LightningMatt is about to strike

LightningMattYT1Young Master Oh Waily wishes to get in on the video making bandwagon and has been asking me if he can for a week or two now.
This week both his interest and my time collided so that I could let him have a practice run.   The practice ended up being 30 minutes long and it is likely that I will be asked to edit that in to something he can upload to YouTube.  Then this morning he sat with his sister and did a second one as well.  I didn’t eavesdrop on them, but according to sources close to the recording he might just sometimes forget to use the gamer tag names they have chosen.  I can see much fun and probable hair-pulling on my part when it comes to working out how to edit what he has recorded.

I’m proud of his attitude of giving it a go.  At six years old I think he’s going to have done pretty well just to have completed one and have it uploaded.  He does have his own channel on YouTube.  There was never any chance of him not since his sister does!  I will post here when we have something uploaded, which will probably be some time next week.  Once we do, if you could stop by in a bit of spare time to give him a thumbs up, that would be greatly appreciated.

I’m now looking forward to taking a look to see what they’ve put together.  It should be an interesting comparison of styles – because they really do have very different ways of doing things!


Shameless plug

I thought I would put out a quick post to encourage anyone who hasn’t already, to take a look at Miss Oh Waily’s YouTube channel.  Along with her Rainbow World Minecraft Let’s Play videos, she has started another series that will contain short tips.

She recorded and edited the third episode and did most of the tip video too.  I should be entirely redundant in no time.

Her current goal is to get to 10 subscribers and hit 100 views on a single video.  Lofty goals, but hopefully attainable at some point.

In addition to the videos, I also wanted to give NaBloPoMo a go here at the Patch.  I’m not sure how it’ll turn out as I haven’t worked out if there’s enough to actually write about each day, but I figure it’s worth a crack.  I’m already doing it over at my own blog, so it should just be a natural tag along to do one then the other, but we will have to see.

Happy viewing all !  And reading too.

RainbowGems’ debut

As I mentioned over at our Facebook page a few days ago, our dining room was temporarily transformed in to a recording studio while Miss Oh Waily created her first Minecraft Let’s Play video.  It was quite the experience for all of us.

Thankfully the awkward patch of trying to edit the first video to deal with some initial teething issues has not put her off at all.  There should be more in this series, so if you want to support and encourage her to keep learning and improving, you could do nothing better than liking her video and perhaps even write her an encouraging comment.  If you are feeling super-supportive then you can always subscribe to her channel too.  I’m pretty sure any of those will bring a huge smile to her face.

So this first episode was edited by me, with the Miss doing some specific pieces and ensuring I wasn’t destroying her masterpiece.  The next one will be much more of a collaboration where she will be left to do the necessary nips and tucks, with me hovering nearby to answer questions.  Although I suspect there will be little to fix next time around… with the exception of any creaking doors in the background !

So without further ado, I give you Miss Oh Waily aka RainbowGems and her first “Let’s Play” video.

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Pukeko Patch History World

Well who knew that I’d have to learn how to edit videos in order to home educate my kids?

I swear that having them learning at home is as much about my continuous learning as it is about theirs!  Anyway, the upshot is a very wobbly first attempt at a Minecraft video.  Please excuse any technical issues – they’re all mine.  Hopefully we will all get better at this as the kids keep working on their History World.

So, without further ado here is our first History World walkthrough.  If you would leave a comment over at YouTube, I’m sure the kids would get a real buzz over that.  Thanks.


Techno-planning at the Patch

evernoteI came across a very timely blog post at These Temporary Tents today about using Evernote as both a planning tool and a recording tool for home education.

I have been rethinking how I go about some aspects of our home educating, especially around how I track things for my benefit and for referring back to.  This has nothing to do with and won’t change how we go about our home ed.  It’s purely a parental tool to keep on top of and value the progress that my not-so-little people are making.

Did I mention that Miss Oh turned 7 on the weekend?  She did.  And I can’t think for the life of me where that time has disappeared to.

Anyway, I have had a recording system for a while – it’s a little bit of this and that, though.  A diary that for a long while I entered notes in each day, and then transferred to a private blog for ease of long-term storage on a monthly basis.  My planning system, such as it was, was based around a few forms that I had laminated. One for capturing ideas, one for making sure I tried to hit all the learning areas and one that gave a rough layout to topics on a month-by-month basis.
All of these were intended to be very fluid to match the kids’ interests, but by the nature of their design meant that changing details was laborious and tedious.  A million forms to do one or two jobs.

So along comes this blog post about using Evernote for planning and recording in a home education setting, and I was totally hooked by the idea.  I had signed up to Evernote about 4 years ago, but never really investigated nor worked out just how helpful it could be.  Today I have revisited my old stuff and cleaned it out, and also set up a new notebook or two to take care of some areas I can clearly see it working in.  One of which is our home ed.

To start off with, I plan to follow the same layout that Aadel uses in her video example, but will modify it to reflect how we do things.  I’m also going to add in a few extra sections for idea capturing, an overview and some outcomes or goals I’d like us to work towards.

Hopefully this will fulfill all my inner organisational needs to have more of a user-friendly, easy-to-use way of planning and tracking what we’ve been up to.

I can see it becoming quite a bit of a scrapbook as I get more hands on with it.  Photographs, videos, and blog links can all be integrated in to each note, therefore bringing the words alive with imagery and depth of information.  I’m finding myself quite excited about the idea.  I may have finally found a way that works…fingers crossed.

Do you use technology to track your home ed?  If so, what do you choose and why?


A New Teaching Resource

For most of last year we had a pretty regular rhythm of events in our home educating lives.  One of those rhythms was the fact that we had ‘Film Friday’.  Each Friday morning we would head out to our local video store and pick up something to watch.  One video each – the kids getting what you would expect, Tinkerbell or Danger Mouse.  I would get some sort of documentary for us all to watch together.  Eventually we ran out of choice on the learning front, and in an even quicker time we exhausted the supply from our local library too.

This all led me to go all high tech on things.  I have many friends who *stream* their television and movie watching, but other than knowing it could be done I had no clue.  I went to everyone’s friend Google and asked how I could get content from my computer and on to my television.  Google sent me to YouTube.  YouTube told me I needed a plug and a cable and the world would be my oyster.

That’s when I encountered The Problem.  My computer is too old. (Yes, four years old is ANCIENT in computer years.) The special plug was no longer available, even from the manufacturer.  The air turned blue around me.  I ended up at a big box store and tried to find a solution with them.  They sold me an Apple TV box.

That’s when I encountered The Second Problem.  Despite telling the big box store staff what type and age of computer I had, they clearly didn’t think that it would be a problem for my now decidedly geriatric computer to use.  Well.  It was.  Once again the air turned blue around me.  Even my much newer iPhone wasn’t meant to be up for the task.  The only item in the whole household was Mr Oh Waily’s phone and that was at work with him.

I had my own special blue air zone for most of that frustrating day.

However when Mr Oh Waily arrived home and I swiped his phone, I was still thinking that I would require it to be permanently stationed beside my little black Apple TV box.  But as I found, when Mr Oh Waily inconsiderately took his phone off with him the next morning, we didn’t actually need it at all once we connected the ATV box to our wireless network.

The next blue patch of air turned up when I stumbled into The Third Problem – connecting Apple TV to my YouTube account.  This one involved quite a lot of blue air for quite a long time, until I finally worked out how to get the two of them to talk to each other.  It was not all *plug and play* like the technology manufacturers would like you to think.

In the end, it was worth all of the struggle and strife.  We can now link in to our YouTube account and play all manner of documentaries, tutorials and sundry entertainments.  Flavour of the month, ongoing, is the wonderful Mythbusters.  Not a day goes by without one or other child asking to watch or re-watch, or re-re-watch an episode with Jamie and Adam*.  Science learning in a fun and entertaining format.  Gotta love that.

So, if you want to expand your documentary access or tutorial access, then you can’t go past figuring out how to get YouTube videos playing on your TV.  It is brilliant.

If you want to see what we’ve collected so far, come visit us at our YouTube Channel, you might find something you’d like to watch amongst our playlists.  And if you forget to bookmark the playlists, then all you need to do is click on this link in the sidebar to skip right over.


Happy viewing & learning everyone!

* Yes, they are talked about like old friends by our children.


I Love You

I was amazed and touched this morning.  My darling little girl, who loves all forms of touch technology, woke up last and helped herself to my iPhone from next to the bed*.  This helping herself to my iPhone isn’t that unusual, but she brought it through from the bedroom and wanted to show me a video.

I have no idea who showed her how to work the video, or the self-video functions on the phone.  I barely know how to, frankly.   The video that follows is her own creation, out of the blue and with no adult prodding or suggestion.

I’ve named the video I Love You**.   And it’s days like today and videos like this that remind me of just how much I love my children, even when they are cranky.

I hope you enjoy the video, it’s just a smidgen over a minute long.

And, for the record, there is a second video.  For her Dad.  The song is much the same, but the camera work is improved as she is obviously more awake by the second time around.

What has your little one done lately that makes you smile?

* she gets to snuggle up and sleep in with Mum when Dad is away for work.
** as this is special to me and it is my precious little girl, please don’t pass the link on, other than recommending this post.  Thanks.