Wednesday, July 9, 2014

A change


For grade 1, 2 and most of 3 we have been working through Oak Meadow. I have loved it. We have also mixed in some Jolly Phonics and Grammar. 
I am not sure what came first but it doesn't matter we have looked at a change.
DD had been working on an amazing story which she was very proud. She asked every adult to read it. It took some work but you could really understand what she was saying...her spelling a work in progress.
Sadly one day she asked great Nana to read it. Nana was not impressed and handed the little hand made book back saying she couldn't read it because it was full of mistakes. ARGH!!!
DD stopped writing.
Then things started to get difficult. Or were they already getting a little bit challenging? There is repetition in Oak Meadow as there is in everything...but most kids don't like it. So DD was starting to put on the breaks.
Hummm.
Dave and I have been reading "Free to learn" by Peter Gray and we have become a little bit more enlightened. While I have worked with total unschooling before and we did amazingly well...i became very burnt out with keeping on the go all the time.

And I think DD is a little burnt out too. We've been working pretty hard.

So 
Well I love Oak Meadow I think I could use the highlights and slowly put them out "Strew" them around and see how we go. So far its worked really well and its only been a few days.

We'll keep the basics of me reading aloud often, DD and DS reading to me (well at the moment DS is working on Jolly Phonics words which is very cool to watch and listen) 
We'll keep on with the writing but not about the stories suggested by Oak Meadow but things closer to us. We'll try different styles too. Poetry, articles, short stories, recipes etc.
We'll keep on with the maths and times tables, the maths in the garden. 
But only 1 hour a day.
I think ;-)

It will take a bit of adjustment but we might have a new more relaxed style. I was pretty wound up with my planning and OM but I just love it so much.
But we can come back to it and its good to have a change every so often...thats why we are doing what we do...to work with out kids not against them.

The STORM

Poor DD is as tired as I am. The storm we've had over the last few days has been really hard going. The noise at night is keeping us all awake. The rain and the wind together with some cold has made things miserable.
Its school holidays here in NZ so we've been able to visit a few friends already.
We've driven to Auckland and had a lovely catch up and plan to go back again and do the museum with these same friends.
Yesterday we popped over to DS best friends place. WOW the wind was amazing! While sitting doing some bead work... (Lovely symmetry by DD) the shade sail was ripped from the roof.
I handed the phone to DD reminding her how to use it if need be and the two Mothers don bike helmets for protection and battle the sail with the neighbours. We managed to wrestle it to the ground and go back to our bead work.
Very cool. Making beads from paper.

We came home for lunch. The the kids moved into playing minecraft. They have discovered how to use the TNT and doing the mining this way. Oh dear not sure how I feel about that.
But they have moved back into creative mode so they can build their houses.

We attempted to go to a junk workshop but the storm has made driving extremely bad...trees, roads, flooding. We are all very disappointed. So on the way back into our little town I popped into the Hammer Hardware to pick up some boxes. I had visions of using glue guns and tape creating something from them...but the kids have moved into building towns, skycity, and now shops.


Monday, June 23, 2014

Bit of a tree day with building little houses

DD with her beloved chicken which she has hand raised from two chickens which she saved up for and brought. 
This is Cornflower

 DS has grown so much its just amazing how much he has grown in confidence. The other day someone was asking in the shop how old he was and was he enjoying school..."I'm homeschooled!"
 DD checking out to see if anyone had moved in.


 Our little/large house on the hill

 Many years ago when I found this property my grandfather and I walked up the back here where there was nothing but steep grass...and now we've got a few trees coming back...here is young DS jumping down the hill which Grandpa Jim and I sat on in the rain and I thought...yup I could live here.
 The beginnings of a house which my two have been working on for ages.

Visiting One Tree Point Oil Refinery

A crazy rainy day which was lovely one moment and cold and blowy next.
We loved the visitors centre which has a few large models of the refinery and of the upper north island showing the pipe line to Auckland.
 
DD balances 

 We're hiding from the weather and rain ... building a little hut

 Watching some logs getting loaded
 Parents not all that keen on the moving pontoon with no handrails...DD tries to push the pontoon

A mud day

It was grey and horrible with rain throughout most of the day. So I looked in Maths in the Garden and came up with an idea...which got extended in so many different directions.
We used a few different soil samples and added water. Then shook them...then let them settle.
The water was the fun part.
And the mud
And the building



The three different soils. Potting mix from the shop. Our own clay and garden soil from DS's garden which we have worked on for a few years and have had the chickens on top of too.


 The cat was most interested today.

 DD was trying to call it dirt smoothy
 This is a hut that they had been working on with friends...which has now been taken apart and made again but higher up the hill.
 This is DS hut which he made for our running free rooster


 And of course once it had all been finished it became one big mud slide



Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Sewing for DS

A note from OM recommend sewing for helping with learning reading and writing.
I thought sewing how would I encourage my boy to do that.
The next morning while sitting in front of the fire he said to me
"Mum I want to do some sewing"
Me ... Double take and wondered if he'd been reading my emails.
Any way
We sat down and I cut out a few rounds with him...he's still not keen on the old cutting thing. I showed him once how to push the needle through...and how to push it back through on the other side and he was off.
He was very proud.

The other thing which is a change for DS is he's dragging round a few books which I HAVE to read...so while we're doing paintings of terrains with DD I'm reading "Slinky Malinky opened the door..."

Needle felting

I had this hidden away
It's MINE!
Sigh
She's doing better at it than me
Of course making a chicken.
DD has just brought her fluffy babies a rooster which we will be picking up today.
Oh goodness
;-)