Friday, 8 May 2015

Brushing off the cobwebs

Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!

You can be forgiven for thinking I stopped blogging because I ended up making it private for a very long time.  Well, I didn't cease blogging as it turns out.  I just made it private.

I've edited as many of the posts that I will allow to be viewed publicly, but there are a good chunk which I will move over to our family blog.

We'll just take things from today as being a fresh chapter.

As I looked back at what is now the end in the previous chapter, the things we have done since!  And the growth in the children! Oh my!  Yet another reminder these days of homeschooling will be over all too soon.

Okay, so we're into Term II here in Aotearoa.


Everyone is doing very well.  When I say, "everyone" I actually mean tama 1, tamāhine 1, tama 2 and tama 3.  Tamāhine 2 continues to march to her own beat.  Progress is ... slow .... with her.

Tama 4 is doing very basic maths.  I will follow my same structure with him as I did tama 3, ie  nothing particularly formal until age 6.  Recognising numbers and geometric shapes and what happens in general life that he sees and hears etc is about the height of his maths.

Tama 1 commenced Algebra this year, tamāhine 1 has started Pre-Algebra towards the end of Term 1.  Tama 2 is nearing the midway point in Zeta and Tama 3 is into the last 10 lessons of Beta. ( The homeschooling allowance will come in handy to buy him Gamma.)


This week the children and I have begun reading The Hobbit.  It's probably two years ago since we read it last.  Now that we have all the Hobbit and LOTR movies, and with the very keen interest the children have with Tolkein, I promised them that this year we would be reading the books all over again.  Tama 3 wasn't interested when we read them the last time, but now he's keen as mustard.  Granted, we are only up to Chapter 3 now, but we all love it.  Last week, we watched a DVD each night after dinner.  It has made such a difference to watch everything in sequence now.  Luckily we have a home where everyone loves the adventures of Bilbo and Frodo.  Goodness knows how many times we've watched them, but now that we have the entire series, it was a wonderful week of evening viewing.

While we took turns reading today, the kids started drawing their own bookmarks, maps of the Shire and decorating their Hobbit names in Runes.

Tama 3 listened along today, quickly pointing out, "That's not what happened in the movie."  Oh dear, his first experience discovering movies are never the same as the book.

As for tama 3's own reading, he's coming along wonderfully.  I am not the least bit worried we took a while to commence.

There's a few books on the go, but I'll have to come back to that when I check in with the kids.  I'm currently reading The Diary of Anne Frank.  It's been years since I read that.  At this stage I'm just pre-reading as we aren't covering WWII period this term, but, thanks to a little book browsing one day, I decided to grab it.  I'm still reading Never Give In as well.  Tama 1 picked it up as he has developed an interested in Winston Churchill like his mum.  Biographies on C S Lewis and JRR Tolkien spring to mind also.

Yeah, like I say, there's a number of books we've started this year.  I'll just have to try and pick up as we go along now to talk about certain books in future posts.


Tamāhine 1 has been my main student for the art study.  The others listen in more than anything else.  Tama 2 is just a little bit behind.  Tama 1 had a full schedule in Term 1, so I tried to schedule our lesson at a time he could be listening while working.  We work on other art projects with the other kids.

Foreign Language

Spanish  - Tama 1 completed High School II and will continue again later in the year.  Tamāhine 1 will complete Elementary Level and pick up High School next year.  I didn't want her to try and keep up the same pace as her older brother.  It shifts gear in HSII, and at the time I made my decision to keep her at Elementary, I didn't think she was ready to advance.

French - Although tamāhine 1 may have been held back to master Elementary Spanish, she was very keen to pick up French with her older brother.  By the end of this week they will have completed 26 weeks.  We'll be taking a breather for a while.  I'm looking at some material I'd like to purchase with the homeschooling allowance due at the end of this month to help us with our language skills.

Latin - Within the next few weeks we will start brushing up on our Latin.  We let it slide for a period while we picked up French and especially with the heavier demands tama 1 had.  Something had to give for a spell, and Latin was one.  But, we'll get back into it.

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Tama 1 is now 13 and has become extremely independent.  He will finish his Apologia General Science before the end of May and then I guess I better purchase Physical Science.  He's right into his computers as well as Space-related things.  He won 1st place for best project and 2nd place for best presentation in his group recently.  So proud, especially to see the fruits of his labour rewarded.  So many weeks of research and it paid off.  We slowed down in his maths so he could concentrate on the assignments, but he's now back in full swing with maths.  He's an all-rounder for sure.

Tamāhine 1 enjoys art.  I'm trying to provide as much as I can for her.  Anything I give her to tackle, she gives it 100% and impresses the living daylights out of us.  She's still an avid reader.  May that never change!  She is doing very well with French and that has helped her to start piecing things together with her other languages.

Tama 2 has finally begun reading more extensively.  I'd like him to be reading a wider genre, but I do not wish to turn him off reading by placing any undue pressure on him.  I am just thrilled to pieces he is enjoying The Hobbit - even if it has stemmed from seeing the movies first.  I'll take his interest to read any way I can thanks! :)  But no, overall, I am pleased with this growth in his learning.  Being the hands-on kid, he still loves to get out and do what dad does which is kei te pai.  On Tuesday morning he went out with whaiāipo as a logistics assistant (that's what I'll call it anyway).  He was back within the hour but he looked very pleased to have helped out.  Good lad.

The three big kids will celebrate their fourth year at TKD in a few weeks time.  They still enjoy it immensely.

Music - we have no formal training.  The kids are tinkering on their keyboard themselves.  I'll record them when they tell me they're ready for a performance. ;)

Tama 5 is nearly 2 1/2.  Like all toddlers he knows how to be a mischief and certainly interrupt plenty of times a day, but seasons change, so it's a matter of adjusting and readjusting until the next phase.

There's something I wish to write about, but I will put that on a separate post because this part is really just to say "Kia Ora!  Long Time No See!"

Well, that'll do for a catch-up.  No photos.  Nope.  Sorry.  My camera is pakaru. The zoom is stuck, so it will need to go to the shop at some stage.  Either that, or buy another one.  Whichever is cheapest, lol.

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

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