Saturday, 8 May 2010

Time to get out of my rut

Over the last few weeks, I've struggled to complete a blog post. I simply haven't been in the right head-space to write about what the children and I have been doing. And as I sit here tonight, I'm wondering where this post will end up ... will it be deleted like all the other draft postings, or will I actually get something published?

I can hardly believe it's May already. It feels like one day has simply blended into the next - my own kind of Groundhog Day I guess you could say. It's been too long since I last recorded anything of our schooling, which is disappointing, so I've had a few quiet words to myself and have decided it's time to come out of hibernation and get motivated about things.

Right-oh, where to start? .....

Well, looking at the mess on my desk, I think this will be a good place to start...

On top of my heap is Greek, yes, Greek.

We just started it yesterday. Lesson #1 - learn the first four letters of the Greek Alphabet. Learn how to say them and how to write them. A nice, gentle start. In theory, we should be able to learn all 24 letters in six days. That's in theory ... let's see how it works out in practice, lol.

Luckily I scored two workbooks so that means tama 1 and tamāhine 1 were able to practice. But wouldn't y'know it, tama 2 wants to know where his workbook is too! I asked him to grab an exercise book and luckily that satisfied him .... this time ... as for the next lesson, well, we shall cross that bridge when we get to it!!

Underneath the pile of Greek material is the book tamāhine 1 is currently reading:-

Yes, you'd be right in guessing I got this book because we're embarking on our journey into the Greek language. Before introducing Greek mythology to tamāhine 1, I want to build up her reading and comprehension level so she doesn't get lost, confused, or worse still - switch off. So, when I discovered this book I thought it would be a fun way to learn about Athena and whichever other goddesses and gods we are introduced to. Although the blurb recommends the book for age 8+ years, I'm sure she'll enjoy it enough and pick up the main gist of the story. The line spacing is nice and big also which helps make reading more comfortable for her, I think. We're halfway through the book and although we have many stops and starts (to learn the meanings of new words), tamāhine 1 definitely enjoys it.

As soon as we complete this book we'll read something closer to her age:-
As for tama 1's reading, he's now up to The Littles:-
It's a cute little story which he'll easily finish within four sittings. We'll probably select a few lessons to cover this book before moving onto our next chosen story book - James and the Giant Peach.

The kids current readings each form part of a series of books which I've started collecting - and going by the interest they're showing so far, I'd say I'll be on the look-out for the cheapest book outlets to buy the next books for sure. I might actually try to hang in there till the end of the year in the hopes Book Depository has their big sale again by which time we'll have finished more of the great books on our shelves.

How about Tama 2? Let's just say he finds it hard to see the connection between his improved reading and practicing phonics. We struggle on a daily basis to agree when to practice and yet when he does practice he proves to himself how well he can do it. Bribery is how I get around his stubborness: sometimes it works and other times well, it's best left unsaid, lol.

The kids are getting back into math. We're using Mathletics and practicing multiplications this week. [ It would be nice to find other users of Mathletics because I could really do with asking a few questions about it.] We'll be returning to Math-U-See next week after I refresh my memory over the weekend as to everyone's levels.

As you can see, we've not only started Greek, but Latin also. My original plan was to start Latin toward the end of March/beginning of April but I don't think you need reminding why that didn't happen.

My thinking back then was to get Latin under our belts for about six to eight weeks and then introduce Greek. However, I've lost so much time this school year already, I've decided we'll have a go at introducing them together and simply see where it takes us. Considering Greek is a very gentle intro with learning the alphabet to begin with, I'm hoping I'll have the Latin grammar terms (you know like nominative, genitive, dative, accusative and ablatve cases ... that sort of thing) down cold. I need to have them understood properly to teach the kids instead of the way I bluffed through my own Latin studies that's for sure!!!

The last new class we have is Geography:-
We'll be using this text in conjunction with online material. Our first major continent we're studying is Africa. Tama 1 is soaking it all up, with tamāhine 1 getting involved also. It's a big continent to cover and I hope I do it justice. I've at least learned that Kilimanjaro is over 21 times higher than Mt Maunganui.

One of the other classes I need to sort out properly is Science. I have a couple of experiments to do and I'm hoping to share some of those in the next week or so, but I need to plan this subject more specifically rather than my willy-nilly spontaneous ideas.

Overall, I've devised our studies for the year so now it's a matter of getting some decent sleep and start our days early again. No more wollowing; life's too short.

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

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