Classical Education – First Steps

Well, we are going to dip our toes into the waters of a Classical Education this week.
With the help and assistance of the Ancients downloadable curriculum from Classical House of Learning we are starting off with a variety of Creation Myths/Stories.

So today we read about Phan Ku* and Ananse.  A giant with horns and tusks, and a wily spider.

I will need my patience hat on, that much is clear.  Due to the recent sickness we seem to have lost our ability to concentrate following on from a super dose of television watching / recovery.  Thankfully, in a roundabout sort of way, I am unable to source the suggested reading book for the second week so we will perhaps just take a bit longer going through more than the myths/stories suggested.

I can also see that doing this may be difficult with a three year old fidgeting away next to us.  The problem is – he will not want to be excluded, and I am doubtful of any meaningful distraction too.  Oh well, no one said this journey was an easy one.  My intelligence and versatility will surely be tested.

So what Creation stories have you read to your children?

* It’s quite interesting to see the differences between the version in our library book and the wikipedia entry.  I’m sure my eyes would spin up into the back of my head if I tried to reconcile all the variations.  🙂


Classical Education

I’ve always been interested in the idea of my children coming to know the classical world and gaining an understanding of where our cultures originate from.  That is most probably down to the prehistorian/anthropologist in me.
So when this nice link to a pre-planned curriculum of classical education came across my Facebook groups (thanks to Darnia) I went along for a look.

I really liked the fact that so much of the basic legwork had been done for me.
I really appreciated that I wouldn’t necessarily need to go and hunt out good children’s versions of many classics.  In fact, looking through the book lists made me realise just how little I was aware of the children’s versions of stories and classical literature that I personally only first learned about when I was in my late teens as a university student.

I’m hooked.  As part of our eclectic learning style I am going to try and incorporate some of this into our days.  I don’t intend it to be onerous and I am hopeful that by making it relate to other things, like geography and the current Olympic games, that it will be taken on board and enjoyed by both Miss and Master Oh Waily*.

Have you looked into a Classical Education for your children?   If so, what appealed or what put you off?

* there is very little chance of reading to one without the other wanting to be involved, especially as there are activities to do with each piece of reading.

Neighbourhood Walk: Zurich, Switzerland

As a result of our week long illness I didn’t get to share the last couple of Neighbourhood Walks with you, so here they are.  The first is part of one of the most beautiful countries I have visited, schaeresteipapier‘s neighbourhood in Zurich, Switzerland.
I love the architecture and the most excellent trams.  I think I might have a “thing” about trams and this walk has just proven it to me.  ;-D

You know the drill by now, click the button and enjoy your visit.


Today’s Neighbourhood Walk: Cambridge, England

Here is today’s other neighbourhood walk.  We hit the picturesque world of Crazy Cambridge Mum.

Sadly when I did live in the United Kingdom, I did not make it to Cambridge.  How remiss of me.  It looks lovely and all those wonderful Colleges at the university.  Oh my, I think I will need to invest in a good camera before heading there as I can see myself wanting to photograph everything.
Don’t forget to take a look at the locust on the clock – that is fantastic.

You know the drill by now, click the button and enjoy your visit.

Today’s Neighbourhood Walk: Berlin, Germany

I’m sorry to have disappeared over the past few days.  Miss Oh has been ill and is only just on the mend, so blogging had to take a back seat to all the other things life demands of a Mum.

On the up side, I will be sharing multiple walks today, starting with Cami’s walk around her part of Berlin.  I think I would love to live somewhere with trams and a river, it looks like a very peaceful way to get around.

You know the drill by now, click the button and enjoy your visit.

Neighbourhood Walk: Wellington, New Zealand

As you will know if you have been visiting The Patch for the past couple of weeks, we have been taking a neighbourhood walk in a huge range of countries.  I have been enjoying the visits immensely, but now it is my turn to show people around.

For the purposes of this walk we are taking in, technically speaking, two cities.  We currently live in Lower Hutt, which is part of Hutt City, but for the first year after moving from Auckland we lived right in the centre of Wellington.   As there is barely 15 minutes worth of driving (unless it is rush hour) between the centre of each, I think that we can share the best of both worlds with you.

So we shall start off with the local version of a postbox.  Like many places we have a variety of styles.  I’m sharing one of the more recent versions.

Post Box

This is the nearest corner store to our house.  These little general purpose shops are known as dairies, as in “I’ll just go to the dairy and get some bread.”  Wikipedia nicely explains it’s usage in New Zealand English.

Local Dairy

As for manhole covers, there are as many of these as there are reasons to be underground.  Most of them are functional (read: ugly) with company logos on them.  But I managed to get a photograph of one functional cover right next to a spiffier version for you.

Manhole Covers

Then we go on to the park. This is my daughter’s favourite park in the whole wide world.  It is Frank Kitts Park and it is right in the centre of Wellington, on the waterfront.  It was less than five minutes walk from our apartment in town and she loves to be able to slide down from the top of that huge fake lighthouse.  Thankfully Master Oh is usually more content to play on the smaller scale climbing and sliding equipment.

Frank Kitts Park

This is our street.  I can’t say that it is typical as there is such variation here in New Zealand, both in housing style and physical location.  A good proportion of residential Lower Hutt and Wellington is to be found sprawled up the sides of the hills, but this is where we actually live.

Our Street

Now Wellington is known for a number of things here in New Zealand.  One of them is the extremely windy weather and the other is the commuter train network that takes people from many kilometres away right into the heart of the capital.  I popped along to our local station and took a shot of one of the newer trains.


And now we move on to my choice of what to share from around our cities.

I couldn’t let you leave without showing you an image of one of our iconic buildings.  It is the executive wing of our Parliament Buildings and is known colloquially as The Beehive.  I’m sure you can tell why.

The Beehive

And while we are on a bit of a buzzy theme, I thought I would share one of the central city’s interesting signs.  There are quite a few of these signs in the middle of town pointing the way to specific venues.  They all have very interesting and arty tops.  This one pays homage to a classic Kiwi toy – Buzzy Bee.

Buzzy Bee

And while we are discussing things arty, Wellington has a love affair with public art like pretty much no other city in the country.  Turn a corner here and you are likely to stumble on an interesting work of art.  I’m choosing a maritime theme today, because we are an island nation.

Seashell Art

But you could as easily look to the wind sculptures all the way along the road to the airport.

Staying on the nautical theme takes us to another major form of transport here in Wellington.  The Interisland Ferries.  These ply their trade between Wellington and Picton and are a great way to travel from the North to the South Island if you are visiting. The close up photograph below is courtesy of the efforts of Mr Oh Waily when he was about to do some work on board.

A Ferry

And of course you couldn’t visit New Zealand without a small taste of Maori culture.  I did want to get a good photograph of the front of the local wharenui but unfortunately they had a rather large marquee up.  Very modern, a great way to keep the proceedings going in inclement weather, but not particularly photogenic.  So I have for you instead a carving from the entrance and another from the fence surrounding the front.


You can see the carving on legs and arms, as well as the tā moko carved and painted on his face. Behind him you can see the apex of the front of the wharenui. It is such a beautiful entrance, I’m disappointed that I couldn’t share it with you.

Post Top Carving

And finally before I leave you, I want to share another piece of local culture.  Much more modern than that just above.
When we moved to the city here I would go out in the morning for a walk, roughly when everyone was arriving to their days work.  I was astounded by the fact that close to 90% of the people I would pass in the street had an equivalent of this…. in their hands.

Coffee Culture

Yes, a takeaway coffee cup.
I think Wellingtonians appreciate a good coffee as much, or more than, their art and their books (the Central Library is a wonderful thing here).

I would love to show you around some more, but that’s a pretty long post as it is.  I hope you enjoyed your visit to the greater Wellington area and that you come see us again soon.  In the meantime, enjoy those neighbourhood walks that have been or are about to happen by clicking through on the links below.

June 25th – jojoebi-designs – Saitama, Japan
June 26th – akatsuki ra-ra-ra – California, USA
June 27th – little red farm – Sweden
June 28th – “Je veux une ‘tite soeur-fille” – Canary islands
June 29th – Knitty Lorn – East Devon, UK
June 30th – We Don’t Need No Education – Michigan, U.S.A
July 1st – Jeollanam-do Salad – South Korea
July 2nd – Merita’s Playground – Slovenia
July 3rd – kids, craft and chaos – Scotland, UK
July 4th – Zonnah’s Addictions – Washington State, USA
July 5th – Adventures of a rainbow mama – Australia.
July 6th – Se7en – South Africa
July 7th – Talia’s Travel Web Log – New York, USA
July 8th – Monkey Magic – Japan
July 9th – The Pukeko Patch – Wellington, New Zealand
July 10th – Cami Daily – Berlin, Germany
July 11th – Crazy Cambridge mum – Cambridge, UK
July 12th – Schaeresteipapier – Switzerland

Today’s Neighbourhood Walk: Yonago, Japan

Today we are visiting Monkey Magic’s neighbourhood.
We head back to Japan today, this time on the west coast.  My favourite photographs are the grave and the field of leeks.  Such interesting differences between cultures, it is so much fun getting to see them.

So click the button and enjoy your visit.

And just a short note to let you know that my own neighbourhood walk is scheduled for Monday morning.   I’m looking forward to showing everyone else our country.

Today’s Neighbourhood Walk: Cape Town, South Africa

Today we are visiting Se7en’s neighbourhood.
We are remaining in the southern hemisphere for this walk.  And it is another of the SANZAR nations that we are visiting.  Take a stroll around the colourful, beautiful world of Cape Town, South Africa.

You know the drill by now, click the button and enjoy your visit.

And just a short note to let you know that my own neighbourhood walk is scheduled for Monday morning.   I’m looking forward to showing everyone else our country.

Today’s Neighbourhood Walk: Australia

Today we are visiting the neighbourhood of Adventures of a Rainbow Mama.
This is a short trip for us here in New Zealand.  Just jump across the ditch and see the world of our nearest neighbour.

You know the drill by now, click the button and enjoy your visit.

And in more good news, my computer is now back home all bright and functional.  Just in time for me to get my blogging mojo back before I’m due to post in the Neighbourhood Walk.