Moving to My Own Domain

I got tired of unable to customize the website, especially given I’m so used to doing all customization via the command line (does that date me?).  So I’m moving to a new domain name.  Slowly migrating the few email subscribers I have and what not.  New websites may be going up and down as a result.

In any case, you can check out the new domain at http://www.guavarama.com

If you use a Feed Reader, you will have to re-add the feed.  http://www.guavarama.com/feed/

Using Free Chinese Math Workbooks to Practice zhuyin

math book

Our homeschool has been going really really well the last two weeks with my revamp of the kids’ work plan.  (Well, we’ll pretend that Astroboy didn’t cry big fat tears about not wanting to go to school the other day.)   One of the new items on their work plan is working with the free Chinese math workbooks put out by the National Academy of Educational Research.

I really like these books because from the quick flip throughs up to 6th grade, they seem a bit Montessori-esque.  Or maybe if I say Singapore Math-esque, that sounds better (even though Singapore Math also took it from Montessori).  For example, in Book 1, they introduce place values with very Montessori like materials (thousand cube, hundred squares, ten bars, and unit beads).  They’re just not in Montessori colors and it’s on paper.

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Monthly Summary Jan ’16

We’ve had such a super duper month that I don’t even know where to start.

Okay, technically it’s not true.  Because I started the month feeling iffy and behind because we weren’t working.   I just didn’t have energy to clean my classroom and I also took a super long time planning our new work plan.  For a few weeks we didn’t even go swimming.  We didn’t really get get back to homeschooling till middle of the month.

Looking back, I probably just had to recover from the craziness of seeing lots of people.  But finally we did get back go homeschooling and with our new work plan everything is going so very well.

Thumper is solidly doing her work nowadays without my supervision.   She actually told me the other day that she wanted to get an alarm clock so she can wake up early to finish everything on her work plan.   We had a talk about how checking things off isn’t the goal but rather doing things you want to do or study.

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Sagebook Companion Resources

Finally, after months of feeling uninspired to prep (I know, so bad!), I spent some time this past weekend finishing my Chutes and Ladders set for Sagebooks.  It’s about time because Astroboy is now on Set 4 of Sagebooks and he really needs to work with the characters in some other ways to spice things up.

For awhile I was worried that he was forgetting characters left and right, because he couldn’t remember them when I reviewed with Anki.  However, this week I put all of Set 1, 2, 3’s treasure boxes in the car and he read them while we ran around time.  I was very surprised he really had no problem with set 1 or set 2, even though he couldn’t remember many characters in set 2 with Anki.

In any case, below are some free, and not so free, items I’ve created as companions to Sagebook.

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Sagebooks Character Writing Practice Sheets

sage practice sheetsI’m sure you’ve come across New Taipei City Educational Dept’s 生字簿 user-generated character practice sheets website.

Well, that website doesn’t work on Macs.

Threw a wrench into my plan to finish generating these writing practice worksheets for Astroboy.  The Great O had posted a work around before of using Lumin PDF, but that doesn’t work now for some reason.

I was very stubborn last night and figured out all the ins and outs of how they generate those practice sheets.  But it didn’t really help me until I got Mandarin Mama to open Sets 3-5 on her Windows machine and just send it back to me in PDF.

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Monthly Summary Nov/Dec ’15

Yay!  The semester is over and I survived!

November and December summary will be short on summary and pics.  We all retreated upstairs to work on our dining room table because it’s so cold downstairs.  That threw off all our routine.  We keep having to move things to the sofa to eat our meals.  There’s no place to sit when guests come over.  BUT!  The amazing thing is, we ended the semester with Thumper finishing all of her work on her work plan, all by herself, for two days, before we went on Christmas break.

Really I feel like this month is more about me reflecting on all the things I learned this semester about homeschooling and being a teacher.  It feels like homeschooling is just slowly coming together.  I’m slowly getting how it needs to work for me.

I think the biggest thing for Thumper is really, as I said, her easing into the whole routine of doing work during work period.   And outside of work, doing her chores without much reminding from me.  I actually consider this her biggest accomplishment for this semester, rather than whatever knowledge she’s learned.  She seemed to have gone through a growth spurt recently (what with eating 2 bowls every meal) and is now suddenly at this much more independent stage.  She cooks herself breakfast and sometimes lunch, she preps for her school day, she feeds the cat, all without me nagging most days.
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Easing back into a new semester

640px-Darjeeling-tea-first-flush-in-cupMonday morning, I woke up at 8am to a just made cup of oolong tea and the children having already eaten their breakfast of heated milk and scrambled eggs, cooked by Thumper.   Right now, both kids have been quietly working by themselves for at least an hour, the first in many, many weeks.

It’s so good to have our routine and normalized classroom back.

Ever since we got back from Christmas Break we’ve been having a hard time getting back into the routine of things.  The children often woke up at 8:30 and didn’t start work till 10am.  It culminated with Astroboy getting sick and for two to three days, both kids were waking up at 9:00, 9:30am.  He didn’t go to school those days.

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