We’ve all enjoyed some amazing learning experiences this week (as well as watching the last week of the Winter Olympics!). Here’s some snapshots from our two home educated learners and our school going daughter…
I enjoyed an amazing experience at Victoria University’s science labs this week, with my 12 year old daughter. We went to an applied chemistry workshop, organised by the lovely Natalie of Science for Home Educators. In the workshop around twenty young people tested various chemicals, using heat via bunsen burners, to gauge a reaction and then, once observing any change in colour, they tested unknown chemicals to guess what they may be, using the knowledge gained in the first experiment. They also tested unknown substances for the presence of various things – using different tests – just like forensic scientists! Lots of fun and really great to experience the facilities at Victoria University.
Later in the week my youngest daughter, Alice, went along to a workshop for 8-10 year olds where she was introduced to the periodic table, atoms and molecules.
Young Alice has been taking violin lessons for just under a year and is beginning to pick up more enthusiasm. She has a lovely young tutor, who is marvellous with Alice, whom we found through ‘The Rock Academy‘ in Wellington. We are now trying to get in 10 minutes practice every morning, before she gets distracted with other things. By setting a timer she is really motivated and surprised at how much progress she is making with daily practice. She likes seeing a ‘pink tick’ on the calendar to celebrate her practice and I love listening to her and accompanying her on the piano. Finger’s crossed we can keep motivated!
Our oldest daughter has been working so hard with her school choir this weekend – till 9pm on Friday night, from 10am Saturday morning (with a break in the afternoon and a social meet up in the evening at Laser Tag) and from 10am to 5pm on Sunday! Hubby and I went to hear the progress that the choir is making – for ‘The Big Sing‘ (NZ Secondary Schools Choral Festival) in June and their trip to Sydney to sing at The Opera House and all I can say is ‘WOW’! They are sounding so amazing, especially so early in the term. They have an amazing choir coach, Mark Stamper, and have made so much progress under his inspirational guidance.
Tumbling and physical fun!
It’s our second week of a new tumbling class with a lovely group of home educators and both Alice and Sophie are getting stronger and more flexible – improving on existing skills and learning new ones. I’m often exhausted just watching them! They continue with their enthusiasm at home, practicing their back bends and hand stands.
The ‘storm Gita’ mostly bypassed us on the south cost and we have had pretty good weather for most of the week. The surf on Friday in Lyall Bay was absolutely stunning, so rather than head into the city for the ‘Waka Odyssey‘, to celebrate the opening night of the NZ Festival (which we later heard was super busy and crowded) we spent the evening surfing, finishing up with dinner at Maranui Surf Cafe, before hubby picked up our oldest daughter from a choir camp practice.
The water is still lovely and warm and we are swimming in the sea at least a couple of times a week.
Hubby took Sophie and Alice to the rec centre in Kilbirnie on Sunday morning for some roller blading and scooting fun, whilst I took a walk with my neighbour. I am getting my running mojo back and alternating between runs and walks (along with strength building and stretches to lower the risk of injury – after a sore knee slowed me down at the end of last year).
We’ve signed up for the ‘X-Race‘ on 11th March in Petone. It sounds like a heap of family fun and we can’t wait.
Drama and theatre
The New Zealand Festival has just commenced in Wellington and we went to see an amazing production on Saturday night called, ‘Rushes’ at Circa Theatre, presented by Te Papa and Movement of the Human. It was a beautifully immersive experience, where we walked through different rooms, past dancers and art, through paper and balloons, all the time moved by music and the atmosphere around us. We felt completely engaged and entranced in the experience, totally in the moment.
Charlotte has joined the ‘Wellington Young Actors’ this year and is enjoying it so far. She’s in year 11 now and had to drop a couple of subjects in preparation for her first year of NCEA study. She dropped drama and music, keeping art and design, but is making sure she doesn’t miss out on the subjects she had to let go – what with drama club, choir participation and a number of music tuition in piano, drums, singing, music theory and speech and drama (she’s studying Grade 6 this year!). She’s so busy, but thriving, so we’re happy for her!
Sophie and her friend, Anna, are joining in a tech class at a local school in Wellington, on a Wednesday afternoon, and they are enjoying robotics this term. This week they used lego and had to use a gear to make two actions happen.
Also, I invested in surprise box kits, delivered to our door once a month, from ‘Kiwico.com‘ and our first boxes arrived this week! I ordered ‘Kiwi Crate’ for Alice, my 8 year old, and ‘Tinker Crate’ for Sophie, my 12 year old. They both LOVED their kits!
Sophie’s kit gave her all the materials to build her own spin art machine, along with an informative magazine that gave her additional experiments and ideas to learn about centripetal force, momentum and resistors.
Alice’s kit gave her materials to create a mini arcade game, where she learned mechanics and building, how to make pom-poms, how to follow instructions and about games and turn taking.
They both loved their kits and have asked to make them a regular subscription.
Maths and English
We’ve subscribed to IXL this year and are building up regular ‘study’ time. Both Alice and Sophie are responding really well.
Poetry from Alice
Finally, I absolutely adore this from our recently turned 8 year old daughter…