Monday, 30 November 2009

The last few weeks ... in brief

Gosh, I started this post over a fortnight ago but now look at me! The last day of November '09 and I'm finally publishing it. Because I've run so far behind, I'm sure I'll be leaving out vital chunks (as usual).

I am definitely finding it difficult to keep up with the blog because when we're home, our entire day is school-oriented and any so-called "down-time" is busy with little ones, tidying up and feeding everyone. If I'm not feeding them then I'm washing dishes afterwards etc etc. Then we're back into school work. But I'm sure you know exactly what I'm saying, huh?!

Tama 2 turned five on Friday just gone and he officially starts school today. Although he doesn't have the same schedule for school work, he does account for a little attention to introduce him into the wonderful world of continued education. So that's three students, two toddlers and the 'bump' of course who can, by himself, make my days uncomfortable.

My girlfriend asked me recently if I'd be purchasing another computer and I jokingly replied I could do with buying a laptop because I find being downstairs too tiring at night. If I had a laptop I know I would happily tap away upstairs as I lay in bed. Considering I wake up most nights and can be awake for what seems like hours, I do wish sometimes I had a laptop. I could easily while away my time doing something constructive ... like plan the next school day, draft a blog post, or simply surf the net, lol.

But then again, it's not long before baby arrives so I really should be making the most of my nights ... be they unsettled or not.

What I'm trying to say is, I'm sorry I haven't been able to post as often as I would like, but my days really do race by too quickly hence big gaps between each post for a while longer.

Anywho, let's get the ball rolling with the kids progress over the last few weeks ...


Tamāhine 1 read the following (Cat on the Hill by Michael Foreman) from the Big Universe

while Tama 1 read (Migrating Animals of the Air by Jacqueline A. Ball) also from Big Universe.

We discovered there was a quiz to go along with the Migration book which was great so we gave that a go too. Although I've recorded the questions and answers, I don't think I can post it to the blog because I'd hazard a guess I'd be breaching a copyright law for sure.

Actually, it would seem quizzes were a bit of a recurring theme the other week (ie 16-20 November). Let's think ... we did a Moon Quiz and a Meteor Quiz. Tama 1 and Tamāhine 1 also worked together on a quiz about The Hubble Space Telescope. They took turns writing out answers - Tama 1 cursive and Tamāhine 1 printing. Very tidy writing from both of them.

Observation: That particular week, Tamāhine 1's writing was better when I dictated to her than her copywriting. That's not to say there was anything wrong with her copywork. I simply noticed how much tidier it looked. Perhaps she finds it easier writing on a single sheet of paper than writing in an exercise book, ie she doesn't have the uneveness of the middle joining found in an exercise book?


Tama 1 steadily worked on Lesson 27 over the last fortnight. I'll provide two examples to give you an idea why we spread the workload over the fortnight:

Example 1
Write in words: 318,611,353
Tama 1 then has to write out: Three hundred and* eighteen million, six hundred and* eleven thousand, three hundred and* fifty-three.

whether you use the word "and" like we do or not I don't know, but this is one thing I really can't change. Our kids aren't confused when we say "and", so I choose to keep it that way. I understand what MUS uses, but we can't change that one ... not yet at least!

Example 2
Write each number in place value notation: 321,618,818
Tama 1 then has to write out: 300,000,000 + 20,000,000 + 1,000,000 + 600,000 + 10,000 + 8,000 + 800 + 10 + 8

uite exhausting just looking at it huh?! You have to make sure you have enough zeros eh?!

Tama 1 has moved on to Lesson 28 this week and completed A&B today. All going well, he will finish through to the Test lesson by the end of the week.

Language Arts

Tamāhine 1 worked on :

(1) Spelling exercises
(2) Reading comprehension called Max the Dog
(3) Synonyms and antonyms
(4) Nouns
(5) Similies
(6) Differences between dashes and hypens
(7) Sequencing of events

Tama 1 and Tamāhine 1 worked together on a few Language Arts lessons. One in particular we really enjoyed was Smart by Shel Silverstein. You may recall we learned the American coin currency the other week? Well, there was a reason for that ... Smart by Shel Silverstein.

Having spent the time learning pennies, dimes, nickels etc we were able to come to the conclusion the boy made a big mistake trading his money. I really enjoyed that lesson and at 43 I have actually learned how much a dime etc is worth. I bet you anything that if I wasn't teaching the children myself then it would have taken a major win on Lotto to take a trip to the USA before I'd ever think to know the American currency. What a hoot!

Last week we finally picked up a copy of Mercy Watson to the Rescue from the public library. This was a book I tried getting out of the Mobile Library WEEKS and WEEKS ago. Well, it may have taken us a month (if not longer) to get our hands on it, but we finally got it. So, Tama 1 and I have read it and started our exercises for this book.

Firstly, Tama 1 worked with Tamāhine 1 and Tama 2 to make a simple booklet about their favourite food/s. We then completed the sequence of events and have started a discussion about emergency services. There's still a lot of work to do with it but I'm glad Tama 1 enjoyed reading it. I wasn't sure if he'd take to the story at all ... don't ask me why?! Perhaps it was because we'd waited for such a long time to check it out of the library that I wasn't sure if I was making too big a deal over it.

Tamāhine 1 read Soup and the Sandwish and wrote a little story about celebrating a special event and what kind of food was part of that celebration. She used her knew terminology of "firstly", "then", "next" and "finally" and illustrated it also.

Tama 2 read "Go, Go, Go" and "Big". These books were very simple (24 words each). I'll ease him gently into things and stick to what we have been doing pre-school but introduce writing etc in coming weeks. I could be wrong, but I'm sure he's daunted at the idea that he might be working as much as his older siblings.

Tama 1 worked on "The Neighborhood Mystery". Just like Tamāhine 1 they tried to predict the story and as we progressed through the reading we discussed if their predictions were correct etc.

Last Thursday the children and I were heading into the city and were driving past the Rotorua Airport when Tama 1 excitedly called out, "Wow! Look at that big plane! It's an Airbus A320-200" ... he honestly did say Airbus A320-200!!! [I could remember Airbus but flag the rest of it!!!!]

I turned the van around and pulled into the parking lot. If I'd known the plane was going to be here I'd have arrived a lot earlier to take the kids into the terminal, but because I could hear the engines going, I knew I didn't have enough time to park in the "paying carpark", and get everyone into the terminal quickly enough. So we stayed where we were and watched it taxi out. It wasn't long before it came roaring down the runway and we were all like, "wow!" when it lifted and was in the air within seconds.

I really wish I'd known it was here so I could've brought my digital camera, but at least I had my mobile phone I guess. You'll need to use your imagination to count the "crowd" of 4-6 people standing by the fence. There was another guy with his camera on a tripod to our left and two other guys in their car as well. Quite a crowd eh?!!! Well, I'm sure there would've been more indoors (perhaps) but we felt quite privileged to watch the new plane. We did see a group of at least 20 or 30 official looking people walk out onto the tarmac to watch it leave too.

My brother who works at the airport was saying it was meant to be on the down-low because the plane was here more for the staff to familiarise themselves with it. My mum said there was something in the paper the night before ... but we don't get the paper, so I was none the wiser.

The official trans-tasman date is 12 December 2009.

Before I finish off, I simply had to share our discount card from The Mad Butcher at Te Ngae. The plan was to leave using it closer to Christmas but it was a case of needing it today. It felt great walking out with "free" meat - it really did!!! It took weeks to build up the stamps, but I was ever so grateful to have it today.

This deal is only available at the Te Ngae branch, but no doubt other meat shops have their own loyalty systems. I always went to the Ti Street branch straight after the supermarket but they don't have a loyalty scheme so it's Te Ngae for us now. And anyway, Te Ngae is heaps closer to home so it makes more sense eh?!

I'm quite sure I've missed out some good stories about school, but if I don't hurry up and publish this post then it'll be another week down !!!

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

1 comment:

  1. Wow! I could not have written that number in words! (perhaps I should not be admitting that) Shel Silverstein also wrote a book called "The Giving Tree" a simple book to read but plenty of room for discussion.

    good to see you back online, oh and of course I would have known airbus a320 (or whatever it was) not! xxxxxxxxx