Saturday, 30 July 2011

Cooking classes in Rotorua

Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!

I read a little article about Aunty Annie's Cooking School in the local rag last week, but when I tried the website it wouldn't open.  I then forgot about it until today.  Seeing as it's up and running now, I thought I'd give a little plug for a local entrepreneur.

Beginner or advanced, the classes are aimed at 10 years and up.  Our kids are younger than this so unfortunately they miss out.

There are scheduled classes, or Aunty Annie will hold exclusive classes for up to 12 people.

Aunty Annie’s cooking classes will also teach you how to shop smarter and buy better at good prices, help low income families to shop in budget, show healthy portion sizing and all the tricks and trades when it comes to being in the kitchen.

Okay, so we can teach our children how to cook, but many people don't these days.  Plus, Rotorua is not like Auckland or other cosmopolitan areas which can provide many cooking classes like this, so I tautoko the initiative and wish Aunty Annie's Cooking Classes Ltd all the best of luck.  I do hope locals get in behind this venture!!  With the cost of groceries these days, we could all benefit from learning how to shop wiser for a start.

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

Friday, 29 July 2011

Reminder ...

Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!

If I lived in Auckland I'd be along to make the most of this opportunity.  Unfortunately I can't get up there, so the old fashioned online ordering is all I can do.  Nevertheless, a reminder to anyone who may be able to get up today and tomorrow ...
LearnEX Stock Rationalisation, July 2011
Further to our previous email earlier in the month, LearnEX is planning to focus on provision of services and will therefore retain only the following curriculum lines: Math u See, AVKO, Modern Curriculum Press, Daily Grams, Spectrum Writing, Jolly Phonics, Fitzroy Readers The Global Puzzle and Jim Weiss Audio CDs.
All other lines will be discontinued so once our present stock is sold, it won’t be replenished.
The final LearnEX Open Day is occurring at our South Auckland showroom on the afternoon/evening of Friday 29th & all day Saturday 30th of July . This will be your last opportunity to view all our products in the one location and make your purchases before these lines are rationalised.

The amount of stock we usually take to conferences and Resource Days is only a very small portion of our stock holding so this event would be well worth attending, even if you live out of the area.

Venue Details:
50 Walpole Ave, Manurewa
Ph 09 269 3532
Friday 3-9pm
Saturday 9am-6pm

This address is less than 5 mins from the Southern Motorway offramp and about the same distance from the new Western Motorway so exceptionally easy to get to from all directions.

NB This is a private family residence so if you are unable to make other arrangements for your children, please ensure they are extremely well supervised.
Full Credit Card and EFTPOS facilities available. Tea and coffee will be provided.
There will be two Open Days in Christchurch coming up in the next week - dates to be advised.
All sales are final and stock will be sold on a first in, first served basis.
If there are products you would like to purchase ahead of this time, let us know ASAP so you don’t miss out.  Our usual mail order service will continue to be offered while stocks last.

We are very busy at present, so we thank you for your patience during this time of restructuring.

Until next time,

Enjoy your children!


PS Please pass the word around your local homeschooling and educational networks.

As for who will be taking over as distributor for the bulk of their line, I am unsure at present.  Perhaps you know?  If so, do let me know! :-)

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Great Literacy Challenge

Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!

For Australian and New Zealand readers:
Wednesday 27 July 2011                             

Receive up to 5 weeks free access for you and your friends and family!

Dear Maree

Our annual Great Literacy Challenge has officially commenced and will run until 31 August 2011. We are excited to announce our partnership with one of the leaders in technology, Samsung! To help celebrate our partnership and the start of The Samsung Great Literacy Challenge we have 20 Samsung Galaxy Tabs to give away!
By participating in The Samsung 2011 Great Literacy Challenge you have the opportunity to trial the ABC Reading Eggs website FREE for up to 5 weeks and go in the running to win one of 20 Samsung Galaxy Tabs 10.1! Simply login to your ABC Reading Eggs account and click on ‘Redeem Access code’, then type in YOUR ACCESS CODE: WED27GLC to start your trial.
On top of that, if you forward this email to your friends and family and they register to ABC Reading Eggs by the 22 August, using the code below, Blake Publishing will donate $1 to the Children's Cancer Institute Australia. So not only will you receive free access to ABC Reading Eggs, you will also be helping a great cause.
Your friends and family need to visit and click on ‘parents click here’ to register and type in THEIR ACCESS CODE: TRA27GLC to begin their free trial.  We will automatically make the $1 donation for each new unique registration by 22 August 2011. Let's see if we can get the total donation up to $20 000 by 22 August 2011!
Happy Eggsploring!
Yours sincerely,

Matthew Sandblom
Chief Eggsploring Officer  
The website where children learn to read!

 Please note: These offers are only available to new unique Australian and New Zealand residents.

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

And the Project is ...

Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!

It pleases me how much tamāhine 1 loves reading the Chronicles of Narnia.

Prince Caspian has only one more week to go, but we are already looking forward to participating in the next class.
Although we had no Caspian figurines, we at least had sentries guarding the castle :-)

For a project that started out in very simple terms, it ended up as something we can use for many years to come.

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Can you guess what she's making?

Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!

We're finally making something for tamāhine 1's Prince Caspian book club!!!

It took long enough, but finally an idea transformed.

Luckily the materials were lying around the shed, so it's not cost a cent so far.
Because it's tamāhine 1's project, she's involved herself at every stage.

We needed dad's help for the tricky bits, which meant having to wait for him to get home .... argh!
We shall continue today and hope to have it completed in time for her second-to-last book club meeting tomorrow.  Fingers crossed.

Be sure to return for the end result.

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

Saturday, 23 July 2011


Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!

Well, the weather has been so wet and cold lately, but today we had enough sunshine the children decided to dine outside.
Mother was pleased!!!  No dishes for once in a blue moon :-)

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano


Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!

I was rather impressed with tama 1's doodling this morning on the computer, that I thought I'd share.

Yep, he still has a fascination with flags! :-)

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

Friday, 22 July 2011

Kaore he kupu

Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!

It seems hard to believe our cousin was killed in an awful car crash only a matter of days ago.

Such a waste of beauty, talent and youth.
The clip is about 5-10 minutes into the recording, but this is the sub-titled version of Te Karere, so you can watch and read along in English.  For three days running she featured in our local newspaper, also. Such an amazing young woman.  It saddens me so much.


Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

Patchwork of Grace 2011

Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!

I thought I would share this for anyone interested.

Patchwork of Grace 2011

Friday 16 September evening - Sunday 18 September afternoon 

El Rancho, Waikanae

This is an opportunity for you to spend a weekend away from the burdens and stresses of homeschooling life and take some time out to fellowship with other like-minded mums. You will receive inspiration and encouragement for your homeschool journey from our speakers:

Rosie Boom - well-known speaker, homeschool mum, author, singer/songwriter
Cynthia Hancox - Foxton
Linette Wallbank - Auckland
Gayle MacDonald - Wellington
Christel van Eyssen - Hawkes Bay

  • Places limited to 50 full-time participants. Day visitors are also welcome.
  • Breastfeeding babies are welcome, but you will need to organise childminding for toddlers and older children.
Registration, Rosie Boom - Session 1, supper

Saturday programme:
8.45am Worship
9.00am Rosie - Session 2
10.45am Journey of a homeschool Mum 1
11.30pm Creating Family Memories (share your ideas)
12.15pm Lunch
(1.00 - 4.00pm Vendors will have curriculum displays available.)
2.00pm - 2.45pm Craft with your children: Linette Wallbank (Bring 2 balls wool (pref DK), 6mm knitting needles & a wool needle)
2.45 - 3.30pm Craft workshop for Mums: Linette Wallbank
3.30pm Afternoon tea
4.00pm Journey of a Homeschool Mum 2
4.45pm Short break
5.00pm Journey of a Homeschool Mum 3
5.45pm Dinner
7.00pm Quiet Reflective Time
7.30pm Rosie - Session 3
8.30pm Homeschool Graduates Speak (your questions answered)
9.00pm Supper
9.30pm Optional Movie

9.00am Worship/Prayer
9.30am Journey of a Homeschool Mum 4
11.00am Rosie – Session 4
12.00pm Goodbyes/photo/thank yous
12..15pm Lunch

Cost: $175 per person (Includes all meals from Sat breakfast through to Sunday lunch.)
Non-refundable deposit of $50 required to secure your place. Balance to be paid by 9 Sept.
If your deposit is paid by Fri, 23 Aug you will receive a $10 discount off the full-time registration cost.
Enquiries to:

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

Thursday, 21 July 2011

LearnEx is Changing!

Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!

I'm helping to spread the word regarding forthcoming changes:

LearnEX is Changing!
After exactly ten years in business and growing to be NZ’s major homeschooling curriculum provider during that time, we are changing our focus from being a curriculum provider to a predominantly service based provider.
As a result, we plan to retain only the following curriculum lines: Math u See, AVKO, Modern Curriculum Press, Daily Grams, Spectrum Writing, Jolly Phonics and Fitzroy Readers.
All other lines will be discontinued so once our present stock is sold, it won’t be replenished, however existing orders and backorders will be fulfilled. As stock sells out, it will be removed from the website.
We will be opening up our South Auckland showroom on the evening of Friday 29th & all day Saturday 30th of July so that you have an opportunity to view absolutely everything we sell (over 2000 products) and make your purchases before these lines are rationalised. The amount of stock we usually take to conferences and Resource Days is only a very small portion of our stock holding so this event would be well worth attending, even if you live out of the area.
We will also be holding a similar event in early August in Christchurch with the final date to be advised ASAP. Of course we will provide the usual free curriculum advice and guidance you have come to expect from us over the years.
All sales are final and stock will be sold on a first in, first served basis.
In the meantime, if there are products you would like to purchase ahead of this time, let us know ASAP so you don’t miss out.  Our usual mail order service will continue to be offered while stocks last.

Firelight The Firelight Foundation and Cambridge Exam Solutions are both separate companies and will continue to operate as per usual.

Request We are likely to be very busy, so we do ask for your patience during this time of restructuring.
Once the dust has settled we will outline more about the format the new services we are introducing will take.

Until then,

Enjoy your children!


PS Please pass the word around your local homeschooling and educational networks.

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

Friday, 8 July 2011


Nau mai, hoki mai, שלום and welcome back!

Not sure why I'm using the Hebrew when I'm failing to get any study done :-)  In fact, I'm struggling to keep up with much of anything ... least of all this blog.  I don't know if I can blame it on the winter blues, but my lack of enthusiasm needs a jolly good shake up.  For once I'm really hanging out for the school holidays.

Most of this term we have been busy with book clubs and earth science.

I'm very proud of tamāhine 1 with her efforts to read so much.  Her next Narnia book club starts next week (Prince Caspian).  We've just raced into the Library to pick up a copy so she can read the first three chapters before the first class!

As for Little Women and Anne of Green Gables, this class is awesome!

Tamāhine 1 will definitely have both books read well before the last session.  In fact, by reading two chapters per day she will have Anne of Green Gables finished this weekend and Little Women will be read (yes, the unabridged version) by next Thursday.

In this morning's class Mrs Rhodes (Loretta) had tamāhine 1's answers to last week's questions on Little Women up on the whiteboard; we were both pleasantly surprised!  I was worried that we hadn't given good enough answers, but luckily we were on the right track.  But just as exciting was when the class broke off into mini discussion groups towards the end.  Tamāhine 1 was absolutely buzzing after this class!!
By next Thursday, she and tama 1 also need to have six chapters of Little House on the Prairie read.  Tama 1's favourite part of Little House in the Big Woods was the making of maple syrup.  Tamāhine 1 also liked that, but she also liked Grandpa's Dance.  I liked the Christmas time with their cousins, especially the idea of being bundled up and sleigh bells ringing.
Tama 1 couldn't join the Swiss Family Robinson book club because - if I remember correctly - the time zones would have meant a 4am start or something like that?  Not to worry because he's looking forward to the commencement of:-
The most AWESOMEST (yes, I realise that's not a real word!) thing about this class is that it starts at 11 o'clock in the morning New Zealand time!!  Mrs DeYoung (Dina) created a second class just to accommodate those of us with different time zones.  I had to do a double-take when I looked at the email because that's the first time I've come across a LIVE class for the children that doesn't require getting out of bed before sunrise, or having a class when dad's eating breakfast and heading out to mahi.  Plus, it means I don't have to get up at 4.30am or 5.30am to light a fire in order to heat up the downstairs to make it cosier.

Now, just to point out, I am NOT complaining about early classes!  To the contrary, we love them.  I'm simply saying it's going to make a nice change to not rise out of bed quite so early.

Oh, the other brilliant point is that tamāhine 1 will be in this class with him.  We really enjoy being in the same class together.  This simply wouldn't happen if they were enrolled in a regular school.

Come to think of it, here's something else that wouldn't happen at a regular school.  A class would not go over the allotted time for any reason other than a child was perhaps sent to detention?  The teachers happily run over time, and the children don't complain that it should be finished.  The children are encouraged to have a korero before and after class times and ask whatever questions they wish so you tell me how we don't get our money's worth?!

Okay, before I go on much longer, I'll pop this little flyer in. Just in case you're interested in finding out about any live classes. 
Don't miss this year's CurrClick Live Meet and Greet Open House, July 19-21st.We'll be giving away a $40 live class gift card in every open house session. Must be present to win.

If you've not yet signed up for a class, here's your chance to learn more plus check out our fantastic and ever expanding selection of classes and clubs, available in the fall.

SAVE THE DATE: July 19-21 starting at 7:00 CST

Choose the teachers or classes you are interested in and attend their sessions. There, you can meet the teacher, experience our teaching platform, ask questions and get enrollment discounts.
Our family will continue to participate in online classes because we find them to be fun, educational and a great way of utilising the technology we have.

There may be some who think it's no different to sending a child to school, but I disagree.  They're not on the computer 6 or 8 hours, nor are they away from me.  I get to sit in with the children, we learn together, we get to watch and re-watch any lesson(s) we want.  There is also a strong Christian-base to all the classes we have been involved with to date so we are in the company of like-minded people and best of all, I have a very close relationship to the children's teachers!!!  There's NO WAY you'd see me emailing a teacher at a regular school about something the children learned in class!!! Or to ask questions, or to discuss the latest earthquake experienced in New Zealand, or how our friends have celebrated a recent national holiday.

At the end of the day, everyone's reasons to homeschool vary and our methods/styles/techniques vary.  We are all comfortable with our choices, otherwise we wouldn't be doing the things we do, right?  Well, we're happy with ours.  Whaiāipo is very supportive, and we encourage ideas we think will benefit the children.  He understands that if I am to be successful in my role, then I need him to entertain my eclectic ways :-)

So anyway, back to another online LIVE class.  This time I'll talk a little bit about Earth Science with Mrs Mackin (Debbie).

I managed to locate and receive the textbook in time for class:
As for the Teacher Supplement, well, that took a little longer.  I ended up purchasing it directly from:
Just as it arrived, I learned who the NZ Distributor is!!!
I'm enjoying the class because it feels like it's challenging for the children.

The challenge is not in waking up in time for the 5.00am start time.  Nope, the children JUMP out of bed for this class!!

It's a challenge because the children don't have all the answers.  They are learning or expanding on their current knowledge base.

Check this out: we settle in for nigh on two hours!!!!  How COOL is that?!  The children and I are learning something during EACH lesson and that feels great.  We have a lot of reading to do, but there are also some very COOL activities to go along with each chapter.  I wish we had enough hours in the day to get all of them done.  We've managed to do a number of them and I'm quite sure we'll catch up with the few we haven't quite got around to.

Here's a question for you ...

Are you a creationist or an evolutionist?

I think it may have been the second lesson where I stopped and acknoweldged how much my upbringing has had on my thought-process.  I've never questioned the existence of God, let alone Noah's Ark, the Flood, Adam and Eve etc.  Yet I have no idea how I was taught about the beginning of mankind.  I mean, how many ice ages was I taught about?  One or many?  I have actually sat there feeling rather dumb for not remembering.  Because I'm revisiting subjects such as science with the children I'm finding I'm relearning all over again.  It's like reading a great novel as a child then re-reading it as an adult.  You pick up different things, have a clearer understanding on other things and question a lot more about the whys and wherefores.

Just so you know, these particular classes are slightly more expensive, because the required text are an absolute must.  But, I don't mind because I have all the children to share the resources with. We are all getting to utilise material and activities for one superb price.

Anyway, as much as I wish I could speak of specifics from class, I simply can't and I would feel ashamed if I did.  The time, effort and attention all the teachers put into their classes is phenomenal.  I have such high respect for all the teachers.  I feel that by highlighting which classes we enjoy in my blog posts is the best way I can honour and share their individual talents.

I am simply a mum, trying to do the best for her children and family.  I love online classes for myself, so it was a no-brainer I would move my homeschooling into the realm of online for the children.  We all tap into people who can provide a deeper education for our children.  I'm 100% satisfied with EVERY single class and book club we have used or are currently using.

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano