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, September 30, 2012

Art classes, anyone?

From Tanya:

Hi all,

I am putting together an art class and wanted to see what interest there was for it. Taia, my 9 year old daughter, has expressed an interest in learning "proper art" and so we looked into it and found the classes to be out of our budget. Luckily a friend of ours, Jane, has a bachelor's degree from the Dunedin School of Art (we went to her final exhibition and she is very talented!) and is considering a career in teaching. I approached her and asked whether she would be interested in teaching some kids on a weekly basis and she was very enthusiastic about it. This class will start off with an emphasis on drawing but can go in any direction based on pupil interest. It will be an actual teaching art class (unlike some of the other art classes we have seen, where they feel more like a play group!) so it is only suitable for kids that can sit and focus, and can follow directions. This class is for kids 8 years old and up with it being also suitable for older kids. Each class will be 90 minutes and be $70 per term for a 10 week term and probably Tuesday mornings at about 10.30am. We are still working out the venue but are looking for a space downtown, any suggestions welcome. We want to start next term, so in 2 weeks time. Actual time and day would be dependent on venue. We are capping the class at 6 kids so there will be great teacher-pupil ratio. The students would be responsible for the cost of their art materials, at this point just pencils and paper. I think it will be a great class and feel really excited about it. If could email me with any questions and/or if your kids (or yourself if you are the home-schooled pupil) are interested in signing up for the class. If this class works out and we have enough interest from the younger kids Jane has expressed interest in a younger art class also.

Thanks very much,
Tanya Hickman

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Big People's Night Out for August

From Kathrin

Big People's Night Out (Cafe evening) for Thursday 23 August, at Nova Cafe, from 7.30 onwards. Come along for coffee and a chat. Please RSVP (to Kathrin) so I know I won't be there alone, and to be updated on any changes.

Upcoming Museum trips

From Michelle regarding the museum visits

Wed 5 Sep 12-1.30, What’s in our food, $6.50 kids

If people prefer the later time (starting at 2) we can change the later trips to this time rather than 12

Please contact me to confirm bookings as we need a minimum of 12 kids to run the activity (otherwise I have to cancel)

The one on the 5th Sept, What’s in our food, has no cost for parents, just the charge per child. Also, would people prefer a change of time for the next term? The museum said we could have 1 pm if people want to have lunch first? They’re booked in for 12 atm but we can change.


If you want to do this please e-mail Michelle

Latin and English workshops?

From Kathrin

We have received a package from Barbara Beers of Schola Publications. Barbara will be visiting New Zealand near the end of September, and would like to know if there is any interest in her presenting one or more of her workshops:
Latin, the Key to English
Secrets of Great Spelling
An Historical Timeline of English Spelling
Barbara can be contacted at schola@thelatinroad.com, and further information on the curriculum can be found at www.thelatinroad.com and www.thephonicsroad.com. I have samples of the curriculum - please contact me if you would like to view them.

Ski Trip

From Claire

Please let me know if you are interested in our ski trip to Cadrona on the 3rd and 4th of September. Rates are $53 per person per day for lift pass/ski hire/lesson (slightly more for snowboards).
Accommodation will be up to individual families. Have already talked to a few of you who I know are keen but please confirm you can come on these dates. I need to know the numbers as soon as possible so I can
confirm with Cardrona.

If you want to go please e-mail Claire

Chemistry lab and course for kids 12+

From our mailbox: 
(note: an information sheet with times, dates and course content etc was sent out with our newsletter this week.  If you didn't receive it, email Nicola or Palin for copy, or contact Nathalie Thomas directly.  Cheers).

Hi everyone,

I will be running a chemistry lab course at Otago university in November 2012. Feel free to pass this on to other homeschoolers in your area. I will also be running a couple of chemistry workshops during the same week, more details will follow once I have a venue confirmed.

Best regards,

Nathalie Thomas, MSc, DipT
Science for Home Educators
PO Box 179
Katikati 3166
Bay of Plenty

Ph (07) 5490383


Permaculture gardening class(es)

Note: Since there are so many people who want to do this class Rory has decided to do two classes, one on Wednesday and one on Thursday. Please tell me (Ted) what one you would rather. Also feel free to send this around the christian homeschool group.

First session will be Wed 22nd Aug

Hi Everyone,

Ted here. A friend of ours, Rory, who is a keen gardener and permaculturist, has said he is interested in sharing some of his knowledge with those who are interested. What we were thinking is that each term we could get together for a few hours and learn about what that season has to offer for our gardens.

Possible topics (depending on the season) are;

-Discussing garden design and strategies (forest gardening, stacking plants, multiple functions, mineral accumulators, no till etc.)
-Developing a template of family property to help sketch up garden ideas
-Learning how to take cuttings (to take home)
-Raising seeds in trays (to take home)
-Harvesting whatever is around
-and much more

We would meet at Rory's house where he has some very cool gardens or another location of his choice. All will be welcome and everyone will get something out of it. Thanks, Ted

If anyone is interested in this then please e-mail Ted

  cost is a gold coin donation

Friday, May 11, 2012

South Island HEART 2012 is here!

Home Educators' Annual Re-Treat is designed especially for Home Schooling Mums to have a weekend away to refresh and re-focus.

Featuring Rosie Boom, Alison White and other presenters
$155 for Early-bird registration.
Venue: Glenroy Lodge, Canterbury
Organisers and Speakers have a Christian world-view.
All Welcome!
20-22 July, 2012

Claire and Stacey plan to drive up for this, so contact either of us if you're interested in ride-sharing, or
finding out more (Claire went last year and had a great time).

A pdf containing prices and workshops etc was sent out with the newsletter. Contact Stacey if you didn't get it :)

High School workshops??

The Settlers' Museum has programmes aimed at secondary students. I would be interested in booking for the "Monster to Miniature - a history of computing presentation by OSM curator Peter Read and a tour of the museum's computer collection." and a museum careers talk - would there be interest from other families with highschool aged students for these?

Contact Kathrin to book or for more information.

Otago Settlers' Museum workshop

Wednesday 20 June, 1.00 - 2.30 Otago Settlers' Museum workshop - "Bridge Construction" Students will find out about different types of bridges, the science behind bridges, how they are made and what they are made of, then design and construct a model bridge. Aimed at students from year 3 - 8, but flexible on this.

Contact Kathrin to book or for more information.

This Wednesday's meet up

This Wednesdays met-up is at Moana pool.
Casual swim/free play and lunch from 12:30 - 3pm, 16th May

Friday, April 27, 2012

Health services for home educating families

As we have had a few new families join lately, it's a good time to remind everyone about the free health services available to us.

• Dental care is available through the school dental clinics – contact your local school for details. Available from when your baby's first teeth appear :)

• Hearing, vision and glue ear checks-
Dunedin Central
Vision, Hearing and Glue Ear.
Every Monday Morning
Dunedin Hospital
Ph (03) 4765800

South Dunedin
Hearing and Glue Ear.
Approx. 1st Thursday each month
Aurora Health Center
Ph (03) 455 0006

Vision, Hearing and Glue Ear.
Every 2nd Friday Morning
Mosgiel Health Center
ph (03) 4895135

Museum trip May 9

Note: For anyone only checking the blog, and not getting the newsletter, many apologies, I (Stacey) have been super busy with other stuff and the blog is not updated nearly as regularly as it should be. *Do* sign up for the newsletter if you want to know what is going on! 

From Michelle:
About the Otago Museum trip “What's the matter” May 9 - $6.50 per child – 12-1.30pm
So far we haven’t got enough people. If I haven’t got enough I will have to cancel it next Friday as they need a bit of notice. So far I only have 5 out of the 12 kids needed to be able to have it run.
Email Michelle to book

Bush walk next week

Just a reminder that next Wednesdays (2nd May) meet-up is a walk through the bush up on to signal hill ridge. The address is 34 Tui street St Leonards. Directions are to continue up the concrete drive at the top of Tui street. When the concrete ends turn right 90 degrees and park in the paddock directly ahead.
Contact Anna for more details

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

New phone and address list coming soon.

And an important message from Nicola -

Can everyone please send me (Nicola) their details to be added /changed/deleted for our address list , by Fri 13 April – this means names, addresses, phone, email, kids names and birthdates.


Gym class for term 2?

Next, from Claire -

I was talking to Keith Morris a few weeks ago who said he would be able to organise a gym class for us at the King Edward Court gym. He has said it would be available on a Mon morning at 11am and would cost $3 a child. Was wondering about it as an alternative for swimming lesson this term since we didn't quite have the numbers? I think it would be reasonably informal using the gym equipment with some parental supervision required and that he was indicating he would be happy to take it but have not quite nailed him down on specifics yet. Let me know if any of you are interested so I can give him an idea if we have enough children to make it worthwhile.

New newsletter writer!

Regarding the task of writing the newsletter. It has been realised that this can be used a a learning opportunity for the children, and the older ones can take on the role.

Each child over 12 can take responsibility for writing for one term, starting with my daughter Emily for next term, then it will be Palin's turn.

Please email Emily with any messages to be included for next term. This will be a good chance for the children to exercise their writing and creative skills, it will be interesting to see what each of them comes up with - everyone is free to format the newsletter as they wish. :)


Look in your email newsletter for Emily's email address

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Book Sale this weekend

Fulton Hogan's Relay for Life team are holding a booksale fundraiser this Sunday, April 1st, 12.30pm at Fairfield community hall.

No Swimming Lessons Term 2

Next term there will be no swimming lessons, due to lack of bookings. Families are still welcome to meet for a social swim and lunch, meet at the tables beside the wave pool from 11.00 onwards.

Newsletter writing vacancy!!

The role of SHEAF Newsletter-writer is up for grabs. After a good few years' writing, off and on, I think it's time for me to pass on the baton, so as from next term I will no longer be writing the newsletter. I think it is a hugely important tool for the fabric of the group, so I am hoping to be inundated with offers of help, and will be forced to draw a ballot. Please don't sit there thinking someone else will do it, as it's likely everyone will be thinking that, and the newsletter will be lost. So do contact me ASAP!
cheers, Kathrin

This week's events

Nearly the end of term already! Next week will be our last meet-up for the term, at another park - Navy Park in South Dunedin , on the corner of Oxford and Prince Albert Rd, near Marlow pie shop. Meet from 12.30, 4 April.

Also a reminder that the Big Peoples' Night Out - Nova Cafe, the Octagon - is on again this Thursday (29 March). Meet from 7.30 for coffee, dessert and conversation.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Curriculum Supplier Visit

From Selina-Jane:

Christina Green from Christian Education services is coming back to Dunedin to give us a chance to look at and buy the curriculums she has available. She has a huge range of items, including new ones, unavailable at her last visit. Christina is now the only national distributor in NZ, after Erina at Learnex has moved on to focus on other things.

It has been 2 years since Christina was here, and due to poor numbers coming along and looking at that time, it is likely to be another 2-3 years before she is here again. So, if you are at all interested, it would be great if you could make an effort to go along and see her stuff.

Note that although CES does specialise in resources for christian home educators, they also carry resources suitable for secular home educators.

Venue: Elim Church, 67 Harrow Street, Dunedin
Date: Tuesday April 3rd
Time: 1 – 4.30pm
Orders and sales can be made on the day.
Credit Card and Eftpos facilities are available

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Intriguing Dunedin Street Walk

Wednesday 21 March - Intriguing Dunedin Street Walk - Book 4 (red) Walk 4 - "Hidden Mansions, the R.A.F, and a six-pence". Meet at the north end of Queen St beside Woodhaugh Gardens. Allow 1 1/2 hours. This walk includes stairs, so may not be suitable for prams and pushers. These walks are from a series of books written by a Dunedin local, and they explore Dunedin's history. Also a great chance for some exercise. We do walk at the pace of the slowest participant, so those with small children are more than welcome to come along.

A message about swimming lessons

Nicola has had an email from Swimsation, regarding the swimming lessons, The classes require a minimum of 12 children enrolled, or we will be unable to continue to access them. Please email Nicola to confirm your booking for next term, by Thursday 8 March.

Term 1 Museum trip

Our museum trip this term is on Wed 28th March at 12,30, Topic Focal Point - the ODT remembers 150 years of people , events and milestones. Students will explore news media and find the big stories to understand the past and help to predict Otago's future.

Please email Michelle to book. The Otago Museum requires a minimum of 12 children attending, so please book early, and mark the date clearly in your diaries. :-)

Monday, February 27, 2012

park meet-ups

Hi everyone

Just letting everyone know the Wednesday meet-up (29th Feb) will be at Bethune's Gully this week, after being postponed last week. Please text or call Kathrin on the morning, after 11.00, to check if it will still go ahead.

Next week (7th Mar) we will meet at The Dinosaur (Marlow) Park in St Kilda for lunch, from 12.30.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Not Back to School Camp - 2012

All SHEAFies and other homeschoolers in the Dunedin area are invited to our Not Back To School Camp.

When: 24-26th March - 5pm Saturday through until 3pm Monday of Otago Anniversary weekend
Where: Tirohanga Camp, at Wyllie's Crossing on the Taieri plain (not far out of Mosgiel)
What: A weekend away with fellow home educators. Come hang out and play - this will be a fun, relaxed opportunity to catch up with and meet home educating families from in and around Dunedin.
Cost: $10 per person per night plus $10 per family, preschoolers (aged 4 and under) free. Day visitors $5.
Meals: What we did last time worked really well so we'll do a repeat of that - a combination of self-catering, shared meals and potluck. More details closer in.
Accommodation: Bunkrooms will be assigned so each family group has their own room. There are a couple of bunkrooms with ensuite toilets, which will go to the families with the youngest children (unless you can make a really good case as to why you need it more :~) ). Beds are traditional wooden bunks with mattresses - BYO pillow and sleeping bag.

The camp has a confidence course, and a 'team-building course', as well as a wee walking track, glow-worms, a firepit (weather and council fire-permit permitting), a big playing field to run around on, and a largish hall for us to hang out into the night playing board games or whatever. And in case anyone is wondering, neither the confidence course nor anything else will be compulsory - all activities etc will be a purely optional, 'participant-centred' experience. The only people who'll be waking you up at the crack of dawn will be your children :~)

If you can't make the whole weekend, then just bowl on out for some of it.

Here's a link to some of the feedback from our last camp, just to whet your appetites http://sheafdunedin.blogspot.com/2010/11/tirohanga-camp-feedback.html

Contact Stacey to book or for more information