Monday, 25 April 2011

ANZAC Parade

Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!

Tama 1 is feeling so proud because he not only has his own St John uniform, but he got to march in today's ANZAC parade.  We are very proud of him too!  Tama 1 did a beautiful job and looked darn good too!

Myself, tamāhine 1 and tama 2 were the support crew today.  Unfortunately we don't have uniforms [yet] for tamāhine 1 and tama 2 so we marched alongside.

A few photos:






Our Uncles names are amongst this group of soldiers who gave their lives during WWII.  Today we pay homage to all who have fallen during warfare for their courage and sacrifice.

No mucking around to get home because we had to get whaiāipo to hospital.  He has an infection which started the phantom pains.  The three older children went up to koro's for an Easter egg hunt and then the three little ones came with me to collect whaiāipo from the A and E about four hours later.  Unfortunately the infection will throw him off balance for the next few days.  So much for getting a few things done to the house before the next valuation.  Oh well, that's just the way things go sometimes eh!

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

I love homeschooling

Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!

About a month ago, my very good friend gave our family the following books:


On Monday night just gone, the three big children and I went to listen to the author, Rosie Boom. Her very talented family provided us with an evening of song, puppetry and laughter.  Here is Rosie with her family:
They are currently on tour around the North Island, and over to Blenheim and Nelson in the South Island.  Simply click on the photo above or follow this link to see a list of dates and times.  I can't recommend going to see them enough!

This amazing homeschooling mother of six really is an inspiration.  Such a talented family, it was a pleasure to have experienced their wonderful gifts in person.  Even if you haven't read the books, you will be entertained with beautiful song, music and conversation.

So that was Monday night.  On Tuesday morning the children and I were out of bed nice and early for Active Science.  The children eagerly anticipated the debut of their YouTube video.
At the end of class, I thought of something I could have tried.  I shall remember that for next time - if there ever is a next time.

The rest of the class presented their habitats and the lovely thing about their teacher, Danica, is that she made a point of asking everyone to say at least one positive comment after each presentation.  I'm so glad she asked the children to do this because it required everyone to concentrate and take an active interest in each and every presentation.  We enjoyed everybody's presentations, but of course my old comparisonitis kicked in!!!!  I felt I let the team down with the final video cut, but oh well, I learned something about using YouTube as a medium, so I shouldn't really feel so bad eh?!

We were meant to go up to Nana and Koro's to celebrate mum's birthday with Koro and Warrick, but our car isn't working -- in fact we only just literally made it to the top of our drive on Monday night!  Unfortunately whaiāipo couldn't look at it before he headed off to work Tuesday, so we had to stay home and rather than us going to them, Warrick and Koro came to us.  As always, we had a great time together -- even showed them the YouTube video of the children while they were here, and Warrick taught the children a few more guitar chords.  Not quite the family Boom, but oh well, you gotta start somewhere nē?
Today's class was a lot of fun.  Luckily the sun was rising for us so we were able to get outside to report back on one question.  Then, towards the end of class it was time to get messy.
Loads and loads of fun!!!  When class had finished, the children carried on for at least another 20 minutes experimenting.  I'm so glad everything could be washed off and cleaned easily :-)  I'm also pleased this part of class was held toward the end because it allowed tamāhine 1 enough time to end her book reading club to join in.

Such a relief I worked out the issue with the headphones because tamāhine 1 spoke three times in class.  I am loving her involvement.  Not shy at all.  That's really pleasing to me.  I thought she might feel intimidated because one of the students has some amazingly detailed answers, but no, tamāhine 1 feels confident to give her responses.

That's my comparisonitis yet again - I shouldn't be worried that tamāhine 1 is giving short responses.  She's still correct; her replies are direct, succinct and to the point. Nothing wrong with that eh!  Why say in 50 words what you can say in 10?

The children are working on a small Easter assignment as I close off.  We're discussing the resurrection at this particular moment so we have a lot more to discuss yet. It's 11.30am and time to set the table for an early lunch.  Early morning starts certainly mean earlier lunches!!! :-)

Reading for mythology later this afternoon for tama 1, and then lots of outdoor play.  We have to make the most of any fine autumn days eh!!??

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

Monday, 18 April 2011

Wish I had the same Technology when I did school projects

Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!

WARNING:  No pictures to go with today's blog post.  So be prepared to read, read, read!

Initially the children and I started a Powerpoint for their  Active Science class project.  However, I changed my mind at the 11th hour and guess what we did instead?  We made a YouTube video.  Our first experience at such a task - and I certainly hope the link works.

I learned there are three choices for making a YouTube video - public, unlisted private and a third option which is unlisted private but with limited access or something like that?  I ended up having to choose that option because (I "think" -- so don't quote me on this -- my experience is limited to a three hour crash course after all) is that the private-private option can only be accessed by those people I email and have YouTube accounts; and the other private option I simply need to email one person (ie the teacher) with the link and she will provide the link address to the rest of the classmates.  They don't necessarily have to have a YouTube account; simply click on the link. So because I don't know if the other students have a YouTube account which would require my knowing their usernames, then the only way for it to work is for me to send the link to the teacher and she forwards the link to the rest of the class.  So it's kinda still private but in a slightly disjointed way, if you catch my drift.

After tomorrow's class when they have all been presented, I will probably change the option to the unlisted private option.  Although there's no major drama if any Tom, Dick or Harry views it, this is probably what I'll do.

Perhaps I'm wrong.  Perhaps you've used it and could share a few tips with me?  I'd welcome any suggestions because who knows, I may use it again and if so, it would be handy to know if I understand things correctly.

I muddled up the recording of the children using the webcam because the music played instead.  We ended up making a rush job using my camera instead which didn't come across nearly as polished as the webcam version, but oh well, I decided to leave it in warts and all because (1) the children giggled at the little bloopers, and (2) I was determined to get the link to the children's teacher by last night so that she could let me know whether it worked or not.  If it doesn't then I'll have to quickly finish off the Powerpoint version and get that through to her before class.

I don't know if it's normal or not, but it took over an hour for our 4 and a half minute clip to upload/publish/whatever the phrase is for YouTube.  How crazy is that?  Oh well, it was an interesting exercise so I can now chalk that one up to experience.  So long as I'm told it works then I'm happy.  I was pleased with the children's work and I tried my best to do the final touches to get it through using a method we have never tried before.

Just imagine how my school projects would have turned out if I had such awesome technology!!!  Wow!!!

Speaking of school projects ... the results of my first assessment for Classical Studies arrived on Friday.  I received Excellence with four credits bla bla bla.  I'm stoked.  It was a hard assessment I felt, but I am thrilled to bits to receive such a fantastic grade.  I was very proud of my newspaper when I sent it away, so I am extremely grateful the result acknowledges my hard work; and that I wrote relevant articles to specific times.  Phew!!!!

That same day I received my certificate for Papa Ako from Te Wānanga O Aotearoa.  I enjoyed that course.  It was straight-forward and for me, I found it easy to answer each point because so much of what it spoke about was actually where my thought processes were at the time because I was planning my future study, so all the goals were actually achieved -- because, well, I'm doing the Classical Studies and embarking on Hebrew.  They are both points I spoke of in-depth throughout my Papa Ako assignments, so it feels great to be accomplishing those goals.

The house is a tip right now as I type this post, but I need a mental break before I set task to cleaning up.  We have a valuation to prepare for and it's a case of finding "somewhere" to store the extra clothes etc that Nana Nancy brought over last week!!!!  I have no idea where I can put anything, but anywhere will be better than where I have it "thrown" at the minute.

Wish us luck for our valuation please!!  We need a good result.  As soon as we have that back we can send it through to the relevant Department to await the final verdict.   We remain positive as always, but it doesn't prevent us from wishing this were finally all over.

My mission for the next fortnight is to push through the two assignments for Classical Studies and make a giant start on the second assessment.  It's school holidays in New Zealand so the children will have a semi-break too, hence me jumping into my own studies.

Okay, that's enough of a break.  Time to get stuck into housework.  The sooner it's done, the sooner I can jump into my Classical Studies.  Yi-hah!!!

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Mid-week already

Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!

I felt like I had fallen behind with Latin because I put so much time and energy into my Classical Studies assessment, so over the past four days I've made a conscious effort to catch up.  I love Latin -- I'm just hopeless at understanding rules the first time round.  I also love learning it with the children.  We continue to use a variety of methods for the three older children and I think it's working very well indeed.  Tama 2 studies between 20 to 30 minutes once a week and tamāhine 1 has two x 30 minute lessons.  Tama 1 concentrates on two to five lessons per week.  The two main lessons are 60 minutes long while the rest are very, very short reviews.
Tamāhine 1 started her online reading book club lesson today.  She was up out of bed at 5.55 am and eagerly sat at the computer.  She managed to speak to the class using the microphone which made me so happy for her.

[It took me ages to get the headphones to work properly.  Although the solution was simple, I actually had to tackle it from a few different angles before I had proper success...  But a big sigh of relief it works now.]

Tamāhine 1 was keen to read a section out loud which I thought was wonderful.  We just need to raise our hand faster next time!!

Some of the children we heard speaking are obviously older than tamāhine 1; this is pleasing indeed.  It's nice that our children are not the oldest in their classes.
Active Science lessons are over for the second week already!!

Wednesday morning Active Science classes cross over with tamāhine 1's book club lesson.  So would you believe I had three computers going today?! Tamāhine 1 used the laptop while the two boys hopped on desktops half an hour later.  As soon as tamāhine 1 finished the first class, she sat in with the boys to watch the tail end of the next class.

The children have a presentation due next week for Active Science.  I'm entrusting the children to come up with the ideas and then we'll put our heads together to create the presentation.

While the children work on their project(s), I'll make a big push to work on my Classical Studies.  As usual I'm behind with it.  At this stage it looks like I'll be using the school term holidays to play catch up.  If that works then I'll definitely set my goals more accurately for term two.
Did I mention my Hebrew arrived on Monday?  I'm rather nervous but have chosen to forget about it until closer to commencement date, which is 1 June.

I've at least put the alphabet stickers onto my laptop keyboard!!  Hopefully they're on the correct keys?!  Imagine if I put them on the wrong keys? Argh!?

My goal is to learn myself and then introduce the children to another language and culture in the near future.  To aide my education I found Adventures in Mamaland and followed one of the links provided to  Jewish Homeschool Resources.  I'll certainly have to bookmark both these blogs to return as often as possible.

So anyway, school holidays commence at the end of this week in New Zealand.  I only know that because St John broke for school holidays on Monday night!!!  [Our children asked what school holidays are/were. LOL]

We won't be stopping school because while other children will take advantage of a break, we will have a number of online classes to keep us going right through to term two.

Speaking of next term, there's a big a chance the children won't be able to attend Chapman College on Friday afternoons as originally thought.  Because the number of homeschoolers has been capped, we can't fit in unless someone decides to leave.  Oh well, it was a nice idea, but it won't be the end of the world.  We have loads to do, and we've coped quite fine without it to date eh?!

Right-oh, break over.  Time to look at that Classical Studies  ...

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Try before you Buy

Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!

There are a few languages I am interested in learning.  Hebrew is one of them.

I probably know a maximum of 10 words at this point in time.

I've been wanting to study Judaism as part of my degree, but with the cost of studying at Massey over the past couple of years, I've had to seek cheaper, alternative subjects, which is why I chose to do my classical studies paper with the Correspondence School this year.  However, it hasn't stopped me from wanting to learn about the language, culture and religion.

I started looking for Hebrew lessons probably back in August of last year when I was weighing up options for this year's studies.

Well, any search engine I tried using would always point me towards eTeacherHebrew.com.
Having revisited this website on a number of occasions, I finally decided a few weeks ago to ask for information at the very least.

Little did I know that I can actually make a free phone call from New Zealand to speak to someone!!!!

I only found that out because on the form for information, I put down a convenient time to phone me and what d'yah know?  I had a phone call from Israel within two days -- and the very helpful person I spoke with, told me I can ring a worldwide toll-free number at any time.  Wicked.

After a great conversation I found myself signing on for the trial, and I'm now eagerly awaiting my package which should arrive in just over a fortnight.

Nota Bene:  I have chosen online learning, because with all the language learning I've done, I have better results with someone physically teaching me.  [ I have a terrible habit of always questioning my understanding from a book when studying on my own!! ]

I hope I enjoy the trial because I'd really like to continue with the entire course.  The deciding factor will be how well I understand my teacher.  It's not the cost that bothers me -- well, to a certain extent that would factor into it, of course.  As long as I feel I'm learning then I'm keen to use this format.

If you're learning Hebrew, or speak it and would like to tautoko (support) me along the way, then let me know!!

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Actually, it's Active Science - Semester Two class

Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!

We had fun participating in today's Active Science class via CurrClick.  We still had no joy with the jolly headphones and I just don't know why.  They seem to work okay when I had them plugged in doing a test run, but I shall keeping trying till I figure it out!!!

Tama 2 really enjoyed being part of the experiments so for that I'm definitely pleased with chosen class.  CurrClick certainly offer lots of great online classes and I'll continue to register for as many as we can.

We've got a 5.00am start tomorrow.  Science Jim.  Trust Daylight Savings to end Sunday just gone.  That extra hour has soooooooooo many advantages.

Now, speaking of science.  Tonight, tama 1, tamāhine 1 and myself managed to see the ISS.  The night sky was just perfect for viewing.  Talk about lucky to notice it.  I didn't actually know where we were meant to look, but by sheer chance I saw something and sure enough that was it.  Tama 1 and tamāhine 1 whooped with excitement.  It was just neat!!

Whaiāipo took tama 2, tamāhine 2 and tama 3 out to buy a few things, so they missed out on seeing it tonight.

Uncle Craig didn't see it in Auckland; too cloudy he said.

Here's the schedule for Rotorua in April. (If you can't read it very clearly then click on the pic to go to the NASA link)
Considering we've had rain for the past four or five days, it was lucky tonight we had stars and the Milky Way to gaze up at.  With luck, April will give us more starry evenings.

Okay, must hit the hay in readiness for 5.00am.

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

Free Easter mini-course

Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!

I like passing good things on ... especially when they're free ...
Hi Maree
I just wanted to drop you a quick note to tell you about a FREE mini-course I've made for you on subject of Easter.
It's a six-part course, focusing on the spiritual side of Easter with children.  It runs over six consecutive days, it's free and you can get it by clicking here: Stephanie's Free Mini-Course for Easter
Please pass this message on to your friends and encourage them to sign up too. Thanks.
I've also got a review of an Easter Activities product here: http://www.thebroadroom.co.nz/?p=1836 

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Active Science

Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!

The first online class we had this morning was Active Science which we registered for via CurrClick.com.
We really enjoyed the class, but wouldn't you know it?  Our jolly internet connection dropped off twice.  The second time was at the most inconvenient moment -- we were about to talk on the microphone.  By the time we got back online, class was finished!!!!  Argh!!!!

The entire family camped downstairs last night which was a lot of fun.  Tama 1 and tamāhine 1 got up and out of bed no problem just minutes before the start time.  Tama 2 woke up around 20 minutes into the class.

Today's class was an introduction.  As I mentioned above, our headphones didn't want to cooperate this morning so we ended up having to bypass our introduction.
By the time we got to the experiment we had our entire family awake!! Having a camp-out seemed like such a great idea, it was just a pity we'd disturbed the others so early.  Oh well, everyone enjoyed the experience -- hopefully they handle it twice a week for the next six weeks :-)

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Relaxing after a long, stressful few weeks

Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!

It feels great to be realxing right this minute. I finished my classical studies assessment around 6 o'clock tonight.  Well, it was probably more like 4 o'clock, but I needed to step away from it for an hour or two before reading through it with fresh eyes.  I am absolutely relieved it is finished.  What a mission and a half, but it's done now.

To destress I enjoyed my 3-Mintue Retreat ...
I'm looking forward to sending my assessment off first thing tomorrow morning.

My mind is in a clearer space now to look over tama 1's homework for St John.  He's answered a few questions already, and I did promise I'd help him once I completed my own mahi -- if he needs it.

Today is tamāhine 1's birthday.  I can hardly believe she's eight year's old. We bought her a guitar -- and she loves it.  I then showed her the other half of her gift -- 10 online guitar lessons, starting 20 or 21 April.

Uncle Warrick raced in to wish her happy birthday as well as tune the guitar before heading to work.  He will also give the children guitar lessons when they stay there again.

Speaking of online classes, I've made enquiries for myself to study another subject.  I'm not sure if I can do it on top of everything else -- especially with the volume of classes lined up over April, May, June for the children.  I shall give it some thought and do some praying for guidance.

Well, that's about all my little brain can think of at this moment.  Like I said to Craig on Skype just a little while ago, "I think I'm going to sleep like a baby tonight."  That feeling of satisfaction having completed something makes it easier to rest eh?

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano