The Sunshine Collective – Brilliant Box Review

If you are looking for ways to support your child’s learning or you need something extra to add to your homeschooling curriculum, I have found a wonderful resource for you from The Sunshine Collective called Brilliant Box. The Sunshine Collective is run by two busy Australian mums who were looking for ways in which they could support their own children’s learning while using real-life, practical, screen-free, everyday learning experiences. So let me tell you more about Brilliant Box.
 
 
Erin and Lisa have created a range of Brilliant Boxes for students from foundation/kindergarten level to grade 6. Each box comes delivered to you door with everything you need in it. The boxes contain 14 educational activities that are linked to the Australian Curriculum.
 
 
My little Miss 5 was excited to open up her foundation/prep box (picture above) to find pom poms and counters. This little pom pom game (pictured below) was all about counting at a foundation level with the added benefit of building fine motor skills in the process.
 
 
The foundation box, like every box, contains parent information cards (pictured below) which is very easy to follow and helps parents support their child with each of the fourteen activities in the box. The activities in the foundation to year 2 boxes, contain seven math focused activities and seven English activities. However in the level 3 to 6 boxes, there are five math and five English activities as well as four activities on curriculum themes such as history, science, arts and more. Each box comes with some worksheets, game boards, cards and any other addition material that is needed for these activities.
 
 
Even though each box is aimed at supporting the Australian Curriculum for that level, each activity can be easily adapted to suit your child. For example, this game (pictured below) called Bag of Numbers from the foundation level box, gave the option of using numbers to one hundred however, Miss 5 is not up to that stage in her learning yet so I adapted the activity to focus on the numbers that she knew and worked up from there.
 

The Sunshine Collective have only one Preschool Brilliant Box and are looking to expand this collection next year. However, for each primary school level, there are 10 Brilliant Boxes that are sent out across the year each with different learning activities in them such as the time activity below (from level 1 Brilliant Box). 


There are three different ways to purchase Brilliant Boxes:
 

  • One-off Box for $30 – You have the option of selecting any box and level that you would like to try.
  • Two Term/6 Month Subscription for $140 – This subscription is a two term subscription that gives you 5 boxes (two boxes per term) and a review box. This subscription can be used in term 1 and 2 with a mid year revision box or used for term 3 and 4 with an end of year revision box.
  • 12 month Subscription for $280 – This subscription gives you ten boxes with two boxes per term plus a mid and end of year revision boxes. This subscription also gives you a bonus quarterly newsletters for parents with additional activities and articles. With this subscription you have the choice to pay either full subscription or in quarterly installments of $70 every three months for 12 months.
If you would like to know more about the Brilliant Box, you can follow the link to their website.
 
 
The Sunshine Collective gave me three Brilliant Boxes in exchange for this post while all thoughts and ideas expressed here are my own.

Artventure – Online Art Lessons

If you have been reading my blog for awhile you will know that I love encouraging independent creativity when it comes to arts and crafts with my children. I always loved art as a student and wanted to encourage my children to explore and express their own creativity through art. So when Kirsty from Artventure asked me to review her amazing online art lessons I had to take a look.   
Kirsty is an Australian artist, a mother of two and the creator of Artventure. Her passion for sharing art has led her to create a wonderful online library of video art lessons to inspire young artist to draw and paint. Artventure is an online (internet access required) collection of almost 250 art lessons that are aimed at primary aged children (5-12 years old). My children are aged eleven, seven and five years old and all three of them have enjoyed using Artventure. I have even enjoyed doing a few art lessons myself!  

The art lessons involve a range of different subject areas such as English, health and physical education, humanities and social science, languages, mathematics, science and the arts. When you open each lesson, you will find links to the curriculum,  learning notes, art tips and the step-by-step tutorial video on how to draw the chosen art work. The photograph below is of my daughter (7) drawing a flower which links in with science as it is all about parts of a flower and what that flower needs in order to grow and survive.  

Each lesson takes about eight to twelve minutes. We like to watch the lesson first before we start our drawing. Each lesson is rated from 1 being easy to 5 being difficult so you have the option of starting off easy, which is what we have done, or selecting something more challenging. 

 
The art materials used for each lesson are simple and inexpensive. You will need paper (A4 or A3), oil pastels, water colour paints and a paint brush. Other materials would include pens, texta/marker pens, pencils and charcoal.

No matter where you are in the world, as long as you have internet access, you are able to sign up for Artventure. Whether you are a parent, scout leader, home educator or teacher, you are able to access Artventure to use with you students/children.

You can have a look at Artventure with their FREE sign-up where you have twenty-four hour access to all the art lessons. Once you have had your free trial, Artventure is available to purchase for:

  • $29 (AUS) for 3 months
  • $49 (AUS) for 6 months
  • $79 (AUS) for 12 months 

 

I was given 12 months access to Artventure however all thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own honest views of Artventure.

Christmas Message 2016

Aussiehomeschool Christmas

It’s Christmas.

The shops are bursting at the seams with presents and music and cheer. There are Christmas lights decorating houses, carols in the park, trees, presents, food and more! But let us look deeper. Let us look further than food, fun, culture and commerce.

As you wrap and unwrap gifts this year remember that Christmas time is wrapped up with the swaddling cloth of a helpless baby born to an obscure family, in the quiet of the night over 2000 years ago. This one birth has impacted the world in a huge way and is a marker for world history.

It is true – Children need our presence more than they need presents.

The power of Christmas is the sheer reality of God entering our world, walking with us, talking with us, experiencing life as we do with all its joys and limitations. Christmas brings joy because God has come to us, in Jesus Christ. Jesus came to be peace for us. Include Him in your Christmas plans, your family events. Allow Him to still you heart and focus on Him and your family.

The AussieHomeschool team would like to thank all members for their valuable contribution to the site. We wish you health, wellness, joy and peace.

If you are traveling during the Christmas holidays, it is our prayer that you will be kept safe. If you are fellowshipping with family and friends, may you continue to remember Jesus and honour Him. For those that are struggling, are hurting or are alone – we hope that you will reach out to someone and share your need, allowing others to help and support you. We continue to keep the forums open all throughout the festive and holiday season for those that are hurting or or alone at this time.

 

He is Peace, let Him in.

Hello Baby

Four months ago when we left our beach home to be closer to Brian and his work, we had no idea we had taken a new little someone with us. In mid-August, right in the middle of Daisy and Hannah’s birthdays, I discovered I was pregnant. And it’s been a wild ride ever since.

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My pregnancy symptoms were much, much worse this time. Actually, the GP I saw to confirm the pregnancy laughed when I mentioned this and asked me, “What did you expect, everything gets worse the more pregnancies you have, the nausea, the exhaustion, the body aches and pains, everything!” So that was a bit of a wake-up call! Not that I expected it to be easy, I respect pregnancy. It’s a huge effort for a body to create and grow another human being and I know that it comes with some personal sacrifices. At that point though I decided to surrender into it and try not to complain knowing that this is just how this journey would go for me this time.

Ideally, I would have rested as much as possible and I still did that when we were home, however, we were determined to find a house to buy on the Sunshine Coast and that meant many 8 hour road-trips back and forth over the last 3 months to attend inspections. This definitely didn’t make any of the symptoms I was having easier! I’m now 20 weeks and still have days where the nausea feels a tad too overwhelming and I need to lie down until it passes.

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The first trimester is always such an anxiety-fueled time for me after experiencing several miscarriages. I debated long and hard about whether to have a 12 week scan – as we don’t personally like the testing that this scan involves – but I did want the reassurance of seeing my baby growing and developing on the screen and in the end I was glad I did. It really helped me to bond and connect more with this little person, and minimise the worry just a little. Now that I can feel the baby moving it is much easier for me to relax.

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We also debated about whether we should find out the sex once again. Many of our friends have chosen to have the surprise of finding out at birth, and we wondered if that was something we wanted to experience too. But then we remembered Blake and we decided that was surprise enough! We really have enjoyed finding out, especially in Daisy’s pregnancy where we could share it with Hannah and Blake and refer to her by name during the long 20 weeks that followed. We felt it helped all of us prepare for the baby that would join our family, and so this time we decided to do the same.

So, we are incredibly excited to share that I am pregnant with a baby GIRL and that another little sister and daughter will be joining our family in late April!!!

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Hannah, Blake and Daisy came to the ultrasound with us and so we all found out together. The kids have been adamant that it’s been a ‘baby sister’ this whole time, so they were very happy to be proved right. I have to say that I strongly felt this baby was a boy and at our 13 week ultrasound the sonographer even mentioned that she would guess boy even though it was very early. Of course, we didn’t take it to heart, but since it backed up my feeling – and Brians as well – I was a bit surprised to hear the news that baby was a girl at this scan. He did check several times and said that although he can’t obviously give a 100% statement, he said could see the labia and the correct female markers so he didn’t hesitate at all. We are thrilled of course! I am completely delighted at the thought of having another daughter and we know and believe that no matter this baby’s sex, she is the right person to come into our family at this time. It’s just fun to find out half-way and a part of the pregnancy process that we really enjoy.

 

I hope to do more updates over the next few months. Nausea and the stress of the house has really not made sitting at a computer at all enjoyable, but I’m hoping for that to ease now. Next year will be full of new beginnings for our family and we are excited to start the journey! Thank you for always being such a support to our family, it’s lovely to know people care and are excited for us! 😀