found her to a lovely, gentle teacher. Highly recommended!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Science Classes - update

Unfortunately, Amadeo was not able to get approval for the Friday morning science classes, so these won’t be going ahead. However, the senior Discovery Club was approved, and will start in four weeks, once the museum has arranged for another science communicator to assist. For the younger children (aged 8—12), the Discovery Club will continue to run Thursdays from 3:30—5pm, starting this week. The cost is $75 for the term (17 Feb—7 Apr), or $12 per session. To book, phone the museum on 474 7474.

Interested in things Medieval?

From Stacey:

Our family is going Medieval this year and have joined a local reenactment group (http://kessog.sca.org.nz/index.htm). I thought I'd everyone else know about it, in case they or their offspring have a hankering for dressing up, learning new/old skills and dabbling in medieval combat (like archery etc), or cooking, embroidery, bone carving... They are a uni group (although apparently most of their members are not actually students at present), so are just sorting out their schedule for the year.

There is a Feast and Collegium day coming up in March where there will be daytime workshops, and a fairly early feast (I'm taking Ella to the feast, but will probably not stay for the dancing). http://kessog.sca.org.nz/St%20Kessog%20feast.htm You can borrow garb from the club, so don't feel that you need to enslave yourself to your sewing machine before coming! (Having said that, though, they don't have any children's garb, so a little sewing for the kiddies might be in order - I've got patterns and links to various internet sites so if you'd like more information, just contact me). If you want to know more, get in touch with me, or contact the Seneschal through their website.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Weekend Watching

This documentary is great! Comedian Alan Davies embarks on a maths odyssey with the help of mathematician Marcus du Sautoy. As Prof du Sautoy says, sums and equations are like the grammar of maths, so let's forget about that and take a look at the high drama, the Shakespeare of maths...

The link above is to part 1 of 6, so the whole thing is an hour-long doco, but well worth the watch. I recommend double clicking the link and watching it directly at YouTube, rather than as a little embedded picture - and for part 2 etc, have a look for "Horizon: Alan and Marcus Go Forth and Multiply - 2/6".

Monday, February 7, 2011

Welcome to 2011!

Well, didn't the start of the year roll around quickly?!

So quickly in fact that although I've had the first SHEAF newsletter from Nicola sitting in my in-box for a week, it wasn't until the SECOND one arrived the I remembered I needed to be uploading them onto our blog.

So, it's a bumper edition on the blog today - two week's worth of notices in one hit :) enjoy.


Top 10 Answers You Should NEVER Give to the Question: "What?! No School Today?"

Some humour for the week:

From http://homeschooling.gomilpitas.com/humor/141.htm
10. Well normally yes, but this time of year I need help with the planting and plowing.
9. Goodness, no!!! I graduated 18 years ago, but thanks for the compliment!
8. No, we homeschool. We're just out to pick up a bag of pork rinds and some Mountain Dew, then we gotta hurry home to catch our soaps.
7. What?! Where did you guys come from?! I thought I told you to stay at school! I'm sorry. This happens all the time. (sigh)
6. There isn't? Why, you'd think we'd see more kids out then, don't you?
5. We're on a field trip studying human nature's intrusive and assumptive tactics of display-ing ignorance and implied superiority. Thanks for the peek!
4. On our planet we have different methods of education. (Shhh! No, I didn't give it away... keep your antennae down!)
3. Oh my goodness! I thought that today was Saturday...come on kids, hurry!
2. Noooooope.Me 'n Bubba jes' learns 'em at home. Werks reel good!
And the number one answer we should NEVER give to the question: "What? No school to-day?"
1. "What? No Bingo today?"

weekly science classes at the museum

I was meant to upload something about this last week and the week snuck up on me and turned into this week before I knew it!

First - the note from Nicola about the vague possibility of science classes:

I spoke to Amadeo last week about the possibility of running some
science classes at the museum this term. He has yet to confirm them
with his manager, but it looks like we might be able to have a
homeschooling class run on Friday mornings, as well as a senior
Discovery Club (for ages 12 and over) on Thursday afternoons. If you’re
interested in either class, please email me and I’ll compile a list to keep
everyone updated.
And secondly, this week's updated and slightly more confirmed information:

Update on science classes
I’m expecting to hear confirmation (or not) about the two science classes tomorrow evening, but in the meantime, here’s a bit more info about what Amadeo is planning. For people who have children in both age groups, it might be more practical to send them all to the Thursday afternoon sessions, where the different age groups will run separately but alongside each other. As far as I’m aware, the cost will be $65 per term, per child, or $10 per week—the science classes normally run for 8 weeks.

From Amadeo:
“This Term I am planning to look into how to become the best scientist using our senses. I have some kids coming from school too so my plans this year will be different to the plans in which we just stayed in the lab upstairs doing experiments, because we do that in school... so at the museum I will make the most of THE MUSEUM. Experiments will take place in the tropical forest and in the museum galleries as much as I can, always linked to the museum collections. If seniors come on Thursday I will start teaching like in those small rural schools where many ages are all in the one class :-) I will plan the same activity at different levels, and will ask for a communicator to help during the duration of the session. The introduction to the session will be the same to all, then we would break into groups, and I will show the seniors more complex experiments: like the dissection of a butterfly in the tropical forest or a chemical reaction to allow limestone formation in the geology section of the Southern Lands gallery. Juniors would try simpler versions of those same experiments. A museum communicator would stay with the juniors all the time going through the more basic experiments with them and I would check how they do throughout the session while the seniors keep in task with their stuff. I also like the idea of the juniors checking out what the seniors are doing, and also in terms of museum links for juniors AND seniors to see how museum staff (even more senior lol) are doing too in connection to our science theme, like how Murry takes care of the butterflies, or Cody skeletonize animals for an exhibition.

We will see like that in Term 1 that all that scientists do is use the five senses to get as much information of the world as possible to try to understand the truth of why things are how they are, and create things to help us live a better life! Oh! Isn't science the best! :-) If in Monday the Friday morning group gets the go-ahead I will just keep what we did on Thursday after-school and repeat it for the "morning group" at 10am every Friday. I will call it a Discovery Club morning group and will keep it open to anyone that wants to come, so that it is not seen as something the museum is doing exclusively for the home-schoolers, but another programme for all our community. Thats more along the lines of what we do at the museum.”

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Trading Post - 2nd Feb 2011

Two markets are on this week for those of us with wads of spare pocket money! First up is Moxie Market, a new little venture at The Perc cafe this Friday evening. Then on Saturday, from 10am—4pm, the Thieves Alley Market will be held around the Octagon and Bath St.

Central Otago or West Coast homeschooling families

We have had some contact this week with someone who lives in Wanaka. She’s homeschooling her two young daughters, and is looking for any other homeschooling families anywhere near her. If you know of anyone who’s happy to share their details, can you please let Nicola know and she’ll forward them on to her. She also said that if anyone is ever in the Wanaka area and wants to meet up, she’d love to!

Homeschooling in the news, again :)

16 year old Sophie Hince has recently been to South Africa to help rebuild an orphanage with other teenagers!

NZ Home Educators Cambridge Exams support group

From Erena Fussell:

NZ Home Ed Cambridge is an email support group for NZ Home Educators currently using or planning to teach through the Cambridge Examinations. General aims for the group include (but are not limited) to the following: discussion, sharing of resources and ideas, buy, sell & swap Cambridge resources, mutual encouragement and support, Cambridge friendly tutors, schools that take external students, study groups, sharing useful websites, Cambridge resource suppliers, sharing student successes and achievements. It is expected that as well as asking for help, members contribute what they have learnt in order to benefit the rest of the group. We all recognise there is a lot of research involved in this educational path, so please don't keep what you find out to yourself!

To sign up, send and email to NZHomeEdCambridge@yahoogroups.com and follow the prompts or visit http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NZHomeEdCambridge

Activity suggestions

Our Wednesday afternoons are now booked up till the last four weeks of term, so if you have any suggestions, let Nicola know—otherwise, we’ll just schedule in a few more playground visits.

Hikes - details of this week's, and dates for the next couple

Ted has kindly organised a few more hikes for the term.

There’s no need to book for these hikes, just turn up!

10:30am, Wednesday 9 February:
Taieri Mouth-Millenium Track .

12:30pm, Wednesday 23 February:
Aramoana Beach- The last beach on the left. The one with the sand dunes. Bring your cardboard for sliding. Last time we were there we saw penguins swimming in the middle of the day.

12:30pm Wednesday 9 March:
Allan's Beach- on the Peninsula by Hooper's Inlet—a short walk to the beach.

If you need directions, email Ted.

Also, see the diary dates section for the other two, which are both at local beaches. If you need directions, email Ted at bluekombi@hotmail.com

World Vision education resources

From our mail box:


My name is Don Benn and I am a Schools Relationship Coordinator with World Vision. In addition to schools we also try to engage with students in various other groups -- including churches, non-church groups, and home school groups. I have personally connected with a couple of home school groups in the last year and thought it would be good to approach you regarding our resources. I wonder if it would be appropriate for you to make these resources known to those involved in Home Schooling in New Zealand.

I have outlined below, with a brief detail, some of the resources we offer. If you would like more informa-tion on them please reply and I would love to follow up on them.

1.*GLC*(Global Leadership Convention). This is a student leader (Year 11-13) leadership training day aimed at empowering and inspiring young leaders who are hungry to influence their world. They are en-couraged to think globally and are equipped with practical leadership skills.

2.*40 Hour Famine*. This is a practical way for students to act on global issues. They are part of a national fundraiser which last year raised over $2.4 million, involving over 120,000 people in New Zealand. It is also something which can be incorporated into learning as a practical component of a unit relating to food and hunger -- for example.

3.*Education Resources*. World Vision has education writers who produce resources (resource folders, DVD's, posters, textbooks, worksheets, simulation games) on issues like water, food, child labour, HIV & AIDS, Disasters, Conflict, and various case studies. These resources can be found no our website (http://www.worldvision.org.nz/education/default.aspx). In addition we have Schools Relationship Coordinators based in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch who are more than willing to show you samples of those resources.

4.*Smiles*. Smiles is a catalogue of gifts that can be purchased for people in poorer nations. It ranges from $5 items up to $1300, and covers gifts relating to water, food, shelter, hygiene, education. It is a great practical way to finish a unit of work which relates to one of these topics. Learning about a topic is great, and the opportunity for students to feel like they have been able to do something about what they have learned is like icing on the cake.

I would love to hear from you and see how World Vision can complement the learning already being done in home school groups around New Zealand.

*Donald Benn*

Schools Relationship Coordinator
Follow us on Facebook

Updates to SHEAF list and other housekeeping

A note from Nicola

As people’s circumstances change so often, if you’d like to continue to receive the SHEAF newsletter for 2011, please email me and let me know, so that I can make sure I’m not sending it out to anyone who doesn’t want it!

Also, if you have any changes or additions to your contact/family details, or if you’d like to be removed from our list, please let me know so that I can update our address list for the new year.

Important - email Nicola to continue to receive the newsletter!!

Homeschooling in the news

14 year old Alex Ducat has received some very impressive results for his Cambridge exams.


Big People’s Nights Out

Each month we take an evening out to sit in a cafe, be grown-ups, and not necessarily talk about education or children at all (although usually they sneak into the conversation somewhere!)

Our first Big People’s Night Out this year will be at 7:30pm, Thursday 24 February, at Nova Café. If anyone would like to try somewhere different, let Nicola know and we’ll book it in for March.

Otago Museum trip: Your Face Here

Nicola has booked a workshop based on the Your Face Here exhibition, which her kids have loved so much they’ve been through 3 times already.

Here’s the blurb:

Your face is unique! What is it about your face that helps people to identify you, know how you feel or how old you are? In ‘Your Face Here’ students will be able to explore their own face in new and exciting ways. Using concepts of identity and perception, this programme investigates how faces are represented, interpreted and enjoyed by everyone.

12:30—2:00pm, Wednesday 16 March

Cost $3.50 per child. Email Nicola to book