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About bookbard

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  1. This was a program run in New South Wales only, not across Australia, and only for K/1. It didn't replace a phonics program - teachers ran phonics programs as well as this - but one of the issues was this program took up so much time and money, and yet you had to run a phonics program as well. My child went through this but he started school reading. They certainly taught sounds, but they didn't use decodable readers. They actually HAD decodable readers, because the NSW govt provided these to each school, and I asked. They just didn't use them. I believe schools across Australia must offer a
  2. Susan Wise Bauer (just to be clear, haha) linked an essay she wrote on teaching history on her facebook page for discussion. I don't want to write comments on fb, but I did want to discuss the idea, as it was interesting. Here's the link to her essay: https://www.cardus.ca/comment/article/on-history-children-and-the-inevitability-of-compromise/?fbclid=IwAR2TG62jWCK4fxRZtFWOOM68oAdOekkrvNR9QVDiDwvM2DYXpUkiDzges8M It introduces some well-known overarching narratives in history, including Great Men (history is the story of things that happened due to great men), Marxist (history is the
  3. Surely, surely you could see I was not saying 'let's do the School of the Air, just like they did back in 1962! I said that there is current expertise and research in the field of Distance Ed (which includes the School of the Air - there's many other forms, I assure you!), and the Departments should be using that expertise. Not individual teachers, the Departments who should be planning and guiding. Yes, sending a video of School of the Air from the 60s to your teacher would not be particularly helpful, I agree!
  4. I thought I answered this - If I did and I can't see it, here it is again! Australia has had the "School of the Air" since 1951. It provided paper and online (back in the day, radio) schooling to remote children in almost every state in Australia. It still does! There are many teachers with expertise in this area, and a lot of scholarly research has been done. It would be good if that could have informed virtual schooling. In Australia, we had virtual schooling for around a term when most of the country was in lockdown in March/April. It was haphazard. Victoria has had to return to
  5. Well, I include Australia in that - it was a shambles when we went virtual (and they are still virtual in Victoria). When they saw it coming in Feb, they should've started talking with Distance Ed at that point.
  6. I've said this before, but Australia (and NZ and other countries) have been doing distance education for 50 years. We have data, we have research! It's not brand new - why aren't we learning from people who have been doing it for decades?
  7. Re-reading the entire "Eyre Affair" series by Jasper Fforde. If you haven't read it, and you're a lover of books (esp classics), go grab it. It's just so clever, and definitely fits into the 'hopepunk' category. I realised all my copies are first editions because I bought them as soon as they came out. I found most of his other book series missed the mark, but this series has really lasted.
  8. My easiest meal is this: cut up zucchini (courgette?) capsicum (red pepper?), onion, sweet potato, toss in olive oil, put it in the oven till cooked but not crisp. Put a bit of garlic and olive oil in a fry pan, thyme & rosemary if you have it, then shove in the veggies, then put chicken thighs on top. Let it all cook. You can eat it like that or serve with pasta. I could eat it all day. Turning things into burgers works for my kids. Cook some chicken strips, add the bun - chicken burger. Same with fish (they don't really eat red meat). You can put whatever veg they eat on the
  9. I've read Little, Big and liked the description of the house, the descriptions of the family. I've seen online that some people have a very deep love of this book and I can't say I do, however I'm not from the US, so I'm sure I'm missing a lot. Quill, Jane Eyre is my favourite book. I feel like it's the kind of book you can read at any age from about ten years old, and get something from it. The other book which I recommend to all is Sophie's World, by Jostein Gaarder. Filled me with joy!
  10. I actually really liked Shantaram. It is just so full of heart. I agree that the guy does use what you might call purple prose, but it's almost part of the fun. Here's the first line: " It took me a long time and most of the world to learn what I know about love and fate and the choices we make, but the heart of it came to me in an instant, while I was chained to a wall and being tortured." I mean, doesn't that make you want to keep reading? Dreamergal, I am a massive Michael Ondaatje fan too - we had to study him at school. I think Anil's Ghost is my favourite, followed by The
  11. Following this thread with interest. To those who have been asked the 'what to teach' question - doesn't your state have a syllabus? In Australia, you can look up every outcome for your grade and state. It gives examples of work that is either high level or average level. This is both to guide teachers and to guide parents who are homeschooling. And regarding the debate about early academics, it probably depends on your experience with your child. I know one mother of a gifted child whose child could not read at age 6, and it was a real struggle; she had to sit there and read out al
  12. They used a kids' TV channel on the ABC in Australia during the lockdown to run educational programs all day. They used existing programs which focused on literacy and numeracy for the younger ones, history and science etc for the older ones. It was a nice idea but the reality is - how do you 'force' your kids to sit down and watch it? A huge number of parents really struggle with this. Now I personally think it would have been really interesting if the lockdown time had been used to focus on INPUT - as in exposing children to rich ideas, language and images that our harried schooling doesn't
  13. I just read that 250,000 people are facing homelessness now. A quarter of a million people, homeless! It's hard to fathom. I hope the world rushes to help, but with covid, it's an extra barrier.
  14. I've been reading along with this thread - some of it is relevant to my country, some not. Our schools are all funded both using federal money and state money. So the basics are covered - obviously a school in a rich area can fund-raise for more extras than a school in a poor area, but those extras aren't really what make them different. There is basically a national curriculum although it's still being worked over - for example each state still has its own handwriting style. But apparently in X years time there will be a national curriculum. This is of benefit to all the children a
  15. A range of series on Kindle I've enjoyed Laurie King's Sherlock & Mary Russell series, starts with The Beekeeper's Apprentice. (historical fiction with a side of philosophy along with mystery). Ilona Andrews Innkeeper Series and Hidden Legacy (urban fantasy with side of romance) Lady Trent (A Natural History of Dragons) - historical fantasy Shadow Unit (if you like Criminal Minds mixed with X Files - a bit gory in places, very much character-driven) Lois McMaster Bujold Vorkosigan series, starts with Shards of Honour I believe (Space Opera with lots of philosophy
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