Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Josiah's school work while away

Josiah and the rest of the NZ team travelling to the Climbing World Youth Champs were asked by the coaches to bring school work. The kids do a couple of hours of school work each day while away, partly so that the kids don't get "behind" and partly so that everyone gets some quiet time each day.

My first thoughts were to provide school work relating to the trip (e.g. journal, foreign language work): it seems a little crazy to travel across the world and then spend time doing algebra problems etc. In the end, we put together a mixture of activities relating to the trip and ordinary school work so that Josiah can do what he feels like at the time.

Keep a journal

Ideas to write about:
  • How is your climbing training going?

  • What training have you been doing?

  • What climbing have you seen?

  • How is the team?

  • Where have you been?

  • What did you do there?

  • What did you see?

  • What are your thoughts about the country you are in? About the people, the landscape, the buildings, streets, vehicles, food, language, anything else.

  • How are your attempts to use German / French going?

Foreign language

Keep a record of words and phrases that you learn and their meanings, in the languages of each country you visit.
In the phrase book of the language of the country where you are at present, find a useful phrase. Write it down and practise it. [We bought German and French phrase books before Josiah left. He and Tessa had fun with them.]


Keep a record of what you spend. Add 3.5% to every purchase made with the Prezzy Card.
Notice prices and convert them to NZ dollars when you are shopping:
1 Euro ≈ NZ$2
1 Swiss Franc ≈ NZ$1.30

Maths lesson

Read Gamma Maths [photocopied pages]. Practice each new problem type as you go.

Maths practice

Create maths practice problems from the list. [Josiah and Tessa each have a list of types of maths problem to practice, from which they choose three types each week; they create their own examples.] Write the date in the table each time you do a problem. [Photocopied pages of problems from earlier chapters of Gamma Maths also supplied.]

Language worksheets

[Rod and Staff's Building Christian English series.]


Take notes and/or use a highlighter while reading.
Science [Pages photocopied from Real Science for Kids Chemistry Level II.]
History [Pages photocopied from Kingfisher History Encyclopedia.]
Penguin Guide to Punctuation.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Hectic Year

It's been a hectic year so far. So much so that important things have been neglected. I have not put the time into our homeschooling that it needs. It was a big job helping Josiah to get organised for his trip to Europe for the Climbing World Youth Champs but obviously worth every minute. Other time-consuming endeavours could have been done differently. Helping our local climbing gym to hold one of the National Cup climbing competitions that Josiah and Tessa love competing in is fun and worthwhile but I took on more than was sensible (homeschooling almost came to a standstill for three weeks around the time of the comp) and I will be careful to play a smaller role next year. Deciding to propose a One Day School for teen and pre-teen homeschoolers a few weeks before Josiah left for Europe was pretty silly, as preparations for Josiah's trip didn't leave me with spare time. Never mind; I found an enthusiastic teacher and eleven kids are attending for the rest of this term. The first day was last week and Tessa absolutely loved it. I think it will be great opportunity for her (and Josiah when he gets back) to be part of a community of learners. And hopefully I have learned the lesson that I really only have time for one project at a time on top of normal life! Normal life is full! In order to be able to re-focus on the kids, I need to be disciplined about taking on only one extra activity at a time and small extra activities only.

I need to have more discipline about the structure of our days too. One of the great strengths of homeschooling is the flexibility it allows to follow the children's interests and timing. But with flexibility comes a need for self discipline; otherwise nothing gets done at all. The kids and I have always preferred to have a schedule but we are (I am) not very good at sticking to it.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Josiah is going to the Climbing World Youth Champs!

A rare double post; my apologies to anyone who reads both my blogs. Josiah is heading off as part of the NZ Youth Climbing Team to the Climbing World Youth Championship in Valence, France, in August. We are all very excited! We have set up a blog to enable friends and family to follow Josiah's journey.