Thursday, January 19, 2012

How to have Reading Kids!

Most schools are very good at teaching children HOW to read but they have forgotten to teach them to WANT to read.
Here are some ideas how to help turn our children into LIFETIME readers or Reading Kids.
1. The TOP tip is to read aloud to them! Research has shown that children who are read to are more likely to develop the skills they need to read successfully on their own.
2. Help stir up their imagination by giving a tantalizing glimpse of the book you are about to read to them. Even before you open the book, show them the cover and read the title. Ask them what they think the story will be about. Flick through the pages of the book, page by page, but without reading it. Ask the 'Who, Why, What, When, Where and How ' questions about the pictures they see. "Who is this?" "Why does this character look so sad?" "What is going to happen next?" "When did this story take place?" "Where are they going to go?" "How do you think the story will end?" These questions will encourage children to participate, stirring up their imaginations as they wait to see if their predictions are correct or not as they sit on the edge of their seats waiting for you to begin!
3. Ask the children to retell the story in their own words. Write or type it out for them to make their own version of the book.
4. Get Crafty! Act out the story - dress up as their favourite character in the book - paint a picture relating to the story - make a hanging mobile of characters from the book - make puppets to retell the story - make a playdough model of a scene in the book - be imaginative and let them recall the story in their creative play.
5. For an older child you could ask them to rewrite the ending of the story or make up a short rap poem.
6. Engage listening by asking them to give you non-verbal signals on a given word or passage - eg. "Put you hands on your head when you hear the word 'thunder'." "Rub your eyes when someone feels sad."
7. If you are reading a non-fictional book, activate a child's prior knowledge by asking them what they already know about the topic. When you are finished ask them what have they learnt that they didn't know before. This helps them to associate books for learning about a subject of interest and will help turn them into reading kids and not just school kids that read!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

GO, FLY A KITE!

Makar Sankranti is a major harvest festival celebrated in various parts of India. It is one of the few Hindu Indian festivals which are celebrated on a fixed date i.e. 14 January every year. Scientifically, this day marks the beginning of warmer and longer days compared to the nights.
All over the country, Makar Sankranti is observed with great fanfare. In the western Indian state of Gujarat, the celebrations are even bigger. People offer thousands of their colorful oblations to the Sun in the form of beautiful kites. During these days people from Hyderabad fly kites from terraces of their buildings. Kites for Uttarayan are made of special light-weight paper and bamboo and are mostly rhombus shaped with central spine and a single bow. The string often contains abrasives in order to cut down other people's kites. When people cut any kites they used to yell with words like "kaypo che" or "e lapet" in Gujarati language.
Since the festival is celebrated in mid winter, food prepared for this festival is such that it keeps the body warm and gives high energy. Laddu of til made with Jaggery is a specialty of the festival. In the western Indian state of Maharashtra it is called 'Tilgul'. In Karnataka it is called 'Yellu-Bella'.
This is a special day for the women in Maharashtra when married women are invited for a get-together called ‘Haldi-Kunku’ (literally meaning turmeric and vermillion) and given gifts such as utensil, clothes etc. Typically, women wear black sarees or black coloured outfits on this occasion. The significance of wearing black is that Sankranti comes at the peak of the winter season and black colour retains and absorbs heat, helping keep warm.
In Punjab where December and January are the coldest months of the year, huge bonfires are lit on the eve of Makar Sankranti and is celebrated as Lohri. Sweets, sugarcane and rice are thrown in the bonfires, around which friends and relatives gather together. The Punjabis dance their famous dance known as "Bhangra".
Many Melas or fairs are held on Makar Sankranti, the most famous being the Kumbh Mela, held every 12 years at one of four holy locations- Haridwar, Prayag (Allahabad), Ujjain and Nashik.
Meethe GUD me mil gaya TIL,
Udi PATANG aur khil gaye DIL,
Jeevan me bani rahe SUKH aur SHANTI,
MUBARAK ho apko MAKAR-SANKRANTI.

How to make a kite:
A kite consists of these basic parts:
1. The Spine. The up-and-down, or vertical stick that you build your kite around.
2. The Spar. The support stick(s), that are placed crossways or at a slant over the spine. Sometimes they are curved or bowed.
3. The Frame. The joined spine and spars, usually with a string connecting their ends, that form the shape of the kite and make a support for the cover.
4. The Cover. The paper, plastic, or cloth, that cover the frame to make a kite.
5. The Bridle. One or more strings attached to the spine or spars, which help control the kite in the air.
6. The Flying Line. The string running from the kites’ bridle, where you hold to fly the kite.
7. The Tail. A long strip of paper or plastic of ribbon that helps to balance the kite in flight. Not all kites need tails.
8. The Reel. The object you use to wind your flying line, to keep it form getting tangled or flying away.

DIAMOND KITE
Materials:
• butcher cord or thin garden twine
• scotch tape or glue
• 1 sheet of strong paper (102cm x 102cm)
• 2 strong, straight wooden sticks of bamboo or wooden doweling 90cm and 102cm
• markers, paint or crayons to decorate you kite.

1. Make a cross with the two sticks, with the shorter stick placed horizontally across the longer stick. Make sure that both sides of the cross piece is equal in width.
2. Tie the two sticks together with the string in such a way as to make sure that they are at right angles to each other. A good way to ensure that the joint is strong to put a dab of glue to stick it in place.
3. Cut a notch at each end of both sticks. Make it deep enough for the type of string you are using to fit in to. Cut a piece of string long enough to stretch all around the kite frame. Make a loop in the top notch and fasten it by wrapping the string around the stick. Stretch the string through the notch at one end of the cross-piece, and make another loop at the bottom. Stretch the string through the notch at one end of the loop at the bottom. Stretch the string through the notch at the other end of the cross-piece. Finish by wrapping the string a few times around the top of the stick and cutting off what you don't need. This string frame must be taut, but not so tight as to warp the sticks.
4. Lay the sail material flat and place the stick frame face down on top. Cut around it, leaving about 2-3cm for a margin. Fold these edges over the string frame and tape or glue it down so that the material is tight.
5. Cut a piece of string about 122 cm long. and tie one end to the loop at the other end of the string to the loop at the bottom. Tie another small loop in the string just above the intersection of the two cross pieces. This will be the kite's bridle, the string to which the flying line is attached.
6. Make a tail by tying a small ribbon roughly every 10cm along the length of string. Attach the tail to the loop at the bottom of the kite.
7. Decorate!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

PLEASE CORRECT THIS STORY.

Peter’s new friend
Once there lived a boy named Peter. He was kind to the poor people and children. He often gave them his toys to play because he had no friends. He only could play with them in school because far in the cities. Once he was going along a haunted house were he saw three robbers going inside the house only one robber came out and ran fast. Now he realize that there was a ghost and ran fast to school. Soon when he was leaving school he taught about the ghost and decided to take a bus or a taxi. Has he passed the house he taught the ghost would come out and kill them too. He started telling the bus driver “go fast” but the bus driver refused to go fast because the bus might fall down. The next day Peter he himself went into the house and when he saw the ghost, the ghost came running and huged him and peter saw the two robbers at the conner and then the ghost removed his mask. Now peter realized that his grandfather had not yet died, and then peter was now happy.

THIS WAS WRITTEN BY MY SON AARON LAST MONTH. I PUBLISH IT HERE AS TEXT FOR PUNCTUATION AND GRAMMAR WITH HIS PERMISSION.
AURIEL

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

KRISHNA THE FRIEND
Sudama was a poor Brahmin boy who became a close friend of Krishna in sage Sandipani's hermitage. After completing their studies, Sudama and Krishna went their different ways. Krishna became the ruler of Dwarka. Sudama, on the other hand, led a humble life, reading scriptures and praying.

Because of Sudama's simple lifestyle, the family often faced difficult days with little food and clothing. Sudama's wife was very supportive, but when her children went hungry, she could bear it no longer.

Finally, one day, she told Sudama to go to his friend Krishna and seek his help.

Sudama was hesitant, but his wife insisted and he finally agreed. Just before his departure for Dwarka, Sudama came to his wife and said, “How can I go empty-handed to Dwarka?”
There was nothing that she could offer except a handful of puffed rice. Sudama tied this at the end of his robe and left for Dwarka.

When Sudama reached the palace gates, the guards stopped him. They would not believe that this poor, shabby Brahmin was a friend of their great ruler. When Sudama would not budge, they sent a message to Krishna that a poor Brahmin named Sudama had come, claiming to be his childhood friend.

The moment he heard this, a big smile spread over Krishna’s face. He left his seat and went running towards Sudama. He embraced his dear friend and seated him. Then, Krishna, the great ruler of Dwarka, washed the tired feet of his poor Brahmin friend and applied sandalwood paste on them.

They sat down for a royal meal. Suddenly, Krishna noticed a small bundle at Sudama's waist.

He happily remarked, "Ah! you have brought a present for me!"
Sudama hesitated. Seeing the riches of Dwarka, his little gift seemed ridiculous. He felt ashamed and tried to hide the little bundle.
However, Krishna snatched it from his hand. On opening it, he seemed delighted. He quickly devoured the puffed rice, and seemed most happy.
He told his friend, Sudama, the poorest of gifts given with love is dearer to me than the richest of gifts given without love.
Sudama could not ask for anything from Krishna. The next day, he bid farewell to his dear friend and left for his little hut in the village.
When he reached there, he was amazed to see a huge mansion standing in the place of his shabby hut! His wife and children, wearing new clothes, came to receive him. Sudama realised that it was all a gift from his dear friend, Krishna. The family bowed down to thank Krishna in their minds. Thereafter, Sudama and his family led a life of comfort.

http://kids.baps.org/storytime/sudamakrishna.htm

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A HOMESCHOOL JOKE

HI,
THIS JOKE WAS SENT TO ME BY OUR PIONEER PARENTS VALENTINE & ANNA COELHO WHO GOT IT FROM GERARD DELANEY. I COULDN'T STOP SMILING. ENJOY, HOMESCHOOLING FAMILY!
AURIEL

Q: How does a homeschooler change a light bulb?

A: First, mom checks out three books at the library on electricity, then the kids make models of light bulbs, read a biography of Thomas Edison and do a skit based on his life. Next, everyone studies the history of lighting methods, wrapping up with dipping their own candles. Next, everyone takes a trip to the store where they compare types of light bulbs as well as prices and figure out how much change they'll get if they buy two bulbs for Rs. 24 and pay with a fifty-rupee note. On the way home, a discussion develops over the history of money and also Mahatma Gandhi, as his picture is on the fifty-rupee bill. Finally, after building a homemade ladder out of branches dragged from the woods, the light bulb is installed. And there is light.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

EPIPHANY EXTRAGAVANZA

YESTERDAY WE HAD THE TIME OF OUR LIVES ORGANISING AN EPIPHANY PARTY FOR OUR KIDS AND THEIR FRIENDS.I PREPARED MILK TOFFEE N RUMLESS BALLS! FOR THE OCCASION AND A STAR-SHAPED CAKE (SEE PIC). WE ENACTED THE STORY OF THE THREE WISE MEN WITH COSTUMES. CHARIS WAS MARY, ARTHUR WAS JOSEPH, KYLE, AARON AND ELIKA WERE THE THREE KINGS, KIRSTEN WAS KING HEROD,CLIFFORD, NATHAN WERE SHEPHERDS, GEUEL WAS THE ANGEL AND JOLENE WAS THE SHEEP. AND GUESS WHO DANIEL WAS? YEAH, YOU GUESSED RIGHT! WE HAD ALSO INVITED A FRIEND AND HER SON TO SEE THE PERFORMANCE AND JOIN US IN THE CELEBRATIONS. AFTER THE PLAY, KIRSTEN, AARON N NATHAN, MY THREE KINGS CARRIED THE STATUES (AGAIN MADE FROM PLASTIC BOTTLES- SEE PIC)TO THE CRIB IN A SOLEMN PROCESSION, SINGING " WE THREE KINGS OF ORIENT". WE SERVED THEM REFRESHMENTS, THEN THE KIDS WHO ATTEND THE PRAYER GROUP SANG THE SONGS THEY HAD LEARNT AND DONE FOR THE CHARISMATIC CHRISTMAS PARTY. ALL IN ALL, A SPLENDID EVENING TO END THE SEASON.
TODAY WE ARE BACK AT SCHOOL! GROAN! BUT LIFE GOES ON TILL THE NEXT HOLIDAY SEASON WHICH WILL BE THE EASTER SEASON FROM PALM SUNDAY TO EASTER MONDAY.
THE TEACHER, GCH.
AURIEL

Monday, January 2, 2012

ACE SEASON OF LOVE

HI,
We are almost at the end of a wonderful Catholic season of ACE (Advent-Christmas-Epiphany)which began on 27th Nov and ends on 6th Jan.
This year we managed to go to three crosses on three Sundays of Advent,and lit a candle there to pray for ourselves and Christians all over the world to celebrate Christmas meaningfully.In our home, we made a wreath and lit the candle during Rosary time.
Homeschool got a vacation from Dec 20-Jan 6. We began prep for the crib and sweets. This time we made a crib with waste material. (See the pic above). We made marzipan, milk toffee and chocolate, besides the traditional coconut cake-BAATH.
On Christmas day, after the church service, the children spent the morning distributing sweets, then we sang HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Jesus before sitting down Indian style to have lunch together as a family.
We began our twelve days of Christmas visiting relatives and friends. On 30th, we took a break to go for FAMILY DAY in the parish and again on NEW YEAR DAY to be with the prolife and homeschool groups for MASS and MEETING.
NOW we are preparing for Epiphany, getting the wise men ready(made from discarded plastic bottles). I plan a cake in the shape of a star, some marzipan and milk toffee besides cocoa. We will enact the story of the MAGI with costumes and take the kings to the crib. That night the star will shine for the last time.
Auriel.