Friday, July 29, 2011

Habits of Mind

Recently I was lucky enough to get a ticket to a seminar on the 16 Habits of Mind run by Karen Boyes here in Christchurch.  The seminar was today and it was great to spend some time doing something for my own brain for a change.  Lots of ideas to consider, and good reminders of things I know but don't always apply.  The slides below are a summary of the habits of mind... interesting things to consider for teaching and living

Friday, July 22, 2011

Holiday Playing Together and Art

Big Brother and Little Sister built a zoo today.  I question their cohabitation choices... I think there might be a few animals missing in the morning.  Then again the animals walking on the fences are security guards, apparently.

Big Brother found some paints while Little Sister was having a sleep.  First he did a lovely job of this printed picture  >>>

Then he decided to branch out on his own... on a familiar theme.

School Holidays

We're enjoying the slower pace of the school holidays, with organised activities on a break so we have time for getting together with friends and follow our own interests.  Our time at school has come to an end - the school chose to terminate our trial because they were unhappy that we weren't completely satisfied with what was happening and wanted to make changes.  Unfortunately they didn't like me discussing options and ideas with other people and chose to ask us to leave when we arrived at 9am instead... a phone call would have saved a lot of mucking around.  All in all it seems we've had a lucky escape given the management style of the school.

Next term for Big Brother:
- gymnastics: starting the 'new entrant' recreational class
- piano: starting book 4 (second half of year 2), this is skipping a year, so we hope it will work out for him
- French: with our eviction from school attendance at our old French class has become difficult so we've decided to try out the French Alliance classes instead.  They're happy for us to try both the 3 - 5 year old class and the 6 - 8 class, so we'll see which is the best fit for him.
- preschool: we'll continue two mornings a week for now
- dancing: he's very keen to look at some dancing lessons.  I'm still not sure... we might put this on hold until next year.
We'll carry on with our other stuff at home as interest leads us - at the moment that's leading to lots of painting with watercolours, Kahn Academy maths, writing stories and learning cursive.  We're also working on learning the recorder together... that may or may not go well!

Next term for Little Sister:
toilet training, playing, puzzles, stories, tea parties, learning to pedal her bike and loving Strawberry Shortcake!

Monday, July 18, 2011

More from the competitions

Big Brother got a call this afternoon to head back to the competitions for the prize giving tonight, so off we went.

He stood on the stage with all of the prize winners: (that's him at the end of the table)
Then at last is was his turn 

The Comedy Cup for the most entertaining performance in the Speech and Drama festival this year.. wowee, we're proud of you, Big Brother!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Speech Competitions

I am a very proud mum tonight.  Big Brother had his first experience of competing in the Speech and Drama competitions this year - something I enjoyed as a child and I hope he will too.  The youngest age group is under 8 so he had to compete against mostly seven year olds, but he did a great job and got second in both of his classes.

Here he is doing his own selection poem:
Here are the words, as it's not always clear there:

I AM FALLING OFF A MOUNTAIN by Jack Prelutsky.  
I am falling off a mountain, 
I am plummeting through space, 
You may see this does not please me 
By the frown upon my face.  
As the ground keeps getting nearer, 
It’s a simple task to tell 
That I’ve got a slight dilemma, 
That my day’s not going well.  
My velocity’s increasing, 
I am dropping like a stone, 
I could do with some assistance, 
Is there someone I can phone? 
Though I’m unafraid of falling, 
I am prompted to relate 
That the landing has me worried, 
And I don’t have long to wait.  
I am running out of options, 
There’s just one thing left to try – 
In the next eleven seconds, 
I have got to learn to fly!

And here's the test piece:

Eight by Carol Mills

When I am eight I shall stay up late,
At least until seven thirty.
I'll have a school case,
Wash my own face, 
My knees will never get dirty.

My socks will stay up.
They'll buy me a pup,
And allow me to answer the phone.
I'll make my own bed,
Do sums in my head,
And ride on the bus on my own.

I can hardly wait until I'm eight,
But I'm taking so long to grow.
It seems far away,
But I'll get there some day,
Only three more birthdays to go!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Parental Regrets

All parents have some regrets.  Some are big and some are small.  I think I may have done something I may live to regret.  I introduced Big Brother to the instruments of the orchestra via this website.

Conversation with the boy on the way home from preschool today.  (Bear in mind he's already learning piano).
BB: Mum, I want to learn the violin next year.
Me: That's probably ok - we'll have to keep thinking about it though.
BB: And I want to learn a woodwind too.  Maybe an oboe.
Me: I think you have to start with a recorder to do that.
BB: ok, I'll do that too.
Me: That might be a bit too much for all at once.
BB: But I have to.  I need to sit in all the places.
Me: huh?
BB: I need to be a whole orchestra.

<sigh> well, I guess it doesn't hurt to have big dreams, lol!

Friday, July 8, 2011

I got a new book today

Unfortunately Big Brother bet me to it.

Would it be wrong to steal it back now that he's asleep?