Thursday, 27 May 2010

Autumn heading into Winter

By the heading of this post one would assume I'd be talking about nature or something like that. But no, I chose to name it as such because we are spending more days indoors due to wet weather which means more academics I guess. That, and the fact, I've no imagination to come up with a clever title!!!! With over 200 posts, my brain can't come up with anything clever for titles, lol.

Here's a few examples of things (we've) learned in the past few days:

Paleo - old, ancient
ontology - the study of existence

Therefore Paleontologist = person who studies things from the ancient world.

Paleontologists search for fossils (the remains of plants and animals that once existed).
Fossils can be found inside rocks and the ground.

Some of the equipment a paleontologist would use are:
Notebooks to record details of what they find and where they find it. Soft bristled brushes to delicately remove excess dirt and dust on anything they find. Map and compass to mark things on map so they can find it again. Shovels to dig deep, but carefully study the dirt so they don't miss anything. Chisel - to chip around rock carefully. Special hammers (sharp flat edge designed especially for rocks amd dirt). Magnifying lens - some fossils are very small and hard to see.

A sea is a body of salt water that is partly or totally surrounded by land.
Many seas are connected to an ocean by channels.
A bay is part of an ocean that forms a curve in the shoreline.
A gulf is part of an ocean or a sea that "dents" the land. It loops into the coastline.

Roald Dahl ROCKS! Tama 1 is enjoying his current reading book - James and the Giant Peach. He's read over half the book in less than a week. Tama 1 and myself enjoyed listening to Auriel the other day as she described, with great passion, some of the wonderful facts she knows about Roald Dahl. It would seem "Boy and Going Solo" will make a fantastic read. Even the Roald Dahl's website is entertaining!

We also played archaeologist and explored the Indus Valley and Mohenjo-Daro in particular. We recounted some previous learning, eg how tools such as a digital camera, ballooncams and laptop are used, that an archaeologist is like a detective and how artifacts would likely be displayed in a museum. I don't know if the kids can truly interpret that an ancient civilisation is one which existed 1,500 years ago but that's something they will certainly appreciate as their own histories develop. We also discussed fact and opinion. The lesson helped as an exercise in geography simply by locating continents, countries etc on the map.

Then of course we had our run-of-the-mill staple subjects ...

Math-U-See is going well. Tama 1 is working through δ (Delta). He ended the week completing Lesson 13. This week he had to work out the area of a trapezoid. He breezed through it. Now, although others skip some of the exercise pages if their child understands the concept, I choose to have the kids do the entire lesson. So, although tama 1 grasps it easily enough, I prefer he practice, practice, practice. Mistakes occur even when you know things. Tamāhine 1 has returned to Γ (Gamma) without a problem. She worked carefully on two pages per day, making no errors. She only needed a little help deciphering a couple of sentence problems, but other than that she did a perfect job. It's always a good idea to take a break and come back when you feel they're ready to give it another go. It's worked every time so far in our family; and it's kept me sane when I could quite easily allow myself to become frustrated and nag at her. What a waste of time and energy that style of learning is.

Reading - As I mentioned earlier, tama 1 has started his next book:
He should have it finished within the next three or four days I'd say. He only started last Thursday, reading two chapters. He felt daunted at first that he would be reading what looked initially to him as a long book. When we opened the book for the first time, I assured him it would be fine to read just one chapter. I followed that up by saying, "if you don't like it after the first chapter or two, then you don't need to read it." Luckily they are bite-size chapters (only a couple of pages at the beginning of it) so that helped, but the style in which it is written had him engaged immediately.

Tamāhine 1 has completed her book Athena the Brain (Goddess Girls)
Throughout last week the kids found things referring to Athena, Zeus, Medusa, Poseidon and Persephone. Medusa was a feature on Ziptales even!

Having completed her first Goddess Girls book, I had planned to move to something different, but tamāhine 1 asked if she could read:
I thought she'd have opted to read something else because although she enjoyed Athena the Brain , I wasn't sure if she found the stopping and starting - trying to figure out some jolly difficult words - too much, but nope, she's keen to continue along the same storyline. Kei te pai. So now she's finding out about Hades ... God of the Underworld. In this story, he's a yuongen like all the other characters. These books really are written as light fantasy and reach a girly audience. I don't mind that, because it's always nice to have something girly to read, I think. But as I said in a previous post, I like the light-hearted way tamāhine 1 is introduced to Greek mythology. Who needs to learn the dark sides of certain deity at this age?!

Latin and Greek lessons chugged along really well last week but this week we're experiencing a change of direction due to a few unexpected interruptions, but learning is certainly occurring in other areas so we don't stress over times like this.

Phonics - This is certainly the only subject that I would say we spend 10-15 minutes working on. Once the kids know how to read, write, and do basic arithmetic, our subjects can take anything from one hour+ to work through. I've not done well trying to follow a CM style of homeschooling huh?! But oh well, tama 2 is improving each day. I know that he learns simply by planting himself next to his older siblings to share in their learnings. He listens in, attempts to answer when he wants and then toddles off to do his own thing when he's had enough.

Well, that's about all I can think of at the moment. I've dawdled getting this post done as it is, so it's time to hit the Publish Post button and share the post with y'all.

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

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