Friday, September 17, 2010

New South African Curriculum:

It seems to be the season for new curriculums! Here is the new South African curriculum, with only 3 weeks for comments to be made. Better "maak go"

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Do you have an hour or two?

“Any child who can spend an hour or two a day, or more if he wants, with adults that he likes, who are interested in the world and like to talk about it, will on most days learn far more from their talk than he would learn in a week of school.”John Holt



Politics/Education in Australia

As home educators who belong to a christian distance school at present we are watching with cautious interest to see how the new Gillard government will pan out with it's 'huge reform agenda' / new education policy and the planned national curriculum due to come out next year.( and )

Due to the elections being so close with our hung parliament, one hopes there would be enough pressure on Julia et al to not do anything too radical....there was talk about scrapping all 'Christian' Schools before elections. Here is some basic information on what is happening for the present and some commentary thereon.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Would you stop to listen to this violinist? It is all about goosebumps!

Doug and I love this performer, he does indeed make music give you goosebumps but would you stop to listen to him on the way to work? Was this a hoax? No - read the full story here....

This is him as the famous violinist!

We will have to invest in one of his Cd's 

This album has an interesting background

An amazing 107 year old recording of Grieg playing his own music

And as it sounds today: aahh, so beautiful!

Our favourite piano piece

Some of our favourite family pieces

My Favourites:

By far my favourite performer is Emiri Miyamoto, Jessica also loves her work. We love her Smile CD. Douglas gave it to me for a very special birthday present last year. (I think he ordered it direct from Japan.)

Another of Jessica's favourites... is the Song of Joy

This is Erica's favourite, used in the Wind in the Willows Cartoon movie:

And here some of Doug's favourites:

This one is played by by a brilliant little girl:

This is a favourite of Josh, Jon, Emma and Tim:

Emma and Josh like this version of the Carnival of the animals, as they enjoy the drums. We all like the classical version!

This is a beautiful rendition of  the Classical Carnival of the Animals, lovey paintings to go with!

Jo's favourites:

This is part of Jonathan's favourite, he enjoys the Winton Masalis CD

And last but not least: No childhood should ever be without this delightful story to music! (make sure you move onto Peter Bowie's number 2 and 3 to hear it all! )


Frescoes are painted murals in which the paint is applied while the plaster is still wet. The bull jumping Minoans of 2200 BC left us their frescoes that can still be seen today in Crete. Wouldn't it be fascinating to go and see them? Here the children do their own frescoes on paper plates, as I was not u to volunteering my walls for experimental school purposes. Did you know that they had running water, bath tubs made of ivory, roads and a palace for each town? Here is an interesting web page, although I do not agree with all the opinions displayed here, and there are pictures which some may want to censor:

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Write right now the 'rite' way:

Student Excellence in Writing Programs  would be by far my favourite writing program. I have all of their programs mentioned below and have run mini classes for 9 years now. Initially they just had the teacher's program, then the "Intensive" program for students and finally they have the "Continuation" program which I have only taught once. The SAT preparation course/advanced writing courses are excellent, not just for the SAT essay exam but for any child who needs to learn speedy thinking, spontaneous essay writing, exams pressure etc. for a tertiary level of work.  And the note taking element is essential as well for tertiary education, as notes are still not always available for the students - unless they have a disability that requires notes to be given. The program builds grammar skills into writing without the kids even realising. And also provides a fail free method of writing.

This is definitely my very best resource and although it is expensive, it is worth every cent I have spent on it! If I could only buy one thing for educating my children, it would be this as it effects almost every subject (most other subjects have free curriculum's available online these day, if one is desperate enough to not spend any money.)

Here is their home page:

(1) This is the teacher's program.

(2) This is the basic program kids program:Student Intensive: ( I have groups A, B and C)

(3) And this is the second/more advanced program, of which I only have the group C as yet.

(4) And last but not least the y 11/12 program, an absolute must for university preparation, and for SAT exam, or just for a well rounded finale to a good education.

  There are also some very good Internet links to help with writing:

This is one that we have used for years, it is super for brainstorming and planning.

And the same company  has bench mark papers for most grades:

(1) Grades 1 - 5 see

(2) Grades 6-8:

Here is another web site which includes some guidelines for 9-12 age group, but I have not had time to fully explore it yet.

I have just googled rubrics,  writing  and really  I like this one best

Another thing I have taught my older children is different styles of writing (they will need it for SAT prep, uni prep and it is covered by Excellence in Writing advanced courses.) My best resource for this is the Gray LLATL ( Learning Language Arts Through Literature)  lessons 28 - 32 which describe (1) a narrative paper, (2) a persuasive paper, (3) a compare and contrast paper and (4)  a research paper.

Style of Writing are also found in Writers Inc. and Writers 2000, see, scroll down to the ones you are looking for. As well as in the ABEKA's English Grammar and compositions handbook. 

Happy writing right now the 'rite' way!