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Term 1 Program 2014

January 18, 2014

Welcome to our first program for 2014!  Huge thanks to everyone who attended our planning meeting and offered assistance with the running of Living Learning this year.  We will hold our next planning meeting on February 18th at the Mid Mountains Neighbourhood Centre at 12:15pm.  A google group has also been created for us to stay in touch behind the scenes, let me know if you would like an invite by emailing

I know I always say this but I am SOOO excited about this term’s program!

For all bookings and inquiries please email Julie at

All BMHEN and Living Learning activities are Home Education Association Inc events.

Wednesday 29th January – BMHEN Not Back to School Picnic

Bring a rug and a picnic and join with the local homeschooling community to celebrate Home Education!
This is a great opportunity to reconnect with old friends,
make some new ones, mingle and find out what’s on offer
in all the local homeschool groups in 2014.
If you are new to homeschooling, this is the perfect place to meet heaps of families and discuss any concerns.
Remember your sun hat, drink bottle and lunch.

Tuesdays 4th February-18th March – Philosophy for Children

A 7 week series, running from 10:30am-11:30am Tuesday mornings in the Joy Anderson Hall at the Mid Mountains Community Centre


Philosophy for Children? How does that work?
Children are naturally inquisitive and wanting to make sense of the universe they live in. Teaching children philosophy is a way to stretch their thinking beyond the material everyday to ask deeper questions and build skills in critical thinking and reasoning. Through the use of stories, poems, games, artworks and objects, we explore topics such as:
-what it means to ask philosophical questions
-what makes a good reason
-how we know what we know
-what is just
-what is beauty
As the group develops in its confidence and skill base the topics or questions increasingly come from the children.
I’m happy to answer any questions you may have about the Philosophy Club via phone (0434 829 084) or email
Azadeh (or Ozzie as she is more commonly known) has been an avid reader of philosophy since her undergraduate days. After many philosophical discussions with her son, she realised that some deeper discussions would really benefit from a group bouncing ideas off each other. In early 2013 she undertook a course in teaching philosophy to children with the NSW Philosophy in Schools Association. She has been happily running philosophy clubs for homeschooled children ranging in age from 5-17 in Sydney ever since and thinks the best compliment she can get from a child is that she has confused them (this means they are rethinking something they took for granted).

Please email Julie to book:

Cost: $89 for HEA members, $94 for non HEA members

The philosophy series is suitable for children 5-12 years.

Places are limited so please book ASAP to reserve your spot!  Payments will be due by the 2nd of February.

Story time for younger siblings

Alongside the philosophy series there will be stories, craft and sensory activities available for younger siblings, bookings are required for this so please specify when you book for philosophy if you have a child who would like to participate.  Bookings for story time will close on the 29th of January to allow for purchase of craft materials.)

Art Workshops

As we had to cancel two art workshops last term, we have two additional art workshops available as part of this term’s program.  Both these workshops will be run by Rachel from The Art Tent and are accessible for a wide range of age groups. If you have been Rachel’s workshops before you might already know that everyone in the room is usually keen to join in!  Adults, teens and children of all ages are welcome to participate. Children under 5yrs of age would benefit from parental support; children 3yrs and under would definitely require parental support.

Thursday 27th February – The Art of Meditation and Visualisation

Have you been looking for a simple, meaningful meditation to share with your family?

During this workshop we will explore a family friendly meditation and create artworks that provide a beginning point for ourselves and our children to visualise 4 key strengths. Meditation and an awareness of breath are effective tools in maintaining an inner calm throughout each day.

 Come along, create some mixed media drawings, a meditation kit and spend some connected time as a family.

This workshop will run for approximately 2hrs and you will come away with a clear understanding of how this meditation works and the materials required to continue practicing this meditation at home.

 N.B: this workshop has been inspired by Thich Nhat Hanh, a Zen Buddhist teacher.


Where: This workshop will be held at Wild Valley Art Park, 321 Blaxland Rd Wentworth Falls

When: 27th February, 2pm -4pm


HEA members – $15 per participant, $13 for subsequent family members

Non HEA members – $18 per participant, $15 for subsequent family members

Thursday 6th of March – Moody Music Paintings

Have you ever noticed how colours and sounds can affect your mood? Would you like to go on an exciting adventure and explore the impact of sound and colour while creating your own masterpieces?

Together we can explore colours, how they mix together and what impact they have on our work. We’ll get wild with some gestural brushwork and really let go of being in the driving seat… allowing our bodies to flow with the music and create works that reflect our inner thoughts and feelings.

N.B: Cartridge paper will be provided. If you would like to bring along your own paper or canvas you are very welcome to do so.


 Where: Joy Anderson Hall, Mid Mountains Community Centre

When: Thursday 6th March, 1:30-2:30pm


HEA members: $14 per participant, $12 for subsequent family members

Non HEA members: $17 per particpant, $15 for subsequent family members

25th March – Poetics!

We are so lucky to have two engaging local poets coming to Living Learning this term.  Steven Herrick will be doing a poetry performance for 8-12 year olds.  Details are below but I will add my own review: My ten year old and I saw him perform at Katoomba Library recently and laughed so hard we thought we might get kicked out!  Gareth Thomas will also be leading a workshop for 4-7 year olds on creating a poem by adapting a fairytale.  Both workshops will run from 10:30 – 11:30am in separate rooms at the Mid Mountains Community Centre, more details below.

Steven Herrick, Poet and Author
“Poetry, to the Rescue”

An innovative and energetic performance from one of Australia’s most popular children’s poets. A unique opportunity to
appreciate the sound and humour of Modern Poetry. All students quickly recognise this poetry as being accessible,
entertaining and above all, relevant to their lives. Steven’s experience and skill as a poet and performer effectively breaks
down any uncertainties students have about understanding or enjoying poetry.
The programme features a brief talk on being a poet and a 45-minute performance. Strong emphasis is placed on the natural rhythms and sounds of everyday language. After Steven, every student will believe poetry belongs on the stage as well as on the page.
Steven Herrick is Australia’s most popular poet for young people. He has written three books of poetry for teenagers, three books for children, and one picture book. His three verse novels, love, ghosts & nose hair, A place like this and The Simple Gift were the first poetry books ever to be short-listed for Book of the Year (Older Readers) in the prestigious Children’s Book Council Awards. All three books were also shortlisted for the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards. The Spangled Drongo was awarded the 2000 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards-Patricia Wrightson Prize for Children’s Literature. By The River was awarded the 2005 Ethel Turner Prize for Young Adult Literature.Steven’s books for children and young adults have received wide critical acclaim, both here and overseas. He is unique in Australia, being the only poet writing books for adults, children, and teenagers. He has performed his work in the UK, Canada, the USA, and Singapore, as well as all over Australia. He is, arguably, Australia’s most travelled and widely heard poet!

Screen Shot 2014-01-16 at 2.11.56 PM

“good, great, funny, excellent, radical, fantastic, awesome, cool, super” Yrs K-6 BENALLA WEST PRIMARY, VICTORIA
“he was better than a public holiday” Yr 11 STUDENT, ST. MARY’S TOOWOOMBA, QLD
“Teenagers wait-listed for a book of poetry? I kid you not. The response to love, ghosts & nose hair has been remarkable… Evocative and sensitive, punchy and humorous, at times intensely moving, this is a must on the teen and young adult book shelf.”BEVERLY RICHARDSON, BOOKPHILE 1996
“And joy is what love, ghosts & nose hair is full of. I snickered, I chortled , I snorted with laughter…Read one or two poems to someone, and you’ll hear them begging to hear just one more.” LINNET HUNTER, THE AUSTRALIAN, 16/11/96


Cost: $13 HEA Members $15 non HEA members

Our own fairytale – A poetry workshop with Gareth Thomas

This workshop aims to encourage children to explore the creative use of words to redesign a well known fairy-tale.  The workshop aims to empower children to make meaning from stories in ways that are contextually relevant to their own experience.  We will start with a telling of a fairy-tale by the facilitator, then move into using cooperative games and ctive listening to collectively write a narrative poem that subverts the same fairy tale and re-tells it through the eyes of the children.  We will make use of rhyme, metaphor, allegory, alliteration, colloquial language, onomatopoeia, tone and narrative point of view.  Children will not be expected to write but may be gently encouraged to do so if they are confident.  This workshop will be fun for all participants and will hopefully encourage a continuing enjoyment of and active participation in literature.

Gareth Thomas is an active local homeschooling parent.  He has an interest in the arts in general and is known to have written a poem or two.  Gareth enjoys understanding the arts as a multifaceted practice of education, cultural legislation, therapeutic expression and advocacy in social justice.  Gareth’s poetry explores meditative spaces but also tends to follow the intricate ecological interconnections that emerge from the mundane objects of everyday life.  Gareth’s poem Back Fence Lost was recently shortlisted for the Judith Wright prize for emerging poets.  He holds a Bachelor Degree in Writing and Visual Arts, currently studies in a Masters program of Social Work, and does casual work in the mental health field.

Cost: $5 per child for HEA members, $8 per child for non HEA members

April 1st – Skill Sharing Day

Everyone has a skill to share!  Be it a magic trick, a musical instrument, another language, a tongue twister, a craft, a joke, a knot, a dance, fortune telling, a poem, a science experiment, origami…

…the list is as endless as our imaginations!  Children and adults alike,  bring the tools of your trade and swap skills with everyone in our annual Skill Sharing Day!

Cost: $2 per family for HEA Members $5 per family for non HEA members.  Payment can be made on the day.

April 8th – Games Day


For a relaxed end of term get together, bring along your favourite games and have a play!

Cost: $2 per family for HEA Members $5 per family for non HEA members.  Payment can be made on the day.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 20, 2014 9:14 am

    What is the cost for the art workshops and what will the dates be for them? The cost for the preschool story time will be notified by Wednesday 21/01/14.

    • January 20, 2014 10:10 am

      Thanks Cristy! The two art workshops run through Living Learning this term are listed in the program under the ‘Meditation’ and ‘Moody Music’ headings. Rachel also offers other art opportunities through The Art Tent:

  2. January 20, 2014 2:22 pm

    Hi Julie. I’d like to book Jasper into a few things. The philosophy for children looks great, I hope he enjoys it. He is sometimes hit and miss but I will see how he goes. Any art workshops that are going I’d like to book as well, I didn’t see specific dates for them. The art of meditation, moody music paintings, and the fairy tail workshop I’d like to also book. They all look so great. Thanks heaps.

    Abby xx

    • January 21, 2014 9:30 am

      Thanks Abby! I’ll put your name down. I’ll send out the philosophy payment details now, and the others a little closer to the date xx

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