Friday, 28 September 2012

I do love Spring

Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!
Human Body Subway Map
This looked interesting for Anatomy & Physiology class, so I thought I'd throw it on the blog to remind myself :-)

Things are humming along tickety boo with nothing particularly out of the ordinary to report.  But, it's been a few weeks since the last post, so I best try recording something, lol.

Whaiāipo will have the next two weeks off from mahi to make a push on our house.  He's not had enough time the last few weekends to finish the front (class) room.  Motorbikes and yard work!!

I'll be so glad when the downstairs is completed.  Having everything in the lounge/dining and kitchen areas hasn't been too much of a problem, but it will be nice to have that extra space again.  As much as I've tried to avoid it looking cluttered, it's kinda been unavoidable. I no sooner manage to move things to feel comfortable when, hello !!!, whaiāipo plonks another tool or what-have-you exactly where I don't need it to be eh?!  Yah gotta love the way the man can be oblivious to clutter ... hmm ... maybe ...

But anyway, like I say, whaiāipo has the next fortnight to make as much headway as he can on the whare.  Anything achieved will be a blessing.

Well, schools around Aotearoa are on a two week holiday as of next week.  As we school year-round it won't make much difference to us.  However, in saying that, I am super happy that, by sheer coincidence, whaiāipo has time off over the next two weeks. It means that we get to enjoy family time because of course St John, Cubs and Scouts have a holiday as well.  Only TKD keeps going, which is kei te pai.  It will be nice for the younger ones to have their older siblings - and matua of course - around them.  They've grown used to them being out a few nights a week, but they love playing together and with the longer daylight starting, it's going to be a welcome change for a while.

I'm back to having over 20 tabs open on my computer ... do you have days/weeks like this?  I look at something, jump off to something else and before I know it, I have so many things open but I don't want to close anything in case I miss some vital piece of knowledge.  How on earth did I cope without a computer?  Plus, I seem to be collecting a few e-pukapuka so my poor laptop is probably ready to explode, hee hee.

Well, I better add another picture for visual stimulation ...
It's not finished; there was a lot of background detail to be completed, i.e.  blending the colours more, plus tamāhine 1 is not the least bit satisfied with her leaves (which, by the way, look a lot better than the photo shows). The good thing is, at least next week the classes will move to 6.00am ...

I'm looking forward to Sunday the 30th - the start of Daylight Saving in Aotearoa.  Yeehah!!!
Don't forget to put your clocks forward!!!

ANY Kiwis out there taking online classes with CurrClick, or any overseas online classes, then don't forget you get an extra hour before classes, e.g. if your class starts at 8.00am then it will move to 9.00am :)

Friday afternoon

.... Koro has just left.  He rang this morning to say he'd pop out with some kai poaka, but ha ha, he forgot it!!!  Hei aha, we had a nice kai and chit chat.  The big kids told him that they found out one of the kids at TKD has a koro who was trained by my dad at the Police College ... that was many moons ago when we still had cadets at Trentham.  (Sometimes when we mention a name of someone we've recently met who claim to know dad, he doesn't recall them at all ... getting old.  Honestly, he used to be sharp as a tack and could remember someone he met in Te Whaiti, Minginui ... go back 50 years, be in the Police, Lions, Marae, Church or just Joe Blogs he met on the beat ... but now he will have to think about it and either say he remembers or admit he doesn't.)  Mind you, he doesn't have mum anymore to say who's who.  Seriously, mum was not only an expert at our whakapapa, but she would know the neighbour of so-and-so, how they were connected to somebody else in another town, what job they did etc.  But today koro was able to tell us which Wing this fella was in, where he got posted to, moved around and eventually what he does here in Rotorua.  That was more like dad. :-)

Koro left our place and went home around the lake via the urupā to see mum and whānau...


Here's where we're up to with Math-U-See, as at Thursday the 27th, because we skipped Math today.  Although it's been mainly cloudy, it's been lovely and warm plus when the sun comes out it's just too tempting to enjoy the outdoors:

Tamāhine 1 - Epsilon 5B
Tama 2 - Gamma Test 23
Tama 1 - Zeta 5A

I'm so glad tama 2 managed to get his head around the double digit multiplication; well to be more specific the double digit place value notation multiplication.  It's interesting to be able to sit back and confidently say to him, "Tama 1 and tamāhine 1 were exactly the same at this stage.  It was hard for them, but they got it and so will you," and sure enough he did!!  How exciting is that?  To know that your child will definitely get something even when they don't feel confident about it?  Is that the beauty of homeschooling?; or is it just experience as a parent?; or both?  Whatever it is, it just helps one's confidence to persevere.  It's like writing your first exemption.  You grow more confident with each one thereafter.

While on the topic of Math-U-See, I'm really happy with tamāhine 1's confidence with fractions.  Granted, she's only in the early throes of Epsilon, but she's barreled along without a problem so far.  Excellent :)  Tama 1 is also confident with decimals in Zeta.  I couldn't be happier with math.


I feel like working on tama 1's next experiment this weekend.  He's up to Lesson 12 and the experiment is using Alka Seltzer.


We've been talking a little bit about the Ten Commandments, the Ark of the Covenant/Tabernacle, King Saul, and David.  Earlier in the week with our read aloud (which was set in the Hittite period), we discussed monotheism and polytheism.  Tama 1 had learned these terms with our Greek Mythology lessons about a year and a half ago.  Anyway, over the last few weeks we've got into discussions as to why there was animal sacrifice in the Old Testament; why there were so many wars; the abuse of slaves - as an example we were particularly shocked at the treatment of those slaves who made purple dye ...  There's so much to cover, we've hardly scratched the surface.

School progresses in all other areas like:

and most of all ... A LOT of outdoor play and exploration. 

So, just to finish off ... here's a quick view outside ... not everybody, but they're all busy doing whatever they like.  I think tama 1 is painting his pirate flag while tamāhine 2 and tama 4 play on the swings...
Oh goodness, I've just remembered I need to sew badges on uniforms ... right-oh, I think I'll organise that now otherwise the holidays will be over and they'll still be sitting in the sewing box !!

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano
Naku noa, na

Sunday, 16 September 2012

A very, very rainy Spring day

Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!

Not sure if I mentioned this already, but this semester I decided to start teaching tama 1and tamāhine 1 how to write up short (personal) blog posts for each of their classes.  Even if they only type three of four sentences, it really doesn't matter.  If it says something about their learning then tino pai.  I'm so glad we're doing it this way because it means things I want recorded are definitely being taken care of and can be easily accessed.  I've added a challenge for them when composing posts for español - write as much as they can en español.  I might even throw the same challenge on tama 1 for his Mandarin posts ... hmm ....

It's been an important week in history this week.  This year marks the 11th anniversary of 9/11.
No sooner were we discussing this particular event in history when we learned of  the deaths at the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, Libya.  What transpired from there was a discussion about "worldview," both historically and in the present.  Because we are learning about ancient civilisations (like Egypt, India etc) we tried to better understand why things happen in our world.

Speaking of history we talked about a time capsule.  Tama 1 had to quickly come up with a list of five things to put in one:
  1. Photo album - to show what we looked like, dressed like and what the scenery looks like around us.
  2. A letter written by tama 1 at his age now (10 years old) talking about life from his point of view.
  3. An atlas.  Because if there's one thing we have learned so far in our history lessons is that the world has changed.  For example, the names of areas today were certainly known as something else BC, y'know like Mesopotamia, or what was once known in more modern times as the USSR.  Or about the man-made islands such as Dubai's Palm Islands.  (Imagine if someone were able to have recorded Pangea.)  What about glaciers? ... or tiny Pacific Island countries like Kiribati that are sinking?  Or what if earthquake prone areas sink after a massive earthquake?  Yep, in another 500 years the landscape will be interesting to see.
  4. A set of house keys.  Once upon a time you didn't need to lock a door; some people still don't even live in a house to require a lockable door.  Who knows what people will use in the future?
  5. The last one ... Legos ... because of its worldwide popularity; plus they're fun and educational.  (Plus it had to be something small so he couldn't choose his dirt bike or anything like that.)
Staying with World History, here's what we did on a very, VERY wet Sunday (today) ...
Stonehenge and hieroglyphics ... they read Cleopatra and Tutankhamun (written twice)

Math U See

Zeta - tama 1 completed 3B
Epsilon - tamāhine 1 completed Test 3
Gamma - tama 2 completed 23A

I can only share the scarecrow artwork from tamāhine 1's latest session because it was advertised, whereas the second piece was a surprise for the students.  (Yay!! for their separate blogs :) )

I get such a kick out of tamāhine 1's artistic capability at 5 o'clock in the morning!!!


Tamāhine 1 is into her third semester of:
It's an early start for her but she's enjoyed these in the past.  Tamāhine 1 simply jumps out of bed to join Mrs Rhodes!!  I really don't mind getting up at 4.30am to light the fire and crank up the computers for 5 o'clock classes - especially when I know ngā tamariki enjoy certain classes; otherwise we'd join by recording eh!?
We have a half hour break between Treasury of Literature and Adventure Through Literature - again with Mrs Rhodes.  We're only into week 2, but it's shaping up to be another great class.
Español is one of the highlights of (my) our week. This semester is a true test of my ability to switch between tamāhine 1 while trying to keep an eye on tama 1 and tama 2 in their individual classes as well as sit in on a class that clashes for everybody - and don't forget keep an eye on the three younger ones.  Oh yes, Wednesday mornings are busy but very, very fun :)

Well, it took me a lot longer to write this post ... tama 1, tamāhine 1 and tama 2 are already home from TKD training.  They started learning their new patterns tonight and as always they were buzzing when they came home.

After a very long day being stuck inside I'm ready to hit the hay.

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano
Naku noa, na

Monday, 3 September 2012

Looking forward to longer days and shorter nights

Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!

Things have been much better since the "nit-week" and although I can't say that we are completely nit-free, I can at least say no one has felt like itching for at least five days.

On Monday last week I mentioned to our rural postie that we were waiting on a package - tama 1's chemistry lab kit.  Then on Tuesday morning, hello!, here it was.  Ka mau te wehi.

Our postie was just as curious as we were and came in to watch tama 1 open it up and join in our excitement.
Even though it's a basic kit, it's amazing how just a few tools of the trade can make one feel like a professional :)  Tama 1 looks pretty darn nifty with his lab glasses on.  We love the foot long thermometer especially!  I think we do the first lab journal work for next week's assignment.  Can hardly wait.

Four Tamariki Who Don't Know What The Inside of a Classroom Looks Like

Okay, you may recall I sent my Exemption Application away for our fourth child three Thursday's ago.  I've anxiously awaited the verdict since then.  I always figure no news is good news.  Well, each day last week I anticipated something in the mail and on Friday morning I went out to the mail box to check - but was too early for the postie.  Within ten minutes of sitting down, tama 3 came running inside from playing on the swings and asked if he could go and get the mail.  I stayed sitting at the table working with the big kids on their math, anxiously awaiting tama 3's return.  As soon as he walked in I recognised the envelope.  I didn't muck around opening it. I knew by the size it meant I had the exemption, yet I read it three times to make sure I wasn't fooling myself.  Oh my goodness, the relief!!!  The absolute relief.  Four exemption applications (since 2008?); and four acceptances!!  (Although I have always felt confident I would get each exemption through, I never truly relax until that wee envelope arrives with the Certificate.) 

Such was the relief of receiving the certificate we stopped mahi for a while and had a good long chat.  I let the children play outside and then I said they could either finish their math, or we could just spend the rest of the day making the cupcakes for grading on Saturday and enjoy this happy event.  Tamāhine 1 was determined to completely finish Math-U-See Delta, so I said okay and she pushed herself to complete Test 30 and the following Unit Tests.  She completely aced them all.  Kino kē koe e hine!!  Tama 1 completed Lesson 30 Test but chose to leave the remaining Unit Tests.  Imagine, next week he will commence Zeta.  Neat alright.  Let me think, Tama 2 completed Gamma 21B, C & D.

We made over 100 cupcakes (only a few to stay home for myself and the little ones; 100 for grading)
The batteries went dead as soon as I took the above photo - which is probably just as well, otherwise they may have taken the camera on Saturday and hello, flat batteries!!  I charged the batteries but forgot to take a photo before we placed all the cupcakes in containers Friday night.
We managed to make a cardboard shelf in each container to hold two layers of cupcakes.  I now wish I'd taken a photo of the prettier ones, but at 6 o'clock Saturday morning I was busy getting the kids fed and dressed to be away by 6.30am.  The chocolate swirling looked so much better than the photo shows ... but as long as they taste nice eh!!

Okay, let's go back a little bit.  What have we been doing since last week?

Well, tama 1 completed level 2 Mandarin.  He commences level 3 on Thursday, September the 6th with a new group of students.

Tama 1 and tamāhine 1 wrote up their blog posts for español, took advantage of the after chat class with Señora Schere and completed tarea on the weekend.  I quite like what they wrote for composicíon this week.  They have practiced their literatura and know it off by heart, so I'm very happy with our progress - all thanks to a terrific maestra!!!

We're really enjoying The Mystery of History.
Starting from Creation is the best!  The pace is gentle.  Lessons are short, pleasant and easy to move through.  I didn't do nearly as many activities as I would have liked last week. I was naughty because I was preoccupied with the exemption, ensuring we put in enough TKD practice, and was still trying to stay on top of the nit situation.  Will definitely improve on this area!!!

I am losing in the paper war at the moment.  I must sort out all the paperwork I've been printing out pronto because it's taking over the entire area by the printer which is not good :(

It doesn't take long to get out of control either - or is it just me?  Well, I better make it a priority this week to finish printing things off and file in individual folders.

Today I had to go to:
It's been a few years since I've been to the Māori Land Court, and this is the first time I've been in for a personal reason.  It was an in-and-out process.  Sit in the court room, wait our turn and less than five minutes later you're out the door and everything's kei te pai.

I think everything from mum's estate is now finally sorted thanks to a very nice tiati.  Well, just as soon as the paperwork comes through, then I don't think I have anything as executrix left to do.  Granted, it took me too long to get this last part sorted out, but when we had our own house dilemma going on, I took care of what was most urgent and left this last bit knowing full well we could sort it out ... but I did procrastinate a tad too long.  Hei aha, ka mutu ināianei.  No wonder it poured down today - mum saying thanks.

Because I had to go out, we started kura immediately following parakuihi.  Tama 1 worked on his Epsilon tests, but didn't quite finish (there are five pages to his exam).  He aced the two pages he did.  That leaves three pages to complete āpōpō.  Tamāhine 1 commenced Epsilon and completed the entire Lesson 1.  Tama 2 completed Gamma Lesson 21E only today.  He was distracted having his pāpā home.  Whaiāipo was home to watch them while I went to Te Kooti Whenua Māori.  So glad I didn't try taking them with me because there was a large rōpū from Waikaremoana there, so space was very tight, plus the process is so short and sweet it's over and done with before you've had time to say tēnā koe ki te tiati.

This afternoon we worked on whakapapa (family tree).  Tama 2 had to take this for tonight's Cub meeting.  Luckily we only had to go back as far as great grandparents.  Writing up the pākehā side is easy peasy, so documenting whaiāipo and my dad's side was a breeze, but squeezing in our Māori side, well, that certainly took a lot of effort.  I ended up leaving off my cousins tamariki because I simply ran out of room and time.  Yeah, it definitely wasn't the greatest work I've ever produced, but for the main part I think it served the purpose of what was required.  The really cool thing is that at least tama 2 can point at two of his great uncles names on the whakapapa and then turn around to the list of fallen soldiers from Rotorua who were also cubs/scouts during their youth and say, "These are my uncles who died during WWII.  One is buried in Germany and one is buried in England." I even made sure I wrote down the names of the grave yards where they are buried.  Tama 2 remembers only too well how much his nana loved her family and how nana would always talk about her brothers she lost during WWII.  My mum was such a legend when it came to whakapapa.  I'm nothing compared to mum and I'm rather reliant on my brothers to correct me all the time.  Koretake eh?!  Yeah.

That's enough rambling ... obviously getting tired, lol.

Seeing as tama 1 doesn't have Mandarin on a Tuesday now we will try to do some shopping āpōpō - well, that's the plan ... we shall see how we go.  If I can at least get some ink for the printer then that will help me organise that paper work!!!

Well, everyone's home.  Time to catch up with how their evening went.

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano
Naku noa, na