Sunday, 23 September 2007

Learning with Library Books

Although we've not visited the Rotorua Library as often as I'd like, we have at least increased the volume of books we borrow at each visit.

As part of their learning to read/library experience I record the books DS1 reads, and then when DD1 reads, hopefully I'm still doing it and can record the books she reads, etc. If anything it's just a fun exercise to keep track of DS's reading achievements to date.

It's always encouraging to have friends around who give comforting feedback when you feel you're doing a slack job. I feel like Term III came and went with nothing to show for it. Perhaps I'm still in the mindset of comparing to the public school system. Nah, more than likely it's because I don't really know what he's meant to be achieving at this grade. Plus the fact I'm starting to panic about applying for his exemption. On top of that, I have nana and koro asking "Have you done your schoolwork today? What did you learn?..." However, I seem to have regained some of my determinedness for Term IV, so hopefully I'll have things better sorted in my head this term eh?

One valuable lesson I have been teaching is how to pay for our bills online. The kids all have an appreciation of money and have never once grumbled when I have had to disappoint them by saying "we can't have this, or we can't do that ..." They have taken it in their stride and moved past it. DS1 understands we need power, phone and gas and has watched as I show him on the computer how to pay for bills. "See, this is daddy's pay from last night. So that means we have this amount available at the moment. When we pay this account we will see the amount available will change ..." Yes, he understood all that and watches where I place the paid account.

Later, his question to me is "if you put money in the bank, how do they make money off your money?" ... ie interest! Oh blimey, I have to figure that one out son! He hears me muttering constantly the amount we pay in bank fees already, so he's certainly understanding the concept of money to a certain extent I suspect.

We were talking about something the other day ... to do with history. [Oh that's right, we have restarted Story of the World]. Why's that? Well, DD1 has taken more of an interest (or is grasping a better understanding of things) so I tried to read from SOTW1 and we discussed how we might find old journals, diaries etc to learn of someone's history. The children are well aware I keep a daily diary, and have done since I was about 8-10 years old. DS1 even has his own "diary" he keeps ... sporadically; granted - but he keeps a little note of his daily activities when he can! So, DS1 asks why doesn't everyone write a diary? How will people know what their history is if you don't leave a diary?

In the children's daily play, I am constantly entertained and amazed at their cleverness. For example, DS1 and DD1 were dressing up some of their toys and DS1 complimented the toy by saying, "you look very distinguished!" Both DS1 and DD1 carried on playing, popping this word in every now and then - completely in context, so without wishing to burst their bubble when I asked if they knew what it meant, I gladly accepted their definition and carried on being entertained with their thought-provoking play.

So, yes, I am glad to be reminded that the children are doing fine, that they do learn from reading, listening to others and watching everything in their environment.

I sure am glad to know we're doing okay! I needed a bit of boosting and I think this post has done just that.

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano