Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Bob and Wendy

Both my children love building.
I think I will have to have a little area with building materials available and see what creations develop.

Mobile up date can we do it?

We've tried using the iPod to up date cause it would be quick
So has it worked

Not pretty but we'll work round it

Monday, August 29, 2011

Children cooking on Wednesday

This is my aim: Children will cook the meal on Wednesday.
I've started the theme for tomorrow and we'll see if they keep it going?
A while ago...summer I can't find the photos to remind you but we started working on a cob oven. We have started with an old pot and lined it with cob. We popped an unused brazier in it and hey presto a really good BBQ.
So the kids are going to cook over an open fire using Poppa's old tramping oven.

But on waking up this morning with the weather looking grey...I don't know.
I'll still get them to cook but maybe not outside.

Oh my goodness this day was a total disaster.
My Mother said that my Father would be up in the morning....
so I thought cool
I'll get the fire going and he and the kids can keep it stoked while I clean the oven...which I sprayed out.
I couldn't light the fire
My cousin turned up to say hi...was great to have her.
My son would not stop ...he's got a spring cold. Wants to be held but not, feed but what, outside but not....ahhhhggg
We got the recipe sorted but couldn't cook it...so put it off.
My parents arrived.
Mum made lemonade and then halfway through Took both kids off to visit the dump
Yahoo I cleaned the oven and cooled the dinner... Kids didn't like it
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If all else fails....baking?

I'm feeling very flat at the moment. Nearly spring and longing to get out into it.
My daughters little friends have all started school this week and next...and that's it.
This marks a big change.
I'm feeling scared, worried and stressed all rolled into one. It is the same feeling when my daughter turned 5 back in April.

My son has a spring cold. Tired and grumpy sleeping very little....and that's my symptoms he's got a running nose on top of it all and not eating.

I had dreams of looking up the word Arena (my son was saying it yesterday and my daughter looked it up in the dictionary) we started out really well this morning...and I've crashed and burned this afternoon.
Kids haven't they are fine. Playing hide and seek...each counting as high as they can go before yelling out Coming ready or not.

We did do Marshmallow Day. We lit the fire outside and the kids cooked their morning tea "This is the best Marshmallow I've ever had" she said.
My son was learning to treat fire with respect...but still very frightened of it.

I've managed to create Mt Washmore again which I'm really unhappy about...but that's just house work.

So my daughter said "lets bake a loaf of garlic bread!"
Sounds good to me...maybe some banana chocolate muffins too.

What is the ideal class size

In running my art class for home educated children I had many lessons for myself. One of them was class size. The other was it really didn't matter what age the people were in my class they all could do it.
But class size has become something of an interest to me.
I have read "Unschooling Rules" and this page on class size....

The ideal class size isn't thirty or even fifteen, but more like five.

What is the ideal class size? When listening to popular rhetoric we are told that twenty-five to thirty-five is really really bad, and fifteen is really, really good.

While fifteen is better, that's kind of like saying driving 95 mph is better than 125. Anyone who has tried to interact with fifteen children knows the activity is still that of shepherding, and projecting content.

Now ask yourself, if you weren't constrained by budget or logistics or even common sense, what would the ideal class size be?

Really, class size should be about five. This allows common presentations peer-to-peer conversations, and one-on-one coach-to-student interactions.

Note, incidentally, that with this ideal class size comes a redefinition of class, from "entire community all day" to "time of focused learning."

From the point of view of the education industry, fifteen is a calculated target-a stretch goal for more funding without actually meeting the needs of the students. Once you get past their framing, the ideal number is much different.

From my own observations of my own child I can see many things.

While at Ballet today the class size has grown and my daughter is no longer focused on what the teacher is saying because the teacher is trying to focus on so many children. My daughter is drifting away.

My own experience in my art class anything over about 8 it became a little bit too stressful trying to give each child what they needed...listening to them, talking to them and giving them quality answers. My own daughter also found this really hard, and again started to drift away with too many people talking and so many people to take in. Yes you can get used to it you can numb yourself to numbers and even hide in the numbers.

I also remember my daughters first school visit. To start all was well. The class was small and quiet and we occupied ourselves doing a puzzle on the floor just the three of us (her brother came too). But once the class grew as children started to arrive the teacher started to pull the class in more, needing people to stop doing so many different things and try to all do the same things. My daughter pulled back and took off to the corner and wanted to keep on doing her own thing. Yes I tried to pull her along with the other children and tell her to sit on the mat...but she was not all that keen and asked to leave. I took her to the next class (there are three new entrance classes this year). We walked across the field to the next class, my children enjoying the hop-scotch on the way. I could hear the children in the class as we got nearer and to me it just sounded normal. I was not really focused on my daughter reaction until we really got to the door....it was loud and very full...and my daughter opened the door and then shut the door and took off running back across the field to the first class. Then asked to go home without even opening the door.

Yes you can numb yourself and yes you grow used to the noise and the size its just a part of life...right?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

How much socialization?

This is such a big issue for a lot of new Home educated family's. And I am like a Mother with a newborn. Its all new all a bit scary and all comes with so many different choices.

At the moment we go to Playcentre twice a week. I feel I would like to keep going till our daughter is 6 and maybe a little longer after that if I can work out some way of giving her some things to do at Playcentre so she is busy.
I would like to keep going because
- I would like our son to have a chance to do as much messy play as possible.
- I would like to complete the Playcentre diploma which would be a nice feather in my cap to help with Home education.

We head off to Ballet lessons on Monday
I'm looking for a music class
We're nearly ready for swimming lessons
We have a play date once or twice a week
My parents are often here once a week to help out - a quarry trip or some other outting.

I would like to join up with Nippers this summer
Kea's soon? We may still be a bit young.

I hope to sort out a few play dates with some friends of our daughter who are now going to school. As we are rural it means keeping your options open and often hopping in the car.

Some weeks I feel all we are doing is seeing people and others its very quiet.
But that's life

Eggs, numbers, days and date

How much can you get from raising chickens.

Chicken health
- what to feed them (or not to feed them)
- make sure they have water
- give them greens "Oh Reddie likes these flowers....why do they not eat the slug I gave them?"
- give them dirt to have a dust bath in
- watch for any mites or other horrible critters on your chickens
- I'm sure the list is longer but... that's all my daughter can keep up with for now.

- the love of collecting them
- the love of counting them
- our daughter is almost graphing - using a tick box per egg per day
- writing the date on the eggs. So sorting out what is the date and how to write the numbers. 2 has been a hard number for our daughter to write but its coming along better each day. Though I could think of a better surface to write on than around an egg.

- "how many chickens could I have?"
- "I could sell eggs"
- "I could sell chickens"
- "I could give chickens to K--o when he moves to our town...so he could have his own and give them to his brothers and sister"

Learning learning all the time. We listen to other people around town who have chickens to tell us their story's. Our daughter was very sad when one lady told us that her Highliner chickens would probably not sit on a nest to hatch the eggs as its not part of their breed. But I assured her that we could slip a few of her chickens eggs under my little black who is willing to raise them.

We've watched the Magic School bus on egg development, and we've cracked a lot of eggs and looked at the different parts.

Still a lot more to do on this chicken and egg lesson ;-)

Catching my breath

For the first time in what feels like for ever I might have a few moments to my self. Birthday party's people to visit - both ways, Dave over working, us traveling with Dave to Wellington. Illness...oh no more please.

So a whole weekend in the garden. I'm still recovering from a sore tummy (I have Von Willerbrands and I don't think my Tranxamic Acid agreed with me).
But all good other wise.
Was really starting to get VERY stressed out as we really needed a break...so the weather has pulled round and we've pulled out of everything and Ta da...we're all feeling great.

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Was wondering how to introduce the idea of numbers and graphing to our daughter...she came to me today and asked me to make a "box like thing which I can mark off numbers in" she wants to graph the number of eggs she's collecting each day and then see how many each week. I think I'll just take a back seat for a while.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

August 2011

Building trains...we've nearly got enough for both children to build their own
Interest in butterfly...I tried to introduce collage which was not understood yet
A gift for Granny with home made frame
LOTs of lemons...so we made lemonade....that was "a bit too funny" for the kids
Our sons working spot
Our daughter wanted to make big 'eggs' which she and her brother could hide in and then break out of.
Wellington...top of the cable car
Homeschool roller skating lessons
Oh my goodness how many little blond heads can you get into the garden at Playcentre
The playcentre play-in showing the government that we need playcentre
Shaving cream...my children's favorite messy play...taken to playcentre
All the kids enjoying messy play...I've promised that we'll do it again at home...soon...my floor needs a clean ;-)