Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Homeschool Concert

The kids had so much fun over the last 2 terms with their homeschool classes. In the first term, Anna did art and literacy and numeracy games, Josh did outdoor activities including archery, shooting and bushcraft. Joseph did BMX biking and go-karting. Both the boys also did cooking, and made some delicious treats. I was especially pleased with josh contributing to the class by suggesting a recipe and providing it to the class to make - ginger biscuits - one of his favourites to make at home.

This term Anna did a different art class as well as a dancing class. Joshua, unable to do his first choices, ended up doing digital photography and singing... that was not his favourite thing to do, but by the end of the first class, I could see him enjoying himself. They visited 3 rest homes and sung for them throughout the term. They sang fun songs like 'she'll be coming round the mountain when she comes' and 'You are my sunshine'. So who couldn't enjoy that. It was such a special experience for them to share their talents and get to talk with some of the old people in the rest homes.

Joseph did sports and cooking again. I think he mostly enjoyed eating what he made, and he also did not get his first choice of class.

On the last day of classes for the term, the children put on a concert/show and tell of what they had been doing during the term. Joshua's class sang - the singing was accompanied by homeschoolers also some by guitar, some by recorder and some by ukulele.

Anna performed her dance and really was excited about that... She said her best part of the day was 'dancing on the stage'.

Joseph's cooking class made macaroni cheese and garlic bread for everybody.

Ella-Rose made a bunny mask in creche... besides playing with lego, trains, colouring and having
stories and songs.

Square numbers and multiplication tables

Over the past few weeks we have been working on our times tables...
I realised trying to get my kids to simply memorise these lists of facts was pretty boring... and they are pretty resistant to anything that is boring. So just through spontaneous activities we have been learning them.

It all started one afternoon when we were sitting on the steps outside. I grabbed the whiteboard marker and the whiteboard. While the kids ate afternoon tea, they took turns giving answers to the times tables on a multiplication chart. This was a really great way to see which times-tables they knew and which they needed to work on. After a while, I could see their interest was waning, but I could see they needed to work on the 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, and 12 times tables.

We went inside and I considered that 'done'. About an hour later, Anna-Maria came back inside to show me she had completed all the empty spaces... and they were all correct, except one. Because she did not know these ones she had worked them out so had taken a while. I was impressed with her concentration and determined attitude to complete the chart.

Ella wanted a turn with the board, so she drew a teddy bear.

Practising the times-tables and food seem to be a good combination for my kids. Even Ella wants to be quizzed if it means she gets crackers for swearing.

Last week we learnt square numbers, after they had practised them, we had a 'Who wants to be a millionaire?'-style quiz, with life-lines included... which made them feel it was okay not to have to get everything right, every-time.

This week we have been working on the nine times-tables, so we have been learning the tricks to remember these.

Also, I found a cool maths puzzle book from the library called 'The Grapes of Math' by Greg Tang.

It is a really good book for encouraging/developing mental math strategies... for older kids. Joseph especially enjoyed it... I think because his basic maths facts were up to speed... Anna got a bit upset as she did not grasp one or two of the concepts initially, but she persisted and got there in the end. It is also good for younger kids, as they just like counting the objects or looking for patterns.