Curriculum Choices 2018

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curriculum choices 2018

curriculum choices 2018
I’m often asked what our Curriculum Choices are for this year. In short, we follow the Cambridge International Primary Curriculum for our core subjects. We then added a few other programs that suit us and the kidlets’ learning styles. We are currently in our 3rd year of using this curriculum and are very happy with it.
curriculum choices 2018
In addition to the Core Cambridge Primary curriculum, I also purchased the Keys to Learning Boxes for each child. I use them as reinforcement as the kidlets are all visual learners and this has helped us quite a bit to get the concepts ingrained.

Keys to Learning focuses on basic literacy, numeracy and mathematics skills, and can be used for the consolidation of skills in the mainstream classroom – as well as for remedial work at earlier levels.
Click on the image below to find out more about the Keys to Learning program.
curriculum choices 2018

Koko is currently doing the Stage 5 curriculum. These are the books he is currently working on. We use a combination of Cambridge for the core subjects and the CAPS (the South African curriculum):

English
Teachers Manual

 

 

 

 

Learners Book

 

 

 

 

Activity book

 

 

 

 

Phonics in a Box Workbook. We use this book for dictionary work.

 

 

 

 

Mathematics
Teachers Manual

 

 

Learners Book

 

 

 

 

Games book

 

 

 

 

Science
Teachers Manual

 

 

 

 

Learners Book

 

 

 

 

Activity book

 

 

 

 

Life Skills
CAPS Workbook

Afrikaans
CAPS Workbook

Fifi is currently doing the Stage 3 curriculum. These are the books she is currently working on. We use a combination of Cambridge for the core subjects and the CAPS (the South African curriculum):

English
Teachers Manual

 

 

 

 

Learners Book

 

 

 

 

Activity book

 

 

 

 

Phonics in a Box Workbook. We use this book for dictionary work.

 

 

 

 

Mathematics
Teachers Manual

 

 

 

 

Learners Book

 

 

 

 

Games book

 

 

 

 
Science
Teachers Manual

 

 

 

 

Learners Book

 

 

 

 

Activity book

 

 

 

 

Life Skills
CAPS Workbook

Afrikaans
CAPS Workbook

Pixie is currently doing the Stage 1 curriculum. These are the books she is currently working on. We use a combination of Cambridge for the core subjects and the CAPS (the South African curriculum):

English
Teachers Manual

 

 

 

 

Learners Book

 

 

 

 
Activity book

 

 

 

 

Phonics Workbook B. She completed Workbook A last year.

 

 

 

 
Phonics in a Box Workbook.

 

 

 

 
Mathematics
Teachers Manual

 

 

 

 
Learners Book

 

 

 

 
Games book

 

 

 

 
Science
Teachers Manual

 

 

 

 
Learners Book

 

 

 

 
Activity book

 

 

 

 
Life Skills
CAPS Workbook

Afrikaans
CAPS Workbook

The girls are currently using the Rainbow Reading Curriculum.

Rainbow Reading is a graded reading series for primary schools. It provides a wealth of original stories and factual texts, which will help learners to develop the reading skills and vocabulary they need to meet the requirements of the curriculum in all learning areas. All 350 titles in the series are written by South African authors. Rainbow Reading motivates young readers to become fluent readers, because it allows them to choose stories that they want to read and to read at their own level.

Fifi is currently using Rainbow Reading Level 3.

The books in Level 3 can be used in any grade in the Foundation Phase, but they are best suited to seven- to nine-year-old learners in Grade 2 or Grade 3. Many of the learners will be learning English as a First Additional Language. Most children at this level have started to read and some may be reading quite well already. They should be able to recognise sight words and decode unfamiliar words.

Level 3 Rainbow Reading books are 16 pages long. The stories are based on familiar objects and actions and the characters include children typical of those in the target age group. The artwork is a very important part of each text at this level, as it supports reading and helps the emerging readers to make sense of the stories. The artwork provides cludes, which help the readers to decode and recognise words. Text is consistently placed to help learners to become confident about reading books.

There are three types of texts at this level:

Read Aloud stories (fiction) 250-400 total words
Read Alone stories (fiction) 250-400 total words
Factual (non-fiction) texts 250-400 total words
Each boxed set in Level 3 contains a comprehensive teacher’s guide, which provides valuable support for teaching reading and book skills, and includes specific support for each title, including phonics, oral skills, high-frequency words and key oral vocabulary, as well as suggested activities.”

Pixie is currently using Rainbow Reading Level 1/.

The books in Rainbow Reading Level 1 can be used in any grade in the Foundation Phase, but they are best suited to five- and six-year-old learners in Grade R or Grade 1. Many of the learners will be learning English as a First Additional Language. Most children at this level will not be able to read by themselves in any language, and some of the children will be handling books for the first time.

Level 1 Rainbow Reading books are eight pages long. The stories are based on familiar objects and actions and the characters include children typical of those in the target age group. The artwork is very important part of each text at this level, as it supports reading and helps the emerging readers to make sense of the stories. The pictures tell the story. Text is consistently placed to help learners become confident about reading books.

There are three types of texts at this level:

Read Aloud stories (fiction) Maximum 50 words
Read Alone stories (fiction) Maximum 20 words
Factual (non-fiction) texts Maximum 20 words
Each boxed set in Level 1 contains a comprehensive teacher’s guide, which provides valuable support for teaching reading skills, and includes specific support for each title, including phonics, oral skills, high-frequency words and key oral vocabulary, as well as suggested activities.”

History is a group lesson here. We use the Story of the World curriculum and love it. We work through each chapter thoroughly and have sometimes spent a month on a chapter that may only be 2 pages long. I let the children drive this part of our lessons as they generally ask a ton of more indepth questions than I expect.

Each Friday, the kidlets do a research project, these often take up to 3 weeks to complete (depending on the work). They choose the topic and we work together to get all the information for them. They then create a poster of all they have learned. So far we have learned about the food pyramid, the importance of vitamins and kangaroos. Our next project is Fifi’s choice.

One of the first questions we get asked is, “Do your children do exams and assessments?” The easy answer is yes. I download the Annual National Assessments from the Department of Basic Education’s website. The kidlets do them and I mark them. I have these on hand should we ever need them for some reason.

The Annual National Assessments (ANA) are standardised national assessments for languages and mathematics in the senior phase (grades 7 – 9), intermediate phase (grades 4 – 6) and in literacy and numeracy for the foundation phase (grades 1 – 3). The question papers and marking memoranda (exemplars) are supplied by the national Department of Basic Education and the schools manage the conduct of the tests as well as the marking and internal moderation.

With regards to exams, we don’t do official exams. The kidlets are assessed as to their knowledge during each lesson, if they don’t understand the concept of the lesson, we don’t move on. That is one HUGE benefit of homeschooling. Once all the work for the year has been completed, we move onto the next grade.

I also often get asked about the legalities of homeschooling in South Africa. I am not a lawyer and don’t pretend to have the answers. My suggestion is that you visit the Pestalozzi Trust website. They have all the information available to the public.

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How Elf on a Shelf almost ruined Christmas

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Elf on a Shelf
Last year our Elf on a Shelf, Tinsel arrived. There was much fun and excitement before Christmas and the children loved it. This year Pixie told me she was scared of Tinsel and didn’t want him to come visit us because she doesn’t like that he watches her and flies around the house when no one is looking.

It really freaked her out.

Papa and I then decided to tell her the truth and to show her that Tinsel was just a toy that I had hidden away in my closet. She was petrified when I took him out of the box and wouldn’t even touch him. It was heart breaking. We then had to break the news to Koko and Fifi, who weren’t impressed with me for lying to them about it. While Koko was fine, Fifi took it badly and wanted to know why we had lied to them. Explaining to them that it was just to make the countdown to Christmas a little more exciting, she seemed to settle down… eventually.

And then we got asked the questions, IS SANTA REAL? Is the Tooth Fairy real? What about the Easter Bunny?

I refused to lie to them, and told them that Santa, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny were just fun things adults did for children for these occasions. Daddy is Santa (that’s why he hands out gifts on Christmas morning, Momma and Daddy are the Tooth Fairy and Momma is the Easter Bunny. We had 3 very sad children in our home that day. They had to grow up very fast.

We have decided that since they know Tinsel isn’t real, that they got to choose what Tinsel did every night. Each child, including Noo, gpt a turn to have him do something special, naughty, etc. The kids had loads of fun leading up to Christmas getting Tinsel to do their bidding and it made Pixie so much happier knowing that he is just a toy and not some magical Peeping Tom that is stalking her.

We forget that our children are sensitive creatures and that, while some think its fun, others might be freaked out about it. While I think its great that we like to add a little magic to Christmas for our children, we need to be honest when they ask the questions, or it may come back to bite us. Parenting can be hard sometimes, but lying to our children when they ask pointed questions about things like this is something I learned a lot about on this particular day.

You can follow the adventures of Tinsel the Elf on my Instagram account.

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Superbalist Kids Shoes

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Superbalist Kids Shoes
Yes, you read right, Superbalist recently added a new category, Superbalist Kids Shoes! I LOVE this website and have bought quite a few goodies from them for myself (before their new kids section was introduced), now I can get the kids shoes without leaving the comfort of my home! Seriously though, the range is awesome and I just HAD to share my favourite finds.

Girls’ Shoes

My brother Shaun is getting married in March and I’ve been looking for some cute navy shoes for the girls to wear to this formal wedding. I just couldn’t find anything I was happy with and then I stumbled across these Cotton On Kids Ballerina Pumps while looking for shoes for myself and just fell in love! Seriously though, who doesn’t love glitter pumps? Fifi and Pixie are besides themselves with excitement and can’t wait for these to arrive.
Superbalist Kids Shoes

Pixie’s feet have been growing so much over the last few months that we can’t keep up. When I was placing my order for their wedding shoes, she begged me to buy these Cotton On Kids Hippo Clogs that look “just like Daddy’s, only pink.”
Superbalist Kids Shoes

Fifi, on the other hand, asked if she could get a new pair of sneakers since she has outgrown her current pair (again…). She is currently deciding between the Adidas Infant Superstar and Convers Kids All Star HI high tops. This may take a while….
Superbalist Kids ShoesSuperbalist Kids Shoes

Boy’s Shoes

Koko is so much easier to shop for. He took one look and chose these red Connverse Kids All Sta LO Junior and the Adidas Orignals Kids Stan Smith sneakers. Though neither pair is for the wedding. I think the red converse would rock his outfit, but he’s not biting.
Superbalist Kids ShoesSuperbalist Kids Shoes

Baby Girl Shoes and Baby Boy Shoes

As soon as Shaun and Minette (my future Sister in Law) get married, they best get to working on a niece and nephew for me so I can buy some adorable baby shoes. I just LOVE the Shooshoos the they have in stock at the moment. How cute are they in pink and blue?
Superbalist Kids ShoesSuperbalist Kids Shoes

Superbalist is currently running a promotion for first time buyers. Get R250 off when you spend a minimum of R600! What a Bargain!

Baby Girl Shoes | Baby Boy Shoes | Girls’ Shoes | Boys’ Shoes

Did you know that Superbalist have a mobile application? I didn’t. You can download the application on your Android or Apple device here:

Superbalist Kids Shoes
Superbalist Kids Shoes

Please let me know if you have had as much fun shopping on this site. I absolutely adore it and wouldn’t recommend it otherwise.

Happy shopping!

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Exploring the Sci-Bono Discovery Centre

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The Sci-Bono Discovery Centre is an extraordinary, all-weather family destination situated in the vibrant and safe precinct of Newtown, Johannesburg.
Sci-Bono
With more than 350 interactive maths, science and technology exhibits it is the largest and most visited science centre in Southern Africa. In addition to the hundreds of exhibits it also offers a wide range of leisure and educational activities and events.

Koko recently finished building a clay scale model of the solar system and to finish off the astonomy theme science lessons, we took our group to Sci-Bono Discovery Centre.
Sci-Bono
The kids loved it. There are so many interactive exhibitions that the kidlets were a little overwhelmed. We did, however, have a guided tour and our tour guide was wonderful with the children.

The kidlets loved the Microsoft exhibition. Koko played on the Kinect and the girls alternated between the laptops and the tablets.
Sci-Bono
Our favourite interactive exhibition, by far, was the Mind Ball game.
Sci-Bono
Koko couldn’t relax enough and eventually got frustrated sitting there watching the ball roll towards him. We could see immediately when he started over thinking and eventually lost. He wanted to go again, but there just wasn’t time.
Sci-Bono
Fifi and Daniel drew a tie (they hit the time limit). Daniel was amazing, I’ve never seen such focus from a 7 year old in my entire life! Watching his brainwaves on the monitor fascinated me. Fifi was concentrating so hard, she stopped breathing and went red in the face! Silly girl. These two monsters had us all in awe with their determination to win. They were thrilled that they had tied!

Mindball is a two-person game controlled by players’ brain waves in which players compete to control a ball’s movement across a table by becoming more relaxed and focused. Mindball is produced by the Swedish Company Interactive Productline. The concept, introduced in 2003, originates from the prototype Brainball which was developed by Smart Studio at The Interactive Institute, also in Sweden.

We were treated by a science experiement show by the Sci-Bono resident scientist. The kids loved watching things explode, change colour and expand. Watching these little faces in awe of what you can do with “simple” ingredients had me worried we might have explosions going off of home, LOL, but they were expressly told that they were not to try any of these at home. Thankfully Koko is a very careful child, so I don’t have to worry about that and Fifi and Pixie weren’t that interested until he made a helium balloon explode!
Sci-Bono
Once our group left, we spent a further 2 hours just exploring the centre and all the exhibitions. Even with 4 huge school buses arriving full of school children, we had plenty of space to explore and didn’t have to wait for turns at the exhibitions.

All in all, we highly recommend this facility. Its educational AND loads of fun!

Sci-Bono

The Sci-Bono Discovery Centre, Southern Africa’s largest science centre, is affiliated to the Gauteng Department of Education to support maths, science and technology education and to help build to South Africa’s science, engineering and technology capacity. Sci-Bono is responsible for implementing the Gauteng Mathematics, Science and Technology Education Strategy.

Sci-Bono started as a partnership project of the Gauteng Department of Education and various private sector partners. Located in the historic Electric Workshop in the cultural precinct of Newtown, Johannesburg, Sci-Bono annually receives hundreds of thousands of visitors to its a large collection of interactive science and technology exhibits and exhibitions. Sci-Bono also offers a broad programme of science and technology related events, activities and programmes for both the general public and the school community. Sci-Bono is now one of the most popular leisure and educational destinations in Gauteng.

Sci-Bono is a Non-Profit Company funded by its principal, the Gauteng Department of Education, It also benefits from grants and donations from donors in the broader public and private sector. Sci-Bono is also supported by various scientific and engineering bodies in industry and by the diplomatic community in South Africa.

To rent a car with Around About Cars and explore this incredible region of South Africa click here: Car Rental South Africa

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Letters to Santa are Old School

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Daisypath Christmas tickers

letters to santa
With Christmas fast approaching, Koko has asked when they are going to write their letters to Santa. Fifi said she would much rather send an email to him with her online wishlist. I was flabbergasted! I couldn’t believe that my little 7 year old daughter is tech savvy enough to know what an online wishlist is, for starters and that she’d rather write an email, than a letter via snail mail.
Letters to Santa
This little conversation between siblings got me thinking. Where would one send an email to Santa? Is that even a thing?
Letters to Santa
Well OF COURSE it is! Here are a few places I have found online:

1. Clause.com
Letters to Santa
This site has a form you can fill out to send an email to Santa. It is cute and simple to use.

2. EmailSanta.com
Letters to Santa
This site not only includes a form to email Santa, but also access to the Naughty or Nice list, Christmas Countdown, Joke of the Day, Toy bag of Fun, Present counter and you can view live streaming of emails received by Santa from all over the world!

3. SantaClaus.com
Letters to Santa
If your child is old enough to write their own email from scratch, this is the site for you. This site also has an option to receive a call from the Big Guy himself.

4. Elf HQ
Letters to Santa

Santa gets millions of letters, cards, texts, faxes and emails. Thank you for choosing to send him a message through ElfHQ.com — that gets your message straight through the North Pole Post Office immediately and right into Santa’s hands as soon as possible.

Please understand though that Santa does not have time to respond to all the mail he receives. But he does read it ALL.

5. Letters to Santa
Letters to Santa
Send letters to Santa and receive an instant reply. No email address or home address needed.

6. Portable North Pole
Letters to Santa
Santa’s free video is coming later in the season!

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Freebie Friday: Owl Resources

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freebie friday 2015

Owl Resources

If you have been reading my blog for a while or follow my Instagram page, you’ll know I have a “slight” love, ok so its really an obsession, for Owls (barn owls are my absolute favourite) and Mugs (not in any particular order). Pixie recently asked for “owl school” and I have shared those printables with you. Here are a few more owl freebies I have been collecting.

Owl Math Freebie from Paula’s Preschool and Kindergarten
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Addition, subtraction, and ordering by size are all fun with this Owl Math Freebie! Students will solve addition or subtraction problems and then color by number, and will cut and paste owl lengths from shortest to longest. Simply print and go to add some owl themed fun to your math class!

Owl Theme Class Jobs Freebie from Fancy Free in 4th
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Perfect for Back to School in the Owl Themed Classroom! Here is a list of a few classroom jobs and I have provided 2 blank ones for you to add any other job specific to your class.

Teacher Appreciation Free Printables & Gift Idea from Living Locurto
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It’s hard to believe that school is almost out for the summer! For an easy Teacher Appreciation gift, you’ll love these adorable free printable owl teacher gift tags and card by Angeli! She always comes up with the cutest illustrations and free printables for us.

School’s a Hoot! from Delightful Designs
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Owl Printables for Back To School

FREE Owl Circle Label Templates – Editable from FlapJack Educational Resources
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It contains six blank templates that can be edited in PowerPoint to organize your classroom in so many ways – transportation, lunch choice, work stations/centers, etc.

Colorful Owls in Pretty Tree Clip Art Image from My Cute Graphics
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Owl Babies from Homeschool Share
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Author: Martin Waddell
Illustrator: Patrick Benson
ISBN: 0763617105
Level 1 unit and video by Robin Diedrichs

Owl Prowl Kindergarten Kit from Homeschool Share
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created by Ami

{FREEBIE} “Owl” About Numbers! Math Work Page from Class of Kinders
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Owl Week (with freebies!) from Highland Heritage Homeschool
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Various owl printable freebies

Owl Opposites Flashcards ~ Free Printable from 1+1+1=1
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There are 16 different flashcards in this set…
short/tall
hot/cold
slow/fast
white/black
big/small
clean/dirty
more/less
dry/wet
same/different
light/heavy
low/high
hard/soft
short/long
front/back
empty/full
weak/strong

Owl, Owl, 1 2 3 Freebie (Numbers 1-10) from Clearly Primary by Jill Bell
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This is a set of 2 math centers that focus on the Numbers 1-10. The owl theme makes them great for Fall or anytime!

Concepts covered:
Ordering numerals 1-10.
Reading and printing number words 1-10.

Each center includes print & laminate cards, a recording sheet, and student directions.

Printable Valentine Activity pack from My Owl Barn
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You can download the Valentine Activity Pack for kids with total of 56 pages of fun! There are math activities, coloring pages, printable valentine cards, writing activities, crafts, a banner and so much more.

10 FREE Owl Crochet Patterns from The Steady Hand
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1. Jip the owl by Tessa van Riet
2. Owls Two Ways (crochet) by Ana Clerc
3. Owlie Friend Pattern by Sam the SAHM
4. Wendy the Owl by Divine Debris
5. Huggable Owl Pillow by Yarnspirations
6. No longer available
7. Mr. Hoo by Carey Huffman
8. Sleepy Owl iPad Crochet Bag by Paper, Needles and Sweets
9. The Original Not ANOTHER Owl Hat! by Oombawka Design
10. Hooty Owl Coasters by Sally Mae

Halloween Printable Owl Masks from My Owl Barn
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These Halloween masks are perfect to wear with your owl themed costume. There is barred owl and barn owl to choose from. All you’ll need to do is download the one you want, print and add some string.

Owl Letter Match Freebie for Preschool and Early Childhood from Jennifer Hier – Early Learning Ideas
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Owls ABC and fall fun for your preschool, pre-k, or kindergarten class! A great way to introduce letters at the beginning of the year.

Students will practice letter recognition and will have an opportunity to explore phonemic awareness as they play this cute letter match game. Children match the baby owl letter cards to the letters on their game board. The set includes 4 game boards and a complete set of lowercase baby owl letter cards

This owl activity is perfect for your preschool, pre-k, SPED, and kindergarten classrooms.

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