Thursday, 31 March 2011

We don't have to leave home to be busy homeschoolers y'know

Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!

It is not unusual for me to be awake at 3.30 in the morning -- and this morning just so happened to be one of those mornings.  More often than not I will drift back to slumber, but today I ended up climbing out of bed because I simply couldn't get back to sleep.  Perhaps my mind was too busy racing with the classical studies assessment I haven't completed yet.  I've made four pages so far -- but I've got to make six to eight pages; or perhaps I couldn't sleep because I knew tama 1 hadn't finished the required reading for this morning's mythology class; or perhaps it was because I wanted to make sure I didn't miss the Science Jim class at 6.00am.  Then again, maybe I had far too many coffees last night?

Whatever the cause, I was out of bed and downstairs by 4 o'clock.  I even snuck out of the house to gather some firewood and had the room nice and toasty warm for tama 1 and tamāhine 1 by the time I woke them at 6.00am.  (On an aside: I can hardly wait to have insulation and gibbing downstairs -- just imagine how much warmer it will be when we come down in the mornings, yay.)

Hopefully you'll notice the arrow pointing to my name in the list of participants, just in case you think we weren't really part of the live class.

The children and I felt very special that Science Jim made mention of us being from New Zealand.
Tama 1 and tamāhine 1 bounced out of bed and were alert within a few minutes - pretty easy when Science Jim is so entertaining.  He has such a fantastic way of communicating his message across.  This is the first time they've ever done homeschooling in their pj's -- how many regular school children can say they get to do the same?
Some parents would probably look at the start time of 6am and gawp, but they'll gawp even more when I say that next week (due to the end of Daylight Savings in New Zealand), it means we will start classes at 5.00am.

I don't actually expect the children to wake up at 5.00am, but if they manage to do it, then great. When I initially spoke to the children about registering for the class, they were only "kinda" interested.  However, here's one of the beauties of online classes.  Sometimes (and Science Jim lessons just so happen to be a great example) you can watch a previous lesson or two.  As soon as the children had watched two of his classes they were hooked.  "Yep, I'll get up!" they said, "Even when it means waking up at 5.00am after Daylight Savings ends?" They reckon they can do it, so we'll give it a go.

Back to my point about watching a previous lesson or two.  Let me put this to you ... if we enrolled our children in a regular school, would we be encouraged to sit in and watch a lesson or ten of each subject to see whether we liked it or not? .... I'm pretty sure the answer would be, "no," wouldn't you say?

And while I'm on the topic of regular school classes, do they allow me to watch and re-watch as many times as I like, a recording of any classes our children are enrolled in?  ... I'm pretty sure the answer would again be, "no."

Here's one more to throw in ... when children go to regular schools, they usually have one teacher all year, with one style of teaching.  I like the fact I can find books and websites to teach the children myself, as well as find online classes (either short or long) with teachers of varying styles and interest.  I guess what I'm saying is, I enjoy giving the children a very broad education.  As homeschoolers, if we find a curriculum doesn't work for us, then we can try something else.  If we sent the children to school we'd either have to like it or lump it, or if necessary we would have to pull them out of one school only to enrol them in another.


If we choose to have the children registered in online classes and classes just so happen to be at 3.15am or 5.00am then I have no problem with it.  Why?  Because (1) we can either wake up, watch it, and then hit the hay for a few hours, and (2) We can rewind, replay and capture all the important points we missed the first time round.   (3) One, two, three or more of the children (and I) can watch the live class. They also get to socialise with children from other nations -- within the safety of our home.  No bullies, no wasted class time, and loads of fun.

Whichever way you look at it, having a home education is by far the greatest way to learn.

This post is by no means written in defence of why I choose to blend online classes with our homeschooling method.  It just so happened that my conversation flowed as to some of the reasons why we love it so much.  For an early morning start, we're feeling in very high spirits.

Our plan for the very early morning classes, is to camp downstairs the night before.  That way the children can climb up onto computer chairs, or simply watch from their mattresses.  Having a camp-out.

Thanks for dropping by
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Supporting homeschoolers

Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!

This morning I received the following link via our local homeschooling group.
Hi friends

Some fantastics kids and I have entered the ukelele jingle competition at the Another Hitachi Day site http://www.anotherhitachiday.co.nz

The big prize is $10,000 which I would dearly love to use to a) pay my kids and b) create a kids  music cd and dvd, "Living and Active - volume Two", so please please please vote for us!

You can also share the link and recommend us to EVERYONE you know so they can view our video too!  You don't actually have to *like* it , all you have to do is watch it as the person with the most views wins. (and you can watch it again and again for the next month, and try not to be tempted to watch any other entrants)



I've watched it a couple of times.  Very cute.  Always nice to lend support.

Good luck guys!

Thanks for dropping by
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Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Reminder for tomorrow

Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!

EDUCATIONAL RESOURCE DAY
Rotorua 31 March
For the first time ever (and after many requests) LearnEx is finally coming
to Rotorua!
Venue: H20 room, Living Well Church (use the side entrance) 47 Biak Street,
Rotorua
Date: Thursday 31 March
Time: 10am-1pm

There is plenty of parking available in the church car park but please don't park in front of the school Chapman College.)

Thanks for dropping by
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Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Love Currclick

Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!

There's lots and lots of things I like about CurrClick awesome lesson resources at amazing discounted prices, freebies, live classes and webinars like this one which I participated in this afternoon in the Get-Fit-A-Thon.
We're trying to record our "miles" as frequently as possible, but I think I'll need to make reminders on the calendar to give me that needed visual prompt, lol.
Following this webinar, I set up a Ning account for tama 1:-
Not sure how we go about using Ning just yet.  Perhaps you, or your children have Ning accounts?  What do you think of them?
At the completion of one of his classes today, I allowed tama 1 to Skype with two of his classmates.  They stayed on topic for all of 10-15 minutes, then the fun of playing a game against someone else was new and exciting.

They probably communicated for an hour (or perhaps it felt that long for me!), but I wasn't far away.  He had to use my laptop because the desktops didn't like the webcam.  Not sure why that was, but at least I could use the excuse I needed my laptop back to get them off the machine!!  I also let him "make friends" because well, they don't go to school, so this is one form of socialisation.  I was also working on a computer download issue on and off throughout the day, and with all the banging and clanging that was happening on our roof (whaiāipo is trying to finish the roof), it gave the children an early lunch break while I got on with finding a solution to the computer hiccup.  I think I figured it out so I sent a message on good ol' FB, so hopefully we'll have a new link tomorrow.

Speaking of tomorrow, I have my next webinar to participate in:
I'll be enjoying this as I munch on breakfast tomorrow :-)

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Working on the house

Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!

Last night tamāhine 1 received a birthday card from the team at St John:-
Of course, tamāhine 2 just simply had to get in the pic too :-)

Tamāhine 1 felt over the moon last night when the Division Leader said, "... and someone is having a birthday on the 3rd of April..."  Next second, our baby girl has her name called out and is asked to go up and receive her birthday card together with best wishes.  She was grinning from ear to ear.  Afterwards, she had many of the older girls (from Junior Cadets) come up to her saying, "have a happy birthday!"  Her brothers and I looked on with joy in our hearts.

Here's some of the mahi that's been happening around our whare these past four days.  Unfortunately we couldn't afford to hire a digger machine - not at $300+ for a day's hire.  So, poor whaiāipo dug, dug and dug.  Our whāngai son came over to give us a hand too.

We're used to whaiāipo coming home looking exactly like this practically every night!!!







 And this is how everbody relaxed at the end of each day:



These two little ones go NUTS if they don't get a long ride.  They LOVE riding with Joel and whaiāipo.


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A little bit of Science

Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!

Thanks to Science Jim's Facebook page we watched this interesting video today:



Look Up! The Billion-Bug Highway You Can't See from NPR on Vimeo


I had planned to add a few photos from a science experiment we carried out the other day, but this was faster to load.

Enjoy.

Thanks for dropping by
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Monday, 28 March 2011

A funny

Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!

In the future...

YouTube, Twitter and Facebook will merge to form one super time-wasting website called ...



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Sunday, 27 March 2011

I like it when my voice is heard

Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!

Maybe they read my blog post?  I'm not sure but I've downloaded version 4 Firefox (again) because FoxClocks is now compatible.  I am SOOOO relieved.  I can say I one of the 15.85 million who downloaded version 4 now.

I was so pleased with tamāhine 1's writing with her new fountain pen (meant to be given for her birthday, but oh well, sue me!!!) that I want to share it here.
Without a doubt this copy isn't as good as the real McCoy.

As for one of the webinars I've mentioned, the first one coming up is:
I can assure you that if you're interested in participating, but live outside the USA like myself, then using Skype is the way to go.  Simply click on any of the links, follow the very clear instructions, and you'll be ready to go like me.

There are still days when I feel I am less than confident about homeschooling.  I continue to search (on a daily basis) for new and better things, and always wonder if I'm on the right track, if I'm doing the children justice, and if in fact homeschooling is right for me?  I like being reassured I'm doing a good job, but more importantly, I enjoy listening to inspirational people.

Thanks for dropping by
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Friday, 25 March 2011

Our morning started with a bang!

Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!

Quite literally, our day did start with a bang.  The children and I were nearing the end of breakfast when a truck drove past.  Within seconds we heard "BANG!!"  I imagined the worst .... so I ran out the front door and up the driveway.  As I did I could see a puff of dust - not flames or such like - just a billowing cloud of dirt/dust.  When I looked down the road I could see a truck driver running back towards his "load" which had careered clean off the trailer.

A huge slab of concrete lay on the ground.  My neighbours were at the top of their driveways also.  We acknowledged to each other that we were okay.  As I spoke to one neighbour a little later, he explained he was running a few minutes late to get to a job.  He could quite easily have been sitting at the top of the drive when everything came off the passing truck.

The first steel arm must have come off right outside our place.  If you notice where I have the pink arrow, that is EXACTLY where my neighbour would have been sitting in his van!!!!  Can you belive that?!
To get an appreciation of the size (and imagine the weight), and the strength it had to stay in one piece:
The children dragged their heels to do any kura after this!!  But, it is a learning exercise by itself, so we made the most of discussing lots of things from it.

Thanks for dropping by
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Thursday, 24 March 2011

In answer to my own question from yesterday

Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!

Following my quick post last night, I decided to email the host site regarding accessing their webinar next week.  This morning I received a really lovely response.  The answer: Yes.  Simply sign up to join the webinar and shortly thereafter I would receive an email providing directions on how to gain access.  I was advised to scroll down the email where I'll find instructions on how to set it up using Skype.

I followed the instructions to the letter and after reading how to set up the Skype contact, I decided to set try a dumby run.

It felt like I'd won a prize when I heard the recorded message!!!  Exciting stuff for this middle-age mother :-)  So, I've made sure I've converted the time from TUESDAY, MARCH 29th, at NOON to 1 PM Pacific Daylight Time to WEDNESDAY, MARCH 30th, from 8.00 AM to 9.00 AM New Zealand Daylight Time.

This brings me to my next point.  When I look for lessons and webinars, I have always relied on my handy Fox Clocks located at the bottom of the screen in the status bar to calculate the different times.  I love having them so handy because not only do I know what time it is in Kuwait to talk to my big brother, or my second brother in Canberra, but I also have some of the US time zones as well.

Moving along ...

Well, around 11 o'clock last night my brother Craig asks if I have the latest version of Mozilla Firefox; ie  version 4.  I checked and realised I didn't.  So, I went ahead (as yah do) and downloaded the new version.  Only to discover, shock - horror!!! Fox Clocks in NOT compatible with the latest version!!!  OH WHAT?!!!!  Well, for me that's a nightmare.  I have relied on seeing the times at a glance, so needless to say around midnight I decided to return to version 3.6.15.

Craig found some other world clocks but so far they don't sit in my status bar like I prefer.  If anyone happens to know of something similar to:
(I've tried to stress it to make it easier to read)

then I'd love to hear from you.

I prefer Mozilla Firefox to Internet Explorer.  I know a lot of people moved over to Chrome - been there, done that - but I am happy with the speed and capabilities of Firefox.  I just hope they rectify the Clocks, and at least I know I'm not the only one to miss them - in my google search I read a few comments in agreement with my sentiment.

But anyway, that's only part of what I'm prattling on about....

I have now signed up to a number of online courses which are taught from different parts of the United States.  I love them - can't get enough of them!  But before you consider taking classes this way here is my advice:
  1. Check how many weeks the class is running.
  2. Which time zone is it in?
  3. Convert into New Zealand time (just like you converted the price!!!)
  4. Look at your calendar; does New Zealand either lose or gain daylight savings during the period of the class?
  5. Look at your international calendar; does the State from which the class is held lose or gain daylight savings during the period of the class?
The last two points are incredibly important for scheduling.  For New Zealanders, we are better off finding classes that are held in the afternoon (US time) because it will mean a starting time somewhere between 7am to 10am in New Zealand. UNLESS your attendance is not compulsory then go ahead and book into classes that run at 3am NZ time!!!

Hopefully this tale explains to you why I love Fox Clocks so much.  Otherwise it highlights I spend far too much time on the internet looking for online lessons, lol.

Regardless, I've learned how to participate in a live webinar using Skype next week.  I can hardly wait.


Thanks for dropping by
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Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Webinars

Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!

Do you have experience/knowledge with webinars?

I'm not that techno-savvy so I've never signed up for one before because I've always thought it cost money to do so.  I've always waited until it came on podcast and listened that way (like I'm doing right now!)

However, I'd like to find out once and for all.

Can I dial up using Skype? or is that making the assumption the other party are using Skype also?

If anyone knows, please let me know!!!!

Thanks for dropping by
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Tama 1 - Youngzine

Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!

Tama 1, tamāhine 1 and tama 2 have just got home after five days away.  Tama 1 immediately jumped on his favourite website - Youngzine - which reminded me I'm a bit slow to add this ... but that's just typical of me nowadays eh?!

Hi Kiwi_BJ and family,

Congratulations! You are one of the winners of the latest Youngzine contest.
Check it out at: http://www.youngzine.com/contest/creative-use-clothespin

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

- Youngzine Team
http://www.youngzine.com



Thanks for dropping by
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Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Timetables always need re-tweaking don't they? Well they do for me!

Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!

(Watch out for the hodge podge post ... lots to do, very little time!  Hope you manage to follow my train of thought ...)

Assignment #3 finally sent away yesterday.  Following completion I then opened the "sealed" envelope holding Achievement Standard XXXXX - Communicate knowledge of an aspect of the classical world.

The Task

Create a newspaper choosing episodes from myths concerning gods and heroes of the Trojan War ... develop and write articles detailing knowledge .... illustrate with appropriate pictures ... consistent with a STANDARD NEWSPAPER FORMAT ... and so it goes on ...

First question: does that mean I have to make it the size of a proper newspaper?!!! If so, my comment is: "You've gotta be kidding!!!"

Allow two weeks for this assessment ... well, I'm already behind so that two weeks has been knocked back to four days, (actually it's less than four days but I'll make myself feel better and put four days instead of two).


So that's my classical studies...


Tama 1 had to miss Mythology class last week because we had a mass offered up for my mum.  Coincidentally it was on St Patrick's Day.  Today (22 March) marks the day mum was buried following her awesome tangi.  Since Thursday last, our time has been spent in and out of the city, busy with whānau, urupa and over-eating.  Ranginui shed his tears over Papatuanuku at the exact right moments, just like last year.  Dad, the boys and myself certainly miss mum, but we rejoice in knowing she is with tupuna.  I imagine mum singing and playing the piano and spending her every minute with family.  My mother's love for her tupuna was evident with whakapapa knowledge, so that's why I know she's happy to be where she is.

I'm in the process of re-tweaking our school timetable because I've added a number of "little" lessons I'd like done as well as making room to schedule some time for my own studies.

I paid fees for the children this week at St John's Ambulance, so I feel like we've really made a commitment to continue with that now.  I haven't paid the bond for uniforms though.  Financially that's a big sting - I'm just glad they told us we'd be waiting a few weeks before they arrive.  With luck I'll have saved enough to pay for those by the time they get here.  Tama 1 enjoyed his Cadets lesson, so I'm hoping he'll be kei te pai on his own next time.  From now until next week, tama 1 has to decide what badge he'd like to do next.  I'm not sure if that means they work individually towards their badges, or whether they find a majority vote.  I also didn't know that once you pay for their fees, your child will have their name called out during roll call.  Because of this, tama 2 didn't say "boo" when his name was announced.  He didn't know, and to be honest, neither did I, so I felt rather peeved about that.  But oh well, chalk that up to experience.

So, I'm about halfway through re-tweaking the timetable.  I'm trying my best to think ahead.  I've got to remember that next term (depending on subjects offered) the children will spend Friday afternoons at Chapman College.

House update

Without raising everyone's hopes too much, I feel confident in saying we've secured our house.  The bank have given us a list of "conditions" -- all achievable as far as we're concerned.  However, until it's all submitted to the bank and they give that final nod, we can't get too excited.  But it does seem like Fate is on our side.  Actually, I could write an article for our newspaper about Fate.  Hmm, that might make a good idea.

Right, I am off to brainstorm ...

Oh, one last thing before I go.  Erena from LearnEx will be in Rotorua on 31 March at Chapman College between 10am and 1pm.  I'm picking up my MUS material (and something else but I can't remember what it is now), lol.  Looking forward to meeting her for the first time ever.  I look forward to seeing what other material LearnEx brings too.

Thanks for dropping by
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Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Scion Weekend

Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!

If you live in or near Rotorua then hopefully you've heard of this bi-annual event:


We were unable to attend the last free day so I can't give a personal account.  However, I have friends and acquaintances who loved it and will definitely return this year. 

Learning about science for free, well that's got to be a good thing nē?! 

Besides you've got the Redwoods Whakarewarewa Forest within walking distance, so you could always take in one of the many bush walks or mountain bike trails.  All free!!  In other words, you can really make a fantastic family day of it.

Whether you're a local, or think you'd like to include Science in the Park in your events calendar this weekend, then I'm sure you'll love it.

Thanks for dropping by
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Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Marching into Autumn

Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!

My birthday marks the end of February, and therefore the end of summer.  Some years I'm lucky to have super sunny weather and others I remember it absolutely bucketing down with rain.  This year I am fortunate that it was sunny.  As much as I don't mind a rainy birthday, I'll admit I'm  glad it was fine this year because it marked my first birthday without my mum.  My third brother has his birthday seven days after me, so as of yesterday we've all had our "first" birthdays without mum.  We reflect on the significance of that, but we don't dwell on it.  We celebrate and don't mourn.  Our mourning will come this month when the 18th marks the first anniversary since mum's death, and then again when we hold the unveiling.  Pretty sucky huh?!  (not the most polite description of it, but that's what popped in my head, and really, it does suck ...)

Here are the banners the kids made for my 45th birthday.  Yep, 45!!  I'm not ashamed to admit my age.  Doesn't bother me, because I look and feel younger.  Having kids later in life makes me feel younger still. I love each and every one of them and I love each and every banner the three big kids made.

The two banners with planes were made by tama 2.  I was hoping that maybe I was getting a surprise flight somewhere, yeah right!!! lol.  The top banner is by tamāhine 1...

Tama 1 drew the night sky with fireworks. Tama 2 had me flying in the daytime in the first banner, and then in the dark on the next, so I figure I was flying out NZ day time and arriving in some foreign country at night.  Wouldn't that be exciting? ... one can always dream can't one?
Spot the difference in coffee machine!!  I love my coffee machine, and as much as I should give up coffee for Lent like a friend is, I choose not to.  I'd need to take a detox programme to achieve it!!!  I don't drink and I don't smoke, but I do like my coffee.  I've at least cut back from the umpteen dozen a day I used to guzzle.  I now drink between four and six cups per day ... on the best days I drink three and that's phenomenal considering my history of coffee consumption, :-)

Funnily enough, I've been talking about buying a new coffee machine later this year, and obviously tama 1 overheard me!!!  Check out the machine he made me for my birthday ... I absolutely love it ...
Check out the water holder even!!!!
Tama 1 also made coffee beans!! but I forgot to take a photo.  He made a packet of coffee beans and the brand name is "Shuttle Coffee".  The flavour is called "Blast Off."
The biggest surprise on my birthday was to have whaiāipo announce he wasn't going to work that day.  How totally fantastic.  I had a great birthday, and so long as the Fat Dog still makes birthday cakes that we can order, then my mum is with me too.  How's that, you ask?
Well, my mum used to work in that very same building when it held State Advances.  It's been a family favourite for donkeys.  Every time my big brother would come home from Kuwait, and mum was alive, we would ALWAYS go to the Fat Dog to have a fantastic meal, chin-wag and good ol' family laugh.  So buying a cake from there is the very next best thing to having my mum with me.  That may sound drippy and nonsensical to many, but I thought I'd share that little something with y'all nevertheless.

Off the topic of my birthday now ...

The last two Monday evenings (yes, on my birthday even) tama 1, tamāhine 1, tama 2 and myself have tagged along to St John's.
We thoroughly loved the Penguins session,
but as for the (junior) Cadets ... well, the jury's still out on that one.

I had tama 1 and tamāhine 1 participate with both the Penguins and (junior) Cadets.  We finished at Penguins on a major high, but then I (nota bene: not the kids) felt extremely deflated following (junior) Cadets.

We went back for a second trial last night, minus the (junior) Cadets.  I chose to leave tama 1 behind because I wasn't keen to have a repeat of last week's (junior) Cadets.  At the completion of another fun Penguins class, I had a nice kōrero whakakata with the Penguins leader.  Suffice it to say we might give the (junior) Cadets another crack.

Last week the kids friend was awarded the mascot, Primo, to take home for the week. This week, guess what?! Tamāhine 1 has the honours!! As we headed home I had her ring ahead (because I'm very conscious I'm not allowed to talk on a mobile while driving!!!  What a good citizen I am!!) to let whaiāipo know our ETA.  Well, that entire 25-30 minute drive home I spent listening to tamāhine 1 talk to tama 1 about the class!!!  As we hopped out of the car she hid Primo behind her back and then the shouts of glee from herself and tama 1 as she revealed what she had !!!! OMG !!!!  Priceless.

Today, in between school work and sports, tama 1 made a uniform for Primo ...
Here's the back shot of his Official Medical Penguin jacket (complete with Super Penguin badge) ...
Here's Primo watching the kids as they did their mahi ...
 
I didn't think they'd be quite so buzzed about a toy penguin, but hey! I was wrong!

After some class work today the three big kids went outside to play soccer.  It wasn't so much the fact that they went out to play sport that I took the photo, but more the fact they were ecstatic about their brand new shoes.  Their first pair of brand new sneakers ... no hand-me-downs, but brand spanking new.  CHEAP but NEW.

The hardcase thing about the shoes is that I actually brought them because I had hoped to start the three of them at Chapman College on Biak Street in Rotorua.  We spend our days with bare feet or sandals, but I can't have them trudge along to somewhere like this without decent shoes eh?! lol
(It's a Christian school which commenced in 2009 if I'm correct.  On Friday afternoons they have made available three or four activities which homeschoolers have been invited to partake in for a small fee per term.)  Unfortunately we're too late to get in for the first semester, so we shall simply have to wait until semester two.  I sat on the fence about registering because (1) The house situation prevents me from getting involved with too many new things - just in case we end up shifting soon! and (2) I'd overspent at Christmas/New Year on school course work so I didn't feel I could afford it.  But that's okay because our calendar is busy with the children's Latin, Mythology et cetera as well as my own Classical Studies.  Speaking of which, I really had better sign off because I'm meant to be working on the Trojan War.  At the completion of this assignment I have my first Standards Assessment.  Yuck!!  Sounds scary.

Latin is rocking along for tama 1.  Tama 1 works on his own for the best part of it and then I try to get up to speed later.  We review together, discuss and then tackle exercises and reading together.  At the moment we no sooner seem to understand one grammar point when we quickly forget it because we learn a new one.  Up until today we felt comfortable understanding nominative, genitive, accusative and vocative declensions but now we're struggling with ablative and dative.  We'll need to do some serious swat to get those sorted.  Trying to look at each word and breaking it down into its correct form is jolly hard work.  However, it's important to me that the children become fluent in Latin.  You've heard me rabbit on about wanting to get back to Greek at some point too, but it's a case of finding a course that I can "click" with.  So the goal this semester year is to become confident in Latin before attempting Greek again.  My whānau probably look at me thinking, "why aren't you teaching the tamariki te reo māori?"  Well, my weak answer is, "I will, but at the moment they will learn it from what they see and hear around them.  Latin is a vital component to learning any language - Māori included.  Already tama 1 can see a few similarities between the languages which is terrific.  I am quietly confident his comprehension of one will equip him with the skills to learn the other -- and many others in fact.  I'm nowhere near as fluent in languages as my big brother or sister-in-law, but I still aspire to get close to their abilities and I want the same for our tamariki.

There's loads I could write about Latin and Mythology but that'll have to wait for another time.  I've already noticed I have five drafted blog posts from last month so they're so stale and outdated now that I'll simply have to bin them!!!  I don't know how other homeschoolers keep up with blogging!!!  You're all wicked!!!  Me, I'm struggling to keep up with what our family does let alone record it all.

Tama 1 continues to love Youngzine.  He now has two badges.  I'm amazed at how addicted he is to it.  I won't ask him to give that up for Lent though!!

Here's a little sample of their handwriting:
Tama 2 above.  Tama 1 below (American Declaration of Independence)
Tamāhine 1
Okay, that'll have to do.  I really have got to make a start on my studies.

Probably a few things I've forgotten to mention.  Hei aha.  Oh, one thing:  no news on house yet.  We're still here.  Keep praying for us or keep your fingers crossed.  We remain positive....

Thanks for dropping by
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