Wednesday, 26 November 2008

I plum forgot the International Space Station

Such a pity! I would have really enjoyed listening to the Wairarapa Home Schooling Association speaking with ISS.

I remembered at 12 o'clock, I remembered at 2 o'clock ... and then I didn't think of it again until 5 o'clock!!!!! No excuses, I just simply forgot.

What a pity indeed.

Mathematics
I was especially pleased with tamāhine 1's recall with her subtraction. She stumbled at first to work out (for example) 14 - 9 = ____, but after a little help she got into the swing of things and then surprised me just how quickly she could answer the remaining questions. (Oh, BTW, she hasn't used blocks or her fingers for weeks.)

Language Arts
Tama 1 enjoyed his Language Arts lesson this afternoon. He had 20 questions and he recognised all grammar points. I was very pleased because we haven't practiced these in recent times. He had adjectives, verbs, nouns, adverbs and prepositions.

Well, just a short post this evening. I'm feeling rather tired tonight so my brain is turning to jelly.

The children and I are waiting for whaiāipo to come home. He went back to a restaurant which he worked on before finishing tonight, but because they're a restaurant, it would've been inconvenient to turn their water off. Although it's only a 5-10 minute job, whaiāipo figured he'd go back around 8 when it was quieter and finish the job then.

He's now rung to say he's on his way home (yay!) and I'd like to get the children to bed as soon as he gets home. It's 20 to 9 and we're all still downstairs. When whaiāipo was self-employed, we would ALWAYS wait downstairs for him to come home. Quite often the children would all fall asleep down here and I would have to carry them upstairs to bed. It never bothered me though, because it shows how much the children love their daddy and are concerned for him to get home to his whānau.


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ka kite ano

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station

TUNE IN TODAY !!!!

I've copied the exact message Barbara has sent out as she explains it quite clearly. Follow the link at the bottom for further details.

It looks like this is the first home schooling group in the World to
have this opportunity:

Amateur Radio on the International Space Station

Wednesday 26th November 2008 at the moment 3:27pm

This Wednesday, 11 school children from the Wairarapa Home Schooling
Association will ask questions of an astronaut on the International
Space Station via Amateur Radio, in what will be New Zealand's second
organised contact, though it is number 387 for the ISS. It also
appears to be the 1st time a group of home-schoolers have contacted
the ISS. Typically, the time allowed for questions is about 10
minutes, and in this time, up to 15 questions can be asked and replies
given. The questions are of general interest.

The astronaut the children will be speaking to is American Radio
Amateur Mike Finke (KE5AET), this is Mike's 2nd expedition on the ISS.
Mike is a very keen amateur radio operator and has operated from
space before. He is one of 9 astronauts on the space station at
present. The International Space station orbits the earth every 90
minutes at an altitude of 370 km at a speed of 27,000 km/hour. The
Space Shuttle Endeavour docked with the ISS on Monday 17th November,
and is scheduled to stay docked to the ISS for 14 days before
returning to earth.

To read more and to find out how you can listen in go to:

http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/KiwiSmithFamily/

or

http://www.homeschoolblogger.com/NewZealand/

or

http://hef.org.nz/2008/amateur-radio-on-the-international-space-station/

Sorry for the late notice, but I haven't been checking my emails for a few days. Hopefully somebody out there manages to read it in time to join in. I hope the kids and I don't miss it.

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

One, two, three. four, five ...

How many pips, e tama?

It's hard to believe that our little man will be turning four on Thursday! Wow, it just doesn't seem possible and yet of course it is.

He brings me so much joy and laughter. Like when I watch him riding his pushbike I just smile from ear to ear. He skids to a halt just like his six-year old brother and five-year old sister. Tama 1 may now ride without hands (and for some distance too I hasten to add), but tama 2 won't be far behind in achieving this skill. He's able to ride with one hand and his latest thrill is to ride side-saddle down the hills!!! Such is the daredevil in him.

He's very independent and refuses assistance when offered and as many of you know, his speech is slow in coming, however, each day we have new vocabulary sneaking in which is definitely pleasing to us all.

The above photo is a typical example where he doesn't appreciate assistance. He will happily start adding 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ... but sometimes he may forget or skip 6 or 7 so if we try to correct him he will shake his head and say, "no, no, no...." and then start over again. He also likes to "play" you too. He'll start adding (or saying the alphabet) and at any given moment he'll pretend to have forgotten the following number or letter but flick you a wry smile as if to say, "well, c'mon ... are yah gonna 'tell' me the next one?" and before you can do so he quickly says the correct number or letter and continues; all the while smiling knowing he "bluffed" you!!!!

A very cheeky character indeed is our tama 2. He will definitely be the child to make you laugh ... and make you wonder if he' s fibbing or telling the truth.

Tama 2 loves to get into his schoolwork each day. As soon as the opportunity presents itself, he will nab the computer wanting his turn. The last couple of days he's made himself comfortable on the chair and attempts to dictate to me what he wants to do. Although I will giggle to myself, I remind him whose boss (yeah, right!) and when he's happy with his choice, he's away. As soon as he's had enough, he'll grab the colouring-in equipment and create something, or simply head outdoors and find something to entertain himself.

As for tama 3 , well, he's changing his sleeping pattern at the moment so we're having to adjust/tweak/alter our schedule. Today's schedule was very much a repeat of yesterday simply because it worked so well and I was quite sure tama 3 would still be trying to settle into a new routine.

As long as we try to get a hikoi or two in, we're happy. It is always well utilised because we discuss many things as we venture around the track, so whether the children realise it or not, we're still holding classes even though it just seems as if we're having a general chit-chat.

Every Monday to Friday at 3.45pm we hear the school bus come to a stop a few houses along from us. A definite indication that Joel is home. The children will do their best to compete their mahi by 4 o'clock because from any time thereafter Joel will be over to see if the kids can play. Today however, Joel was here within seconds of the bus dropping him off. He appeared to be in a fluster so I immediately asked if everything was okay. "Yeah, but I've got my exams tomorrow and I wanted to know if I could borrow some stuff."

"Of course you may! What do you need?"

And then as quickly as he arrived he was off again............


............. "Mum? What's an exam?" tama 1 asks .....


That was pretty much the end of our school day once we finished that discussion!


Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

Monday, 24 November 2008

The weather may not have been the greatest, but the children's mahi was

What do I have on my toast in the morning?

I honestly didn't notice the label said "Mo-mite" !!! It was whaiāipo who pointed it out to me.
"The Movember event raises awareness around men's health issues and funds for carefully selected beneficiary partners that are also charitable organisations, with a focus on prostate cancer and depression in men.

Since its inception as a formal charity in 2004 Movember has raised over $30 million globally, significantly increased awareness of prostate cancer and depression in the community, and is continuously working to change the attitude men have about their health."
I'm not convinced I could handle seeing whaiāipo with a moustache!!!! But the cause is certainly commendable.

We had [literally] no sooner finished parakuihi when Whaarangi from Tipu Ora arrived. I hadn't done my dishes, but at least the table had been cleared and cleaned, lol. Whaarangi is one of only a handful of people in my life that I am relaxed enough to warmly welcome into my kāinga having known me through the financial struggle period whaiāipo and myself battled with for too many years to remember now.

Whaarangi has been a God-send to me. A true kaitiaki, whether in her capacity of employment, or as the kuia I never had. I am blessed to have her in my life. With a deep and beautiful wairua (spirit), we connect on many levels for which I am eternally grateful. My prayers are with her at the moment because one of her children is dying of cancer. He is only 49 - the same age as my eldest brother. It is unimaginable to me to think that such a young life can be taken, so my heart and aroha are with Whaarangi during this difficult time....

Well, that makes it hard to change subjects doesn't it? ....

School got underway with Mathematics.

I'm determined to keep maths as the starting lesson for each day because it's one subject I can have tamāhine 1 and tama 1 work on independently, allowing me to tend to the babies and/or anything requiring my attention. Tamāhine 1 will come to me when she reaches the sentence questions. Other than needing help to figure out some of the characters names, she can read the sentences very well indeed. Today tama 1 worked on 48 x 3-digit subtraction equations. He got them ALL correct except ONE!!!!! He had a slight slip up in thought ... he added instead of subtracted. Tamāhine 1 is progressing beautifully with Math-U-See. Working on Lesson 20B through to 20D today, tamāhine 1 continues to "click" with her maths.

Now, I know that if we were following Charlotte Mason more fluently, we should have short lessons (eg 20 minute lessons with 10 minute breaks). Well, you may look at our calendar and think "heavens, are they really doing maths for over an hour?"

The answer?

"Of course we are ..."

"... not"

In reality tamāhine 1 and tama 1 have many disturbances (in the disguise of their younger siblings), however, we try to do at least 20 minute chunks on most days. But in saying that we will do double lessons because they eventually settle into a groove with it, so I prefer to keep the momentum going whether that is 5, 10, 15 or 20 minutes. On the days they don't enjoy it, we'll do just 20-30 minutes and move onto the next subject.

Even though I wouldn't say tamāhine 1 has completely mastered "Solving for the Unknown", I am satisfied she understands it enough to move on through the workbook because with each day's practice, tamāhine 1 retains more and more examples, reinforcing her knowledge.

Following paramanawa, tamāhine 1 practiced handwriting while tama 1 worked on Physical Sciences > Classification of Objects. Then while I worked with tamāhine 1 on her reading, tama 1 continued with Physical Sciences > Material Forms, eg meanings and see examples of mass, matter, solid, liquid, and gas. I chose this particular topic as it was one way to have tama 1 and myself prepare ourselves for our afternoon task ... our Astronomy lapbook.

As you can see, work is finally underway with our Astronomy lapbook.

Not only does it require tama 1 to read the material, but we have to search for the relevant answers and then document our findings in the allocated space.

His writing impressed me so much today.

I just couldn't get over the fact that he wrote in such a straight line,
without the aid of a ruler even!!!

Everything was legible with correct spelling and punctuation.

Rawe, e tama!!!


Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Ec-lec-tic (adjective)

We most definitely fit the mould of ec-lec-tic [i-klek-tik] –
  1. selecting or choosing from various sources.
  2. made up of what is selected from different sources.
  3. not following any one system, as of philosophy, medicine, etc., but selecting and using what are considered the best elements of all systems.

Today for example I tried something new ... I tried a lesson plan for tama 1's Language Arts would you believe? ... I'll chat about that a little further on...

Earlier in the day I wanted to give tama 1 something "different". I knew that I wanted to give him something challenging - yet fun. The tricky part is to find something at his level. So many things can be far too easy, yet in saying that, I will quite often use easy things because they can encourage the children/motivate them to "want" new challenges and they can also act as a reinforcement to themselves that they have achieved many things already, ie give them a boost. So this morning we tried a little bit of flashcards for his maths which we haven't really used as such ... I will normally quiz him as we go around the track what certain sums equal, so this was 'different' for him.

Following paramanwa (smoko) we did some word unscrambles.

Now, on the one hand I will agree it's a game, but on the other hand, it's still cognitive thought processing. (I'm sure there'll be some labelled terminology I should be using so excuse me as I don't have a teaching degree yet.)

As a side note: there's a marked difference for the children to attempt word unscrambling when they're five and then later at six. Last year tama 1 had to contend with simply trying to learn the "how-to" of reading. This year he can read at a satisfactory-enough level that he can attempt this exercise with a little bit of ease, and yet be faced with a challenge to "think". Unscrambling can also be very effective for spelling. If you can't spell the correct word, you'll either take a lot longer to figure it out, or perhaps, you won't figure it out at all?!

You may recall I mentioned yesterday that we went into the library to collect a book I had on hold? Well, that pukapuka (book) was The Giant Jam Sandwich by John Vernon Lord. Yes, well, armed with the book and following the lesson plan, tama 1 was to say what he thought of the book by looking at the pictures only. Then I read the book to him, after which we created a story pyramid and discussed the results. I asked tama 1 if he enjoyed this kind of exercise and he agreed the story pyramid was quite a nifty idea.

Tamāhine 1 continues to make fantastic progress. I should have mentioned that yesterday she read a Level 2 Ready-to-Read library book called Henry and Mudge and the Wild Goose Chase by Cynthia Rylant. I might hasten to add she read it in ONE sitting. How impressive is that eh!? I indicated one or two chapters would be good going, but to my surprise she said she wanted to continue/finish the book. What a neat kid.

Her maths is coming along beautifully. Grasping the "solving the unknown" concept is still a head-scratching exercise sometimes, but she is no different to her older brother whereby they understand it, but sometimes they can "forget". I taught her (like her brother) to do away with the blocks at an early stage of Alpha and to add by saying the following ditty ... [example 8+5=] ... "eight wants to be a ten so he takes two away from five so five becomes three so that's 13". Once the kids have rattled that off a number of times, they soon pick up the concept and away we go.

And as for her handwriting, well, what can I say?! She's just impressing me with her efforts every day. She tries hard and "the proof is in the pudding" as they say.

Now, before I disappear for the day, I just wanted to show you our Astronomy lapbook ...

This is by NO means the completed product!!!! On the contrary, there is a lot more to do, but I am thrilled to have FINALLY started one. This particular lapbook is directly in-line with Jeannie Fulbright's Exploring Creation with Astronomy. I've chosen to print in black and white simply to save on ink!!! lol.

I can see why many homeschoolers get addicted to this type of schooling. It is creative, educational and a fantastic visual resource!!!

I chose to use a preformatted lapbooking assignment because (1) the perfect match-up to the textbook; (2) it takes the leg-work out of creating one myself; (3) it's an immediate "ooh, ahh, wow" project so the kids are keen to continue having seen the results so far; and (4) why the heck not?! lol

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Always trying something new

Well, it may have taken me a few hours to make the above calendar, but yay, I did it. Please excuse the unimaginative title; t'was not easy for me to find the time to sit down and nut out how Google Calendar works for starters! It wasn't until I was ready to post it here that I realised I hadn't given it a name. Next time I think I'll leave the title off altogether to save my more brain from trying to be creative. (I actually have difficulty trying to name the blog posts let alone decide on titles for calendars!! lol)

[ ... Interestingly enough, I couldn't use Google Calendar under Firefox ... here's the blurb it said under Firefox:

Your browser does not appear to support JavaScript but this page needs to use JavaScript to display correctly. You can visit the HTML-only version of this page at etc etc

which is completely bizarre because I access lots of things with javascript. I tried under Tools, Options to see if 'enable javascript' was checked, and it was ... so I'm at a bit of a loss as to why it wouldn't work under Firefox.

... And as for Internet Explorer well, yes, it would open BUT it would continuously have a system's breakdown ... aargh!!!! ]

Frustration aside, (typical muggins me!) I decided to persevere and am satisfied with the end result. The reason I mention the above is two-fold. Firstly, for those thinking of using it just beware of possibly tearing your hair out. Secondly, if any clever bunny happens along my blog who would kindly like to share their knowledge, I'd be open to your suggestions.

Now, although today's calender doesn't detail the lessons as I've done in previous schedules, I will attempt to do so tomorrow. The #1 exercise for today was simply to achieve the above. One can always improve from here, nē rā?

Okay, I've since gone through Control Panel and both IE and Mozilla are checked for default browsers. Am I supposed to only have one checked? I don't think so because I've just asked my brother and he has them working okay. My conclusion: leave it till tomorrow to see if I can figure it out with a clearer mind.

Dear oh dear, my post was meant to be chatting about school and how we're getting into the "end-of-year-wind-down" mode due to the beautiful weather and the talk of Christmas around the corner. I was also going to talk about two projects we've got in the wings. The first project is for Astronomy which I half-pie started last night and had all good intentions of working on this afternoon ... however, I'm sure it won't take you too much to figure out why I didn't "get round to it", lol.
The second project is a lesson plan for Language Arts. I raced out to the whare pukapuka (library, ie whare - house, pukapuka - book/s) around 4 o'clock to collect the book we'll be using so that we can get into it tomorrow without interrupting too much of our school day. That doesn't mean I allowed the calendar to interrupt school work, but it certainly interrupted my after school creativity attempt.
As the saying goes "tomorrow is another day"...


Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Mum ... waiporoporo?

I forgot to mention yesterday that tama 2 has started a little ritual of his own as we go for our daily hīkoi (walk). At a specific point around the track, tama 2 will say "mum ... waiporoporo ... purple?" and so begins revision of Māori colours. Okay, so let's just remind ourselves, tama 2 hasn't found perfect speech overnight, but that's not a bother. I understand what he's saying and I can hear his attempts well enough to acknowledge whether he's correct or not. But it's quite gorgeous how he has picked the same place to have our lesson. It starts at the same spot and ends at the same spot. He's dictated to me when he wants to practice. He also uses that same area to pick putiputi (well, dandelions, clover etc) for his mum and we pop them in little vases on our return.
Points we want to remember for future review:
  • A consonant blend is also called a cluster.
  • What is a vowel digraph? Two vowels that, together, make one sound.
  • R-controlled letter - when you put an "r" behind a vowel it usually changes the way that vowel sounds.
  • The letter "r" is called a Bossy R when it forces the vowel to change its sound.
  • When two words are joined together what kind of word is created? A compound word.
  • In writing, what is a contraction? A single word made by adding two words together with an apostrophe. The word "won't" is an exception to the rule.
  • When making a contraction with "will" and "not", replace the "ill" in "will" with an "o"
  • Turn the words "will" and "not" into a contraction.
The weather was absolutely brilliant today and as such we made the most of getting outdoors. It certainly helps revitalise the kids and myself to crack on with work for sure.

Tamāhine 1 is coming along beautifully with her reading. Today for example I was helping tama 1 and in the background I could hear tamāhine 1 reading. I don't think she realised herself how quickly she had read her sentence. I am absolutely delighted with her all-round efforts so today was very pleasing indeed.

We had a few unscheduled interruptions today, but we've managed to make good progress all the same. Tomorrow we will be out to the dentist as tamāhine 1 has an appointment so there may, or may not be a post. For all you regulars hanging out to read this mind-blowing blog, I hope you won't be too disappointed if the latter should be the case, lol.


Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

Monday, 10 November 2008

Reviewing our progress - taking a moment to pause

Our week had a good start...
Rather than pushing too far ahead of ourselves I thought I'd start reviewing Tama 1's progress and pick up on anything that he/we may have forgotten...

The above Q&A's I've recorded because although we can understand the task at hand, sometimes the terminology is not applied (eg "sum", "difference") so we tried to remember/learn them again.

For those with BB (sorry Reporoa!) check out this clip my brother just sent me Monkey with a Death Wish!!!! How he managed to survive I do not know!


Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Did you make a difference?

I don't really like to talk politics and I hadn't actually intended to post to the school blog about it, however, I've decided to brave it and share my
I took a quick squiz at some blogs last night as I couldn't sleep. Would you believe I didn't get to bed till 3 in the jolly morning!?! Possibly due to my over-consumption of coffee during the day me thinks! However, I am sooooooooo glad I have family and friends online at that hour to while away the time, as well as having the internet, lol.

Anyway, mention was made on the majority of blogs about the recent US elections. This had me wondering what will happen in New Zealand's elections today. Will we have a new leader? Or will Helen Clark take out another term in office?

Well, this morning I was chatting with our neighbour's son and asked if his dad had voted yet, "nope, he doesn't vote," was his reply. Hmm, that's his perogative I guess, however, it's the old story, if you don't cast a vote then you can't complain which party will be elected.

Many will consider it's time for a change, and depending which polls you listen to, it would appear Labour is on the way out. However, I watched a current affairs programme last night and their polls had the complete opposite! Might I just say I'm not actually interested in polls, because I believe they are biased to the extreme. Depending which party is casting the poll, the results reflect in their favour. Perhaps I'm wrong, but that's my take on it and I'm allowed to say so in my blog, lol.

I'm on the Māori electoral roll so my choices are different to those of whaiāipo because he is on the general role, however our votes reflect each other very strongly.

Personally, I just want to know what the parties agenda involves, whether they will keep to their promises and how they will improve or what impact they will have on our family's position. However, suffice it to say ...

Will my vote make a difference?


I sure hope so!

He aha te mea nui? He tangata, he tangata, he tangata
What is the most important thing? It is people, it is people, it is people

Just like Lotto, 'you gotta be in to win'.

It's in our hands to elect the government!!!!



Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

Friday, 7 November 2008

Great results

The children diligently worked on their lessons today and I am extremely proud with their efforts:

But wait! There's more ....

Tama 1 has asked on a couple of occasions what homework is. The question has been sparked from hearing me ask our neighbour's son what he had for homework, so today I kind of gave him an idea, by working on the following lessons:

Mathematics
Inverse relationship between addition and subtraction. [Did mum know what this meant? ... nope!]
  • An equation is balanced, or the same on either side of the equal sign. A number fact is made up of three numbers. The numbers can be used to make up other number facts. Knowing one fact can help with other facts.

Language A
Story comprehension, for example:
Q: A question using the word 'What' is asking for?
A: information.

We worked on these areas around 5.30pm-6.30pm to give not only tama 1 but all the children an appreciation of how school children would have to wait till they got home, played for a bit and then sat down to do some homework. It helped also when Joel (our neighbour) popped over around that time to ask if the kids could play and I explained tama 1 had some more mahi to do. You could see they were both itching to just get outside and play, so I believe I defined the meaning rather succinctly, lol.

Because we had friends coming over this afternoon, school was condensed to the morning time only. I haven't actully prepared a schedule because I'm too jolly disorganised, lol. My father rang this morning and asked if I could do something for them, so I obliged of course which meant leaving the children to get on with their mahi at the table without me. Well, I was within earshot and available should they need my help, but they just knuckled down and worked so that they didn't have to be working when their friends arrived.

So yes, friends came over and many cups of coffee later it was time for them to head off again. We had a brilliant time together and as always the children played well with each other. I have to admit, I now question my ability to do nature studies!!!! My friend's 5 year old found a baby bird. He comfortably held the bird in his hands and I was at a complete loss to think how we could get the bird warm, let alone fed to remain alive. Well, a few minutes later, my girlfriend announces the bird is injured and then (thankfully), Joel arrived... let's just say ... Joel took care of things. Oh blimey! How koretake am I?!!! That's where I truly value and envy my girlfriend and her teaching methods with her kids. They really have the concept of nature down-pat. Our kids can't fish, hunt, let alone pick up a baby bird without wincing. But I am sooooooooooo glad they are involved in our lives. It's been years now since my girlfriend and I have been tramping together, but it's beautiful to think our children may have that bond in their lives at some stage.


Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

Focussed today

Tama 1 started at 8 o'clock this morning. I kind of interrupted his breakfast asking him to have a look at something on the computer and then we ... well ... we kinda just ... y'know ... kept going, lol.

What was it that I thought we'd have a look at? SuperMathsWorld.

I've indicated the areas tama 1 covered in the table below but I'll expand just a little further what a couple of them involved:
  1. Coins - granted, it was all in English pounds, pennies and pence, however it is all relevant as it still requires him to add and differentiate the values of each. He had to add up to a top amount of £10.
  2. Counting - we skipped most levels and went to level 6 - counting up, eg 10 more than 25 equals. Similarly with level 7 - counting down, eg 9 less than 90 equals. Count below zero was fun, eg 14 less than 10 equals. Tama 1 seemed to grasp the concept easily enough ... considering I wasn't sure if I had explained it very well, lol.
For Language Arts I thought it timely to discuss syllables. We had fun 'connecting the dots' so to speak, eg VCV. Tama 1 was relatively comfortable picking up the idea so at the completion of that part of our work we had a little break after which I thought we'd try something simple. To give him a good feeling of accomplishment we did some abbreviations. As abbreviations aren't new for tama 1, he understood and correctly answered the exercises, therefore we finished that session on a positive as I had hoped.

Because he was happy with having correctly answered the above, I decided to close the day with none other than synonyms and antonyms. Again, relatively straight forward so he did very well. Although the terms themselves were new and tricky to say, he definitely had no problems interpreting the two. It's always nice to find something new to learn that is easy to pick up (especially at the end of the day). It just helps to keep everyone's spirits up.
Today tamāhine 1 did a great deal of reading. She may not have noticed it, but I hardly helped her. Reading from her Math-U-See workbook helps her to understand the terminology --> well, that's from my perspective at least.

Working with the Montessori online reading programme I have definitely noticed her speed of reading has improved. As much as I think she could persevere and attempt a few extra lessons, I think two at a time is plenty because I like to mix things for her rather than get bogged down with the same stuff. Variety always helps, especially when the kids see each other using something different that they haven't tried yet. What one tries, the other one wants to, too.

So, to give her something different today I thought we'd try an exercise in discussing people's jobs, eg What is a chef? A cook in charge of a restaurant kitchen. What is a doctor? A person trained to help sick people or animals.

I've just realised I missed out her handwriting on the table above. Well, she did two pages and made a lovely job of her work. As I mentioned in a previous post I've started tamāhine 1 writing on smaller lines. Today she slipped in a couple of areas, ie dropped her writing to a different line so it's not all on the one line ... if you catch my drift? Other than that, tamāhine 1's writing is looking better each day.

Overall, I am extremely pleased with our efforts today. The children worked a lot, but they played a lot too. I'm quite sure I didn't burn them out. (I don't think there's much chance of that when I have littlies interrupting us all the time, but I am always mindful to keep a check on their engagement to tasks.) We talked a lot about the learning process, ie that it's okay to get things wrong. I pointed out I answered a particular question wrong, but accepted the correct answer and moved on, so I hope that encouraged them to enjoy learning.


Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

Monday, 3 November 2008

Time has just simply flown by

Wednesday
Summary
The story begins: 'One day, the Earth was feeling very sad. She sent a message to her birds all over the world and said to them: "I need your help. Please will you gather together in one place so that I can speak to you?"' So starts the adventure of the birds who flew beyond time. Birds of all kinds, from every region of the world, respond to the Earth's call. She tells them that she is dying - her land and rivers and oceans are being poisoned and her beautiful planet is ravaged by war. Can the birds help her? If they are to do so, they must set out on a special journey. They must fly through seven terrible valleys, overcoming the monsters that live in each valley, until they find the Great Being who is the life of all life. Then they must bring back to Earth the message they are given. Full of fear but encouraged by their guide, the Hoopoe, the birds set out on a journey that is ours as well as theirs - a journey that transforms the destructive elements of the soul and frees it to act on behalf of life.

Tamāhine 1 worked diligently on her maths, reading and writing. She powered through Lesson 12A to 12D. She chose to start reading Flip by Wesley Dennis from our own library. She read almost three-quarters of the story in one sitting.

Thursday

Yes, that's right, we had a school-free day. The majority of our day was spent in the city. Tamāhine 2 had her first dental appointment. Granted, it was just a check-up, but I ended up nattering with Misa. It's a nice feeling having people who know my family. It immediately puts me at ease ... until they ask how so-and-so is related. That's when I feel koretake (incompetent etc). As much as whakapapa is important to me, I can easily be stumped how (for example) my fourth cousin is related to me. Then of course there's that difficulty of when you grew up everybody was referred to as aunty and uncle. When you become an adult you suddendly discover they aren't your aunt or uncle at all. They may be your cousin, or be no relation at all!!!! lol.

We also checked in with the whanau to see if they needed a hand with anything. They convinced me they had everything organised. "Just a little bit of running around" but nothing they couldn't handle .... yeah, right! I should've really pushed the question....

Friday

Late morning I get the phone call, "have you got any ...?"

No problems. I got myself and the children organised. We finished our maths at least which is important. Tamāhine 1 completed the remaining Systematic Review 12E, 12F and corresponding Test. Tama 1 produced good results with his 3 digit subtraction. So, okay, we didn't complete much more, but helping out for mum and dad's 50th wedding anniversary was far more important.

Let's just say that just after midnight on Friday night whaiāipo and I finally finished wrapping over 100 truffles and taping what wedding photos we could into the album. We actually ran out of sticky tape so come Saturday morning, my dad is driving out to our place grabbing the album, buying more double-sided sticky tape etc and my brothers and niece quickly finished off the album. Our niece ran out of time to coat the remaining truffles, but it didn't matter. As per usual, we over-catered, so no-one missed out.

Saturday

Mum and Dad on their wedding day,
1st November 1958

The past week has been great, but Saturday was simply fantastic. It was a mad dash (literally) for us to get to the celebration.

Princes Gate Hotel, Rotorua, New Zealand

We all gathered by 1 o'clock and were seated shortly thereafter. My brothers and I had booked it till 5 o'clock as there was another party booked for 6 o'clock. The afternoon raced by and everybody thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Everyone adjourned to a relation's house and they all partied on till 4 or 5 the next morning.

I could really go on about how special the day was and how wonderful our children were. Everybody (and I mean EVERYBODY) commented how well-behaved they were. I was so proud of them. I was also very proud of my brothers and especially proud of my niece. She made a fantastic job filling in for her dad (our eldest brother who couldn't make it home as he's in Kuwait --> but he has a special surprise mum and dad have yet to find out about). Most of all, I was very proud of my parents. Here they are 50 years on in their marriage and still as much in love today as they were when they first met. Surrounded by so many family and friends, it was a true testament to them.

And there you have it. We are now back down to earth and looking to the beginning of a new week. Would you believe I've even received my next semester's extramural folder? What is it this time? ... Greek Mythology!!!!


Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano