Harkness Homeschooling http://cms.harkness.id.au Adventures in Education Thu, 31 Dec 2015 04:20:43 +0000 en-AU hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.4.2 News Report: Sharks terrify Agnes Water Beach goers http://harkness.id.au/2015/12/news-report-sharks-terrify-agnes-waters-beach-goers/ http://harkness.id.au/2015/12/news-report-sharks-terrify-agnes-waters-beach-goers/#respond Wed, 02 Dec 2015 05:05:08 +0000 http://harkness.id.au/?p=231 Sharks spotted close to shore, lifeguard puts up red flags for Beach goers.


It started out as another magnificent morning on the Beach at Agnes Water.  People were going for for there early morning swim, while nippers were doing there Sunday morning training.

Just before 10am, the lifeguard put off a siren, to get everyone’s attention.  He announced using a megaphone, an immediate evacuation of the water.

A regular visitor to Agnes, Rory Harkness,  was witness to the mornings event.  “The sound of the siren made me confused and nervous” he said.  He watched as the lifeguard quickly knocked down the red and yellow safe to swim flags.  He was trying to figure out why  “the lifeguard was doing doughnuts with his jetski  close to shore”.

Two sharks were spotted about 50m offshore.  Local Lifeguard, Julia Davis advised this was an isolated incident.  It was unusual to see sharks at Agnes Beach.

The beach remained closed for the rest of the day.

http://harkness.id.au/2015/12/news-report-sharks-terrify-agnes-waters-beach-goers/feed/ 0
Cinderella turns to Fire & Water Balloons http://harkness.id.au/2015/07/cinderella-turns-to-fire-water-balloons/ http://harkness.id.au/2015/07/cinderella-turns-to-fire-water-balloons/#respond Wed, 01 Jul 2015 06:57:45 +0000 http://harkness.id.au/?p=222 CinderjpgStory time today started with Cinderella.  It’s an old classic that my daughter has heard many times.  We chat about Cinders resilience in life,  her grumpy jealous Step Mother and Step Sisters, who embark upon making her existence a chore.  Nadine declares, if she were Cinderella she’d call the police.

Princess Nadine, is a princess by name and by nature. Just ask her!!!! HaHa.  But when I invite her to tell me the story, her inquisitive side  bounded out ‘Let’s do an experiment with balloons and fire!’

The Princess has requested ‘Fire and water’


Water absorbs heat- Experiment 

Questions posed:

  • What would happen if the sun was closer?
  • What would happen if the Sun was further away?
  • What would happen to the colder regions of the world?
  • What would happen to our animals and plants?
  • Do our Oceans help us in any way?


  • Balloons filled with water
  • Balloons filled with air
  • Flame eg. Candle

Fireproof Balloon

Place the balloon filled with water over the flame. Count to 5. The balloon does not burst.








Now try this with the air filled balloon(be ready for a loud bang).






Water absorbs heat quickly.  This prevents the balloons from bursting.  Our Earth has vast amounts of water that absorbs a huge amount of heat from our Sun.   What would happen to our Planet if we had smaller Oceans or none at all?

Doing these experiments is immense fun. The kids will ask to do these again and again.  Each time a little more is learned, a few more questions asked and ‘What if? ‘ scenarios created.



http://harkness.id.au/2015/07/cinderella-turns-to-fire-water-balloons/feed/ 0
Dingoes http://harkness.id.au/2015/06/dingoes/ http://harkness.id.au/2015/06/dingoes/#respond Thu, 25 Jun 2015 23:24:39 +0000 http://harkness.id.au/?p=202 The dingo is Australia’s wild dog. Dingoes arrived in Australia about 5,000 years ago, from Indonesian  seafarers.

(Canis lupis dingo)

Dingoes are a medium sized dog and weigh 13-24 kg, with males usually heaver.  A normal male stands at 53-62 cms.  The colour of a dingo is sandy yellow to red ginger.

Usually dingoes have white markings on there paws, tail tip and chest.  They have pricked ears so they can hear good and a bushy tail.


In the past, most dingoes live on the mainland of Australia, but now most wild one’s are in Tasmania. Dingoes live in alpine, woodland, desert and tropical regions.


Dingoes best prey would be Wallaby and Kangaroo, but it also eats rabbit’s, possum’s, glider’s, rat’s and mice.  Dingoes are found at dusk and dawn, when their prey is awake.


The live cycle of the dingo happen’s once a a year from March to June.  Dingoes have 4 to 6 pups, and have to leave their packs in less than a year.


wombat stewWombat Stew is a funny story about a Dingo that was going to cook a wombat.  Wombats friends, saved him by making the stew disgusting and Dingo thought he was poisoned.






Rhyming poems inspired by Wombat Stew.

Wombat stew, Wombat stew,

Icky sticky,

Munchy crunchy

Wombat stew!

Wombat stew, Wombat stew,

Prickle tickle,

Bristle fistle,

Wombat stew!

Kookaburra pie,

Kookaburra pie,

Oh so feathery,

Laughing terribly,

Kookaburra pie!

Lizard toast, Lizard toast,

Oh so crunchy,

Always munchy,

Lizard toast!



http://harkness.id.au/2015/06/dingoes/feed/ 0
Pocket Money Statistics http://harkness.id.au/2015/06/pocket-money-statistics/ http://harkness.id.au/2015/06/pocket-money-statistics/#respond Sun, 07 Jun 2015 10:52:35 +0000 http://harkness.id.au/?p=182 A couple of days ago  my Dad found me counting my pocket money.  He asked me to start again, but instead of count up the total, I was to count how many of each denomination.

A denomination is: each type of coin I had.

I counted them up and below are my results. We then calculated the total for each denomination.  And finally the grand total: at first, I didn’t know how we were going to do it.  But when I was shown, it all made sense


Then we drew some graphs using the information above: we had to type in the amount of each denomination, and this is what I got.

Bar Graph

Money Count Bar Graph

The graph above shows …. the amount of each coin.  You can see that I have 2$ the most, then any other coin.

The next graph highlights the total of each coin.  Like there is 23 2$ coins.  But the total is 46$.

Money Total Bar Graph

Pie Graph

Total Money Pie Chart

The pie graph clear demonstrates that … the pie graph shows that the 2$ coins is just a tiny bit over half way.

From creating these graphs I have learnt…. instead of counting my money, I’ll just let the computer count it for me.  There is a lot of 2$ coins around the house.  I have learned what a denomination is.  I also learned what a pie graph is, and that’s about it.

http://harkness.id.au/2015/06/pocket-money-statistics/feed/ 0
Our trip–2nd edition http://harkness.id.au/2015/05/our-trip-2nd-edition/ http://harkness.id.au/2015/05/our-trip-2nd-edition/#respond Thu, 28 May 2015 03:33:51 +0000 http://harkness.id.au/?p=159 This true story start’s one Tuesday evening when we were coming back from swimming lesson’s.  I was feeling excited,  my first surfing lesson was tommmorrrrow!

When we arrived home,  we jammed the rest of our gear into the car and waited for Dad to finish making himself smell gorgeous.  We all clamored into the car and off we went to Macca’s for dinner.

By now it was dark outside.   With a stuffed belly and in my good old faithful pyjamas we continued south.  A little while later,  we arrived at a place called Miriam Vale.   Somewhere in the middle of Miriam Vale, we turned left.  There wasn’t much to see, so it didn’t matter whether it was dark or not.


Agnes Water

Getting to the house seemed like it was going to take until we reached the next galaxy. When we did arrive, I was so exited I jumped out of the car. I went to bed, thrilled that night, knowing tomorrow was going to be a magnificent day.




It  was Wednesday morning, and I was jubilant because today was surfing day.  We got ready to go.  By about nine o clock, we arrived at the beach.  There was plenty of other kid’s to play with.

Slowly, everyone got there board’s from our surfing instructor.  When everyone got to the beach, we all started practicing.  Everyone put there board’s in a row on the sand, to form a line.  Our surfing instructor would shout “wave” and everyone would pretend to paddle.  Then we stood up and bent our knee’s while bending our arm’s to balance on the board.







Surfer Dude

Very soon we got into the water.  So far I was having lot’s of fun.  Several time’s I fell in, and a few time’s I stood up and surfed the wave. The day was unbelievably great.  Later, everyone had to bring their board’s back to the surf shack. I would have preferred to surf all day. The water was crystal clear and the sand was golden-white. The wave’s were small, but powerful.


Luckily I had my boogie board.  I could still have fun, which was “radical dude”.  It was great I had a friend called Josh to play with.  We had lot’s of fun out in the water, catching the wave’s.  Time went passed quicker than I expected, because soon it was time to leave the beach.  It must have been lunch time, my belly was saying, “bring on the food, I’m starving”.

I spent the rest of the day playing with friend’s at the park at 1770.  My belly was rumbling again.  I slept fine that night in bed.

The next morning we went to the beach again. I saw Josh too. We had fun out in the water boogie boarding. Around lunch time, we left to go to Hervey Bay. On the way we went passed Bundaberg and then Childers. We went to find our accommodation. While we waited to get in, we explored the beach across the road. The water at the beach was waveless.

“Pppppppppppiiiiiiiiiiiiiiizzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa”!  We discovered a place with a superhero sign, and they did delicious “pizza”. Someone was having a birthday cake. Soon we went back to our accommodation. Then we went to bed.
I woke up what seemed early, but I was the last one to wake up. I was really exited because we were going to a water park. Dad said he was going to have a sleep in and cycle down later.



When we arrived at the water park, it looked awesome. But the water was cold. My first go down the twisty slide, I was frozen. I wasn’t cold on my second go. Nadine was moaning and not sure about getting wet. She decided to be brave and get wet. On top of the slide, there was a big bucket of water and it tipped over on top of Nadine. It was very funny, she screamed and she was frozen, like I was. It was mind-blowing to find out I was in the water for three hours.



Hervey Bay


Wipe Out

The following day, we were going home. This time we went back the Bruce Hwy. We stopped at Gin Gin to have lunch. Then we left again. In a while, we arrived at home.

I was glad to be back home. As soon as we got out of the car we saw a parcel and it was for me. Tomorrow was my birthday.  Then I checked the mail, and there was mail for me.

I was so happy, I couldn’t wait to open everything.  We enjoyed the rest of the day.  Oh, and my birthday.


Giant Lamington Mmmmmm!


Feeling Happy!

Revised with the help of Scholastic, Banish Boring Words! Grades 4-8


http://harkness.id.au/2015/05/our-trip-2nd-edition/feed/ 0
Our Trip http://harkness.id.au/2015/05/our-trip/ http://harkness.id.au/2015/05/our-trip/#respond Wed, 20 May 2015 03:25:18 +0000 http://harkness.id.au/?p=100 This true story start’s one Tuesday evening when we were coming back from swimming lesson’s.  I was feeling excited, my first surfing lesson was tommmorrrrow!

When we arrived at home,  we finished off the rest of the packing that needed to be done.

Not long after we arrived, Dad came back from work.  Dad went to have a shower.  When Dad was dressed  everyone was ready to leave.  So off we left.

It was a short drive to a place called Benaraby.  Benaraby was a small place.

A little while later, we arrived at a place called Miriam Vale.  Somewhere in the middle of Miriam Vale, we turned left.

About an hour later, we finally arrived at Agnes Waters.  We went to the place that we were staying  at.

We had to move house  because the bed’s weren’t made.  So we moved to our next house.  Dad brought in some thing’s.  Then everyone went to bed.


It was Wednesday morning, and I was exited because today was going to be my first ever time doing surfing.  We got ready to go.  By about nine o clock, we arrived at the beach.  There was plenty of other kid’s.

In a few minutes, everyone went to get there board’s.  When  we got our board’s, we walk to the beach.

Slowly, everyone got there board’s.  When everyone got to the beach, we all started to practicing.

Very soon we got into the water.  So far I was having lot’s of fun.  Lot’s of the time I fell in, and not many time’s I stood up and surfed the wave.

Later, everyone had to bring there board’s back.

Luckily I had my boogie board.  I could still have fun, which was alright.

Later we went back to the house we were staying at.  Everyone had a rest after the day.

In a while we had dinner and went to bed.


It was Thursday morning and I went down stairs to have breakfast.  Mom, and my youngest sister, Olive were watching TV.

After breakfast I sat down to fully wake up.  Just then I remembered it was dad’s birthday today.

My other sister, Nadine came down the stair’s, yawning.

When dad woke up, everyone started packing up because we were leaving Agnes Waters and we were going to the beach too.

When we arrived at the beach, we met some of the people that did the surfing.

We had fun on are boogie board, catching wave’s and falling off the board.   I had lot’s of fun.

Later we got everything in the car.  We had lunch and soon left to go to Hervey Bay.

It was a long, long, drive to Bundaberg.  We only stopped to fuel up the car.  While dad fueled up the car, Nadine, Olive, mom and I had something to eat.  When dad hopped in the car we hit the road again.

A while later, we arrived at Childers.  We just drove strait past Childers.

Soon, we arrived at Hervey Bay.

We were exploring while trying to find the place we were staying at.  Quicker than I expected, we found the house.   But we had to wait for a bit, so we went down to the beach to see what it was like.

Soon we went to see if the man was there.  He was there, waiting for us.He gave us the keys, we drove the car in and had a sit down.  When we went in, we had a sit down.

Later we went to have dinner at a place with a superhero sign.  Nadine and I had pizza.  It was delicious.

Someone was having a birthday cake there.

Soon we went back to the house we were staying at.  Then we went to bed.


I woke up what seemed early, but I was the last one to wake up.  I was really  exited because we were going to a water park.

Dad said he was going to have a sleep.

When we arrived at the water park, it looked awesome.  But the water was cold.

My first go down I was frozen.  I wasn’t cold on my second go.

Nadine decided to have a go and there was a big bucket of water and she was frozen, like I was.

We had lot’s of fun playing.

Later dad arrived.  Nadine and I had a quick chat and then kept playing.

A while later we went home and dad rode a bike while we drove to the house.

We met dad a few minute’s after we arrived.  Everyone went to have a rest when we got inside.

Soon dad went to get some pizza at the place with the superhero sign.

In about half-an-hour dad came back with delicious pizza.

When we finished, we went to bed.


I woke up early, for once, but everyone was really busy.  We were very, very busy.

We brought everything out to the car and into the car.

Later we were ready to go.  So off we went home.  Which was far, far away.

We went throw the rest of Hervey Bay.  Soon we went back throw Childers.  A little while later we went back throw Bundaberg.  About half-an-hour later, we arrived at a place called Gin Gin.  We had lunch there,  then left.  Another while later, we went back throw Miriam Vale and soon Benaraby.  Are next stop was home.

I was glad to be back home.  , as soon as we got out of the car we saw a parcel.  And it was for me, because tomorrow was my birthday.  Then I checked the mail, and there was mail for me.

I was so happy, I couldn’t wait to open everything.  We enjoyed the rest of the day.  Oh, and my birthday.

http://harkness.id.au/2015/05/our-trip/feed/ 0
The Boy and The Alien http://harkness.id.au/2015/03/the-boy-and-the-alien/ http://harkness.id.au/2015/03/the-boy-and-the-alien/#respond Sat, 21 Mar 2015 11:08:33 +0000 http://harkness.id.au/?p=78 A story written over a year ago, rediscovered…

The Boy and The Alien, by Rory Harkness
Space Ship Dreams


*  Doesn’t work on phones/tablets.

http://harkness.id.au/2015/03/the-boy-and-the-alien/feed/ 0
Roll the Dice Book Review http://harkness.id.au/2015/03/roll-the-dice-book-review/ http://harkness.id.au/2015/03/roll-the-dice-book-review/#comments Thu, 19 Mar 2015 02:37:02 +0000 http://harkness.id.au/?p=60 Book reviews with a reluctant writer.

Many books are read in our house in any given week.  Close proximity to our local library saves us a fortune.  Especially, once children reach the age of only wanting to read a book once.  Unlike the younger ones, who latch onto a favorite and have you read and reread them for weeks or months. Fantasy and Fairy-tales are current favourites.

We discussed various way of recording our reviews. I printed off some child friendly review sheets, but the option with a dice won outright.

To begin our book review journey, we decided to keep our books short. The type you can read and discuss in 10-20mins.  Remember, I’m trying to encourage a kids who thinks writing is one of life’s great wastes of his precious youth.

Rory our avid reader, always prefers to do the reading.  We follow by  spending a few minutes discussing the theme, characters, setting, morals etc. The it play time!


3 wooden dices wooden cube wooden block wood toy eco - wood toy eco friendly craft for kids-f39730

Roll the Dice Book Review

We use a series of 18 questions, divided into 3 groups.

Phase 1-Before Reading

Phase 2-During Reading,

Phase3 -After Reading

Each player rolls the dice and answers the corresponding question.  We have started with one question each per person, per phase.  Aiming to increase to two questions each per phase over time.

Roll again if both players land on the same number. This way you will experience a comprehensive discussion/review.

Before Reading

  1. Does the title give you any clues?
  2. What do you think you will learn from reading this book?
  3. What do you think the book is about?
  4. What does the blurb tell you?
  5. What kind of book is it?
  6. Are there pictures on the cover? What do they show you?

During Reading

  1. What has happened so far?
  2. what do you dislike about the book so far?
  3. what do you think will happen next?
  4. What do you like about the book so far
  5. What would you do?
  6. Where is the story set?

After Reading

  1. How did the book end?
  2. What did you think about the ending?
  3. What was the story about?
  4. What was the main theme of the story?
  5. What have you learnt from the story?
http://harkness.id.au/2015/03/roll-the-dice-book-review/feed/ 1
African Bullfrog http://harkness.id.au/2015/03/african-bullfrog/ http://harkness.id.au/2015/03/african-bullfrog/#respond Wed, 18 Mar 2015 05:54:29 +0000 http://harkness.id.au/?p=46 Scientific name:  Pyxicephalus  Adspursus.

The bullfrog can weigh up to 2 kilos.  Just like most animals, the male is larger than the female.  The male can grow up to 24 cm long and the female can grow up to 12 cm long.  The  bullfrogs skin color is dull green .  The male has a yellow throat and the female has a cream throat.  The bullfrog has very strong hind legs to dig holes in the ground.

During the dry season the bullfrog makes a cocoon to survive the heat and so it doesn’t die.  The frog can survive in the cocoon for several months.  When the rainy season starts, the water soaks the cocoon.  Later, when the cocoon is nice and soft , the bullfrog eats it.

HABITAT:  The bullfrog is mostly found in waterholes in the countries of Malawi, Zambia, Nigeria, Somalia, Mozambique, Angola, South Africa, Kenya, Rhodesia ( which is now Zimbabwe) Tanzania  and Sudan.


Where the African Bullfrog lives

Where the African Bullfrog lives

DIET:  The African bullfrog is carnivorous ( Carnivorous means carnivore).  It feeds on anything it can fit in its mouth, such as insects, small rodents, reptiles, birds and amphibians ( including other frogs).

REPRODUCTION: The African bullfrog lays 3000 eggs to 4000 eggs in shallow water.  The eggs are 2 mm long.  They are black and white and have a 4 mm jelly capsule around them.  The eggs hatch 2 days after they are laid.  18 days after they have hatched, the little frogs are 20 mm long and are able to leave the water to live on dry land.

After that happens, they are known eat each other.  Unfortunately, only 20 out of 100 females survive this way.

BEHAVIOR: The bullfrog is known to jump at animals and humans.  Because of its sharp teeth its bite can be very serious.  When the bullfrog grunts, it sounds like a deep low moo.

http://harkness.id.au/2015/03/african-bullfrog/feed/ 0
Rory’s Rising Water in a Jar http://harkness.id.au/2015/02/rorys-rising-water-in-a-jar/ http://harkness.id.au/2015/02/rorys-rising-water-in-a-jar/#respond Sat, 28 Feb 2015 02:18:07 +0000 http://harkness.id.au/?p=39

Hello, this experiment is cool, so i think you should have a go at it.   I was going to do it outside but cyclone Marcia decided to come and kept blowing out the matches.  So i did it inside.  I hope  you will have fun trying this experiment.

http://harkness.id.au/2015/02/rorys-rising-water-in-a-jar/feed/ 0