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!

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Tamerin wrote two exams this week (here we write them, we don't take them). She got 63 % for literacy and 62% for math's. I am very proud of her for reading the papers herself and actually doing what was asked. Here are her results.

7/10 for spelling:
She couldn't spell "provided" or "specifically", but she easily wrote words like "government" and "immediately".
7/ 15 for choosing and filling in the correct word.
The vocabulary came from our Disney World website work earlier this term, and our government theme. She still confuses words like "enjoyed" and "enjoyable". Some more revision needed here.
6/12 for completing sentences e.g.
"He discussed...", "I remember seeing..." "Yesterday...." Many mistakes here, but there were also gems like "I like it when... you sing the song to me." She would not have been able to do that even a couple of months ago!
13/ 15 for a monkey puzzle and questions on the "Our government".
9/10 for a monkey puzzle on general knowledge (Mostly other countries and sport.)
Questions included were "When is the shortest day of the year?" "Who is the president of Israel" "Where is the highest mountai in the world?" (She did not have to write the answer, but choose among 3 options and this in itself is a skill. I am very proud of her for reading, choosing without hesitation and marking the corresponding symbol!)

Long division: 1/3
Calculate the amount e.g. 80% of 200: 2/3
Calculate the %: 3/3
Multiplication (e.g. 59 X 7) : 1/6 (all adding mistakes!)
Adding tens and ones: 3/6 (she "carries over" when there is no ten to be carried over!)
Deduction: 5/6
Choose the highest/ lowest price, temperature etc.: 3/3 (very good progress!)
Round to the nearest Rand: 3/3
Convert $ to Rand (multiplication): 5/6
Counting of the money in my purse: 0/1 (big dissapointment here!)
Taking out R45 and R80: 1/2 (she confused R4 with R40 and gave me 2 x R2 coins and a R5 coin instead of two R20 notes and a R5 coin!)
Read the number (43,680,000 and 587,329): 2/2

Next term we will do one minute reading tests, dialogue etc. Right now she must practice guitar before her lesson! Our school breaks up tomorrow for three weeks of holiday and we'll be back on 20 July. To anyone reading this, have a wonderful holiday!


Saturday, June 13, 2009

Tammy's Bible Blog

I did not realize that Tammy's Bible verse blog was not on my Blog list! I have added it now, so if you click on it, you can see what we have read and discussed. The terminology might not be very correct, because of limited understanding - especially last year - but this blog reflects a very special journey Tammy and I had learning about God. I would love to hear your comments on "How to become a child of God" (Thursday, August 14, 2008). It is sometimes difficult to explain God's grace and that we are saved through grace and grace alone - but also that we have a choice: we have to choose whether we want to follow Jesus or not (Narrow and wide road), but that it is not our good deeds that gets us into heaven.

Tammy copies the verses out of her contemporary English Bible which she got as going away gift from her previous school. (I am at home at the moment and haven't got the title before me.) It has tiny print and when she received it, I never thought that she would be able to read it so soon.

Anyway, I first read a passage out of the Bible to her, with her following where I am reading. If the same passage is in the children's Bible also, I read that too, but sometimes let her read it. Then we talk about the passage and what God is telling us. Tammy then chooses a verse or verses from the passage we have read. Homework is then to copy the verse(s) in her "Bible file" in ordinary font and to "write the italics" - i.e. to type in italics the meaning or message. The italics are there to make the difference clear between the Bible verses and her (our) interpretation, but with blogging the italics disappear and she sometimes forgets to convert the sentences into intalics again. Last year I often wrote down "the italics", but this year I usually leave it to her to type the interpretation on her own and to make her own labels for the post. I still often have to help with sentence construction, but as in all things, help dimishes slowly but surely.

Last year and the first term this year, she also illustrated the verses - her file of last year is beautiful - but this year with more attention to academics and going to the gym this has fallen away. It is a pity because the art enhanced the message. However if she does the art for homework, she just rushes it and no real thought or effort goes into the illustrations, so it seemed to me a waste of time. I could not commend her "illustration" the next day and who wants to start the day with a dissatisfied teacher?

We sometimes pray together and sometimes takes turns. I try to get her to respond to the passages we have studied because if you talk to a friend, and your friend tells you something, you can't just talk about other things - you have to respond to what your friend has told you.

I am curious to know what other homeschoolers do for Bible. Please pray for us that we will do God's will in all of this.

P.S. We start every morning but checking homework and writing down the plan for the day and if I should forget to write it down, Tammy comments "And Bible..!"

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Some objectives for June

I realise we have not done lapbooks yet- I have forgotten about them somehow. Its a pity. They are definitely still on the agenda.
Tammy's language is coming along. I understand her speech better, but she is still inclined to rush when she gets excited and then speech becomes clipped e.g. "He go, you turn, like this (gesture) down...at the back.." Then I have to get her to slow down: "Come again. I missed that. Where did you go?" Poor speech patterns from the past persists e.g. "You want some tea?" instead of "Do you want some tea?" Past tense is still formed through the use of "did" - a habit of many South Africans! "What did you eat?" "We did eat..." However Tamerin now says "I want to show you what my mother did bought for me..." It is going to take lots of practice still to get rid of that "did".

Language exam will include
  • Spelling
  • Comprehension (filling in missing words and answering questions on a passage and choosing the correct option out of given words),
  • Grammar (rewrite in the past tense; say whether it is a verb or a noun).
  • Speech (reciting a poem, telling what she has read and talking about any topic she chooses. I hope to record it again so as to compare her speech with evaluation done in April.)
  • One minute reading - same level as November 2008 (My Secret Unicorn) as well as from new text (Disney World Website or Zac Efron Annual. She can choose.)
  • Creative writing: Make sentences with..... and Blog post.
We are still revising government structure and so far it is going well. She has remembered much of earlier discussions and knows what someone who works in a government department is called, she knows what "Correctional services" "Department of Health", "National Treasury" etc. are. "Etc." is also a term that she learned this week! It is often used in the dictionary and a very necessary abbreviation! My aim with the government theme is simply to help her to understand news and to be able to read a newspaper with understanding. There is a wealth of vocabulary here: public, private, tax, income, service, official, department, office, etc. etc. (Wink!)

As far as her journeying with the Lord is concerned: She still finds it hard to express what she understands at first when we read the Bible, but after we have discussed it and I have lead her with questions, her insight is quite amazing. E.g. that if Jesus is the seed from which our new life comes, people should be able to see Jesus in us, the same way you would see a mealie after you have planted a mealie. (1Peter 1:23) (See her Bible verse blog). After choosing and copying a Bible verse from the passage we read, she has to write "The Italics" i.e. what she understands the verse / passage is saying to her. Of course I help, especially with sentence construction, but in the end it is her record of what we have discussed. We have mostly been doing Bible study out of Matthew - we have just finished Chapter 7. It is a very satisfying and enlightening study.
God has a purpose here and I continue to pray for wisdom!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Big disappointment and a new challenge

Tammy and family will no longer by going to the States this year. It is a big disappointment to the children, but there it is. Tammy and I still check the $ exhange rate each day, and she plots it on her Excel graph, but there is no longer the urgent need to learn to mentally calculate how much an item of $36.99 would be in our currency. It was fun while it lasted though, and she has learnt a lot.

So what do we do now? She is busy with Unicorn School and it starts with the unicorns preparing for exams. Seeing that her brother is busy with exams too, I decided it might be a good thing for Tamerin to also write exams. It might help her to join in conversations when she visits with her cousins.

Sooo.... what to "study" besides math and spelling? We have had several discussions on government and elections last year and earlier this year, so we will revise notes again. I hope to make the "exam" very practical e.g. to look up the telephone number of a certain government department. Just exactly what should every citizen know about government? I suppose we'll stick to the structure and functions of the different "parts" of government, the names and logos of the main political parties and taxes... and anything that is in the news this month.

Language will mostly be "fill in the missing word" based on her reader and her history notes, spelling, and finding the verb/noun/ adjective or adverb. (I find that it is important to know the difference between, for instance, a noun and a verb when using a dictionary.) I would love for her to make her own sentences with certain words as well.

Other subjects will be sport: again because it helps Tamerin to understand what is going on when family and friends watch it. (She has written on her Father's Day card: "I love watching rugby with you.) Tallying up the scores also provides good math practice. In rugby (our favourite sport) a goal counts 5 points, the conversion kick 2 points, a penalty kick 3 points and a drop kick also 3 points. In cricket you have singles, two's, fours and sixes and then there are six balls to an over and in limited cricket only 50 overs....
But why, oh why do they count 15, 30, 40 in tennis??

The math exam will include multiplication (e.g. 325 x 6), division (e.g. 325 / 6), fractions, adding with tens and hundreds, subtraction, percentages, rounding of prices and counting of money and reading of amounts involving millions and thousands.

Before finalising the study material, I better check on our goals again.

Please Lord help me to choose the right stuff and the right method to revise, and please let Tamerin enjoy it.