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!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Video Clips of the World Cup Speech

Here are some excerpts out of Tammy's World Cup speech - click on previous post for more pics and info on this speech.

Speaking is very difficult for Tammy, but practice makes perfect and practising speeches is a very good way to master pronunciation and sentence patterns. I am very proud of her and very thankful for the way her speech has progressed the past two and a half years that we have been homeschooling.

To understand more of what we try to achieve (and have achieved) with these speeches click on here.
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Tammy sharing some background of the World Cup.
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Where in the world are all the countries?
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Tammy explaining the different teams in their respective groups. We cut out flags and pasted them onto different sized containers to represent the different teams's rankings.

Tammy’s World Cup Celebration

Tammy’s World Cup Thursday finally arrived.  About ten friends and cousins and five other adults attended. 

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Tammy setting up the 32 different teams in their different groups.  Part of her speech was to explain which teams were mostly to go on to the next round (the large containers) and which ones were rated low – the small containers… and South Africa was one of them.  As Tammy said: “It is predicted that South Africa will be the first host country to lose an opening match!  But miracles can happen.  Bafana-Bafana have won their last 12 matches. ……What are our chances?  Not too bad.  We rank 25th out of the 32 teams and Mexico ranks 18th and Uruguay 19th.  It will be difficult,  but not impossible to win.”  (True words – the opening match between S.A. and Mexico was a draw!  Bafana-Bafana did us proud!  They were ranked 83rd in the world and Mexico 16th!)

The guests were warned to listen carefully to her speech as a quiz was to follow: After the speech they divided themselves into 2 groups and then had to match the 32 flags to the names of the countries, fill in a world map with blank call-outs pointing to the 32 countries and complete a questionaire with questions like “How many teams participated in the qualification phase?”  “Which country has won the cup 3 times?” Tammy helped one group and felt quite important.  The other group “cheated” and checked on her notes and props.  I feared that both groups would have full marks, but not so!   Many said afterwards that it was interesting and that they have learnt a lot i.e. where Honduras was.  (The live writer I am using here, cannot publish my video clips, so I’ll try to  publish a clip or 2 in a next post.)

The next competition was to decorate two ring cakes as stadiums.  (Tammy’s mom’s and her brother’s idea and a huge success!)

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This team inserted stadium lights, but the other one was much neater. 

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Adjudicator Tammy listening intently to the presentation of one group’s cake project.  (He was pretty convincing and Tammy had no hesitation in appointing the winner!)

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Tammy announcing the winners of the cake decoration competition.

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Afterwards the team played “soccer” in the pool room – it was quite cold outside!  Hamburgers and a big plate of French Fries completed a wonderful celebration.

Thank you God for helping Tamerin, and thank you for kind friends and relatives who made the day special for her.

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Monday, June 7, 2010

More World Cup Theme News

Two days to our own World Cup celebration and three days till our end of term... and Bafana-Bafana's opening match against Mexico!
Tammy is working hard on her speech and painting (colouring in ) lots of flags. Today we cut out all 32 medium sized flags and matched them with the names of the countries. Many flags look very similar, so to help along memory, we made various associations between the flags and the countries: Here are some:
  • Honduras: the stars in the middle look like an H.
  • Slovenia: Venia sounds a bit like venue (one of Tammy's latest vocabulary words) and there are mountains (i.e. places/ venues) on the flag.
  • Slovakia: The flag looks like Slovenia's flag except this one has crosses in the emblem. A cross in Afrikaans is a "kruis" and matches the k in Slovakia.
  • Serbia: Similar flag colours as Slovenia and Slovakia, but white is at the bottom. A SERvant serves the king. There is a crown on the flag. (Servant = Serbia)
  • Côte d'Ivoire: The orange elephant has white ivory and he eats green leaves.
  • Ghana, Cameroon, Chile, Algeria: Ghana is in Africa and has a black star, Cameroon a yellow star and Chile a white star. Algeria has both moon and star (ALL evening lights -ALgeria)

It was great fun and in no time, Tammy was able to name all 32 flags.

Thank you God for her happy face and cheerful giggles. Please help her when she types her italics for Romans 1: 13- 15.
(For Bible homework she is going to write how she would explain Jesus and why we should believe to a non-believer. She did it verbally verby spontaneously and understandably this morning.)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Tammy and the World Cup

This past term we spent much time on long multiplication, forming of questions and reading. Two weeks ago her mom suggested we have "Football Fridays" - the whole South Africa is preparing for the FIFA World Cup. and for a long time people have been wearing Bafana-Bafana (national soccer side of South Africa) shirts on Fridays.

We are really rugby people, so I have not paid much attention to all this, but when Tammy's mom said how much fun the school children had, I warmed to the idea, and now we're very much into the World Cup!

We learned a bit about FIFA, when and where the first World Cup was held (1930, Uruguay) and about the qualification phase and of course the final phase - now I too know why this part of the tournament is called the World Cup Finals. The most interesting part, however, was of course the different countries: 13 from Europe, 6 from Africa, 3 from North and Central America, 5 from South America, 3 from Asia and lastly Australia and New Zealand. (31 out of 204 teams qualified and South Africa is the 32nd country. We did not qualify, but may participate because we are the host country. The team has improved much, and who knows? A miracle might just happen!)

Tammy remembers all the teams fairly easily and she has no trouble pinpointing them on the world map. When she names them she cites them more or less in geographical order: France, Spain, Portugal, England, Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Greece, Serbia, Slovenia and Slovakia. She had trouble pronouncing some of the names, but we're quite adept at breaking up words and practising them syllable by syllable until she can easily say them. The word "participate" was also a hard nut to crack, but now she says it confidently. We now work on speaking phrases fluently e.g. to say participate in and not participate.... in.... Today we spent minutes practising to say "Welcome to our....." (She had said .hmmm ...Wel.....come....to)

I am a bit afraid that my hammering on fluency, will be counterproductive - make her too anxious to speak. On the other hand, this very, very slow, clipped way of speaking with lots of throat clearing, seems to me to be a habit. If people ask her a question and she takes forever before she answers, they just assume she doesn't know or doesn't want to speak and then they talk about other things. That is why I try to get her to respond immediately.

Her mother has invited friends and cousins over for a "Football day" next Thursday - a day before the actual World Cup opening game. Tomorrow Tamerin will colour with paint as many flags as she can - there are 32 flags! These we'll use as decorations.

She will also cut out printed flags to paste onto empty pill containers. These containers will represent the different teams in their respective groups and the sizes of the containers will be an indication of the team's rating. Brazil, Spain, Portugal etc. are big containers, and New Zealand and North Korea (31st and 32ne) are very small containers. She will use these containers as part of her "World Cup Speech", when she welcomes her friends and shares her knowledge of the World Cup with them. I bet most of them won't even know where the different countries are, or what their ratings are.

We have been very busy practising questions and answers about the World Cup, e.g. "Do you know which teams from Africa will participate in the World Cup?" "Which country has been the most successful so far?" "Who do you think will win the World Cup?" She can ask me these questions correctly, but she is very slow. She has to think about every word. I do not think other people - even her family - realize just how difficult it is for her to ask a question. When she asks them a practiced question during break, they try to make normal conversation and she just clams up.

Although mastering the language has, as usual, been our main focus with this theme, it has also afforded us enough math's practice: Some of the problems she had to solve were:
  • If FIFA was founded in 1930, how old is FIFA now?
  • If the World Cup is held every four years, when was the last world cup?
  • If there are 32 teams, and there are four teams in a group, how many groups are there?
  • If 2 teams out of every group move onto the next round, how many teams will be in the next round?

The last two problems were not too diffult, as she had the pill containers ("teams") to work with as well. Tammy can do basic calculations quite well, but word calculations are tough! We have been working much on "If 1.... then 3....." (You have to multiply) and If 5.... then 1....."(you have to divide), but more on this another time.

Please God, help Tammy to master her World Cup speech in time, and help her not to become too nervous. And please God, it will do South Africa the world of good, if South Africa can at least beat Mexico in the opening game... And how about South Africa moving onto the next round?... Please?