Monday, November 4, 2013

2013 Week In Review: Week 33

We started doing some of these Weekly Wrap Up style posts last year, just to help us see what we were accomplishing in a week, & I have to say as the weeks go by in our school year it's fun to see not only what we've accomplished but the end to our school year coming at us.

Yes, our learning table is often that messy, that's only half of it mind you! Our learning table is a beautifully huge wooden farm house style table that I found at our local tip/dump one rainy day. I asked the man how much they were asking for it, before they changed over all the staff, & he said $5. We brought it home, stripped the mud & paint off of it & have loved using it every day since.

The table is easily covered with an awful lot of stuff, but at the end of each day I ask the kids to help put it back to rights. At this point we were probably about halfway through our day because I can see history readers, read alouds, math books, & Bible stuff out. The kids were most likely working with maps at the other end of the table!

It was another mild week for us as Jayden woke up with that barking cough again & I decided it was time to head back to the Dr's office. Only this time we scheduled both boys to be seen as Morgan was developing a cough as well. Morgan was given the all clear, but the Dr nearly fell out of his chair when he heard Jayde's cough again. He's back on medications again, both breathing & germ fighting. Unfortunately the Dr's idea of a small tablet & my children's idea of a small tablet aren't the same, especially when they aren't coated. Jayde's been a real trooped getting them in though & is happily counting down the last 2 days until he doesn't need them anymore. In the mean time we're hoping that's the end of the ick & that he won't need to go back again. They aren't sure if it's the same chest infection or a new one, but either way if it doesn't hit the road this time they are looking at chest x-rays for him.

Morgan finally found a place to slow down in his mathbook. We rewatched a portion of Lecture 8 & then applied the Rule of 8. Then we watched the next portion of the lecture & tried the second method. We were suppose to watch the third method, but since we were watching lectures on Monday before Drs appointments we never got to the third idea. He was ready to move on by Wednesday but as the end of our week was filled with extra outings with our home ed groups I suggested he just practice a few more of the problems & work on dividing them out to mixed numbers.

I have no photos of Jayden with his math this week, but he's still moving along in Gamma. He's just past the halfway point, & I'm hoping he'll be finished with the book before summer break. If not we may offer incentives to finish it up over the summer. Truthfully he knows his multiplication facts & could easily skip towards the end lessons where they teach multi digit multiplication, but he's not comfortable with that idea. So we progress at a rate he is comfortable with for now.

We finished one of our poetry books for the year! It's exciting to see certain books being wrapped up, isn't it? This book was part of Morgan's Sonlight Core this year. It was very different from last year's poetry book, but not in a bad way. We swapped around with who read because this was one of those books where the end of a line didn't mean you take a breath. It was a good experience for him & he often read them to himself & then verified when & where to pause. The title is: all the small poems & fourteen more.

Our other two poetry books are still in use. The Beauty Of The Beast is one I got for Jayden for this year & we've really enjoyed it. He's got another week or two with that one & then we'll be down to the Read Me book which has a poem for every day & is perpetual so we never really finish it. We opted for our AIO Devotions for Kids book this week with all the hustle & bustle. I love that the devotions are so simple & yet make their point quite quickly.

We also listened to Keys For Kids this week. I remember how we use to get the devotional books at our home when I was a kid & someone would always read the devotion aloud over breakfast. I've actually been thinking about seeing if the devotionals would be shipped here or not when I spotted that you can read or listen to them right online! So we listened to it right on my phone each morning, all though I gotta say Uncle Charlie might want to consider pausing at punctuation sometimes.

We're still plucking away with The Return Of The Word Spy, we've got 2 or 3 chapters left to go before we wrap that one up for the year as well. There's mixed feelings on wrapping this one up & the boys have considered writing to The Word Spy & asking her to go for a third book in the series.

We're still reading Nanberry for Australian history. We've most certainly moved much slower through Australian History then I intended this year, but the boys have enjoyed it & learned from it which was the point. We'd like to wrap up this book before the end of the year, which we shouldn't have an issue doing. It would also give me time to work out a plan for next year & see what pace we might move at then.

Ali & The Golden Eagle was our geographical read aloud this week. The boys were on tendril hooks with that book. I won't say it's a fantastically well written book, but it's certainly not bad! The adventure & intrigue behind the story is what kept my boys coming back for more. In fact when I finished the book I ran off to get ready to go on our outing & when I came back they hadn't budged from their seats because they were still discussing the book & debating the ending. As in, was it an appropriate ending or should it have instead been written a bit more the way they were thinking. They have discussed this book all week long. I think the fact that the author is also in the story because it was based on a true story has added to the awe of the story.

Did you guess, from the name of our read aloud that we were in Saudi Arabia this week? Yep, we were. The book we read as a spine described Saudi Arabia as being shaped like a book, but we just can't envision it as well as the author could. Or rather the author described it with such beauty we felt let down when we looked at the map! Yes, looked at the map as I haven't printed out or hung up a map of Africa or Asia yet. I really need to get on that, but we've had a lot of things going on we hope to share about soon.

Still loving this older DK Atlas. There are times when we can't find some cities on the maps as called for, but we simply skip those. Sometimes we go back with Google Maps & fill in those missing ones, & sometimes we don't. If you look closely at the map about you'll see we're missing a few.

Thursday we hung out with one of our local Home Ed groups for a day of Theatre Sports. Morgan was delighted to run into a boy he loves to chat & play with that he doesn't feel he sees often enough, & was even more delighted when they all ended up on the same team. The funny thing was three of the 4 boys on the team had names that started with J's so they named their team M & The 3 J's. After a morning of learning & tips & games, the teams all did a few skits on stage based on their favourite games. These 4 boys on stage took over my picnic blanket & bowl of popcorn & had a very intense conversation on all their ideas. I had a lot of fun listening to them until I distracted all of them by pulling out a thermos of hot food & stuffing cold salad inside. To which one of them asked, "So we're you actually hoping for it to be hot or cold?" Well played boys, well played!

We hit all three swim days this week too which is the first in a while. That's our crazy swim bucket where all the caps, goggles, combs, & what not go. The silver bottle is homemade swim spray. It's just vitamin C powder mixed with water, we do about a teaspoon to a bottle full of water. Shake like crazy & then spray on. While we're waiting for our turn in the shower we usually spray it on & rub it in then you just rinse in the shower. You come out smelling normal instead of like chlorine! while I can swim in chlorine if I smell it afterwards I end up with pretty intense headaches so this helps heaps! However, if you touch the swim clothes afterwards you might want to rinse your hands again. This crazy box stays in the back of our car at all times, & we just take a water proof bag with towels & dry clothes in it.

Friday we met up with our other home-ed group & had what we Mum's refer to as a "basic" day. Which means the kids can all bring things in to "Show & Tell" which is our sneaky way of getting them use to public speaking, except this Mum was totally out of it with my mind on other stuff & forgot to remind my boys to bring something much less have them practice in front of me. Whoops!

The kids also do instant challenges which one of the Mum's does an amazing job with! My eldest, especially, goes crazy for these, I'm thinking I need to find a few myself & set them up in baggies for the summer when I hear those words, "What can I do?" Ha! This week the kids all had to build bridges & then they were tested to see which ones could hold the most weight. The kids are scored on a variety of things including how well they worked together & included all people on their team in their efforts. This includes the little ones.

We also tend to do an art activity, & this week it was clay modelling. Morgan was all over it, but Jayden generally shies away from things like that. He's always had this odd fetish about getting his hands dirty with clay or play-do. He use to cry about it when he was a toddler & we'd bring the stuff out. Weird, I know. He's also petrified of glue & snails, what can I say. Morgan made a lovely bowl with a face & handle on it which he's still drying so he can paint up. In the end Jayden braved it & made himself a little head. No idea what he'll do with it, but it too is drying as he waits to pain it. Since he was willing to brave it to touch the clay I'm wondering if I can pull out the clay art project I've had hidden away for them for a while now..

Only 4-5 more weeks to go for our year! I'm pretty excited about it, but that might have something to do with the fact that the kids keep trying to lure me into digging into next years books. The basket I hid the books in didn't work because I came out last weekend & found them pulling them out of the basket. I should have put all sorts of cleaning supplies on top, that would have worked!

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