Monday, 31 March 2008

Dental Visit

This picture was inspired by our visit to the dental nurse at Ohinemutu this morning. (It really is a pity that the paper we have is bigger than A4 to scan in one go.) Double click as always to get a better view.

DS1 made such a great effort with his artwork. Considering the three of them all require fillings!!!! Boo jolly hoo! It was great to think he was inspired to draw as soon as he got in the door.

Daddy and I have known for months that DS2 would most certainly require fillings, but it came as quite a disappointing shock to discover DS1 and DD1 will need work also. As much as Misa wants to get them in quickly, we asked to make the appointments to fall after DD1's birthday on Thursday. I didn't want anyone upset before then. So, this Friday, DS1 will be the very first of our children to have a filling. What a momentous occasion.

Anyway DS1 was keen to get his work hung in the upstairs bathroom "so everyone will know the rules" he told me!

Bit of a bonus visiting the dental surgery ... the kids all got a new toothbrush each. Most excellent! Now they want to keep one toothbrush upstairs for night-time and another downstairs for after breakfast and lunch. Makes a lot of sense I guess huh?!

I really tried to encourage the children to learn more about what's happening with their baby teeth. Misa was kind enough to go into great detail using the sample teeth. The kids and I were very interested to learn the importance of looking after baby teeth, and having visual aids always makes a difference doesn't it?

I will try to do a longer post in a few days time to discuss school some more ---> once I've got my second Latin assignment away. It's due on Wednesday so fast post it will be for me!!!

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

Friday, 28 March 2008

quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditu

I thought I'd take a break from my studies to get a very quick post together before an entire term passes by and I regret not making the time to record their work.

The past fortnight has been spent trying to find a good balance for school, university studies, work in and around our property as well as enjoying being a family. We've also had to farewell friends as they continue on their homeschooling journey in another city. They have left Rotorua for Kirikiriroa (Hamilton), in the Waikato area of New Zealand. For anyone interested in Googling it, I'd suggest popping in Hamilton, New Zealand as I'd imagine you might take a long-winded route if you put in Kirikiriroa.

The children and I have enjoyed the Easter break with daddy being home for the first time in probably 6 or 7 years. Being self-employed can have some major drawbacks (especially if your business isn't successful ... which ours wasn't!!!!) So the children and I finally spent an Easter break with daddy home and we truly made the most of it. For starters, our pool may not be fully finished, but the children had the opportunity to finally get in and have their first attempts at swimming: so that's definitely schooling! They have also helped dad with the construction of the first stages of a fence; they've used string lines, shovels, hammers, nails, measuring tape and helped with the quantity surveying even! DS2 especially was into climbing the ladder and banging nails into the fence! We've all learned the difference between posts, railings and palings now! So that's all schooling, isn't it?! The children have learned about boundaries and how they are defined with something like a fence. For so long they have taken advantage of the 5 acres behind our property as there's been no fence to define what is, and isn't actually ours. So now they know they can still play on the 5 acres, but they understand more clearly what is "our space, our home".

DS1 is working on geography and as I'm studying Hinduism he has found the Indus River, so he has a better comprehension of what region I'm referring to when I discuss things I'm learning about. Funnily enough, it has emphasised more clearly for him where the Himalaya are and more importantly Mt Everest. When New Zealand mourned the loss of our great Sir Edmund Hilary, we did some work on who "Ed" was and his great accomplishments. As part of that we looked at the Atlas to see where Mt Everest is etc and now that I'm studying something to do with that region, he has something more substantial to tie his understanding together.

A lot of DS1's artwork has been designing lately. Here's just one of his efforts:

From the road he's made the driveway which connects to a path and of course leads to the house. Yes, you'd be correct in assuming the green is the grass area (landscaped by the looks of it!) and the brown you can hopefully make out is the deck which if I could get a better photo you would see runs along the ground level of the house. He used an overhead projection sheet to make windows on the sides (not shown in photo), a balcony on the first level with a seat of course! and a set of stairs going up either side of the balcony!!!

I swear, he must dream of these designs because in the morning he's straight to his papers, pens, scissors and sticky tape and that's it; we don't hear a peep out of him until he's accomplished his task. (This is before he has breakfast!!)

Now, if I could just channel that enthusiasm to other subjects! lol ...

DD1 enjoys her Math-U-See. It won't be long before she's finished Primer, but I'm not rushing her to finish the book just for the sake of saying it's finished. She won't be moving into Alpha until we're quite sure everything is mastered in Primer. She also picks up pen and paper to practice her writing skills and I'm very, very happy with her progress. It's only six days to her fifth birthday, so the rest of the week will be spent preparing, discussing and organising her birthday most likely!

Well, there's probably a screed of information missed out here, but time is precious and there's only so long one can be away from the books. I have my second Latin assignment due in five days so my weekend is going to be very busy trying to catch up with that. But the reason I mention my studies, is to show that I have used myself as an example to DS1 this week to explain that we are always learning. As I said to him, "I'm 42 and I'm STILL learning!!!" (I've used this example to him when he gets hoha about doing some schoolwork, and it seems to have worked!)

When I received my first assignment back I showed the children how my teacher has marked it and what I received for my effort. They now see how the process works ... I sit and study at home, do my assignment, fill out a cover sheet and a self-addressed envelope, we pop it in the post and put the red flag up so Maylene our postie picks it up and within a week I receive (1) confirmation they have received my assignment because I receive the self-addressed envelope and then (2) a few days later the assignment comes back and I have my mark out of 8% ... and I discuss some maths with them. (I have 5 assignments; they are worth 8% each, so now that I have my first assignment back and received 7.5% I need to achieve ...... you get the idea)

And there you have it: everday life is full of learning ....

And, just in case you're wondering what the title to this post means:

Whatever is said in Latin, sounds profound

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Small World

I wasn't sure whether to add this short note to my previous posting about my extramural adventure, but I'll just write a short one here to say "hey, what a small world!"

Near enough a month ago I bought a Latin Minimus book from a lady on the homeschooling buy sell yahoo group Harvest and little did I know at the time that she lived right here in Rotorua. She lives on the western side of the lake and we're on the east, so we're practically neighbours. Well, would you believe she's also in my Latin extramural class?


What's the chances huh?

It really is a small world after all!

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

Sunday, 16 March 2008

Hopeless with routines but why it's time to start

I have never been one to ever follow a routine properly but this week we will need to change that (when I say "we", I mean "me"!!!)

Now that my own extramural university studies are underway I have already had a LONG, and trying week! I've had to get my first Latin assignment away. Come 2.30 Friday morning I found myself downstairs working on it. By 5.30am I needed to get back to sleep. Of course I had to get up with the kids within a few hours of that which was fine. I had my two cups of coffee to find that "kick" I needed and as I checked my assignment I realised just in the nick of time that I hadn't completed the last question properly. I had corrected the sentences, but I hadn't translated them!!! But luckily I had it finished in time for the mail carrier to take with her at 9.30am. Phew! So, it should arrive in time for the deadline of Monday!

The reason I have mentioned my studies is to indicate the importance of routine ... if you can find a good method and stick to it, then things will hopefully click into place. Okay, I'm stating the obvious there! No doubt there are better organisers than myself and I take my hat off to them. I myself have determined that the only thing I can do is "try" to stick to a routine. A simple little word, yet it's a toughy to accomplish sometimes. With littlies who can sense a change in the air, they know instinctively it's time to tell mum 'if you think you're gonna do some study mum, you've got another thing coming'.

Oh dear, it's only early stages of Semester One yet I'm already thinking 'What have you done Maree?' But then I look at the wee faces around me, think of where I want to be in five to ten years time and think of the time that has past already. This is the time to do it, I can't turn back the clock, I can only look forward. Sleepless nights, I'm used to them, so it's just a matter of studying on tired feet and head for that goal. [My goal may be a few years away yet!!!! But oh well, I've at least started. One has to start somewhere and I can at least say I'm off the starting blocks.]

At first the plan was to keep quiet about my studies; y'know, just in case I didn't do too well then nobody but the family would know. But then I realised, no, I need to share the news with everyone because without the awhi (support) from others I will find it too hard to work on my own sometimes ... I need only remind myself where Rob and I got keeping our business/financial troubles to ourselves!!! Carrying burdens is exhausting and destructive. I said 2008 would follow on from our commitment to a new life in 2007, and getting back to my studies is exactly in keeping to that commitment.

I'm excited to be sharing in the children's education and I hope to be an inspiration to them by furthering my own education. We share the same table at times to work on our studies, so I do hope they aim high and appreciate the beauty of homeschooling, as much as I appreciate the beauty of extramural studies!

More than likely I will discuss my own studies on our private family blog, but I wanted to add something into the school blog to let you know that although I don't blog regularly, "I" am the reason why the posts may become few and far between!! and also to acknowledge life is a continual road of education.

Encouragement is key, whether it comes from
others or just myself.

I know where life has been but now it's time to be excited
about where life is heading!

BTW: If you're wondering ... BA in Philosophy!

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

Friday, 7 March 2008

And how was your week?

We had one of those muddled weeks this week. The kids basically had freedom of choice while mum scrubbed the house as if she were expecting royalty. A bit of maths here, lots of drawing there, plenty of outside play and birthday card making.

So here's a quick recap of the week that was:
  • This time last week I celebrated my 42nd birthday. I love my birthdays and this year was no exception. The greatest thing about this one however was having the children make a fuss over me and reminding me birthdays are about blowing out candles on your cake, having home-made cards and playing outside all day.
  • Spending Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday preparing the house for the overnight stay of a family friend.
  • Wednesday night through to Thursday afternoon - spent enjoying our guests. Steve was my third brother's best friend at school and like most friends of ours, he spent a LOT of time at our house. Well, since those days he's moved overseas, married a beautiful Slovakian, has an equally beautiful baby girl and currently resides in Oman, with every outlook of moving to Jordan after that. What an absolute blast to catch up with him again.
  • My third brother that I mentioned celebrates his 45th birthday today and the lucky devil has even managed to swing a day off work to spend with Steve who headed up to Auckland yesterday. I can just imagine the pair of them today - recapturing their youth and probably embellishing on silly stories ... as you do!!!!
  • Having made a decision to make my own tertiary education a priority, I received the first of my two extramural papers ... get this! I'm attempting (1) Latin; and (2) Hinduism & Buddhism!!!! Wish me luck! I'm definitely going to need it. It was all the way back in 1999 when I started my extramural studies through Massey University. And then we started the first of our two businesses so I thought I'd put my studies on hold while we got them underway ... and then the kids started to come along ... excuses, excuses. But now I realise it's time to get back into it. So here I am, starting afresh and hopefully I'll be the inspiration to our children like I've always wanted to be. Extramural I may be for the next year or two, but with a bit of luck I will be full-time if all goes well sooner rather than later. My goal is to (1) Graduate!!!!; and (2) Take our family overseas and continue our homeschooling journey wherever we may be.
There have been other small things happening through the week, but those are the important ones.

Now, before you think I've forgotten this is our school blog and not the family blog, I'll throw in a couple of examples of the children's work.

DS1 has been working on the "9 wants to be a 10" and "8 wants to be a 10" with MUS -> which, by the way, if you haven't cottoned on yet, I love Math-U-See. Now, for anyone who may be familiar with a BBC programme called Numberjacks, I can vouch that I have used a concept of that programme to help me to explain the "9 (or 8) wants to be a 10". Numberjacks has a character known as The NumberTaker. Pretty self-explanatory really ... he likes to take numbers. Anyway, to cut a long story short, I would indicate the "9" is the NumberTaker and he takes "1" from the next number, so now he's "10" and away we went. I'll throw in a pic of DD1's math and one of her favourite characters from Numberjacks "Spooky Spoon".

To me, anything that helps get the understanding across is all good. I can honestly say it has helped my own addition comprehension. Now, if only I can find handy things like that for my own studies eh!!!!

Oh, and the last thing I wanted to mention was this ... our family friend Steve is doing his Masters (in Education) this year. Neither Steve, nor his wife Veronika (a primary school teacher) had a negative thing to say to me about our choice of homeschooling. I guess that's mainly due to the family-friend relationship, but they were well impressed with what things they saw, heard or spoke to the children about. They were well chuffed when DS1 recited the entire Owl and the Pussy Cat for starters!!!

DS1 has spent the past week or two designing things ... I'm really impressed how he's learned to hold, use and create with the ruler. You know what I mean? Going from the ruler shifting as he tries to draw a line, or digging a hole into the paper as he tried to press against an object, or basically not accomplishing that straight line as he wanted. Wow, that's one of the great reasons I homeschool ... to see these things develop. Beautiful. Anyway, here's a glimpse at just "one" of his designs, or inventions. Maybe I should put a copyright on it, lol!

Well done son!

This weekend I will be focusing on defining the art-form of "Preparation". I've been hopeless to date with routines and preparation for school, but now that I have my own studies to throw into the mix, it's time to establish a proper timetable ... yuck!

Anyway, thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano