A walk to the stables

A walk to the stables
Tamerin at the horses: we walked there on Thursday and talked rugby nearly all the way!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A disaster at Tammy's Tea Party

Yesterday Thelwyn and Dorette came to visit Tamerin. She had invited them and spoke to Dorette over the cell phone. I realised that she struggled to explain the route, so early yesterday we practised explaining the route from different directions, to her house. Then she made some scones and fish bites. (She is still afraid of the oven since her burn at the beginning of the year, so I took the baking trays out of the oven. Otherwise she did nearly everything herself.)
Tamerin set the table in the swimming pool room where there is a lovely view. When Dorette came Tammy showed off her bedroom and the rest of the house. Tamerin is obviously very proud of their house. When Thelwyn arrived, Tammy was ready to serve the goodies she had prepared and was about to ask what her guests would drink, when she tripped and fell in the water! She was so shocked and complained bitterly that her ankle was broken. So it was a question of trying to salvage her cell phone, getting dry clothes and getting her foot attended to. Quite a commotion. Otherwise the party went well and this morning she still remembered how baby Franco smiled at her.
Organising a party certainly has educational possibilities and it is also socially beneficiary for a lonely homeschooler! We should do it again, but next time not so close to the pool!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Mastering 10 + and 9+ and the 10 and 9 times tables!

We have not progressed much in terms of sewing, but at least the side seams are sewn - one little unpick here: she generally sewed nice and straight. We pinned darts in the sleeves (yes, the sleeves - not your ususal type sleeve yet!). Hopefully we'll get to sewing them today.

Tamerin's back hurts - it is a pity, because she has finally been showing some progress with the exercises. The exercises are very low key. Today we should go for a walk, but for some inexplicable reason, my feet hurt! What a pair of old crocks! Maybe we'll just dance a little bit. It is a glorious almost spring day, and we really should get outdoors.

In terms of school work: We practiced a lot of 10 + and then 9 +. (10 + for her was not just easy or natural as they are for other children. Adding with 0 is always part of her sum revision sheets!) Anyway she showed good progress here. We also did the 10 times and 9 times tables. I am very proud of her.

Her reading is becoming more fluent and comprehension is also improving. Sometimes she gives great answers and other days she seems not to understand the obvious. We just have to go slowly and patiently up the hill and we will get there. God is so good and faithful!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Progress in typing and general activities

Although it is nearly spirng, today is bitterly cold. It is cloudy and rather miserable. I was hoping to go for a walk, but don't feel like it in this weather. Tamerin also opted for "exercises". It is break right now, so I quickly want to update.
Tamerin's typing is improving much: she types her diary on her own in "Diary originals" (usually for homework). Then she copies it onto her "Diary" file where I help her to correct it and to add news that she has shared with me verbally, but not in writing. I always let her read what she has typed and more and more she finds her mistakes herself: e.g. where she has left out a word or a letter or where her word order is all wrong. When the diary of the day has been completed, she copies it to her blog. (See bloglist). She has really come a long way from the beginning of the year: she can type simple sentences on her own, but I cannot yet say that she can write her diary on her own. She also enjoys copying Bible verses. Ability to copy and to understand what she has typed has also improved much. Slowly but surely she masters spelling without formal spelling sessions. Ordering words or "license plate" letters in alphabetical order is also a favourite activity.
Her speech remains a problem. She likes to "practice" pattern sentences though and it seems to help. We have also started to dramatize a monologue - adapted from her reader "My Secret Unicorn." She loves this.
With the Olympic Games and Tri Nations Rugby going on, we are practising the National Anthem. She sings it with me, but not on her own yet. (Whispers when I try to get her to sing it on her own - with the words in front of her.)
Last week she cut out a top for the skirt she had sewed last term. The pattern stated stretch fabrics only, so we got T-shirting, but it was far more difficult to cut out than the skirt. Hopefully we will start to sew today. Tamerin is not too keen on sewing, but I believe such life skills are very important for her, so we try. Pray that the top will be a success and completed before the family leaves on holiday at the end of September!
Next week we will try to organise private horse riding lessons. When we tried last time, the roster was full!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Rugby, the National Anthem and the Olympics!

Tamerin's adding ability has slumped a little - when she works on paper, she usually does fine, but she is not really able to transfer her adding skills to every day life. She told me that she and her father were going to see the rugby test between S.A. and Argentina. I explained the game to her in very simple terms: How many members in a team, how they score a try (goal), what a conversion kick is, the basic rules and what happens if you break a rule (scrum / penalty kick). We then pretended on paper that there were two teams playing and added up the scores: The Springbucks scored a try and succeeded with the conversion kick: i.e. they got 5+ 2 = 7. points. They made a mistake and the Pumas (Argentina) succeeded with a penalty kick between the poles= 3 points. Which team was ahead? Then the Pumas scored a try and the Sprinbucks another try and so on and so on.

A lot of adding, but more importantly practice in the concept of more / less. Which team is ahead? How many points did the other team need to score to win? Tamerin has always been struggling with more, less, higher, lower (temperature/ price), etc. and subtracting is not her strong point. The rugby exercise gave us the opportunity to revise these basic calculations. I hope it helped her also to understand and enjoy the game more. Will talk some more about the rugby on Monday.

We also practised the National Anthem a little bit, but we did not have enough time to really learn it well enough to be able to sing along freely. We will continue with this: hopefully South Africa will get a gold medal in the Olympics, and hopefully we get to see the prize giving. Our anthem has four verses: one is Zulu, one is Sotho, one in Afrikaans and only the last one in English!)

This week we also talked a lot about the Olympics. Tamerin knows the alphabet and with a little help succeeds to find a word in the dictionary. However, she struggles to put words into alphabetical order. Last week I gave her six words (names of countries) each starting with one of the first six letters. (Angola, Brazil, Canada etc.)She easily ordered these alphabetically. This week we continued with the alphabet, but now I gave her two counties starting with the same letter, so that she had to look at the 2nd letter too e.g. Mozambique and Madagascar. She struggled a little more with these, but showed interest. She then looked if she could find the countries on the globe. Usually she found them quickly. I had thought that she would enjoy the Olypic parade when the countries come in in alphabetical order... only to find the came in in Mandarin alphabetical order! Oh well, I took her to play with a cousin on Friday, so I doubt that she even watched it. But at least, she had interesting practice in the alphabet and she knows about the Olympics.

I think it will be fun to watch some swimming or gymanstics with her next week (one of the perks of homeschooling), as long as we can combine it with numeracy (Who scored most points? Whose time was the fastest?)

We are also revising her Bible verses - a time of great blessing for both of us.