Posts Tagged ‘latin’

Crochet lessons

January 9, 2012

I had been thinking of teaching Pearl, and possibly Fainjin, to crochet these school holidays.  They both seemed interested, and I thought it might be a fun thing to do one wet afternoon.

I hadn’t quite got around to it, but Pearl beat me to it.  She has obviously reached her limit when it comes to doing “nothing much” – or nothing much that requires actual thinking.  She had been reading a lot, and playing with her siblings, but in the last few days she has dusted off the Latin books and busied herself with translating some texts, and started asking me to teach her to crochet.

I started her off yesterday evening with a simple chain, using my largest hook and some bulky wool, and she chain-stitched away, unpicking it and starting over several times until it was even and a good tension.  She was very pleased to realise she could crochet and watch tv at the same time!

Soon enough I was able to show her a single-crochet stitch (or maybe double crochet, I use so many American patterns I forget which name is American and which the rest of the world uses!).  Today she practised more chains, over and over, then did several rows of single crochet.  Her little ball of wool is starting to get quite fuzzy from being re-crocheted all the time.  I’ll have to find her some more out of my stash.

At the rate she’s going, she may well have made herself a blanket by the time school goes back!

© UpsideBackwards 2012.

Almost as far from home as it’s possible to get

May 28, 2011

Pearl and I were very lucky to have a second chance to get together with WhyMommy, and she invited Jessica and Jean and Kristen to join us for tea, donuts and chocolate.  It was a wonderful morning, full of laughter and joy and I got to hold Baby Alice who is very sweet.  I feel blessed to have finally met Susan, we clicked instantly and I feel like I have another best friend!

But now, already, we have left the US and are in London.  The flight over was very bumpy to begin with, but we each got a couple of hours sleep and managed to stay awake to walk around and look at some of the city yesterday afternoon.  The weather was typically unpredictable, with sunshine, thunder, lightning, hail, and torrential rain all taking their turn.

We got to bed at about “bedtime”, and slept through until morning – how wonderful!  Very nice to feel awake and refreshed at the proper hour of the day, especially after such a long trip.

We spent today at the British Museum.  Our friend C, who is hosting us, came along to add local commentary which was great fun.  We picked up an activity booklet on my favouritest-ever exhibit, the Sutton Hoo treasure, and Pearl happily found all the bits and pieces and learned lots.

cool old gold!

Then we wandered through the Roman Britain rooms and through to see some Egyptian mummies – Pearl was keen until she realised she was looking at dead bodies.

We had lunch near the museum with another friend, G, and swapped family news and tales.  Letters and emails are all very well, but it’s more fun to talk in person!  Even if it is only every five or six years…

G accompanied us all back to the museum, where we picked up a children’s activity backpack on Roman Britain.  I cannot recommend these packs highly enough.  When we had finished the Roman one, we went back and got another, this one on South Asia.  Not just Pearl, but we all four of us, learnt a lot about the exhibits we saw, and they have wonderful activities which bring the history and cultures to life.  Pearl made a mosaic, tried Roman sandals, “built” a couple of temples, and learned quite a bit about Buddhism.  At a large sculpture of Siva and Parvati, we had objects to compare to the carvings.  A passing Indian tourist showed us how to play the little cymbals, and was glad to explain the significance of other pieces of the sculpture as well.  Just this one day in the museum probably justifies the 3 1/2 weeks of school Pearl is missing!

Pearl reading the Roman Britain backpack instructions

Pearl dressed up as Lord Ganesha for the South Asian backpack activity

We managed to escape the gift shop without too much damage, startled to discover that it was nearly 7pm by the time we got home. Now it is already past “bedtime”, and with another very full day planned (probably over-planned) for tomorrow, I had best be off.

© UpsideBackwards 2011.

End of term, end of year

December 18, 2010

So, that’s that then.  School year 2010 is over.

Pearl will be in Year 4 next year, “Standard 2” for old people like me who still need to translate into the old NZ school system.  I have fond memories of Std 2, I had an excellent teacher (all my primary school teachers were outstanding, I was extremely lucky) and a great group of friends.  I hope Pearl will have a year like that.

She will be in a composite Year 4/5 class, which might be good for her in terms of extension and challenge, and she’s excited about her teacher, who is known for his love of literature and writing – very good news for her.

Also good news is that one of her steadiest friends will be with her.  They weren’t together this year because M is a year ahead – but they can be together in the composite class.  M was so excited when she found out, she met me at the door to Pearl’s classroom, having rushed straight there to share the good news.  She’s a lovely little girl, I really like her, so I’m pleased for them both.

I didn’t manage to get those maths worksheets after all, so I’ll be making up my own for us to work on together in the holidays.  I think we’ll do some “basic facts” work and then some fun extension stuff, maybe clock arithmetic…  We’re going to do more Latin, too, at Pearl’s request.  Today I got some books out of the library on Rome and modern Italy for her, so she can compare and contrast.  I think she thinks people in Rome still speak Latin and wear togas.

It’s not going to be all school-work, though, fun as that might be!  Pearl has a list of films she wants to see, craft that needs doing, and biscuits to bake.  I think we’ll probably take walks along the coast and go into the city to visit the observatory/planetarium once or twice too.  (I also need to clean this house top to bottom, there is dust everywhere and I’m blaming the builders!)

That can all start in a couple of weeks.  Christmas and family come first.  Time to kick back, relax, catch up with in-laws and cousins.  There are birthdays, anniversaries, and a wedding to celebrate.

Hooray for summer!

© UpsideBackwards 2010.

Let’s work together

December 10, 2010

In a conversation with Pearl’s teacher this week, we heard that Pearl is more-or-less stuck at a level in her mathematics.  It’s an interesting conundrum, because Pearl claims that the maths is too easy and she wants harder work – but her teacher says that when she tries to give her harder work, Pearl can’t do it and gets upset.

We know that Pearl tends to be a perfectionist and is risk-averse – she would rather not answer a question than take the chance of getting it wrong.  She definitely has the brains, just not the confidence.  Learning a new skill, or taking something up a level, requires intensive effort on her part and the part of whoever is teaching/coaching her – lots of reassurance, patience, repetition and encouragement.  Sooner or later there is a “tipping point” or “a-ha!” moment, and all of a sudden it’s easy for her, she picks up confidence and we’re away laughing.

The exception seems to be languages – she says Japanese is “fun but hard” (exactly what schooling is meant to be, in my opinion – you’re learning, and enjoying it), and has begged me to re-start our Latin lessons, which have been on hold during the renovation chaos.  She really loves the work involved in learning a language, and doesn’t seem to suffer from confidence problems with them.

Back to maths.  With some advice from friends, I decided to ask the school for the “harder” worksheets and skill sets that she’s been struggling with, so I can give her the one-to-one attention she needs, at home over the holidays.  I was a bit worried, though, that she would be resistant to doing school-work over summer, or even feel like it was a punishment – certainly not my intention.  So I asked her what she thought.

Her eyes lit up, she rubbed her hands in glee,  and gasped, “That would be SO! FUN!”

I suppose it’s alright then.  Summer Maths Camp, here we come!

© UpsideBackwards 2010.

 

Gorillas

November 7, 2010

Pearl has worn me out this evening, with lots of tantrums and drama over every little thing and especially practising for her Christmas concert at the music school.  So it’s only fair that she write tonight’s post for me.

There was once a woman who liked grollrias.  She liked them so much that one day she went to live in the praire.  She was a kiwi but she knew some latin.

She knew enough latin to say “I am stplaya” in latin. Her name was latin which helped.

Next day she went to rome.  She oley need to say “ego sum staplaya*” to get a man to get the taxi going to the praire.  Once she was at the praire she  went to ispict her new house.

* “I am staplaya” in latin.  [Pearl’s own footnote]

One of the characters in her Latin textbook is Staphyla, I’m assuming Staplaya is a variant spelling…

Sadly, there are no further chapters on Staplaya’s adventures in her writing book.  I wonder whether she found any gorillas on the prairie, what her new house there was like, and how much a taxi from Ancient Rome to the prairie costs?

© UpsideBackwards 2010.

In the olden days

August 12, 2010

Inspired by her Latin lessons, Pearl has been reading up on life in Ancient Rome.  Every so often, she comes out with little pieces of enlightenment for us.  Tonight, as I was serving dinner, she said, “Mum, in the olden times…” – a phrase that makes me steel myself for questions about the 1990s – “… like in Ancient Rome…” – whew! – “… do you think they had blackboards?”

She says it smugly, expecting to trip me up on some arcane tidbit of knowledge.  “Um , no, they had slates, didn’t they?”

“No!” she says triumphantly, “They had wax tablets, and they used a thing called a stylus…” and off she goes.  But The Dad is coming into the room and has heard “they had slates”, and he chips in.

“We used slates when I was learning handwriting at school,” he informs us.  We hear about the lines that were engraved on them, the stylus used to write on them, and how noisy they were.

Pearl’s eyes go wide.  “Did you use a slate too, Mummy?”

“No, dear, paper had been invented by the time I went to school.”

© UpsideBackwards 2010.


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