Tuesday, 30 June 2015

".... will never, ... be finished"

Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!

Family and friends reading the subject line will no doubt be thinking, "Ha!  Maree's having a grumble thinking their house will never be finished!"

But, in fact, I'm not!  (Well, not today at least.  Hee hee)

The above is actually a quote by Georg Carstenen in 1844.  "And who might he have been?" I hear you ask.

Georg Carstenen was the founder of Tivoli Gardens which is, amongst other things, the second oldest amusement park in the world. The park and garden are in Copenhagen, Denmark. We read about it in Number the Stars today.

We've just got to the chapter where the Johansen family are planning to conceal Ellen Rosen as part of their family.

It is at the beginning of the chapter when the two friends are playing with their paper dolls and part-way through are joined by Anne-Marie's little sister, Kirsti.  Anne-Marie decides that because Kirsti is "too young to go to a ball" and comes up with the idea that they can go to Tivoli instead.

Enter → GoogleLit.  Look where it is located in relation to where the family lives and take a tiki tour of the park and that sort of thing.

We read that Tivoli Gardens were founded in 1843 and visitors have included celebrities such as Hans Christian Anderson for one, AND!! Walt Disney, for another.

Here's a Did You Know for you ....

Did you know that Walt Disney actually modelled Disneyland after Tivoli Gardens?  He is said to have been so impressed that he wanted to recreate Tivoli's "happy and unbuttoned air of relaxed fun."

"Tivoli will never, so to speak, be finished," said Georg Carstenen, a sentiment echoed by Walt Disney when he said, "Disneyland will never be finished as long as there is imagination left in the world."  Both men believing things would constantly change.

Here's a very short video we watched ... it's all of 1:01 !!!!

Before I sign off, I'll just add something else we learned:

This is not the only Tivoli.  According to Wikipedia there is a Tivoli Gardens in Kingston, Jamaica; Tivoli in Italy; Tivoli in Slovenia and a Tivoli Garden in Hong Kong, etc.  (If you do a search under "Tivoli" in Wikipedia, you'll see quite a long list.)

And the very last part of the rabbit trail of other Tivoli for today: → We wanted to see which might be the oldest Tivoli (could we find out where it originates from? is it named after anyone in particular?).  We thought perhaps the Tivoli in Italy might be the oldest.  Yes, it does have a long and fascinating history.  It is a city, which was actually called Tibur, (the city used the diminutive form as Tiburi though).  Then it transformed through Tibori to Tiboli and finally to Tivoli.  It's an interesting read if you care to take a gander.

I'm hoping to do some more research and see what else we can unearth about the actual name Tivoli.

So there you go ... that's something we learned today.

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

PS  Enjoy the extra second for your birthday, Warrick!!

Sunday, 28 June 2015

LEARNZ Opera - Put on a Show!

Nau mai, hoki mai, welcome back!

(Not an affiliated link)

Back in mid-March this year I read on one of the homeschool group feeds that NCHENZ were offering a discounted rate for the above.  (Follow this link  or this link to learn the interesting history behind the formation of LEARNZ.)

The words "Virtual Field Trips" immediately caught my eye.  I was confident RHA would be interested in trying this.  So, being the Jack Nohi that I am, I decided to check it out.

Scrolling down the About page, they have a really nice timeline sharing past field trips.  That had me intrigued:  What field trips did they have lined up for 2015?  How do we get started? 

A good place to start is the LEARNZ promotional video under Tautoko section on the LEARNZ web site, or, if you're on the NCHENZ web site, then this page explains everything you need to know.

After a lengthy-enough browse I decided to register. 

NCHENZ offers a 30% discount.  
There are three options available: 
1 child, 2 children, 3+ children

To get my bearings, we chose an old field trip and watched a few episodes before taking the plunge to register for a "live" virtual field trip.  You can enter either on the live audioconference and/or through the Backchannel (Adobe Connect platform, which our family is extremely familiar with).

Anyway, the above background is to help paint a picture of the forthcoming Opera - Put on a Show! virtual field trip RHA has registered for.  This is the first time we're joining a live field trip weeks in advance.  By registering early we have already had a preliminary session to discuss how the field trip of Madama Butterfly is planned and allows time to come up with questions etc.

Here are just a few of the pointers highlighted that participating schools will enjoy from the field trip:
  • Go to the opening night performance and experience selected parts of Madama Butterfly
  • Go backstage
  • Meet the costuming and makeup experts
  • Meet a member of the crew
  • Meet New Zealand opera singers brought back from overseas
  • Watch and listen as professional opera singers warm up and perform
One of the main reasons I wanted to register for this particular field trip is because I know there is very little chance we could ever afford to take our kids to a real opera. 

That, and the fact we get the chance to meet some singers, crew members, look around the building where it will be performed, see selected dress rehearsals .... you get the idea.

Within the information that we received upon registration, there's plenty to help us prepare and gain a better insight of what is entailed, so we are very much looking forward to this.

Looking forward to it.

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

Friday, 26 June 2015


Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!

I have wanted to utilise something I have had stored under my Language Arts page for a few years, but never really found the right time - until now.

As soon as we received Paddle-to-the-Sea (affiliated) we got started with our first official Google-Lit trip.

We are only up to Chapter 4 (?) but it has been so much fun using Google Earth like this.

The older children and I have also started using the Number the Stars Google-Lit trip.  Although tamāhine 1 has already read the book, I thought she would still enjoy reading it again with us using this method.

Perhaps I should have waited until we finished reading both books before writing this post, but, it's like I have said, I always knew RHA would use it, but it was just a case of finding the right books to get started.

I am soooo looking forward to doing The Odyssey, The Aeneid and The Diary of Anne Frank, just to name a few under the High School section with the older kids!!

This link explains everything about the site which Jerome Burg developed.

Yes, I always knew Google-Lit would be right up there for RHA.

Google-Lit is FREE.
Google Earth is FREE.

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

[This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the book links, a small amount will go toward the funding of HCHENZ - a non-profit organisation that assists home educators throughout Aotearoa.]

No Photoshop. Just Me - Au Naturale !!

Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!

In case you're wondering what I look like, THIS is me.  Today I was asked to submit a photo and blurb about myself to appear on the NCHENZ - Executive Committee web page.  I stalled getting it through.  It wasn't unexpected, but um, NO!! The idea of having my face out there?  Yikes!  As I said to the ladies, there is a reason I use an avatar for my profile pics on everything.

Anyway, I jokingly said I would need to go into town to see a beautician and buy Photoshop on the way too - y'know, to get that air-brush effect, lol :)  But, no beautician, not even a digital camera.  Just me and my laptop shooting, deleting, shooting, deleting .... FINALLY, something far enough away so I wasn't totally in your face.  I sent it off with the explanation it took a long time to get my Farrah Fawcett-Majors-look.  It wasn't until I sent that off, I realised I had dated myself.  The other ladies are probably too young to remember the Charlies Angels programme, huh?!

But, anyway, after sending it through I thought, hey!  why not let y'all see who the author of this blog is.  The cunning thing of sneaking it in as a blog post is so that it gets mixed in with the rest of the posts, soon to be lost in amongst future posts. ;)

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

Kōrero Matariki - Te Kupenga a Tataraimāka

Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!

This is for overseas friends.  Rather than putting it on the RHA Facebook page, I'll put it here because I know some of them don't use Facebook.

It is super-duper short, has subtitles and says it all. ;)

Thanks for dropping by 
ka kite ano 

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Hangouts are great!

Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!

I'm meant to be working on something for the NCHENZ but I side-tracked with social media - as y'do.

Came across this on my twitter feed:

I hope you'll take the time to watch it.  I really like the way they are dressed in character to have the discussion is very well done.

I mention NCHENZ because a couple of weeks ago, myself and another homeschooling mum volunteered our services to the Committee.  I felt it was time to raise my hand.  I'm no longer a novice homeschooler; I've got a few exemptions under my sleeve and I've muddled along finding a groove; so I'm basically comfortable about the way Romankids Homeschool Academy is developing.  So now it's time to tautoko the ladies who have been taking it to new heights.

Admittedly, I've never sat on Facebook as much before and I'm still learning the ropes, but they're a super team of ladies. I'll be doing my best to help in whatever capacity I can.

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Hogwarts is Here

Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!

Do you have any 13+ aged Harry Potter fans?  Check this out ... (free to join)

Our tamariki aren't Harry Potter fanatics, let alone fans, (especially the only one eligible at age 13) so he's bound to take a pass if I showed him.  Also, I know some people really don't like anything along the lines of magic, but just in case you have a child or children who may be interested, then perhaps take a gander.  Just click on the pic, or HERE.

"HiH is a fansite created by fans, for fans. HiH is not endorsed or supported directly or indirectly with Warner Bros. Entertainment, JK Rowling, Pottermore or any of the official Harry Potter trademark/right holders."

A couple of the links didn't work for me when I was on there earlier, but, they do have a Facebook page.

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano


Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!

I'm posting the link to last night's documentary on Maori Television about my home town, Murupara.  Myself, and one of my brothers were born there.

We whakapapa into Ngati Manawa and Ngati Whare

Dad was the local constable and we had the best childhood growing up.  I always wished we'd stayed in Murupara, but dad had us move around with the job.

It's been sad to see the changes over the years, but last night I felt so proud of how the community spirit is stronger than ever.

I miss my hometown tonight.

Thanks for dropping
ka kite ano

Having a laugh

Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!

I do love that my 13 year old still knows how to have a giggle.  A few weeks ago whaiāipo did the typical man-thing and cut himself shaving.  Only this time, he did himself a real beauty.  None of us could stop laughing and taking the mickey out of him.  It was just too funny - even if I could feel his pain.

After whaiāipo left to work, tama 1 went upstairs and took the forensics and we have the evidence taking pride of place on the fridge still.

Laughter is such good medicine, nē? LOL

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

Monday, 22 June 2015

Standing Out

Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!

I keep meaning to get a photo of the kids in their R.H.A. t-shirts, but without a camera, it's a tad tricky.   I haven't had a mobile phone for many months now, so I can't use anything like that either.  So, the laptop or Kindle are my only choices for a little while longer.  While chatting with tamāhine 1 late this afternoon, I snapped a quick pic.

 Then I got the reverse side courtesy of tama 5.
Tama 5 modelling reverse-side
The kids love wearing them. 

When we went out this afternoon they decided to wear the t-shirts over their warm tops, lol :)

We have a number of R.H.A. stationery items (pens, notebooks etc.), and we even have our own mugs -
I'm so glad the kids are proud of their homeschool

It was all borne out of my creating everything for Pegleg's (whaiāipo) business.  I wanted to be identified separately from his business so that people coming down the drive know that it's not just his business here, but a family - a homeschooling family.
They make great gifts for family and friends too.

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

Thursday, 18 June 2015

CurrClick Summer Sale 2015

Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!

I know, I know, it's winter in Aotearoa, but my followers know I'm very fond of CurrClick, so naturally I will help promote their sales etc.

Don't forget anyone in the southern hemisphere, the dates will actually be 19-23 June (remember, we are a day ahead of our northern hemisphere neighbours).
(Affiliate link)

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Happy Mid-Year

Tama 3

Nau mai, hoki mai, and welcome back!

Tama 3 is coming along swimmingly with his reading.  I am so glad I bought this hardcover copy of Frog and Toad, all thanks to not being able to find the readers at our library whenever we went.  Sure, I could have requested the next available copy, but I decided that this is one particular reader I've enjoyed the kids using in the past, so being a hardcover-book-lover, I went ahead and purchased our own copy.

Since April I have had tama 3 read 2 pages per day as part of his reading practice.  I've planned it out in the same method as the AO schedule (exempli gratia spreading the reading over a 12 week period).  He happily reads the 2-3 pages without stressing about trying to read an entire story at each sitting.

His spelling and math are right up there with his reading, so I'm very happy with his progress.  We've been a little slack with Latin, not having learned anything new for a week or two.  [Heavy sigh.] Like so many I'm striving to be the best homeschooling mum I can be, so it can feel disappointing on most days that I'm not covering all the bases.  I try not to beat myself up about it, but, well ... I am still working on that side of things.  Yes, I still go to bed feeling frustrated I didn't do enough.

o ~ o ~ O ~ o ~ o

Not an affiliated link
Today I began the children's French revision.  I'm utilising the above from Memoria Press.  We squeezed this in after continuing our reading of:

Nope, not an affiliated link either
It's been a couple of years since we left our readings of this series, but it's great to pick it up again.  I do hope to complete reading the nine books in The Little House on the Prairie series without taking another break of two years or whatever it was.

Tamahine 1 worked on her art assignment as I read.  Art assignment?  Yep, that means we've started another online class huh?!
Tamahine 1 and I are both suitably impressed with her new art teacher.  This is going to be a great eight weeks!!!


I'm pleased I've managed to find plenty of art-related resources recently.  Tamahine 1 really does enjoy her arts and craft, so to find excellent people online makes me happy, so thank you YouTube, social media and online classes.

Oh! to see her happy face when she gets more art supplies.  She couldn't wait to go out on the weekend to buy some more watercolours and what-have-you.  We no sooner got home and she started painting a tui in watercolour.  It's coming along very nicely.  I've hung it out of reach until she continues, so as to avoid little fingers adding their artistic flair. (wink)

o ~ o ~ O ~ o ~ o

Maybe you're curious how we are getting along with following the AO schedule?  Have we ditched it only after a few weeks?  

One month and we're on track with what I chose to do.  Everyone started on Y4 so that we could get a feel.  Now I've settled on Y7 for tama 1 and Y6 for tamāhine 1 (with tama 2 to a certain extent, but he's mainly Y4). Tama 3 is on Y1 with tamāhine 2.  Tama 3 is coping a lot better with giving me attention, but it will still take time for him to perfect that particular trait, lol.

I'm trying my very best to stick to exactly what is on the AO schedules without venturing off too much.  However, one difficulty is finding enough hours in the day to cover all the levels.  Until the kids we are a little more comfortable with the mechanics we shall continue with me reading a good chunk of it all to/with everyone.

The thing is, I could easily have left it to start when families in the US will start Term 1, but I'm starting now as a means of getting ourselves involved at a gradual pace.  If we are successful in our approach then we can continue, or at the very least start from Term 1 like our northern hemisphere friends.

Basically it's a combination of the whole lot, with everyone listening in on chosen segments.  Tamahine 1 is definitely the most familiar with AO because over the years I have had her read books which are under the "free reads" area.

We've got about eight three chapters left to read in The Hobbit, so no, we haven't followed the AO schedule with that.  We had already decided to be reading it before I made the bold decision to follow CM more fully.  The same is almost true with Watership Down.  I had already ordered it and decided to read as a family read-aloud before starting the AO schedule.  We're only just in the early chapters of Watership Down so that will be a long time finishing.  That's read just before we go to sleep, so everyone is tucked in bed to enjoy that one!  Whaiāipo is usually working on the computer as he listens next to us, but he tries to get his work finished as quickly as possible to be a part of it.

I wonder if we will finish reading it before moving back upstairs?  I sure hope not!  ... but that's another story.

This past month I chose to concentrate on what the first page of each schedule had listed so I knew exactly what to read each week.  This meant subjects such as art for example, wasn't given a specific time.  It was just done on the fly.  The bulk of the subjects on the second page of the schedules weren't introduced yet (Shakespeare, Plutarch, etc.)  But, now that we have tried a month and the kids are recalling what we read the week prior, I am confident we can start introducing a few more subjects.  Many of the subjects I need more guidance though.  That's where I'll be researching on SCM and LBC, on the Yahoo Groups, on the Forums, blogs.  I basically need a "Day 1 ... do this, find this, draw this, describe this ..." that sort of thing.  Shakespeare?  Plutarch?  Eek.

I truly want CM to work for us, but I'm not afraid to admit I haven't the foggiest idea how to do some of these subjects.  But, it's pointless putting things off when I want so much for them to work.  If I can spend the time figuring out what works for us to learn Latin or anything else, then that's what I have to do for some of these other subjects.  Giving up when I haven't tried my hardest?  No, that's not what we do.  Plenty of families have said they struggled at first.  I just have to figure out how to work it for our family.

o ~ o ~ O ~ o ~ o

This post went on a lot longer than I anticipated, so I'll finish off there and head off for dinner.

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano