Monday, October 31, 2011

BOOK READING REPORT

Hi Homeschoolers,
On 29 Oct, we attended the book reading of Katie Bagli's " Birds of Different Feathers" at the Earthworm Ecostore, Porvorim. Before I tell you what happened there, let me apologise for the delay in posting this report. You see, we have been having power outages for the last couple of days and it made me realise just how important electricity is for communication. So an appeal- please try to SAVE as much as you can. The cake in the electric oven was miraculously saved though (Aaron's bday cake) and he had a gr8 party.
Coming back to the book reading - the ambience of the Ecostore lent a quaint charm to the whole fun experience. Katie used hand puppets to catch the children's attention right at the onset, what we teachers call set induction? The stories are very funny; the three readers did full justice and got the kids rolling with laughter at hearing how the young fledgings throw their poop out of the nest, etc.
We had to leave early as we had another programme to attend so we missed the end. But as I wandered around the store, I got wonderful eco-friendly ideas from the items displayed, like an earthenware composter, a bird-house made from waste wood, elephant poop toilet paper, etc. The owner is so committed to the cause that even her home is created with environment-friendly ideas. And to top it all, she served the kids coconut water instead of harmful Pepsi or Cola. All in all, an awesome experience. Thanks Roopa for organsing a cool event and looking forward to more interaction with your work.
Auriel.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

OUR FIRST FIELD TRIP- A REPORT

A BOOK IS BORN.

Having read the promos on Facebook and in the Herald about the launch of a new book for children entitled “Espi Mai is Stuck Again” by Anita Pinto, my curiosity was awakened enough to plan our first homeschooling educational field trip.
So, early evening around 4 pm, we all squeezed into our sturdy Maruti van and drove to Panjim to make it in time for the 5 pm book launch at the open air mini-theatre at Kala Academy.
The air was festive with colorful balloons and prancing children accompanied by their dignified Mamas, Dadas, Papas, Nanas, as well a sprinkling of some well-known celebrities like Alexyz, who has done the illustrations for the book. I was delighted to see so many familiar faces from Mapusa, where we live, and from Saligao, my husband’s village.
The kids were asked to write their names on slips of paper and these were put in a box. I was intrigued by a huge banner at the entrance- it was the front cover of the book, but there was a hole where Espi Mai’s face should have been.
We all got settled comfortably with a cup of Frugurt as the emcee, noted singer Veeam Braganca, began her introductory speech and briefed us on the panel of eminent writers for children seated on the dais. There was Fr. Rinald, ex-editor of ‘The Young People’, Konkani storywriter and editor of a children’s magazine, Prashanti Talpankar, Bookworm’s proprietor Sujata Noronha, Kanchan Bannerjee of Pratham Books Trust, and ‘Annie’ as the eminent writer-designer-communicator Aniruddha SenGupta is fondly referred to.
The evening began with an open discussion on the theme of writing for children and children writing themselves. Fr. Rinald mentioned Riza, daughter of Frederick Noronha, who runs her own blog ‘Tangerine Trees and Marmalade Skies’ and said kids must be encouraged not only to read stories but to also write and be given a platform to publish their writings.
Later, Anita Pinto read the first few paragraphs of her pivotal story ‘Espi Mai…” followed by a little girl’s rendition of the poem ‘Holfsky Polfsky’. The song ‘God still loves the World’ brought many a sigh and a few tears to the eye, while another story from the book, ‘Where’s that Puppy Going?’ kept us wondering all the way.
Four children were chosen by lot to launch the book (remember the slips of papers with their names taken earlier?) and, amidst loud applause, the (reluctant?) children were asked to release their balloons into the air. Oh, what a glorious sight to see, those red and blue and white and yellow balloons soaring up, up, up into the blue yonder!
Anita Pinto sat down to the back-breaking job of autographing each and every book that was sold that evening and I was privileged to have on mine “To Auriel Ribeiro Sa Best Wishes Anita Pinto”. Short and sweet, just like the lovely lady herself.
And as we departed for home sweet home, I took a picture of each of my ‘smallies’ peeking out of Espi Mai’s face in the banner as mementos of a successful book launch and a wonder-filled field trip. What more could one wish for?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Earth Day Idea: School Building in Guatemalan Village Constructed from Trash

In the mountains of Guatemala, Laura Kutner is changing the tiny village of Granados with a message in a bottle. The 25-year-old from Portland, Ore., did something incredible for this town. She built a school with no funding, little experience, and a crazy idea -- construct the building out of old plastic water bottles.
The old school building was crumbling, but the poor village couldn't afford the concrete and steel for new construction. Students and town officials were stuck, until Kutner, an endlessly-optimistic Peace Corps volunteer, had an idea.
"Initially it was a dream," Kutner said. "It was 100 percent a dream. I came in here and thought, 'What if we can actually do this?'"
Bottles as Building Material
It's not the first time water bottles have been put to an impressive use. The Plastiki, a boat made entirely from recycled plastic, is currently crossing the Pacific Ocean to raise awareness about the problem of plastic pollution.

ABC News
In the mountains of Guatemala, Laura Kutner... View Full Caption
Kutner had heard of water bottles being used for large-scale projects elsewhere, and since the village didn't have much money and needed the help, she convinced the skeptical school principal to let her try it.
The plan called for waste plastic bottles to form the interior of the school's walls. Covered with a thin layer of cement and paint, visitors would never know about the bottles, except for a spot on one wall left to reveal the unique construction.
Students Help with Search for Trash
The idea is simple enough, but the project proved enormous. Bottles had to be stuffed with plastic bags to give them strength, and then wrapped together into blocks by using chicken wire.
"The stronger, the more stuffed [the bottle] is, the more supportive in the wall," said Kutner.
Stuffing the 6,000 bottles required for the school took months of grueling work. Each student was asked to find and fill at least 20 bottles, so children scoured their village for old bottles and plastic.
In the process, the kids cleaned up the ditches and hillsides so thoroughly that they started running out of garbage and had to go to neighboring villages. The students share pride over their new school and a new-found excitement about picking up garbage.
"You don't need a lot of money, and the best thing is that they worked together," said the school's principal, according to an ABC News translation.
New Building Cleans Up Town, Inspires More Action
Local officials say that the school building is structurally sound, and the mayor of Granados is even talking about building a bottle sidewalk, if they can find enough trash.
For Laura Kutner, it's proof that it sometimes pays off to listen to your dreams.
"You've got to trust your crazy ideas because they can do awesome things," she said.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Question of the Week and Blackboard Grafitti have been updated.Thanks.

PREVENTING BURNOUT

You know you are getting burned out when you begin consistently to get irritated over every little thing. Left unchecked, it can lead to dysthymia, that allows you to function but sucks all the joy out of your day and makes you wish you could run away from home.

A 100% surefire way for a homeschooling mom to burn out fast is to try to do it all herself. Therefore every member of the family must share responsibility for keeping the school running.

Five secrets to prevent burnout:
1) A Partnership Marriage: With your spouse discuss ways the two of you can work together, or get additional help, or adjust your expectations accordingly, to make up the difference and at least break even.
2) A Good Discipline System: This consists of three components- good rapport, consistent rules and logical consequences. Without good rapport, the only way to make our children obey is to make them fear us. Make rules with your children’s help and review them daily, tell them to the children whenever they disobey any rule, enforce rules consistently so your children care enough to learn and follow them. Logical consequences in the form of a penalty or timeout should follow immediately after a problem behavior, it should inconvenience the child more than it inconvenience you and it should teach him what to do instead of merely what to stop doing.
3) A Healthy Family-Based Spirituality: Learn to ‘pray your marriage’ and you will begin to appreciate every little act of service as a worthy mortification, every joy as an opportunity to celebrate God’s providence, and every intimate moment between you and your children and between you and your spouse as a foretaste and promise of the intimacy God wishes to share with you.
4) Good Self-Care: To care for our physical, emotional and spiritual needs is an act that expresses our gratitude to the Creator for having made us so fearfully and wonderfully. Gladly acknowledge the gifts you’ve been given and honoring the giver. Remember, one of the best ways to honor Him is by being a good steward of his creation.
5) A Curriculum Suited to Needs of Student and Teacher: Re-evaluate your materials from time to time. Ask yourself: Do the children and I enjoy the curriculum and get a little excited when we take it out each day? Match the curriculum you use to the learning style of your children; resist the temptation to settle on one that ‘everyone says is best’. Always keep your eyes open for interesting and challenging new ideas to keep your homeschool on the cutting edge.
Parents, you are doing the most important work in the world: raising your children and teaching them how to become the people God is calling them to be. May Christ in you be your hope and glory!

(Taken from ‘The Catholic Homeschool Companion’)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Dear Homeschoolers,
We have tentatively fixed the next homeschooling meet for 13 Nov 2011 at my place here in the HEART OF MAPUSA. Since I wish to inaugurate the Goa Can Homeschool as well as celebrate Daniel's baptism, you are invited to join in for lunch. Please do inform me at the earliest so we can cook accordingly.
Our regular members MilagresViolet n fly, Valyana n fly, MariaAlves n fly, LewisZenita n fly have promised to be there. Wating for MarioMuriel n fly to say the word and it will be finalised.
Luv,
Auriel.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

HI HOMESCHOOLERS,
ON 9TH OUR YOUNGEST GCH STUDENT DANIEL KAROL RIBEIRO SA WILL BE BAPTISED AT ST JEROME CHURCH, MAPUSA. IT IS A JOYOUS OCCASION FOR US ALL AND WE ASK FOR YOUR PRAYERS AND BLESSINGS FOR HIM.
AARON HAS REDESIGNED THE LOGO AS SEEN ABOVE SO I HAVE POSTED IT ON CANDID CAMERA. THE DUDE ON THE ROOF IS KIRSTEN, BTW.
NATHAN BROUGHT HOME A CHAMELEON THIS WEEK AND FRIGHTENED THE HELL OUT OF ME. OH, HOW HE LOVES ANIMALS BUT HE IS NOT GENTLE AND WILL NEED TO BE TAUGHT TO CARE AND NOT SNARE.
CIAO FOR NOW. AU REVOIR.
AURIEL.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

USING DISCARDED CD HOLDERS AND CASES

Dear Homeschoolers,
I had posted several tips earlier from the net on the use of CD holders n cases. Just wanted to share my pics with you today.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Dear Homeschoolers,
The Picture above is a demo of the what one can do to help the garbage issue to some extent-by not allowing it to spill out into the streets and gutters. Pet Bottles can be used as handy 'bins' to collect chip packets, Al foils, plastic bags, etc. and then given to the ragpicker. Even if you do throw it out, it all compacted into one small area!
I read an article sometime ago in Herald where this project conducted in Guatemala was successful enough to generate bottles to make an entire classroom. Wish we could build a school like they did out there!
Try it out. All the best of waste.
Auriel :)

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Hi Prolifers,
We celebrated out first anniversary of homeschool today. Last year on this day, we had installed the portrait of BLessed Mother Teresa in the homeschool room and I made my debut cake with her picture on it. Aaron drew a chalk picture of St Terese of Child Jesus on the BB. See blackboard Grafitti. I read to the children from the book we had on her life.
After they attended Mass in the evening, we had a small celebration with cake n cold drinks. Actually,I made two small cakes (see pics) and we cut them both but only finished one for tea earlier.
Luv,
Auriel& Glenn.