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Term 1 Program 2016

January 20, 2016

Welcome to Living Learning’s Term 1 Program! All workshops (except the Picnic and the NPWS excursion) will be held at Mid Mountains Neighbourhood Centre (MMNC) on Tuesdays from 10:30-11:30am. MMNC is a nut free venue.  All families are welcome to meet for lunch afterwards, regardless of whether you attend the workshops. Living Learning activities are Home Education Association Inc. (HEA) Events.  Booking info is at the end of the program. Workshops may book out, so book in as soon as you can!

February 2: Not Back to School Picnic

10:30 am onwards, Buttenshaw Park

Come celebrate the start of the 2016 non-school year with us, picnicking in the park. No booking required. Wet weather venue will be Springwood Pool.

February 9: Living Country, living culture- Aboriginal Discovery

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NPWS Heritage Centre, end of Govett’s Leap Rd, Blackheath. Note excursion time: 10.30-12.45pm; Cost $13 (HEA members)/$15 (non-members)/ Parents free

This is our second in a series of excursions with Aboriginal Discovery Rangers within the Blue Mountains National Park. The ‘Living country, Living Culture’ excursions will  increase our understanding and appreciation for traditional and contemporary Aboriginal culture. Participants may experience aspects of Aboriginal culture including Dreaming stories, dance, language, painting, bush tucker and the importance of the environment to Aboriginal people.

What to Bring: Food and water, Walking shoes, Backpack, Sun protection

February 16, 23: Wild Basketry with Claudia Echeverria

$80 per family (for 2 sessions, all materials provided)

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“Basketry is more than just weaving. It represents a balance with the environment, seasonal collecting, material preparation, storing, aging and dying. Baskets have always been more than just simple utensils, although functional as the core utilitarian tools of daily living. Their intricate designs often capture an event in time, telling a story (often known only to the weaver)” Gregory Schaaf.

C  l a u d i a     E c  h  e  v  e  r  r  i  a  PhD(c)

Architect, GDLA, Permaculture DC, PhD(c) Materials Science & Engineering UNSW

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Claudia is a fibre artist whose work involves 3 different techniques: Aboriginal weaving, Wet-Dry felting and Art Yarn spinning.  She integrates them through a contemporary reinterpretation of ancestry, ethnicity and tradition.  She explores the woven object with loose freedom through different scales and materials, using design as a medium for innovation, exploration and self expression.

Claudia understands her fibre work as an environmental art form, a sacred ritual and therapeutic practice.
Her attention to detail and genuine love for all life inspires her work through an ethical practice based in caring for family, people, community and the Earth.  Seeking to re-establish our intimate connection with the natural systems, rhythms and cycles she empowers indivduals and communities with the tools needed to become healthy, self-reliant and free. She holds space for personal growth and the expression of personal talents. Truth, excellence and freedom are her core values in service to a thriving collective destiny.

Claudia comes from Chile, South America where the “new world” meets strong ancestral indigenous cultures, rich in natural resources, artisan traditions and textile master crafters settled in the Andes for thousands of years.
Her professional and academic background is in Architecture, deepening her studies in Integrated Environmental Design, Water Sensitive Urban Design, Natural Architecture, Permaculture and Regenerative Landscapes.

Claudia uses a palette of natural fibres, rich in bush and coastal materials. Natives, invasive species and green waste are sourced seasonally and locally. From an environmental point of view the aim is to educate people not only about bush care, but also about the unlimited potential of utilising their green waste, weeds, bush litter and recycled materials as prime fibres for textile art.

March 1, March 15: Unpacking the world of information and finding legitimate sources.

Cost: $28 (HEA members)/ $32 (non-members)

How can you tell that what you’re reading is the truth?

Do you know how to identify an information source as trustworthy?

Information skills help you unpack information that is thrown at you every day. And help you locate answers to many of the questions bubbling away in your brain.

These workshops are for children aged 8yrs and up. We will examine a wide variety of information sources including printed, online and audio visual.

Rachel Hall (who usually facilitates art workshops) was secretly a Teacher Librarian many years ago and even studied Teacher Librarianship at Charles Sturt University in 2006. She brings with her a passion for sharing knowledge and skills with others and a joy of learning. There is the potential for a bit of art making to be thrown into this workshop series…. who knows what information skills challenges Rachel has up her sleeve to share with us all?!

March 8: Fire Safety

Cost: $5 (HEA members)/ $7 (non-members)

Come along and listen to some fire fighters talk about fire safety in our homes. Fire fighters from Katoomba Fire and Rescue NSW will discuss fire safety and awareness. They might even bring along a fire truck for us to check out.

March 22: Skill Share Session

Cost: $5/child

Come along to our first skill-share session where fellow homeschoolers will share you with you something they are passionate about. We plan on having one session per term, and we are taking expressions of interest from amongst our homeschool community of young learners who would like to share something with others either this term or next. The cost of the session will help cover the cost of materials for those presenting a skill.

March 29: Kids Market

Calling our homeschool artisans and entrepreneurs!

Join living learning this week for our children’s market day. Bring your wares to sell, create your own little blanket shop, and earn a little money.

This is a great opportunity for the children to get creative with a business idea, make their products, work out their pricing so they don’t run at a loss but have a competitive price, work with money, giving change, offering bulk discounts and so forth.

This market is for children only 🙂 – any ages welcome, you’re also welcome to come if you’d like to just be a shopper 🙂

Please bring change with you for buying your treasures (and stall owners please have a little change available in case you need to give your customers their change)

April 5: Spartan Agoge

Cost: $5 (HEA members)/ $7 (non-members)

The Spartan Agoge situated at the Mid Mountains Community Centre Lawson, ORDERS you to attend our information morning for new students aged 7+. The purpose of this session will be to provide Spartan children with an understanding of what they can expect to gain from their Spartan education. At Spartan Agoge Lawson, we take our mission of transforming kids into lean, mean, Spartan fighting machines VERY seriously! Our education system is the stuff of legend!

Register now to avoid punishment!

Your paidonomos for this session is Leigh McKechnie. Leigh is a Blue Mountains homeschooler. For 13 years, Leigh taught history at secondary school.

Note to Parents

This history session is simulation game based. Participants will be required to role-play (as a group) and use their imagination to pretend they are Spartan kids. As I will be in character as a Spartan teacher – I will appear bossy at times! So, this session is best for kids who will understand this is part of the game.

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To book: Please copy and paste the following form, fill it in and email it to

Parent’s name:

HEA member (Y/N):

Number of children to each workshop:

Living Culture, Living Country:

Wild Basketry: _______ Adults; _______ Children

Unpacking the world of information:

Fire Safety:

Skill Share (wanting to present):

Skill Share (just attending):

Spartan Agoge:



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