Monday, 30 May 2011

Reviewing 2011 goal

Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!

My aim for 2011 is to embrace change and provide opportunities.  June is fast approaching so I thought now a good time to check progress with some of the changes/opportunities experienced to date:
  • There are changes with our house; some small, some not so small.
  • Changes with our homeschooling , ie  enrolment in online courses
  • Attending Chapman College to mix with other homeschoolers on a Friday.
  • At last the children have joined a club (St John)
  • At last the children have joined a sport (Taekwondo)
  • Furthering my own education.

The situation with the house inches closer to finality.  Whichever way the balance of scales dictates, I can hardly wait for it to be done and dusted.  In the meantime fix-it jobs are being worked on and with each little job being marked off, I know it's one task closer to a completed house.

I feel like I've gone slightly mad with registering the children with online classes!!!  Why, only last week in fact, I registered the children for two more classes.  At this stage they are tentative upon a minimum quota, so until we get the official nod that they're proceeding, I'll keep schtum.

The three older children are thoroughly enjoying their Friday activities with other homeschoolers at Chapman.

Does it sound odd if I say I feel as though whaiāipo and I are better parents for finally being in a position to afford for the children to be a part of after-school activities?  I refer in particular to St John and Taekwondo... for years we've been on the bones of our backsides, and although we're far from comfortable, we can at least provide opportunities now which were completely ruled out until this year.  What a good feeling.

As for the last bullet point.  My own education.  Well, the verdict's still out on how I'm coping with Classical Studies.  I'm so behind it's not funny.

My latest kick is trying my hand at:

The first class was held last night... I opted to take the class at 21:05 hours.  You read correctly -- 11.05pm.  Initially I had asked for 10 o'clock on a Wednesday morning, but then I realised how difficult I would cope with chaos of noise from the under five year olds.  Plus, I need to remember the children's education is my priority during the day.

I have learned how to say, "Shalom, ani Maree," and a few other lines.  It's scary, and I'm not even sure if I can do it, but I won't know unless I try nē rā?  Considering I didn't pick up the book at all and simply followed everyone else's lead, I reckon I didn't do too bad for a first attempt.  AT&T is an excellent online class system too.  I can now add that one to my repertoire of online class systems!!! I especially like the way the teacher can click on my name and there's no delay or hideous sound feedback when we take turns to speak.  Very cool.

(Tama 1 stayed up with me throughout my entire class!!  The crazy thing was, I had managed to get everyone to bed, but because he decided to stay up and watch The Blind Side with me, he ended up staying awake right after midnight because my class got underway.  I hadn't intended for him to be awake so late, but it actually felt neat to share something like this with him.  Within minutes of laying his head on his pillow he was fast asleep .... and yet he was up with the rest of the family by 6.30am would you believe?)

Oh heck, I've just looked at the time and I better get cracking with prepping kai before the children head off to:
Right, I shall  away and get the meal organised. They're off to koro's for a few nights too so I must make sure we get their clothes and mahi packed.

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Reflecting on lessons this gorgeous autumn day

Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!

Over the past fortnight we've been learning about Ancient Egyptian Priests, Mummies and More, as well as another course called Volcanoes, Plate Tectonics and More.
These courses are run slightly differently to some of our other online classes.  The live classes are still run through Adobe Connect, but a list of activities, links to websites, forum and live chats are under Moodle.  Having personally had a tiny bit of experience with Moodle from a few years back, I decided to enrol the children in these classes because I liked the additional features within Moodle.

We can't attend the online classes (because it's 3am New Zealand time), but we can still take part in live weekly chats and participate in forum questions.  Yes, we would like to join in the live classes, but one of the deciding factors for me, was the fact that they were advertised as "attendance not compulsory." Both classes are of interest to us and knowing we can access everything on Moodle 24/7, I reckon it's all good value.  Ms Jean also tries to accommodate all families by arranging live chats at a time convenient - wherever we are around the world.  That's truly super.

Hopefully I feel better rested by next week's classes because I'd love to get the children up to join in at least one online class - yes, 3am.  We've done it before with other classes, but following my miscarriage I'm feeling rather tired still.  What I wouldn't give for one day to just sleep-in, or just laze about to recoup a bit faster!  However, I'd like to think I'll be okay to get up and join in this week.  It's all just one day at a time still, so we shall have to wait and see.

We have two activities we need to complete before classes, and with luck they'll both be done by Sunday night.  They are both fun activities, but of course I cannot break any copyright laws by mentioning anything here, but again, they are things which I like about the course.  Activities provided for each week to keep things interesting, fun and hands-on.

Tamāhine 1 starts back with her Book Club this week.  She's really looking forward to it, which is great.  I'm so pleased she didn't hesitate to join in the discussions with the last class.  That was one of the goals I had when registering her the first time, so I am thrilled she did so without hesitation.  Being whakamā isn't such a bad thing, but teaching the children how to move out of their comfort zone is a challenge when I'm rather whakamā myself, lol.
Mathematics is slowly moving along.  Tama 1 is up to Epsilon Lesson 8.
Mr Demme shows about three different methods for working out these equations.  The methods make sense, and as I watch tama 1 working on his exercises I feel excited seeing him achieve more and more difficult math.  Tamāhine 1 is working her way through Delta Lesson 9 which is all about finding the area of a triangle.  Tama 2 is on Beta 11 - rounding to the nearest hundred.  It will be interesting to see how he gets on with subtraction which he will revise shortly.  Up until now it's all been addition, and because we've been working through the book very slowly, it will be interesting to see how he copes with the few review questions about subtraction.
Friday afternoons are still fun at Chapman College.  We will certainly enjoy each opportunity to participate for as long as possible.  We are still aware our involvement may be restricted to only one term, and that's okay.  At least the children and I have finally met up with other homeschoolers in our area.  So even if Chapman comes to an end at the end of the term for our family, we've at least made new friends.
We need to move back into Latin this week.  Tama 1 will start reviewing with Lingua Latina.  I need to calculate the chapters by putting them on our calendar so we don't start losing our knowledge base.  I also need to plot tamāhine 1's lessons to complete Prima Latina.
The past fortnight I've just not followed any timetable which must change!

The children enjoyed acting as patients at yesterday's St John exercise.  They were there by 7.30am as required and enjoyed themselves all day.


 
Whaiāipo was asked to be a patient when he dropped the children off, but because he had tama 3 with him, it would've been too difficult to play a patient while keeping an eye on tama 3 in such an open space.  Had I known, I would've kept tama 3 home with me, but we'll definitely keep it mind for the next exercise programme. Anything to help out eh?

Well, that's probably enough for today.  Time for lunch and to start thinking about working on our exercises for Ancient Egyptian Priests, Mummies and More and Volcanoes, Plate Tectonics and More classes.

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Trying to keep up with mahi

Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!

Definitely not in the mood to blog still, but I thought I'd jot down a few things ...
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/photo-caption-contest

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

- Youngzine Team
http://www.youngzine.com
I didn't feel up to taking the children to St John last night, so whaiāipo took them.  As they left, I commented that hopefully they'd have their uniforms.  When they came home tamāhine 1 and tama 2 proudly ran into the house to show their new look ...
(Not the greatest photo because the lighting is awful in our house for night photos, so the kids and I were out of sync with each other when I'd click the camera and they'd smile ... but trust me, they were beaming from ear to ear.)

We have managed to work on math, writing and reading this week.

Tama 1 and tamāhine 1 have sat down to construct their answer for last week's Egypt lesson.  We're talking about a priestess and they had fun trying to come up with a good description of who she is, looked like and role as a priestess.  We've also discussed our thoughts on the topic for the week which I hope I explained clearly enough; to tamāhine 1 especially because there were a lot of new vocabulary and terminology for her.

Tomorrow afternoon we will need to start week one's Volcano lesson.

Things are certainly out of kilter, and as much as I'm trying to take it easy I'm trying to get school work moving along.  It's a case of needing to because we have online classes to keep up with.

Tamāhine 1 enjoys her weekly guitar lesson.  The first two weeks I set the laptop upstairs, but last week we tried it downstairs.  That was because we finished our science lessons and book club therefore time isn't so rushed at 7 in the morning now.

It went well, so I think we'll continue with downstairs.  That way I can be on tap to help if she needs it.

Tamāhine  1 has started reading in preparation of the next book club class ...
One of the biggest things we MUST accomplish this week is tama 1's mythology exam.  We will do this by Thursday.  I am confident he will do well, because he is "diligent" as one of his magister said to me.  I agree entirely.

Anyway, my brain is like mush still.  I've taken my iron tablet and feel ready to rest because they zap me a bit.  Not sure if it's because I'm drained or what, but I sure feel tired now.

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

Monday, 16 May 2011

Something I would prefer NOT to have experience in

Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!

Last Thursday I was 12 weeks pregnant.  My plan was to phone and make an appointment with my mid-wife the following day...

But then I started spotting.  At first I was in denial, "No, I'm fine," I told myself,

"I'm 12 weeks pregnant so I won't be having a miscarriage..."

On Friday I was still spotting and my denial turned to grief because I knew there was no point hoping against the odds.  Even so, I frantically looked on the internet looking for some kind of miracle statement telling me I was imagining things.  The best I came up with was; "The chances of losing a baby at 12 weeks are 1% to 2%,"

Well, guess who became part of that statistic on Saturday?

It was a terrible ordeal, one which I've unfortunately experienced before, but had hoped I'd never have to experience again.

This time, however, I had to have a blood transfusion in the early hours of Sunday morning.

I didn't mind the transfusion as such, but it reminded me of my mum and how she had to have blood transfusion after blood transfusion.  My haemoglobin count was exactly like my mum's.  Suddenly I'm wondering if I'm going to have cold agglutinin like my mum?!

But I dismissed those thoughts as quickly as I could.  I needed to relax my body quickly otherwise panic could take over.  I told myself that being in a room on my own and allowing fear to take over is not the best idea.

Sunday I just felt angry for not taking better care of myself.  I tried blaming it on all the early hours and late nights with classes for the kids, my own studies and a host of other issues I threw into the equation.

By the time I came home later that afternoon, I had accepted it was done and dusted and time to look to the future.

So, that's four souls with Our Heavenly Father now ...

Not sure when I will make the next blog post, but I'll try to record something of the children's work as soon as I can.

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

Friday, 6 May 2011

First Day at Chapman College as Homeschoolers

Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!

Thankfully, whaiāipo had the day off today to look after the three little ones for me.

It felt important that I give my full attention to watching and learning how the Friday classes operated at Chapman College.  Had the three young ones been with me, I know darn well my time would have been spent watching and chasing them all day.  Quite frankly, I want the Friday classes to be for the three big kids to enjoy without worrying about watching what's happening with their younger siblings.

We enjoyed our day -- even if we did arrive an hour too early!!!!  That wasn't a problem in the end as it goes because we took off in the van and drove around taking photos in preparation for St John on Monday, and Science class on Tuesday.

The first class was choir which is 45 minutes.

Following choir it's a quick race to recorder class.
After recorder (which is a half-hour lesson), we have a 15 minute lunch break.  The children and I sat in the van and scoffed down our kai.  Then it was straight back inside.  At this stage the children split.  Tama 1 and tamāhine 1 with the 8-10 year olds and tama 2 with the 5-7 year olds.

I tagged along with tama 2.  I figured it best to tautoko him as tama 1 and tamāhine 1 were their own tautoko team.

Tama 2 LOVED the sport class.  We were in the gymnasium today because it was much too wet to play soccer outside.  It made no difference tama 2 had a lot of fun.  While tama 2 had sport, tama 1 and tamāhine 1 had music in the auditorium.

As soon as the bell rang, it was a quick change of room.  Tama 2 moved to Te Reo Māori while the other two went to the gymnasium.

When the bell rang the second time, tama 2 headed to the auditorium for music while tama 1 and tamāhine 1 went to Te Reo Māori.

By the time classes finished, it was well after 3pm.  The children weren't the least bit tired, and as I draft this posting, (7.30pm), they are all in the front room practicing their recorder!!!!!  It's only mum who is feeling tired.  As much fun as it was to be sitting on the sidelines watching, it's definitely different for me.  I'm used to rushing about doing something.  Today was like a holiday in a way for me.  However, in the back of my mind I kept thinking, "I've got Classical Studies to catch up with ... I've got this and that to do ...."

And that was our first day - as homeschoolers - at Chapman College, Rotorua.  I'm glad it's on a Friday because we can achieve our mahi at home as usual and get a day off having fun at Chapman on Friday.

Good to expose the children to "normal" school life, so they could see what the inside of a school looks like, and watch the behaviour of students.  An interesting dynamic.

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

Monday, 2 May 2011

They say a picture tells a thousand words

Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!

The three eldest could hardly wait to return to St John tonight. 

When tama 1 got home, he proudly showed me his very first certificates and badges.
Typically, I picked up the phone, and rang home.  This is one of those funny poignant moments when one thinks to onself, "I'd normally be telling my mum this right now, but it's dad I'm telling instead."  Twinge of sadness as I missed my mum ... but exciting to have tama 1 tell koro and Uncle Warrick all about it.
While he talked to koro, I got out the camera and sent these photos to Uncle Craig on Skype.  The other uncles weren't online, so I'll have to catch them in the morning I guess.

Anyway, our school day went pretty well.  We finally got underway with our math lessons after I don't know how long!!!  The break must've done everyone the world of good because we had fantastic results all-round.  I'm having to re-learn fractions, but there's no harm in that eh?!

Tamāhine 1 has just about finished The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe.  We'll have the last two chapters finished before Book Club on Wednesday though.  Tama 2 seems to have taken quite a leap in his reading having taken a break from that too.  He managed to read out a number of words that I simply didn't think he'd get; so you can imagine how pleased I am with his effort today.  Tama 2 also had a little history lesson which required a little drawing, (or six).  He surprised himself at his pictures I think, which was really rather cute!!!  Tamāhine 1 practiced some guitar which she did better at once I trimmed her nails.

Um, what else?  ... Oh, the children all finished their assignments for science so we're ready for class in the morning. Everyone's looking forward to that as usual, so in reminding myself about that, I had better hit the hay so I can wake up without too much hassle.

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano