Thursday, July 26, 2012

IEW SWI-A success review 1

I'm very excited! After a long time of waiting we started IEW's SWI-A. This is our second week and already I see success with my child's writing. The programme did look intimidating at first, but after watching much of the DVD's I realise I can do this and I'm going to love it. After doing PAL-Writing, I've chosen to do SWI-A with TWSS instead of my own materials because I want Pudewa to teach my children himself this time around. A few years ago as I was watching a sample DVD my children joined me, giggling. When I asked them if they liked him their response was "Yeah, he's funny". So I knew I wanted SWI-A.

We're on Units 1-2 and I'm liking the structure of the program. Firstly, the child is initially told what to write which is something I'm strongly in favour of. Secondly, from a short paragraph the child is to find three key words per sentence, aka main ideas, then rewrite the piece from his own "notes". Key word outlining is essentially note-taking. Rewriting from notes/key word outlines is done when the original piece of writing is out of the child's view. This prevents plagiarism. Starting these essential skills at an early stage helps the child internalise basic writing structure, which then will allow greater freedom in true creative writing, as the foundations of basic writing would have been set. 

Key word outlining (also KWO) and rewriting/composition already has helped my child feel very proud of his work. We have begun using KWO loosely for his other subjects where writing isn't necessary, including tests where key concepts are what I'm looking for. So far the programme is a success.

Here is a glimpse of the steps involved for the beginning of Units 1-2:
Click on the images to enlarge.

Step 1:

Step 2:

Step 3: (page 1)

 (page 2)

Step 4:


Monday, July 2, 2012

Life size Lego forest in Australia

My kids love Lego, and I do too, so I'm very excited about this magical place. For more information on the size of the life size pieces, read here.

The Lego Forest is currently on display at Living Desert, Broken Hill, NSW.

xx Sara

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Getting back to blogging

I've almost forgotten how to use blogger! I'm back, though I have never really properly started blogging as I don't have a proper camera, but I thought I'd do what I can with my iPhone4 until I purchase a camera I like.

We have a homeschool classroom now and it's still in the making process. It just helps me in being more motivated to teach. I'm kind of loving it. Here are a few messy pics of the room. I'm still sorting out where to put things. Much of my stuff are not going to make it to the classroom unfortunately because of the size of the room, but I am still very happy of the transition from the dining room to our classroom.


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Montessori , bits and pieces and cooking

We didn't do much workbook work this week. We did lots of reading and discussion. My boys usually finish reading a book in a day, and sometimes in two days. J8 reads more than O10 does. Dd14 did some Thinkwell Maths. We watched some e-Science videos by Aurora altogether but didn't do any experiments yet as I still need to do the shopping list for the experiments. Here's some other work my boys did:

O10: Montessori, Evan-Moor daily paragraph editing, reading Usborne Planet Earth Facts and Lists

J8: Journal, Winnie the Pooh handwriting.

Both O and J peeled and chopped up the carrots- they LOVE cooking.

And that's all for now.. :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Homeschool fun with Google Translate

What do you use Google Translate for? Have you ever searched 
Google Translate?

Today while the children were doing their schoolwork I was looking for an online feature I could use to translate my posts into different languaes, like Turkish, Japanese, Italian etc, that my children and I are learning. I found Google Translate and I began typing in sentences from my posts and switched it into Turkish to start the process of posting in Turkish, Japanese and Italian also, and some funny results came up with the Turkish translation. The automatic translater is accurate on the most part but some of the results are quite funny. I'm sure it'll create funny results in other languages too, so I won't be using it much. What I like about it is there is an audio feature and my boys had a blast typing in words and hearing them in other languages. They heard the words in languages they had never heard of before, so it was an opportunuty for them to discover new languages, and new peoples. We heard their own names in other languages and they really enjoyed that. Then, of course they wanted to be silly and J8 typed in "I am a dog" and heard this in other languages. In Turkish it translated as "Ben bir kopek" which is actually meant to be "Ben bir kopegim", so the translation is again, incorrect. O10 typed in "dog" for Japanese and he corrected his own accent in saying the word in Japanese. Once they got over their boyish silliness, they were actually learning if they typed in a word, and not sentences. I will allow them to use this "game", as this is what it is for them at the moment, several times a week for educational purposes. I myself had fun hearing words in different languages. I'll be downloading Google Translate for my iPhone so dc can use it for "play" and lend their little ears to foreign words and sounds on a weekly basis.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Rail Museum excursion

Last week we attended the Build It exhibit at The Workshops Rail Museum, with our homeschool co-op group. It was a long drive to Ipswich but well worth it.

There was much to enjoy.  It was a fun hands on all-day learning experience for both O and J. They first did a workshop in small groups on cranes. My boys love anything to do with construction so this was a great start.

  After the workshop, they had some time at the museum play area where everything has a construction theme to it. They had some creative play including role play with their friends. We stayed back and O spent some time observing and discussing the Model Train. He builds amazing things with his Lego at home and has decided he wants to be a designer.

On the way out we discovered the Apprentice Training Shops, a trades area we had missed on entrance, which my boys enjoyed the most- they didn't want to leave! Each trade had its own workstation, and with the completion of the designated activity at a workstation they got to stamp their "certificate" for that particular trade. The certificate in itself was a fun idea. There was smithing, wagon building, rope splicing and tying, painting and stencilling, welding, and fitting and wheeling. They had many favourites and we later had a great time discussing these trades. The day created opportunities for unit studies.




Painting (with water):

Wagon Building:
Here J took a ready made wagon from the testing area and pulled it apart so that he could put it together again. Nearing the end, he got helpers, then together they had a test drive- and the wheels didn't turn!

We certainly would love to go again.

xoxo Sara

Monday, July 4, 2011

Parents: Can you add? :)

Mental addition with tens and thousands is meant to be a breeze but I had a good laugh at my failure thanks to this cunning video! I couldn't do the last sum and I wasn't the only adult! My children ran up to me as I was laughing: "Mummy what's so funny?". So dc excitedly had a turn each (whilst waiting for their turn in another room), and all three getting the last bit wrong too. Then of course they had the "ooooh.. duh.. haha" moment- as I did before them.

Visit Lets Play Math and have a go- it's for adults too :)


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