Posted in Home-schooling, Projects

Propagation by Cuttings

This afternoon we learned how to propagate by cuttings. We used propagation mix, rooting hormone, seed trays and cuttings from pittosporum tenuifolium, box hedge and another hedge plant. Thanks Paul for being teacher. To look after our plants, we need to keep them moist, spraying them with a spray bottle of water 3-4 times a day and keep them in a shady place.

The plant propagators
Posted in Home-schooling, Projects

Tim Focusses on Learning Robotics with LEGO Mindstorms RCX

Tim was looking for more input on robotics. I remembered we had a book “Physics By Design” by Barbara Bratzel. It was perfect for him. He is working through the projects systematically and journaling his learning in a scrapbook.  Well done Tim!

The excellent book Tim has been using
The excellent book Tim has been using
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Tim with his work
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Programing the robot using the computer
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Tim’s Journal with photos of projects, computer programmes he has designed and a short written description of each task
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Table of Contents
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Table of Contents 2

Posted in Home-schooling, Projects

Watching a Monarch Butterfly Emerge from Chrysalis

With great excitement the children, my mother and I watched a monach butterfly emerge from its chrysalis. Lily exclaimed “It’s being born!” Born again. We marvelled. We asked questions. David went to search for answers on the net. It was folded up at first. It unfolded and straightened up over an hour. We waited as it rested from rebirth for several hours. Then we saw it fly away! O the wonder of it all. Matthew wrote about it on his blog very eloquently. http://matthewsampson.wordpress.com/2013/02/19/amazing/

The Monarch has Emerged!
The Monarch has Emerged!
Posted in Family Happenings, Home-schooling, Projects

The Launching of Second Wind

This is the yacht my dad (whom the boys call Pa) and my five eldest sons have been restoring over the last 2 years. Last week at Pigeon Bay was the time to try it out! Pa gave them a talk and demonstration and then they each sat at the helm, learning to steer, pull ropes, “go about”, and harness the wind. The light wind blowing was perfect for beginners. Pa was in a rescue boat with a motor, trailing behind them giving instructions. What fun!

My dad giving the boys instructions
Pa giving the boys instructions
Learning about the centreboard
Learning about the centreboard
Pa had the first turn to check it out
Pa had the first turn to check it out
Pa sails away
Pa sails away
Philip holds the boat as Matthew prepares for his turn
Philip holds the boat as Matthew prepares for his turn
Posted in Home-schooling, Projects

Solar Eclipse Excitement

Today dawned without a cloud in the sky – perfect for the solar eclipse. It grew eerily dim and cold this morning as the moon passed in front of the sun.

Daniel made a marvelous Pin Hole Solar Eclipse Viewer. It was so exciting when we discovered it really worked.

A long cardboard tube with a pinhole at one end and a viewing hole and white screen at the other end. See the image of the eclipsed sun on the screen in the end of the roll.

Next we discovered the sunlight filtering through the trees was crescent shaped too! Amazing!

The trees acted as a pinhole camera and hundreds of images of eclipsed suns were on the concrete

Daniel suggested he take his viewer down to the local country school to show the children there. I rang the school and the teacher was delighted with Daniel’s idea as they had only seen it on the internet, not “in real life without pixels” says Daniel. So I sent Daniel down to the school on his own. It was Daniel’s first time going to school, but he was a ‘teacher’! He explained how his viewer worked and then got the children to line up to have a peep. Good one Daniel.

Posted in Family Happenings, Home-schooling, Projects

Te Kura ECE postings arrive!

Lily and Joseph were really excited to receive their postings from Te Kura ECE. Susanna wheeled Joseph in with the loot. The postings contain activity ideas, resources, books, music CDs and puzzles for my pre-schoolers.

Susanna helps Lily and Joseph bring in the mail

One of the activities for this posting is self-portraits. We did these today.  I drew around Lily first as Joseph was a bit unsure what we were going to do. When he saw what we were doing he wanted to lie down next to Lily on her paper. But we told him he could have his very own sheet of paper soon. The small person Lily drew next to herself is Joshua.

Lily poses with her ‘Lily portrait’

Joseph wanted to be helping to hold the paper not pose in front of it for the photo! You can see his fingers at the sides. His guy is green because he loves Yoda and wanted to look like him! See the light sabre! See the blue chin, curly hair and lashes around the blue eyes.

Joseph’s Joseph