Week 32 – The Educational Nuggets Discovered in Reading Aloud

Week 32 – The Educational Nuggets Discovered in Reading Aloud

People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doingDale Carnegie

@ericknopf posted this quote on twitter.


We finished reading Seekers of the Lost Boy, beautifully written by @taryn_hayes. JJ loved the story. Here is a copy of the 5 star review that I gave it on Amazon ….

This is a story of the Ward family finding a bottle on the beach, in Cape Town, and setting out on an adventure to discover the mysterious that surround their discovery.

Haven’t we all imagined finding our very own bottle whilst on holiday? Well this book didn’t let us down. There was enough intrigue to hold our attention throughout the journey. My daughter, age 9, loved the book so much that she asked, on several occasions, if there was to be more adventures with this homeschooled family. Being homeschooled herself she could identify with the children in the story. The Wards have a secret which brought me to tears and inspired several deep conversations in our home.

Initially I was concerned that the religious content of the book would feel alien to us, not being active Christians. However it just served to teach us how people may be converted into the Christian faith. It also made sense in the context of the story.

The historical setting was fascinating. Addressing the damaging effects Apartheid had on the majority of South Africans. Seen through the eyes of someone who had lived through forced relocation and segregation laws, made it all the more realistic.

All in all a realistic adventure filled with wonderful educational nuggets. We can’t wait for the next book in the series.

There is a strong Christian message throughout the book. I would describe myself as spiritual, not someone who follows any organised religion. Yet I was looking forward to the anticipated discussions about religion with JJ, however this did not ensue. Instead JJ was drawn in by the South African terms in the back of the book and their American meaning, we added the British meaning when applicable. Other discussions opened up around our relatively recent exploration of apartheid and our visit to Cape Town last year, when we took the red bus tour around Cape Town. During the trip we passed through District Six, unfortunately we didn’t know about the existance of the museum. Mrs Ward’s secret lead us into exploring the effects, and types, of secrets in families. We even got to share some of our own family secrets, making them not so secret anymore. Then we checked online at pictures of the pretty huts in Muizenburg and we can’t wait for our next trip to Cape Town to follow in the Ward families footsteps.  JJ got me to ask @Taryn_Hayes if there is to be a sequel.The reply was yes, JJ can’t wait for their next adventure.

Geocaching has become the recent obsession in our home. I’m surprised how it has gripped me personally. JJ was the one who initiated the initial explorations and after our first disastrous day, spending hours enthusiastically dismantling a wall, rock by rock, trying unsuccessfully to find the hidden cache. I was left thinking this was for the birds. However it was on our return the following day when I was hooked. AA came to our aid and found the clever little cache in a sneaky place, in a pole, which we had overlooked the previous day. I offered a silent apology to the wall, now looking distinctly worse for wear. My friend B caught the bug and she is excited to be discovering places she never knew existed just round the corner from her home. I have signed up as InspiritChoice, the same name as my personal twitter account, and have found 6 cache’s to date – which is a drop in the ocean to most of the professional geocachers in the world. It is a bit like stepping into a parallel universe, even non-geocachers are referred to as muggles! If you haven’t tried it then spend a few minutes on the Geocaching site and tell me you aren’t intrigued. Select Play from the drop down Menu and then select View Geocache Map. Open up the left slide across bar and enter in your address to discover the position of local cache’s to you. For South African’s there is a SA Geocaching web address, however it seems to be down for maintenance at present, so if interested please check back occasionally. Please let us know your Username we may bump into you on one of our hunts!A Geocache venue

JJ seems to have taken to playing the piano whenever she changes from one activity to another, be it playing Minecraft or jumping on the trampoline, it has to be punctuated with a few tunes. I am secretly pleased that I haven’t gone down the route of selecting a teacher dedicated to entering their pupils into the graded piano exams. I’ve seen so many children lose interest in their playing because of the restrictive music selection the curriculum approach requires. JJ, with input from her teacher, choose songs together to work on. Once a year JJ entertains with a few piano pieces and sings a song, for a small audience made up of music enthusiasts and clients, at her teacher’s house.  When she is older, and if she selects to take a more formal approach to her music, she can then enter the required exams. Until then she is having such fun with her music.

JJ's PianoWe have given in notice at tennis. I’ve been feeling it has been a waste of money for a while now. The teacher is amazing and JJ’s tennis has certainly improved, she could be a good player if she practised. Unfortunately the only time she plays tennis is during the 30 minute weekly lesson, any suggestion of me taking her to the club to play for fun, or to play with her friend on the holiday tennis court is met with a not interested comment. It could be that she is too young but I imagine it is simply that she is not as passionate about tennis as she is about her dancing or music. JJ said she would like to stop for now, she would like some more free time. She currently takes part in brownies, ballet, modern dance and singing with piano – as her outside activities. She would love to add horse riding, hip-pop and a return to pottery – but enough is enough. As an unschooler I struggle with child based activities at the best of times, regarding them as a form of childcare. Then I experience the total opposite with AA who’s only interested is golf!

I spent some time online exploring golf related information for AA. My investigations took me on a journey of swing politics, healthy diets for athletic teens & sports psychology. This was prompted by a meeting, setup at his coach’s request, he wants AA to step up a gear this year. This is to take the form of daily morning practises and the introduction of a personal trainer. It was time I did my homework.

Pam’s craft morning continues as us girl’s, the Johannesburg based family, have decided to continue, sans children, at my aunt’s house. With great sadness she will never be with us in body yet I feel she is there in spirit. This feels important to continue. I’m working on some pewter pieces which I plan to attach to a painted canvas when finished – having obtained the idea from a stunning display of pictures, in a shop, at my recent visits to Clarens.

We’ve had a many discussion moments this week. This is what I remembered to write down:

A long chat on the difference between identical and non identical twins;

JJ: It’s about 445 days to my birthday… After a few minutes

JJ: Actually it is 107 days to my birthday it can’t be 445 days as that is over a 365 days.

JJ: I’ve lived 3285 days calculated to my 9th birthday

JJ: What are +, -, / and x called?

Me: Operators

JJ: How do I quickly work out the number of days to my birthday?

Me: Unfortunately there is no quick way because the months are different lengths. She goes ahead and re-caluclates it using a calendar

JJ: What week is this week in 2013

Me: Week 32

JJ: There are only 20 weeks until we finish the blog

Me: Yes

JJ: Mom? in 13 yrs you’ll be 60 and I’ll be 22

Me: Thanks!

Here are some interesting rabbit holes explored this week:

‏@NatureRocks asked if we have ever tried geocaching? It’s a great activity to do with your kids! And posted this interesting link for those who are interested in taking it forward.

Ever heard of sacred Economics? Here is A Short Film with Charles Eisenstein. Thank you to Zakiyya Ismail from Unschoolers In South Africa Facebook group for the introduction to this subject matter.

Boredom, Creativity, and How Unschoolers Learn an interesting article covering the healthy side of boredom as opposed to the boredom one experiences in school as per my article.

Interesting take on Child Labour Laws

An exciting find a Giant Maya frieze carving has been found in perfect condition in Guatemala

With JJ’s recent favourite online game being Minecraft I enjoyed reading this article on What My Kids Are Learning While Playing Minecraft shared by Caroline Deppe, on the Homeschooling in South Africa Facebook group, in response to a post I had made on the group – Tomorrow’s Entrepreneurs Are Playing Minecraft Today…. What do you think?


Mom finished reading Seekers of the Lost Boy to me. I am sad that it is finished because I loved it he he, my favourite person was Kim, she reminds me on Hermione Granger I don’t know why he he. I LOVE IT HE HE. The characters felt real as they all had flaws which made them realistic. I loved Doc’s story, it was very interesting and it taught me a few things about god and apartheid. I felt sorry for Doc, forced to move out of his house and I loved his Pa because he sounded very kind.

As soon as I got home from the Drakensburg, after I cuddled my dogs and my rat, I went and did Geocaching. It was awesome I got onto my account that I made just before I left for my holiday, and then I searched up the closest geocache to us. I did lots of work on it I wrote everything down in my geocaching book which I made, and the hint and everything so when we went looking for it we would have all the clues. I did some research on some other caches I could find I found one even closer that that one it was in the park that is just down the road from us it was so exiting, He he. The next day I got up early so I could do some last minute research, dad had to go out so I stayed home preparing. When dad got home I was all ready I wore leggins and a flexible top and trainers with my hair tied up, so I could climb and do anything flexible he he. We arrived at the cache and dad had downloaded the app on his phone, so we had the radar. Mom, Dad and I looked everywhere but we still couldn’t find it we decided that we would come back and look for it again but when we got home I was going to log that we didn’t find it so the guy that hid it would check on it. We arrived at the other catch I didn’t tell you about this one, it is one at Westcliffe, and guess what we couldn’t find it he he. When we got home I logged that we didn’t find the one geocache. The next day I got at email from the guy that hid the geocache saying that he was going to check on the geocache. Then I saw on the logs that he had replaced it because it went missing so we went looking again but this time we took my brother and he found it straight away we were so exited he he. Then we went to the other one to see if he could find that one and he found that one in a blink of an eye he he, we were embarrassed he he. That day we went and looked for two more and we found them he he it was so exiting he he.A geocache find

I played lots of Minecraft I was building a theatre with a giant theatre sign, it says THEATRE, and it is 50 blocks high and 100 blocks across it was fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And took me ages He he. I built a hamlet with 3 houses but I’m going to make it into a city. I’ve built a dog kennel for all my dogs and have put their names up over their kennels, they have water and grass and food. I like getting animals, wolves and pigs. It is fun because I get to build really nice stuff and there is no limit to what you can build, you just collect and build.

I worked out that I had lived 3285 days. I started to do that because I was thinking about 365dayslearning you know 365 DAYS so yeh he he. I worked out how many weeks there were left for 365dayslearning only 20 – this is sad. I worked out that Mom in 13 years will be 60 and I’ll be 22 then wow it sounds crazy he he.

Mom and I discussed the difference between identical twins and non identical twins we discussed how they are made in the moms tummy he he.

I worked on my hay bale house, I fixed a door frame that had broken, glued three glass jars together for my window it is sooooooooo exiting for when it’s finished. I did all the hammering and my friend S helped me a bit, so did mom.

I asked mom if she could get me to modern dance class early because I wanted to tell my teacher that I had practised all week he he. We got there early but one of my friends were already there but anyway the modern dance teacher forgot the music so she had to rush home leaving us with my friends mom he he.

I made boiled eggs on toast for me and my mom it was fun and mom said it was perfect, soft but not too runny he he.

I am reading Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief again, I haven’t been reading for a long time. I am enjoying it.

I’ve been practising my piano and my modern dance a lot.

Week 32 Cloud Tagxedo

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