Weekly Update – 9th April 2011

Well another week has come and gone. This week has seen us continue on our path of learning and exploring Aesops fables. As part of this we had to make ourselves headbands to depict three characters from the Tortoise and the Hare fable.

We then wore the headbands and the girls had to explore the story and possible alternative endings. We read multiple versions of this story written by various authors to understand different view points and perspectives as each story had the same underlying features, but each was also unique in how the story was told. This was a fun and exciting exercise. We talked about events and how different people see them differently and how even though multiple people can experience the same event they can have very different perspectives and viewpoints and recount very different experiences.

In following with this theme we have started reading a series of books called ‘My Side of the Story‘. They focus on an event in time and then present two sides to that one event. The first book we read was Escape from War. This book presents two perspectives from two very different children, Frank and Hannah, who are living through the events of the second world war. Their paths are interconnected, yet each has their own unique spin on the war and how it has affected them and their families, and therefore how they perceive it. The book is true to the difficulties faced by children in World War II and is very engaging and informative.

The second book we have read is called The Plague. It focuses on the bubonic plague as it embraces London in 1665. This story focuses on the lives of two children called Rachel and Robert. They two have interconnected lives, yet each has their own story to tell regarding the plague and how it affects their lives and families. This book is also based on facts about the bubonic plague and provides a very interesting account of what it could have been like to live in London during this frightening event.

Both of these book have provided Phinee with access to historical information, as well as two very different perspectives of the same major life changing event as seen through the eyes of children around her own age. This has helped to make the challenges they faced seem more real to her and opened up her knowledge of how far we, as a human race, have come since these early years. Discussions we have had have focused around topics such as medical improvements, health conditions, living conditions, a superior breed of humans, freedom of religion as well as needs of people and how they have changed (or haven’t) over time and so much more. We now can’t wait to read two other books in the series together – Salem Witch and  Trouble at the Mill.

Phinee has also been busy reading books of her own choosing. This week seen her enjoy the following books within the Roman Mysteries Series by Caroline Lawrence. They are books 3,4,5,6 & 7 and called The Pirates of Pompeii, The Assassins of Rome, The Dolphins of Laurentum, The Twelve Tasks of Flavia Gemina and is now onto The Enemies of Jupiter. There are 17 books in this series, so she has a few more to go before she is finished.

On Monday we took a trip into Richmond. Richmond is a gorgeous town in Tasmania, full of history, fine dinning, shopping and many little art galleries, specialty shops and tourist attractions such as the Richmond Gaol and The Richmond Bridge. We had wanted to have a picnic in the gardens there, but the weather was not the best, so we just enjoyed a stroll around the town and a look at the local buildings. The girls share my passion for old and interesting architecture, so we had lots to look at.

During the week Phinee has written a long letter to one of her penpals Anneke in America and sent it through the post with a few postcards as well as a small gift for her. Now all she has to do is respond to her other penpals in Florida, Hawaii, Alaska and then she might be back on top of her letter writing! She has continued to explore her latest interest in Kings and Queens of England and Scotland. As part of her English work this week she had to envisage herself as being Queen Elizabeth I and write a letter to her father explaining what had occurred since his death. Phinee embraced this challenge and wrote a lovely long letter to King Henry VIII that was full of  facts, and feeling and was very engaging to read.

This week has seen Nik show more enthusiasm for sit down learning. She loves to do a lot of hands on activities, but getting her to actually sit and do her book work at times can be difficult. She is a real wriggler at times. She has however managed to complete all tasks as given which is all we can ask. Nik is yet to write another letter to her penpal in Florida, but she enjoys receiving letters so much, that I just need to remind her that to receive a letter, she has to actually write back to her friend and then I am sure she will finish her letter and post it this upcoming week

Wednesday seen us all enjoy a night out at the local pub for a meal. This is something we have done a few times since moving here. It is always nice to go out and enjoy some one elses cooking, and even more wonderful when you are supporting local businesses, especially when we have so few of them in town!

Other things the girls enjoyed this week include netball, dancing and bike riding. We walked around our town of Kempton (originally called Green Ponds) and took some pictures of the town. We enjoyed a morning in Claremont at the park while Tata’s car was getting serviced. We did some cooking, played hopscotch, completed our learning outside in nature and had a great week.

Here are some picture of our week in action, Enjoy!