Redefining Physical Education

Lately I’ve been giving a lot of thought to our approach and involvement in physical education as home learners and as I haven’t blogged about it before, it is a topic that I thought I might share. When I think of physical education I think of whole-body movement, where the child is actively moving. If your child is anything like my children, they are constantly moving and on the go so when it comes to registering for home education, here is how I approach it.
In regards to curriculum, the terminology that is use to define physical education uses words such as “fundamental movement skills”, “movement sequences”, “participation”, “following rules” and “cooperation”. If you take away the jargon that is used, you can narrow the definition of physical education down further to just play. Yes, simple PLAY! Some may try and argue that physical education is more then just play but to me, play is physical education.  
A combination of unstructured play and the right environment can and does incorporate those “fundamental movement skills” and sequences that a curriculum outlines. Unstructured play also incorporates participation and cooperation as children play together. A sequencing of body movements is required of children as they climb over rocks at a creek, collect sticks for building, dig for rocks and other treasure all the while negotiating with others how their exciting adventure plays out. Lets not forget the other wonderful inspiring learning opportunities The Nature Curriculum can give to children.

The involvement of locomotor and non-locomotor movements such as rolling, balancing, sliding, jogging, running, leaping, hopping, skipping, bouncing, stretching, bending….oh the list goes on….is all done through unstructured play. We enjoy family hikes with friends through the bush most weekends, bike rides, walks on the beach and playing in the park. These activities all promote good health and physical education. And the best part is that for the most part, it’s free!

Together with unstructured play, my children also do a range of other, more structured, physical education activities as well. Last year my son joined the Junior Rangers and spent many hours hiking through the bush with other kids and their ranger learning about plants, animals, safety and nature. He has also participated in team sports such as soccer and AFL Auskick as well as tennis and basketball. But before choosing a physical education activity to do, there are two main elements that we take into consideration

The first element is that physical education needs to be fun and enjoyable. In the past, my eldest has had swimming lessons with an instructor but when it got to a point where he just wasn’t enjoying what he was doing, we let it go. Did he learn to swim? Yes, eventually he did. How did he learn without lessons? We provided him with opportunities to swim by taking him to the beach and to the pool. Although I am a trained swimming instructor, I provided support rather than rigorous repetitive swimming routines and when my son was ready, he learned how to swim. We have used the same approach with our daughters. All we did was provide the environment to give them opportunities to swim.

The second element is that the physical education activity needs to be something my children are interested in. We are interest led learners so we don’t EVER push an activity onto our children that they are simply not interested in. We do make suggestions but ultimately leave the decision up to our children. Sometimes they want to try an activity for a few weeks before moving onto something else and other times, they spend year after year doing the same activity. This year all three of my children wanted to try gymnastics. Our local homeschool group had organised lessons for the term so they got to enjoy this activity with other homeschool kids. 

Another physical education activity that my son has enjoyed is archery. He has had archery lessons and when he couldn’t have lessons, he would make his own bows and arrows (who hasn’t?!) and continued to enjoy this sport.  

If you look at Physical Education in the Australian Curriculum it goes hand in hand with health. Health can cover topics such as fire safety, street safety, feelings and emotions, communication and listening to others, body development and healthy living. We have learned about health and healthy living through a range of interest-led activities and you can read them on the links below:

I would love to hear your thoughts and opinions on physical education and some of the activities that your child/students love to do. I hope this post has encouraged you to add free play to your physical education outlook and not to get caught up in many afternoon sport activities when free play can be all a child needs.

Make Over Your Mornings – Increase Homeschool Productivity


Make Over Your Mornings

Increase your homeschool productivity

A 14-Day Online Course by Crystal Paine

(aff link)

  • Do you often wake up feeling behind—before you even get out of bed?
  • Are you constantly frustrated that it seems like you are so busy, but you have very little to show for all your effort?
  • Are you worn down and worn out by all the hats you are wearing and balls you are juggling?
  • Do you wish you could find time to refuel your tank, improve your health, invest more into your family, or even just to slow down and breathe?
  • Are you someone who feels fairly “on top of” your to-do list, but still feels empty? Do you feel like there should be more passion and purpose throughout your day?

Make Over Your Mornings is a 14 day online course designed to increase your homeschool productivity, streamline your routines and have more organisation in your life, giving you more time to invest in the things you want – family, ministry, homeschool, refreshment.

If you’ve ever wished that you could figure out how to get more done, have more organization in your life, and find time to spend on things you love, the Make Over Your Mornings Course is for you.

It’s not about following a one-size-fits-all system (because every woman and family is different!), but about creating a morning that is in line with your life, your strengths, your family’s needs, and your unique situation.

In this 14-day course, you’ll:

  • Develop a morning routine and before bed routine that actually works—and that sets you up for amazing success!
  • Streamline your morning tasks so that the biggest priorities are accomplished first.
  • Learn how to make to-do lists that support your day, instead of strangle your life.
  • Create realistic, but stretching goals and then follow through with them.
  • Discover the power of accountability and how to implement it into your life.
  • Establish internal and external motivations to create perseverance in your new routines.
  • Find time to refuel your tank and make space in your day for things you love.
  • Experience much more focus, organization, and clarity in your daily life.
  • Transform your mornings—in just 15 minutes a day!

Each day you’ll read a short chapter in the handbook, watch a short video I’ve recorded for you with practical tips and encouragement + an inside peek in Crystal’s  home and family life, and you’ll have a simple but impactful project to complete.

In total, these three things were designed to be completed in 15 minutes or less. This small investment—just 15 minutes of your day—can yield potentially amazing results for yourself and your family.

When you purchase this course, you’ll get immediate access to all of the following:

  • 14 high-quality videos with motivational encouragement from me — one for each day of the course.
  • A behind-the-scenes peek into our everyday home and lives via short video clips throughout the course.
  • A comprehensive workbook with 14 chapters filled with practical ideas and inspirational encouragement.
  • Daily projects to guide you on your 14-day journey and help you implement and apply what you learned from the daily video and chapter.
  • Printable worksheets to walk you step-by-step through some of the projects and motivate you to follow through.
  • Additional links and resources for each day, if you’d like to dig deeper on a subject.
  • The course videos and materials can be accessed via any desktop computer, laptop computer, smartphone, or mobile device. You can choose to print the workbook or download it to your computer or phone.

This course is self-paced and you have lifetime access to all course downloads. You can begin it at any time and you can go at your own pace!

You can order the Make Over Your Mornings course risk-free right now. Then watch the videos, read the workbook, complete each day’s project, and enjoy the results for a full 30 days.

If at the end of 30 days, you’re unsatisfied for any reason—if Make Over Your Mornings doesn’t do just that, “Make Over Your Mornings”—please email us for a full, prompt, and cheerful refund. No questions asked!

Crystal writes… 

Some of you might be wondering, “Is this just another course on task management? Aren’t there apps that can handle that?

While creating a to-do list that serves you (rather than strangles you) is one of the lessons, it is just one of the many areas I guide you through in the course. Getting a handle on schedules, lessons, appointments, and chores is a key component. But there is so much more than that!

What is unique to this course is that I walk you through systematically making over your morning routine, but the transformation doesn’t stop in the mornings. Taking an intentional, disciplined approach to your morning will revolutionize your entire day, your week, your month, and your year.

I am passionate about freeing women from living in survival mode in order to live their lives with focus and intention, and this course is designed to do just that! Getting a handle on your morning routine is not simply a fix-it plan to make breakfast and morning chore time easier (though it will do that).

It’s not just a new schedule to ensure that you have some time to read, sip coffee, and plan your day (though it will do that too). The Make Over Your Mornings course will dramatically alter your life, because it will equip you to approach your entire life with focus and purpose.

If you are interested in this course and would like to support AussieHomeschool, please use our affiliate link to click through to the site.


Unique & Diverse & Real Wins Yale, Columbia, Dartmouth, Cornell, Stanford and U. Penn admission

Unique & Diverse & Real Wins Yale, Columbia, Dartmouth, Cornell, Stanford and U. Penn admission

Brittany Stinson was recently accepted into 6 Ivy League schools. That includes Yale, Columbia, University of Pennsylvania, Dartmouth, Cornell, and Stanford. (No Harvard, MIT) The senior at Concord High School in Wilmington, Delaware, received this after writing a college application essay about Costco. Her essay went viral this week.

My question for this young lass is whether she is a demographic of fortune spurred by the flagging state of college applications, or does she have the a super diverse ethnicity, or is it really by the strength of her literary prowess that has sparked what would seem to be an eye-catching anomaly in Ivy League admissions.

I’ve read the essay. It’s good. And it’s probably complemented with decent academic results thus allowing her entry. This surely irks the masses of hardworking, high achieving students who must be puzzled on how this was possible. It probably amuses the well-heeled and wealthy students who gain entry through other means.

Whatever the case, I say “Good on you Brittany”, and this is simply the start of your journey of leveraging the unique, diverse and real skills of a grounded existence. This is the real foundation that children need to build upon. It’s also a view of the future of the world where super specialised, unique, diverse skills will be needed to power the next economic revival.



Math-U-See Australia

I believe that many children can and do learn about math through meaningful, everyday life experiences as well as through play. I am also a believer in following the child and supporting their individual needs both academic and personal. Each one of my three children learn differently so I could see that my daughter, who will be seven years old later this year, required a more systematic, explicited approach learning math. Even though she has had many meaningful learning experience with math, she has struggled to grasp basic mathematical concepts. Many would say that she just needs time to develop and will “get it when she is ready” but her frustration was telling me she needed further support. So I went looking how I could support her needs yet still provide her with flexibility with making learning math both practical and sequential. And that’s when I came across Math-U-See.
I wasn’t looking for a math program for my daughter but rather a guide that I could use to support her learning. I knew from my education and experience with supporting my son, who has dyslexia (a language based difficulty), that the best type of instruction would have involve an explicit, systematic, structured, sequential and a multisensory  approach to learning. And this is what I found in the math-u-see program.  

Math-U-See was developed by an American home educating Dad, Steve Den. The passionate educators at Maths Australia have brought this program to Australia and have adapted it to suit Australian math standards. Math-U-See has been in Australia for over twelve years now and has been used in Australian schools, tutoring facilities and in many home education environments.

The Math-U-See program starts with a simple online  Placement Test to identify the students current level of mathematical knowledge. This will give the student a place to start with the Math-U-See program. This placement test is very useful for older students and it is now pressure and done under no time restraint. For my daughter, she has started with the first level, primer.

Within the math-u-see program, each math concept is taught explicitly in clear, step by step instruction with each sequential lesson building on the knowledge taught in the previous lesson. Each lesson consists of lesson review giving students ample opportunity to practise and retain taught concepts. The student is supported  in their learning to progress at their own pace while each concept being taught is related to real life math. 

The math-u-see program uses manipulative that encourages hands-on learning as it allows the learner to touch, feel, see and hear. This multisensory learning reinforces the concepts that are being taught which is essential for all learners, especially those who require more practise and time. For each lesson and concept that is taught, it follows a sequence of build it, write it, say it and this involves the visual, auditory and kinaesthetic-tactile senses for learning. 

The Math-U-See program has seven levels for learning about general math concepts:

  • Premier – Fun introduction to math
  • Alpha – Addition & subtraction of single digits
  • Beta – Addition & Subtraction of multiple digits
  • Gamma – Multiplication of single & multiple digits
  • Delta – Division of single and multiple digits
  • Epsilon – Fractions and other topics
  • Zeta – Decimals, percentages and other topics
There are also six different levels for secondary math too. Each level comes with a teacher manual, student workbook, a test book and a DVD with shows each lesson being presented. You can find more information on the different levels on the Maths Australia website  
We use this program with flexibility in that I follow the child in whatever she wants to do. Some days she may want to use the blocks and watch the next lesson while other days she will choose other math resources such as our Montessori Number Rods and Montessori Short Bead Stair for example. 

You can find out more information about the Math-U-See program here in Australia by visit Maths Australia website at

Lesson Plan: Haiku

Lesson Plan: Haiku

haiku1A Haiku is a Japanese poem which can also be known as a Hokku. A Haiku poem is similar to a Tanka but has fewer lines. A Haiku is a type of poetry that can be written on many themes, from love to nature.




Lesson Plan
Haiku is a tool to teach a child about syllables and poetry. A child should know rudiments of poetry as you attempt Haiku. Although Haiku has Japanese origins, its concepts readily apply to english (or other languages) with syllables. The creative and challenging aspects of Haiku is to construct ideas or stories that fit into 3 lines.

  • Read about Haiku here
  • Discuss the 5, 7, 5 syllables that form the 3 lines of the poem
  • Practice reading some existing Haiku poems
  • Think up some topics to write about
  • Practice writing a poem

Haiku is often written about nature, beauty and happy thoughts. You can consider bringing your child to a park, or an inspiring location to practice Haiku.

Estimated Lesson Time

  • 30mins


  • Paper & Pencil
  • Sample Haiku poems

Prior Learning

  • Lesson Plan: Syllables

Next Lessons

  • Lesson Plan: Riddles
  • Lesson Plan: Ballads
  • Lesson Plan: Poetry