Author: Kendra
• 10:35 AM
The end of our Term is officially in sight at this point. We wrapped up Week 7 last week & have 2 official weeks of work to do, & then we should begin our first break of the year. Very exciting to say the least!

This was a rough week for us, too, with a lot of dreary days that seemed to zap the energy out of a person. We've also had very dark mornings & that always lends itself to sleeping in. We have a time change coming up the first weekend of April, which is exciting when you gain an hour, but semi-depressing as you realise the dark & dreary days will soon be upon us more so then they are now!

On the flip side some lovely new books have been rolling up to our doorstep so we'll have plenty to keep us occupied & busy over the darker months this year. In fact, Audible was having one of their ever present sales, & I snagged the entire works of Sherlock Holmes for $7. There's close to 60 hours of listening in that lovely little bundle. That should keep us set for the winter, once we get through the other lovely books we'd hoped to spend some time listening to!

Our Bible hasn't changed this term, so we're still making our ways through all of these. I think we'll be dropping Through The Bible Devotions however, as I've been sadly unimpressed with a few of the latest devotions. The author's take on particular passages & stories in the Bible seems to greatly differ from that of ours & I found it odd to hear him condemn Joseph for showing off. I don't know, but in all the years I've read the story of Joseph's life I've never once thought of Joseph as showing off, how about you? We are, however, very much enjoying our trip through Matthew with the AIO Devotional.

We're continuing to read Chemical Chaos throughout the week, the kids are still totally in love with it. Jayde realised we were nearly done with it & he audibly gasped & said, "What will we do when it's done?" My response of, "Put it back on the shelf." wasn't exactly soothing for him. I know we have a few others that will lend themselves well to our science studies, but we might hold off for a term or two.

We're reading through Exploring The World Of Chemistry together. It's really a Level 3 Chem book with Noeo that is assigned to Morgan. He's enjoying it & does fantastic on all the quizzes. Jayden picks up bits & pieces & tends to confuse the information on the quizzes making him extra excited when he answers one correctly. I think he tends to flake out during the drier bits & tunes back in when it's interesting to him again, thus the confusion of information.

While it's not in the photo we also read from the Usborne Science Encyclopaedia this week as per the Level 2 Noeo Chem guide. We only had 4 pages to read in there, but a plethora of words to define. Mr S loves peeking at the definitions because the kids also illustrate them & he's usually got tears of laughter streaming down his face from one or the others comic strip illustrations.

Morgan's timeline is coming along with scientists. That's just one page of many he's been filling in as he goes along. I'll have to share later about how he's making the figures. The last one we added was a bit bigger then he'd wanted, but we didn't think about it until he slipped it in & asked me to scribble some information he had on his mind.

One of my favourite poems showed up in our poetry book this week. The kids have memorised a stanza or two of this in the past so they are well familiar with it too. I think we might all be a bit sad when we wrap up this book of awesome poetry. I will say that the schedule we are using has us skipping a few sections of the books, mostly ones that might have to do with particular holidays some might not be very keen to read about. All up though, the book is lovely.

We had more mapping again this week, Morgan's usually has several things to map each week. He uses the littler map to transfer info to the bigger map. This week we covered some of Russia's early history, as in how they became Russia. Very interesting! He also enjoyed learning about Ivan the Great & Ivan the Terrible. Amazing, isn't it, how many great leaders go crazy for one reason or another & remembered for their insane tyranny which really was because they were insane!

Still moving along in LA book C. We won't finish C & D prior to Term break, which I wasn't so sure we would as it seemed a rather lofty goal the kids had set, but I was happy to try & help them reach it. There's really no rush with it & we'll slip right into the next level when we wrap this one up.

Mogan's swimming along with Writing With Skill, he's still on Level 1 outlines with it. He opted to start the book over due to the length of break he'd had between using it previously & starting it back up this year. I need to consider moving him through a few lessons a bit more quickly because these early lessons are incredibly easy for him right now. He outlines his points with Dragon which is lovely for him. Spilling Ink landed in our picture, but we didn't get to it on Friday as I declared an official "outing" day followed by "clean the house before Dad gets home" day. 

Jayden & I worked through these boosk this week. Jayden does some on his own, others we do together. We're every so nearly done with our Myles Standish book, which is rather exciting! He's really loved that book, he's most certainly our biggest Non-Fiction lover in the house. He's laughed so much through his Rush Revere book that we've all had to listen to countless retellings of the things Rush's horse, Liberty, is constantly getting up to. I thought we were going to have to pinch poor Jayde the other day when the horse started dancing! We've made it through the Spanish Conquest in The Story Of The USA, Book 1, & we started The Witch Of Blackbird Pond earlier then intended & changed it from an assigned audio book to a read aloud as he really wanted a few more books this week. 

Morgan's stack only looks bigger because some of these books are thick! Jayde listens in on Our Island Story, but it's in Morgan's stack for one reason or another. We wrapped up A Proud Taste Of Scarlet & Miniver which was a lovely read, we seriously enjoyed the book! The beginning of this study we had some hit & miss books all though we read them all anyway, but as we move farther along the books are becoming much more delightful. Story of The World covered the historical information about Russia I mentioned earlier.

I plunked Jayden back in Writing With Ease & put him in level 3. He was disappointed, but only because the workload was greater then that of Writing & Rhetoric which I wasn't entirely pleased with. He writes summaries & does dictation. He'll cover some poetry in a week or two as well. He was quite okay the first day, but very put out the second day. We had a long chat about learning to write means you actually have to put the pencil on the paper, & he buckled down to work. Yes, he's still in a pj shirt, but I can assure you his pants were normal. I've given up asking why I bother to buy matching sets of jammies a long time ago.. 

Math was review this week & both have tests for lessons & units coming up prior to term break. We didn't have any social outings this week either as our group was off camping in the bush this week down by Mr S's childhood home. 

This is the first year we've been unable to attend due to it not being a long weekend, so instead we met Mr S for lunch & gave him quite the surprise, which was returned when a rat scurried across the rocks on the shore front & I screamed loud enough to make the nearby cafe go quiet. 

No Science Labs this week either, all though they should have 1 more or so prior to term break. In Term 2 they get to crack open the chemistry kit & the excitement abounds from all 3 of them over that one!
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Author: Kendra
• 3:24 PM
I'm behind in keeping up with blogging our weeks this term. I've been down, to some degree, with a migraine for the past two & a half weeks. There is/was supposedly a virus going around that had the side effect of horrible migraine/headache & dizziness. I'm not normally too dizzy with a migraine, but I was in pretty bad shape that first week & a half!

Despite the craziness school was still on last week & we carried on to the best of our abilities. We've reached that point in our term, especially with the vast amount of half weeks that we had, where we're all longing for term break!

We had our first official Lego Club meet-up of the new year this particular week too. The kids were pretty excited, but I felt a little underprepared! No one seemed to mind and all the items made were as lovely as ever.

We had some horribly chilly temps during week 6, which had some of us laughing at how horribly hot we'd been only 2 weeks ago & now here we were debating turning on the heat or getting out another quilt to wrap up in for the day. The heat won out, for a little while anyway.

The boys are still reading aloud from Genesis to me each day, while I read from Matthew to them. They are up to Joseph's life & won't be long until we cross into Exodus, they are pretty excited about that! We won't finish our 90 days of Matthew prior to Easter, which is okay. The devotional is lovely, but we'll have to make note to start it sooner next year! 

Still enjoying using the lovely Character Traits for Children each week. We break it up over 2-3 days reading the character trait story & verse the first day, reading the correlating scriptures the second day & discussing ways we can apply that to our own personal lives. While the book does provide room for journaling, we're just doing things orally at this point.

I absolutely love Portraits of Integrity, all though we don't always do it each week. We generally do a story if it contains a trait we can match up to the trait we're doing in the book listed above. We have the ebook version that we picked up free a few years back, & I really need to print it all out or move it to the ipad for ease of use. This week's story was about Roger Williams & his stand for the Native Americans.

Morgan opted to stay put in math so he could continue to review the concepts he learned. I don't know if it was nerves over the test or true lack of confidence, but I respected his choice & he worked onward. He really does have the concepts & theory of the lesson down so he should be moving forward very soon.

Jayden moved forward in his own math book, at long last! It was a long time coming considering how much time we spent on the previous lesson. I don't think we'll meet our objective of finishing this book prior to Term 2, but that's okay. We've moved very slowly in the new lesson & will continue with it next week. While he understands the concept, again he lacks confidence & I want to be sure he's got both before moving forward.

Our poetry this week was a whole lot of craziness & goofiness. I finished reading one & the kids sat there staring at me thinking I'd made the whole thing up on the spot. Not that I'm prone to do that or anything.. okay, actually I am, but... There were several that caused us great gales of laughter too. We're nearing the end of this book, which is rather exciting because our new poetry book has all ready arrived & is sitting on the shelf awaiting us.

Morgan had a ton to map this particular week thanks to King Louis & Queen Eleanor's crusade. Our map is getting crazy full & we're only in Term 1, we may have to add some additional paper to keep track of what we're doing there!

Jayden's mapping is still meagre, which disappoints him a little bit. He sees how much Morgan has & really wants his own map to fill in. It should pick up the pace soon, & will most certainly fill in when we hit the Revolutionary War & the Western Expansion. In the mean time he's settling for the smaller amounts.

Jayde's book schedule was rather light this week with only Life In A Pueblo & The Adventurous life of Myles Standish. We read the entirety of the first book over the course of the week & reached the point in Myle's book where the pilgrims have finally landed. We read about the Mayflower compact & heard about the scouting party that was going to be sent out to find a place for the group to settle.

Morgan read about the Magna Carta, Richard The Lion Heart, & The Legend Of Robin Hood last week, & continued to hear about the various rules of England in Our Island Story. All of it tied in so well with our read aloud A Proud Taste Of Scarlet & Miniver. As a forewarning, while our read aloud is fantastic there is the occasional choice word in it that I've been known to jump over.

Science, this week, was from Exploring The World Of Chemistry & Chemical Chaos. We've added the later into our studies, & I'm really glad we did. It's interesting how if we hit a deep topic in one of our other science books we'll hit it in a more light hearted approach in Chemical Chaos making a bit of a deeper connection. No lab this particular week as we had no experiments! It's the first time all year we didn't have experiments to indulge in.

Morgan's been adding people from our readings to his timeline. As Noeo didn't provide timeline figures & suggests adding them to it, he's making his own as we go along. Sometimes we just slap them down with basic info & a date, other times there's a bit more detail added to the sticker when we put it down.

Morgan did Chapters 1-3 in Spilling Ink. Truthfully we'd read the first chapters a while back during summer holidays, but we reread them & then read an extra one as well. The objective being that we'll use this book for creative writing purposes throughout the year.

The kids wrapped up the current mystery in their LA programme & practices a few grammar skills while they were at it. Oh, it's always a hoot when they do things like sentence fragments or run-on sentences because you can hear wails of, "This sentence doesn't make sense & it's hurting my head!" 

Friday was our first Lego Club meet of the year. We meet 1x a month & our date for meeting changed this year based on personal schedule{s}. The first theme for this year was Game, with the objective being that each participant create a game out of lego. There were a wide variety of games made! The one above was made by Morgan & came from a game book. His inspiration was the fact that he'd played it over the weekend with Jayden. Don't ask me how to say it, it's an old Viking game. 

Jayden also did writing himself last week. I'm really not that in love with his new writing curriculum. I can be quite picky when it comes to writing, & I don't like the contradictions in his current book based on his previous learning. We'll most likely lay the book aside for a while & return to what we were formerly using. In the mean time Olga joined us for a few lessons this week & there were squeals of, "She peed on the table, I can't believe she peed on the table!!" I promise, it wasn't the kitchen table, but still.. ew!

That was about it for us last week.
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Author: Kendra
• 5:20 PM
Last week we had a shorter week & I managed to end it with an amazing 4 day migraine that just would not let up. In fact, I'm still fighting bits of it as I'm writing this, oh the joy! School wise we accomplished nearly everything we set before ourselves last week.

Just to clarify, the highlighter on my planner isn't for anything special other then to say we accomplished stuff. Each child's page is highlighter in their designated colours. Yes, sadly each person in our home has a designated colour. Other then that though it's just for ticking things off as we go along.

Both boys are enjoying their studies thus far, all though I'm sure the younger one would inform us all, given the chance, that he's not at all enjoying math because there's nothing at all to enjoy about long division. That's usually why we don't give him the chance to make comments about it, we just find sneaky ways of having him use division in everyday life to prove he really does know how to do it & needs to continue forward with his practice. Ha!

Other then math though he really is enjoying himself so far this year, & as a general rule he doesn't despise math, but he's really not at all enjoying long division. In fact he's disliking it enough we decided to rouse his spirits by informing him he only had another 5 math books to go & then he could be done with math. I didn't mention that they might be a wee bit harder then the one he's all ready in..

We start our days with this lovely stack of goodies. The boys read the OT to me, all though not actually from the Adventure Bible despite it being in the stack. We obtained a larger print copy of the Discovery Bible which Morgan is totally in love with due to the larger font. I read from Matthew to them while before we read the devotion from the 90 Days book. I was half out of it last week & managed to read the complete wrong set of verses! I read through the whole thing & the boys finally said, "Um, that's odd because it feels like we missed half of what was going on." Yeah.. migraine weeks can be rough!

We completed another section in our poetry book. This lovely book is broken down by themes & we wrapped up the current section of poems we were reading. The next section has longer selections including a few old favourites I'm excited to get into. 

We've been plucking away since mid-year last year on Sequential Spelling. Morgan's had so much of a better time with it since getting his glasses then pre-tint days. I love that & he loves it too. I won't say he LOVES spelling, but he loves that he's making progress. I tend to sneak in words that trip him up the most via bonus words worth 4 points at the end of any lesson. If you happen to visit our home & find words written on bathroom mirrors or shower stalls, chances are it's a spelling word someone was struggling with. Yes, the screen is blue above. Instead of writing words on a white board {not allowed for our boy & the glare kills him} I put the spelling lessons together via the computer. I had many all ready on there from our last attempt with SS, & I just quickly changed the background to the perfect shade of blue for him. Win-win. He was so excited to hit Lesson 50 last week.

A bit of review with LA last week with suffixes & prefixes. They had to locate them one day within a paragraph of information in order to hunt down clues for the mystery they were working on. Another item we started mid to late of last year & they are pretty excited to see they are now beyond the halfway mark or more with it. I hope they won't be too disappointed when they find the next level isn't a mystery to solve!

Science continued forward & the new science books for Level 3 Chem showed up too, so exciting! I'm behind on Science Lab Sundays, but we've been doing those for our experiments as well. I wasn't present for the most current one, & have no idea if Mr S snapped photos, but I heard plenty about it & found the mess all over the place when I surfaced. As for last week's science we picked back up Chemical Chaos which the kids absolutely love. It's fantastic for adding to our Chemist/Science timeline, giving small bios on various chemists & adding a whole lot of laughter to our lessons. Level 2 Chem had us reading Mysteries & Marvels last week as we explored molecules. Level 3 has us reading The World Of Chemistry where we read about various alloys. 

Tuesday we joined friends for Art In The Park put on by another home educating Mumma. While my boys tend to be the oldest present they really really enjoy the experience. I've been seeking an Art Teacher for them for a while, but despite living in a rather arty community you'd be shocked by how unwilling to teach children people are! Either way they learned a brief bit about John Miso & then created their own personal masterpieces. I'll share how they created them in another post.

Jaydie finished up his reader. He was torn on this book, part of him wanted to be annoyed with the book because I think it lacked the depth he's use to considering the books we've been reading together for the past many years. At the same time the book wasn't horrible & so, despite it's predictability, he enjoyed it. He's been required to answer retention questions &/or give some form of an oral narration after each reading to be sure he's on track. 

I seem to be lacking photos of the children at work this week, but Morgan finished up his reader too. He fell behind with it because I attempted to copy the book, as is, on our home copier, but the results were less then stellar & he had issues with the copy. Upon looking at it I wasn't surprised & had to go the route of getting an ebook & turning it into a PDF, cleaning that up, & finally printing it out for him. He was delighted to be able to just read through it in the end.

He's been loving his new audio book Rush Revere & The Brave Pilgrims. We own a hard copy of the book that Mom sent the boys a while back, which he's more then capable of reading, but I snuck some intentional audio books into his schooling this year. We had a hard time prying him away from this book throughout the week in order to get other things done. 

We officially started the Story Book Of The USA as well. I'm not a typical textbook person, but I do enjoy that these books have quizzes in them simply for the sake of practice. I do find it interesting to see which types of questions my kids thrive on compared to others. Jayde will often try to answer questions on his brother's test, & he's always right, where as on his own test he was much much more hesitant. It made me chuckle.

He's still loving Myles Standish & The Amazing But True Survival Story Of Plymouth Colony, ironically this book will be part of Morgan's studies laster this year too. I don't know how I missed that! We haven't actually reached the departure of the trip yet, we've only read about the various people in hiding & those who made it safely to Holland in an effort to worship God as they chose. 

Morgan's lovely stack of book this week.. He & I have been listening to Story Of The World, the narrator has grown on us over the course of the year we've been using it. Since we've begun using the tests for the book it's amazing how many more finer details he pays attention too as well. Then again, a lot of the material now surfacing in SOTW is starting to repeat much of what we've been hearing in Our Island Story which really helps him. He enjoys hearing the same things a few times over to grasp it more.

Kingfisher is still a favoured read each week, even if it's nothing more then checking out all the amazing things we've read about. Don't get me wrong, we do read the information each week, but we also really love oogling over the pictures of the things we've read about!

Our new read aloud is A Proud Taste Of Scarlet & Miniver & tells the story of King Henry & Eleanor of Acquitaine. The book has an interesting note in our guide because the book starts out in heaven where Eleanor is waiting her husband's arrival. I honestly didn't mind the setting or reference, but Morgan was thrown a little askew by it so I read the note to him reminding him that when it comes to fictional work people have the ability to make a book unfold in anyplace they wish. The majority of the book is about Eleanor's life though & we quickly settled into the story. We're both really enjoying it!

Despite my earlier comments about math hatred I finally let him take the test for Lesson 18 in his book. He was more then ready & did fine with it, don't ask about the tweezers, I'm pretty sure he was picking his nose with them. Don't ask about the eye either, it's my purple highlighter he got ahold of. Seriously, this kid coloured less on himself as a toddler then he does now!!

Morgan stayed put in math, with a vision set back the week before last we only tackled half his lesson  at that time & tackled the remainder of it this week. Next week we'll spend time reviewing it & previously learned information &, baring no issues, we'll move forward there after. It really works out well like that with 2 shorter weeks in a row.

Morgan & I both spent a good deal of time with DuoLingo's French options this past week. Let's just say French brings out the worst in my boy. I think DuoLingo really compliments Rosetta Stone because it explains a bit more of what & why in regards to the verbs & even some of the words. Rosetta Stone shows pictures & in some instances I've misunderstood the item in the picture vs what I was saying.

The upside, for our boy, is that with Rosetta Stone is that you spend more time clicking, speaking, & dragging things around then worrying about spelling. For a person who struggles with English spelling adding French to that is rough on him. At the same time he's determined to keep going, which I deeply admire.

Thursday we met up with our home ed group for the annual stuff swap they have & wouldn't' you know my youngest child came home with a guinea pig. Mr S called me a sucker, while he was pulling the new addition to the family out of the cage & offering her vegetables while letting her scurry around his lap. I informed him I have on problems telling my child "No." It was the 6 other children standing around him holding hands & whispering, "Do you think she'll say yes?" that was more off putting! So, Olga came home with us, was named before we pulled in the driveway, & quickly settled in. She's successfully freaked out the birds, gotten lost in the maze of halls, & prefers to be petted precisely on the bridge of her nose so she can still detect scents of incoming vegetables should anyone be so generous.

Morgan baked up some cookies too, much to his brother's delight. He's been itching to do this weekly for a while now, but was worried about making them "safe" for everyone. I told him to only use the normal dairy subs we use & not fuss over making them "safe" for me. He was a little put out by that, but I assured him he could eat an extra one for me. Jayden deemed them, "So delicious next time you make them make a Warrior Bean Bun sized portion so they last forever." 
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Author: Kendra
• 12:00 AM
In my steadfast effort of trying to purchase my kids gifts that keep them away from electronics I stumbled upon a Lego book called Chain Reactions. I was pretty impressed with the ideas behind it & knew that at least one of my boys would build heavily off of the concepts. He's amazing like that, & his creativity with Lego Bricks seems to grow wider with each passing year.

I ended up ordering the book & decided that when it came I'd pop it up in the cupboard for a birthday gift for one of them, or an, "I really need cheering up because this has been the worst red letter day of my life!" You totally know what a red letter day is, right?! In our home we dub a day that was really rotten as a "Red Letter Day" & when they are that bad we make our best efforts to do something amazing so that we don't dwell too deeply on the ugly.

Only, I totally forgot about ordering the book & when two book packages came in the mail the other day the kids asked if they could open them so I said, "Sure!" I knew one was a missing school book, but I wasn't certain about the other. I figured I must have missed one on my list & now it was here. So imagine the look of shock on the kids faces when they ripped open the package & saw the words: LEGO.

The book comes with minimal lego presuming you'll own a few yourself to make the bigger chain reactions inside. It has instructions for making a variety of things I'd label as simple machines, & then differing ways you could use them. It even came with a few paper bits you'd need to make ramps & funnels, buckets & so forth.

Morgan made one of the bigger chain reactions:


After getting it going he's plotting ways to make it even better, of which I have no doubt he'll succeed with. In the mean time the younger one keeps asking the contraption questions like, "Will Mom let us play the Wii soon?" Funny, you know, the machine seems to give him a lot of false hope on that one!
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Author: Kendra
• 12:00 AM
 I realised after I shared how I prep for a week I left out prepping our guides for the week ahead. This year we have several guides from several companies: Winter Promise, Sonlight, & Bookshark. With WP this year we're only using the Language Arts at this time, so that guide doesn't need much prepping. I like to peek at my schedule as I copy down what pages we're doing so I know what topics will be covered, but aside from that it's very open & go.

The other two guides take a little more prep time & I generally prep them at the same time I'm putting my planning sheet for the week in my planner. It doesn't take more then five minutes to deal with either. First off, I tend to take the note sections from my guides & run off copies. My objective is not to keep a neat set for selling, nope. Rather, I use one copy to write on for one child & then use the fresh guide to write in with the next one. This allows all my notes per child to be in their own guides. I can easily reference back to a previous one if needed, but in general what I do with one child won't always be identical with the other.

Once I have those in my planner I grab a pack of highlighters & go to town. I highlight the vocabulary words in orange, retention/discussion questions in yellow, mapping & timeline information is in green, history & geography notes are in purple, read aloud notes are in yellow, & readers are in pink. I generally try to use 1 colour per thing so I need to remove one of my yellows not that I have a new blue highlighter.

Each week I just flag where we are with a post-it note & flip to it after readings are done. It doesn't matter if I was present for the reading or not. One big objective this year for the kids is to learn to retain more information then just what they find interesting in order to help them process the information & apply that knowledge to other things like tests.

We've never been big test takers here, but as Morgan gets older testing is essential for a variety of reasons. This year we're choosing to focus on test taking, in a semi-relaxed atmosphere. I have one child who gets giddy with excitement over taking a test because his confidence is sky high in the knowledge that he can & will succeed. The other one would prefer to curl up in a ball & pretend tests don't exist. This isn't because he doesn't know the information, but he struggles with the idea of failure.

In either case, discussing the information in our guides helps them process what we've heard. It can help start discussions for things we might not have otherwise thought of. This year Morgan is using Story Of The World Vols. 2-4, there are many discussion questions in the guide we're using & often those questions will prep him for the test that accompanies the chapters. As an aside, the tests are not scheduled with the curriculum we are using, they are something we've opted to add in.

Now, if you've used the notes & questions in your guide & felt overwhelmed or frustrated because maybe your kids gave one word answers or less then stellar answers, take heart. I always find that at the start of the year answers are... well, lame. In fact I'm not above saying to my kids, "That's lame." or, "I think you can do better then that."

We're at the 4 week mark in our term & when I ask the questions after readings I'm finding that the answers mirror very well the pre-printed answers. My objective is not to have children who can spout back textbook answers, but within their answers they hit very closely on what's written in my guide.

I do not have my children write the answers down, I simply ask them aloud & they answer them aloud. With Jayden moving off on his own now this was especially important to me that we use the guides in his Core. He's new to the whole "doing so much on his own" thing & I didn't want him to even feel tempted to skip a bit here or there & attempt to "catch up" later without first discussing it with me. He went from needing a bit of coaxing to get those answers out of him in Week 1 to not only giving the appropriate answers, but expanding further. I love this, not only because it tells me he's grasped the material but this is an area the my boy can, at times, struggle in.  His abilities often outweigh his own knowledge. Meaning he's capable of reading something, but that doesn't always mean he's grasped the content.

Another thing I love about marking my guides like this is that it makes it super simple to locate exactly what we're mapping. Somedays we can have zip & then other days we can have a lot. In the newer Sonlight Guides, & Bookshark Guides, you get a lovely laminated map that expands out. Each map is labeled so the child can use mapping skills to locate places on the map. We take it a step farther & after they locate it on the small map they transfer it to the big map. My kids love geography so this is something they've been known to sulk about if it's a day with no mapping.

It just really helps me feel I'm getting the most out of our curriculum this way!
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Author: Kendra
• 12:00 PM
This week was much calmer then last, in fact it almost felt like an end of term week as we had a lot of books & projects that needed wrapping up which we dedicated our attention too.  We still have a few projects that are lingering which we'll wrap up in the coming week.

It was nice to wrap up what we did though & shelf some books we've been reading for a while! We do enjoy a slower pace with some books, but I think eventually you reach the point where you either have to wrap a book up or feel like you'll never finish reading it. 

We also enjoyed some lovely weather this past week, & endured some not quite so lovely weather too. Summer was most certainly fighting to stay while autumn was battling to arrive. Needless to say it rolled in like a lion!

We're still using the same things for Bible this week. We're into Matthew 6 with our 90 day Devotions. The kids are up to Genesis 27 or 28 this week with reading through the OT. Jayden did most of the reading to us from Genesis this week which was fun to hear. Our character trait this week was Determination. Poetry was much more interesting this week, I'm telling you last week each time I finished the kids would say, "What? I could have done better!" Which resulted in some poem quoting or making up on the spot, but this week they were happier with the selections. 

Jayden remained on reviewing his current math lesson again for another week. He's finally okay with the concept & built up the confidence so he should advance forward in the coming week. I just really wanted to be sure he had the former lesson down pat because it's such a huge lesson in the grand scheme of things.

Morgan moved forward with area & circumference of circles. Only one of those is somewhat new to him as he's previously learned the other. I was a little surprised to see frustration for him with this lesson considering that, especially as he was completely capable of explaining the formula for what he was doing! Upon checking over his work I quickly discovered it was a rough week with his SSS. It's not abnormal to have weeks where his vision issues are more exasperated then others. After a quick chat with Mr S, & knowing our boy knows his math facts & as he knew the formula, we told him to use the calculator to complete the worksheet sections we had him doing. Our boy was horrified by the thought.

The whole SSS thing is equal parts a physical problem as much as it can also be a mental hurdle at times. Physically he was struggling to convert the numbers down to paper properly, & when he did have them right he'd doubt himself & mix them up. This happens from time to time. By offering him the help of the calculator he felt slightly defeated at first that he couldn't physically overcome the burden this week. However, we assured him we wouldn't have permitted him the help if he couldn't have told us the formula or didn't know his math facts. It rallied him.

Both kids are still loving the geography. Jayden was ga-ga that he had New York this week. I have no idea why he was so keen for it, but he was. He uses the books in the pictures above to fill out the information needed on Monday; Tuesday - Thursday it's just drawing & labelling.  Morgan had 3 more European countries this week. 

New workbooks this week for LA, which they were excited about. Not that it looks like a workbook because we bought the digital format & print it ourselves, that allows us to print it on blue paper for Morgan. They covered articles this week: the words, not writing articles for the paper. Ha, now I've semi-confused myself! They both had writing this week, but have a few projects overlapping into next week. 

We wrapped up both Ancient Job books. The Archer book {bottom} we'd started last year & were reading at a lovely slow pace. We did enjoy it, but it was an absolute delight to finally wrap that book up. As it turns out, there's not a whole lot of jobs we'd like to have in the middle ages, all though if we could just try our hands at a few for a day we'd be good. You know, if we can avoid the whole Black Death thing & all.

Jayden & I started the Ballplayers book this year to go along with his history on the Inca & Mayan nations of peoples. It was really a lovely read & tied in so beautifully with the many other books we were reading from, but wowie some of those crazy Mayan words are hard to read! My boy was most attentive to the zoo jobs, big surprise there! He also found some of the other jobs interesting, & some downright horrifying. Or maybe it was the culture itself such as being punished for wearing clothing above your station...

Jayden & I wrapped up Exploration & Conquest this week, another longer picture book written by the same authors of the many others we've read thus far this year. He gasped many times over when we flipped pages & he saw pictures of things we'd been reading in other books. In fact, at one point he snatched the book out of my hand in his excitement & went racing off to find Morgan to show him the Mayan city we'd been reading about. The picture was more of an arial view which just enthralled him.

We also wrapped up Pedro's Journal. It was an interesting read, lighter then I Sailed With Columbus & based on a real journal. Both books mentioned many of the same things which was interesting. I Sailed With Columbus was also suppose to be told by a ship's boy, all though he stayed behind with the men on an island, where as Pedro returned with Columbus & was never seen again.

I hadn't intended to start our new read aloud Myles Standish, but Jayden was very very keen & on Thursday, despite his eagerness to get to the park, jumped up & found the book on the shelf laid it down beside me & pointed out I hadn't read it yet. It's a non-fiction telling of many things that happened in that time frame & even tells a bit of the reformation. We're only halfway through the first chapter, but he loves it. I'm not surprised, he's my non-fiction reader!

He'll wrap up A Lion To Guard Us next week. He's not sure if he likes the book or not, which I'm a bit surprised about, but I think he's looking for a book with a LOT of action in it. We may take a while to find one he won't put down. He is, however, very relieved this book doesn't have another language thrown into the mix.

We had more readings in Kingfisher this week then Story Of The World, but perhaps that's because of a glitch in our guide which had us rereading a section in Kingfisher we'd previously read?! Weirdly enough I read it again anyway. We're still moving slowly through Our Island Story & enjoying it. Morgan wrapped up Otto this week & was very keen to discuss it for some time after doing so, clearly a big hit with him. We'll start 2 new books next week & finally be at a point where we aren't adding anything in aside from our daily dose of OIS.

Jayde filled in a couple of notebooking pages. They are pretty simple, but I like that he has something to mark that he's read up or wrapped up a historical figure or time period. He was suppose to write his name in Mayan this week as well, but the page has gone missing! I need to find it so he can tackle that next week.

Morgan's new timeline book arrived so he'll stick down things in there in the coming week. He's pretty excited about it. He hasn't been doing notebooking at this point, & I'm okay with it for now. I may have him write a little bit about someone from our main study when we move from one period to another. We'll see.

Both kids were together this week for science. Don't laugh, but we've, once again, shelved General Science. Mr S was as unimpressed as I have been in the past. So I quickly ordered Level 3 Chem from Noeo for Morgan & as we awaited for his own books to arrive he just joined in on Level 2. Level 2 is still jam packed with a lot of information. They had a variety of words to define & illustrate this week, & will have labs on the weekend with Mr S.

The Level 3 guide showed up late this week, but now we need the first book to show up as well. In the mean time he gleans from the Level 2 lessons & has been enjoying hearing readings from Chemical Chaos. I'm not at all worried about it as when Level 3 comes we'll just be doing the Level 2 & 3 readings together anyway.

Not pictured:

Morgan had his own reader this week; he was behind a bit because first the book wasn't available for him on blue paper & then once it was the math issue was leaving him a limp noodle without enough brain power left for reading. Giving him the math aid really helped clear that up which brought a smile back to his face.

We met up with our Home Ed group at the park this week for a play. The kids were delighted having missed our the week previous.

The boys also came along to help measure some things for Nana's new abode, she'll be moving in very close to us sometime next month if all goes well with the building process. It was lovely to check out her new place, meet a few friends that will be living in the same area with her, & help her get measurements for various upcoming needs. We also gave her a quick tour of our very tiny town so she'd know where things were within close range of her new home.

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