Author: Kendra
• 4:32 PM
I'm still a week behind in our wrap-ups, but I refuse to give up in attempting to keep them all straight. It gets harder each week to snap photos as the boys do more & more of their work on their own while I'm busy doing other things as well.  However, I managed a fair few for this particular week of school.

The weather was just so beautiful last week as well that it was difficult, at times, to want to be inside instead of out & about. There were a fair few breaks between subjects so we could go soak up some sun & fresh air. We've finally reached that point where we can open our windows wide during the day again, & if we should accidentally leave the heat off all night we don't tend to notice until the morning. 

There's still plenty of time for a bit more chill before the warmer weather is officially here, but we're rejoicing in what we do have! We've even noticed the cockatoos overhead again, & had a grand time darting in & out to see what on earth they were up to. If you're wondering it's generally fighting over pinecones or other funny bits of things.

There's a lot of pyjama wearing by this child, especially where school is concerned. I'm one of those people who just doesn't care so long as it's clean. Math in your pjs? Why not, I say!  Jayde concentrated on some review work last week for maths & will continue with that until he feels absolutely confident with what he's doing. He's found that he's learned so many new things of late that he's getting quite confuddeled so we'll stop & pause for a little bit. He wasn't happy with the idea, as he really wants to wrap it up before the end of the year. However, I'm more about do you know how to do it & if you don't or aren't confident with it we pause. 

Morgan, on the other hand was keen to move forward, but as he didn't get the grade he was after on his last math page from the week prior opted to hold himself back. Truthfully he was more then ready to move forward, but I admire that he's setting the goals for himself & willing to accept when he needs to strive harder. He'd also do better if he didn't attempt complex math problems while his brother is telling insane jokes & making up stories about the people walking by the house..

Monday was swim for our boys & while we didn't know it at the time it was their second to last lesson of the term. Their coach of 2 years is no longer working at the pool & we were given a sub teacher, which the boys were reasonably excited about as they've always found her quite funny. Unfortunately she resorted to name calling her ex-co-worker & that spoiled all of it for the boys. They don't handle name calling, much less from adults.. or from adults by other adults they have great respect for. 

We wrapped up Acts last week as well.  We've still been enjoying listening along with the Bible Gateway App. While doing so this week we hit Chapter 28 & when we heard verse 11 we had to switch it off to look up the verse ourselves. The verse mentions a weathered ship from Alexandria that had "Twin Brothers for it's FigureHead" {NASB}, & the boys wanted to read it for themselves as it made them think of Romulus & Remus. In the KJV & the NIV they are mentioned as two gods not brothers at all, as does the footnote in the NASB, but it was nice to know they were listening.

We read bits & pieces from all of the above books as well as MOH 2 again.  A Child's History Of The World is not part of our WP Middle Ages study, but we really do love the book & so we're enjoying reading it as it ties in with our studies. Sometimes it's easy to have too many resources, isn't it?

Our new read aloud is Hostage Lands which started our in modern times with a young boy who lacked some respect for his Latin Teacher. The book gets pretty interesting within the 3rd Chapter or fourth chapter & the kids were eager to keep hearing more.

Both boys were suppose to wrap up their assigned books last week, but somehow managed to misread their own planners {they even wrote the info themselves!} & had a bit left over that they'll deal with next week. Morgan's been flying through the Encyclopedia Brown book which has been fun to listen to. Not that he's reading it to me, but he's constantly amazed by Brown's logic & insightfulness that help him to quickly solve mysteries.

There was a whole lot of this happening too. Morgan has been wanting to learn how to do this for a while now & had an Auntie who was going to show him how, but it's been difficult for them to have time to work on it. At the Home Ed book swap he found a book on the topic & was delighted to have a go at it. I know it has a different name in the US, but for the life of me I can't think of it, here it's called Scoubedou. Either way it kept him busy & any spare time he had was given to creating these crazy things. He quickly mastered the two string version & was pretty keen to have a go at using more strings.

We also worked on our science this particular week, all though I had to reread about cells in the orange Human Body Book, Sonlighter's will recognise it as a Core F Science book. The info about cells was just flying over Jayde's head in The Way We Work, so we may put it aside as a spine for now & pull out the Apologia book that Morgan used last year.

Morgan ventured into French this week too, all though I have no photos to share. He & I both began French Lessons & Mr S & Jayde wish we'd stop. In order to remember what we were learning if we could sub an English word for a French word we would. I was having a terrible time with singular & plural for the word drink & was in brushing my teeth one night saying the word over & over when it dawned on me what the difference was. Nearly gave Mr S the fright of his life when I came out the bathroom shouting drink in French. 

For those you who might not be aware, Rosetta Stone is 50% off again according to their Homeschool FB page. We're considering obtaining Latin for Jayde, all though Mr S is still pretty keen for Spanish, the one language we'd have the least use for in our neck of the woods. He likes to be different, what can we say?
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Author: Kendra
• 5:08 PM

The blog has been a little slow around here as I've been working on getting photos off one computer & onto another.. You know that & finding time amongst all the craziness that is our lives. On top of enjoying lovely spring weather that's been both beautifully warm & sunny which has driven us out into the garden where we've been enjoying working on our new yard.

However, I was recently trying to get photos off my phone when I noticed the kids had been using the camera on it again. I found a ton of blurry photos that I deleted off, but when I found this one I just chuckled. My kids will spend hours playing "Minifigs" do yours?

First they organise their boxes of supplies & then they close their eyes as they grab pieces to make funny little figurines. Then they take it all apart & build them properly & set things up for some grand scene that has to do with one thing or another. They've been experimenting of late with ideas for better quality stop motion videos with the lego. I have no idea if the above scene was part of that or just something someone put together while listening to our current read aloud. I just found it amusing to see it spread out all over the little table.

Perhaps funniest of all, to me, was the fact that they are all facing the fireplace where, if you look closely, you'll see a blurry image of Paul which is actually a book about the life of Paul. After having spent a few weeks learning about Paul's conversion & ministry it just cracked me up to see a bunch of minifigs who appeared to be have all their attention turned Paul's way.
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Author: Kendra
• 10:03 AM
Our youngest mentioned the other day that this year has flown by & he can't believe it's all ready Spring time again. Yep, that pretty much sums up the way our school year is going too! While we're hearing of friends & family back in the states all gearing up for the start of the year & trying to get over those first week back humps & bumps we're closing in on the end of Term 3. Only a few more weeks to go & we'll be on our final break before the last term of school begins. Where oh where did this year go to?! 

Yes, this big hairy creature was found at the school table one day last week & when I found him sitting there looking like he was gnawing on my pencil bag I couldn't help but laugh. I think he's been named Hairy or something like that, I might be wrong. My children have a thing for stuffed creatures.

We've been listening to Acts still via Bible Gateway's free audio options. Normally we use that particular dock, but someone has removed it from the library & everyone's been huddled around the phone listening in & demanding I turn it up louder. At one point someone suggested we just purchase another listening dock instead, which is a wise suggestion but I'm super picky about them.

Why yes, he is in that crazy onsie again. He was living in it for a while. If you look closely you'll see his sock monkey sticking out in there too. Everyone needs a cuddly friend when doing math, don't they? Jayden is still plucking along in Delta, he covered finding averaging & areas of a triangle, both of which he did fine with all though I think we may need to pause shortly & just review a bit to help him build some confidence.

Morgan is still moving along with Zeta, he's found most of the first few lessons simplistic so he's looking forward to it picking up a bit of pace here soon, all though I think he might need to get through the first unit for that to happen. We shall see!

Both boys wrapped up the books they'd been assigned to read over the past week or so, & started in on new ones. Funnily enough they both were keen to be reading a mystery this time, all though totally different books. 

Still reading bits & pieces from each of these books as we travel through our weeks, all though we've gone back to listening to MOH, with a little adjustment we were able to quiet the background music for the Volume 2 audio making it much less irritating. The kids are pretty eager to get into the project section in the Medieval book{s}, & Im with them as I can't wait to see what they each create!

We wrapped up Forbidden Gates which had a delightful ending to it. It really was a quick read & we enjoyed it. The book is written prior to Paul's conversion, so he's present in the book, but only as Saul the antagonist. You witness some of the work of the new church & the stoning of Stephen as well. All though neither of those people are the main character. There's also an author's note in the back about what was real & where you can read about vs what he added in to make it a story. We all enjoyed the book!

The boys had lessons & practice at the pool again this week. Normally I swim at practice with them, but my knee has been out of whack so I opted to read while they swam instead. They had a lot of survival drills at lessons this week & came out all smiles & giggles about a few comments that were made. They were serious comments put apparently talking about your armpits & groins elicits laughter regardless of the seriousness of the issue, as did imagining a normal esky as one's normal lunchpail. Okay, I admit the last one cracked me up too & I told them I was glad I didn't have to pack a lunch of that size! 

The boys took crazy photos, most of which I deleted, while I was at the Dr's on Monday. They actually had to join me because of heading to swim lessons immediately afterwards. They thought the entire appointment was funny because the nurse kept calling me Karen. We left the room so both my feet could be casted, yes in real casts, & while we were across the hall Mr S sent a text message through which they misread & it cracked them up to no end, followed by the addition of taking weird photos, & by the time we returned to the room they were in fits of hysteria.  No, my feet are not still in casts, they were making impressions of my feet in order to fit me for orthotics in hopes of helping the knee & foot pain, & because I walk funny. 

The boys started a new case in their Language Arts, all though they may stay paused there, one writing assignment aside, as we catch up in history. We stared the LA prior to the history, which is not an issue, except that writing assignments are based on what you read in history. Just to even it all out we may pause for a week with LA, we might not.

We had a picnic down at the beach one day & then afterwards went for a bike ride. The dog was utterly confused as to why we stopped at the picnic table we normally hustle him past. Yes, the lunch box is a giant Lego, it usually transports fruit to & from the park to avoid getting it bruised. Im beginning to think the kids use the picnic basket as a cricket ball of something the way the fruit can turn up bruised!

We had Lego Club again as well which had a Mosaic theme to it. It was a bit more difficult then some expected, but everyone was keen to give it a go. For several days afterwards Morgan was working on something based on the theme, & when he finally emerged he couldn't wait to show Mr S' boss. Who, absolutely loved it & wanted to know if he could tweet it to their clients. Needless to say Morgan was pretty chaffed about the whole thing. If you're wondering, it's the logo for the company Mr S works with.

I seem to be lacking pictures of science for the week, but we did that as well, still discussing cells. Our spine is a bit over Jayden's head so I pulled a few other books off our shelves to read with him which helped relieve his confusion. We may swap spines for the year & come back to the advanced spine later down the road for him. 

Other then that I'm not sure exactly what we did or didn't do. I'm still behind on our weekly reviews so it's all starting to run together. In fact, I'm pretty sure I skipped one in which I honestly have no photos of anything. Real life people, real life.
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Author: Kendra
• 12:00 AM

Even the dog is enjoying the warmer weather. It might have something to do with the fact that he gets to have more leisurely walks after we've worn him out with a bit of a fast paced walk or run. There really is nothing like that first beautifully warm day after a long spell of icy cold days. We've indulged in picnic lunches quite a few times over the past couple of weeks. It's just so hard to stay indoors when it's this beautiful outside.

Our nights are still quite chilly around here, but knowing that a warmer day is just ahead doesn't make them quite so bad. We're looking forward to taking the books & quilt outside for schooling, or maybe that's me as the boys are all ready spending plenty of time doing their studies on the trampoline or atop the cubby house..
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Author: Kendra
• 12:00 AM

As we inch closer to our big Australian History study I'm constantly snapping photos of books in the library. Picture books, chapter books, non-fiction, adult, it doesn't really mater. If I think it will lend itself well to what we have happening I snap a photo. I find it's the quickest & easiest way not to forget she title & author of a book that I want to put on my list.

I'm pretty sure I have an entire file of pictures that happens to be nothing more then library books. On the flip side it's come in really handy when I can clearly see the cover of a book, but for the life of me can't remember the name of it!
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Author: Kendra
• 3:55 PM
It seems I can't keep up with our weekly reviews, which isn't the end of the world, but we sure do love looking through them at the end of the year & seeing how we progressed. So, despite this being more then a week out of date we'll back up to week 21 of our school year. All though, between you & me, I think we messed up our count somewhere & we may be a week or more ahead of the 21 mark.. not that it truly matters.

Both boys are still working fairly independently on things & that means I don't have as many photos of the day to day items because while they are busy doing their school, I'm generally busy doing other things as well. I did manage to snag a few though:

Not sure why it looks like he's counting on his fingers, he wasn't, all though he was deep in thought. So much so he never heard me suggest he put on his glasses until I finally put them on him myself. He covered exponents, powers, & basic decimal work that week. Most of it was review for him & he's not felt the need to dwell much on each lesson. The first three pages of his book, for any lesson, cover new material, the next 3 are review. That means the first page of every lesson is mandatory, after that it's up to them if they skip to the review pages or not, at least 1 review page is mandatory each week. If we see slippage in skills then we're firm about how many extra review pages must be completed in a week too.

Yes, he's doing school in a onsie, & no I didn't ask him to take it off. Chances are he would have, very happily. However, changes are also pretty high there would have been nothing on underneath it. Yikes!! Jayde hit a small roadblock with math because he wasn't doing his fact practice & quickly realised he needed to get back to the facts each day if he didn't want to spend all day at the table. Problem solved.

This naughty little fellow joined us for various language arts lessons too. Have I mentioned how much I despise Squeakers joining us for language lessons? He prefers to add his opinion on all subjects not to mention take a chunk out of the pages. We had to hold off on the writing assignment because we started our LA sooner then history, & the LA writing assignment was based on a history lesson they hadn't covered yet. Other then that a lot of information they are learning is still in the review category, all though not all of it. We're still enjoying using the WP LA courses at this stage.

History was light this week, but that's okay. We're reading portions of all of the above books. The top book is actually a flimsy paperback Bible that I covered in some heavy card stock. Sometimes we read directly from the Bible & sometimes we gather around while we listen to an audio version via You can select any Bible version of your choosing & listen for free over there. Some versions have more then one narrator so you can choose the one you prefer the most. We listened to several different narrators for the fun of it & one of them had us in absolute stitches as he read out the genealogy of Christ.

Swim lessons were as normal. Excuse the wild hair, they had it all whacked off on that weekend. We had a few practices as well as they are trying to perfect a variety of things. We'd like to take the summer off from lessons, & they'd like to wrap up the level they are on & obtain their certificates. We'll see how it goes.

Both boys are still working daily in assigned book selections. Jayden has decided he's really enjoying mysteries so we laid a few prior selections aside so he could indulge in another mystery from the series he was reading previously. Morgan is currently on a Henry kick & found it quite funny to find an old friend, Ramona, in the book. He declared, over chores one day, that Henry can be quite naughty at times even if he is kinda funny. Clearly not naughty enough that he's bothered by the book, he really couldn't handle the new Hardy Boys books because he found the name calling & other nonsense in them too irritating to handle.

Plenty of exercise outside this week with the weather warming up. All those rocks are not generally on our beach during the summer, but in the winter they roll in, pile up, & cause quite a masterpiece. They were so crazy down there during this week that we opted not to forgo walking on the beach & walk on the track that runs along the coast. The dog loves either one because on the beach he can run to his hearts content, & on the track he has to run to keep pace with the boys on their bikes. Yes, my boys heads look red, believe it or not both boys have quite red hair in their baby photos as well. All though most of the time they have a more blondish look to them.

We spent a lot of time outside, & continue to do as the weather warms up. It's hard to pass up the chance to be in the sun after a long grey winter..

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Author: Kendra
• 12:00 AM

Nana turned 80 this past week, something that didn't escape anyone's mind as the days ticked closer. We conspired earlier this year to get together at our place as the bush camping we use to do with the family isn't something Nana is confident with anymore.

With all the space we have we opted to host anyone who could make it into town to celebrate. We had people staggering in at various times, which is pretty normal when we have family get togethers.

To keep Nana occupied while others were arriving we gave her a funny birthday badge that lights up & flashes when you push the button. We told her she had to wear it all weekend, but you know I think she forgot to wear it on her actual birthday!

There's a pretty funny story in our family about Nana's Knickers. You see Nana always has a to take lots of knickers with her whenever she goes anywhere. We've been woken up at family camping events before to the announcement that she's missing a pair, or two.. We've had knicker emergencies before where we've gotten the daily count of how many she has left clean in her bag, but the story that takes the cake was when she was in hospital last year with a broken hip. Half delusional on pain medication she kept asking people to bring her more knickers! The requests were getting pretty insane & it was a two-person effort. I'd collect the next load of knickers & hand them off to a brother-in-law who'd then take them to Nana. When I got the 6th call for more knickers I decided I was going to put an end to the entire problem. I went to her house & took out the entire knicker drawer & sent it with my bil to Nana. I figured there could be no mistake that she'd have any left at home this way. It worked, except she was bewildered as to why he had the whole drawer with him.

We teased her & told her for her birthday she was getting 80 pairs of knickers. Which was only made more funny when she rolled up to the front door on Friday & told me that her neighbour asked if she was moving out. You see Nana had a suitcase, a travel bag, her handbag, & her rolling walker with her. When she told her neighbour she was not moving out just going away for the weekend & wanted plenty of clean knickers, Nana's neighbour informed her that she, the neighbour, has smaller undies & doesn't need to take so many bags with her. I laughed so hard I'm pretty sure I pulled a muscle.

And so I teased Nana about her knicker situation more. I told her that we were planning to play a game this weekend entitled, "Pin the Knickers on Nana.." To which, of course, she highly doubted & kept saying, "Oh suuuuure, Kendra..." 

While we waited for the final bits of company to straggle in on Saturday so we could take Nana on the wackiest bike ride of her life, I mean what else would you do when you turn 80?! I went to the kitchen white board & drew a pair of old fashioned knickers on the board & entitled it with the game name. She roared with laughter about it unaware of our secret plan for the evening ahead.

So off we all went on our lovely bike ride, which was really fun but very crazy. To all we ran off the walking & bike path forgive us, we don't get out often! Nana had loads of fun & was treated to a hot chocolate afterwards while the rest of us hustled back to the house to prepare for the great escapade of the evening..

80 pairs of knickers strung throughout the home as a lovely birthday garland. We ran out of rope & had to dig out more to string them up with. then we ran out of pegs & had to get more of them out too. The laughter that ensued as we decorated the house was quite something, but not nearly as funny as turning around & realising that everyone present was hanging up underpants & the floor was still covered with the things! Some opted to don a few pairs in an attempt to help get them hung up quickly.

Needless to say there was a bit of silence when Nana was heard coming in the kitchen calling out she'd just been to have a hot cocoa & a bit of cake, as we all waited to see her reaction when she noticed our hideous decorations. She walked in the lounge room took one look around & said, "So, I see you bought 80 pairs of knickers then!" She walked out, made herself a cup of tea, grabbed some cheese & sat back down like nothing had happened at all.

She knows how to take it all in stride! Mind you, we did find her in absolute stitches when a few of the guys came out in the most colourful pairs. Turns out knickers make great hair, super hero pants, fake hair, & so forth. There was a game going on to see who could manage to work the most into a costume, but the stakes went higher each time someone accomplished it.. 

In fact the only reasonably sane thing I think we did to celebrate Nana turning 80 was pulling out Ticket To Ride.. never mind how late it was, or that we had to stop a few times to don fresh knicker costumes, attack each other with tins of silly string, or let off party poppers.. It's pretty normal for a family gathering around these parts.
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