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Term 1 Highschool Program

January 17, 2019

We have some changes to the booking information for the term 1 highschool “Introduction to Australian Government Program”.  Please note the email address for bookings has changed, and the time to book in has been extended beyond the original date that was set.  Details for this program can be found below.  The whole Living Learning Term 1 program can be found HERE

Highschool “Introduction to Australian Government Program” Program 4th February-26th March 2019

To Book: email yvetteandscott@yahoo.com

Please provide your HEA membership number and expiry at the time of booking, and advise us of any allergies or other useful info, thanks!

What: Australian Government 101

This course is about the structure and function of the Australian Government, NOT about politics. We won’t be engaging in political discussion in class, but focus on all things government.

Who: High school-aged students

Students don’t necessarily have to be teens – you know your kids, if you think they’re interested and old enough send them along. As a rough idea, ages 12 and up, but others welcome.

Time: Tuesdays 11.40am – 1.10pm

Dates: 8 weeks, from 5th February – 26th March, inclusive (plus optional Canberra trip)

Where: Mid Mountains Neighbourhood Centre, Lawson, Small Meeting Room

Cost: $108 HEA members / $116 non-members (this covers insurance through the HEA)

Canberra trip has additional costs.

Introduction to Australian Government

Do you want to rule the world?!?! Or at least know how to make sure your vote counts? Join Yvette to learn about the workings of the Australian Government.

This will be a hands-on group, with plenty of practical activities and guided discussions. Student notes will be provided, along with a list of all the Curriculum Outcomes covered, and suggestions for further activities and resources.

There will also be bonus visits from real, live politicians!

Ms Susan Templeman, Federal Member for Macquarie will be meeting with us to talk about her role in government (during course hours, exact date tbc pending parliamentary sitting dates). Mr Chris Van der Kley (Deputy Mayor and Ward 2 representative, Blue Mountains City Council) will also be joining us during week 4 to talk about his role and that of the local council. It is possible Ms Trish Doyle will also be able to join us, but she’s not currently taking bookings, until after the state election. 

Week 1 (5th February): Magical mystery tour: Government around the world and through the ages.

Do we need a government? What function does government serve? What types of government are there, have there been, and might there be? What is democracy? How can it work? Who gets a say?

Week 2 (12th February): Once upon a time… The how, what and why of the Australian Government

How did Federation come to happen? Why does our government look like it does? And just what does it look like, exactly?
Week 3 (19th February): That’s an awful lot of Government, for one small nation…

Why so much? What is each tier each actually responsible for? And what does it all have to do with checks and balances?

Week 4 (26th February): Let’s get to the point: legislature, bills and laws.

How do the different tiers of government do their mandated job and make our laws?

Week 5 (5th March): I am the Government, I have the poooweeerrr!!! Mwahahaha!!!

But wait, where does the power really lie? Look closer at the different roles in our government (particularly the Queen, G-G, Prime Minister, Premiers and Ministers), the influence of the party system, and other influential groups and individuals (unions, lobbyists, donors, etc).

Week 5 (5th March), Evening Extra: Blue Mountains Council meets every fourth Tuesday, so if I’ve counted correctly, there should also be a council meeting this week, the 5th of March. Join me at 7.15pm out the front of the council offices, Civic Pl, Katoomba. Meeting starts 7.30 in the Council Chambers.

Week 6 (12th March): What about meeeeee? I thought this was a democracy!?

All you never knew you wanted to know about voting, elections and how Government is formed, as well as all the different ways to have your say.

Week 7 (19th March): Nope, no, definitely not. I’m telling you, that totally needs fixing.

What happens when we want to make changes to the Government itself? A look into the Constitution and referendums, via republics and representation.

{23rd March – NSW state election}

Week 8 (26th March): But I want to play, too!!!

Let’s look to the future, and dream big! What changes would you like to see? How realistic are they? Do you think it’s best to work inside the system for change, or change the system itself? What are your ideas for Australian Government of the future?

Last week of Term 1 in NSW and ACT (proposed dates 3rd – 6th April, tbc): Canberra Excursion

There will also be an optional and highly informal Canberra trip to coincide with this workshop series. Bookings will be taken separately and will be open to the wider homeschool community. A few families will be heading to Canberra, and you’re welcome to join us! School group bookings are planned subject to sufficient numbers. More information coming soon! Tentative bookings have been made, if you think you might be interested, fill out the form here:https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScsz_zoMoHH9qWOH0nPY-5AEtSoU9pCS3pkaHBRlG2CqI-LcA/viewform Asap! Thanks!

Yvette Munro enrolled in a combined Arts/Science degree program way back in the late 90’s, but was eventually lured away from the Arts part and graduated with a plain old BSc a few years later. Her foray into the arts did however leave her with not only a couple of really odd minors for a science graduate, but also a lasting interest in Australian systems of government, not to mention a firm belief we are burdened with one tier of government too many.

Her dreams of becoming a professional student may have fallen through with the advent of children, but Yvette remains passionate learner nevertheless. The large number of random courses she’s enrolled in throughout the years can attest to that.

Yvette also remains equally passionate about supporting others in their own learning opportunities, having moved on from reading stories to the kindly kids at lunchtime in primary school, to being employed as a lab Tutor to a second year cell biology course at Sydney Uni. Her illustrious teaching career continued with running adult education classes and antenatal hospital classes with the Australian Breastfeeding Association (with whom she was also a counsellor) in Sydney, running collegia on various topics historical at medieval festivals, and later with leadership training through Scouts Australia, becoming accredited for the role of Joeys leader (now retired). As such, she has a valid Working With Children check, and ever-so-slightly out of date First Aid (Provide First Aid / Provide First Aid in a Remote Location) certificates.

Unsurprisingly, Yvette homeschools her five children, now aged 6, 10, 12, 13 and 14, while trying to decide what to learn next and who she can share it with. And plotting world domination, of course.

 

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Term 1 Program 2019

January 11, 2019

Welcome to Living Learning’s Term 1 Program!

All workshops will be held at Mid Mountains Neighbourhood Centre (MMNC) on Tuesdays from 10:30-11:30am. MMNC is a nut free venue.  All homeschooling families are welcome to meet for lunch afterwards, whether or not you are attending the workshops.  Living Learning activities are Home Education Association Inc. (HEA) Events.

Living Learning programs are pitched at a 5yrs and up age group as a loose guideline. This year we also have a program on offer for children working at High School level. Keep reading and scroll down to find details.

Please note it is an insurance requirement from HEA that parents are at the venue or provide written notice of their absence to the event organiser and have a designated “supervising carer” present for their children. When you are the “supervising carer” for another parent, please ensure you include the names of the children who are in your care when you sign the HEA sign on sheet.

At the very end of the program, you will find a link to the booking sheet for Term 1 2019

Our workshops most often book out, so book in as soon as you can!

29th Jan- Not Back to School Picnic

screen shot 2019-01-11 at 5.34.07 pm

10:30am onwards at Buttenshaw Park Springwood.

Come and celebrate the start of the 2019 non-school year with us with a picnic in the park. No booking required. Remember your hats, sunscreen and water.

Some families may wish to have a swim at Springwood Aquatic centre afterwards.

No Bookings Required.

5th & 12th Feb- Social Skills

The primary social skills program will be facilitated by psychologists/clinical psychologists from Healthy Minds Happy Kids (HMHK). The program will consist of two, 1 hour sessions. The learning experiences will focus on:

  • How to make friends and join in play
  • Understanding using verbal and non-verbal communication
  • Understanding personal space
  • How to listen to and respect our friends
  • Knowing what to do when people don’t respond or don’t want to play

 

Children will learn and further develop their social skills in a fun and interactive environment with opportunities for them to practise these skills with each other.

HMHK is a private psychology practice, located in Parramatta that is dedicated to working with young people. Emerson is a local, homeschool mum of Wyatt. She is the founder and principal clinical psychologist at HMHK. She has masters-level qualifications in clinical psychology, and educational and developmental psychology. She has been working with young people and their families for 14 years and started HMHK 10 years ago. For more information about her, her staff, and her practice please visit the HMHK website.

Note: Children must attend both sessions.

Cost- $26 per person for HEA members/$28 per person for non-members.

12th Feb- Open Planning Meeting

Homeschooling families are welcome to join us in the courtyard where we will chat about how Living Learning is going for everyone, what workshops our children are interested in exploring and what ideas we have for future workshops. If you are homeschooling and have some ideas that you think would fit in at Living Learning please come along and chat with us.

19th & 26th Feb- Ground Play

GroundPlay is a mix of rough and tumble play, wrestling and dance. GroundPlay seeks to find in each player a way to physically interact without violence or fighting but to play just on the edge of danger, fun and the unknown.

GroundPlay workshops provide a safe space to play and learn some simple approaches to dealing with different problems that come up when GroundPlaying.

Tinuviel and Michael are both parents with an extensive background in movement and working with children. They started GroundPlay after noticing what a profound effect it had on their own children as well as themselves. They also noticed that their background in movement sometimes helped in dealing with the intensity of play small children bring.

In this workshop you will learn:

  • How to play safe when things get wild
  • How to enter play in a fun safe way
  • How to set limits and boundaries  with each other when GroundPlaying
  • How to play on the edge of the unknown

Each participant should bring someone they feel comfortable playing with (parent, brother, sister, friend). Bookings will be taken in pairs for this workshop. Please specify on the booking sheet who you are bringing with you.

Cost- $46 per pair for HEA members/ $48 per pair for non-members.

5th March- Bubbles Bonanza!

screen shot 2019-01-11 at 5.34.43 pm

Come, be curious, and explore the science and mathematics of bubbles with Kelly!

In this one-hour workshop children will play with, study, and discover the wonders of bubbles. They will create their own bubble wands, and experiment with the shape of bubbles. They will investigate the colour of bubbles, the best conditions to keep bubbles from popping, and what happens when bubbles meet. Through demonstrations, Kelly will introduce mathematical and scientific concepts, such as: 3D shapes, surface area, volume, surface tension, light, pressure, and gravity.

Attending children will go home with:

  • a handout that: 1) explains how to make the perfect bubble mix at home, and 2) provides suggestions for further bubble experimentation and investigation at home
  • any bubble wands that they created during the workshop

Clothing recommendations: Please be prepared to be outside (eg. sun hat, sun cream, water, etc.), and wear clothing that you don’t mind getting wet and soapy.

 

screen shot 2019-01-11 at 5.35.12 pm

About Kelly Osterberg: Before home schooling her six-year-old, Kelly, worked for Questaon creating and delivering science programs to very young children through to adults for more than five years. Before that she was a secondary science teacher for three years.

Cost- $16 for HEA members/ $18 for non-HEA members

12th March- Hula Hooping

screen shot 2019-01-11 at 5.35.46 pm

Learn to spin it like a super hooper star, show off your rock star tricks and play some out of this world hoop games!

The Hoop Dance Party kicks off with some fun warm up games, followed by hoop dance party action and oodles of fun. The session ends with an all-inclusive dance party where kids get to rock out and show off their amazing skills in a grand finale.

All children are encouraged to explore play and movement within the hoop. Games and guidance are provided to ensure all spinners find success within their sparkling circles.

Tracks used in the Hoop Dance Party have been specially crafted to guide students musically through a range of hoop skills.

During the Hoop Dance Party all children will have the chance to learn a variety of hoop dance tricks and moves. Encouraging, playful and spirited instruction, provided by qualified and trained hula hoop teacher and fitness instructor Suzy Spindoll, supports each child’s confidence and self-esteem to ensure a successful and empowering event for all. Dressing up is totally encouraged!

The benefits of hula hoops for kids are:

  • Coordination from doing different movements at the same time as well as balancing.
  • Core strength from using large muscle groups to waist hoop.
  • Endurance from performing vigorous exercise for extended periods.
  • Flexibility from moving all joints of the body.
  • Improved attention from learning new moves
  • Confidence from achieving new skills.
  • Improved mental health because hula hooping is a fun and social activity that promotes collaboration, creativity and cooperation.

Hula hoops provided.

Cost- $14 per child for HEA members/ $16 per child for non-member

19th & 26th March Life-size and Microscopic Anatomy

Come on a two week mixed-media drawing adventure with Rachel. Participants will take home life-sized artworks about themselves, explore anatomy, and look at cell structure and other microscopic wonders. We will create artworks with a variety of equipment ranging from fly-swats to ping pong balls.

We will engage in abstract and representational art making practices. We will get messy so be sure to wear suitable clothing or bring an apron.

Rachel has been homeschooling her own children for a considerable time. Prior to becoming a parent, Rachel taught Visual Arts and Information Literacy in High Schools. She has a Grad Dip Ed and a Bachelor of Fine Arts. Rachel has been facilitating art workshops for homeschoolers and the wider community for almost as long as she has been homeschooling.

Some children may require support from a parent during these workshops. Please stay close by in case your child requires an art technician.

Cost- $32 per person for HEA members/$34 per person for non-members.

2nd April- End of Term Picnic. Memorial Park Blackheath.

screen shot 2019-01-11 at 5.36.03 pm

Come along for a picnic morning tea to reflect on the term gone by. Meet near the red rocket playground. Remember your hats, sunscreen and water. Bring something yummy to eat or watch everyone else eating their yummy food.

No bookings required.  

The high school program has two offerings this term, please book with Living Learning for Social Skills and with Jane Brennan for Introduction to Australian Government.

Social Skills Program (secondary school aged) 10.30am Lawson Neighbourhood Centre, Small Meeting Room.

To Book: Complete Living Learning Booking Form at the end of the program

The secondary social skills program will be facilitated by psychologists/clinical psychologists from Healthy Minds Happy Kids (HMHK). The program will consist of two, 1hour sessions. The learning experiences will focus on:

  • How to get to know people in new and unfamiliar situations
  • Understanding circles of friendship
  • Understanding what is/is not appropriate to share/joke about with friends
  • Understanding consent
  • Identifying our own and others’ feelings in social contexts so that you can make choices that show you care about yourself and your friends

Teenagers will be engaged in activities that are specifically designed to get them thinking about the person they want to be in their social world. They will have opportunities to develop these skills in a fun and engaged way.

HMHK is a private psychology practice, located in Parramatta that is dedicated to working with young people. Emerson is a local, homeschool mum of Wyatt. She is the founder and principal clinical psychologist at HMHK. She has masters-level qualifications in clinical psychology and educational and developmental psychology. She has been working with young people and their families for 14 years and started HMHK 10 years ago. For more information about her, her staff, and her practice please visit the HMHK website.

Teenagers must attend both sessions.

Cost- $26 per person for HEA members/$28 per person for non-members

Minimum participants: 8 Maximum participants: 18 Cost: $400 to Emerson and her team.

Highschool “Introduction to Australian Government Program” Program 4th February-26th March 2019

To Book: email yvetteandscott@yahoo.com

Please provide your HEA membership number and expiry at the time of booking, and advise us of any allergies or other useful info, thanks!

What: Australian Government 101

This course is about the structure and function of the Australian Government, NOT about politics. We won’t be engaging in political discussion in class, but focus on all things government.

Who: High school-aged students

Students don’t necessarily have to be teens – you know your kids, if you think they’re interested and old enough send them along. As a rough idea, ages 12 and up, but others welcome.

Time: Tuesdays 11.40am – 1.10pm

Dates: 8 weeks, from 5th February – 26th March, inclusive (plus optional Canberra trip)

Where: Mid Mountains Neighbourhood Centre, Lawson, Small Meeting Room

Cost: $108 HEA members / $116 non-members (this covers insurance through the HEA)

Canberra trip has additional costs.

Introduction to Australian Government

Do you want to rule the world?!?! Or at least know how to make sure your vote counts? Join Yvette to learn about the workings of the Australian Government.

This will be a hands-on group, with plenty of practical activities and guided discussions. Student notes will be provided, along with a list of all the Curriculum Outcomes covered, and suggestions for further activities and resources.

There will also be bonus visits from real, live politicians!

Ms Susan Templeman, Federal Member for Macquarie will be meeting with us to talk about her role in government (during course hours, exact date tbc pending parliamentary sitting dates). Mr Chris Van der Kley (Deputy Mayor and Ward 2 representative, Blue Mountains City Council) will also be joining us during week 4 to talk about his role and that of the local council. It is possible Ms Trish Doyle will also be able to join us, but she’s not currently taking bookings, until after the state election. 

Week 1 (5th February): Magical mystery tour: Government around the world and through the ages.

Do we need a government? What function does government serve? What types of government are there, have there been, and might there be? What is democracy? How can it work? Who gets a say?

Week 2 (12th February): Once upon a time… The how, what and why of the Australian Government

How did Federation come to happen? Why does our government look like it does? And just what does it look like, exactly?
Week 3 (19th February): That’s an awful lot of Government, for one small nation…

Why so much? What is each tier each actually responsible for? And what does it all have to do with checks and balances?

Week 4 (26th February): Let’s get to the point: legislature, bills and laws.

How do the different tiers of government do their mandated job and make our laws?

Week 5 (5th March): I am the Government, I have the poooweeerrr!!! Mwahahaha!!!

But wait, where does the power really lie? Look closer at the different roles in our government (particularly the Queen, G-G, Prime Minister, Premiers and Ministers), the influence of the party system, and other influential groups and individuals (unions, lobbyists, donors, etc).

Week 5 (5th March), Evening Extra: Blue Mountains Council meets every fourth Tuesday, so if I’ve counted correctly, there should also be a council meeting this week, the 5th of March. Join me at 7.15pm out the front of the council offices, Civic Pl, Katoomba. Meeting starts 7.30 in the Council Chambers.

Week 6 (12th March): What about meeeeee? I thought this was a democracy!?

All you never knew you wanted to know about voting, elections and how Government is formed, as well as all the different ways to have your say.

Week 7 (19th March): Nope, no, definitely not. I’m telling you, that totally needs fixing.

What happens when we want to make changes to the Government itself? A look into the Constitution and referendums, via republics and representation.

{23rd March – NSW state election}

Week 8 (26th March): But I want to play, too!!!

Let’s look to the future, and dream big! What changes would you like to see? How realistic are they? Do you think it’s best to work inside the system for change, or change the system itself? What are your ideas for Australian Government of the future?

Last week of Term 1 in NSW and ACT (proposed dates 3rd – 6th April, tbc): Canberra Excursion

There will also be an optional and highly informal Canberra trip to coincide with this workshop series. Bookings will be taken separately and will be open to the wider homeschool community. A few families will be heading to Canberra, and you’re welcome to join us! School group bookings are planned subject to sufficient numbers. More information coming soon! Tentative bookings have been made, if you think you might be interested, fill out the form here:https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScsz_zoMoHH9qWOH0nPY-5AEtSoU9pCS3pkaHBRlG2CqI-LcA/viewform Asap! Thanks!

Yvette Munro enrolled in a combined Arts/Science degree program way back in the late 90’s, but was eventually lured away from the Arts part and graduated with a plain old BSc a few years later. Her foray into the arts did however leave her with not only a couple of really odd minors for a science graduate, but also a lasting interest in Australian systems of government, not to mention a firm belief we are burdened with one tier of government too many.

Her dreams of becoming a professional student may have fallen through with the advent of children, but Yvette remains passionate learner nevertheless. The large number of random courses she’s enrolled in throughout the years can attest to that.

Yvette also remains equally passionate about supporting others in their own learning opportunities, having moved on from reading stories to the kindly kids at lunchtime in primary school, to being employed as a lab Tutor to a second year cell biology course at Sydney Uni. Her illustrious teaching career continued with running adult education classes and antenatal hospital classes with the Australian Breastfeeding Association (with whom she was also a counsellor) in Sydney, running collegia on various topics historical at medieval festivals, and later with leadership training through Scouts Australia, becoming accredited for the role of Joeys leader (now retired). As such, she has a valid Working With Children check, and ever-so-slightly out of date First Aid (Provide First Aid / Provide First Aid in a Remote Location) certificates.

Unsurprisingly, Yvette homeschools her five children, now aged 6, 10, 12, 13 and 14, while trying to decide what to learn next and who she can share it with. And plotting world domination, of course.

 

Booking information:

Unfortunately we do not have the resources to offer refunds so please read each workshop description carefully before choosing which workshops to book into.  The booking form is below:

https://goo.gl/forms/YnZOJkeJY1zVfzg43

Planning Meeting

October 9, 2018

If you’re keen to see Living Learning carry on into next year we’d love to invite you to an Open Meeting on Tuesday the 23rd October at 12 midday at the Mid Mountains Neighbourhood Centre in Lawson.  This meeting is an opportunity to share in how Living Learning works, to discuss feedback, and to vision what we would like to see happen in the future and how we can do that together.  We love being guided by the children, so please ask your kids what they’d like to see happen at Living Learning and bring that to the meeting! If you don’t feel your family has any specific feedback or ideas, please still feel free to come along, the more the merrier.

Our last meeting was very exciting with lots of plans and ideas already brewing for how the new year might unfold.  Let’s bring those ideas and more and make them happen!

We have had a couple of spots become available in the term 4 program, in both the medieval show and the bee science fun, so jump in quick if you are interested: https://bluemountainslivinglearning.wordpress.com/2018/09/11/term-4-program-2018/

Please note: The Bee Science workshop/study plan has been adjusted slightly in response to community feedback so now no audio recordings will be made of class brainstorming sessions etc.  Updated Information sheets will be made available by email to those booked in and will also be available on the term 4 program page of the Living Learning website in the next day or so (the information sheets and forms are the same as they were except mentions of class recording has been removed as it will no longer occur).  We are so grateful for everyone’s feedback and patience as we put together this exciting collaboration with the delightful Amelie Vanderstock from Sydney Uni who has so much to share with us about our bee-autiful pollinators and experimental ecology. It’s going to bee an amazing learning opportunity and a lot of fun.

 

 

 

 

 

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Term 4 Program 2018

September 11, 2018

Welcome to Living Learning’s Term 4 Program!

The first workshop this term runs for 2hours from 10.30am-12.30pm

Workshops will be held at Mid Mountains Neighbourhood Centre (MMNC) on Tuesdays from 10:30-11:30am unless otherwise stated. MMNC is a nut free venue.  All homeschooling families are welcome to meet for lunch afterwards, whether or not you are attending the workshops.  Living Learning activities are Home Education Association Inc. (HEA) Events.

Living Learning programs are pitched at 5yrs and up age group as a loose guideline. This term we also have a program on offer for children working at High School level. Keep reading and scroll down to find details.  Just to clarify as part of this term we are offering a Science series for Primary, a Science Series for Highschool and a Science Field Day.  The Field Day is included in both series, but can also be attended as a stand alone event if you are not attending a series.  There is an information session about all this Science (details below), it is not essential to attend the information session to attend the events.

Please note it is an insurance requirement from HEA that parents are at the venue or provide written notice of their absence to the event organiser and have a designated “supervising carer” present for their children. When you are the “supervising carer” for another parent, please ensure you include the names of the children who are in your care when you sign the HEA sign on sheet.

At the end of the program, you will find a link to the booking sheet for Term 4 2018

Our workshops most often book out, so book in as soon as you can!

 

16th OctoberCome join us for a medieval extravaganza!

James Adams will be giving us a 2 hour educational and entertaining show (with a break in the middle) taking us through the medieval period exploring Vikings, Saxons and knights. An extensive amount of Weapons and armor will be shown and demonstrated, and discussed. Other medieval topics discussed will include law and order, fashion, personal life and other aspects of medieval life. This show is NSW Department of Education certified.

Recommended age is 8+ and children under 8 will need a parent with them for the show. Please be aware that topics such as torture and execution may be discussed.

This is a 2hr workshop and will run from 10.30-12.30pm in the Mavis Wood Hall

For more information check out the website http://www.jamesadamshistoricenterprises.com/showsmedieval.html

Cost- $18 for HEA members, $20 for non-members.

 

23rd October- An Introduction to Ballroom Dancing

Come along and explore the wonderful world of Ballroom Dancing with Jacquie!

Ballroom Dancing is one of those styles that everyone, young and old, can enjoy.

In this hour lesson, families are invited to come along and have some fun exploring the different tempos, and styles that Ballroom has to offer.

About Jacquie: Jacquie was a dance teacher in the Blue Mountains for 10 years before becoming a Homeschool mum to her own 6 little movers & shakers!

Parents and children are welcome to join in together at this workshop. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes. Put your dancing gear on if you wish.

Cost- $12 for HEA members, $14 for non-members

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30th October- 4th December – Let’s BEE scientists: The Buzz on Native Bees

Over 6 weeks we will delve into the world of native bees, pollination, experimental ecology and creative science communication. Through interactive activities, we will learn the process of experimental design and conduct our own experiments. We’ll use current field research methods, which can help us approach our own questions of natural enquiry. We’ll venture into the garden to collect data on which pollinating insects visit which plants and contribute to a national citizen science project ‘Wild Pollinator Count’. Through fieldwork and play, we can explore the diversity of bees in our local area and their role in pollinating our native and cultivated plants. Finally, we will communicate our learnings about native bees and the scientific process in creative ways.

As science communicators, we will also be contributing to PhD research into how experimental ecology can be a more collaborative, community-driven and creative process. This may involve brainstorming, audio-recording, surveys and sharing creative works with the permission of creators and parents/guardians.

This is an opportunity to work with a PhD candidate on her current research project, and to show ‘scientists’ how young people can not only do science, they can communicate it! Additionally this is a chance to promote the collaborative, inclusive, active environmental learning that we value as home-educators!

This course includes an optional field day (see below) on Sunday 4th November, where the Living Learning high-schoolers will lead us in collecting data for field experiments they’ve designed.

There will be an info session on 18th September at 10am-10:30am at MMNC to find out more about the participatory research aspect of this course and the consent process. Participant information sheets, consent forms and withdrawal forms will be provided and discussed. While it is not a requirement to attend the info session it is a great time to find out more and ask questions!

For further questions about the program and the PhD research aspect, please contact

Amelie 0413679269 (Co-facilitator and PhD researcher) and/or

Julie 0431663020 (Co- facilitator and Living Learning Organiser)

Cost- $96 for HEA members, $105 for non-members. This price includes a ticket to the field day on Sunday 4th November (see below – family members can also attend this field day free of charge).

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Term 4 2018 has a High School Level Program on offer.

Highschool Ecology Program 16th October-4th December

This is an 8 week series.  Due to the medieval extravaganza the first week will run from 12:40-2:10 so both can be attended if desired (and there are no drama classes running this week).  The following 7 weeks will run from 11:40-1:10. These workshops are suitable for children who work at a high school level.  If interested in these workshops, please email the organizer, Jane directly: jane_brennan@msn.com

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Let’s BEE Scientists: Experimental Ecology and Science Communication

Three quarters of flowering plants rely on bees and other animal pollinators, as does a third of our food supply. Over 8 weeks we will delve into the world of pollination, experimental ecology, citizen science and science communication.

Screen Shot 2018-09-11 at 10.29.08 PM

This is an opportunity for us to contribute to knowledge of the ecology of native bees in our area by doing research as the scientists ourselves, using current field research methods. We will learn the principles of experimental design in science with a focus on native bees and insect pollinator ecology. We will collect data in the field in an additional ‘field day,’ which will be led by those participating in this course. We will prepare, analyse and interpret our data using spreadsheets and graphing tools. Finally, we will communicate our results and this scientific process in creative ways as individuals and in groups. Our interpreted findings and communications may be published in scientific literature with our group as co-authors.

As co-creators of scientific knowledge in a collaborative process, we will also be contributing to PhD research into how experimental ecology can be a more collaborative, community-driven and creative process. This will involve audio recording of the process, brainstorming, surveys and sharing creative works with the consent of co-creators.

This is an opportunity to work with a PhD candidate on her current research project, and to show ‘scientists’ how young people can not only do science, they can communicate it! Additionally this is a chance to promote the collaborative, inclusive, active environmental learning that we value so much as home-educators!

This course includes a field day on Sunday 4th November (see below), where the high-schoolers will have an opportunity to lead others in collecting data for the experiments they’ve designed themselves.

There will be an info session on September 18th 10am-10:30am at MMNC to find out more about the participatory research aspect of this course and the consent process. Participant information sheets, consent forms and withdrawal forms will be provided and discussed. While it is not a requirement to attend the info session it is a great time to find out more and ask questions!!

For further questions about the course and the PhD research aspect, please contact

Amelie 0413679269 (Co-facilitator and PhD researcher) and/or

Julie 0431663020 (Co- facilitator and Living Learning Organiser)

Week 1:
The world of experimental ecology, and NATIVE BEES!

Ecology! Bees! We will introduce the 8 weeks, the importance of ecology and experimental design and scientific thinking. We will brainstorm what we want to know about native bees and how we can find answers to our questions. We will use microscopes to identify some common bees of Sydney.

Week 2:
Principles of Experimental design in ecology.

Replication, Validity, Accuracy. We will learn the principles of ecological experimental design including hypothesis testing and field methods to approach different ecological questions.

Week 3:
Designing our ecology experiment

Based on the principles of ecological experimental design we learnt in week 2, we will be designing a field experiment related to native bees that we will collect data for in the field day (Sunday 4th November).

Pollinator Experiment Field Day – Sunday 4th November

This will be an all-in public event where we will learn more about Australian native bees, pollinators and how we can support them. High-schoolers taking this Living Learning course will help lead participants in collecting field data for the experiment they designed in weeks 1- 3. We will all have a chance to get out in the field and observe pollinators, plants and take scientific data! Citizen science in action!  More information below.

Week 4: Scientific Data

We will compile the data collected on the field day and learn how scientists put it all together in an interpretable format. We will use excel and graphing tools.

Week 5: Analysing and Interpreting

We will create graphs from our data collected and prepared in previous weeks. We will explore patterns and consider what this means for our hypotheses. We will discuss limitations of the experiment and consider the principles of design including replication and validation.

Week 6: Interpretation and Communication

We will continue to interpret our data and consider different ways of communicating our findings. There’s no use collecting data if we don’t communicate what it means for us! We will explore different ways of communicating science and begin brainstorming our projects to convey our learnings over the next two weeks.

Week 7: Science communication projects

We will work on individual and/or group science communication projects to convey our findings and learnings. After the course, with permission from our clever creators, these will be compiled in a web format for us to share our learnings with others!

Week 8: Science Communication projects and reflections

We will continue to work on individual and/or group science communication projects. We will end the program by reflecting on the scientific process and lessons from the course.

 

Cost- $120 for HEA members, $135 for non-members. This price includes a ticket to the field day on Sunday 4th November (family members can also attend this field day free of charge).

 

Let’s BEE Scientists! FIELD DAY!

Sunday November 4th, 2018

9:30am – 1:30pm

Followed by BYO picnic lunch

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Native Bee Ecology in the field

Bring your hats and clipboards, as we venture to the field to collect data on native bees and other pollinators of the Blue Mountains!

Learn about these native bees, where to find them and how we can support them with PhD researcher Amelie Vanderstock (The University of Sydney).

The Living Learning crew from the Blue Mountains Home Education Network will lead our data collection for the citizen science experiments that they’ve designed!

Identify some of our pollinators up close under the microscope! What are the main kinds of pollinating insects? Learn out in the field!

Our collaborative data will contribute to our knowledge of pollinators in our local area, and research on the role of native bees in greater Sydney.

Outdoor Blue Mountains location (public transport accessible) TBA

Wet/windy weather plan TBA

Cost: $20 per person, $15 concession, $40 per family. FREE for families booked in to either of the Living Learning Science programs, please go to the Living Learning booking form below to indicate the number of people from your family planning to attend the field day.

For further questions about the field day and the PhD research aspect, please contact

Amelie 0413679269 (Co-facilitator and PhD researcher)

and/or

Julie 0431663020 (Co- facilitator and Living Learning Organiser)

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Amelie Vanderstock is a PhD candidate in the School of Life and Environmental Sciences at the University of Sydney. She is passionate about native pollinators, environmental education and the power of co-creating science to build community. Amelie has a community organising background with the Australian Student Environment Network (ASEN) where she developed her facilitation and contributory learning approaches. She became an insect ecologist because she never lost her wonder at the amazing world of insects and their fascinating lives. Her dream is to share this wonder in active participatory ways with the broader community- because we are all scientists!

See more of Amelie’s native bee education workshops at Crosspollinating.org

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Julie-Ann Henninger has studied Environmental Science and Creative Arts across three Universities in a quest to get as much as possible out of her undergraduate degree (and fit her study in around homeschooling her children).  She may well win a prize for the most drawn out undergraduate degree ever!  While she was studying at UNE she did win the NCW Beadle Prize for Botany twice, the second time for her work in Systematics.  The living world is her passion and delight, she is completely in awe, and is thrilled at any opportunity to explore, and share in the wonder.

Booking information:

Unfortunately we do not have the resources to offer refunds so please read each workshop description carefully before choosing which workshops to book into.  The booking form for all workshops is linked below, including bookings for the Let’s BEE Scientists! FIELD DAY!  If you are booking in to the Highschool Program by emailing Jane Brennan (jane_brennan@msn.com) please also fill in the Field Day section of the form below).

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeDIuXtK_6xfienj6Ype3HUbEY9d5ROllwbLu84rNvMO4j70g/viewform

Please note: The “Let’s BEE Scientists” courses and field day are linked with a Research Study.  Links to the parental information statement and participant information statement for children/young adults are available below.

PIS Easy english PRIMARY AND HIGH SCHOOL UPDATED No Audio RecordingPIS Parental HIGH SCHOOL UPDATED No Audio

There will be an info session on September 18th 10am-10:30am at MMNC to find out more about the participatory research aspect of this course and the consent process. Participant information sheets, consent forms and withdrawal forms will be provided and discussed. While it is not a requirement to attend the info session it is a great time to find out more and ask questions!!

Open Planning Meeting

July 24, 2018

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This term Living Learning is turning 7 years old!  A HUGE thank you to every single volunteer and participant for co-creating this amazing resource for all of our families over time.

We will be having an Open Meeting on Tuesday the 7th of August at 12 midday at the Mid Mountains Neighbourhood Centre in Lawson.  This meeting is an opportunity to chat about how Living Learning works, to share feedback on past programs, and to vision what we would like to see happen in the future and how we can do that together.  We love being guided by the children, so please ask your kids what they’d like to see happen at Living Learning and bring that to the meeting! If you don’t feel your family has any specific feedback or ideas, please still feel free to come along, the more the merrier.  We look forward to sharing in this, and many other wondrous learning experiences with you.

Term 3 Program 2018

June 26, 2018

Welcome to Living Learning’s Term 3 Program!

The first two workshops for Term 3 will run for 2hrs from 9.30am-11.30am.

All workshops will be held at Mid Mountains Neighbourhood Centre (MMNC) on Tuesdays from 10:30-11:30am. This term times vary for the first two weeks. MMNC is a nut free venue.  All homeschooling families are welcome to meet for lunch afterwards, whether or not you are attending the workshops.  Living Learning activities are Home Education Association Inc. (HEA) Events.

Living Learning programs are pitched at 5yrs and up age group as a loose guideline. This term we also have a program on offer for children working at High School level. Keep reading and scroll down to find details.

Please note it is an insurance requirement from HEA that parents are at the venue or provide written notice of their absence to the event organiser and have a designated “supervising carer” present for their children. When you are the “supervising carer” for another parent, please ensure you include the names of the children who are in your care when you sign the HEA sign on sheet.

At the end of the program, you will find a link to the booking sheet for Term 3 2018

Our workshops most often book out, so book in as soon as you can!

31st July: Threatened Species Art competition  

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NB– this workshop starts at 9.30am and finishes at 11.30am

Julie and Rachel will be sharing information and ideas about the plants and animals in your local area that are threatened. You can also come with ideas about a threatened species you already know about however for this competition, these must be species that are or have been native to NSW.

We will be creating collaborative and individual 2D artworks for participants to enter in the 2018 Threatened Species Art Competition which is open to children aged 5-12yrs of age living in NSW and the ACT.

The Threatened Species Children’s art competition helps children unleash their artistic creativity while learning about the extinction crisis facing our native plants and animals. It aims to encourage the next generation of environmental leaders. 

We aim to have one collaborative artwork that will be entered into the competition representing Blue Mountains Home Ed Network and each participant will create their own individual work.

Cost: $18 HEA members/$20 non-members

 

 

7th August: Ecoprinting on wool

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NB- this workshop starts at 9.30am and finishes at 11.30am.

After last term’s eco-printing on paper explorations, Louise is returning to share another natural dyeing method. Each child will create their own composition of leaves on woollen fabric. We will have a break while the bundles cook, and then come back together to open them up and see what colours and shapes have emerged.

Louise is a local eco-print artist who runs a small business called Gumnut Magic. She sells naturally dyed clothing and has written ebooks about eco-printing on cotton and paper. She loves introducing people to this magical process. See more of her work at www.gumnutmagic.com

Cost: $17 HEA members/$19 non-members

 

14th & 21st August : Woodworking, Insect Hotels

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Come and make an insect hotel and learn some woodworking skills with local furniture maker and woodworking teacher Georgina Donovan. You will learn to use a handsaw, cordless drill, hammer and nails.

Insect hotels are a wonderful way to encourage beneficial insects, such as native stingless bees and wasps, in your garden. They provide shelter and protection for these tiny friends, and a place for them to nest. The native bees and wasps will thank you by pollinating the flowers, fruit and veggies in your garden.

This workshop is recommended for ages 8 +. Children require coordination, focus and good motor skills to allow them to make lots of cuts with a saw, and for measuring and marking.

Georgina Donovan is a local furniture maker and woodworking teacher with 20 years experience. Along with furniture she has made all the windows and doors for the beautiful earth buildings at Kindle Hill school and a number of bespoke kitchens. Georgina runs woodworking classes for children and adults from her mid-mountains workshop. You can find her on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/pg/Georgie-Donovan-designermaker-1541665079421898/posts/?ref=page_internal

Cost: $65 HEA members/ $67 non-members

 

28th August, 4th & 11th September: Build a mind

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If you’ve explored some of the Buildamind gear at previous workshops, this time you have the opportunity to build your own robot to take home.

A quick introduction to building robots using real electronic components.  You will utilise motors, wheels, sensors and switches as a base to create your own robot that you can personalise multiple times.

Children will need fine motor skills and be able to focus on/follow directions. Children under 8yrs of age will require assistance from a parent.

Cost: $60 members/ $64 non-members.

 

18th September:  Spring Equinox Market Day

Have you been creating some amazing art and craft?

Are you keen to make a bit of money and see what some of your friends have been creating?

Wanting to buy some treats for yourself and presents for others?

Come along to our Market and set up a stall.

Children of all ages are welcome to sell art and craft and other created items/second hand toys or learning materials/baked goods.

No commercial stalls will be included in this Market, all stall holders will be from the homeschooling community from the teens through to our youngest members being welcome. Parents of children are welcome to support and co-run a stall with their children

Bookings for Stall-holders are required. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Cost: $2 per stall HEA members/ $4 per stall non-members

Term 3 2018 has a High School Level Program on offer.

These workshops are suitable for children who work at a high school level.  If interested in these workshops, please email the organiser, Jane directly: jane_brennan@msn.com

Technology and Design Workshop Series with Jane

31st July-18th September 2018 workshops, over 8 Tuesdays, in the Small Meeting Room at the Mid Mountains Neighbourhood Centre, will be held from 11:40-13:10

In this 8-week workshop series, we will explore what technology means to us and how it can help us to work our way through a challenge to get the best possible solution, rather than just settling for the first solution that comes to mind. For difficult problems, this often requires us to think ‘outside the box’, a skill we will practise through weekly short and fun lateral thinking challenges. For more information on lateral thinking check out this weblink https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gB5ve_Bqf0M.

Throughout the workshop series we will also be challenging ourselves with several larger projects:

  1. Balloon-car challenge (week 1-2):  In this activity, you design and build a balloon-powered car to better understand the science ideas related to rocket propulsion. You use ideas of mass and force to work out ways to improve the distance travelled by your car.  Let´s see whose car will propell the furthest!
  2. Perfect pylons (week 3):   Electricity is transferred from power station to consumer (us) using cables which are supported by pylons. Pylons must be strong and stiff; able to support the load of the cables without bending or breaking and withstand all weather conditions. This group project tests how well your pylons are built.
  3. Electric Messages – Then and Now (week 4): This group activity explores electronic communication, the Morse Code system, and advances all the way through text messaging. We build a simple circuit, send messages to one another, and explore the impact of electrical communications on society.
  4. Smart Muscle (week 5):  During this session, you will investigate the properties of materials and model a muscle based on a smart spring. This activity uses a smart ‘Niti’ spring made of an alloy of nickel and titanium. When a current flows through the stretched spring, the metal is heated. The temperature change causes the spring to ‘remember’ the shape it had before it was stretched. Let´s see what potential designs for prosthetic technologies or a robot with artificial muscles your group can come up with.
  5. Working with wind (week 6-8): The “Working with Wind Energy” activity explores the growing use of wind energy to generate or augment energy in businesses and homes worldwide. You work in teams of “engineers” to design and build your own windmill out of everyday items which you select and purchase with a budget. You test your windmill, evaluate your results, and present reflections to the class.

Please note that the schedule might change slightly throughout the term depending on project progress.

In addition to home educating her 13-year old son, Jane has been a GIS lecturer with the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) since 2008. Prior to this, she lectured in Information Systems and Computer Science both at UTS and at the University of New South Wales, where she also did her PhD in the area of Artificial Intelligence and Spatial Reasoning.

Cost: $108 for HEA members; $116 for non-members. To book into this workshop series please email the organiser, Jane directly: jane_brennan@msn.com

 

Booking information:

Unfortunately we do not have the resources to offer refunds so please read each workshop description carefully before choosing which workshops to book into.  The booking form is below:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfc8vrqQuCwM2C0t5p6sInS2mb2SQ4N6QLEk-9mhRI-zLE5MQ/viewform?usp=sf_link

Creative & Performing Arts Night

May 21, 2018

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There’s less than a month to go until our Creative and Performing Arts Night: An evening for our children to share their creative and performing arts skills with their family and friends.

If you’re children would like to perform or exhibit, please fill in the booking form below ASAP!

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScsLrhYlfgS0mHc49uq0Yvma8RJWHbwia0rKTV9_lkmCGMCmw/viewform

Looking forward to a wonderful night of creativity and community.

Hope to see you there!