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The Genial Hearth
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Archive for Puggle

Geography: Format

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.
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.

Books

Graphic Novels for Kids

Puggle loves Asterix:-) We have plans to start him on Tin Tin eventually. But I was really excited to read last year Melissa Wiley’s two posts from Comic-Con about Graphic Novels for kids:-) A discussion today reminded me to look them out, and I’m linking them here so I can find them more easily:-) She also posted about this year’s con here and here.

Hit With a Revelation!

Puggle was sad last night, when he realised he didn’t know how to play ‘From the shores of Montezuma’ (The Marines’ Hymn) on the piano, one of our folksongs from last term. It proved very popular (well, after Grandad sang it:-) ).

This morning, I was looking for sheet music to simplify the process:-) (He’s playing around with the piano… he’s worked out how to play a variety of his recorder songs on it, but only looking at the right hand:-) ) My ear is not great, and I’d rather he had a good example to keep coming back to:-) I did my search, and what did I find (or rather, be reminded of)?

The composer was Jacques Offenbach. My kids love their Offenbach:-) We listened to a number of his pieces a couple of years ago (including the Can-Can:-) ), and they were a real hit. And I can guarantee that if any of his pieces come on the radio, my kids will dance in their seats (even though they haven’t heard who it is:-) )

It’s no wonder the song was so popular:-)

Taking Over the World

Puggle has had a plan for a while. He intends (with his friends, the oldest of whom is 8) to re-build the Roman Empire (he was very taken with our studies of Rome last year, Story of the World is wonderful:-) ).

Tonight, I asked him what he’d do when he had the Empire re-built. He told me, “Keep the Barbarians out, obviously… Of course, it might be rather hard, because it’s quite small.”

He then decided that it might be more sensible to take over the whole world. “But then people might try to kill me. I may need to ponder some more on this.”

(He’s also very taken with Asterix. He was asking earlier whether Julia Gillard would be carried around on a shield like Chief Vitalstatistix. When we said we didn’t really think so, he suggested Kevin Rudd probably would have… He seemed kind of disappointed that we didn’t think that was very likely either:-) )

ETA. Paddington has just told me the reason he intends to re-build the Roman Empire is so that Susan Wise Bauer [the author of the series] will write more books:-)

Paper Dolls

The new topic we’re doing for French is clothing. So I thought it would be a fun idea to find paper dolls for the kids to dress. Ideally, I wanted some they could colour themselves. I found I was rather overwhelmed with options! Eventually though, I found this collection which seemed to work:-) I collected them together on a couple of sheets, and we gave them to the kids.

They loved them! We were quite surprised at just how much they did:-) (I knew Puggle was looking forward to working with them, because we recently started reading Little House in the Big Woods, and in the chapter we read just recently, Ma Ingalls had made paper dolls for Laura and Mary. And Bilby too, just because of the doll aspect, I think.) The bigger kids kept working with them for most of the rest of the afternoon, and Puggle got them out again as soon as we got home:-) All together, they were a great success. I plan to print out some more blanks for them, just to have around:-)

Six Years On

Six years ago this evening, I was having a fabulous dinner with friends. I felt a bit out of it, but figured it was tiredness. The next day, Puggle was born.

I can’t believe he’s about to be six!

It’s been an un-missable six years. Puggle is a source of great joy:-)

Now I have a (small) stack of presents, and a felt menhir on his birthday flag (I wasn’t going to attempt to do Asterix and Obelix in felt!)

Geography: Thailand

First Monday: Location. (Once again, he’ll use the atlas to identify Thailand on a world map.)
First Tuesday: Flag.
First Wednesday: Language.
First Thursday: Animals.
First Friday: Music. (Folk songs/dancing) Some links from youTube are here.
Second Monday: Features. (Cities, Mountains, Rivers)
Second Tuesday: Famous People.
Second Wednesday: Language.
Second Thursday: Culture. (Currency, festivals, population, religion)
Second Friday: Art/Craft.
Second Saturday: Food.

Books
*Welcome to Thailand
*Thailand (World of Recipes)
*Thailand (Festivals of the World)
Elephant Hospital
Culture in Thailand
Thailand (Focus on Asia)
Thailand (Countries of the World)
A Tale of Two Rice Birds: A Folktale from Thailand

Geography: Vietnam

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. Milet Bilingual Visual Dictionary: English-Vietnamese
First Thursday: Animals.
First Friday: Music. (Folk songs/dancing)
Second Monday: Features. (Cities, Mountains, Rivers)
Second Tuesday: Famous People. Ho Chi Minh It’s really a bit old for him, but it will do. There’s a reasonable timeline at the back, and decent pictures throughout.
Second Wednesday: Language.
Second Thursday: Culture. (Currency, festivals, population, religion) Tet: Vietnamese New Year, Asian Holidays, Festivals of the World: Vietnam
Second Friday: Art/Craft. Weaving. (We’ve got some of a guy on SBS visiting Vietnam and learning about the food, we’ll try and watch that in preparation for the food.)
Second Saturday: Food.

Books
(These seem reasonable… but there are no stand out books this time.)
Vietnam: Land/Vietnam: Peoples/Vietnam: Cultures
Vietnam
A Family from Vietnam
Vietnam: Still Struggling, Still Spirited
Australia’s Neighbours: Vietnam
To Swim in Our Own Pond: Ta Ve Ta Tam Ao Ta : A Book of Vietnamese Proverbs
The Vietnamese in Australia

Geography: India

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.
First Thursday: Animals. (Asian Elephant, Bengal Tiger, King Cobra, Indian Walking Stick, Peafowl, Dhole)
First Friday: Music. (Folk songs/dancing)
Second Monday: Features. (Cities, Mountains, Rivers)
Second Tuesday: Famous People. Mohandas Gandhi, Mother Teresa
Second Wednesday: Language.
Second Thursday: Culture. (Currency, festivals, population, religion)
Second Friday: Art/Craft
Second Saturday: Food.

Books
(These were the ones that seemed particularly useful, as were the two biographies above.)
Taj Mahal
Welcome to India
India (Festivals)
India (A World of Recipes)
Tiger Child

(other books we had, they seemed reasonable and age appropriate [I left more at the library:-)], but they as useful as the above books)
Indian Food and Drink
Indian Subcontinent (I know that’s not the listed title… but it’s the book we had—just with a different title)
Jamil’s Clever Cat: A Folk Tale from Bengal
Demons, Gods & Holy Men from Indian Myths & Legends
We Come From India
Country Insights: India

It’s Official!

I’ve finally sent in all the paperwork (it was hardly exhausting… it just got overwhelmed by VacSwim), and we’ve received back our Certificate of Registration.

Of course, nothing’s really changed from last year, we just have a bit of paper filed away (and my own digital copy of the doorstop:-) )

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.

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:-)

2009, the year that was

In spite of the evidence of my blog, it’s actually been a pretty productive year! But it was rather one of those ‘if you’re doing, there’s no time to be writing about it’ years.

I had (as has been the case the last couple of years) resolved to make more music and play more games. Although we sang a little less than we have been (basically in the last couple of months, although, I’m getting better again now), we did do occasional ‘Music Nights’, and I did a lot more recorder with Puggle (and Bilby:-) ) Thanks to Swancon, and their fabulous Gaming Stream, I played a lot more games than usual—sadly, I didn’t really maintain the momentum for the rest of the year…

I hadn’t ‘signed on’ for the Handmade Holidays challenge, but I did kind of decide to attempt it. I did pretty well when it came to kids presents! (I think) I basically made all bar 2—which were both a couple of days after Swancon. Certainly that was the case for other people’s children. I made some stuff for ours, but I’m not making books yet, and lego is still beyond me:-)

I didn’t do so well on regular blogging (obviously:-( ) But I am still thinking about it, so I anticipate returning:-) I took more photos, and managed to upload a number—haven’t managed our usual family photo calendar yet, but I hope to very shortly (it’s a great way to actually use some of the photos:-) )

Aside from the handmade presents, most of my crafting this year has been patchworking. B and M’s wedding quilt got me enthused enough to start a Virtual Quilting Bee. We’re in our fifth month now, although I’m still finishing block 3:-(

All up, it’s been a pretty reasonable year:-) It is of course a constant learning curve with the kids, just as soon as you think you have a handle on where they are, they go and change… but mostly it’s been good:-)

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