Welcome to our world of 4 boys, Autism, Homeschooling and life in general.

Hi I'm Angie, busy Homeschooling Mum of 4 young boys aged between 4 and 11 yrs.

Bailey (11) is a huge car enthusiast, particularly classic cars, VW 'Herbie' beetles and VW Combi vans. Bailey lives with Autism (ASD) and Epilepsy but does very well coping with everyday life these days since we made the change to homeschooling back in 2010.

Dane (8) enjoys playing guitar, building Lego masterpieces and all things superhero! Dane also lives with a form of Autism (Aspergers) and a Language developmental delay (Apraxia of speech).

Ehren (5) is our gentle 'giant' and is a keen student in our Homeschool classroom. He enjoys both physical and mental pursuits and has a clear interest in currency!

Fraser (aged 4) is our little pocket rocket. He's a confident, head-strong little boy who never stops talking, singing or dancing!

Follow us on our journey as we learn about the world around us in our own unique way!

Thursday, December 19, 2013


Life has seriously gotten away from me lately, so much so that I have had no time to be able to come and post in this poor neglected blog of mine. I think I'm allowed some lenience though with all that I've had on my plate this year! Between Homeschooling, studying, moderating a website, running my health blog and attached FB page (Angie's Healthy Kitchen), running a busy household of 6 and helping my hubby run a business you could say I haven't had much time for putting my feet up!

Back in June I decided to start studying a Course in Allied Health, specialising in Nutrition. Health and well being have always been a special interest area for me but it wasn't until after having the 4 boys and finding myself tremendously overweight for the first time in my life that I went right back to my roots, deciding to focus more on preserving my health and returning to my previous fitness and energy levels. My long term desire is to assist other Mums to lose their post baby weight and also steer parents towards making better food and lifestyle choices for their children.

From the onset I knew that studying and Homeschooling the boys was always going to be juggle. I have considered undertaking the study for well over a year now but it wasn't until I decided to take the plunge mid-year that I realised that I would be able to handle the workload. Sure, there have been a few things that have been pushed by the wayside (this blog for starters) but for the most part it has just meant watching less night-time television and instead focusing on learning more about things I'm passionate about. I've even managed to fast-track my studies, which means I should have this first course completed by mid 2014.

So, here I am mid December, having completed my studies for this year when I realised I should come update you all as to how our Homeschooling lives have been travelling!

My older boys have just graduated from Grade 2 and 4 this year. Bailey (now 10) is reading superbly now and his writing is coming along nicely. I've focused this year on introducing various writing styles to Bailey and having him attempt to use his Laptop independently to produce his writing pieces. I'm very proud to report he can now hand-write his writing plan, open up a Word document, type his piece, spellcheck and self-check the document and print it out for me to read! His preferred writing style appears to be more factual pieces which is not surprising given his personality and obsessive interest areas, but I'm just glad that he's writing something and keen to do so!

Dane (now 7.5yrs) has been working on improving his reading this year. He has come along way and is now able to sit independently and read to his younger brothers. His handwriting has also improved, making it very legible now. It is becoming increasingly harder to tell the difference in the handwriting of the older boys. Dane recently received a formal diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (same as Bailey was diagnosed at age 3) and we've also been advised that he has a Language delay known as Apraxia of Speech. His delays mean his work takes a long time to get through but at least being homeschooled he can get the 1 on 1 attention that he needs, especially when learning new concepts!

Ehren (now 4) has been doing plenty of Preschool work with me this year. I wasn't going to initiate any actual deskwork for him til next year, seeing as he only turned 4 this year, but he insisted he have his own work whilst his older brothers were doing theirs. He is able to sound out most the letters of the alphabet, is starting to join the sounds together to read short words, can recognise all his basic shapes, colours and most numbers up to 20. Ehren has just recently learnt how to write his own name.

Fraser (just turned 3 late this year) has reached his own Homeschooling milestones lately. He is now able to sit and complete some of the kindergarten tasks I have been occupying him with. He can sit for up to 20 minutes at a time completing puzzles, card matching games, fine motor activities and colouring in pages. Fraser is able to count to the teens as well as identify most his basic shapes and colours.

This year I also started running a sports program for our Homeschool group. I've named it FunSports but it's not just all about sport. It's a program that focuses on getting kids active and outdoors, spending time with and making new friends, learning teamwork and leadership skills whilst learning many of the old schoolyard classics we all played as kids. I run two groups, Juniors being ages 2-5 and Seniors being 6 and over. This year the kids have learnt the game of Softball, Red Rover, Frisbee flying, LaCrosse, What's the time Mr Wolf, the Chicken Dance, basics of Soccer ball kicking, Duck Duck Goose and more. It's been a fun time coaching the kids and something I'm looking forward to doing again next year.

2014 is a special year for us. We'll officially have 3 Homeschoolers in our Homeschool classroom! Ehren will commence as our Prep student, Dane will step up to Grade 3 work and Bailey will be completing Grade 5 work. I'm really looking forward to seeing their progress through the year, not to mention complete my first course! I promise to try and blog more often, not only for others who are interested but for my own record keeping sake ;)

Thursday, July 4, 2013

The 2013 Annual Homeschool Athletics Carnival

A couple of weeks ago my boys had the opportunity to participate in the Annual Athletics Carnival that our Homeschool group organises every year. This year I was lucky enough to be the main organiser of the event. This kind of event is something that I enjoy being able to do seeing as I originally attended University to become a Physical education primary school teacher. I never completed my degree so it's wonderful to have the opportunity to work in my area of passion after all these years!

The children had an amazing day. We had to postpone the first proposed date due to bad weather so it was beautiful to see the glorious sunshine and such perfect weather conditions on the day it actually went ahead!

We started the day with a welcome introduction, some stretches and a warm up run around the oval. It was clear from the start that some of the kids were going to be quite competitive and others were there for the fun and social aspect. It was so heartwarming to see the older children being so helpful towards the younger children, especially consider the varied age groups we had participating on the day. We had boys and girls aged from 2 to 14 yrs of age in separate groups for the field events at the start of the day and then we all came together for the running events after lunch.

We even had a mini tuckshop set up in a big tarp tent selling mostly healthy treats. The kids thought this was such a novelty and happily spent up their pocket money on muesli bars, popper juices and organic lollipops. It's great to give our kids similar experiences to what they would have if they attended a standard school. I know I have very fond memories myself of school sports days, running around bare footed with friends and collecting ribbons along the way!

The event itself was held at the Little athletics field and we had access to all their equipment and a fully lined running track, throwing area, etc. We had 3 main 'sports teachers' on the day, myself, Sigrid and Mel. I really couldn't have done it without their help. Anne-Marie ran the tuckshop and Bianca took some great photos of the day for us. Together with the help of several parents the day was a great success and one we all look forward to seeing our children enjoy again next year.

Below are some of the photos taken on the day. My eldest Bailey can be seen in the green t-shirt, my second son Dane is wearing a blue t-shirt and track pants, my third son Ehren is wearing a yellow jumper and my youngest son Fraser was wearing a red/grey/white striped shirt.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013


Last month marked the third year Anniversary of Homeschooling for our family!

It's starting to feel like things are finally falling into place. We are finding our Homeschool groove and for the first time since beginning this journey there is no more baby wrangling in the mix! Ehren is turning 4 in a fortnight and Fraser is turning 3 in a few months time, my babies are growing up!

We essentially run the Homeschool classroom as 2 classes these days, Lower primary (Grades 2 and 4) and Preschool (Prep and Kindy). It means I need to be organised enough to have activities and work ready for all the boys, but at least now once the little ones are occupied I can concentrate on spending 1 on 1 time with the older boys. I have commenced treating Ehren as a Prep student this year (a year early) as he has shown remarkable skills in the area of phonics, pencil control and his concentration level.

Last week we received our continuation of Home education certificate from the Education department. I was totally stoked to get some amazing feedback from the Education Advisor regarding Bailey's annual report. Here is an extract of what she had to say:

"Your focus on communication and social skills seems to be working very well. The DVD of Bailey shows him speaking clearly and confidently. The variety of groups that Bailey is able to participate in, and the learning opportunities these provide, are impressive! Angela, you should be justifiably proud of Bailey's progress socially and personally. Educationally he is developing well with your teaching approach which caters for his interests and aversions. Although not at peer level, Bailey's writing demonstrates significant improvement."

Needless to say this gives me great confidence in knowing that we are heading in the right direction and that choosing Home education was a great decision for our family.

Monday, February 18, 2013


Thought I'd pop into my neglected little blog to kick off the New Year letting you all know about the fun we had on Valentines Day. V Day has long been one of my favourite days of the year. What could be better than a special day to spread the love amongst friends and family? A day for everyone; young, old, those in love or not, just simply recognising the special people in our lives that we love and care dearly about.

This Valentines Day we shared the day with our closest Homeschool friends at a friend's home. It was a lovely gesture for her to invite all us families into her home and organise some special activities for both the preschoolers and the older Homeschooling children. First our friend read the group a story about an imaginary world where people gave out 'warm fuzzy' messages to one another to make each other feel special. The children sat attentively listening carefully to the story and after brainstormed some of the 'warm fuzzy' messages they were going to give to one another. They spoke about how they felt when they were paid a compliment and how nice it was to share compliments and 'warm fuzzies' with friends.

Then the group seperated into smaller groups to work on activities, swapping between them as they completed each task. The older kids started off by working together as a team to bake a cake, reading the instructions, using the Thermomix to weigh and mix and then pouring into 2 moulds to produce a scrumptious double layered chocolate cake. Later they iced the cake with a yummy layer of chocolate cream frosting.

All the children made a love heart envelope by weaving pieces of coloured card, which were later filled with special hand-written messages from one friend to another. It was good to see the children delighted to do this activity even though it meant they did some writing, not always a child's favourite thing to do! Things like, 'you are a wonderful friend', knock-knock jokes for a laugh and 'you are a great talker' made all the children feel warm and fuzzy.

The younger children enjoyed filling chocolate moulds with the chocolate that the adults had melted for them. I personally think my little boys enjoyed licking the spoons afterwards even more!

As if the day hadn't been awesome enough, I even managed to get the babysitter at last minute so hubby and I could have a nice dinner for two at our favourite restaurant, Focus by James!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Just another busy day of Homeschooling....

With the rare few moments I have this afternoon I thought I'd sit out on my sunny verandah with my freshly made apple, carrot, tomato and ginger juice and let you all know what we've been up to today!

This morning started off with a nice morning jog with Dane. We managed a steady 2.4kms at a very good time considering Dane is only 6 and new to running with me. I stopped at my favourite Little Green Cafe on the way home and grabbed a morning coffee and came home to delve into the kitchen.

First I made a loaf of my healthy gluten free banana bread (MY OWN RECIPE HERE) followed by some healthy choc goodness balls (MY OWN RECIPE HERE), followed by my delicious smoked salmon dip (recipe to come). I served the boys up some morning tea on the verandah and finished up in the kitchen doing the dishes.

The boys ventured outside to play, jump on the trampoline, ride their bikes and came across a grasshopper being eaten by ants. They decided to save him and take him to a safe spot in the garden. A conversation ensued between the boys as to what food insects like eating and where they lived.

Meanwhile I did some blogging on my new Healthy Blog, aptly named ANGIE'S HEALTHY KITCHEN. I started my new blog 5 days ago and it has already had over 400 hits!! I'm very excited about being able to help people to eat more healthily and think more about being healthy for life.

Not long after the banana bread was ready and so we all sat together and ate it for a light lunch before setting off for a fun outing with our Homeschooling friends at a place called Bricks and Fun at Capalaba. The boys joined their group for a 1 hour session viewing the displays and making their own special creations. They enjoyed it immensely and can't wait to go back very soon!

Arriving home Bailey finished off some Christmas craft and then decided to spend some quiet time in the Lego room building an off road camper and 4 wheel drive. The other boys played nicely with some playdough on the verandah before venturing outside to play with our dog Lilly. They have just now come upstairs for a snack of some vegie crackers but I am sure they'll be back downstairs playing in no time. Bailey will do some reading with me later this evening whilst Dane sits in and listens.

Soon it will be time to go cook some dinner for the family and in a few short hours the boys will all be tucked up into their beds ready our new adventure tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Last week our boys participated in the Athletics carnival that was held for all Brisbane homeschoolers. The carnival was lead by the staff from Physi Kids, a physical education group that holds health & fitness classes for kindergartens, schools and community groups. They did an amazing job organising and running the program for the children that ranged in ages from 2 years to 15 years.

There were 3 weekly lead up sessions held before the big carnival to give the children a good idea of how best to participate in the sports. The sports on offer were the 80m sprint, 80m hurdles, 400m run, long jump, high jump, shotput, discus and javelin. Novelty races were also held at the end of the carnival. The good old favourites such as egg and spoon race, 3 legged race and the sack race proved to be a big hit with the littlies and the older children. Juniors participated in a special Physi kids class whilst the older children did the more serious events. They played limbo, team sports and a game of tag all to a soundtrack of fun, whimsical music.

Bailey and Dane were really looking forward to the big day in the weeks leading up to the event. They attended all the training sessions and practised at home so they could do their very best running, jumping and throwing on the day. I take them both regularly on runs around our suburb, sometimes up to 3kms at a time so I knew running the 400m wouldn't seem far for them.

Morning of the big day we lathered ourselves in sunscreen and packed our car up with the picnic table/chairs and umbrella for some shelter. I was busy baking healthy snacks for us for the day right up until the last few minutes of leaving! We arrived and were so glad the weather seemed to be holding out for us. The oval was filled with families arriving, setting up their trackside spots for the day and getting kids ushered to the running track for the first events. I told the boys that as long as they tried their very best I would be extremely proud of them. Dane was determined he was going to get at least one ribbon for the day!

Bailey did very well in all his events. His age group was probably the most competitive, filled with many boys keen to give their best. He ended up winning the sack race, placing second in one of the throwing events (he cannot remember which one) and placing third in the 400m.

Dane proved to be a total over-achiever! He placed first in the long jump, high jump, discus and javelin. He placed second in the sprint, hurdles and 400m run. He was very thrilled with his success on the day and delighted to place his collection of ribbons up on the fridge for all to see.

Our family really enjoyed the carnival and hope that the community can come together again next year for another event. I'm pretty sure I won't be able to keep Ehren away from the big kids running events next time though, he's busy practising for now and tells me he can do it too!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Our Mount Barney Camping adventure

Last weekend we were lucky enough to get away for a family camp along with many of our Homeschooling friends. One of our more experienced camping Mums chose Mt Barney as our location and I must admit that at first I was a little hesitant when I heard a creek ran right along the camping ground. I tend to be a bit of a 'freaker' when it comes to water as I have 3 non-swimmers amongst my 4 boys (we're working hard on the swimming thing). Anyway we decided to go along on advice that the creek was out of immediate sight and was fenced off to a certain extent. I made sure we set up our tent on the opposite side of the campground which also helps ease my nerves a little.

Turns out the creek really was far enough away to not be overly concerned. The creek itself ended up being quite a godsend as it happened to be fairly warm during the day. The younger boys proved to be very well behaved and stayed within the campsite playing happily with their friends. In fact all 4 of the boys gave both Clif and I a chance to relax and enjoy the company of the other Mums and Dads.

We arrived late afternoon on the Thursday and set up camp. We took our awesome Black Wolf turbolite tent with us so it took very little time to set up and settle in for the night. The older boys set off for a nightwalk with the other kids being led by Innes, the owner and manager of Mt Barney Mountain Lodge. Innes is an energetic and lively fellow. The kids loved his larrakin nature and he had a great way of motivating the kids all weekend, even when their energy levels were waning. Innes never stops, he's super fit and knows the land like the back of his hand which made you felt like you were all in very safe hands. The kids made damper after their night walk and had a sausage sizzle dinner before returning back to us ready for bed. By then we had managed to get the little ones down to sleep so we had a nice time relaxing around the campfire with the other parents.

The next morning we needed to be up early and ready for a big bush walk commencing at 8am. Turns out I need not have worried about being prepared in time, the little boys woke up with the birds, just as they did all 3 mornings that we were there! We managed to get in a bacon and eggs breakfast before I took off with the big boys and left Clif back at camp with the little ones. The walk started at the lodge and took us up through Mt Barney National Park, following the creek up into the depths of the forest. I'm quite accustomed to bush walking with great fitness level these days but I must tell you this bush walk even had me eagerly waiting each waterhole stop along the way! The walk itself was approximately 7km long but it was the terrain that proved the biggest challenge. We spent a good half of that distance rock hopping along the creek, crouching down under trees, branches and wading through waist deep scrub (or should I say neck deep for poor Dane and the younger kids in the group). It was fun though, a true adventure. We felt like we were in some small way living a day in Bear Grylls footsteps!! We stopped off at 3 waterholes along the way, each one providing clearer water and more lush surrounds. Innes advised the final waterhole was by far the best and where he would be stopping for a swim himself. I waited for that last waterhole to have my swim and it was well worth the sweaty, exhausting wait.

The water was cold but so very refreshing. You needed to be very careful getting in as the edges consisted of slippery, moss laden rocks. Innes showed the kids the one spot where it was safe to jump in off a large rock that protruded across the waterhole. They all delighted in taking turns, running back up around the rocks to climb up and take another turn. It wasn't long before I was targeted to give it a go chanting "Angie, Angie, Angie". The inner child in me let loose and besides I couldn't let my own boys think that I was scared, surely? I followed up the jump with a relaxing float along the stretch of water whilst keeping an eye on Dane playing in the shallows with Johnny, Melody and Torran. They decided together as a team to build a dam across the creek entry to the waterhole. It was another of those moments when your truly grateful that your children are growing up surrounded by such wonderful friends, seeking out learning and adventure in some of the most natural ways possible.

After our 5 hour bush walk was completed we headed back to camp. Clif had taken the little ones down to the creek for a dip and play amongst the rocks. They seemed suitably impressed and quite exhausted which of course meant there were no disagreement later come bedtime. All the kids got off to bed quite early that night which left us adults to sit once again by the campfire, chatting, toasting marshmallows til the wee hours of the night. I must have said I was going to bed at least ten times over the course of 2 or so hours. Eventually I made my way to bed around 1am hoping to get a good night's sleep, seeing as we had an early start the next day at 7am for Rock climbing.

Morning rolled around quick after we all had a great night without a single interruption. Anyone else camping a family of 6 in a tent (with 4 kids aged between 2 and 9) will know this is quite an achievement! Bailey and I joined our guide Innes for a trek up the side of a mountain til we reached the cliff face we were going to use for our Rock climbing adventure. It was quite a daunting sight staring up on at least 50m or more of ropes, especially for Bailey and I who had not been rock climbing on real rocks before!

Bailey as determined as ever advised me he was going to take the difficult climb first up (there were 3 to choose, easy, medium, hard) and in normal Bailey fashion made it look completely effortless. He reached the top in no time at all and managed to abseil down even faster. Next was my go and I really wanted to choose the easy route first but was encouraged by all around that I should give the difficult course an attempt first. I was shaky, felt giddy in the tummy and kept telling myself not to look backwards, only up! About halfway I was ready to give up as I couldn't see anywhere to put my feet and hands. Our guide showed me a few tiny spots of protruding rock and against my own desire I pushed onwards. Once past those spots I was climbing at a good pace and before I knew it I'd reached the top! What an incredible feeling. Bailey's face was gleaming up at me, I knew I'd done him proud. The abseil down was shaky at first but as I got my rhythm I found myself enjoying it. We all continued swapping between climbing, belaying (working the ropes for the climbers) and resting for a few hours before heading back for our steep decline to camp. The experience was one that Bailey and I won't ever forget. In fact we are already planning our next adventure and hope to climb the Kangaroo Point cliffs in the near future!

Apologies I only have a picture of me rock climbing :(

On returning to camp Clif decided to take the 3 big boys for a drive and a swim whilst Fraser and I took a nap in the tent with the beautiful breeze blowing nicely over us. Our last night was a little quieter around the campfire. The kids all had a turn at marshmallow toasting over the fire before crashing to bed without a single hesitation. Next morning we packed down our tent as some dark clouds were looming and we thought it best to make a quick getaway before the rain decided to join us.

In all we had one of the most amazing weekends camping ever. It was so lovely to be able to get away as a complete family and find enough things to keep each of us busy and entertained. The boys are finally getting to an age where they can all play well and stay within our sight without giving us too much hassle. They all sleep right through the night in the tent, even when right next to each other! I can really recommend camping at Mount Barney Lodge. Try and do at least one of the organised walks or activities with Innes, he will find something to suit your family for sure. Tell Innes the Homeschoolers sent you!