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Term 1 Program 2013!

January 22, 2013

Welcome to a new year of Living Learning! I am really excited about this coming year.  After our planning meeting in the park I’ve got a notebook full of great ideas. I’m looking forward to bringing them to life over the coming seasons and sharing in them with you!

Unless stated otherwise, workshops are held at the Mid Mountains Community Centre in Lawson and run from 11am-12 on Tuesday mornings, with time to share lunch and play afterwards.  Everyone is welcome to come along at lunchtime for a catch up whether or not they attend the workshop.  Our sessions often book out so book early to ensure your place.  For Living Learning bookings and inquiries contact Julie at
(If you receive this program as an email please do not hit reply, it comes from a send only address.)

All workshops are Home Education Association Inc (HEA) events.

29th January – Cronulla Surf School

At our children’s request we have organised a class at the Cronulla Surf School.  The class will run from 10:30-12:30 on Tuesday the 29th of January, children need to be able to swim 100m to participate (this can involve changing strokes, the staff will take the kids for a swim in the rock pool first, and adapt their lesson to the children’s swimming ability).  The following is an excerpt from the website:

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“These sessions are for all levels of ability. Whether you’re keen to get started, or wanting to learn some new impressive manoeuvres, our lessons are the way to go. You’ll be with a group of kids around your level, learn some great stuff and have a good time!
If the parents need some encouragement… at Surfing Cronulla Surfschool all our coaches are Level 1 accredited with Surfing Australia and hold senior first aid, cardio-pulmonary resuscitation and bronze medallion certification. They are also registered with the Department of Sport and Recreation to “work with children”.

We operate under strict quality guidelines, ensuring a professional, fun and rewarding experience. We are forever mindful of ensuring everyone is taught in safe conditions. If conditions are considered unsafe or dangerous the course location may change. We also use softboards, which are easy to learn on and safe. Wetsuits, rashies and 30+sun cream are provided.”

The 2hr lesson will cost approximately $45 per child.

Let me know ASAP if you would like to come along, by emailing

Bookings must be made by Friday 25th January.

For those staying in the mountains on the 29th of January:

Come and celebrate home education at the annual NOT back to school picnic.
This is a great opportunity to start the year reconnecting with old friends, make some new ones, mingle and find out what’s on offer in all the home school groups for 2013.

Bring a rug and a picnic and join with the local home schooling community to celebrate our lifestyle choices.

When – Tuesday 29th January 2013 from 10:30am
Where – Wentworth Falls Lake
Cost – Free
No bookings required.
Refer to BMHEN website in case of wet weather:

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February 5th – “All the Way Home”

Be part of this collaborative mixed media workshop series uniquely
bringing together members of several home education community support
groups from across the Western
Sydney region.

Join in the fun and contribute your own touch on the project’s visit to
the Living Learning group on Tuesday Feb 5th, 11am at the Mid Mountains
Community Centre in Lawson.  This workshop is for children 5 years old and over.

The resulting artwork, along with individual works by teen homeschoolers,
will be unveiled at the Home Education UWS Campus Art Exhibition Opening
on May
4th to which participants, their families and the wider home education
community will be invited.

We hope to have a professional artist  in attendance to officially open
the exhibition. After the month-long
Exhibition the artwork will be available for loan to public venues in
Western Sydney
and to home education events nationally.

Cost: $2 towards hall hire, and an extra $3 for non HEA members to contribute towards insurance.  Payments can be made on the day.  Please register your interest in attending by emailing Julie at

12th, 19th and 26th of February – Math through Art!

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Come along and explore mathematical concepts while making masterpieces!

Visual Arts teacher Rachel will guide us through fun creative activities, as we investigate the delights of both Math and Art making.  We will focus on themes of angles, shapes, and measurements, using drawing, painting, collage and basic printmaking techniques.  Examples of Artist’s work will be shown and discussed, and activities for further reflection provided.

Rachel is a highly qualified art teacher, and will be assisted by Julie, who is a great lover of both Math and Arts and has studied both at a tertiary level.  The workshop will be open to all ages, with activities modified for younger participants.

Cost: The three week series will cost $28 for the first child, and $24 for siblings (HEA members).  For non-HEA members the series will cost $32 for the first child and $28 for siblings.  These prices include all materials.  To book in please email and you will be sent payment information.  Payments will be due by 5th of February.

5th March – Native Bees

Did you know that honey bees aren’t the only bees in the world? There are over 20,000 species of bee on earth. Australia has about 1,800 species of native bee and the Blue Mountains is home to about 200 species of these fascinating insects. Most of these species don’t live in colonies, which means they are not aggressive like honey bees can be. Most of our native bees live alone, in a variety of nest types.

Find out what makes a bee a bee. Understand what they eat and why that makes them so important in our environment. It’s not all about the honey. Without bees we would have a very dull old choice of foods to eat. But they aren’t just an important part of our biodiversity, they are beautiful, fun and fascinating to watch.

Come and meet Megan, a local bee champion, and learn how to encourage our native bees into your garden by planting the right flowers and by making artificial, home-made nests for them to live in.

Megan has many fun and fascinating activities to share with us and will run her workshop from 11am to 12:30.

Cost: $14 (includes a bee craft kit) for HEA members and $16 for Non-HEA members.  Bookings are essential, email

12th, 19th and 26th of March: Science through Art

Rachel and Julie will run another 3 week series, this time using mixed media to create art works based on themes from the world of Science.  We will look at the microscopic world, the structure and function of the human body, and our place in the universe, the realm of the galaxies.  Our explorations of Science will inspire our Art, and vice versa!  Again examples of Artist’s work will be shown and discussed, and activities for further reflection provided.  The workshop will be open to all ages, with activities modified for younger participants.

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Cost: The three week series will cost $28 for the first child, and $24 for siblings (HEA members).  For non-HEA members the series will cost $32 for the first child and $28 for siblings.  Please book by emailing and you will be sent payment information.  Payments will be due by 26th of February.

2nd April – Introduction to Auslan
These sessions are designed to give young learners an introduction
into Auslan (Australian Sign Language) and the Australian Deaf
community. Children will learn some basic vocab, including
fingerspelling, greetings and meal-time signs, and have the
opportunity to use these signs with each other and with a Deaf person.
We will discuss aspects of Deaf culture, disability, the role of
interpreters and what it is like to live in a world without sound.
These sessions will be lead by an accredited Auslan interpreter and an
experienced Deaf facilitator.  This term we are running a one off introductory session with Natalie Kull, in preparation for a longer series next term which will be run by Natalie and a Deaf facilitator.

Natalie Kull is a NAATI accredited Auslan interpreter and an
accredited trainer/facilitator. She has been signing for 14 years and
has worked in the Deaf community as a project coordinator, childcare
worker, interpreter, translator, university research assistant and an
Auslan teacher. She also conducts Baby Sign workshops for new parents.
She currently interprets in medical and tertiary education settings,
and also interprets guided tours at the Art Gallery of NSW.

Natalie lives in the lower Blue Mountains with her partner and three
young children. She is passionate about exposing children to the
beauty and creativity of using sign language and about bridging the
gap between Deaf and hearing worlds.

Cost: $9 for HEA members, $11 for Non-HEA members.  This session will run from 11am to 12:30.  Please email Julie to book your spot.

9th April – Autumn Party and Orienteering treasure hunt.     Unfortunately this event has been cancelled.  Please see the post HERE for our new activity!

Participants will be provided with a compass to keep, and will learn basic orienteering and map reading skills.  Treasure will be created in consultation with participant’s parents.  A fun way to celebrate the season, more details will be provided closer to the date.  Please register your interest by emailing Julie:

Happy new year everyone, hope to see you soon!



One Comment leave one →
  1. leigh mckechnie permalink
    January 23, 2013 7:57 am

    Hi Julie,

    Wow! I want to register Lydia for all of the workshops please (except for surfing!). We intend to keep Tuesday mornings as our ‘Living Learning’ day, so please put our name down for everything.

    Hope to see you all at Tuesday’s picnic.


    Leigh & Lydia


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