Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Berlin Wall project

Many months have passed since we've visited Berlin in November last year.
This was first time for Zosia and Jas to go to Germany (not counting the airports, of course). While in Berlin we went to many historical places and museums, for example - Checkpoint Charlie (the most famous checkpoint between the East and West Berlin, the Wall, the DDR Museum, the Stasi Museum etc.
Both kids got very interested in the whole "East and West Germany thing" and Zosia wanted to make a project about it. Two weeks ago she has finally started working on it. She gathered lots and lots of information from the Internet and books about the Wall. She then typed and printed out some of the more interesting facts and planned the whole 3D project. This is how far she got:

At work

Arranging everything
Scraps of magazines photos for the Wall
Checkpoint Charlie
Brandenburg Gate

Monday, July 29, 2013

Dinosaur project - done!

After 3 looong months of learning, reading, researching, writing about dinosaurs Jas' BIG project is finally finished! 
You can read about the materials and books we used in this post
In April Jas has already finished a part of the project - the dinosaur mural - you can see his post with photos of the mural on his blog.

Jas with his dinosaur folder

I prepared template for Jas to fill in
with information about different dinosaurs.
Jas wrote information about 33 different dinosaurs.
Incorporating a bit of math into the project
Jas also solved some dinosaur word puzzles.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Sonlight "boxing" day

Last week our new books from Sonlight arrived. It took 6 days for the box to reach us! What an amazing speed. Don't remember the order getting to Taiwan so fast in the previous years.
It took less time for the books to travel from one continent to the other then for me to place the order ...
This year I really had hard time deciding what I should order.

About a year or so ago Sonlight has made some big changes to their curricula.  The so called Core used to consist only of History/Geography modules and Read-Alouds, the Bible Study was optional. Now not only the Bible Study is incorporated in the Core, but also Language Arts (Spelling, Handwriting, Grammar, Vocabulary, Creative Expression). That is FAR TOO MUCH. We don't need all this additional subjects, we are only interested in the History/Geography part. That's why I had to hand pick one by one all the books. It also didn't make sense to buy the humongous teacher's manual, because most of the pages were dealing with the Language Arts (which I did not want to do with my kids, at least not to the extend Sonlight is offering).
We also decided not to continue Sonlight science with Zosia. We will be following the Polish textbooks for Physics and Chemistry which are quite clear and interesting. Jas is still going to do Sonlight science - he has moved to Science D which deals with Biology, Taxonomy and Human Anatomy. He's been waiting to start the new science curriculum for a few weeks now and is very excited to see all the new books he will be reading.

Our little helper

Monday, July 22, 2013

Zosia - the model - modelka - 模特兒

Yesterday Zosia took part in the first part of a modeling competition - 2013 Eeling Star - organised by
one of the biggest modeling companies in Taiwan. The competition was fierce, 2175 people signed up. All of them had to prepare a 30 sec. of self introduction and 30 sec. of talent presentation. Zosia was worried that she is not able to present her 'talents' on stage - how do you show that you can ice-skate or ski beautifully? She chose to give a short multilingual speech. She said a few sentences in Polish, English, Chinese-Mandarin, Taiwanese and Japanese. Her performance was shown on 4 different news channels!

Today the results were announced - Zosia is one of the 90 young people that got chosen to take part in the second part of the competition/training. Now many days of training are awaiting her. She is going to learn about make-up, acting, posing, how to walk on a cat-walk etc. After the training the best new model will be chosen. The price is a brand new car, Subaru.

May I ask all of you who are reading this to go to Zosia's 陳明秀 fan page at Eelin and vote for her with your Facebook account? Just click this link and click the 'like' button on the top right corner of her fan page. Thank you!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Lazy summer?

How is it - do homeschoolers have school in summer?

Of course in our school learning never stops. We learn all year round, no matter where we are and no matter how hot or cold it is outside.

This summer both Zosia and Jas have different attractions - cruise, camps, competition and of course normal classes and lessons with Mom.

So what have they been doing so far?

At the end of June they took a cruise to Japan and Korea. It was a short trip, just 5 days, but it was also something to remember. They liked being on the cruise ship a lot and they made some friends with the staff (especially the bartenders). Unfortunately they didn't enjoy the time on land - trying to see too many things in a very short time.

Jas' new idea is to become a bartender or a chef on a cruise. Let's wait and see...

(Note - we, the parents, did not go with them, Taiwanese grandparents and aunts did.)

Right after the cruise Jas went for a week long basketball day-camp. He has learned a lot and wants to practice more, but unfortunately the weather has been so hot that it's almost impossible to play any outdoor sports without getting a heat stroke. I guess he will have to wait until fall to shoot some more hoops.

Two weeks ago Zosia attended a 5 days long camp for young people interested in acting and performing on stage, especially in musicals. She was the youngest participant as all the others were  college students or have already graduated. She was actually only observing the classes and wasn't asked to participate 100% , most of the other students were there to prepare for auditions at Broadway.  All the classes were taught in English by people closely connected with Broadway (coaches, musicians, judges). Zosia enjoyed the camp a lot and has learned a lot about how to behave at the auditions.

We've also been driving to the southern part of the island to meet our new daughter, Ania. She came twice to visit us in Taipei. First it was only for 3 days and second time it was for 9 days. In two weeks our family will grow as Ania will come to live with us for good. All of us are very happy and excited to have a little 3 year old girl joining our family.

Isn't she adorable?
Between all this we've been having normal lessons, maths, English, science, geography, history ...
Zosia is working on a new big project about Berlin Wall (she has been planning that project since last November when we visited Berlin). She is also doing courses on Coursera - History of Rock and Camera Never Lies.
Jas is finishing his dinosaur project and getting ready to go in two days for a  5-day camp to Juming Museum.

Today, Zosia took part in a BIG modeling competition organised by one of the two largest modeling companies in Taiwan, Eelin 伊林. 2175 young people were competing for 90 places (60 girls + 30 boys). Those who pass will enter the second stage of competition which will last a whole month. In the second stage they will get a chance to learn what modeling is really about.
Keep your fingers crossed, we will now the results tomorrow.

Nr 18
(photo from 中央社 2013/07/21)

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Zosia's Confirmation

Lately I've been very busy. I didn't even have time to write here as often as I would like to. Some of you already know why I am so busy, others will find out soon :-) .

I just remembered that I haven't even mentioned the big event in our family...
Two months have already passed since Zosia's Confirmation (Bierzmowanie - in Polish).

I have been thinking about Zosia's Confirmation for a while, not knowing how to go about her receiving the sacrament. There are no other Polish kids her age in Taipei and the only parish with English language Sunday school is very far away from where we live. That's why I was very happy to hear an annoucement in our church about this year's preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation.
It turned out that Zosia would need to meet with sister Florence for an "exam" or should I say, to see if she is prepared to receive the sacrament.

On Sunday, May 19th, 2013 Zosia has received the Sacrament of Confirmation in the Sacred Heart church In Taipei.
It was a very nice celebration during which about 50 people received the sacrament. Zosia was the youngest one. I was her sponsor and she chose the name Jadwiga, the XIV century Polish queen who is also a saint and patron of all the Polish people.

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