Thursday 16th June 2016

Enjoyed a balmy 14 degrees at hockey training for Jericho tonight. At least it seemed a lot more comfortable than the 10 degrees I endured last night at Emma’s training. My new fingerless mitts certainly made themselves useful, and it does make a difference to how long my fingers stay nimble for knitting before they get cold and painful.

I spent the drive there tonight, pretty much all forty-five minutes of it, talking about World War 2 with Jericho. It came up in one of their lessons at school (Hayley was reading them the story of Sadako and the thousand paper cranes, which led to discussion about why she was sick, the atomic bombs, Pearl Harbour, the Japanese and Americans in WW2) so he was telling me about that, and we just kept talking.

I knew that they’d had that talk at school, because Hayley was talking about it in the staffroom at recess today. She said it was completely unplanned, but it made her realise that they really don’t do anything about WW2 at the school. The first world war is dealt with every year, because of the Anzacs and Anzac day, but not so much WW2. The thing is, it’s hard to talk about it with kids because it’s not just a matter of soldiers in the trenches and civilians safe at home. There’s atomic bombs on civilian cities in Japan, the Blitz in London, the bombing of Darwin, and the systematic slaughter of six million Jews, all of which can really shake a child’s sense of security. I did end up talking about all of that with Jericho as we drove along, but it’s not necessarily easy to know how to frame it for him.

I taught this morning, which went okay. The little kids enjoyed drawing the peliharaan (pets) on the sheet I created yesterday, and the middle grades made lists of items that they would need to take with them to various holiday destinations.

The seniors continued work on their tourist brochures for Indonesia, which is what I’m not overly happy about. We’ve been doing this for a few lessons, and I’d say about half of them are producing work (or NOT producing work!) that I’m not really happy with. I really don’t think what I’m asking them to do is too hard for them, but some of them just don’t seem to get it. Then there’s the kids who just don’t do anything – some of them are just so unmotivated. I don’t know, they were supposed to finish it today but I don’t think anyone actually finished it to the printed out stage. Next week is the last week of term, and I really feel like we’ve wasted the last few weeks on this. I’m thinking that I’ll give them five minutes to print out what they have, and then maybe go through what they should have done, and how they could have organised themselves. I am just frustrated by it because I explained it all in detail in the beginning, had a sample brochure for them to look at, was available at all times to ask for help or to clarify anything, and they were using Publisher which has a brochure template! What they were asked to do was look up tourist attractions in Indonesia, choose three or four and write a few sentences about each one. Type it into the brochure template, copy and paste a couple of pictures, and you’re done. I truly do not know how I could have simplified it for them any further. These kids are in grades 5 and 6 – it shouldn’t be too hard for them.

Nicholai and Emma have a day off school tomorrow. Report writing I think. Emma, being the social butterfly she is apparently becoming, has asked me if I’ll drive her to the movies to meet her friends, so I guess I’ll be doing that. Nicholai will probably spend the whole day glued to his ipad.


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