Monday, 9 May 2016

Free Printable: The Busy Mom's Totally Awesome Number Bonds Worksheets

bonds of ten
I sometimes feel like I am drowning in homework - Mr Pieman's homework, that is!

A couple of weeks ago I posted my handwriting practise pages, and the response was so good, I decided to add my number bonds and number line worksheets to the collection of free printables.

This pack includes Number bonds of 10 and 20, as well as some basic "teens" sums, number bonds of 100 in tens, and number lines to 10 and 20.

Hope you find them useful - let me know in the comments!

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

South African School Calendar and Public Holidays 2017 (with mini-break suggestions)

Is it May already?  How is that even possible?  It was only last week that I was frantically rushing around trying to find school uniform for Mr Pieman's first year in "Big School"!

I just know that I'm going to blink three times and it will be October again, so in case I forget, here's the proposed South African School Calendar for 2017.

School Terms 2017

Term 1                  11 January - 31 March
Term 2                  18 April - 30 June
Term 3                  24 July - 29 September
Term 4                  9 October - 6 December

Public Holidays 2017

1 January - New Year’s Day (Sunday)
# 2 January - New Year’s Day Observed (Monday)
20 March - School holiday (Monday)
21 March - Human Rights Day (Tuesday)
14 April - Good Friday (Friday)
17 April - Family Day (Monday)
27 April - Freedom Day (Thursday)
1 May - Workers’ Day (Monday)
2 May - School holiday (Tuesday)
16 June - Youth Day (Friday)
9 August - National Women’s Day (Tuesday)
24 September - Heritage Day (Sunday)
# 25 September - Heritage Day Observed (Monday)
16 December- Day of Reconciliation (Friday)
25 December- Christmas Day (Monday)
26 December -Day of Goodwill (Tuesday)

# Denotes holidays to be confirmed

Mini-break suggestions:

·         18 March (Saturday) – 21 March (Tuesday)
·         14 April (Friday) – 17 April (Monday) (Easter Weekend)
·         27 April (Friday)  – 2 May  (Tuesday)
·         16 June (Friday) – 18 June (Sunday)

·         22 September (Saturday) – 25 September (Monday)

Click here to go to the official SA Goverment School Calendar site

The Busy Mom's Top FREE Online Homework Helpers

When I was a kid, researching a school project required hours at the library digging around in catalogue drawers and asking grumpy librarians for help, or (if I was lucky) making friends with someone who had a complete set of the Encyclopedia Britannica at home.

And then came the Internet...ah, the blessed Internet!  (Kids nowadays don't know how good they have it!)  Even so, finding what you are looking for can take time. In my house we are usually short on time and long on procrastination when it comes to exams and projects.

Also, I suck at math.  As in really suck at it.  If math was a survival requirement I would have kicked the bucket before I left high school. At age 42 I still can't do long division or fractions, so Sweetpea's Gr 6 math is way beyond my capabilities.


The e-classroom website is chock-full of practice papers and worksheets all focussed on the the South African CAPS curriculum.  All government schools and many private schools follow the CAPS curriculum, and the e-classroom website has material from Grades R to 12.

You do need to subscribe, but it is free and I haven't received mounds of spam after subscribing.

I absolutely love this site.


Wikipedia made those Encyclopedia Britannica "friends" obsolete. I don't know how I got through school without it.

Wkipedia is easy to navigate and search, and is a widely accepted and trusted source.  It even gives an indication of the quality of the article, provides disambiguation pages, and  tells you how to cite Wikipedia articles in your projects.

Wikipedia also has a mobile app available from the Google Play Store for Android devices and iTunes for Apple.

Khan Academy

Khan Academy is my math problem salvation.  It is an interactive,  video-based education tool providing instructional material and exercises on a huge range of topics.  I even used it myself when I was too embarrassed to ask a much smarter colleague what "amortization" meant!

The real benefit of Khan Academy is that your child can learn at his or her own pace, and go over the same material over and over until they understand it.  Its interactive and fun, and the material is fantastic. Like Wikepedia, Khan Academy apps are also available on Android and iOS.

If you want to learn more about the origins of Khan Academy, what this inspiring TED Talk by its founder, Salman Khan.

What are your best tips for homework help?  Let us know in the comments below!