Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Art in Week 5

Yep, it's week 5 already.

As with every Monday, we have scheduled Art time in the afternoons.

I helped Charlotte do hers today.

It's not particularly useful if you have to pause for paint to dry.

The children tend to find other things to do in the meanwhile and then just slap the last pieces on just to be done.

This one is by Phebe.

This one by Hannah.

This one by Chloe.

Yep, I wanted to try mixed media, but we might have to have another go at it some other time.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Letter of the Week - Add ons { Aa }

It's a funny little thing when you start putting worksheets together. It would seem that more and more ideas just come to you, in a steady stream, like a river flowing down full of glitter.  Now, while it is true that all that glitters is not gold, and each parent will have to determine what is gold for their child, it's nice to have that choice to do so.  Anyway, I digress slightly.  Basically, I don't want to waste these ideas, so I get them down and manifested on paper.

That's good for me,  That's good for you.

So today:  A word search for the Letter { Aa }

And one of the BEST things about it is that the wordsearch can be done with your DOT markers!  Yep.  How cool is that?

And in cursive too.

and well, truth be told, those littles are probably going to need to some extra practice when they first start doing cursive handwriting.

So, if you are joining us for our Letter of the Week Program this year, feel free to click on any picture above and download them.

Catch you later chookies.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Beyond The Tiger Mom { Review }

I am always doing some sort of "professional development" as an ongoing, long time homeschooling mom and educationalist.  What can I say, it's fun and doubles as an awesome hobby.  I love cycling through ideas to keep me fresh, motivated, and learned.  So recently when I was presented with an opportunity to read 'Beyond The Tiger Mom' I snatched it up as quick as possible.  I KNEW it was something I'd be totally interested in.

The book is written by Maya Thiagarajan.  She has lived and worked in India, Singapore and the United States.  Maya has a BA in English from Middlebury College and a Masters in Education Policy from Harvard University.   The length of the book is 224 pages.  Easily read and digested.  It is filled with facts and figures, interviews, and tips to help you go Beyond the Tiger Mom.

{ What's the Book About }

Essentially the book examines the cultural and academic views of Asians and then sometimes compares them with the West.  I have often wondered how the other half live and think about academics, and here Maya gives us her very own personal accounts and thoughts, responses from her own students, and interviews with other mothers.

It is truly an interesting way of exploring how the other half of the world views academics.

{ Contents }


The book starts out with her background in education and how she got to where she is.  Being born in one country, moving to another, and then re-establishing herself in yet a third country.  Surrounded by an Asian culture, both at work and socially.

Part One is divided up into 3 chapters mainly discussing 'Academics'; Math, Reading, and Other things Asians love.  

In the first chapter she talks about Asians and Math.  Such an awesome insight for us in the Western world.  Why are they doing it?  How long are they doing it?  How important is it?  What about early learning?  

The second chapter discusses 'Reading', and here we see her travel across the ocean for a western ideal.  

Thirdly we jump into topics such as memorization, exams, and other things that Asians love.  

Additionally, there are inserts of interviews from other mothers featured prominently in each chapter.  At the end of each chapter is a generous helping of TIPS for the topic just spoken on.  

And then suddenly we are in Part Two.  This is where Maya takes a shift in her examination and moves into 'Achieving Balance'.  There's obviously two very extremes with Asian academics compared with the West.

Chapter 4 talks about Asian schedules.  If you've ever wondered about how long the average Asian child spends doing academics - wonder no more - she gives us full day schedules - which I found to be very fascinating.  What was just as intriguing is the amount of students accessing tuition outside of the school day.  What do they do on the weekends?  And I bet you'd love to know what Asian mothers say about play as well, but you'll have to read the book to find out.

Chapter 5 leads us very soberly to discuss the terrible F word:  Failure.  It happens, but what does that mean for an Asian child?  How does all the pressure affect the child?  A sobering look at suicide is also presented.

Spending the afternoon propped up on the lounge we encounter Part Three.

Chapter: 6 and the key words 'Filial Piety'.  When was the last time you saw a phrase like that fleshed out?  Well, surprise - those Asians still have it and they live it every day.  I fear that we have mostly lost it here in the West.

As we near the end in chapter 7 we touch on the world as we know it, full of technology, and not only that, but technology in a global world.  How big is this competing stage?  Is this the core fundamental essence to what is driving them?

Conclusion and Looking Forward.

{ What I Thought About It }

I loved how it resonated closely to my own philosophy on education.  I may not imitate it to any great length at this point, but it is there in my mind, and part practice.  Many of it's thoughts would fit lovely into one of the main curriculum's that I also use on occasion.

I love how they do not shy away from early math, in fact , they run to it. There's no time to waste in this competing and short lived world.   STEM subjects should be given more consideration and action here in the Western world.

I am currently feeling all sorts of validation with this book.

To be honest though, I was entirely shocked at how many hours Asians have their children doing academic work and extracurricular activities.  Yes, I was very shocked.  

Family structure plays so much importance; filial piety - an almost forgotten necessity.  I am sure to be thinking about this concept for quite some time.

Lastly, a fantastic read.  It will also cause you to examine your own reasons and methods for teaching, the time you allocate to your own students to study, and for what end purpose.

{ Connecting with Maya online }

or just to learn more about the book and the author

{ How Much Does It Cost }

The book currently retails on Amazon for the KINDLE version for less than $10, but I'd be quick with that, it is definitely an on sale price sure to go back to it's normal retail cost at any time.

If you want a book and pages in the hand, I found it for less than $20 Australian on Book Depository.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

When You Realize You Shouldn't Hold a 7 Year Old Back

Yep, I had one of those days.

I woke up and realized that I shouldn't hold my 7 year old back just because:

She's 7

She'd be at the same grade level as her sister who is 4 years older

She is lazy

She plays like a 7 year old

* * * * *

The truth of it is that she has the aptitude to do greatly in this area.


I took off { MY } shackles and started her up on this:

So each morning she'll get up and listen to the lesson instructions via the CD and then go on and do the lesson.


Then we'll deal with the lesson like usual.

For my reference:  24th January, 2017

Monday, January 23, 2017

Art in Week 4

I can always find an easy directed drawing for the girls to use.

This morning we had her Asian House as our walk through and here are the results:

Hannah { 7 }

Charlotte { 5 }

Phebe { 9 }

Chloe { 11 }

This week I'll be joining up with:

Virtual Fridge Link Up

I hope you will join us.

Thanks for visiting.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Letter of the Week { Bb }

Bet you never thought I'd get this next pack done so quickly, hey?

Well, you see we were without internet for most of the day, sooooooo, what do you do when you don't have your internet running?  Yes, you do projects, and this was one of them.  :o)

and the secondary packet here below.

Here's one of the projects that you can with this weeks pack.

The bees were painted by Noah.

Thanks chookies.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Letter of the Week in 2017

This year I have committed myself to doing a FULL - Letter of the Week curriculum.  It won't be as complete as my original prototypes, but it will definitely have enough pages to last you a week with your preschooler / kindergartner.  If we keep it minimized we've got a much higher chance of it being completed.  :o)

Additionally, it will also include cursive options as well.

How cool is that?

Very cool.

Do you know what is cooler than that?

Getting the Letter { Aa } - today.


Just right click to download the file cover below.

Inside you'll find letter tracing pages, a game board, cut and paste, sorting, craft pages, an interactive notebook page, flash cards, and hat pieces.

But that is not all.  I'm also going to share a secondary file with jigsaws, bracelets, and a memory verse as well.

Just click the below image to grab this file as well.

I do hope you will join us this year for our Letter of the Week program.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

January 2017

2017 is here already..... yep, and so is school.  We are currently in Week 3.  

Art for Week 3 - Make your own jigsaws.

Purchase pre-cut jigsaw base, draw, and paint.
Then watch them get left all over the place in pieces instead of little plastic baggies.  Yep.

This year I have a Grade 7 highschooler, Grade 5, Grade 3, and a fresh Grade 1.   So, yes, there will be quite a bit to juggle time wise - I think I'll have more on my plate since incoming Grade 1's need so much oversight.

I've got lots of new material to play with, but I've also got a lot of the same old material - whichever really worked awesome in the past, that's what I'm keeping.  :o)

Now that we are back up and running, I must remember to keep the camera super handy.  Nothing beats a good show and tell as you make your way through the year, or want to look back on some of the highlights.

Accordion Books

These little pages have been moved around a couple of times, and recently been lost, so today I am putting them in google docs and setting up the links from here.

You'll have to click on them individually to download them though.

The instructions on how to put them together.

The Farm 



Yes, so there's 10 little accordion books to make by theme.
Instructions on the top there as well.