Hot Springs

The boy and I just went on a roadie to some hot springs. We rented a cabin and it was one of those decorated in the seventies with formica and lino and that particular shade of orange that screams ‘seventies’. It … Read More

tardigrades and moss

It started with an article in a magazine I picked up at the library. It was about tardigrades, micro-critters who live in lichen or moss worldwide. They are cute, at 1 mm fully grown they are visible under a microscope … Read More

Learning centre at the dump

One of the homeschool mama’s organised a trip to our local refuse and transfer centre. Otherwise known as the dump. I had no idea the council had a learning centre up there. It was all kinds of awesome. The women … Read More

an advanced version

It took us a few days to build this one. The satisfaction was huge when we’d finished. It was the first build using the motor. That was exciting. There was great fanfare as we switched the motor on. And super … Read More

Hands on homeschool physics

We belong to a Homeschool Science Kits group here in NZ. Every term we get to choose a science kit to work with. This term we’ve had this Fischer Technik Physics set. You work your way through building the different … Read More

Nature immersion

Being in nature always helps. Though I may grumble about ‘not having time’ to go to the beach or for a bush walk or hang out in the forest, I never regret being in nature. It feeds me, grounds me.  … Read More

Meeting edison

We belong to a homeschool science club. It’s like a giant library of educational science gear and DVD’s. We choose what set we would like to borrow for the term. It’s a great way to explore cool stuff without the … Read More

for the love of lego

Lego is a big part of most days here. These past two terms we’ve been part of a homeschooling science lending library that allows us to have different educational sets for a term. Some of us are high novelty and … Read More

growing bacteria

We just did this cool experiment at home. Our homeschooling crew is so awesome. I posted an experiment on the GrowMama facebook page. Friends saw it and ordered bulk large petrie dishes from a lab and put a call out on … Read More


Today all photos are courtesy of Jed.  Today. Today was all kinds of awesome. We went from running wild on our beach, to our homeschoolers forest day, to playing touch rugby with Jed’s local crew. It was one of those … Read More

What on earth wall books

A friend put us onto these books. For that I am very grateful. We have the What on Earth wall book of Science and Engineering and From the Big Bang to the Present Day. They are all kinds of awesome.  … Read More

new medium

Jed was mid swing on a beeswax candle making jag when he ran out of wick. The very next morning we went to Forest Folk, the little store in the Titirangi Steiner school carpark for supplies. We came home with … Read More

Rantypants: Why Homeschool?

Rantypants. This could  be a new feature here on GrowMama. Today I tackle homeschooling and the myriad reasons why folks choose it. I was in the unfortunate position of overhearing someone who has known my family for years rant about … Read More

Anjalee, gears and other stuff

We’ve been delving into a diverse array of learning. We recently spent the morning with the Royal NZ Ballet which heralded some great conversations about the human body, dance, creative expression and gender roles. The last few days has seen … Read More

Forest days

Today’s blogpost I planned to write about our weekly Forest Free Play days. Oh the irony. We loved the first sessions and now are not sure if we’ll continue. Ai yi yi. Life aye? It twists and turns and delivers … Read More

Nature as Teacher

One of my most enduring memories of childhood was the day my mum took us over the road to a freshly mowed field.  The field was next to the busy Southern Motorway but that is not what I remember.  I … Read More

Learning Together

One of the things I have been working on is the AHE (Auckland Home Educators) Conference coming up on the 9th of May. We’ve named it ‘Learning Together’. It promises to be quite the day, with main speakers Stephanie Walmsley, … Read More

matchbox rockets

Matchbox rockets are big in our world at the moment. Who knew you could have so much fun with foil and matches?! Simple to make and super fun, we’ve had these rockets go for 15 metres! The wonderful Adrian showed … Read More

meeting brutus

We met Brutus. Resident stingray at a marina on the Whangaparoa Peninsula north of Auckland. He’s lived at the marina for years, cruising for free handouts and is quite the local celebrity. Jed spotted him first. He comes right up … Read More

the butterfly house of life

A spontaneous stop at the Butterfly House and Gardens elicited some deep observations about life, transformation and death from the little guy. It is truly miraculous watching the emergence of a butterfly and to picture it’s journey from egg to … Read More

fern anomaly

 I like words. I make my living as a wordsmith mostly these days and it gives me absurd pleasure to use words like ‘anomaly’. Takes all sorts aye?! Jed was perplexed and thrilled to find this doubleheaded fern on our … Read More

The inside story at the zoo

We had a very special morning at Auckland Zoo this week. We got to go behind the scenes at the Conservation Medicine Centre and meet one of the baby leopard tortoises.  One of the keepers took a chunk of time … Read More

Kid grown carrots

I know the light is all skewy in this photo, but I love it. Jed is harvesting carrots and peas from his garden at the moment. From seed to plate, growing your own vegetables is so satisfying. The taste is … Read More

Uncommon Goods – the future

Don’t you just love packages arriving?! This is Jed opening a box from Uncommon Goods. If you haven’t heard of them, you need to. They are the future of business…ethical, supportive of their staff, eco-minded and with an array of … Read More

mountain herbs

Kicking around outside in Queenstown a few weeks ago, I showed the kids how many medicinal plants were around. There was chickweed, yarrow, cleavers, oregano, mugwort, plantain, dandelion, violets…the place was rampant with medicinal herbage. It reminded me of the … Read More

dolphins and bellbirds

This past week saw us camping in a beautiful national park marine protected area a few hours north of Auckland. It was kind of an end of year homeschooling camp. Jed and I had the idea and threw it open … Read More

building bridges

We studied bridges the other day. We looked at the different structures of bridges, what shapes give the best stability, bridges around the world and through history. Then I set Jed a challenge. He likes a challenge. He needed to … Read More

nature mandalas

On our way back from tending the vegetable garden we meandered our way back to the house collecting leaves and flowers. We had watched a few YouTube clips of the Dalai Lama and other monks creating sand mandala’s that morning … Read More

a robolego day

Awesome day at RoboLego today. I am not sure who enjoyed it more, me or Jed. I always knew I could be a geek given half a chance. And, robot battles?! I mean really, what’s not to like?! My camera … Read More

The Mind Lab

One of our homeschooling groups had a day at Unitech’s Mind Lab in Central Auckland last week. Wow. I have to admit, it takes a lot for me to be impressed with courses for kids these days…but both Jed and … Read More


On one of our mini-adventures along the beach this week we picked up a bunch of shells. For lack of anywhere else to safely stow them away, they got put in my hat.  We are big on the natural world … Read More

A good mess.

The house was a mess today. A good mess. You know, piles of paper bits on the floor, coloured pencils and projects all over the dining table, lego free building session in evidence across my bedroom floor, empty wooden snack … Read More

Cicada boy/s

 A friend had a Bugs and Blooms themed Spring party in the weekend. Jed and I had fun coming up with some costume ideas. Jed decided to go as a cicada. It’s definitely not cicada season here yet so we … Read More

felting with bubble wrap

At our homeshcooling group recently, one of the mama’s taught us how to felt. We do a bunch of crafty stuff at home and usually Jed likes to be outdoors with friends at these gatherings but he surprised me this … Read More

beans in winter

We had saved these bean seeds from a heritage variety Jed grew a few years ago. Finding them in a drawer, he asked whether they would still grow. After a bit of research into viability of bean seeds after 2 … Read More

NZ Herald Gardening with Kids article link

Look what popped up on my facebook feed last night. Us!  You can read my gardening with kids article here on the NZ Herald. A big welcome to you folks who have found your way here from the article.  xx

The eggheads. A tutorial.

Meet the eggheads. We made these two in anticipation of the Gardening for Kids article I wrote that just came out in the NZ Herald’s Element Magazine. They weren’t looking their best in time for the photo shoot but they … Read More

Winter town adventure

I love our crew. Jed and I planned to go to Auckland Museum and have a wander through the wintergardens and Auckland Domain one day recently. I asked Jed the night before if he wanted company or just share the … Read More


When Jed started his woodworking sessions with a lovely neighbour/artist/wood wizard/jewellery maker two doors down, I had visions of handcrafted boxes. So funny how our expectations meet reality. First session: Bows and arrows. Second and third sessions: a katana-like sword. … Read More

tiny snails and the secret life of leaves

These two little reprobates hitched a ride home with us in a bunch of dandelions for Chester the rabbit. Touch wood, so far, we haven’t had much in the way of snails. I think the slugs must have crowded them … Read More

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