RSS

A Peek at Our Week

* We had a rough week in the documentary world.  We started out nicely by watching a movie version of Eddie Mabo’s story.

002 (Small)

Then we moved to “Servant or Slave”.  This was an eye-opening documentary about the Stolen Generation and what life was like for them.  I highly recommend the dvd however there are ‘mature’ moments.

001 (Small)

“War Dance” was the toughest documentary of the week.  We almost didn’t watch it as it seemed like it was just a dvd about a bunch of Ugandan children and a music competition.  Thank goodness we gave it a chance though.  It was a powerful dvd but it was incredibly hard to watch.  Sandwiched between moments of joy, music and dance, the children from Northern Uganda told their stories and they were tragic stories of massacre, despair and death.  One of the children had been a child soldier.  These children stood talking to the audience with tears streaming down their faces.  It was heartbreaking.  But we’re of the opinion that we must hear their story and we must not turn away from it.

001 (Small)

To finish off the week, we watched “Hotel Rwanda”, another devastating African story.  So, yes, it’s been an increasingly difficult documentary week.  But, at the same time, an important one.

001 (Small)

* We’ve also been busy with construction this week.  We’re reading the book, “The Art of Construction” and this week’s chapter was about columns and beams.  It’s fascinating how strong ordinary paper can be if constructed in the best fashion.

001 (Small)

The construction task of the week was to build the frame of a paper house using “I beams” with reinforced webs and flanges.

003 (Small)

It took a bit of time but in the end they had a nice little structure.

011 (Small)

And it’s an amazingly sturdy little structure.  You can place several hardcover books on this thing (provided they rest on the four corners and not merely in the middle of the floor).

018 (Small)

The boys also worked on building a bridge using a Knex bridge building kit.

005 (Small)

It’s a great little kit which allows you to build all sorts of bridge structures (13 different sorts) and also includes information about each.

009 (Small)

Our bridge was an arch over bridge.

005 (Small)

* This week, we started reading several new books.  Firstly, we started reading “Great Expectations”.  What a great book!  It’s such a shame that the classics have a generally bad reputation.  They are really good books!

006 (Small)

We also started reading, “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind”.  This is another great story.  It’s set in Malawi and tells the story of an inventive young man.  This is the kind of book that inspires its readers.

007 (Small)

This final book was weird.  Like, totally weird.  It was purchased on a whim because it intrigued me and still does but it’s a weird story.  Golem is a Jewish legend and it’s believed to have inspired Mary Shelley’s book, “Frankenstein”.  Weird but fascinating.

008 (Small)

I wonder what next week holds.  🙂

 
3 Comments

Posted by on May 7, 2017 in Homeschooling Days

 

Bunch of Books to Share

Here’s a few books I’ve read recently and wanted to share:

 “Radio Rescue” is a recent release, which I’m very tempted to buy.  I already have several of Jane Jolly’s books and this new one is a gorgeous book.  So, really, do I have any good reasons not to buy it?  Nope.  You’re right.  I should to buy it.

004 (Small)

And it’s an educational book as well.  Yet another reason to buy it.  Plus it’s Australian.  The excuses reasons are growing.

The story introduces the reader to John Flynn and Alfred Traeger, and tells about the morse code radio transmitters that provided the outback with communication.  It also introduces the Flying Doctors Service.

009 (Small)

The illustrations are lovely.  There are black and white illustrations on every page

007 (Small)

and charming fold-out colour images as well.

006 (Small)

Oh course, after reading “Radio Rescue”, we had to read more about John Flynn, the guy on one side of the twenty dollar note.  From my shelves, I pulled an “Aussie Notables” book on John Flynn.  This little book was excellent!  It had been a secondhand purchase, but, after having read it, I need to find more of these.  All of these in fact!!  The book was engaging, full of detail, fairly well written and a smidge humorous as well.

003 (Small)

Plus, how many of the people on our currency do you know anything about.  Given that they are important enough to feature on the notes, we probably should know a little something about them.

001 (Small)

Tank Boys” is a book we just finished reading today.  We LOVED it.  It’s about the capture of the Mephisto, the world’s only surviving WW1 German A7V tank.

001 (Small)

If you’ve been to the Queensland Museum, you’ve probably seen the tank and not given it much thought (although it’s currently in Canberra and not due back on display in Brisbane until late 2018).

Before it returns to Brisbane (or really quickly, if you plan on checking it out at the War Memorial in Canberra), make a point of reading “Tank Boys”.

003 (Small)

There’s nothing like a good story to help bring something alive.

After reading the story, we pulled out our Mephisto guide book and checked out all the facts and details, and pored over the images.

Hurry home Mephisto.  We are itching to visiting you again.

002 (Small)

“The Fabulous Friend Machine” is a picture book I’d seen around the place and decided I needed to borrow and read.   It seemed intriguing.

012 (Small)

The story is a modern cautionary tale about the dangers of social media ‘friends’.

013 (Small)

Popcorn the children from Fiddlesticks Farm finds a “Fabulous Friend Machine”, but, is it?

009 (Small)

She ignores her real friends, and is totally absorbed in her ‘Fabulous Friend Machine’.

010 (Small)

But her ‘Fabulous Friends’ turn out to be not so fabulous.

This is a important tale to tell but perhaps it’s meant to nudge the parent reading it, rather than the child hearing it.

And boy is it a message that needs to be heard – “Look up from your phones.  Life is passing you by.”

011 (Small)

No Ordinary Day” is another book we read recently and enjoyed…if you can ‘enjoy’ a book about poverty and leprosy.

001 (Small)

I like books that make us stop and think, and that make us consider how others live.

In this story, Valli runs away from the people who had been caring for her (‘caring’ in the looses sense of the word) and she ends up living on the streets in Kolkata (once known as Calcutta).  Unbeknown to Valli, she also has leprosy, a disease that plagues the people she calls ‘monsters’.

There are some dark moments in this story, as you’d expect, and a lot of ugliness, but Valli was such an endearing character that it was hard not to like the story.

002 (Small)

Yes, we’ve read plenty of other books recently

but you’ll have to wait for next time to hear all about them.

🙂

 
2 Comments

Posted by on April 30, 2017 in My Library

 

Hodge Podge

*  We’re in our second week of Term 2 so that means school, school, school.

003 (Small)

*  The other day, we spent two and a half hours (!!!!) on Math. It was a Geometry topic.  Geometry is supposed to be easy!!  Did someone forget to tell Singapore Math that?!!  My head hurt that day.

002 (Small)

My spatially-talented young man had no problems with the task.  He did most of the teaching that lesson, thankfully.

001 (Small)

*  Their favourite activity, so far this term, was investigating sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic rocks

011 (Small)

and sorting them.

It’s not as easy as you might think.

013 (Small)

*  Recently, the boys pulled out some old favourites – our Brainbox kits

007 (Small)

and our Zometools.

005 (Small)

Zometools are one of my absolute favourite toys.  Well, they’re a ‘toy’ for the young at heart; little guys struggle with them.

007 (Small)

*  Over the holidays, I finally got around to hanging some of the boys’ artworks.

004 (Small)

These are my favourite pieces ever!

001 (Small)

*  Over the weekend, I created a large 4×4 map of the US.  We’re memorising the states and I wanted a wall map for the job.  So I made one.  I used Mega Maps to print out the outline.

011 (Small)

*  We’ve watched a bundle of great dvds over recent weeks.  These are just some.  We watched a series of Brain Games (a family favourite and a ‘must watch’), the Huckleberry Finn movie (which we were pleased to see kept fairly close to the book) and “The Greatest Movie Ever Sold” (which is a documentary about advertising and quite an eye opener).  We also watched “The First Grader” (we highly recommend this movie but it’s a tear jerker), “The True Cost” (about the human and environmental cost of fashion), “Mabo” (a documentary about Eddie Mabo), “Molokai: The Story of Father Damien” (about a leper colony), “High:  How Drugs Works” (an ugly side of the world), and “Mystery of Sleep” (about sleep, disorders and the importance of sleep).

005 (Small)

Currently, we’re watching “The Years that Made Us:  Australia Between the Wars”.  It’s a great documentary.

009 (Small)

*  But not everything is a documentary.  At the movies we saw “Guardians of the Galaxy 2” which we all enjoyed, and, at home, I (I say ‘I’ because no one would join me!) watched “Trolls” and “Moana”.  The child in me has not grown up.  I didn’t like “Trolls” though.  Sickly sweet and insipid.  But “Moana” was great.  It’s a ‘must watch’.

008 (Small)

*  Oh and this week we scored free tickets to the theatre for a stage Circus performance.  It’s an offer open to all Gold Coast homeschoolers.

012 (Small)

*  We’ve also spent time with my nieces and their family.  We went to Dreamworld with them, to see the Tiger Show, again.

303 (Small)

Aria loves the tigers.

314 (Small)

She also loves that ‘her boys’ go on the kiddy rides with her.  They don’t care that no other teenage boy would be caught dead on one of these rides.

497 (Small)

They walk around Dreamworld hand in hand with ‘their girls’ and think nothing of it.  That’s what homeschooling does for families.

624 (Small)

And this little mite.  Well, what can I say about her?  She’s just ‘eat me up’ sweet, and one of the two reasons we make sure we spent plenty of time with them.

124 (Small)

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 30, 2017 in Family Life, Homeschooling Days

 

An Interesting Easter Gift

I am super organised for Easter.

Two weeks ago I ordered some lovely little Easter titles for my nieces.

One of them was “Pinkalicious:  Eggstraordinary Easter”.

Today it arrived.

003 (Small)

When I saw the parcel,

I was somewhat puzzled with its size,

expecting only a couple of tiny picture books.

005 (Small)

Then I opened it.

…Interesting.

“Dearest niece, Little Missy 4,

I hope you are interested in a French Dictionary for Easter.”

001 (Small)

PS.  I contacted the store and they have reordered the title for me

and I get to keep the $60 French Dictionary, free of charge.  🙂

 
1 Comment

Posted by on April 3, 2017 in Bits and Pieces, Family Life, My Library