Monday, 30 May 2016

Grammar of poetry

Grammar of Poetry
Author: Matt Whitling
ISBN: 978-1-59128-120-7

Hi Everyone

I have to recommend this to everyone.  We are studying this at the moment with the kids and all are responding well.  We are watching the DVDs together and getting some good conversations,  there is a riddle at the end of most units that get us all stumped, and the additional poems are deep and thought provoking. 

Here is a glimpse of what your family/school will get with this curriculum:

Lesson 1: Introduction and epiphany chart
Lesson 2: how to read poetry

Module 1
  • Lesson 3: Simile (trope)
  • Lesson4: Rhyme
  • Lesson 5: using a rhyming dictionary
Module 2
  • Lesson 6: Metaphore (trope)
  • Lesson 7 Meter (part 1)
  • Lesson 8 Meter (part 2)
Module 3
  • Lesson 9: Pun (trope)
  • Lesson 10: Lamb (foot)
  • Lesson 11: Iambic imitation
Module 4
  • Lesson 12: Personification (trope)
  • Lesson 13: Trochee (foot)
  • Lesson 14: Trochaic Imitation
Module 5
  • Lesson 15: Synecdoche (trope)
  • Lesson 16: Anapest (foot)
  • Lesson 17: Anapestic imitation
Module 6
  • Lesson 18: Hyperbole (trope)
  • Lesson 19: Dactyl (foot)
  • Lesson 20 Dactylic imitation
Module 7
  • Lesson 21: Onomatopoeia (trope)
  • Lesson 22: Alliteration
  • Lesson 23: Alliterative imitation
Module 8
  • Lesson 24: Rhetorical question (trope)
  • Lesson 25: Refrain
  • Lesson 26: Refrained imitation
Module 9
  • Lesson 27: Oxymoron (trope)
  • Lesson 28: Spacial poetry
  • Lesson 29: Spacial imitation
  • Lesson 30: Euphesism (trope)

This curriculum is serving my students and myself very well.  The student sheets have plenty to reinforce the lesson.  The DVDs are fantastic, especially for my boy who responds well to anything put on a screen.  And the teachers edition has all I need to make the lessons easy to prepare, present and grade.

Happy reading

This product was available from: Roman roads media, Excellence in writing and Excellence in Writing NZ,

Tuesday, 24 May 2016


Oh my goodness! 

My daughter sent me this today while I was sitting doing my paper work with a line of cups (empty!).
It is so true I just had to share it.  I have no idea where she finds this stuff but someone out there is very clever.   I unfortunately am just working on it :)

The trespass

The Trespass
Author: Barbara Ewing
ISBN: 0-75157-3390-4
Pages: 401

Take a journey to the past with Harriet.  I am impressed by the way in which the author managed to take me into a fictional world that was so extremely historical.  I wanted to reach out and save Harriet from the men in her life. 

There were several pieces of history that made this book one of the best historical novels I have ever read.  The first being the extreme impact of Cholera.  They seemed so blind the sickness.  When we look at today in comparison, the effect of Cholera seems so bizarre.  We know now that we need clean water, yet in this book the waterways had the dead in them.  But they believed their cleaning systems had it all under control.  There is no way that we would put up with this in my country.  My heart goes out to the people who still do not have clean water systems in their countries.  

The second historical reference was the travel and relocation of citizens from London to New Zealand.  A dream that transformed from excitement to reality as they entered the most beautiful country, but had to work the bush-lined landscape to start a new life there.  Amongst the labour, where the native people who were being invaded by a new culture who would in time bring a culture that would change their country.  I like the visionary writing.  I have read and learnt much of the history of New Zealand.  The country, is today a country of multi-cultures.  It remains a beautiful country with bush, rivers and scenery that tourists flock to view and experience.  Along side this beauty lies cities like any other westernised country.   Upon reading this book I envisioned the dynamics of the people entering New Zealand, the travel experience, hardship, toil, dreams and shattered dreams.  In the history books I have only really read of the native New Zealand experience.  I liked experiencing the boat voyage and characters, as I journeyed with them across the seas to escape their world in search of a dream that was not the dream they envisioned but they hence, in time, created.

Thirdly, the women and men of the era!  We have come such a long way in the way we treat women.  I know there is still a way to travel in many societies and cultures, but in my country women have freedom and a voice.  Harriet was procession of her father's, then a wanted procession of every man who entered her life.  This dynamic amazed me and made me so angry.  She was a women of strength and character.  I wanted to reach out and save her but in reality she does this herself.... or does she?

If you get the opportunity to read this book, then do so.  Take a look into the past, the present and envision the future.  Where have we been and where do we go from here?


London 1840.  The capital city is living in fear.  Cholera is everwhere.  Eminent MP Sir Charles Cooper decides it is too risky for his youngest daughter, the beautiful but troubled Harriet, and sends her to the countryside.  Rusholme is a world way from London and full of extraordinary relations: Harriet's cousin Edward and his plans for a new life in New Zeland; the formidable Lady Knigdom and her two eligible sons.

Bu Rushholme offers only temporary respite.  When Harriet returns home, London has become more dangerous than ever.  Her health, her freedom, even her sanity, are under threat.  Escape is essential.  Can a young, powerless girl change her life?  Has she any realisation that, if she does, more than one person will pursue her, literally, to the end of the world?

This was available from: Fispond, Amazon and Book depository

Happy reading

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

We don't know what we are

Hi Everyone,

We are reading 'Mrs Frisby and the Rats of NIMH'  at the moment.  There are some in-depth conversations coming out of this story.  We are all getting a bit excited over some of the conversations, to say the least.  The reading went for at least 3 hours today, as one chapter lead to just one more and one more.  That was until we were starving and I had almost lost my voice.  In amongst the reading came some of the most interesting conversations I have ever had with the kids, over a book.  Have conversations like these ones and you will never have to answer comprehension questions!

One of the conversations was about the above quote.  We don't know where to go because we don't know who we are.  Have you ever asked your kids/students what and who they are?  This got a huge response and more questioning.  It was never-ending as we all looked at where we had been and where it has taken us.  Making them think of what they have become due to friends and circumstances along with the change in the person they were, in comparison to five years ago. 

When you take a mouse and a bunch of rats, then turn them from a story and metaphor, to a reality of ideals then link them into a conversation the outcome is amazing.  I have a whole new outlook on classics and Socratic questions, the combination opens a new world of literature for any age. 

Add this to your to be read pile and enjoy reading

Quote taken from 'Mrs Frisby and the Rats of NIMH' by Robert C. O'Brien

Available at Fishpond

Sunday, 15 May 2016

Alice lead the rabbit... insane

I have spent all day being intelligent!  This has lead me not to the place of the poor white rabbit, but to Pinterest.  In amongst the array of quotes I came upon the white rabbit.  I haven't even given it a thought of where the character got to over the past decades.  To find him with this doctor made me giggle.  Yes I have issues with characters!  Books are meant to lead you to another world!  This happened for Alice and look at where it got the rabbit. 

What do you think the rabbit is telling this man?

What happened to Alice?

Now this would make a good story.  Leave me a comment below and let me know your version of what happened to this rabbit and where is Alice?  And be nice the story is not about my sanity.  I have lived in an academic world today and needed an escape... that is what good stories are for.

Thanks to whoever posted this on Pinterest, you keep the world smiling.  I have also seen this picture moving it's way around the Facebook world and it is 'worthy of repeating'

Happy reading

Friday, 13 May 2016

Luna Tree: the baby project

Luna Tree
Author: Maya Berger

The more I read this, the more it dragged me in.  To start off with, I thought it was just someone's story.  Upon reading further I found I was mistaken.  Yes, it is ones journey through life and an autoimmune issue but there is more this book.  What I like about this, was the way she approached everything.  Each day was a struggle.  She never denies this fact.  But she enters a journey of relaxation, meditation and finding her inner strength and self. 

I am struggling to explain this book to give it the justice it requires.  It is one, I think, you will need to pick up and read to see what a journey and experience she encounters.  So if your curious click the links below and get yourself a copy.  Then leave a comment below, I am interested what you think and the journey you have perhaps gone on too. 


Maya is kicking up her heels, living the fabulous and mostly carefree life of a twenty-something young woman. However, in the back of her mind continuous longing for a good marriage and family lingers. How do you find the right man, the one who sticks through thick and thin? Will he provide you with the things you find essential in a relationship? Maya kissed a few frogs before finding her Prince Charming, but what followed was of higher importance. She started feeling chronic pain in her lower back, the pain that wouldn't let her neither sit nor stand. Thus Maya began her relentless quest for diagnosis and healing, which she ends after discovering Energy healing. She travels the globe to receive and raise her own stored Energy, the one that changes everything. Her ultimate desires come true.

This was available from: Amazon, Book depository and Fishpond

Happy reading

Friday, 6 May 2016

The lost tools of learning

The Lost Tools of Learning
Author: Dorothy L Sayers

Paper read at a Vacation Course in Education
Oxford 1947
First published in 1948

I came across this book and thought it would be an interesting little read. In reality it is not a book; never was a book; but rather an essay.  Nothing like picking up a classic essay from time to time, and analysing how things are in comparison to today's ideas. 

What did I think?  I was impressed.  Maybe it is time to re-analyse some of the avenues of today's education system.  There is a lot to be said for the reading statistics in today's public schools.  When I look at the books that were gifted to my elderly friend as a child... the reading was extremely hard in comparison to the books my children are reading today, at an even older age than she.  There has to be some thing said about the education she was given, in comparison to the systems today.  Or do we just not have the time for reading in a world where socialisation abounds and technology is at our fingers. 

She writes of the classical education.  There seems to be a lot popping up on the web about classical educations.  I know there are many home-school families that endeavour to educate there children in such a way.  There is also much documentation arising of charter schools which follow the avenue of a classical education. The results are looking good for many such schools.  Can we go back?  No, one can never totally go back, but why not mix the good of both. 

This essay has some good information and points worth pondering over.  Well worth reading, its not long and with a good cup of coffee, I am sure it will give you much to think about.

This is available all over the web by Googling 'The lost tools of learning' or grab a copy for your kindle from Amazon, it was only 81cents when I purchased it.

Amazon link:

Happy reading

Thursday, 5 May 2016

The Rose Temple

The Rose Temple
S. Mitchel Weitzman with Lucia Weitzman
ISBN: 9780996117708

Due for release - May 2016

I was attracted to this book because it was of a holocaust survivor.  Every book I have ever read about someone surviving these extremes have been powerful testaments of courage, determination and hope.  This book was no exception.

It is a story of the past and present.  Lucia Weitzman's story of her childhood is intertwined with the dreams and visions she documents in a journal.  The dreams and visions become a journey of discovery as she follows the steps of each dream.  She writes each experience in a journal which helps her put together the pieces, as she discovers herself in the questioning.  It flicks from childhood to adulthood with each consecutive chapter.  I liked this concept.  I read each chapter to get back to the past or future.  I found myself enlightened by her journal and opened mouthed by her childhood. 

I love awaking from a dream.  I always feel refreshed and well rested when I dream.  I have never thought of documenting them.  I have often questioned them, especially when they seem so real.  The spiritual journey this woman travels is amazing and inspiring as she finds answers, truth and healing.  To read of the experience of a child held in grips of the holocaust, and the questions the adult then seeks to answer... This is the book.  Pick this up and take a journey through the childhood and adulthood of a true survivor.


Happy reading