Saturday, 6 April 2013

Hallelujah: The Light at The End of The Tunnel Has Arrived!

We have reached that stage where we can see the light at the end of this exam preparation tunnel! We managed to cover the complete syllabus for the History IGCSE in less than three months. We worked diligently these past three months and it has all paid off! I looked at past papers and I feel much better now about the whole thing. We even managed to finish earlier than I had allotted for in my scheduling! I do like it when that comes together.

L needs to revise and catch up on some extra topical reading that she missed out on doing. We have a few loose ends to tie up from her Performing Arts GCSE and then it will be mock exams in History. We are already doing mock exams in English and will have impromptu lessons as we need to about various aspects of English Language.

M is learning about dinosaurs and the solar system. We went to the show Walking With Dinosaurs and we kept it as a surprise for the girls. They had no idea what they were going to be seeing until we arrived in the arena. L guessed it had something to do with dinosaurs because of all the little boys clutching their dinosaur toys. She was visibly nervous that it the show was going to be geared for small children! So like the self-respecting wind-ups that we are, we told her we were going to see In The Night Garden. :-) Even the man who was checking our tickets on the way in joined in on the fun and asked her what her favourite group was. She LOVED the show and M did too.

We had completed a unit study on dinosaurs the day of the show and it was my way of preparing them without telling them. M learned to classify various dinosaurs into the five classes of dinosaur: Sauropod, Theropod, Ornithopod, Thyreophora, and Margincephalia. She also learned to classify them into Bipeds and Quadrupeds. I did drop a hint though that day and when looking back throughout the day, L saw the clues but alas only in hindsight.

M screamed with excitement when she heard we were seeing 'Walking With Dinosaurs' and that there was going to be a palaeontologist there. She knew that a palaeontologist is a type of detective because we had learned about that in our unit study.

M has been doing lapbooks on the solar system and is doing a lapbook on each planet. So far she has completed three: Mercury, Venus and Earth. She is really coming along with her handwriting which was a struggling point for her.

After the exams are finished, L will get a short break and then we will crack on with the Math GCSE (yuck!) I was looking through past papers and it isn't too bad. So I will teach her what I know (pretty much anything numbers I can do), and what I don't know (geometry) she will have to pro-actively ask her dad to teach her. I loved algebra (said while looking through rose-coloured classes) and numbers but I absolutely HATED geometry. I found someone who could show me a geometry trick which suddenly opened that topic up for me. I will leave the geometry for him to teach though. I really would rather not. The goal is to do the Math exam in November.

Monday, 1 April 2013

Useful Skills

Part of education is learning useful skills that will help you later in life or in the present. M now has her own email address and she sent her first email. Unfortunately my own email provider put her message in spam. The reason was because it was a very short email message. I hit 'reply all' and removed her name from the list and sent a quick message to everyone informing them that M has a new email address and that in my case it went to spam.

She didn't really know what to say in her email message so we kept it very short. She and I typed her message together. She is not used to using a keyboard. For now only our family members will have her email address as I feel that is safest for her.

TBG (The Big Guy aka the girls' dad and my husband) asked me when she will be checking her email. I explained that I would check it for her and let her know when she has a message. He thought that was sensible because she is very young.

She will learn more about sentence structure by using email, the rules of writing an email and of course it might spark her to learn to type in German as well as in English! TBG's family are all German speakers.

L has told me that she will give me a site that we can use to help M learn how to type. First I will just let her get used to the fact that the keys on the keyboard are not in alphabetical order before we start with learning home row typing. She uses one finger right now and that's fine by me.

I hope that those of you who celebrate Easter enjoyed your weekend and celebrations. I was very blessed this Easter.