Sunday, 14 February 2016

Mid-February - already?!

Nau mai, hoki mai, and welcome back!

Couldn't resist taking a snapshot of the younger boys occupying themselves while I worked with the older kids the other day.

Here we are working on Geography.  Tama 5 insisted he have his own folder.  He managed to hole punch a few pages, so I printed out the sheet we were working on and he happily drew alongside -- then hole punched it a billion times, lol.

The kids tracing their new country.

{This week was very much a repeat of last week's kura, hence some photos so you're not bored.}

As expected, we didn't manage History or German because of the short week. Kei te pai,nē?  I could easily have squeezed it in rather than allowing the kids to go for a swim, but this is summer - and that's one of the beauty's of homeschooling.  There's only so much academics one should do while the summer sun is so delightful.  Besides, it provides life skills and exercise, therefore one cannot feel guilty of downing tools to enjoy fresh air, can one?

Perhaps you'll recall I'm planning to go down the IGCSE route?  Well, the main reason for this post was to record my preparation.  If you'd rather skip it, then feel free to close the window.  

Yes, the first few days I suffered information overload as I swamped myself in everything I could search via Google. (It's as though we're starting homeschooling all over again in many respects, lol.) 

You know how it is when you are looking at a curriculum, you're wading through the choices of books available to teach a subject?  Well, this is no different.  Hitting the search key after entering "IGCSE Extended Mathematics", for example, you have a selection of choices.  That's what I did when I was searching initially.  It wasn't long before I determined there had to be any easier way: Ask from those who use it!!  Which textbook to choose?  How do you narrow down the choices?

Thankfully, I sought advice from the NZ Cambridge Facebook group on day two of my researching.

By late afternoon, I was reading and re-reading replies to my queries, convinced I'd never get a handle on it all.  With a tremendous amount of relief, a large chunk of that information began to make more sense once I read the Private Candidate Handbook which I was reminded about on the Yahoo group.

(Sidenote: I printed out the Handbook and comb bound it, adding some dividers to help locate specific areas with ease.  I have the feeling I'll be referring to this a lot.)

Within the Handbook you'll find a list of subjects available at the IGCSE level in Aotearoa, links to Private Candidate rules, syllabus and past papers etc.  Having read the Handbook, it not only confirmed, but clarified a lot of the helpful advice I'd received. (Hmmm, that sentence is redundant.  I already said something similar above I'm fairly sure!)

At least now I am able to Google recommended textbooks without being left wondering if I'm looking at a good choice or not.  You know what I mean?

Two important points I picked up when searching:
  1. Check the syllabus for the year your child is sitting for any important changes.
  2. Look for Endorsed text.

My weekend was spent searching and printing Spanish-related resources.  There's only so much I can handle reading on the computer.  It's nice to have the syllabus and a copy of an old exam for me to glance at.  I will bind these, and hazard a guess I'll do the same with all the subjects we're considering.

The Handbook's recommended text is unavailable at Book Depository.  I made an exhaustive search to locate it elsewhere.  I tried the usual haunts and hummed and haaed whether to buy a second-hand copy, but decided against it once I looked at the Defined Content.  With the amount of years tama 1 has studied español, I'm confident he could do well no matter what text.  Ideally I want to use what Cambridge endorses, so again, I put the feelers out - this time on the Yahoo group (Yeah, I'm still not keen using Facebook for anything other than recording good homeschooling resources on our Page.) Anyway, one member mentioned the title of another book - and that's at least available on Book Depository.

My credit card is feeling pretty fit!  I've given it quite a workout, yet unfortunately, I haven't actually ordered everything I've placed on the Wishlist.  Blimey!  It doesn't take long to add up does it - especially the Teacher Guides.  Holy cow!! (I told you it was like starting homeschooling all over again!)  Me thinks it's time to sell some books to pay for all of this!  (Argh!! Do I have to? ....)

What did you do for Valentine's Day? Well, whaiāipo managed to work on our stairway, so that's getting further along.  And, he installed a second washing machine.  (Long story, suffice to say, I'm happy to have two, thank you very much!)  Then we spent time as an entire family at the lake.  No photos though - batteries went kaput on me!  Awwww!!  Shame!!!

Have a great week!

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

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