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!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Next year – an Annie Sullivan year?

Last time I said that Tamarin’s Individual Education Programme had come to an end – but not our homeschooling.  (Drum roll) 

Tada!  Next year Tamarin is going to do Grade 10 (first year)!

The first year part is just to prepare for what I deem to be probable or inevitable: i.e. that it is going to take a few years to reach this goal! 

Is it attainable?  To jump from a more or less Grade 4 level to Grade 10?  It’s a leap of faith that’s for sure, but with the amazing progress that Tammy has made so far, anything and everything is possible.  Her subjects will be Grade 10 Math literacy, Geography, Tourism, Computer studies, English and Afrikaans.  Why Grade 10?  Her parents feel strongly that she should be benchmarked and that Tammy herself has an emotional need to be in a grade.  Grade 10 has fewer subjects than the lower grades, and much of the groundwork for these subjects have been done already. 

The math literacy book starts with fractions and decimals and rounding off: we have done this, so this should not be impossible.

Geography starts with learning to use an atlas and maps.  We have often used maps and the globe in the past, so this is not totally new.  The calculations of area, speed etc seem a bit “Wow!” ( Draw a cross-section of Koffiebus… Determine from the section whether tog station number 10 and benchmark 1237.9 are intervisible.What the…”?!!!)

My objective is to use the geography content as I have used previous themes: that is to use the content as basis for conversations and all grammar work e.g. to Rewrite sentences as questions.   I first want to skim through the work with her, and then later return to the same work and “dig the hole a little deeper”.  She first needs to just know the basic terminology in her bones.  (In the geography book there are more than 17 words on the first page alone that she does not know yet !)

Apparently computer studies deal with the use of a computer (it’s not computer science).  Tammy likes working on the computer and she generally remembers computer methods very well.

The languages will present the greatest challenges.  She is still a long way from writing essays and magazine articles and headlines!  And as for Afrikaans: we’ll have to start at Grade 1 level!

Her parents firmly believe that is the way to go and I am up to this huge challenge.  It will be a team effort between me, Tammy and her parents.  How do you eat up an elephant?  Bit by bit.  My job is to cut it up in small digestible pieces and to make the eating fun and to sustain Tammy’s appetite till the last mouthful.  Tammy’s job will be to swallow, chew and digest, swallow, chew and digest….. a big job.  Her parents’ job will be to cheer from the sidelines and to make sure she eats up her bit in the afternoons, so that she will be ready for the next plateful the next day.  (That is they just have to check that she has actually done her homework.)

If God helped Annie Sullivan to help Helen Keller, who is to say God will not help us?  We can only succeed with His help and with Him anything is possible!  We just have to be obedient, even if the going is tough!

Php 4:13  I am able to do all things through him who gives me strength.

Rom 8:14  And all those who are guided by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

Rom 8:28  And we are conscious that all things are working together for good to those who have love for God, and have been marked out by his purpose.

Rom 8:31  What may we say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us?

To anyone reading this: Have a special, blessed Christmas full of joy in the comforting arms of Jesus.  May your  last day of the year be a time for reflexion and a time to receive fresh inspiration for the New Year and may 2011 bring many blessings, hope and fun!  Enjoy the holidays.

Friday, December 3, 2010

2010 Prize Giving

Can you believe it?  The highlight of our year has come and gone! The year has passed so quickly!  Tammy’s prize giving was on Tuesday evening.  After the superb pancake supper her mom had prepared so lovingly, all the family and friends moved into the T.V. room for Tammy’s presentations. 

She started with a Bible “speech” i.e. a power point presentation on the nature of God and why He created us, what went wrong and His salvation plan for us.  She stood still and spoke carefully and although her speech was still a bit staccato, it was much more fluent than before.  She barely glanced at the computer with the text and pictures.  She had typed out her prayer before: I helped her with sentence construction and grammar, but the ideas were her own. 

Next she talked about why one should drink water, which nutrients support digestion and which nutrients  improve or harm your brain function.  These presentations were ended with a rather lengthy question session: Tamarin asked the audience nutrition related questions, for example “Why must you eat fish?”  Practising to ask questions is very important for Tamarin, because she used to say sentences when she wanted to ask something i.e. “You can help me? “ instead of “Can you help me?”.  But besides being able to ask a question, it is equally important to listen  to the replies and to respond appropriately.   When we prepared for this section, I used to give correct, partially correct answers or wrong answers and she learned to listen more carefully: should she say, “Yes, but… “  or “Yes, and…” or “No..”.  Although asking question and responding to the replies have both improved much, we still have to work at these skills, especially at giving appropriate responses.

Sadly I have no video or picture of this part of the evening – it was in between camera swops – flat battery, would you believe!  Jan took the video clips – I said short clips, but unfortunately most were way too short to illustrate what her capability was. Won’t complain though, without him I wouldn’t have had any for the blog and the blog is the only way I can ensure the pics will endure, even if the computer crashes or is stolen, like last year! In the post below are  two pictures and two very short video clips of Tamerin doing her thing.

Then we played shop.  We handed “enquiries” re health issues (for example "What supplements should I take to maintain strong bones?”) as well as price lists to the audience.  Tammy responded to the queries with appropriate suggestions.  These we had rehearsed at length.  She astounded everyone with her ability to add up the prices mentally– up to three different amounts!   Then she subtracted the total from the “money” handed by the client and quickly picked up the correct amount of change. 

Next year, there will be less formal presentations, and more questions and responses, i.e. more interaction between Tamarin and the audience. 

Her final speech was an introduction to a slide show in Phuket. 

I gave her a certificate to mark the end of her three year Individual Education Programme.   (End?  I’ll tell you more about the new plans next time.) Her book prize was another Secret Seven book and an atlas.  (An atlas?  Also more about that next time.) It was a great year and it ended with a great evening. 

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Videoclip of Tammy's Bible Speech

Tammy doing her Bible speech.

Tammy adding up the prices of Shaen's purchases.

Tammy's introduction to her Bible speech - slide 1
Tammy responding to the audience's reply to her question "Why must you eat fruit?