Friday, 14 August 2009

Ever wondered how they make a grab-a-button?

Have you ever wondered how other bloggers make their own "Grab a Button"?

Well, I did.

So for something different this afternoon I decided to Google search how it's done.

I stumbled upon Mommy's Idea. From what I can gather (and if I'm wrong, please correct me), you need Adobe. I presume that means Adobe Photoshop?! If so, I'm outta luck.

Mommy's Idea

Well, anyway, just in case anyone out there in Blogland wants to make their own Grab-a-Button, head over to Mommy's Idea to learn how.

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Egypt YouTube clip

Guess what?! I've found another important clip. This one is definitely educational and I need to save it to the blog so I can access it again in the very near future.

I need to add the YouTube clip which I followed from Michelle's blog over at Whimsy Way, House of Learning and Play. A new blog I have come across in my travels. I enjoyed reading Michelle's profile and started reading her blog. I love it. Be sure to check it out.

Anyway, I've been wanting to get back into our SOTW studies and although we've touched on it here and there, having clips like the ones Michelle has introduced me to has ignited a spark to really get back into it again.

So, thanks Michelle!

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

Just can't resist sharing another video clip


Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

We live in New Zealand

Tamāhine 1 was so clever with her pancake creation I, of course, needed to share a picture of Aotearoa, New Zealand.

We're continuing with our exercise learning and here are a few of the books we checked out of our Library.

Actually, I thought I'd share a shot of the library from the new front entrance. I haven't tried out the coffee shop (far end of photo) yet, but walking past I enjoy the smell of freshly brewing coffee so one day I'll stop and sit.
One thing I didn't realise until recently about our library is that the new return slots in the foyer are fully automated now. Excellent!! The only thing to remember is to SLOWLY insert our returning items one at a time. That's great! Plus, if you use the little parking area (from the old days), they have a "drive-by" box so you don't even have to get out of your vehicle to return them!!! I also love the "self-help" desk to check out our books without standing in a queue. Most excellent our library is moving with the times nē rā? Tino pai.

We're enjoying a lot of math activity of late. Well, when I say activity, we're concentrating a lot on mulitiplications. Tama 1 covered the nine's timestables in his Math-U-See lesson today. The other day he grasped the concept of find the unknown in multiplication very well, so this feels very exciting that we're moving ahead. It feels like quite a milestone to reach multiplication facts. Naturally, this means tamāhine 1 is throwing out answers also so it won't be long and we'll have our two oldest babies fluent in multiplication. Quite momentous.

Our family is growing and learning. When I stop and think I am reminded how it won't be long before our eldest will be eight years old. Goodness me!! Time is slipping away so quickly and yet it's exciting to see new challenges being achieved by the kids.

{We will continue to strike while the iron is hot to learn and practise multiplications.}

If I haven't raved enough about Math-U-See, then I will try again. Math, as many readers will have gathered, is not my strong suit. I spent a long time finding a math program that (a) I felt comfortable with as my guiding resource and more importantly (b) would gel with the children immediately to give them the love to learn math.

{I wish Math-U-See was around when I was a child. But then again, the most important thing about math ... or any subject for that matter ... is how much we, as parents, involve ourselves in our child(ren)'s learning. I could bleat on for hours about how I wish things were for me, but it's not about me is it?! The time right now is my opportunity to be there for our children. To help when they need it and enjoy each accomplishment they make along with them.}

Even if the children end up attending public school for whatever reason in the future, I have already learned a valuable lesson about being involved with their learning, and from that I know they will be successful individuals.

Okay, well, our lunch break is over, so it's time to return to some more learning.

We're about to cover a little bit of Social Studies this afternoon. It's almost been a bit of a "throw the dart at the world map". I do tend to be spontaneous ... because we're about to learn a little about Mexico. No particular reason .... but does there have to be?

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

The Big Rip

We received this clip from Uncle Kerry in Aussie

Our nutty family enjoy Nitro Circus, so this is up there on the scale of what we watch

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Kiwi Otautahi Mum's invention

Composting disposable nappies

I vaguely recall watching the inventor's initial interview a couple of years ago, so it was with great interest to see that she has actually successfully launched her commercial composting facility.

I'll leave you to follow the Close-Up link to learn more...

Wishing Karen Upston (the inventor) all the very best for a successful business. Awesome alright!!!

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

Friday, 7 August 2009

Gorgeous little song from Homeschool Freebie of the Day

Did you happen to check in on Homeschool Freebie of the Day site this week?

This song by Wendy Francisco is gorgeous.

Snap to Turina. I noticed my dear friend also has this added to her blog!!! Looking forward to reading how things are going for you over the Tasman.


Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

No more ERO Reviews?!

Many of the kiwi homeschooling groups are spreading the news:

ERO reviews of the education of students exempt from attending a regular school

In the past the Education Review Office has reviewed the education of homeschooled students according to a schedule set annually. From 1 July 2009 ERO will carry out reviews only when requested by the Secretary for Education, or inother particular circumstances.

For further information about this change, please contact Rob Williamson, Senior Review Officer Homeschooling, or phone 0-4-499 2489.

Page updated 24 July 2009

See page 4 of this government review

Craig Smith over at Homeschool Nations has a interesting post about it. Head over and see what you make of it.

Will it remain this way, do you think? Perhaps Education have another piece of legislature in the woodworks we don't know about? Seems rather generous, if not odd that they have taken a change in stance like this, but oh well, it's something to celebrate I guess eh?! My initial thought that perhaps it's a monetary saving scheme due to recession so the Education Department have to cut costs in their budget? One of the itmes in the pdf link seems to acknowledge that is one reason but who knows. I'm simply accepting it as good news and will carry on as normal.

... Now, if only Education would bump up the "Supervision" Allowance!!!

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Our Lesson Plan this week? Exercise

Lessons this week will revolve around exercise.

The following photos are the kids playing an exercise game; loosely based on Simon Says

jumping jacks
frog hops
run in place
punch the air
leg kicks ... very tricky
another attempt with leg kicks

It feels more like Spring than Winter these past few days which is great because they're all enjoying the trampoline as part of their exercise:

They love to play Ring a Ring o'Roses
on the trampoline
Big tumbles with lots of giggles

We made a list of the exercises the children like to do inside and outside. Here's but a smidgen from the lists:


Play tag
Ride bikes
Run/walk around track
Climb trees


(our poor old swings and see-saw have seen better days ... but as you can see, the kids don't care)


Hide and seek
Jumping Jacks
Play instruments

We'll go to the library in the next few days to gather some books about exercising and continue with some more learning.

Tama 1 completed Beta on 17 July. We're rocking with Gamma at the moment and as expected he's raced through the first six lessons very speedily. I know I could have skipped the first few lessons, but I believe it's important to still complete the lessons; as a means of revision AND to build confidence in the children that their knowledge-base is growing. It is encouraging for the kids to see they actually know a lot already, so by completing a full lesson each day for a few weeks builds their confidence so that when they come to a challenge, they're ready to give it a shot.
Speaking of challenges .... tamāhine 1 is working with her Beta manual. We'd been doing well and then a few weeks (?) ago, she was introduced to six digits and suddenly we were faced with a very big challenge. It took a few attempts to understand how to read (eg) 639,427. Then to learn how to translate "six hundred and thirty-nine thousand, four hundred and twenty-seven" into numerals posed quite a headscratching moment for her mother to find a way to help her daughter understand it. Late last week it appeared to have finally clicked. I say that with reservation because I know only too well how easily some things appear mastered and yet when you move away from it for only a matter of days, it can be forgotten again. Of course, I want to keep positive and say she understands it, but the reality is, until we really master it, we will keep practicing.

Place values seem to be forgotten because the number becomes larger is probably what I'm trying to sum it as. Tamāhine 1 needed a little time to have it sink in, and as I mentioned a little further up in the previous paragaraph, she seems to have now grasped the concept which - like all new things mastered - is exciting and encouraging for everyone concerned.

Tamāhine 1's reading and writing are coming along as I'd expect/like/hope for. Granted, she's had a long-ish break with her writing, and that's thanks to me really. No real excuses but we'll try getting our (or more like, I'll try getting my) groove back this week. The sooner the better really because I'm quite sure that by the time I reach my third trimester I may not be too keen on school work at all... but we'll see. So far I'm managing to do things without becoming too physically uncomfortable.

Tama 2 is making the most of the free Reading Eggs period. For tama 2 it's rather advanced in many respects, but it can't do him any harm to try what he can.

I'm still trying to find a comfortable style for his learning. Although he's speaking more clearly and his comprehension is certainly excellent, he tends to mumble jibberish at times so it can feel like "one step forward, two steps back". I'm completely at ease with his learning and do not feel pressured to push him in the slightest. I can see things are falling into place and it's just a matter of continuing to work at his pace.

He's not even five years [yet], and although some kids may be reading and what-have-you by this age, I am not the least bit perturbed nor making comparisons. I am simply enjoying our son growing into his "own" and feel proud of each accomplishment he makes.

Well, I did have more drafted for this post but I think I'll leave it for another day. I do tend to ramble and make an essay of postings at times, eh? hee hee

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano