Saturday, 5 March 2016

Is summer really over?

Nau mai, hoki mai, and welcome back!

Having enjoyed a lovely summer, we now move into Autumn.  Although the weather is still gorgeous the days are noticeably shorter, albeit 30-45 minutes either side of the day.

With summer drawing to an end, school has been pretty muddled.  I've ensured the kids get to the lake every day to make the most of swimming and paddling in the kayak.  And because this activity takes up a minimum of two hours per day, we aren't doing as much kura.  Although we are doing "stuff" I've just struggled to think about what to share without sounding more boring than usual.

Take History for example.  We're only just finishing up Chapter 1 in SOTW Vol 2.  The kids took their tests and they all scored very high.  

Last year I didn't have tama 3 take the tests, but for some reason I decided to see how he would cope now. He certainly felt daunted when I gave him the pages and I almost whipped it away saying he could leave it, but I stuck to the plan and pushed on.

It probably took us an hour as I read the questions and discussed every minute detail providing the best hints possible on the questions he struggled with.  In all fairness, I actually read the chapter aloud to tama 3 before we did the test to give him that extra edge.  I also did Google searches for images as I read.  These seemed to pay off because he did just as well as his older siblings.

      For the chosen activity, we decided to make the Cookie Dough Roman Pillar.  The idea is to have a crumbling Roman building.  So, tama 1 decided they could attempt making a crumbling Pantheon. It looked far more impressive pre-cook!  Let's just say, they enjoyed acting as barbarians afterwards. ;)

      We can finally move onto Chapter 2.  I've yet to vet this video for the younger ones but am adding here to remind me.  The second video is for a bit of fun.

      I'll also use this video to talk about the Celtic art:

      Had the kids not spent so much time at the lake, we would have covered it this week.  Hei aha.  We're not following a strict 12 or 24 week schedule for History.  We have all year. :)


      This is tamāhine 1's mahi from yesterday (Friday)

      The kids will gradually understand to draw the countries smaller.  At the moment we've only learned eight countries and they are concentrating on correctly drawing the shapes of the "islands" as tama 4 keeps calling them (shouldn't have started with Iceland - he thinks every country is an island now! Mind you, Aotearoa is an island country so no wonder he gets confused).

      Fix-It Grammar

      Completed Week 16 yesterday.  I'm doing this alongside the kids.  Mine is done in a hiss and a roar. I have one of the kids read out the week's sentences and I scribble in shorthand then quickly do my Fix-It.  And yes!  It does look completely weird having 'vb' or 'n' etc written above shorthand.  Pretty nifty code though, lol.  I've missed the odd grammar in my haste and keep telling myself I should try doing it at night when I'm sitting in bed with the little ones watching Harry Potter for the millionth time.  (Seriously! That's a topic within itself I think - Harry Potter.)

      Tama 2 needs to catch up.  He completed Week 14 yesterday.  Having their break to Ohope Beach with their uncle etc around my birthday, he didn't pick up his books without prompting, unlike tamāhine 1. She really enjoys Fix-It.  I see her picking up her folder as soon as she's finished her math each day. :)

      Foreign Language

      French: Tama 1 and tamāhine 1 completed their next quiz.  They both got one wrong, but they've grasped the leçon well enough and therefore move on to Unité 7 - Le Shopping. They learned about les vêtements et accessoires this week.

      We will either continue with this textbook and complete it this year, or perhaps move to a different format.  We have watched some free videos on YouTube on and off to supplement our textbook for the last two years, and in all honesty, I'm leaning towards taking a paid option and move the kids across to the video lessons.  I'll write about that when we do.

      Spanish:  Tama 1 continues to do well with High School Spanish III.  This is the second semester for both he and tamāhine 1 (she is in High School Spanish I).  We absolutely adore their teacher and the 12 weeks always whizz by far too quickly.  Being the second semester, I know we'll have videos to make again.  I just hope we have good weather. The last video we made for tama 1 we had to make in the rain.  What memories I have of that! LOL. That's when we were without a waka for a month or so.  We no sooner received the WOF and off we drove around Rotorua.  Rushed, stressful, but hilarious at the same time. LOL.  I sat inside the waka filming tama 1 (having instructed his siblings all to "shush, we're recording" and I'm trying to make sure rain doesn't fall on the camera!) Oh it was too funny!!!

      Latin:  Tama 1 enjoys his Latin.  If he doesn't have his head in Physical Science, he's reading his Latin.

      My plan is to start everyone else next week.  I have printed out everything for tamāhine 1 and tama 2. Videos will supplement everything.

      Latin on Mondays, Japanese on Wednesdays and German on Fridays is the plan.  As a general rule, when we have interruptions we simply catch up the following week. It depends on the day we're having.  Sometimes we might squeeze it in for 10 minutes before dinner, or if I can have the older kids do something with the little ones as I prep kai, then it can work out.  Otherwise, I don't get into a fluster and think "Aaah!  We're so behind! We better squeeze more in tomorrow!" It's meant to be a fun, relaxed learning of other languages and cultures.  I am introducing them to foreign language so they can become familiar and as they get older they can decide which one they'd like to pursue.

      Spanish and French our two older kids love and those subjects have a formal structure. Latin is formal for tama 1 because he loves it and can devote his time to studying.  When I introduced our 'informal' German, he became very interested, but at this stage it will remain casual.  If he wants to grab the textbook and have a read then that's kei te pai. This term we are only dipping our toes into these other languages to hear the different sounds, enjoy what we can recognise and make connections between languages, but that's it. Only 10 minutes per language per week.  Next post I'll record what we do so you can see how short and sweet the lessons are.  No stress.

      Mathematics - Math U See (MUS)

      Tama 1 - Algebra 1 - he just completed the test for Lesson 16.  Next week he will commence Lesson 17 Multiplication and Division with Exponents.

      Tamāhine 1 - Pre-Algebra - she just did the test for Lesson 26.  Next week she will commence Lesson 27 Volume of a Cone and a Pyramid.

      Tama 2 - Pre-Algebra - he has finished 6A and 6B.  Therefore he'll be on 6C this Monday. Lesson 6 is Place Value with Expanded and Exponential Notation.

      Tamāhine 2 - We continue to work through Year 2 on IXL.  It follows the NZ Curriculum and I struggle most days knowing she is so far behind her peers, but I can only take it at her pace.  Rather than race through the syllabus, I actually repeat many of the tasks to truly cement them in her mind.

      The other day I could see the look of dread written all over her face when she saw what was on the screen.  I could read her mind, "I can't do this!"  

      We hadn't even started!!!!  Then we tried the first question.  

      HELLO!!!  A light bulb moment!!!

      I wish I had a camera that day!!!  Her eyes went large with surprise at herself. She got it correct. Then the next one, and the next one.  Oh boy! I wish we had more days like that. She felt so proud of herself - and I felt the happiest I had for her in a very long time.  

      Every day I try to bring a smile and optimism, encouraging her to sit with me. Some days she just says, "I can't do it!" and that's when trying to think outside the box and find some way to make it click for her can be a massive effort.  So many days I will try one way, then another and then another. Yet, no matter what I try, she digs her heels in and makes it a thousand times harder than it ever should be. Eventually we get through, but not without an upward climb!!

      Having her at home, I know only too well her struggles. I know what she can do, and I certainly know what she cannot do.

      And I know, that if she were at school, she would be coming home crying every single day. Although we may struggle many days, I know I am the only one who can give her time and work at her pace. I would much rather she sat there looking at me bewildered than me having her in a school system where she would be ridiculed or ignored. 

      We may be miles behind everybody else her age, but she has a lifetime to learn.  It's not a case of reaching 16 or 18 and that's it, you should know everything within a curriculum.

      My method is not what others would do, but I'm not them.  I have to remain optimistic and persevere to the best of my own ability.

      (Nothing like a pep talk to myself through a blog post!)

      Tama 3 - Gamma - He just completed Lesson 16F and therefore has the test to do on Monday. Lesson 16 covered Multiply by 4.  He will commence Lesson 17 Skip Count by 7 and Multiplication by Multiples of 10.

      Tama 4 - We continue to work through Year 1 on IXL. He's progressing very well.  I have avoided skip counting, so having voiced that, I guess I better do it this week.

      Some last minute things to add:
      • The three big kids continue with TKD.  Their instructor broke away from the school they were all with since the kids began.  He has started his own school and our family moved with him. We remain loyal to him, because he has always held our family in high regards and spoke to us before doing anything.
      • Tama 2 continues his music theory - thank goodness he doesn't ask me for any help!  
      • The two bigs and tama 3 continue with art when they can; and 
      • Mum is desperately trying to build up her fitness but failed since the last time I mentioned I was attempting to jog.  This week I did a pathetic 10 kms.  What an absolute disgrace!

      Considering I didn't think I had anything to write about, for fear we don't do enough, I guess I managed to write something of relative interest for my three followers. :)  Well, at least I hope you liked it.

      Thanks for dropping by
      ka kite ano

      No comments:

      Post a Comment