Etude de Français et d'autres choses
So we sat down and translated bits of it, based on my O Level French and a Collins French-English dictionary we have here. We could have used BabelFish, but that would have been too easy! Zara's been wanting to learn French for a while, but not in a classroom or from a textbook so I've been putting bits into conversation as and when I can - she seems to pick it up better that way.
The box of old computer bits came from some of our friends' relatives in France. They had a clear-out of parts and sent them our way, knowing we collect those kinds of things and we're very grateful that they did.
It's rare we've had to spend any money on computer parts - much less computers. Most of us here can build them quite easily - though I keep forgetting how and having to work it out from scratch again! The main problem is compatability. A certain mainboard won't be compatable with various chips and so on. Tom is our resident expert on such matters - he seems to miraculously just know which bits will and won't work together. Here's another part of his room, to illustrate the point ;-)
The result of all this is a networked broadband Internet connection in every room of the house, which has been invaluable from an education point of view. One good way of home-educating a large family on a shoestring budget is to learn to build computers! I do love books:
- but they can't compete with the Internet for sheer volume of information and accessibility.
Lyddie and I have also been working on her reading skill and numbers, but the numberwork seems to come so easily and the reading has hit a plateau. We're just concentrating on 3-letter words. She's got the individual letter sounds sorted out, and can say, for example:
"Ber - i - ner" but putting those sounds together: "B - i - n" to get "Bin" isn't coming yet. I wonder if I'm rushing her somehow, but she regularly asks me to write the words and help her to read them, so I'm not sure. I can't very well say no! The word-writing came from some other (English) newspaper reading we were doing. Well, I was doing it regularly - I like to settle in an armchair with a newspaper for a short time every day - and she would clamber onto my knee and ask me to help her work out what the words in the headlines were saying. This got us talking about the actual stories too, with the associated whys and wherefores, but I said: "Shall we just do shorter words?" because she was struggling with the longer ones. So maybe I did take control of the process there. Hmmm.
Yes, this month's new things for us here are clotheslines running across our bookshelves, pegging up discarded clothes, whichever sums or words we're working on and paintings to dry. It started off just as a place to dry paintings but then became useful in all those other ways. The blackboard seems to be just being used for pictures now:
- our 'sums on the blackboard' phase having passed as quickly as it arrived.
I've also got to quickly write in praise of whiteboards. Just the plain, ordinary, non-electric variety. We invested in a few little ones just to keep around the place and they're great - people seem to like writing on them. There's one for shopping, another for things we want to do. Actually, there are two for things we want to do. And some with fridge poetry words on them, though they've been neglected in favour of the ones with pens.
We've also got hopscotch chalked on the front path. I had a picture of that but can't find it now. Ah well, I'm sure you can imagine it. And made pumpkin pie. Today we're off mushroom and firewood foraging, I think. It feels like that sort of day.