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Thanks for joining me and some good news to start.
Over 3,000 facebook likes - wow!
That's really encouraging - and even more so because we are making such a helpful community. I am always struck by how thoughtful and supportive your comments are.
I'd also really like to ask for you help.
Lots of you took the opportunity to try my free e-course How to Homeschool.
I'd love to know how you got on!
I want to spend my time on the things that are most useful to you and help you the most, because I believe homeschooling is all about supporting each other.
I would like to use my experience as one of the very few second generation homeschooling families and add in what I have learned from you to produce materials that you really want.
Even if you didn't do my free e-course, can you tell me what e-courses and e-books you would like me to write?
Thank you so much! Your e-mail address will be kept private and secure.
Now, to Africa!
I'm doing this newsletter slightly differently because I'm suggesting a homeschool project on Africa which you can adapt to all ages and the particular interests of your child.
Find out about:
The best way to enjoy Africa without actually going there is to do it from home.
You can adapt this project to the interests and ages of your children.
Get your kids to pick a country which they are most interested in. If you've got any connections with a particular country - friends living there for example- that's a good start.
Take a large sheet of paper and get going!
My children William and Catherine picked South Africa because our friend Wendy was born in Port Elizabeth.
That meant we had some real stuff to stick down:
Then we thought about what we wanted to find out about. This is where you come in! What does your child find interesting? Animals?
Why not pick your favorites and:
Why not see if you can buy or keep some that grow in your chosen country? My daughter Catherine started a new hobby growing Streptocarpus plants from the Drakensburg mountains on her windowsill.
What else would you like to find out about? Geography?
You could download or draw a map. It's nice to do fun things like stick some jewels on to represent diamond mines.
Our Africa has videos made by the children to show you what life is like in their own countries.
Choose the country you want to visit by finding it on the map (if you can!) or from the pull-down menu.
is fantastic here. So long as you check first to make sure the film content is OK, you'll find all sorts - we've seen dancing, people singing the national anthem, home videos of river trips, watched at live waterholes...
All the Colors of the Earth is a book for young children which teaches children that they are beautiful and that the people around them (even those who look very different from them) are beautiful as well!
It's a much-needed book that helps us celebrate that people come in all colors!
A South African Night is aimed at young children.
It shows that Africa is more than wildlife and shows glimpses of the urban South Africa as well as the rural Kruger National Park.
A is for Africa: "I particularly like that the pictures are upbeat and cheerful, all the
while portraying a world that is very much unlike our own." ~ PeaTee
Elizabeti's School by Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen is for elementary aged kids and is about a little girl in East Africa going to school for the first time.
Although obviously we love homeschooling (!) the book shows how in East Africa you can be very lucky if you get the chance to go to school.
The Lion Children is very appropriate as it is written by a homeschooling family living in Africa.
Unusually, the book is actually written by the children themselves and is lovely to read for children over about ten as well as you and me!
Another favorite, (appropriate for about the same age range) and one of my all time favorite books, is The Elephant Whisperer.
Lawrence Anthony writes about his struggle to set up a game reserve and save a herd of wild elephants.
Can you try out at home any of the crafts that local people do? Basket-making? Because William and Catherine travel all over the world like this, Catherine's even had a go at aboriginal dot painting!
We had Nelson Mandela to find out about, so that was a real treat!
Jane Goodall is famous for her work with chimpanzees but she's working really hard to get young people together to help protect the environment and the world's wildlife.
You can join her Roots & Shoots group.
And you can sponsor an orphan elephant at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.
Older kids might like to know about the work of theelders.org, an independent group chaired by Archbishop Desmond Tutu working to resolve problems across the world, such as poverty, global warming and conflict.
Geocaching is a worldwide geography treasure hunt and one of our favorite activities.
You can get very useful tips and suggestions (mostly from you! - thanks!) on how to help your kids with handwriting.
Come and share ideas and be inspired at Homeschool Activities Facebook page. It would be great if you could help my site to grow by ticking the Like box or leaving a Comment on my site.
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HomeschoolSonya on Twitter
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Out 2nd Sunday in May