Monday, 31 January 2011

Keep asking those questions, tama 2

Nau mai, hoki mai, and welcome back!

Tama 2 (age: 6 years 2 months) lost a second tooth just a few days ago and as I looked at him feeling happy/sad that our boy is getting bigger, I started to remember he has been asking whaiāipo a number of questions when heading out in the family car.  I figure now is a good time to try and remember some to jot down here:

The first question was posed about two weekends ago:

Tama 2: "How do people get made? Who makes people? Does the earth make people?"
Whaiāipo: "No,"
Tama 2: "Well, who makes people then?"

.... When I asked whaiāipo how he handled it, he admitted he by-passed the answer (this time) ....

Yesterday they headed out again:

Tama 2: Who makes wood?  Does the earth make wood?"
Whaiāipo: "Yes. The earth makes the trees and the people cut the trees down and mill the timber."
Tama 2: "So the earth makes the people too then?"

Tama 2: "Why would a farmer kill a chicken? A chicken lays eggs. That would be silly cos then he wouldn’t have any eggs."

Tama 2: "Why would a farmer kill a cow? Cos then he wouldn’t have any milk."

Tama 2: "Why would a farmer kill a pig? Cos then he wouldn’t have anyone to eat his scraps." (I particularly love this one because of course he associates food scraps with our own pigs ... cute!)

Those are all the questions whaiāipo could remember.  I wanted to record them for ourselves -- but now you get to have a giggle too :-)

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Gathering resources for Greek Studies

Nau mai, hoki mai - and welcome back!

This is the text tama 1 is using for mythology class:
It arrived very quickly from Book Depository and I'm really pleased I paid for the hardback version because I'm quite sure we will all refer to it now and in the future - plus, I just love hardback books!

There was a lot of reading for week 1 -- A LOT !!!!  Tama 1 learned about the gods, such as the Titans (or elder gods), the lesser gods, the Underworld and two great gods of earth -- Demeter and Dionysus.

Tama 1 has done very well in his two quizzes taken so far which is just fantastic.

Some things we have learned to date:

In week 1 we learned that Zeus overthrew his father Cronus (Kronos) and then in week 2 we learned that Cronus overthrew his father, Uranus, also.  Rather a violent take-over was that one!!  Apparently Uranus detested his children and as soon as they were born, he forced them into Tartarus: a dark place deep beneath the surface of the earth. Anyway, Gaia (his wife), asked her children to stop Uranus.  The only one to come to her aid was her son Cronus.

[Here's the PGR part ...]

Gaia apparently asks Cronus to cut off his father's sex organs and throw them into the sea. [NICE!!!] Now, interestingly enough, according to some versions of the myth, Aphrodite was born from the (sea) foam where they landed.[EEW!!]

So anyway, Uranus became the sky that surrounds the earth, and Cronus replaced his father as king of the universe.

Back to Zeus -- did you know that Hera (Juno) is not only his wife, but his sister too?!!! [like double eew !!] Tama 1 and I didn't (and still don't) get that at all.  Plus, I don't get why Hera gets such a hard rap.  Her brother slash husband was a total womaniser and had children outside the marriage, yet it's Hera who gets the label of being horrid because she did all sorts of nasty things to the lovers of Zeus.  Okay, okay, so maybe she should've gone to Cronus and asked to borrow his sickle, or better still, simply asked Cronus to use the sickle and do her a favour!!!  but anyway, how come it's Hera that's the witchy-poo in the story with Zeus getting away with things?

I dunno, I guess there's a lot to read and learn yet, but that's just my thoughts so far ....

I wanted to mention one thing to consider when looking at signing up to online classes and that is ...
Tama 1's class runs through to May, so daylight savings will end while we're still in classes.  Rather than 9.30am, tama 1 will have to be in class at 8.30am.

When I looked at another class I realised it would change from 7.00am to 6.00am NZ time after DST ends, which is just too early unfortunately.    Maybe I'll consider it when he's 10 years old? :-) ... But it's something to keep in mind should you live in the southern hemisphere, considering classes which run for 15+ weeks from the northern hemisphere.

The following are just a few of the online resources which will come in handy not only for the children, but also my classical studies class:
Simply type in a god's name to learn more about them
Has a nice little timeline printout which could come in handy
Another good site aimed at children, but good for anyone really
Funnily enough, the children reminded me of some books we have in our little home library, which may come in useful:
Remember the series of these Goddess Girls books I bought for tamāhine 1?

This next one I had as a child and although the binding is certainly showing its age, the stories are timeless: 
I know I've got another book from when my eldest brother was a boy too, but where that is, I'm not sure.  I thought I knew exactly where it was, but I was obviously mistaken.  I shall look more thoroughly tomorrow.
This week tama 1 must read chapters III and IV.  In these chapters he will learn how the world and mankind were created and learn about some of the earliest heroes, such as Prometheus and Io, Europa, as well as the Cyclops Polyphemus to name a few.  I will try finding other online details about the creation of the world and mankind because tama 1 and I found the text rather heavy-going.  Hopefully I can find something that speaks to me/us more clearly.

As for my own classical studies, I received my login and password for e-learning which I can access from the 31st of January.  I'm hoping to get my first assignment completed by that date but so far it's all a mess, just bits of notes written here and there.  I'm not following it very well, so I've decided to try and find what I can online to help me out.  I've done an online search for ancient maps of Greece and have found a few to print out and I think that should aid my learning.  (I need something visual to get my bearings eh!)

A couple of things I have learned so far:

I have learned that the Greeks called foreigners Barbarians because they "couldn't understand what they were saying and dismissed them as those people who made "bar bar bar" noises, and so called them barbarians."  I also know their city-states were called polis in Greek.  I am learning the five ages, eg Golden Age, Bronze, Dark...

Well, that is enough for now ...

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Playtime learning

Nau mai, hoki mai - and welcome back!

The children are making the most of swimming and playing outdoors until the sun goes down each day.  Other than tama 1 starting his mythology class last week, we have been enjoying the holidays with little thought to school work.  But today, while the three older children were at the beach, I took the opportunity to snap some photographs of  a few things the children have made as part of their playtime...

I had to ask the children if there was such a thing as the Pacific League!!  ... the answer is no, they came up with it all on their own.  They looked so official sitting at their "cabinet desks." 

Following are some Māori waka made by tama 1.

Tama 2 drew New Zealand (Aotearoa) freehand, and made our national flag with a little help from tama 3.

I missed out on the Parthenon which the children made out of wood blocks while playing in the shed, so tama 1 decided to make it out of cardboard for me.

I love the ideas they come up with in their play.

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

Friday, 14 January 2011

Continuing my own education journey

Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!

As soon as I received my last kete from Te Wananga o Aotearoa last year, I started thinking about what I would study next.  Well, I looked over everything on offer through TWOA, but a little voice inside my head kept telling me it was time to head back towards my degree.

You will (I hope) follow my method of madness as to the path I'm taking to get back towards the degree after you read along further ...

Okay, just before Christmas I enrolled with Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu (Correspondence School NZ).  My chosen course of study? Classical Studies - NCEA Level 2.

I'm no stranger to the Correspondence School because I have studied with them in the past ~ over a decade ago now, but nevertheless, I am still an old student.  I'm also not a stranger to the Correspondence School because three of our kids have been enrolled at one stage or another in the Early Childhood programme.  In fact, I had a phone call today to confirm tama 3's application has been approved, so he'll be the fourth child to enjoy their resources.  (By the time I learned of their ECH programme, tama 1 was already 6 or 7? making him ineligible.)

So anyway, I've got my work cut out for me now... two littlies enrolled in ECH, three big kids homeschooling, mythology course for tama 1 and my own classical studies to boot.

Oh, and just in case you're wondering why I didn't choose to sign up with Massey University to continue my extramural studies? Well, I have three main reasons, and they are (in no particular order):
  1. The price to enrol through Massey, I just couldn't afford straight off the cuff.
  2. I do intend taking classical papers to go towards my "eventual" degree through Massey, either next year or 2013, but (and this may sound vain,) I want to get a better grade than B- which is the best I achieve when I'm juggling everything in my life.  Just for once, I'd like to think I could get a much higher grade.
  3. Because our homeschooling method is classical, I need to educate myself to be of some sort of beneficial assistance to the children.  Mind you, I can't say I can be worried for tama 1 ... the other day as we read the Introduction in Edith Hamilton's Mythology text, he drops into our conversation about Greek gods, "they were polytheistic I think..." ~ "WHAT?!," I thought to myself, "how on earth do you know that?!" -- My goodness, I didn't know those sorts of terms until I took my Hinduism and Buddhism paper a few years back!!! Let's see, I would've been 41 or 42 when I studied that, and here he is at 8 (okay, nearly 9 years of age), telling me the Greeks and Romans were polytheistic!!!!  -- guess who'll be asking her son when she's stuck doing her classical studies, LOL.
Anyway, I just wanted to share my own education continues this year.

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Tama 1 takes his first online class

Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!

We had a very exciting start to our day, today -- a new class.

Here's a screenshot of the Roman and Greek Mythology class before the students logged in :)
Roman and Greek Mythology is to be held once a week for the next 15 weeks.

Might I just say, tama 1 was quite the novelty: the only student outside the USA, and all the way from New Zealand nonetheless :-)

Fortunately, I arranged with Uncle Craig around 11 o'clock LAST NIGHT, to come out to us before class commenced to help with our tamariki.  SOOOOOOO glad I did.  (Soooooooooo glad he is still here on holiday this week!!!)

For today's (first) class, I decided to organise a desk upstairs for him:
Being his very first class with other students (as in like, you know, not his siblings) I can tell you he felt slightly overwhelmed as the other students started entering class, but  Magistra Sheppard is just sooooooo absolutely delightful that she had him in the palm of her hand guiding him through the class.  Thank you Magistra.

One of the neat tricks I learned about this type of schooling is that the class is recorded.  This means we can watch it back and pick up any relevant details missed during the live class.  Question:  Can you do that when you go to "regular" school?

Before I go, I wanted to pop the next photo in.  Tama 1 with his Koro.  Dad came out for a visit yesterday and one of the smaller dictionaries happened to be sitting out on the couch.  Dad grabbed it and started discussing a few things with tama 1.
Moments like this are even more precious and important to me than ever before.  Not so long ago, my mum was here looking after our kids while I worked....

Plus, moments like this also give a pictorial explanation as to why I didn't prevent myself from signing tama 1 in the mythology class.  I could probably have justified it was too expensive at the moment - especially when the price is converted to New Zealand Dollars, however, I live more for today than ever before because life is short.  What's the point of putting anything off?  Life is unpredictable.

Anyway, today was a great, great day.

Now I'm wondering when my own coursework will arrive?  I'm keen to study again.  What a very exciting start to the year.

Will try to share more again soon.

Thanks for dropping
ka kite ano

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Congratulations tama 1

Nau mai hoki mai and welcome back!

Here's an email we received 27 December 2010.  Yes, it's taken me a while to share the news!!
Congratulations! You are one of the winners of the latest Youngzine contest.
Check it out at:

Brag about it by forwarding the link to all your friends and family, and posting on Facebook!

- Youngzine Team

Isn't he amazing?!

Well, I hope to get back to blogging soon.  Our break has been heavenly but I have a few things to share -- one of which is a 15-week mythology class tama 1 commences tomorrow morning (9.30am NZ time, 3.30 US EST time).  I'll try to share more on the weekend.

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

Saturday, 1 January 2011

SonLight Education Ministry

Nau mai, hoki mai - welcome back!

Word is out on one of the groups that the above website will be offering their Bible-based homeschool curriculum for FREE, effective after 31 December. If you follow this link you can read the details at their website.

I can't see why it wouldn't work for us in NZ to send a stick with return postage -- just email and ask their advice I guess eh?!

Nota Bene: This is not to be confused with Sonlight Curriculum.

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano