Friday, October 14, 2016



Last week was a bit of a blur as we had so many projects going on at one time. On top of that I'm fighting some type of upper respiratory mess that knocked me out with a pretty nasty fever one evening. Thankfully the kids are pretty good at keeping the pace on their own.

I also noticed at the end of the week I didn't have too many photos so you'll have to make do with a lot less photos this week. I snapped the photo to the left when I was reviewing the kids planners to see what they'd accomplished one day.

I made the Don't Forget stickers for the kids daily tasks that they often seem to state, "I forgot.." about. I leave blank spaces for them to add something of their own to. I was happily slurping away on a bottle of water when I spotted "Wii" in one child's planner. It was all I could do not to spit out the water.

He asked me what was so funny & when I pointed to it in his planner he gave me the scathing look of, "How dare you laugh at my seriousness.." So I moved on to ask what he was mapping. He told me it was a secret project he was working on & would be revealed in due time. Haha, I didn't ask if he was referring to the Civil War game he was making.

Morgan's week started on Sunday evening with math. He & Mr S usually tackle a new lesson on Saturday, but there was that pesky Grand Final that particular Saturday & pizza making to attend to. It was a bit later in the evening, but they managed whatever it was they were up to.

Jayden tackled a new math lesson as well, but we were so busy learning the new concept there's no photographic proof. This may be the first lesson in his book where he's really struggled to take the concept from his brain & put it on paper. He understands it, but often misrepresents it when he writes it down so we'll be staying here next week as well.

We're moving at a pretty good clip through Fix-It which I don't mind. I really wanted to move to the meatier portion of the programme to get the kids into new material or material they needed to review. We've had a few weeks where things have been tricky, but for the most part it's been smooth sailing for them.

We tackled spelling & writing this week for both as well. Again, no pictorial proof. Morgan is still fully in love with Cover Story & enjoying the slow methodical pace. He will only do one more lesson before laying it aside for the remainder of 2016. I hope when he picks it up in the new year he hits those meatier lesson.

Jayden is working at a slow pace through Writers In Residence Volume 1 which is okay with me. I had to chuckle with the notes he put aside for his first writing session because in the end he didn't use them for what he actually wrote about. That boy!

Both boys wrapped up another week in history. We didn't get to as many of the extras with Jayde as normal, which bummed me more then him. He enjoyed reading the encyclopedia on his own, but that was about all the "extra" he got in aside from the 3 main lessons of MOH last week.

Morgan is moving incredibly quickly through his SL Core right now. I'm impressed with his pace & curious to see if it will remain this fast throughout. He started Stink Alley, one of the few books I actually pre-read! I'm curious to hear how he likes it because it certainly is an interesting, all be it quick, read. He finished his first volume of HUS this week & needs to prep for a test to accompany it.

I am not big on testing in general, but I do feel it's important that my children can take tests, & take them well. I also feel it's important that they aren't intimidated by the idea of a test so we'll be using the Hewitt tests that accompany the HUS books for our boy this year.

Morgan is still loving his Marine Biology, & working away at his notebook with it. He had a few experiments to tackle last week & had help one day from his beloved Archimedes. Notice his alert manner in the photo above? He was most confused by the transferring of liquid from one cup to the other, but horrified by the turkey baster that was being used to accomplish the job. At least he wasn't attempting to eat the books or experiment this time around!!

Jayden did science on Sunday with Mr S & they had a blast. Unfortunately I forgot to snag photos from Mr S to post, & will have to find them later. However, despite the fun that was had Jayden asked to go back to the science boom from last year, which he hadn't fully completed. I have absolutely no issue with this, so we will return to the book by Dr Wile.

Wednesday afternoon I mentioned a harebrained scheme I had in regards to rearranging a few things. My kids suggested I not do this, & after doing some measuring & thinking I agreed that it was probably not a wise idea at the time. However, my youngest decided to go clear off one of the shelves & then expectedly waited for me to be delighted in his efforts & get the ball rolling for my plans.

Considering he & I had a rough morning {which is secret language for we had a spat} I really didn't want to crush his attempt at helping & being kind. So, the rearranging began.. It took all evening & well into Thursday. The kids attempted to work around towering piles of books asking where their notebooks or planners were. It was seriously insane, & of course we didn't have enough book space when all was said & done.

Friday afternoon I shouted road trip, much to Morgan's horror {he had school work he wasn't sure he should leave unattended} & whisked them away up the coast. We picked up a new cube shelf from a hardware shop up that way, then checked out the newly remodeled library up there. If you're curious, we hated it. It looks fresh & open & has plenty of room, but they seem to have gotten rid of half their books!

Then we hit a crafting store, which was a total bust for what I was after, & headed towards home. There were cries of ravenous hunger from the backseat & I debated taking the kids to the new American Diner in town, but decided that would be so cruel without Mr S in tow. So we pulled into a McDonalds instead where we can't even consume 98% of the menu & treated ourselves to the few things we could eat without getting sick.

As we piled back in the car & discussed what to pick up at the shop on the way home we got a txt from Mr S saying he was headed home. Home?! I was confused, it was a whole hour early, until I remembered no one had changed the clock in the car from the time change we'd endured on MONDAY! Whoops..

We told him where we were & that we were just popping into the shop for dinner supplies, which was when he informed us he hadn't taken the spare house key. Brilliant, "Just climb in the school room window, I think we left it ajar." Yeah, he wasn't having that. So the boys & I opted to make quick time in the grocery & got funny stares as we were running past people like our lives were at stake.. until we saw the American pumpkins. There were gasps of joy & delight, & whiel we didn't buy a large one that were listed for $3 a kilo {crazy!} we did pick up 2 minis. Then we remembered poor Mr S & made a break for it.

A whirlwind end to our week, but one we're unlikely to forget anytime soon, that's for sure. If you look closely at the picture above you'll see two bundled up figures at the water's edge. One is bent in half collecting ocean water for the new weeks experiments while the other decided he'd keep an eye out for: sharks, whales, attacking birds, & anyone from unnamed political parties who might discourage the collecting of ocean water to better educate your mind.

Seriously, I'm just glad the nearest person was far enough away that they couldn't hear the maniacal laughter coming from the two of them!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Artist Of The Month: Andy Warhol


A month or so ago, we met up with friends one of whom is an artsy Mamma who use to host a monthly art club for a few of the local home educators.

We really loved Art Club even though our boys were the oldest ones present. They still walked away having learned something fun & having tried out a new medium or era of art.

Times change & with that came the dissolving of Art Club for now. We were saddened by it, because honestly I'm really really bad about digging out anything artsy for the kids to do. Sure, they draw a lot & try out things, but that's the extent of it.

So, when we met up with friends a month ago the Mamma offered to do an art project with the kids. She'd had one ready to roll for Art Club but it never happened. We jumped on the chance & said we'd love to take part. The project was based on pop art, specifically one of Warhol's projects. We viewed some of his art, & heard about how much one of his famous paintings had recently sold for. Then the kids all set about making their projects. It was crazy & fun.

When we came home I checked the shelf thinking I might have had a book about Warhol, but I didn't. Bummer. Our library, however did. Getting To Know.. books are fun, all be them a little bit juvenal depending on the age range you are aiming for. It was a great over view for my guys though & they found the illustrators interpretation of the text rather amusing.

We read through the book last Thursday & then I pulled up my trusty Pinterest board of art projects I figured we might tackle one day, & showed the kids the ones based on Warhol's works. My projects were flagged ages about, but all pertain to the infamous Soup Can artwork. Which didn't bother the kids, because they found a considerable amount of Warhol's art a bit too out there for them.

They each chose a different project, but both projects came from Art Projects For Kids. You've checked out that website, right? I find it a huge blessing that the author shares so many of the projects she tries first hand right in her art classroom.

One of the boys wants to draw his can of soup from scratch, but he confessed that he's super picky about his art work so it might take him forever. I told him it didn't need to be perfect, but he disagreed. We've put all their former art projects from Art Club in a special notebook, so the idea was to attempt to continue on our own. Here's hoping he doesn't take the rest of the year to finish his soup can.. or end up with a huge one on canvas!

The other one decided he'd rather colour in a soup can that was all ready drawn. I printed out the Trading Cards from the APFK blog for him & said it was his choice to make them as actual trading cards or just to colour them in with vibrant colours & come up with crazy soup names, or you know.. semi-normal soups if he desires.

I did suggest they use markers for this project because I figured the colours would be more vibrant like the pop-art we looked at & read about, but in fairness art is a personal thing & I'll just have to wait to see what they come up with.

The project neither of them chose was a simple soup can label to colour in & then place on a tin of soup. On the bright side, it's probably best they didn't choose it because we couldn't have flattened the soup tin to put in their art portfolio, but on the other hand it would have been funny to see it sitting in the pantry.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

2016 Week In Review: Week 32/2


Our weeks look kinda funny in these weekly wrap-ups right now, but there’s purpose to it & I like to keep them semi-organised so that when I’m looking for specific years I can easily locate them. Hopefully it’s not too confusing.

We had another busy week here, but this time it was more academic business then the outside stuff. We tend to be one of those weirder than normal homeschool families who prefer to keep the home in homeschool. Meaning, I’m not big on lots of days outside of the house unless they are after the normal learning hours, so while we were busy this week it was a calmer sense of business for us.

Mr S’ works schedule changed as his office moved out of the business district & into the industrial area for now. This means he can still bike to work without as many hazards & dangers he’d normally face. So thankful for such an awesome boss who didn’t mind the half hour change. It was a little strange for the rest of us, at first, to see Mr S join us in the library for smoothies & the beginning portion of our morning routine though. 

Our only outing this week was Hockey Clinic for Morgan. Most local youth sports run a clinic during school holidays & we’ve not always taken advantage of attending. I really debated signing him up for this one, & when I asked him if he was keen his only response was, “Yeah, but what about my school work?” I pointed out it would keep.

It turned out to be a beautiful day, but wouldn’t you know not a single person from his team or league even showed up! I was kinda bummed for him, but my boy took it all in stride. One of the refs from his league was there so when they asked people to partner up that’s who he partnered up with. He also quickly befriended the fellow running the clinic & was full of questions for him.

Jayden took school work with him & busily worked away. You know, it’s pretty amazing how much more this kid can accomplish in a very small time period when he’s out in public. You’d honestly think that being in a public setting would be a distraction for him, but he’s not really that into hockey so his only distraction was the fact that he hadn’t brought shorts & really wanted to go swimming. The hockey field is across the street from the beach, & the waves were calling his name.

Writers In Resident arrived last week so we were able to dig into that this week. It’s incremental in steps, & comes with a schedule in the front in typical Apologia fashion. I’m so-so with the schedule, but I’ve always felt so-so about Apologia schedules. They tend to schedule really light days followed by really heavy days instead of even keel days across the board. Needless to say we’ll be altering the schedule so we can have an even pace. In the mean time, there were no complaints for his first week of writing. We’ll see how next week goes when we get into the actual writing sessions.

Morgan is still enjoying Cover Story & was cracking up so loudly one morning the rest of us came in to see what on earth was going on. Professor Schwabauer had himself one ripper of a video going on & admittedly we all hung out to check on the outcome. Speaking of scheduling, this course only requires video lessons three times per week, so our boy tends to do them every other day to give himself breathing room for the writing exercises as they arrive. All though thus far none have been very in-depth.

That’s not a complaint, as I know the curriculum is slowly building up to things, it’s more an observation. We’re coming from a year of a pretty intense writing course with a lot of writing each week. We didn’t dislike the programme, but it is nice to have a slightly slower pace this year.

It took a bit for Jaydie to full grab his math lesson this week. This kid is a funny one, we had the same disagreement each day when he’d start his lesson, & each day I’d draw a diagram of the fraction as though it were a pizza & then he’d be off & running. Ahh, my sweet little SWC. Ha! 

Morgan’s math this week was more geometry based & while he had the concepts down pat he kept making the same silly mistake in his equations. Mr S teaches math in our home at this level so while I was cooking dinner one evening I expressed my concern & how he may need to consider visual aids. Yes, I actually did, sometimes it’s hard to let go of things we’re so use to doing! Anyway, Mr S rose to the challenge & created some origami pyramids.

Jayden wrapped up another 3 lesson in MOH Vol. 1 this week. His lessons are still light in history at this stage, which is something I anticipated. My hope is that we’ll be able to work some projects & in-depth studies of various time frames in as we continue forward, but we’ll see. After he reads each lesson I review the challenge cards with him, basically using them to be sure he grasped the crux of his lessons. He also read 2-3 page in the Usborne Ancient World Encyclopedia after we do the challenge cards.

We finally wrapped up the introduction in Kings & Carpenters this week, wrapping up pages .. -.. We’re really enjoying reading Lamps, Scrolls, & Goatskin Bottles. This is one we had to read when Morgan did Ancients, but for some reason we never got to it. It’s more a cultural look, but very enjoyable. We didn’t read as many chapter sin The Ark, The Reed, & The Fire Cloud this week. Morgan loves to sit in on this one, so we held of reading it during his hockey clinic & never ended up getting to it later in the day.

Morgan is still loving his Sonlight Core. He’s run into a few unusual things this week that had him pulling more books off the shelf & googling things. Not to mention the constant, “Hey did you guys know..” that we get to hear. I really enjoy when they opt to share, especially when it’s because we’re doing or discussing something that has brought the lesson to mind. He’s nearly wrapped up the first volume of The History Of Us  & has 1 chapter or so to go of Before Columbus.

We ended up watching a few Drive-Thru history movies this week: Ancients Episode 1, which is very similiar, if not identical, to the Holy Land video we watched. Mind you, I wasn’t as tuned into this particular episode as it started out very much like one we’d seen previously so I was busy upgrading grades, filling in planners for the new week, & other such things. They also watched Us History Episode 2 which is fantastic timing considering the book Morgan will dig into next week.

Jayden isn’t feeling the love with his science book, & admittedly science is totally not my thing unless it’s zoology or oceanography based. However, I try not to allow my dislike for a subject brush off onto my kids. So we evaluated what he wasn’t liking which was, “The same introduction from the last book! Seriously, do they think there is anyone alive on earth who doesn’t know what matter or atoms are?” Ha! 

We also tackled a few fun experiments this week, all though he made me go out in the road to retrieve that stone because he was wearing a onesie & didn’t want the neighbours to think he forgot to get dressed. He didn’t, mind you, he purposefully pulled out a onesie to wear! Then declared that the best thing about homeschooling is not having to wear a uniform, as if he even knows what that is like!!!

Morgan dug into his Marine Biology this week. There is no notebook for Marine Biology available so he’s making his own this year copying down all the vocabulary words he comes across, the OYO questions, & some of the diagrams. He’s not up to the study test yet so I haven’t decided how we’ll handle that.  He also had some experiments this week, & came in to announce we needed to go to the beach. Mind you, it was pouring with rain out, sheep grazier warnings were being issued, & so were marine wind warnings. I asked how important it was, & we decided it could wait until the weather calmed.. We went down the following day & he collected a bottle of seawater which he promptly brought home & stuck a post-it on stating, “Drink at your own risk. May contain whale or other ocean life.” I promise, the bottle is not that big.

In our book basket this week we read from our new poetry book. We’re enjoying it, but had a chuckle at a few repeated poems all ready. We made it up to Day 8 in Why Pray & hit 1 Timothy in our Bible reading. We continued with Operation Yes!, Wile E. Coyote Science, & Fallacy Detective. We didn’t get to many of our other books this week due to the change in our morning routine, however, we did end up reading a book about Andy Warhol & the kids each picked a project to do based on the infamous soup can art.

We also tackled Spelling, Fix-It Grammar, & the laser maze this week. A much busier week, academically, then last but enjoyable all the same. The kids books showed up in the mail so next week they’ll get to dig into those as well! 

Friday, September 30, 2016

Happy Mail: Books


We still have a few books trailing in for the new term & they started arriving this week, hooray! I was actually really glad they arrived on Wednesday & not Thursday as our town was due for some pretty heavy amounts of rainfall & the parcel delivery service doesn't always ring the bell to announce there are parcels. Such was the case with both of these books, one of which was left half in our post-box, while the other was on the front porch.

Dash is part of the Dogs Of WWII series. Jayde had been asking a lot about Pearl Harbour having only lightly covered the topic during his years of US history at a younger age. While he's not studying US history this year when I spotted this story I thought he might love it. This is the story of a young girl of Japanese descent & what becomes of her family during the dark days after Pearl Harbour.

Finding books for our boy can be pretty hard going at times, prior to his VPD diagnosis he was seeing, what are known in the Irlen world as, classic rivers. While he was more then capable of reading it made reading a bit of a chore & explains his lack of comprehension. Now that we've got his filters {tinted glasses} we've struggled to find decent books for him. He needed time to allow his brain to heal, remember Irlen is a brain thing, not a vision thing! This meant having him read below his reading level & it bored him to tears at times. Other times he didn't mind the story, but didn't enjoy the book overall for it's lack of depth.

I have a few more books flagged for him over the course of the year & I've reminded him that if his brain isn't ready to read large chunks of a book yet that's fine, we're not in a race. Admittedly he wasn't very keen when he first saw the book, so we sat down & took turns guessing what the book might be about based on it's cover. Then I read the back of the book to him & a slow smile crept over his face. It'd be nice to see that smile remain there while he reads the book, but only time will tell for that one.

The other book that arrived this week was Journey Through The Bible. I mentioned this one was on order in another post & was delighted to have it finally arrive. The book is loaded with maps, pictures, drawings, & more for the entire Bible. Some books are broken down by chapters where others are just covered as a whole. So far we've just had fun flipping through it & stopping at things that really catch our eyes. For instance, there's a chart to show Goliath's size compared to the average man at that time, or the Sumerian tablet with a work order on it that would have been around doing Abraham's time. Our plan is to read the corresponding pages in this book that match up with his chapters of MOH for the week.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Square Pyramid Visuals


Someone’s learning how to measure the surface area of solids this week in their math. The only problem is said person keeps forgetting there are 4 sides to a pyramid, which means they are forgetting a pretty important step in their formula. 

I was lamenting this fact to Mr S because he’s actually the one who teaches the higher maths in our home. He does lessons on Saturday & Sunday which generally allows the child{ren} to be off & running throughout the week without needing much, if any, help. 

Between complaints about my gluten-free chicken coating I told Mr S he might need to consider the idea of building a 3-d type pyramid so that the 4 sides were visible. Even high schoolers aren’t above if it helps to accomplish the job!

After a quick google search & a few videos that were pretty intense for their origami pyramids Mr S settled on this one & managed to make 3 of them while I finished making dinner. Of course when the kids came out to eat they were pretty keen to know why on earth there were 3 pyramids on the table.

One was keen to use his vegetables to play “the cup” game, while the other was pretty certain he knew what was up. So much so that when someone mentioned the word pyramids he decided to correct us by telling us it was really a square pyramid or something down that line. To which I screamed, “KA-CHING!!!” & then prattled on about the 4 visible sides. 

Chances are if the pyramid itself wasn’t enough to help him remember to multiply by 4, or the fact that his mother screamed "Ka-Ching!" freaking out everyone at the dinner table, then his little brother's determination to use the spare pyramids for catapult ammunition likely will.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016



A couple of years ago we were walking a nature trail near our home, one of those moments of, "Hey let's go on an adventure!" things on a beautiful Saturday morning. It was a completely insane thing to do, mostly because we didn't actually hit the right starting point, nope, instead we drove all the way around the mountain to an access road where we parked, & then checked out the path.

The path had all these random arrows with no real signs. It was kinda crazy & fun & exciting until a few hours passed & we had no snacks for the kids, the water was gone.. you know how it goes, right? The problem hadn't been getting to our destination, but taking the loop back! The arrow on the path indicated one way which led us a few kilometres away from where we'd parked & required walking up a narrow winding mountain road with 2 small kids.

On our way back home we discussed all the yummies we could have for lunch & then, because everyone was exhausted we discussed putting on a long movie & making a few snacks to go with it. Our plans were going along just fine until we sat down with our lunch & movie. The phone rang & Nana informed us she was on her way with the uncles. Her brother's had arrived from another continent & they were on their way to our house for a visit.

My gang got up & flew through the house, dumping hiking boots in odd places, throwing random bits of things in closets, the oven, the fridge, & even the dishwasher. Thankfully The Uncles weren't keen to look in cupboards because we'd have all had a shock.  Our weekend adventure is one we've not really forgotten!

However, we refused to be defeated by the crazy loop path & were determined to figure it out. We downloaded a more recent map, which turned out to be really outdated & missing half the paths, & decided, before setting out, to check out the area on google maps. Which led us to realise that on the very street we lived on, next door to a neighbour we visited often, there was a path to the loop!

The second trip up the mountain was much less daunting because we were prepared for trick loops, took a phone with GPS on it, & had the outdated map which we quickly ditched. We also took the dog, who upon command will find the quickest route home. This generally means crawling under brambles, over the largest fallen trees he can find, & leach infested creeks but he's never failed us to be honest.

Our trip was so simplistic this time that the guys played Lewis & Clark from atop the main point while I happily snapped photos of their shenanigans. The dog, much put out at the idea of having to answer to Seaman instead of his own name, began going a bit nutty near a crevice in the giant lizard my guys were standing on. By giant lizard I'm not referring to the living type, but the type someone made out of rock. The guys were still atop this giant lizard & I jokingly said, "Bet there's a blue tongue in there!"

My guys aren't actually afraid of lizards, all though one of them isn't particularly keen on them after having one surprise him one day. Mr S leaned down to pull the dog away & have a peek & rather then a lizard pulled out a cache which is part of many hidden around Tasmania. We opted, at that time, not to sign the book or take/leave anything, but instead said we'd come back & do it properly at another time. Which we did, all though someone had left the item we'd meant to leave behind so Mr S threw in a business card with a discount code on it, & thus began our experience with geocaching.

My guys are always up for a good hunt & things like geocaching & orienteering really appeal to them. We like that they can be done as a family & with larger groups or without. This weekend proved to be fantastic weather to go geocaching, which sometimes loses out to family bike rides. 2 people need bigger bikes & 1 of us needs air in their tires, so biking was going to be a lot more effort then grabbing a pencil & hitting the road was.

We went out with the intention of hunting 1 or 2 down & then coming home, but 4 hours later we decided we'd look for just one more before hitting the road. The big downer to geocaching is that you'll get a few whispers & eye rolls from people who presume you're playing Pokemon Go! Honestly, if someone wants to play Pokemon I can't see waisting time rolling your eyes about it, but it does crack us up a bit. We had look-out parties happening on Sunday amused everyone but the dog. He found all our nonsense bothersome, mostly because the cries of, "Found it!" didn't include doggie sized prizes.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Week In Review: Week 31 -- 1


Back to work around here this week. We had a delightful term break which involved many rounds of ping pong in which we all realised we'll never be Olympic quality, but likely make a huge spectacle of ourselves much to our neighbour's delight. Caught up with a bit of mowing, only to be behind again, & enjoyed many lazy afternoons curled up with books.

We enjoyed visiting with family, walks on the beach, exploring the library without people fighting over computers & vying for top bean bags, & met up with Mr S a few times for lunch too. All in all, it was a refreshing & fantastic term break & thus a small shock for some to be back in the throws of work, but here we are! Most of our new curriculum has arrived, shelved, & ready to be opened & used. There were a few things still in transit which I'll share about later, but enough was present to have a decent week.

I refilled our Book Basket & made an outline of intentions to use with it. Some books are in audio format which is nice to give my throat a break. I can go through a litre or two of water when emptying our book basket! We did not get a chance to break into the planned Aussie history books yet.

Morgan started Cover Story on Monday, something he's been eager to delve into for a while. It's much lighter then his last writing curriculum, but I'm expecting it to pick up speed as it moves forward, we'll see though. His former curriculum was known for being rather rigorous. Unfortunately, I wasn't well enough versed to see he needed magazines for Monday's assignment & as we don't tend to have any floating around it meant a slight halt on the homework side of things.

Tuesday the car was in the shop thanks to no break lights. I'd checked all the fuses, while showing the boys how to work that, & Mr S had checked the bulbs {which the boys all ready know how to do} & everything in those areas was fine. Morgan decided to "look into" the matter & decided to self diagnose the car with a bad break switch. Much to his delight when I called the mechanic & expressed the problem & what we'd done he also diagnosed the car with a bad break switch which he offered to fix first thing Tuesday morning. I left the kids at home to get going on work & hit the news agency for magazines. I scouted out 4 options & sent photos to Morgan who gave thumbs up on all 4, after my purchases I went for a walk around the block before retreating to the mechanic to collect the car.

Both boys moved forward in their math lessons. They are both still finishing up books from earlier in the year as we hadn't anticipated classifying ourselves in new grades/years. I'm not too stressed about the whole situation. Morgan's reached a point in maths where he now does lessons on the weekends with Mr S because it's all "above my pay grade". They seem to have a grand amount of fun with whatever on earth they are doing, & the end result is what we need so I call that win-win. Jayden is good to continue as normal for a bit longer yet.

Jayde started his Mystery Of History {MOH} this week. I was worried he'd find it a little dull knowing the first few lessons are going to be very very familiar for him, but I warned him that while the pre-tests are done orally & more "for fun" with Mom to decide what he knows, the weekly quizzes were a different story. As we're using the curriculum as designed it's only 3 lessons per week.

I also have him read 3 pages from the Usborne Encyclopedia each day. He was very distraught about this idea on our first day so I sat with him & read to him. I realised that the first day's reading had a whacky background that was just killing his VPD. This was a week of introductions so he only ended up reading pgs 1-5.

We also began Kings & Carpenters {6-9}, Lamps & Scrolls {p1-11}, & The Ark, The Reed, & The Fire Cloud {chp 1-2} last week. The objective is to read 2-3 pages from the first 2 books until we finish them & a chapter or three from the final book depending on length. Generally we're only reading these books Monday - Wednesday when he's doing his MOH, but we'll see if things change any as our year progresses.

Morgan delved into Core 100 which much delight at the start of the week. We're using an older version from Sonlight because the book list was more what I was after. I'm still changing a few books, but not many. He began with A History Of Us: Volume 1 & Before Columbus this week. Our version doesn't schedule the Columbus book, but we'd heard many lovely things about it & opted to go for it. He's loving both of them & raving about them enough I'm feeling compelled to get reading. This is the first time I haven't pre-read most of what my child is reading. I don't feel that I have to pre-read because this child is more then happy to come forward & lodge a complaint if something goes against what he feels to be right, but I like to pre-read!

The Laser Maze got a workout this week too, which was one of the things Jayde was super excited about. He found Challenge #1 way too easy, as well as Challenge #2. Morgan decided to attempt Challenge #60 & while he eventually cracked it without help pointed out that it's likely why the first challenges are simple to build up your knowledge of how each piece of the maze works.

We didn't start science, saving it for next week when we are a little less frazzled. Jayden didn't begin writing because I was just not sold on the writing curriculum in his Timberdoodle kit, the new book I ordered hadn't arrived. Neither child had assigned reading outside of their history due to those books not arriving yet either. Having said that, the older's nose was in a book all week as Gram sent him several books that arrived over term break so he was delighted to continue on with that series.

Amongst the craziness of a new week we also went to a friend's birthday party one afternoon, ahh the joys of homeschooling! Jayde made cupcakes to take along. The boys had a blast spending time with friends & enjoying all that goes with a party: cake. Seriously, you'd think we never had cake the way Jayde raved about it for 2 days! His friend was so sweet to make sure that the food was safe for our boy, & I think the idea that he could indulge in a slice of cake just swooned him.

Friday we met up with other friends at the beach. The weather was just so delightful & we when we ran into them {literally} the day previously we pre-arranged to meet at the park the following afternoon. We were thoroughly worn out by Friday evening! So much so that we got all the way home & it took me 2 days to realise I collected 3 of our 4 holds from the library!!