Monday, 22 February 2010

Still not back into full swing of school but we're trying

Tama 1 and tamāhine 1 had a more enjoyable time on the WorldMathsDay website this morning. I'm not sure if it helped that we took a break for about four days, but whatever the reason, things were better today.

Having expected they'd be matched against the speedsters like last week, I wasn't sure if they'd be keen to even return this morning.

You can imagine my relief when we discovered they were matched very fairly indeed today. There were only a few games that they had a player who was able to whizz through at lightening speed, so thankfully that meant the kids were keen to continue playing.

I heard Tamāhine 1 ask her big brother if maybe they might get paired up at some point. I felt mean when I finally plucked up the courage to explain why they wouldn't. I think I really deflated her excitement at the (impossible) prospect of playing against her brother. Ah well, I've burst that bubble ... but it didnt' deter them from wanting to continue playing.
It's really rather exciting to see what countries the kids are playing against. We all ooh and aah when we haven't played a certain country before.

Each child has a profile and part of their profile is their national flag. This morning I was reminded how well tama 1 knows his flags which I thought I'd share with y'all. It's just a short story, but a proud moment in its own right.
Tama 1 watched as each contestant was loading and a child from Estonia was one of them. Tama 1 very quickly says, "Wow, Estonia. I haven't played Estonia before..."

He followed this up with, "Estonia has the same kind of flag as Botswana." So, of course, we had to get up and look at the flags. Sure enough they were rather similar (well, insofar as colours and had stripes going in the same direction).

The things kids know huh?!

Speaking of similar ... tama 1 worked with some maths today discussing similar, different and congruent. That was easy enough ... once mum remembered what congruent meant! Gee, what a "scratch-the-head" moment I had to think what congruent meant!!! [I blame that on tiredness with a newborn myself... what d'yah reckon? D'yah think I could get away with that for my excuse? lol]

Okay, before I forget. I just wanted to add this quick point of note.

I've had a number of people ask me why I had to take newborn tama 4 to the hospital for a hearing test. Well, it's a new scheme introduced just over a year ago apparently (which explains why the five other kids missed out on it). From the NSU website:
As a response to the success of newborn hearing screening programmes in other countries, the New Zealand Government announced in 2006 that it would fund a universal newborn hearing screening programme for all eligible New Zealand children.
So there you go. It's not because baby has any hearing difficulties, but the implementation of progress in the health industry.

Well, I'll leave it there for now. I'm off to enjoy afternoon tea. I made a scrumptious chocolate cake to celebrate tama 4 reaching one month of age on Saturday and I'm in need of a chocolate fix.

Yes, a month has passed already. Doesn't time just disappear all too quickly?!!

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

World Maths Day

For whatever reason, we missed this event in 2009 so this year I've made sure we've registered and the kids and I are using the practise period to familiarise ourselves with the game. One of the important areas to check out is the FAQ because I learned that:
  • The inaugural games were in 2007.
  • The event runs for a 48 hour period.
  • New Zealand commencement time is 12.00am Wednesday 3 March, unlike other countries which start on 2 March.
  • The children's practise points are wiped once the official game commences.
  • There are 100 questions per level (5 levels in total).
The only thing that I don't get is the speed with which students are answering. Our kids are reading the question then looking to the keypad to enter their answer. By the time we answer one question, their competitors have raced through two or three more questions. The website says:
Students are automatically matched against other students of a similar age and ability, i.e. strong students play only against other strong students
Okay, so the idea is to answer as many correct questions in 60 seconds but as much as I can say to the kids that it's more important to take part and not worry about trying to be the first, it begs the question, "how are other kids playing?" Have they such strong computer skills that they use the numberpad with one hand whilst reading the screen like I do? or what exactly is their secret? I'm competitive enough but I want the kids to be challenged fairly. Maybe I'm missing something? ... Feel free to share your thoughts.

Aside from that, we're enjoying the game. We've had such a buzz playing against kids all around the globe ... and we've even played some Kiwi kids too!!!

I don't think I set up their registrations properly because I signed them up as individuals. I wasn't sure what area is for homeschoolers. I think I was meant to go under school registration eh!? Otherwise, how do they know we're homeschoolers? Hei aha, I can always register again at the official start time seeing as their practise points get wiped.

So, just in case you want to join this FREE 48 hour event, I hope I've outlined enough detail to help you out.

Thanks for droopping by
ka kite ano

Monday, 15 February 2010

Riding the Rollercoaster

[Just so you know ... I had started to blog quite a different posting but because I took some anonymous unpleasant comments to heart, I've decided to cut out a good chunk and share but a few details. Although I've changed the settings allowing only registered users/bloggers to comment from now on, I've decided I'll be making the blog private invitation if I receive any more unnecessary comments. I feel pity for these people - they obviously have nothing better to do with their time.]

Life has felt like such a rollercoaster these past three weeks. The following lists but a few of the highs and lows:

  1. 23 January 2010 - Celebrate the birth of our sixth child, tama 4.
  2. All the children have bonded beautifully without jealousy toward tama 4.
  3. Three weeks later I'm losing weight and finally fitting into cooler summer clothes.
  4. Lots of visitors (family - both immediate and extended, neighbours, friends) sharing the joy of our new son.
  5. Successfully accomplished a grocery shop with all the kids on my own. Granted, I had two trolleys (tama 3 & tama 4 in one trolley and tamāhine 2 in another ... she was isolated because of her conjunctivitis).
  6. Three weeks of heavenly bliss having whaiāipo at home for his summer break.
  7. Having my big brother come home from Kuwait for a surprise visit.
  8. Created space in the front room. Much tidier.
  9. Made new friends.
  10. I'm reminded that 2010 is the year I finish paying off old business debts. Rock on!
  1. My mum now having weekly "retreats" at Rotorua Hospital.
  2. My mum having to spend near enough a week in Waikato Hospital having tests and chemo etc.
  3. My mum not looking or sounding like my mum anymore.
  4. Tamāhine 2 contracts a severe case of viral conjunctivitis.
  5. Unpleasant comments on my blog.
  6. Whaiāipo had to go back to work.
  7. My big brother returned to Kuwait.
  8. I'm not Wonder Woman/Super Mum. I haven't got a magic recipe to juggle a baby, toddlers and schoolwork.
  9. Suffered "Comparisonitis" a few times.
  10. More in the house + more water usage = empty water tank
We're slowly (and I mean slowly) getting back into school. I want to avoid stress so the motto this year ... we accomplish what we accomplish.

For example, we've only done MUS once since stopping at Christmas! At the moment we're still trying to find a routine with baby before I can focus any "specific" attention on school work.

And anyway, having the baby around IS educational in its own right isn't it? Home Economics ... Biology ... Math ...

Everyone wants to help bathe the baby, so it's a case of having to take turns and get in where they can ...

If they miss out on bathing tama 4, then there's always tama 3 and tamāhine 2 to bathe. [I'm sure the novelty by the two littlies to return to the baby bath will end soon enough, but at the moment ... in summer time especially ... I don't mind them being bathed in the baby bath ... saves me bathing five kids upstairs later huh?!]
Before baby's arrival I spoke to the kids and explained they are now old enough to be doing the dishes. I was directing my thoughts more to the two (possibly three) older children but tama 3 has decided that he needs to be in on the action too. Oh well, as long as the dishes get done, nē rā?
And of course, there's the vacuuming and the putting away of laundry . They've been doing these chores for a while now, but our baby girl looks so beautiful I had to throw a photo in to show her off, lol.

The kids love all the responsibility and I certainly appreciate having the help. For years one became accustomed to carrying out all the tasks on her own, so to finally pass on some of the duties is a welcomed blessing (even if it is another reminder your children are getting older). But for me to keep on top of household chores (and retain some kind of sanity) I have prepared the children for this moment and "so far, so good." No doubt they will become blasé about such things, but hopefully not any day soon.

There's more to chat about, but I'll have to leave that for another posting. Time for organising dinner and cuddles with tama 4.

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano