Thursday, 31 March 2016

The last day of March 2016

Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!

{This post was actually drafted before Easter.  I had intended to post it before now, but, well, I didn't.  I've tacked on a little bit to the end to try and bring it up-to-date.}


Because we kept pushing history out, I decided that our lessons will be done in small chunks every day; or, at least, four days of the week.

We have watched the following over the past few weeks to conclude our Chapter 2 and introduce Chapter 3:

Neil Oliver is one of my favourites.  We enjoy many of his documentaries.

Watching this week:

Although I have the set of SOTW books, I decided last year to purchase the pdf versions, together with the student activity books.  I have printed out 20 plus chapters from the Volume 2 Activity Book at this stage and will add more as I feel like printing.  I placed a divider to the back and in that section are the test answer keys.

Another difference is that I am printing out our chapter readings each week.  I hand a copy to ngā tamariki to highlight what they think are important points (the younger boys in particular) as we read and discuss the text.  They then place their copy in their folders, ready for reviewing when they need to.


Tamāhine 1 chose to write a dialogue for her tarea which she had to present a couple of weeks ago.  I suggested she have some fun with it and use some props to go along with her story:

She also created this prop as part of her tarea the following week:

Following Easter, tamāhine 1 presented her La Asignacion de Investigar on La Isla de Fernando de Naranho.  I am very pleased with her effort.  She's definitely come a long with her researching and presentation skills.  Yet another sign of her independence.  That's pretty darn cool I reckon.


Tamāhine 2 is doing her very, very best with maths.  You may recall I mentioned in a post recently that I repeat many of the exercises (year 1 and year 2 levels)?  This means she doesn't receive as many "prizes," but over the last few lessons she's actually moved on to new exercises (I'm moving her through subtractions at the moment) which means she's managed to receive some prizes. :) I decided to take a screenshot of her latest prize:

She asked what kind of bird this was, so I took a detour before continuing with another exercise to show her a photo of a real one.  Cassowaries are native to Papua New Guinea, surrounding islands and even northeastern Australia.  So, we did geography by looking at the world map to see where they are found.  Interestingly, they are ratites, just like a kiwi (the kiwi being the smallest of ratities) - therefore it is a flightless bird as well.  So there yah go, more than just a math lesson, huh!?

When I first wrote this, I would say she really struggled with subtraction.  She's improved, but she's still struggling.  Long way to go ...

Physical Education

The other day week I sent the boys down to the lake for a paddle.  Although it was drizzling, I knew the lake would be relatively calm.  They decided to duct tape the Go-Pro to the kayak. (Whaiāipo won the Go Pro last year but we've never really used it.)  I'm glad they took the initiative to take it with them.  The following are some screenshots.  They actually videoed the whole time they were down there, but it's too long to bore you with that.

Tama 1 took the Go-Pro off the kayak and held it under the water.  Gosh, it is amazing how clear the video is under water.  The photo doesn't do it justice in the slightest.

Really pleased with the results of the Go-Pro.  It will be used for another assignment this week.


Review with tama 3
We have used Song School Latin from Classical Academic Press for a number of years.  It's ideal for younger tamariki.  I didn't have SSL when tama 1 began homeschooling, and I don't think I actually had it for tamāhine 1 either.  I must have started it with tama 3, but we never finished it.  Having another baby I let it slide.  (I found it difficult to keep up Latin when I had another baby.  It always went on the back-burner.  It just took too much brain power and time.)  I can at least say we've retained the songs in our memory banks, lol.  We always picked it up, but it was always the first thing to set aside when the next baby came - or if I just struggled with a new grammar point.  By the time we picked it up again, tama 2 had moved on with his older siblings to another curriculum.

Anyway, fast forward to our new season (ie  no more babies, so I can supposedly achieve more with a three-year-old in tow).

Tama 1 has progressed steadily since last year with his Latin.  He is enjoying it and at this stage is coping extremely well.  He enjoys his independent study which is simply fantastic.  My goal is to prepare the next two to follow this same route.

At the moment, I'm still reviewing with tamāhine 1 and tama 2 much to my surprise.  We've had a number of interruptions this term, so we haven't quite managed to get back to Lesson 20 (or was it 22? ... I'll have to check that ... uh huh, it was Lesson 22 ... we aren't quite back to Lesson 22, so I'm really hoping we get there in the early weeks of term 2.

Tama 3 is using Song School Latin.  He has grown up hearing the tunes, so he knows a lot of it already, but of course, it needs fine tuning.  At the moment, we are in Chapter 4 which is a review Chapter 5.  Tama 4 and tama 5 love singing, or humming the tunes.  They are picking up the odd word here and there.

Fix-It Grammar - IEW

The three big tamariki have completed The Nose Tree.  Only a few minor errors here and there. Really pleased with their efforts.  They are keen to commence Robin Hood, even though I asked if we should start it next term.  Hei aha, I'll aim to start it next week.  It all depends if we finish the EOY project for tamāhine 1.

Geography - Drawing Around the World - Europe

We are at Week 8.  Romania.  This is rolling along fabulously.  Tama 3 is always quick to grab his folder after lunch to do the next lesson.  As I say, they are short lessons and as repetitive as it seems, it is working really well.  I am so impressed that tama 4 can recall the names of the countries (we are up to the 13th country).

Something that's working for me

Having our own comb binding machine now, I have really got into printing and binding all the teacher resources for subjects rather than having them in ring binders.  So much easier for me to cart around. I plan to put stickers down the spine of the comb too because it's just like a ring binder; once you have too many, it's hard to know what's in them without having something written on the spine.

Considering we use a lot of ringbinders, space becomes an issue.  Comb binding aids to free up some space, which pleases me no end.  Although I have discarded some of the kids mahi kura, I am guilty of holding on to a lot.  Binding old work will help me with this hoarding issue.

Another thing I did is used the binding to make some note pads for tama 3.  At Christmas, Uncle Craig gave me two packets of A5 paper.  I hadn't found a use for them, until the other day when I was grumbling about tama 3 cutting up our A4 paper and stapling a bunch together to make a book.  (He does this frequently and oftentimes he only uses a few of those pages.  Grrr ....)  So, I figured if I put used the comb binding, he might like the idea.  It's working a treat so far. :)

I just wanted to record that - for myself really, but perhaps someone might find the idea useful.

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

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