Skip to main content


Showing posts from March, 2013

March birthdays

Both, my and my husband's birthdays fall in March. This year was somewhat special, because kids really took the effort and prepared nice surprises for our birthdays. (Well maybe they were not surprises for me, but still it's the thought that counts, right?)

Zosia couldn't come up with any present for me. She didn't want to buy anything (she doesn't have much pocket money). She wanted to make something for me, but ... it had to be practical as she knows that I like practical presents. I gave her an idea of making labels for all our kitchen jars. And that's what she made! I've never thought that she would make labels as nice and as professional looking as these:

Jas decided to make a birthday cake for me. It was first time for him to make a sponge cake with baked apples (Babcia's recipe). It turned out delicious!

Two birthdays in one month that's a lot of thinking and work for the kids :-)

Zosia really had no idea what to give Tim. Fortunately she saw…

A peaceful Sunday

It does not happen often that we stay home and don't have visitors on a Sunday. I often forget how nice it is just to sit at home with everyone busy doing what they like. It's quiet, it's peaceful, it's so relaxing.

Yesterday was a day just like that. It must have looked quite strange for an outsider as all four of us were sitting in front of the computers and doing our own things. I was preparing lessons for the week. Zosia was listening to the lectures on Acient Greece, Jas was listening to the audio book and doing Hama beads and Tim was writing articles about homeschooling for the newspaper.

Later on in the evening I continued to work on the 4000 pcs World Puzzle:

And Zosia was busy filming and editing her vblog :-) You can see it here.

Here is Jas' blog entry about his Sunday :-)

Coursera is for everyone

More and more often people ask Zosia and us, the parents, where is she going to go to college.We've heard this question from our friends and family, from those who we've just met and those who have known us for a while, reporters and teachers also want to know the answer.
Most people assume that since I am a foreigner in Taiwan and Zosia is fluent in English and Polish we are going to send her abroad to study. To tell you the truth, I don't understand this connection.

First one needs to ask children weather they want to go to university at all. One needs to find out what are their interests and how can they deepen their knowledge in the area they are interested in. Is it possible for them to audit classes at a local university? Can they observe and experience the kind of work that they are interested in? Is it possible to sign up for on-line courses?

Nowadays it doesn't really matter where you are, you can take courses from the most prestigious universities taught by …

2nd Tuesday

Last Tuesday was "2nd Tuesday" - a monthly outing day for homeschoolers in northern Taiwan.
Our family started these monthly outings back in the fall of 2007. We wanted our kids to get to know other homeschooled children and at the same time we wanted to go out and learn new things. Most of the museums in Taiwan have guided tours, but one needs to book them in advance and very often a  a group of people is needed to participate in some activities organised by the museum.
In the beginning there were only two other families meeting with us,but after just a few months the group has grown to over 10 families. Right now, every month, there are about 60-70 people coming to 2nd Tuesday outings! This week was not much different, 65 people came to see the exhibit on Michelangelo at the Historical Museum.
2nd Tuesday is a good chance for the homeschooling families to meet and chat and for the kids to play together. We usually start with a visit to a museum or an interesting exhibition…

Easter cards

Let the pictures tell the story :-)

Teaching chemistry

Teaching chemistry is not an easy task for many homeschooling moms. It isn't easy for me either, but I do enjoy it. I was never good in chemistry in high school, I never liked it, never really understood it, so why do I enjoy teaching it and how do I do it?

While visiting Poland we bought some chemistry school textbooks with CD-Roms and workbooks . As always I let Zosia choose the textbooks herself as I think that the child has to like the book, the layout, the pictures and even the font used. If the book is not appealing to the child then he simply is not going to enjoy reading and learning from it (at least that's how it is with my kids).

Having clear (and nice) textbooks which I can follow helps a lot. This way I know what should be taught first and what next. The CD-Rom and YouTube are also helpful when it comes to understanding the experiments.
In addition to the Polish school textbooks we are also using a science curriculum by Sonlight, but there is not much chemistry in i…

Keeping hands busy

In our homeschool we read a lot. Kids not only read by themselves, but I read to them and with them. We read novels, poems, biographies, stories and also books on history, biology, astronomy, science. We read mainly in Polish and English, seldom in Chinese.
We used to cuddle on a comfy sofa, but more than once I ... fell asleep while reading, it was just too comfortable... So right now during the daytime we read in the study. Kids like to keep their hands busy while I read. Take a look at the things that they've been busy making while listening to my reading:

These days we tend to forget that beside all the academic work that kids do at a desk at home or at school they should also use their hands to create art, learn new handicrafts and do work around the house. Give your children a chance to create something and be proud of it just as if they got 100% on a test.

The Road to Photography (part 2)

A year and a half ago, when Zosia was 14 years old, she attended with other homeschooled friends photo class organised by Por Que Base.
At first kids learned all about pin hole camera and later about the ancient art of taking black & white photos with 35mm film and a fully manual camera. They've also spent some time in the dark room developing and printing the photos they took.

Here are a few of Zosia's B&W photos from that time:

Next step, beside taking lots and lots of photos, was for Zosia to take part in camps and classes organised by Fubong Education Foundation. One of the classes was for homeschoolers to create a graduation photo of themselves. They had to think how they would want to be portrait, what kind of props need to be used and what photo technique they need to use for their picture. This is what Zosia has come up with:

In December last year the photos were on display both in Taipei and Kaohsiung cities.

Now Zosia is taking part in a fun challenge on Flic…

The Road to Photography (part 1)

I am trying to remember how Zosia's love of photography started.
How come the photos she takes are so ... different ... unusual ... special?
Does she see the world differently than most of us?
Let me take you through her early photography days ...

When Zosia was in 5th grade she received her first phone and the only reason she got a phone was because she needed a ... small camera. She was going for a four week long skiing camp in Japan and she was supposed to document everything that she experienced there. We figured out that the best choice would be a small camera phone - easy to use, easy to carry (even when skiing)  and waterproof (snow proof!). This way she became the happy owner of Sony Ericsson C702.

The following summer she went to a camp organised by Juming Museum. There the kids were supposed to explore the five senses - her group was working with the sense of sight. One of the assignments was to take photos while rolling down the hill. Great idea of how to show kids how …