Archive for December, 2007

Entry for 30 December 2007

Posted in donnette e davis on December 29, 2007 by Donnette E Davis

Is it just me or do a lot of people get nostalgic at this time of year? Something’s troubling me and I have been unable to sleep. Strange really, I was exhausted. The Christmas holiday was hectically busy except for the 2 or 3 days after Christmas where I was completely alone, the girls all being away and Aiden having been kidnapped by sister. Said sister is due to produce Aiden’s cousin on 24 January. Said cousin has finally been given a name – Adam! We are all very excited to meet Adam.

Girls, including my gorgeous Doey, were returned home finally after globe-trotting (well in S A at least) all awash with the excitement of Christmas still hanging in the air, presents to be given and received, and thank you letters to be written and sent. New Trampoline is up and being utilised well, the 3 little ones fell into an exhausted sleep finally on Saturday night, and I spent some quality time with Doey who has decided it’s time to unclutter our lives.

Good point! I tried to explain that I am extremely sentimental over some of the things in our house – who else has over 50 x 200 page photo albums dating back to whenever, and more than 3700 photographs on the computer, since the time of course of digital. We are not counting the 50 or so CD’s jam-packed with pictures and memories. She was not referring to photographs she says. She is referring to the THINGS in the house that don’t need to be there any more. What????????? This from Doey who has been a magpie and a hoarder all her life – hence her room being nicknamed the dungeon. Ok granted it is the neatest dungeon you will ever find with everything in its precise place. Well if she can be without her stuff around her for 2 months, as she has been, then we can all do it. Good point again! My child is right. Again. As usual. Mom is wrong.

It is now just after 4 a.m. and the sky is getting light. Supposed to be a scorcher today with no rain, woohoo… we have planned our morning to clear cupboards and dispose of anything that has not been used for 6 months. Since it is all mostly really nice stuff we have decided to donate it all to the first orphanage we come across in the PMB phone directory. Someone somewhere will have a use for it, and our lives will become less cluttered. So we hope.

Oh this picture is of my beautiful Clarissa taken by Savannah on their trip away with their Dad over Christmas. Beautiful children I have, I am truly blessed.

Back to the clutter of our lives… In days gone by when this time of year was exciting for everyone, even me making birthdays & Christmas special for the kids, gearing up for my birthday and New Year, there was always something to look forward to, for me that is. When someone did something special for me, for my family – as small as it was then (the family) – or smaller in any event lol… Every year. Without fail. Now what… living in the past ain’t gonna bring it back any time soon… Anyway I think that’s the cause of the restlessness… and a good reason to make new year’s resolutions 🙂

How Your Child’s Journal Can Become his Best Friend

Posted in Blogroll on December 28, 2007 by Donnette E Davis

Years of international in-depth research show clearly that children are more likely to succeed in learning when their families actively support them. When you and other family members read with or to your children, help them with homework or educational activities, talk with their educators or co-homeschoolers, and participate in school, homeschool or other learning activities, you give your children a tremendous advantage and a firm foundation and basis for learning.

Other than helping your child or children to grow up healthy and happy, the most important thing that you can do for them is to help them develop their reading and writing skills. It is no exaggeration to say that how well children learn to read affects directly not only how successful they are in their educational activities, but how well they do throughout their lives. When children learn to read, they have the key that opens the door to all the knowledge of the world. Without this key, many children are left behind. The foundation for learning to read is in place long before children enter the formal school arena and begin formal reading instruction.

You, as a parent, together with your family, help to create this foundation by talking, listening, and reading to your children every day and by showing them that you value, use, and enjoy reading in your lives. Participating in family-oriented activities and conversations subtly reinforces this foundation.

Most of the activities that make learning experiences out of the everyday routines in which you participate with your children use materials that are found in your home or that can be had free-of-charge from the local library. You design the activities to be fun for both you and your children as you help them to gain the skills they need to become readers and develop into independent little people. These activities often find their way into a child’s journal, either by way of scribbles, writing or pasting or drawing pictures.

I have designed a journal with my own children in mind, knowing that in time with continued journal use, they will begin to plan their activities, vent their feeling and frustrations, note their own achievements, and diarise their happiness, hopes and dreams.

It is vitally important to stress that a journal is your child’s personal and private document and should be treated as such. It should be a place where your child can just “be”. A child should not be forced to show or display his or her journal. If he or she chooses to display her “work” that is entirely up to the child, but at all times he or she must be absolutely confident that this is his or her “space”. There is a level of “trust” between a person and their journal, even amongst adults. This trust should never be compromised or broken.

At the end of the journal or school year, whichever applies to you or your family, if your child chooses to display the journal, you will without a doubt immediately glean information regarding their interests, concerns, abilities, identify possibly areas of conflict. Most of all you will see how your precious child has developed as an individual in their thoughts, actions, reading and writing.

The journals, which I have made for boys and girls (imagine your son’s face when he gets a journal with flowers and fairies yeeeuuuckkk!) will be uploaded in the first week of the New Year. I will post the links shortly.

This article is (c) Donnette E Davis 2007 and awaiting live publication. Please do not copy. Thank you.

Description & Guidelines (?) of Homeschooling in South Africa

Posted in homeschooling in south africa, requirements for homeschooling in south africa, south african education on December 28, 2007 by Donnette E Davis

Our site has been added to Homeschoolmedia and while setting up my profile I came across a brilliant concept of creating a Wiki South Africa on Homeschooling. This is for homeschoolers written by homeschoolers and no entry had been made for South Africa. I searched St Aiden’s for information that I provide to my visitors on the so-called requirements and guidelines of homeschooling in South Africa and based my Wiki entry on that information.

Description of Homeschooling in South Africa (Adapted from the Education Department)

Home schooling is a programme of education that a parent may provide to his or her child at home.

It is prescribed that a parent of a learner who is of compulsory school-going age should apply to the Head of the Department of Education of the province involved to register the learner for receiving education at home. This is in fact not the case. The Constitution of South Africa allows for homeschooling without registering with the Education Department. There are steps in place to try and amend this, but no new laws have been promulgated as yet. The following are compulsory phases of education:

The foundation phase (grades 1 – 3)
The intermediate phase (grades 4 – 6)
The senior phase (grades 7 – 9)

A parent of a learner who is no longer of compulsory school-going age or grade need not apply for registration for home schooling.

It is prescribed by the Education Department that after the learner has been registered for home schooling, the parent must do the following:

Keep a record of attendance.
Keep a portfolio of the learner’s work.
Maintain up-to-date records of the learner’s progress.
Keep a portfolio of the educational support given to the learner.
Keep evidence of the continuous assessment of the learner’s work.
Keep evidence of the assessment and or examinations at the end of each year.
Keep evidence at the end of Grades 3, 6 and 9 that shows whether the learner has achieved the outcomes for these grades.

Steps to follow

It is suggested that a parent must: apply to the head of the Department of Education of the province where they live to register a child (learner) for home schooling;

submit the application form with a copy of the learner’s birth certificate;

supply documentation that outlines the unit standards the parent will facilitate (teach).

The application forms can be obtained from any provincial Department of Education.

The majority of homeschoolers in South Africa have elected not to register with the Department of Education but choose instead to register with a homeschooling defensor organisation that protects their constitutional rights.

There are a number of curricula available for purchase in South Africa, covering a variety of homeschooling methods. Some families choose the unschooling or eclectic approach.

Whichever method is decided upon by the homeschooling family, the important aspects are that the child or children get a one-on-one interaction with their educator/parent in a loving, safe and secure environment and the child is allowed and in fact encouraged to develop at his or her own pace.

Contrary to popular belief amongst professional educators in South Africa, a lack of socialisation is rarely a factor when considering homeschooling your children as they have constant interaction with the family, and very often close support groups are formed within communities enabling the child or children to interact with individuals of all ages, thus developing their own social skills whilst allowing them to actually enjoy their learning experience.

Christmas 2007

Posted in Blogroll on December 26, 2007 by Donnette E Davis
Photobucket Album

My precious gift

New Pics Uploaded to Photobucket

Posted in donnette e davis on December 26, 2007 by Donnette E Davis

My Beautiful Children – Xmas Day 2007

Aiden & His New Best Friend

Posted in Blogroll on December 25, 2007 by Donnette E Davis

Photobucket

Christmas Day 2007 ~ St Aiden’s Homeschool

Posted in 12 days of christmas clipart, 12 days of christmas sheet music, christmas activities, christmas activity books, st aiden's homeschool on December 25, 2007 by Donnette E Davis

Entry for 25 December 2007

Hello Everyone

It’s a bright sunny (and rain-free) morning (not going to stay that way sadly) here in Pietermaritzburg. Sav and River are spending some time with their father and his mother in Gauteng and so the house has been quiet for the last 3 days, and will be still they return home later this week.

This is not a website update as such, just a Christmas message full of good wishes and blessings for each of you. I am not usually stuck for words and normally get straight in and the fingers do the walking.

But today I have received a mail from an internet colleague with something that I am happy that I read. When starting to read it I thought “Good grief, this is shocking!” until I got half way through and realised the true meaning of the message it was sending through. I will CCP it here:

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

An Internet Marketer’s Adaptation for 2007 (with apologies to Clement C. Moore)

‘Twas the night before Christmas and all cross the ‘net

Marketers were hoping that clickthroughs, they’d get.

The products were finished and ready to go

outsourced and prepared by those “in the know”

“The customer first!” is the mantra we say

so our software and services will help them today.

The squeeze page, the copy, the ecommerce cart

the site was all ready, now we’d done our part.

Affiliates were lined up now it was their turn

They hoped that commissions, yes BIG ones, they’d earn!

On Morin, On Silver, On Fallon and Dale.

Your emails are bringing big sale after sale!

On Brunson, on Filsaime, On Ambrose and Reese…

Conversions are crazy, promote again please?

Jackpot! A huge launch! filled with riches galore, but in the midst of it all

I wondered, “could there by more?”

And that’s when it hit me, a truth so supreme,

that money and sales didn’t mean anything.

A chance to give back because Christmas is giving,

a way we can honor the Christ that is living.

‘Cause that is what Christmas is really about.

God gave His Son and now there’s no doubt…

On the night before Christmas it could be the start

when you find God’s love for you there in your heart.”

May you know the joy and reality of Christmas today, and every day.

I feel blessed that I have had the opportunity (though unfortunate circumstances sent me in this direction) to have been able to have been a part of your lives in one small way or another. I also feel truly blessed that I have been able to create and provide content & resources for our HS families to use, and when I read my incoming mail, very often a tear comes to my eye when the writer explains just how in some small way we have made a difference to their homeschooling and very often family life.

St Aiden’s has become a popular homeschooling resource on the internet, and I have you to thank for your comments, thoughts, encouragement and yes, even criticisms. We are here to provide what YOU need so that you can be in the position to give your children the best gift possible – that of yourself. I thank everyone deeply and sincerely for your support through the year, and look forward to a new year of new content, new ideas and a great and fun learning experience for educators and chldren alike.

St Aiden’s has recently been listed at http://www.hslaunch.com/ as one of the top educational Homeschooling sites. Again, thank you.

Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, I wish you a happy season and a prosperous new year!

As always you are welcome to leave your comments on my yahoo blog or this HS blog.

Have a safe and blessed Christmas!

Blessings
Donnette

PS – To everyone who sent links through – thank you. I finally did manage to obtain the license for 12 Days of Christmas Graphics and the files are uploaded at http://www.staidenshomeschool.com/activities/christmas/12_days_xmas.html
Educational of course, but you can grab the sheet music and midi file as well…

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/staidenshomeschooling http://www.staidenshomeschool.com

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