Sunday, February 26, 2012

Six weeks in...

Thought I should fill you in on our school days....

We have completed and enjoyed our Dolphin Tale Unit study,
and learned much about jellyfish, sharks, fish, dolphins and dolphin training.

The best parts were the experiments.
 We explored electric currents that occur when fish move .These currents travel from the brain to the muscles, creating a magnetic field that sharks can sense. At first we used a battery that was a bit flat and nothing much happened...
second time around the battery went flying when it burned my fingers...
We explored the bio-luminescence of deep sea fish, with glow sticks and had fun exploring echolocation and salinity too.

Z is making good progress with his readers for SA History. 
He enjoys the hands on activities and particularly enjoyed making and eating his own butter. We used the buttermilk in baking.

We had the amazing privilege of going on an outing to the Presidential Estate.
Under the watchful eye of the police, we toured Groote Schuur, once Cecil John Rhodes home, which was bequeathed to the nation on his death.

Cecil John Rhodes bedroom window on the upper floor.

Our guide kept our attention as she took us through the enormous house, 
entertaining us with amazing stories of his long ago life,
 and stories of others who have lived there for a time too.
The vast mansion is almost as it was in his day....
interesting pieces of furniture and artifacts from all over the world....
Delft tiles
an Egyptian travelling writing table
imported silver and glassware
Zimbabwean soapstone fire places
enormous, rare 17th century Flemish tapestries...... depicting America, Europe, Africa and Asia
a vast library.... books on travel and exploration as well as classics
an enormous bath....carved from a single piece of granite from Paarl Rock
and so much more!
The house was the official residence of South African Presidents for a time
 but is now a museum which is only open to the public by appointment.
After a walk by the current Presidential Residence, the police hurriedly escorted us off the property in an orderly fashion.
A most pleasant and interesting morning!

K too is making progress with her SA History studies and has enjoyed a few rounds of monopoly with her siblings as she is busy with the unit on finance. She has been reading "Rich Dad Poor Dad" by Robert Kiyosaki.

We enjoyed an outing to the South African National Gallery for the special celebratory exhibition of the life and work of the local artist Peter Clarke: "Listening to Distant Thunder"
Born here in the Western Cape, in 1929, his work as an artist and poet has spanned six decades.

His work is a deep reflection of the times he lived through : the apartheid and post apartheid eras.
He is best known for his work as a print maker, using lino cut and colour wood block techniques. He is a talented painter, using many different mediums for his art.

In 2005 he was awarded the Order of Ikhamanga (silver) by President Thabo Mbeki, and in 2010, a Lifetime Achievement award.

We enjoyed the somewhat different art of renowned British conceptual and land artist, Richard Long.
The exhibition showcased his works, done in South Africa over the last 50 years, using rocks recovered from the cradle of humankind in Gauteng.

The kids enjoyed creating some rock art of their own in the discovery room.
They also had a quick look at the Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2011 Exhibition. Sadly it was brief as we had to get back home for afternoon activities.

Afternoons are busy, J coaching karate four afternoons a week, black belt training and competition training every second Friday.
 K has art, looking glass group, karate twice a week as well as competition training, and is assisting in teaching karate too where her busy life allows.
Recently K joined a group of kids planning to put on a Shakespeare production of Twelfth Night, for the annual Shakespeare Festival  at Artscape towards the end of the year.
The Shakespeare Schools Festival South Africa (SSF SA) is a non-competitive, supportive and celebratory opportunity for young people to perform half-hour Shakespeare plays in a local professional theatre. It can be life-changing for students; and gives schools a novel way to raise their profile within the community. 
A young home educated girl has taken the initiative to get the group together and is" running" with the project.
Who says home schooled kids miss out !

We have added a touch typing programme to our curriculum and the kids have been having fun practising their skills online, on Dance Mat typing.

Another resource we are enjoying are the online Bible lessons for teens with Youth World. These Bible based lessons are designed to build spiritual maturity and enable young people to be all that God has designed them to be.They are designed with teens in mind,dealing with the real life challenges they face in today's crazy world. It has been great to explore truths of the Word together, and has led to some meaningful discussions.

The younger two have enjoyed two hikes/walks recently, one with hubby and a few other home schooled kids, to Elephants Eye. I stayed home as my knee has been giving me trouble. It also gave me the opportunity to spend some time helping J with preparing for his up and coming English exams.
The other hike took place on Friday with the Nature Club.They met at the east fort on Chapman s Peak and did an easy walk up to some ruins with a stunning view of Hout Bay. 

So six weeks in, we are busy as bees....
  days and weeks seem to run into one another....
I am already looking forward to the holidays at the end of next month!

1 comment:

  1. Wow Wends, sounds like you guys are having a super time. Wish we could have come along on some of your lovely field trips. Thanks for sharing some great links!



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