Monday, 13 October 2008

The start of a new week

Well, this week's school kicked off to a good start. Having completed Alpha, tama 1 used the MUS online drill for his lessons today. We're not in a position to buy Beta for a few more weeks so we will make the most of the online drills in the interim. He thought that because he'd finished Alpha, he wouldn't be doing maths today!!!! Ha ha ha ... Good one, e tama!!!

As for Tamāhine 1, she may have only completed one page - Systematic Review 9C - but we made good use of the blocks which meant the lesson took quite a long time. The blocks can be time-consuming (but please, I'm not saying that I find them a pain! Quite the contrary) the blocks are a great tool when trying to explain a new concept. They are also a fun toy for tama 2 even if they do create a little tension as he 'builds' something while tamāhine 1 is trying to use them, lol.

A pattern is emerging that straight after maths we go outside for fresh air and rejuvanation. So from 10 o'clock through to 10.15-10.30ish we fill our lungs before returning to our next lesson which is reading. Today tama 1 read at the kitchen bench as I prepared lunch. He chose Minnie and Moo - Will You Be My Valentine? by Denys Cazet. He laughed many times throughout the story which gave me great joy to see him enjoying his reading. Tamāhine 1 carried on with Reading Eggs, Level 1, Lesson 4. I used some of the story books for her handwriting practice again which not only makes it easy for me to choose what to give her, but acts as a little revision from her reading lessons. Her handwriting is improving by the day and I like the fact she will concentrate her efforts to produce the best she can each time.

I gave Tama 1 a spelling drill. (Does that sound nicer than 'test'?) I threw in two of the words from last week's words; satellite and atmosphere. He got everything correct today. Tau kē (awesome).

Te Reo Māori was held outside. (As an aside; when I take the babies for a walk I usually get the children to take it in turns to walk a few laps each with me and then ride their bikes so we can revise any work we may have covered.) Today I wanted to kōrero māori. We covered colours, formal and informal greetings, numbers, commands (eg, e tū - stand up, e noho - sit down, e oma - run, whakarongo mai - listen, titiro mai - look). Half an hour to an hour later we not only learned vocab, but we also got plenty of exercise in at the same time. Sticking with vocab is where I'm comfortable at the moment. I don't actually want to introduce sentence structure or the like yet. Ngā Pūrākau me Ngā Pakiwaitara - Myths and legends have yet to be introduced. I want more vocab under their belt yet before stepping into that field.

Tikanga (protocol) not only covers tangihanga, greetings, pōwhiri etc but also the customs which are part and parcel of daily activity which can be easily forgotten. Things which are tapu and noa - like not placing body parts on tables where food is placed for example, or washing your kākahu (clothes) with towels, yet are necessary reminders that you are in fact teaching them something cultural. They have become so well ingrained in daily life that you simply don't think to 'teach' them as a form of cultural custom sometimes. As a parallel, religion has traditions which if you were brought up in it since day dot, you simply take them for granted also. They can bring challenges too, ie when your child asks "why?" you can't exactly reply 'that's just the way it is' just because you're tired or struggle to have a definitive explanation now can you? You have to be prepared and yowza! I have to dig deep sometimes to find good definitions.... do you follow what I'm saying at all? Well, I mean, you can't really say 'that's just the way it is,' goodness me no, you have to be able to back up your belief system with facts that they can understand. Hmm, maybe I should've paid better attention at Sunday School? I'm not even explaining myself very well here ... must be too late at night. I shall leave this in however as it's my ramblings which generates good conversation with friends and family upon reading my posts, lol.

Now, before I completely forget, I must mention that tamāhine 1 read a few pages from a library book called "The Best Way to Play" by Bill Cosby. I can remember tama 1 read this book ... but much later on in his reading abilities. I grabbed the book thinking he could read it again, but funnily enough tamāhine 1 decided to have a go at reading it. Some very big words for her to tackle so I suggested she stop after only a couple of pages and revisit the book later on. She enjoys reading and I although I think the book is a toughy, I will encourage her to read it in its entirity, but in chunks so as to keep her enthusiasm for reading alive.

Again, I've probably rambled there. I can't blame it on listening to Vivaldi as I typed this post. Nope, I'm definitely convinced it's because I'm tired now, lol. DEFINITELY a sign to say good night then!!!

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

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