Sunday, March 27, 2011

Something on a Stick Day

Oh I had to laugh when I read this...
I told my daughter and she was so excited as she's been talking about her birthday and how she wanted Marshmallows. She really wanted this fire to be down on my lawn (its only just recovered from the last fire I thought would be a good idea to have down there.
It was a windy day here and I could not find anywhere to put the indoors it was. Yes and the heat....but we made it.

My son was very worried about how messy his hands were....and didn't really enjoy the sweetness ( Dave said they are too sweet)

I was really worried that I might of chosen a poisonous plant for a stick so I used tinfoil. Oh sigh we'll see how much sugar I can cope with tonight.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Became stuck in the Natural Child Project

I've read over this site for a long time and used many of the articles in my other blog but they are so relevant here too.

I tend to get a little stuck or as a Cousin said the other day falling down the rabbit hole of web surfing and following the links

Applying for Exemption
So what came in the mail?

Son is asleep on me at moment and enjoying the hugs will get to scanner soon

Thursday, March 24, 2011

First Readers

When I started reading....I found these books (first readers) now that I look back and understand my emotions... insulting.
I felt dumb, silly, slow and bored.

I've found this web site with heaps of ideas to print out.
Will I use them?
I have no idea....they are all tools are they not?

People talk about reading age....what the heck is reading age? What is it? Who is ready to read? What is reading above your level or below your level?

John Holt talks
"Our professional experts on the teaching of reading have advocated a great many foolish things, but none more foolish than the notion that the way to get children "ready to read" is to show them a lot of books full of nothing but pictures and ask them a lot of silly questions about them.

The proper analogy can be found, as is so often true, with children learning to speak, that extraordinary intellectual feat we all accomplished before the adults got it into their heads that they could "teach" us. Children get ready to speak by hearing speech all around them. The important thing about that speech is that the adults, for the most part, are not talking in order to give children a model. They are talking to each other because they have things to say...."

" sit on the sofa, one on each side, was a very happy scene, all the more so because she read these stories with the greatest seriousness, without a touch of sentimentality or condescension, no "cute" inflections in her voice." (oh how our voices change when we try to teach)

"What children need to get ready for reading is exposure to a lot of print. Not pictures, but print. They need to bathe their eyes in print, as when smaller they bathe their ears in talk. After a while, as they look at more and more print, these meaningless forms, curves, and squiggles begin to steady down, take shape, become recognizable, so that the children, without yet knowing what letters or words are, begin to see...."

This is not the look and guess of my era of "being taught"...but just being read too...a good story

I don't know yet what I feel or what is going to work...we will keep an open mind....but also make sure we are not getting swept away with expert ideas or teaching methods of today (yesterday ;-))

Up date and still to read in full

Books for helping Children to Read

I've been looking at a few books. Playful Ways to Help Your Child Read has been one that grabs my eye because is seems fun and visual and thats the type of person I am and how my brain works.

So some ideas to get the juices flowing
  • Rainbow...cut out the colours for each letter...others colours in the same way
  • Popcorn...stick popcorn in the shape of the letters ...shells, sticks, sand. paint, wool, cotton
  • Make a scrap book with cut outs from magazines which can create a Our cat Griffin (photo of the cat) loves to catch mice.
  • Make a book
  • Make mix up cards with words on or a group of words when put together can make a story...or make a odd collection of words
  • Word bingo
  • The child makes up a story and the parent rights it down....make it into a book.
This all started because a few other homeschool friends recommended Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons I've had a look at this book and while it excites me I don't feel all sold on it might make it on to my shopping list...but I might like to be more unschooled as that seems to be working out so well.
I do like the idea of the children learning tools to tackle any words though.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Colouring in books

I've started re-reading Pennie Brownlee's "Magic Places" I didn't get very far last time as I was pregnant with my son and a little bit preoccupied reading other books.
This book Magic Places is part of Playcentre's ideas on how we work with children. So full of ideas and tips to look for.
I was talking with a friend the other day about colouring (a.k.a. as color) books about it keeps creativity back. How we should offer paper and pens to watch what our children can do rather than keeping within the lines.
We've been given heaps of colouring in I don't feel that I can take them away.
This morning my daughter started using one of her books in a new way that I'd not thought of. There was a picture of a Giraffe and a Koala Bear (together I'm not sure how that would happen but oh well)....she drew the sun into the picture and some bugs and a she added to the picture.
We talked about the different animals and where they came from. The Giraffe came from the zoo...oh dear. The Bear she had no clue about and we talked about Australia. We talked about what they liked to eat....hence the tree.
I'm not sure if anything really went in but it was an interesting lesson of colouring in books if anything.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Proud of myself

I really am proud of myself. I have felt fear every time I try reading aloud for as long as I can remember. It probably comes from the 'good old school days' of 1985 (I remember the year so well as we had to write it every time we started a new page in our books or did any new work on a page...oh sigh). We'll just say I have had fear of reading all my life.... especially aloud...must of been that metre (meter) long ruler eh?

I read "Were going on a Bear Hunt" to the playcentre group of children and parents....and felt really good. I don't think I stumbled but I don't really care if I did....the kids enjoyed it.

I'm sure they don't do that kind of thing is schools anymore.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

A talking point

Some days just having a starting point to being thinking about is all you need to start finding activities that then branch off into other things.

Some days are funny and some a serious

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Writing 4 and building own doll house

We have never yet sat down with our children in a 'formal' lesson on letters so I feel amazed at how my daughter is progressing. I brought a book for her to trace the letters....but quickly understood that my daughter really did not like this idea and felt offended when I offered them.
The top word is my name Megan in blue. My daughter understands that there are upper and lower case letters but gets upset when I write in lower her name is short she writes in caps. But is really attempting to work with lower case....the g she finds very hard as .... well just look at it in type. A small a too is bad.
The bottom word is her working on Nana's name Joyce. Never come a cross a J yet ;-)

I am also very amazed at both my children who do not often get to work on a project for long amounts of time and finish it. (Playcentre is a few hours be often too busy with too much to do and get distracted). So they both made 'doll houses' for their 'animals' ....two dogs, one lion and one meercat.

We have been struggling with our son as of late...he's growing ;-) Reading Attached at the Heart again has reminded us to let our children do their own matter how old. Children justs want to learn and want to be good.
My son wanted to cut his own windows with the kitchen knife. My first reaction was "NO!" then I thought a bit more as thought why not. I was standing right there. So we worked at it together. He seemed to understand the dangers and said "sharp"....he quickly realized that cutting the box was very difficult and needed more strength than what he has at the moment. He then handed me the knife back and pointed to where he wanted his window.

Andrew Crowe....Writes great books!

I brought my first Andrew Crow book when I was about 18 Which Native tree its changed a little since then but I have always had it with in easy reach on my book shelf.
I've added to it over the years and got A Field Guide to the Native Edible Plants of New Zealand with the dream that Dave and I would be able to use it while tramping....we have not yet so far but came close to needing it while stuck on Stewart Island waiting a few extra days for our plane to land on a storm ravaged beach.

While walking our local caves park Dave found some berries on a tree and was telling our children to be very careful about the possibility of being just so happens they were ok to eat ...but well we have to be aware.

I have just ordered this book and have seen it just today at playcentre. Both our kids love bugs and creepy crawly things I think this book will be great.
My son was introduced to a Huhu bug...he then raced around saying huhu... hu hoo.
We also have many weta around and my daughter is always first to say can she have a hold.

this is a weta

I also have right in my hand now The life-size guide to nz wildflowers...which is amazing too... sadly I can not buy this as its not in print and this copy is from the library....we've used this book everyday since we've got it out and I loath to take it back.

These are great books Thanks Andrew and they are a part of our school bag

Monday, March 7, 2011

Buddhism for Mothers

I often get into a state...of right lets just do it...and I jump in boots and all, happy keen and excited. I've done this a few times now since starting down the unschooling track.

We've excitedly followed the Moth this morning, and I felt that went really well. I wanted to quickly print some drawings out for the kids to colour and work on some extras for a friend who lives down in Christchurch. I was lucky to find the sites quickly and press print for all the pages I wanted.
By now both children are hovering around me like...Moths.
"Mum look at this"
"Mum lets go outside...I'll make a house for the Moth"..."fine that I'm nearly finished"
"Milk Mamma....MILK"..."go with your sister...wipe your nose on a tissue"

I dash up to Dave's office and reach my hand out for the paper print outs to be there....they are
I run back again to my computer and press print again.
I grab a tissue to wipe my son's nose again and jam a jumper over his head.
I hear him cry "mmmmmmmmmmmmmmiiiiiiiilk" as I rush back to Dave's office to once again grab the papers...they are not there!
"oh yes the toner button was flashing the other them to me and I'll see if I can print them out"...sigh
The door to Dave's office flies open "MILK!".."Mum look at this...Dad what's that?...Read this to me!"

"OK lets go down on the couch...I'll read to you...and give you milk!" this lasted two minutes and then they wanted something else.

This was not the end to my morning. There was more like this.
Plus after looking at our son's tooth I've realized he's going to loose it...we have no idea why his front top teeth are so bad. With his terrible cold and being over tired I'm just not really wanting to spend time with him....terrible Mother.
To add to it all Dave comes in with what I thought was the cats collar cut in half...and stats telling me how Billy (our goat) was all twisted up and I my heart did a huge leap thinking he was dead....but no...just growing.

I get our son off to sleep and feel the morning press in on my and look over at my book shelf thinking of all the things I have to do today.
I think I must read some more homeschooling books...think of more to do to day....I look down on the shelf below and see the bright orange spine of "Buddhism for Mothers".
I flick open the page to Identifying the Lesson
I breath.
The lesson for today is "don't do too much when you're already over tired"


Both my children are chasing a Moth around this morning. My son 22 months does not understand the idea of picking up with care. My daughter wants to take a photo of it.

The question of
"what do moths eat" has been googled and wowed over

They like to eat your sweaters lol

Butterflies and most moths (some moths don't eat as adults) - feed through a tube-like tongue called a proboscis so their food must be liquid. Many feed on nectar from various flowers while others feed on a variety of moist rotting matter including, fruit, sap, animals, and animal droppings. Some butterflies will also visit mud puddle to sip nutrients from soil.

Read more: What do moths eat? | Answerbag

My daughter then laughed and said the Moth could go drink her out of chickens dirty water bowl. She is distracting my son with stickers so she can spend more time with the moth before .... well I can get the printer working. We have this book and I will attempt to read it soon as I rescue my son from the drive....
SO the day starts ;-)

Friday, March 4, 2011

Quote of the Day

"How will they learn algebra in the real world?"
Is there algebra in the real world?
If not, why should it be learned?
If so, why should it be separated artificially from its actual uses?

From Sandra Dodds website

Learning in context is so important. So many times have I been thinking while talking to my child about some subject I'm explaining and it's only now nearly 35 do I see the connection to many things that I have been taught.
Fractions were terrible for me....but now cooking I can see it straight away.

In a math test for my 5th form (a very important year) I got 10 out of 135 right...probably for getting my name on the paper....haha. And then I work at a job which has soooo much math in it Landscape Design....and it all seems so simple and logical oh an enjoyable.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

"I want to do something exciting!"

Things I feel have been hard on my on daughter which brings about undesirable behavior.
A baby brother...illness...change of life.
Its all about growing up and learning.
Some days she is my angel other days...well she's still my angel but just a grumpy one

As of late I have been having "I want to do something exciting!" said to me often...and yes I try to think of things...but they are my ideas of excitement not hers so she's not all that keen.
I've just read this Bored No More and realize that I can see things from a different angle now. I've not tried to give out chores...but really do need to get behind her eyes.

But I also believe that we do need to get board to then think and create...when we have our day filled for us we are always looking to others to keep us happy and 'excited' but if we can find it ourselves...there is room for so much more growth.
But as a child we probably do need guidance in learning this skill.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Earthquakes, Volcano and lessons

Of course we are interested in natural disasters and have been looking around the web for information.

Just as a quick look this seems good and i can't wait to start into something like this....could i start now?
Will have a look