Sunday, 18 October 2015


Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!
  • I made a new friend and I received a gift from another.  Feel very blessed about these two positives.
  • The weather has been lovely this week so we managed a lot of kura kei waho, so that's always a positive.

  • Whaiāipo continues to be extremely busy.  There aren't many positives to that .... Definitely a low for me.  Not so much that he's busy, but .... well, just something else.
  • I'm still failing tamāhine 2 - big time!!!  Only minimal improvement in her mathematics - and as for her reading! Auē!!! 

    I still find myself considering placing everyone in school so I can concentrate solely on her during the day.  Yeah, I think it, but it's actually not an option.
Most of the tamariki are on target with maths.

Question:  do we use the British spelling 'maths' because mathematics has an 's' on the end?

Well, I was brought up saying 'maths.' Then, we started homeschooling and chose a curriculum called Math-U-See.  Plus we become friends with American families and hear 'math' all the time, so understandably, my kids are tending to say 'math.'  I thought perhaps it's because it has an 's' on the end, but I have no idea why really.  Well, this morning I decided to do a Google search and after reading a few things, there's not a very definitive answer.  I also stumbled upon this video which I found interesting, and although helpful, it still leaves the question open really:

So, it still doesn't really give an absolute answer, but at least it raised my idea of  's' at the end of the word.  As for the 'aluminium vs. aluminum' - yep!  That's a doozy too.

English is such an interesting language, nē rā?!

Tamāhine 2 and tama 4 continue with IXL. Tamāhine 2 didn't last long when we started her with MUS.  Last year I purchased Life of Fred to see if she would like that, but nope!   She didn't like it full stop!!  (Tama 3 uses it to read to me; so he gets extra maths practice as well as reading it out of choice.)  Then, I decided to try her with IXL - initially using the free version and then a subscription when I could see she was responding well to the visual interaction.  For myself, I need to look at the progress report to actually remind myself of what she has achieved - especially on the hard days when I am left wondering if we will ever move forward any faster.  Whether we go back to MUS with her is unlikely.  I am working on Plan C.

As for tama 3, he's moving along swimmingly with his mathematics.  He grasps the concepts, works through on his own, needing only minimal input from his mum.

Tama 4 is also doing fine.  I mentioned above that he is using IXL.  His maths is gentle; 10 minutes max per day.  He will move into MUS commencing February 2016. {For my northern hemisphere friends, the school year runs from February-December here in Aotearoa.}

Tama 2 is on target to finish Zeta before his birthday next month.  A couple of months ago I had a good long kōrero with him and we decided to work slightly differently.  Then, within two or possibly three weeks, he was away and somewhere during that third term everything became concrete in his mind and he's been soaring ever since.

Tamāhine 2 continues to take small steps in reading. One day she can be good as gold, but the next day I'm tearing my hair out.  It's hard.  Really hard.  Some days I can stay positive, upbeat and encouraging to coax her along but other days she just drains me and I feel like quitting.  It is so hard when you have the other children going along effortlessly and you wonder what you did wrong - how did I fail her?

But when I consider the alternative???  Oh no!   I know she's better off here and I need to do better. End of.
"We shouldn't be put off by the mistakes we make, we should be encouraged by them so that we can do a better job next time.
We all make mistakes and for most of us we learn and move on.  I continue to make mistakes, and I continue to learn from those mistakes.  I make mistakes as we travel along in our parenthood and homeschooling journey and that's kei te pai.  There are plenty of occasions we feel bulletproof and rocket along, then there are other times you just have a huge question mark above your head.

Two or three months ago, a good friend recommended You Have a Brain A Teen's Guide to Think Big by Dr. Ben Carson.  Big thank you sent out to my friend! :)  Interestingly enough, she no sooner told me about Ben Carson when suddenly I'm hearing his name everywhere within the US homeschooling communities - not because he's a presidential candidate, but because he is an inspiration to all.

Tama 1 is reading You Have a Brain and I'm reading Gifted Hands.  The  rest of the family will read the books in due course, but at the moment the two of us are getting in slightly ahead of the others.

I listened to a discussion held here in Aotearoa in which Dr. Ben Carson was a guest speaker last year.  I discovered he has actually been to our country four times!  What?!  Gosh, I hope he comes again - before, or after he becomes President. ;)  Haere mai Dr. Ben!  Haere mai!

Tama 2 finished reading Almost Home and then quickly read:

A very quick read, but it's a great little story.

Now he's reading Johnny Tremain.

I purchased the audio CDs when I first purchased the book for tama 1, but I think I listened to them and not tama 1, lol.  Tamāhine 1 enjoyed the book when she read it a couple of years ago.  Once he completes Johnny Tremain, I will read You Have a Brain with him.  He has listened to a few chapters, but I'd like to spend time to read it with him.

Tama 3 as I have mentioned is reading Life of Fred.  He still enjoys reading Geronimo Stilton books from the library and I don't mind that (well, not too much).

Tamāhine 1 is currently reading:

We have read three Books so far.  We are listening to the audio read by Gandolf (Ian McKellen) to help us along.

On one of the rarest of occasions, I chose to watch the movie before reading the book.  I found this online:

THE ODYSSEY full movie.FLV from nis-egypt on Vimeo.

Tamāhine 1 is enjoying having a girlfriend.  Our new neighbours have a daughter who is close to tamāhine 1 in age, so they have developed quite a little kinship.  Today tamāhine 1 took some paints and canvas outside.  I'll take a photo once her canvas is finished.  But in the meantime, I'll pop one of art pieces from this week.

To finish off I'll just add one more photo.  We had a lot of fun stuff during lessons.  Here is tama 3 writing notes for a quiz he made for  tama 2:

Always plenty more to write about but I'm ready to head off to be with whānau.

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

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