Author: Kendra
• 11:44 AM
It was a bit of an unusual week for us around here. We had no school Monday as it was a public holiday & Jayden was down for the count with a sore throat anyway. Tuesday we were back at it with a lighter version of school {we rarely take off completely when people are sick}, but we had 2 appointments at the eye Dr in town. Wednesday Morgan was down with the sore throat & was unbearably grumpy from it. Thursday Mr S ended up home from work early with his throat being sore & by Friday he was home all day, aside from an hour he slipped in to work to fix something, sleeping off his version of the cold. I'll be grateful when they are all done with the sniffles & coughs, as will they! They all still have some portion of it, but for the most part are on their way to feeling better.


Despite his dazed & confused look he sat the spelling lesson with Morgan. He managed a 100% which had him tickled pink. The balloon was a gift for him from the Chemist when I went in to get medication. I always cause a lot of grief at the chemist's due to our food allergies & unfortunately most medications have some form of milk or gluten in them. They also sent us home with a stuffed animal which I think he passed on to Morgan. We finished Day #17 in Sequential Spelling this week, & that was all, Morgan was in no shape for spelling on Wednesday so we hung it up for the week.


The kids were pretty lathargic & I figured if they could lay around & watch tv they could lay around & listen to school books instead. So we listened to another four chapters in Our Island Story this week. Jayde was so excited to hear another version of King Arthur! He's super keen to read the actual King Arthur book I have on the shelf for him, & he paused even in his drawing to listen in full to this story.

We also listened to three more chapters in Mystery Of History. For some reason our WP schedule didn't touch Chapter 16, & I wanted to cover that before we got too far along, so we heard about the Mayan people. It was quite an interesting chapter. We also listened to chapters 22-23.


Tuesday we started in our Middle Ages cd that goes along with a another product from HSITW that they gave us for review purposes. Jayden is so excited about the other product which you'll see glimpses of next week & will find a full review about it over on TCC when we're through using the product. While I don't normally self-promote reviews too much, I'd encourage you to keep an eye out because it will involve a giveaway.  As for this week, we read about the barbarian invaders & the fall or Rome. Yes, again, which is exactly what Jayde said. Morgan is using the newspaper, as well as other bits, from the Project Pack so he wrote a little article/snippet about the fall of Rome & also filled out a postcard {pictures above}.


By Wednesday Jayde was certainly on the mend & horribly restless, where as Morgan was out flat & not interested in anything but the pain in his throat. The poor kid just doesn't cope well with a sore throat which compounded by the fact that he has an ugly wound on his lip which is the combination of a mouth sore & biting himself. I pulled out a craft kit for Jayde while Morgan was busy finishing off Pippi Longstockings.

Believe it or not, the craft kit was suppose to be viking related, but when Jayde opened it up low & behold it was king & queenish. He was a bit annoyed because he was really looking forward to the viking. Once he put these two together I suggested we call them Lancelot & Guinevere. He told me not to be ridiculous they were obviously called Tim & Tom. Oh dear..


I ended up enlisting Jayde's help on Wednesday to help whip up some salve, also known as homemade vaseline, so we could coat Morgan's wound because he was in too much pain to drink anything. It's a combination of coconut oil, olive oil, & bees wax. I added a couple of drops of essential oil to a smaller portion that we put in a separate container for the war wound. Seriously, the poor kid has a wicked fat lip from it & I ended up getting some numbing ointment too.



Jayden was really feeling antsy on Tuesday & was desperate to do something. He'd been flat out on Sunday moping about how he wasn't feeling so great but refusing to take the things I offered him to help him feel better. Monday he was truly sick & miserable, so by Tuesday he was ready to move. Unfortunately lots of moving made him cough so I offered to play a game with him while Morgan was resting. He brought out this hideous game. For a person who hates Monopoly as much as I do, I don't even want to know why we own 6 different versions of it!!

I did suck it up & play it with him & within two turns we were both pretty sure I was about to get knocked out, but I came back for a pretty big win. Mostly because someone incorrectly stocked the ATM & I reaped the benefits of that casualty. He's still annoyed that I won considering I never win at Monopoly, but it kept him busy for a while & he was laughing most of the time we played.


Despite all the craziness of the week we finished off Black Horses For The King. It's a different sort of telling in regards to King Arthur & doesn't involve any of the mythical portions in regards to the sword in the stone or merlin. Rather it simply tells of him before the whole messy love triangle issue & concentrates it's efforts on his desires to protect Britannia from the Saxon invaders. Over all it was a great story & it matched up so well with much of what we've been reading in Our Island Story. If you have a horse lover they'd probably really love this book too as it's very very horsey in regards to information & storyline. So much so I'd say King Arthur {not called that in the story} takes more of a back seat to be honest.


By Thursday the sore throat was gone for Morgan but he had a drippy nose to no end. So I told him to slap on some essential oils, take his tablet from the chemist, & draw a picture while I read. Thus we have his art work this week. He's taken to enjoying drawing things with a sharpie & then colouring them in with his coloured markers. I like it! If you're wondering about the men in the photo you have: {L-R} A man who cooled his metal sword too quickly & it bent & twisted. Another man just pulling his dagger out of the hot fire, & the final picture is the hero of our book working on a horse sandal.


I found another craft project I had stowed away for our space study, but it was needed this week so I handed it to Jayden. He actually did this one prior to king & queen cups. He loves these silly things because they don't require glue, all that crazy foam comes with sticker backing on it.


He gave the alien from the packet to Morgan to work on, in hopes it would distract brother from the sore throat. No such luck & the craft sat unfinished until Thursday. At which point Jayden asked if Morgan would like help with the craft & Morgan finally decided he'd better put it together or he'd lose out.


We read our poetry book as well, all though we missed out on Wednesday I just read extra on Thursday as everyone was content to sit & listen. I figured it was getting a little boring snapping photos of the same book over & over so I went with a small poem we found funny this week.

We also listened to Galatians 5-6 to wrap up another book of the Bible this week. We moved right into Ephesians & are just over halfway done having made it through the 4th chapter. We'll pause with our forward movement at the end of the money & retreat to our annual trip through the Bible leading up to Christmas.


By Friday both boys were doing so much better & I kept sending them outside for fresh air & sunshine. It's not abnormal for my kids to lay in a quilt on the trampoline with a book while they are sick, but our trampoline is currently hiding int he garage lest anymore gail force winds rip it away. Instead they took turns on the swing & sat on the patio for a while telling jokes. By the time they came in & we'd wrapped up our small portion of studies for the day Mr S was zonked out on the couch.

Two kids who haven't run of steam all week & aren't quite well enough to go to the park meant things were getting a little hair raising. I suggested something quieter & Jayde pulled out Risk & challenged Morgan & I to a round. They got so busy fighting over Asia I snuck in & snagged Africa & England for a win.

That was it for us this week. No math, while I did warn the boys there'd still be school Jayden asked me oh so seriously if he could get off math this week because of being sick. I hadn't intended to give him the whole week off, & was going to have them both do a review page on Friday, but Mr S was home & all that jazz. No outings this week aside from a trip to the normal optomotrist.

Some time next week Morgan & I meet up with the Irlens Specialist from Melbourne, & she wanted to be sure normal vision was in check. Morgan's vision has not improved via the Optometrist, but neither has it deteriorated. I don't know if they'd get differing results if he was permitted to use his tints while taking the exam. All up a crazy week for us!
Links to this post
Author: Kendra
• 12:00 AM
Another week has flown by for us, & it was a semi-short week as Mr S was home on Friday so we took the day off as well. The kids still did a fair amount of work, but they had to work a bit more a few days in order to have that time.

We had hoped to whisk them away for some fun activities for the day, but life happens & it wasn't to be. Mind you, they weren't disappointed by it because they had no expectations either.

Maybe next time, & as it's a holiday weekend here in our neck of the woods {no, not Halloween} there's still a possibility we might be able to fit a few of the fun things in we'd hoped to do on Friday.


We're still working our way through our poetry book this year. We're scheduled at roughly 3-4 poems a day? I'm not sure, but we read a few more here or there & less other days. It all depends on what the day holds for us. The boys are still using the math flash cards, especially Jayden as he embarks on division with remainders so those were out in use this week. We tend to do poetry followed up by our Memory Box.


Speaking of division, He really rocked this lesson. He was, in all fairness, petrified of it, but I assured him that he's been doing division & multiplication long enough he was ready for this lesson. Just to assure him we pulled out the MUS blocks which we haven't used in forever & a day. We backed off from 2 pages per day this week 2 just 1 page in order to give him time to let the new idea sink in without him feeling overwhelmed. This seemed to work quite well & my typical math hater was heard saying, "Wow, this is probably the easiest lesson I've ever done in this book." I refrained from saying, "I told you so.." Or explaining it was easy from all the hard work we put in memorising those lovely multiplication facts.


I spotted this naughty little doodle in my eldest's math book. We actually don't encourage doodling & generally they get a telling off, but I found this one quite funny & didn't make him erase it. Morgan embarked on multiplying decimals up to thousandths. He did well with the theory behind the lesson but struggled a little bit this week with his vision. I have no idea what was up, but everything was back to front {notice the n's his drawing} which resulted in carrying 1's & putting 10's down.

When we hit a situation like this with his SSS I do have him help with the fixing up of the mess, but generally I just have him sit with me while I say, "Your answer is wrong, but only because.." then we erase the numbers in the wrong spots & put them back in the right spots reworking anything that needs it. It does not help him feel any less incompetent with what he's doing/done, & there can even be a few hot tears & angry words that are shed over it. However, I try to point out he knew exactly what he was doing & give him a few aids to help him out. This week I handed him a place value sheet & had him write his double digit numbers on it prior to putting them into place in his math book. I also had him pull out his graph book to use for working math problems & between the two he had the problem conquered before the end of the week which was a huge relief to both of us.

There are not always reasons for his off days. As in, it's not because he's had a headache or overused his eyes. Somedays are just harder then others. Helping him learn to cope without losing his cool is important so he can understand that he doesn't need to throw in the towel when he has a down day.

 
We're still in 2 Timothy for our Bible Study & will probably be there for the remained of our term. The first 18 verses are looking quite colourful & busy at this point but all of it means something to us. I've had some questions about this method which I'll answer better in another post, but I did want to clarify that yes we can still read our Bibles just fine.  We also finished reading Romans & began Galatians.


We read about the Byzantine Empire & The Golden Age Of India in our studies this week. We tend to listen to SOTW first & then read from our encyclopedia. From there if we have a corresponding chapter in CHOW we read that. The other 2 larger books we only read 2-4 pages a day from. It all blends together quite nicely. In fact after reading about the Golden Age Of India in SOTW I was going to google a few of the things we'd heard about, but there were pictures for it in Kingfisher which was a delight to see. Before I'm asked, I'm using this chart here to match up CHOW to SOTW.

Black Horses For The King is our current read aloud, we'd hoped to finish it this week, but it wasn't to be so we should wrap it up over the weekend or in the coming week. Either way works for us & then we need to check our list to see what our next read aloud will be. The only problem we are having there is that we have so many delightful books to read it's always choosing the next one that becomes hardest! As for our current book I'm curious where the final bits will take us, but thus far the book has been quite lovely to read & if you have a horse enthusiast there's a lot of equine information inside. In fact a few of us have been heard saying, "No hoof, no horse.." this week.


We're still moving along with Our Island Story as well which is, as mentioned before, the history of England. Having done a geographical study last year where we briefly touched in the history of each country, compounded with learning about middle ages this year it's been really interesting to read this book each week. We covered chapters 10-12 & I meant to have the boys pull out their Travel Diaries & look at the photos we'd printed out last year of the Giant Causeway, but I forgot.


We had a lighter week of science, as Chapter two in CKE was only about lab equipment. It turned out to be a great week for a slower chapter with little to no additional reading due to our short week. While it's not pictured we did read pages 18-25 from Chemical Chaos this week. The boys are really loving that book. We also tackled chapter 2 in The Story Of Science. We didn't get to our scientist biography this week, but I'm not stressing over it. The boys were a little disappointed that there were no major experiments this week, so I didn't tell them that next week there's a huge amount to tackle. I thought the surprise of it would be fun.


Our weather has been insane here this week with incredibly strong winds {our trampoline blew away & we had to retrieve it then put it int he garage}, rain, rain & more rain. We get a bit of sun, but as soon as we'd gear up for a bike ride the rain would open up on us. With no swimming happening right now we were all getting extremely antsy so I pulled up The Ultimate Homechoolers Physical Education Game Book. If you have Kindle Unlimited it's free. Personally, I think you really need a proper copy of this book, but an ebook works too. I selected Basketball Golf to play with the boys as our hoop has finally been installed. We have our own score sheets & we played several rounds. We don't have 9 hoola-hoops and the few we had were MIA, but we have a driveway & I always seem to have chalk on hand so that worked too.

While I don't have photos of it, the kids each continued reading in their currently assigned book. Jayden is really loving his book which is called Bible Wars & Weapons. He's enjoyed building, via his army men & such, scenes from what he's reading or asking me if I knew about one person or another. As much as he's enjoying it he asked if he could read ahead {as if I'd say no!} because he can't wait to read King Arthur which is next on his list. Morgan is still plucking along with The Lion The Witch & The Wardrobe & on track to finish it next week. I was quite worried that with the vision issues he was having he'd struggle with reading, but he was fine. It may help that I've found a larger print version which he's currently using. He found the finer printed one much more difficult on his eyes again. I'd love to obtain the entire collection of the larger print ones for him.

They also did another weeks worth of work in their Langue Arts workbooks completing nouns & verbs. That sounds very basic but it was determining the difference between linking, helping, being, & action verbs based on the predicates. The nouns had to be classified as concrete or abstract. They found the noun work really easy, & found the verb work a bit more complicated. They wrapped up another case & finished Workbook A!

They also had spelling all week & finished off lessons 14-18. I loved that by this point of working with these words they were looking for syllables to decide about how many consonants to include when suffixes were in use. They both did outstanding on their spelling work & I saw a lot of the carrying over to written work this week which was nice to see for a change.

We're also doing history quizzes this term because I feel it's important for the kids to know how to take a test & this is a great way to start. This term tests can be open book if they aren't certain of an answer, but they only needed that luxury with 1 of the 2 history quizzes they took this week. 

We also caught up with friends at the park for a play & chat which was a lovely way for the kids to finish up their week as they had Friday off. Not too shabby considering our much shorter week.
Links to this post
Author: Kendra
• 12:29 PM
Mr S had some time off this week & we had hoped to make a surprise trip into the city for some fun activities with the kids. Unfortunately I woke up with one horrific migraine & with the lovely wind & rain we've been having we opted to stick closer to home. Mr S said he'd love to go to an op-shop.

After the five minutes of stunned silence, Mr S always vetoes going to second hand stores, garage sales, or other bargain hunting opportunities when he's with us, we all scrambled for shoes & loaded up in the car.  I should clarify Mr S loves the goodies & bargains we find on our outings, but he's not so keen to go sluething for them himself. However, this time he's after a piece of outdated computer technology & he wanted to hunt it down for himself.

Unfortunately he didn't find what he was looking for even though we took him to 5 different op-shops. The problem with outdated technology is that it's generally not sold or given away anymore. It's all probably laying in a pile in the local garbage dump instead. One shop even told us they couldn't legally sell it to us all though we did clarify we were only after parts, but she said she didn't even have any to give away because they just aren't given that sort of thing anymore.

While Mr S came home empty handed he did help us find some really lovely book bargains that we brought home. In fact, while it's not a book he found the brand new unopened game pictured above. The guys seem to love trivia & while not all of it is pertinent Australian history {such as asking the middle names of famous people} it will be a fun way to retain a few more facts.


More Wildlife In The Suburbs was another fun find at one of the shops we hit. Each chapter is a little story unto itself about some form of Australian wildlife. It's all written with a bight of humour & I had to hide a few giggles while previewing it in the shop. I came home & read some of the information about Plovers to Mr S who confessed to learning something new afterwards. The boys haven't heard the chapter yet, but will enjoy it. All though I'm pretty sure Jayden will have some sort of comment such as, "Who cares how they got their name, it's their bad attitudes I'm more worried about.." He hasn't quite forgotten the time we dumped him over a fence to retrieve the cricket ball & upon turning to come back to us we were screaming, "Run, FASTER!!!" He'd stumbled upon a next of plover chicks & Mummy Plover was not happy with him. We managed to grab him just before she dived, but at 4 it was still a pretty wild experience.


Two exciting finds were these lovely books about Australian history. The bottom one was found at at a local op-shop for $2.50 {all books were half price} & Mr S spotted it & asked if it would be helpful. I didn't actually give it a proper look inside, but simply said, "For $2.50 I'm sure we'll put it to use." When we got home & actually had a proper look inside we were floored.

The book takes pictures & other clippings from newspapers & has put them all together. Things in there that weren't from newspapers are written as though they were with dates, locations, & key information. There's even lovely old adverts for famous Australian goodies which have had us chuckling for some time now. Did you know that Louis Robert Stephenson once visited Australia? His photo is in there along with a small snippet about his visit. There's also a small little article in there, which was very hard to read aloud as we were laughing oh so hard, about the first flight from London to Australia. It took 16 days, which is when we start to lose it, but we came unglued when it said, "Beating the last record of 23 days." Ahh, may we never complain again about being stuck on a 20 hour flight.

The other book was one I found at our local post office & purchased brand new. It's a lovely Encyclopedia type book broken down by year & will aid us well in our upcoming year long study of Australian history! They had a second one like it on the shelf about Australians at War, but I only purchased the one pictures above.


While we came home with stacks of books I'll only share these final 4 for now. Camelot's Honour  is an adult fiction book that I hope is a decent read. I like to read something a bit more light hearted & fun about the same time frame in history that we're learning about, & since this was laying on the shelf for a couple of dollars I thought I'd give it a go.

The Queen's Smuggler is a Trail Blazer book, & we've been slowly finding them at the local op-shops for some time as we build our own collection. This one really made me smile because it's about William Tyndall which is on our plans to be learning about later this year or early next year. It will make a great book for the boys to each take a turn reading on their own.

The Viking Emoo-gency is a not exactly quality literature, but it's a fun read that Mr S or I picked up a while back & I pulled off the bookcase when I was shelving the goodies we brought home. Basically the series is about Cows who go back in time to help save the world. I did warn you it wasn't quality literature, but they do weave in history & they are right up the alley of books that Mr S & the boys love to read for fun together. Im actually prereading it at the moment to decide if I'll hand it off to the kids or suggest Mr S reads it to them in our upcoming Viking study.

Cooking Up Trouble caught my eye right away at the shop because I noticed one of the girls on the cover was dressed in the garb of a traditional Pilgrim. The book is one in a series all though aside from a small bit of information at the start it doesn't look like it really messes anything up to read them out of order. In this particular book a young girl is sent from Plymouth Plantation to modern times where the children she meets up with learn how/what Thanksgiving was really like. We'll definitely be reading this one this month, all though we may read it over the week of Thanksgiving which we're inadvertently taking off from normal studies anyway.
Links to this post
Author: Kendra
• 10:30 AM
Our first full week back to studies since term break! I was a bit worried with two group events this week that we might struggle with our schedule, but things worked out really well & the kids kept the pace that they set for themselves. It turned into a really lovely week of learning & fun & was nice to find ourselves slipping right back into our normal routine too.

We still have a couple of things to slip back into, such as writing, but that won't happen until our new books for the subject arrive. In the mean time we've kept nice & busy with everything else on our plates.


We've been back in our poetry book each day again. We missed it last term, which was completely unintentional that we dropped it. Ever have one of those things where you realise you keep missing it, but never remember to actually do it?! Yeah, that was poetry for us most of last term for some odd reason. No, I wasn't yo-yoing while I read, but the kids were.


We're still listening to the NT each day via Bible Gateway's app, but we also picked back up our study of 2 Timothy. We're still using the Discover 4 Yourself kids study books, but we break the chapters down a bit more so we can gleam more from what we are doing instead of worrying about getting done with each chapter/daily segment. It worked well for us this week. The kids are opting to mark on a copy of 2 Timothy which I printed from Bible Gateway for them, it's up to them to transfer it directly into their Bible or not. They liked that I could double space the print out for them.


The boys are still doing the WP language arts mysteries & enjoying them. We're not doing the writing portions as we're using something else in that area instead. This week they covered more information about colons & various verbs. They also laughed a lot because I kept saying Collin instead of colon. We're still using Sequential Spelling book 1 & they're making quick progress with it. They finished through day 13 this week & were getting all words correct, which resulted in no more complaints if someone turned up to the table without glasses on.


We jumped in feet first with our chemistry this week reading selections from all of the books above. Christian Kids Explore has rather short chapters, & while that's nice I just wasn't sure it was as deep as it could be. Mind you they do suggest using the Kingfisher Science Encyclopedia with each chapter as well, we're waiting for our copy to arrive in the mail.  The Usborne & Horrible Science books each line up with our CKE books which has been a lot of fun. I'll share the line-up later. Our scientist this term is Louis Pasture, & we're enjoying reading his story. Some of our French lessons are all ready paying off! The Story of Science is all about the history of science, & while it doesn't pertain, at this point, directly to our lessons we're enjoying reading through it at a slow pace all the same.


Both boys moved forward in their math books. Jayden attempted to put off his math until the last minute one day last week. It's really not his favourite subject all though he's more then capable & quite good at it so I'm not sure what the deal with it is other then it means he has to sit & think things through. Anyway, when he realised how late it was he opted to bring his math book along on our daily bike ride & take the time at the halfway point to work on his lesson. It was a beautiful day, all though we got slightly distracted watching another, rather spazzy dog, hide behind the trash bin when his owned told him it was time to go home. It was quite funny to watch! As for the math lesson, he was doing the final lesson on place value with up to Hundred Trillion. I printed out our place value sheets for him so he could self correct as needed. He's still using the multiplication flash cards daily & had himself down to 1:35 last week for the 100+ problems we do a day. To say he was delighted would be an understatement.


Morgan moved into another lesson as well, multiplying with decimal points. Mr Demme teaches this very differently then I learned it, but that's not to say it's a bad way. Simply different. He did well with the lesson, all though I thought he'd breeze through it a little more quickly then he did. Next weeks lesson is the same but up to hundredths so hopefully he'll be fine there as well.


Jayden used pocket money to buy a large set of these fellows who tended to act out most of our history lessons this week. We read in our Kingfisher History Encyclopedia about Monks in the Middle Ages. We read about the same topic in Story Of The World & A Child's History Of The World. Interestingly enough while the bottom line information was the same each presented it differently or went a little more in depth as we moved along. We read about every day life in the Medieval World & wrapped up another chapter in Archer's & Alchemists. We learn about religious jobs in that book next week. We also finished up Hostage Lands at long last! We seriously dragged that book out far longer then intended, but it was well worth it as the book was really lovely.

I did skip over one small section in which one of the main characters was enraged with a Roman officer & fantasised about killing him. It was the detail that I skipped over, not the ill thought the boy had. All up it was a great read & we're curious to see how much of what was spoken of in that book about Britannia will hold true as we continue our journey through Our Island Story.


We had a few bike rides this week, not as daily as normal as we had bike calamities too. My gears got pretty well smashed up over the weekend & as it was due to rain on Wednesday I took the bike into the shop late Tuesday. I tried to snag a bike rack while I was there, but despite the efforts of the fellows working who managed to capture the attention of everyone getting petrol they were unable to install it. So we wait until this coming week to get one that will fit differently & shouldn't give us grief. We did have the luxury of riding to our local homeschool meet up as it was just down the road from us this week.


The boys finished listening to A Single Shard this week. We'd intended to finish it last week, but life happened so it was on scheduled for this week. Someone wasn't as keen on the book because he was utterly convinced it was boring. I think he struggled with the fact that the first half of the book tends to be a bit more emotional then the action that is intertwined in the emotion in the second half. This same child squirms or makes up his own ending to movies that become emotional at the end too. I do admit this wasn't really his type of book, but I thought the story itself held a lot of value he could gain if he was willing to stick it out. I'm not entirely sure he got the main drift of the story, but he was proud of himself for sticking it out & finishing it before his deadline. I applauded him for that.


Lego Club was Friday, all though our family was the only one present. The boys were disappointed friends weren't there to join us, but I pointed out that people can't help being sick or whatever may have come up to have kept them from the fun. Then I told them to get cracking building something Ocean Themed. I built the silly sailboat above which I was thinking of naming the SS Bubbles, but I dunno SS Teddy Bear might be better suited. I was afraid the kids normal sized minifigs would be too large, so I raided the minifig box for the mini bears instead. The octopus goes to one of the kids Toy Story lego sets. We then indulged in the snacks the boys had made & they finished up the audio book above before closing off our week.

No swimming again this week. We've yet to hear back from their coach who was looking to arrange something, & as we don't want to exactly harass the fellow we've left it alone & are debating what we might do from here. However, I'm pretty sure if we don't get at least Jayden back in the water soon he might revolt on us as we hear about 20 times a day, "I need to swim.."
Links to this post
Author: Kendra
• 9:11 AM

Last week I was standing in the kitchen trying to do dinner prep before dashing to the veggie shed for, well vegetables. Mr S sent a message through on my phone, & being sticky fingered I barely glanced at it, but when another message came through right away I figured I'd better wash up & find out what was going on.  From where he works in town he can look out over the river that separates our portion of town from where he works. While he can't exactly see our home, or us his office, he can see up behind us & what he saw had him concerned.

He asked me if a storm was rolling in & I said not that I noticed it was all quite peaceful, in fact, upon reflection I realised it was eerily quiet. I went back to preparing dinner & when he insisted that he could see something awful coming our way I went outside to have a peek. Awful was right. The sky behind us was pretty dark, but more concerning was that the air smelled heavily of smoke. Not that, "Everyone's realised the damp evening chill is rolling in & are starting fires.." kinda smell, but the "is our neighbourhood on fire" kinda smell.

I chucked the prepared meatloaves into the oven & dashed to check with the Fire & Police for a warning, but found nothing. I figured the farmer behind us must have been doing some burn-off & perhaps it was larger then expected. Mind you, I wasn't exactly sure where he was doing it because his fields are currently full of small poppy plants. However, within a matter of minutes our neighborhood was so encased with smoke, we had to close up the windows & doors. Pedestrians out walking were quickly running for cover, & we could no longer see our neighbor's homes.

I had one child in a full tilt panic that we were trapped in a bush fire. I assured him that if we were in a bushfire we'd have been warned, the fire department would be out right now telling us to get out while we could. He wasn't very reassured & was pretty relieved when I said we needed to go get vegetables for dinner. Talk about slow progress.

Just getting from the house to the car was hard enough because we were literally choking on smoke, the whole eyes streaming, throats dried out kinda choking. We could no longer see the other side of the river, much less the river, or the huge boats we knew were in port. Being so close to time for Mr S to knock off work, we decided to go over & collect him so he wouldn't have to bike home in the mess.

As we entered the highway it honestly looked like the smoke was hurtling up at us, which did little to reassure the child freaking out about a bush fire. I opted to distract him & told him to use my phone to ask Daddy if he could find out what was going on, & to check in on Nana. I was worried that if the smoke hit her portion of the neighborhood she'd have a full blown asthma attack. The best we could find out was that the forestry department was doing a burn-off a good hour + up the road from us.

We still have no idea if that's what was going on, or where, but within a half hour of encompassing us we were all clear, aside from the lingering stench of smoke in our clothes. Thankfully, Nana's area never got it & she had no idea anything had been amiss until the following day when someone was telling how horrifying it had been to sit there & watch it roll in at you.

On the flip side, it was a great reminder of the danger & horrors of the upcoming bush fire season, & doing what we can within our own area to help prevent them. Our frightened child is taking it upon himself to double check all trees in relation to power lines in our area. I've suggested if he finds any he feels are of concern he immediately email or ring the electric company. Apparently he feels one of our own trees is in violation, so I guess I know what we'll be doing this weekend.
Links to this post
Author: Kendra
• 1:23 PM
I seem to have lost some weeks in review here because according to my notes we're actually on Week 30. Ha, who knows, week 30, week 28.. I suppose in the long run it doesn't really matter, right?

We started back to school last week & as we'd had 2 weeks off, dealt with a time change, & weren't entirely ready to jump back into the thick of it we planned for a nice slow reintroduction to school. Boy am I glad we aimed for that, because last week was something indeed.

Monday the guys started off strong, but by halfway through Tuesday it was evident they forgot they were suppose to be back to school. We went with half days for the remainder of the week to give them that time to finish easing back into things, & that seemed to help even everything out.


Morgan embarked on a new math lesson last week, which was more Metric Conversion work. Let's just say while we use metric measurements here, some of the measurements had us chuckling. Yes, he was doing math in his pj's & favourite footy jumper. He did well with the lesson aside from a few minor mistakes, which are most likely because he didn't have his glasses on. A lens popped out of the main pair & his spare pair was missing. Seriously, forget GPS in cars, & put them in my kid's glasses!


Jayde also jumped into another lesson, place value for him up to 100,000. Ahh, this was a lesson that tripped up Morgan prior to tinted lenses. Jayden took it much more in stride, all though I did print out our place value game for him as a way to self correct his work if he desired. He had a mini-meltdown which is his method for dealing with being overwhelmed, but then pulled himself together & gleefully finished the lesson. Yes, there was serious laughter & squeals of "baby work.." coming from him. I, on the other hand finally had to ask him to go somewhere else or zip his lips because I found myself writing every word he was saying instead of the letter I was suppose to be composing!


Monday was nearly the only day we accomplished history, but that's okay. We'd really only intended to wrap up a read aloud & do maths. We had a lot of fun oogling all over the KingFisher Encyclopedia. What a delight that book is, we read the lesson about Justinian in MOH 2, & read a handful of chapters in Hostage Lands as well as a few poems from our poetry book. Somewhere in there we decided we didn't really want the next couple of jobs we read about in Archer's & Alchemists either.


While I was reading one day Jayde pulled out his beloved Pip Squeaks & worked on colouring a sheet he's helping me review for Homeschool In The Woods. Knights, markers, & HSITW is pretty much a winning combo around here for that boy; swap markers for coloured pencils & you have a win for the oldest.


While Jayden coloured & I read Morgan looked up the Saint Sophia Cathedral on google to see if the quoted statement in our book by Justinian was prideful hot air or at least somewhat based on truth. It really is a beautiful building, but Morgan is still unimpressed with the conceited statement. He's a tough critic.


Thursday we went to the park to meet up with friends & when we came home this lovely book was waiting for us! I'd purchased it as a bit of a fun book to go along with our biology lessons & I was keen to dig in even though this term is suppose to be all about Chemistry. So after tea that evening we read through the first chapter, & Mr I-Hate-Biology was embaressed to admit he was curious what was going to happen next.. you know, once he got over the disappointment that President Lincoln wasn't really in the book it was just a Prairie Dog bearing his name.


We also hit the local bike trail each week with the bikes. We ride just over 6ks round trip, which really wears kids & the dog out! Yes, the dog rides with us, all though he's made to ride beside us not on the bike. I did challenge the kids to make him a little cart to ride in, but seriously I think our dog would revolt.

That pretty much sums up our week. No swimming thus far this term, not sure if that will happen at all or not. Piano is still happening, but no photos of the boy practicing or doing theory work. Mostly because I had to listen to the non-piano player lament that he's sick & tired of hearing the same song over & over again.. A lesson in patience, one I failed to teach when I snapped, "I really don't care, now go find something better to do then complain!" Whoops..
Links to this post
Author: Kendra
• 8:25 PM
 We made a trip inland a couple of weekends ago to check on some property that needed cleaning up. It was one of those last minute choices where the weather was just perfect & we needed to get out of the house. Yeah, & we really needed to check on the property. We loaded the kids up & headed off driving past a few of the former houses we've lived in which gave Mr S a lot of insanely silly stories to tell the kids who didn't really remember much in regards to living in those homes. The kids were a bit devastated after seeing the property we'd gone to check out as they had fond memories of what it use to look like & the fun they had on it.  So I decided we needed a distraction & suggested we run to the small grocery & pick up supplies for a spur of the moment picnic lunch.


The town we were in has an annual Mural Fest which we haven't attended in a few years now, but we generally make the trek out to see the murals each year. We missed out last year when one of the mural artists the kids had befriended wasn't represented, so they were really keen to check out the work this year.  This particular painting kept us busy for a while because it had things hidden within you were suppose to find; I'm still doubtful the blobs the guys considered fish were fish, but...


Another semi-interactive painting which I've taken a rotten photo of. The paintings are all meant to be based on the poem I posted above, & this one tracked Australia over the years. Jayde loved seeing the Anzac Soliders represented & Morgan was keen because of the Tassie Tiger, but I gave it a thumbs down because the facial features of the Aborigine peoples were wrong.


This one was fun, all though Mr S gave it a big thumbs down because he felt leaving so much empty made it look like the artists hadn't been capable of completing their work within the time frame. Oh aren't we the picky lot? The top left animal that is not fully painted is a Tasmanian Tiger, the animals painting him are spotted quolls, an Alpaca is being splattered with blue paint {they aren't native, but there are many around} by the Tassie devils. The little bird is a fairy blue wren. The flowers are waratah, gum trees in the background unpainted, & of course the beautiful blue mountains. All up there's a lot crammed into one photo regardless of it's intentional {or unintentional} finish.


This painting, believe it or not, was painted by a lady from the USA. I had to say she had me with this painting until I got up close & saw she totally flubbed up the features of the little Aboriginal girl. I really can't stand it when people use the wrong features when drawing the uniqueness of the Aborigine people, it's a pet peeve, what can I say. Seriously though, had she nailed those features I would have been all over this drawing because it is truly beautiful despite the flaw.


We've met the young man who painted this photo & while his choice of art isn't generally our style, he really really won me over with the perfection of the features on the Aborigine man. Seriously, they are spot on! Ahh, if only I loved this style of art more.. Still & all, hats off Damien!


Lots happening here & we all had a different reaction with this one. I pointed out Abel Tasman. Jayden pointed out Mt Roland which he climbed when he was 5; all 8 hours of it. Never be the last man in line when mountain climbing with a troop of 10. You're fair game for bull ants. Morgan was more caught up in Mr Foster {fellow with the ax} which resorted to a ridiculous conversation about the time we rented a house from him. Mr S was busy debating which cricketer was most likely represented here. Between you & me, I think he was just in denial about who it was..


This painting happened to be painted by the artist the boys befriended a few years ago, & they were utterly upset to realise he'd been at mural fest & we hadn't gone. Alas.. The painting itself was quite interesting & the farther back you stood the more you saw. We all got a little dizzy trying to decide exactly how many murals were in the picture too!


This mural evoked a lot of chatter too. Was it a self portrait of the artist painting their mural? Why the French flags on the ships? Was this representing the time frame where England had all ready gained control of this particular port & the French came to see what was up? So many questions! I did love that Tasman was shaped in the clouds, but then I became distracted again by the flags on the boat. Which had us discussing books we read last year on Australian History.



This was a cute one, all though I thought the empty spot in the middle was crazy. I did get the idea behind it, but.. Like the names? Those are all real places around here. Oh the silly things we've said while driving through, & if you think those names are funny you haven't heard the half of them yet!


This one had us staring for a while, but then we got distracted by a tourist who'd parked himself in the most insane place ever. We couldn't figure out how he was going to get out & completely forgot the painting in our amazement at the fellows ability to manoeuvre his way out of the mess.
Links to this post