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The Genial Hearth
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Archive for January, 2010

Bilby Babble

She’s basically talking like a grown up most of the time—and comprehensible to non-parent adults:-) However, she still has a few childhood words left… we’ve been using the air cooler in their room of late, and so she’s taken to asking for the Aircondishnika. Less cutely, she regularly uses ‘at’ for that (as in “I’ll tell Puggle at we’re coming”).
There’s another… but it momentarily escapes me:-(

Geography: China

First Monday: Location. (I’ve found a world map I’ll use, and just set him to find the country in the atlas, and identify it on the map)
First Tuesday: Flag.
First Wednesday: Language. (I need to remember to use youtube… I’m sure there must be some basic language lessons there—and particularly with the asian languages, I have not a clue:-( )
First Thursday: Animals. (and the panda)
First Friday: Music. (Folk songs/dancing) (Hmm… haven’t done this)
Second Monday: Features. (Cities, Mountains, Rivers)
Second Tuesday: Famous People. (well, inventions)
Second Wednesday: Language.
Second Thursday: Culture. (Currency, festivals, population, religion) (Something on Chinese New Year—how’s that for happenstance! It’s in the week after we finish, which is break week! Maybe we’ll just see what we can find then.)
Second Friday: Art/Craft. I’ve printed the instructions for lanterns, fireworks and a dragon. He can choose what he does. (if there’s a related ‘My Family Feast’ episode, we’ll watch it)
Second Saturday: Food. We’re going to cook Fried Wontons with Dipping Sauce, Steamed (perch) with Ginger, Chicken in Vermicelli Fried Nest,  and Watermelon and Lychee with Ginger Sauce (or some variation thereof).

Books
Ancient China
Beijing
China
China: The Culture
Chinese New Year
Marco Polo
Taste of China
People’s Republic of China
Tibetans

Geography: Japan

First Monday: Location. (Continent, Bordering countries/oceans, hemisphere)
First Tuesday: Flag.
First Wednesday: Language. (I need to remember to use youtube… I’m sure there must be some basic language lessons there—and particularly with the asian languages, I have not a clue:-( )
First Thursday: Animals.
First Friday: Music. (Folk songs/dancing) (ETA: See in the comments for some music links! Thanks Purrdence!)
Second Monday: Features. (Cities, Mountains, Rivers)
Second Tuesday: Famous People.
Second Wednesday: Language.
Second Thursday: Culture. (Currency, festivals, population, religion)
Second Friday: Art/Craft. (if there’s a related ‘My Family Feast’ episode, we’ll watch it)
(This book appears to cover a large number of the topics I want, and seeing as we’re starting later than I’d anticipated, it will be ideal:-) )
Second Saturday: Food. We’re going to cook Chicken Kuwayaki, California Rolls, and Monkey Maki. We’ll probably use the leftover sushi rice, and bits of the chicken to do Onigiri the next day. (We use an egg-cup to help shape the balls.)

Books
I was surprised how few appropriate books I could find (mind you, I failed to do my prep work, so I was searching at the library, and remembering dewey codes, and chasing kids).
Japan in Colors

Geography

Last year at Co-op, one of the mums ran a series of activities focussing on different countries. Puggle loved it! Another mother mentioned the existance of My Family Feast which was on TV at the time, and we watched that week’s episode—Puggle was hooked (even asked for it for Christmas, and Uncle R. kindly gave it to him:-) )
I figured that we needed to do some sort of exploration of the world, because he was obviously keen:-) So I decided that we’d spend two years and ‘do’ a number of different countries. I’m sticking with the continents (we’ll skip Antartica, there’s not so much of the culture side… Certainly not enough for the three months each of the other continents will take), and doing three a year. This year we’ll do Asia (Japan, China, India, Vietnam, Thailand, Burma), Europe (France, England, Germany, Hungary, Norway, Scotland) and Africa (Egypt, Morocco, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Kenya, Congo). Next year we’ll do North and South America, and Australasia (I still need to fine tune our country choices). At the same time, I’m trying to make/aquire some of the Montessori-type materials to do with Geography (I’m drooling over the puzzle maps, but haven’t done anything about them yet), and I plan to put together a continent box for the continent we’re covering.

Given he’s in year 1, and this is only part of what we’re doing, I didn’t want it to be too heavy, so we’re staying in each place for two weeks, doing a little bit each day. I’m also going to borrow a stack of library books on the country, so they can be accessible (thank goodness for online reservations! I request everything that looks ok, then flick through the stack and only borrow the dozen or so that seem most interesting—and I don’t have to wander the shelves with the kids in tow:-) )
First Monday: Location (Continent, Bordering countries/oceans, hemisphere)
First Tuesday: Flag
First Wednesday: Language (I need to remember to use youtube… I’m sure there must be some basic language lessons there—and particularly with the asian languages, I have not a clue:-( )
First Thursday: Animals
First Friday: Music (Folk songs/dancing)
Second Monday: Features (Cities, Mountains, Rivers)
Second Tuesday: Famous People
Second Wednesday: Language
Second Thursday: Culture (Currency, festivals, population, religion)
Second Friday: Art/Craft (if there’s a related ‘My Family Feast’ episode, we’ll watch it)
Second Saturday: Food (we’ll go to any specialty stores, and then we’ll cook a feast—and eat it of course:-) )

Fortunately, countries are often used as themes, and with the internet, it’s really easy to do a search and find all (or most) of these things—at an appropriate level! It does take a little while… but not too long. I print them in one hit, and file them in the appropriate folder, ready to go. And if I come across something for one of the other countries we’re planning to do, I can print it then and put it in that folder.

Reading the Classics

A couple of things have come up in the last little while, and I’m feeling spurred to movement:-)

I want to start reading through the Classics. I have tried starting the Fiction list (from The Well-Educated Mind: A Guide to the Classical Education You Never Had, which is what I plan to use as my guide), but I found Don Quixote rather impenetrable:-( I’ve kind of started the biographies, with Augustine’s Confessions… but lacked oomph and dedication.

I think I need to do this with people, so I can talk about it as I read it. So I’ve started a mailing list (Crawling Through the Classics) and invited a few people with whom I’ve previously discussed the idea. If you’re interested though, feel free to join, and point it out to anyone who might be interested (I’ve said homeschooling mums in Perth, but I’ve included a number of question marks, because I don’t feel it has to be limited to that… I don’t necessarily want lots of people, but a reasonable sized group would be good, so there might be some different impression–and so if someone hasn’t read the ‘assignment’ the discussion doesn’t get de-railed for lack of participants).

My plan is that we choose something, and read through at a (CM-approved:-) ) pace (maybe a chapter a week?) and we can talk about it via email as we go (although, I realise a chapter a week is going to take us a long time to get through! Maybe two books, a chapter of each a week? Still slow, but not overloading on any one?). I’d quite like to add a face-to-face gathering in every now and again (monthly? bi-monthly? quarterly?) to discuss in person:-) We’ll sort out the details once there’s a group on the mailing list.

I’ve also discovered that Librivox has a number of the works. So I’m willing to give Don Quixote another go—but I’ll listen to it:-)

I don’t have my copy with me (I’ve just leant it to a friend:-) ), but basically there are 5 lists, Fiction (starts with Don Quixote), Biography (or Autobiography… can’t remember which… but starts with Augustine’s Confessions), History, Drama and Poetry (I’m not especially keen to do that!) I’d like to choose one (or two if people are feeling keen) list(s), and read through from the start. (From memory, this looks pretty accurate, it starts with Fiction, then Autobiography, History, Drama… there are about 30 books in each list)

I haven’t really thought about how to discuss (I’m bad at finding anything to talk about, other than ‘I like/don’t like it’:-) )… but there are plenty of things online we can perhaps look at using to help guide discussion, or take it in turns to ask questions, or something:-)

If you’re interested, join the list, and any discussion as to which books, can take place there:-)

This Week

Week 2, Block 1, Boronia Term
We’re not fully into the swing of things, but this week I anticipate a full week of work. Not all subjects, but Copywork (d, f); Latin (need to work out what comes after choosing a name aka pronunciation); Maths (about time!); Recorder (getting back to practicing daily) and Reading.
In addition, we should get to something for each of the focus areas (Classical Studies—Norse Myths (more Greek ones too, if the book arrives in time:-) ); Science—Nature Study (I keep hoping… but actually, if it continues so hot, I’ll be happy enough to see it go… although, he’ll probably observe stuff at VacSwim); English Studies—memorising from ‘Now We Are Six’, beginning ‘Blinky Bill’ (as a read aloud) and beginning Narration with ’50 Famous Stories Retold’; History—Story of the World, volume 2; and probably no art to speak of this week:-) There’ll also be some Geography, as we begin our journey around the world in Japan (not that I’ve managed to reserve any books from the library… the online catalogue has been down each time I’ve thought to do it:-( ), and we should manage to cook appropriately on Saturday night:-)
And of course, our weekly French lesson. We’re beginning a new topic this week, Wild Animals (we did farm animals just before Christmas). We’re starting in Asia.
That actually sounds like quite a bit… especially with daily swimming lessons! Ah well, we’ll see how we go:-)

2010, I resolve…

I’m sticking quite close to the resolutions of the past couple of years. They haven’t been resounding successes (probably because they’re not SMART:-) ), but I am still referencing them.

So, in 2010, I plan to Make More Music, and Play More Games. In some ways, these both get easier as the kids get older:-)

I plan to add Make More (interesting) Bread. (I do a couple of loaves a week, but they’re a pretty standard loaf. I have a few specialist loaves I’ve been meaning to experiment with, so i reckon one every couple of months would be a good effort. Turkish Bread, Ciabatta, Naan, Pita… I have a feeling there was another I was considering [Paddington has suggested Parathas:-) ]. Basically though, if I can master the first two, I’ll count it as a successful year:-) )

I need to Drink More Water, and I really do need to do something to get more fit (hmm… I didn’t even deign to capitalise that… that says a lot!)

I’m hoping to start reading (well, if we’re doing Don Quixote, I’ll be listening!) through some Great Books with another Home Schooling mum:-) We’ve been talking about it… but maybe it’s a good time to start:-)

That’s quite a bit! So a good place to stop:-)

Waltzing Matilda

There’s a midi file and some information here. You can find an .mp3 here—if you need it:-)

Once a jolly swagman camped by a billabong,
Under the shade of a coolibah tree,
And he sang as he watched and waited by that billabong
You’ll come a-waltzing Matilda with me.

Waltzing Matilda, waltzing Matilda
You’ll come a-waltzing Matilda with me
And he sang as he sat and waited by the billabong
You’ll come a-waltzing Matilda with me.

Down came a jumbuck to drink at that billabong,
Up jumped the swagman and grabbed him with glee,
And he sang as he shoved jumbuck in his tuckerbag
You’ll come a-waltzing Matilda with me.

Waltzing Matilda, waltzing Matilda
You’ll come a-waltzing Matilda with me
And he sang as he shoved jumbuck in his tuckerbag
You’ll come a-waltzing Matilda with me.

Down came the squatter, mounted on his thoroughbred,
Down came the troopers, one, two, three!
“Where’s that jolly jumbuck you’ve got in your tuckerbag?
You’ll come a-waltzing Matilda with me.”

Waltzing Matilda, waltzing Matilda
You’ll come a-waltzing Matilda with me
“Where’s that jolly jumbuck you’ve got in your tuckerbag?
You’ll come a-waltzing Matilda with me.

Up jumped the swagman and sprang into the billabong,
“You’ll never take me alive,” said he.
And his ghost may be heard as you pass by that billabong,
You’ll come a-waltzing Matilda with me.

Waltzing Matilda, waltzing Matilda
You’ll come a-waltzing Matilda with me
And his ghost may be heard as you pass by that billabong,
You’ll come a-waltzing Matilda with me.