Thursday, February 27, 2014

Atom Video

Yesterday morning I dug out an old Bill Nye video for Morgan to watch that correlated with a science lesson on atoms this week. He's using Exploring Creation With General Science this year & while we're much later getting rolling with it then intended he's enjoying it thus far. We're sticking with the same method of last year where he listens to the lecture & takes notes, then comes to me to chat about the notes he's taken.

The only downer, thus far, is that we've purchased the notebook to go with it & while it has space for specific information to be recorded it's not as open ended as it could be. This allows us a little bit to understand studying specifically for tests & learning to summarise, something he's pretty good at, but it does mean that some of those fun facts he likes to record have no where to go.

I'm also pretty surprised that there's no where to record science vocabulary sense it seems to be a pretty big part of the book. I was equally surprised to discover that the notebook isn't laid out in a sequential order but rather in a theme. So there are notebooking pages to record specific information from your lessons, record information from the On Your Own portions of the lessons, but in order to use the lab sheets for the experiments you need to flip to the back of the notebook. You'll also find fill in the blank summaries if your student is struggling to come up with one on his/her own.

We may choose to use the lab sheets, fill in some of the specifics, but write our narrations of our own accord. We'll just see how the year unfolds for him. I did find it amusing that on his second day with the book all the notes he took directly applied to the notebooking exercise for the day & thus he was able to summarise what he'd jotted down to fit in his notebook.

The information on atoms had no place, specifically, to be recorded. I found that a wee bit odd, but perhaps it's also because the idea of atoms is meant to be reinforced with a simple experiment we haven't performed yet as we're missing one of the supplies needed.  Either way he was on an atom kick & I decided to drag out an old Bill Nye video.

I know Bill can get a bad rap with homeschoolers these days for a variety of reasons, but regardless of those opinions he presents information in a way that really does make it stick. I still remember some of the whacky music videos & silliness from the shows when my brother & I use to watch them many moons ago.

Needless to say there was plenty of whackiness in the atoms issue & the boys enjoyed the show with a lot of laughter. If you're interested in checking out the video you can find it here. I'll warn you now though, you might be pining for a hotdog when you're done, or not it might just depend on how long it's been since you've had a good old fashioned American hot dog.. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Lego Challenge

Jayden's current read aloud with his Sea & Sky theme has been the classic Treasure Island. We have a beautiful copy of the book complete with amazing art inside, but we've been listening aloud to it each afternoon. I'm the one who picks up the book & gazes at the pictures inside while the boys are kept in rapt attention over the book. So much so, I've been told off a few times for speaking during the book. Not that I blame them, but I confess this is most certainly their kinda book.

The other day while looking for something online I found lego instructions to build a little pirate. Apparently it's part of the Lego Mini Build offered in Lego Shops each month. That probably makes sense to those of you with a lego shop in your state, but we aren't amongst those lucky few. Anyway, I thought it would make a lovely challenge for my kids while listening to Treasure Island this week.

It kept them quite busy & entertained to boot. We don't own flesh toned bricks, or at least not many so they went with whatever the could find. When you have two huge drawers of lego I find they generally just grab the right shape to get their projects built & later go in & perfect with specific colours if they desire. There was much fun that evening thanks to the heads that can move up & down & the pirate fights in an attempt to kick off each others peg legs. If you're interested in making your own little pirate you can find the instructions here.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Puzzle Books

While out this week we popped into a local Op-Shop & found this fun book. My kids are still into puzzle books mostly for the fun of working on them while they are listening to audio books or a parent read aloud to them. This book looked nearly brand new & some of the puzzles didn't even look as though anyone had done them before, so for $2 we snagged it.

It's a little reminiscent to the lovely world map we have hanging on our wall which the kids have always loved looking at. It's covered with landmarks & other interesting images that represent what you might find should you be traveling in that region of the world. When the boys were much younger & it was hanging on our dining room wall the thing to do use to be to close your eyes & point to something then find the information about it on the outer edge of the map.  In fact they still use the map today to see if they are write about which flags go with which countries.

This atlas is very much the same littered with the contents of a country allowing you to imagine what things are most popular & common there. I like that it also explains some of those things. The bottom page, the map itself, is the puzzle in this book that you can dump out & put back together. I doubt that the puzzles will be very challenging for the kids, but it may help reinforce a great deal of what they learned last year in regards to where countries are located on the map.. That is if I'm not the one oogling over it!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Zoo 2

We're using, as mentioned previously, Zoology 2 this year with Jayden's Adventure's in Sea & Sky. I've never been very keen on the Apologia schedule for these books as they bite off a lot of science that one is meant to do in 2 days each week, taking 2 weeks to do each chapter. We prefer to do smaller chunks more often so we retain the information better. It works for us.

Last year we made our way through Apologia's Human Anatomy with our own schedule which worked really well for us. In fact it worked so well that Morgan was able to work on the book himself with little to no trouble at all. Jayden isn't quite ready to be off & running on his own with science as you can't obtain this one in audio format yet. While he could read the text of his own accord I'm not convinced the vocabulary would stick with him as well so we choose to do it together.

Once again we're making up our own schedule, which is bite sized bits more often, to work our way through the book. This generally means that while we read less at a time we cover the books more quickly. While that might not work for some, it works for us. We're still hearing all sorts of tidbits that Morgan learned last year.. They usually come out over meal time when he'll say something like, "Interesting fact here guys.." or "That reminds me, my science teacher said.." Which use to get replies from Mr S like, "That doesn't quite sound like something Mummy would say.." Good times, good times.

This year I decided to print my plans for Zoo 2 on bookmark sized pieces of paper. When we sit down with the science book we can be anywhere from laying on the trampoline to sitting in the club house & let's face it I don't always remember to grab my planner when I'm invited to such places to read. So having the schedule right on the bookmark is so much easier! I opted not to schedule the notebooking pages this go around because I'm not certain if we'll use them all.

We do go over vocabulary during & after lessons just to reinforce it. I'll also ask him to tell me about certain things I've read, we've turned some of those into written narrations for his notebook, but not all of them. We'll see what unfolds with it, while I do think the notebook is a valuable tool Jayden's school is very rich with science this year & he'll be recording a lot of things as he goes along. So, if we don't use this particular notebook I'm not going to panic about it.

If you're interested in the bookmarks with our schedule on it you can find the first 4 chapters here. The next 4 won't be far along, but I probably won't do more then that until after Term 1.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

2014 Week In Review: Week 3

Wow, another week has flown by, where on earth is the year going? We really did have a lovely week, but I'm amazed it's over all ready & we're bunking down for a fun family filled weekend with lots of laughter.

We utilised our prospective schedule for Term 1 this week, & found a few things we need to change about it, so we'll give the edited version a go next week. I'm excited to see how that will play out, & while I won't say the kids are excited they do value having a school schedule so they know what's happening when.

I will say I enjoy seeing the planner all filled up with differing colours. I'm using my planner a little different this year then I have previously & I'm really happy with how that turned out. It's nothing fancy, but over the past few years I've just written down in it what we've officially completed as a record of what we're up to. This week I changed paces & decided to write down what we hoped to accomplish & tick things off as we went. See, I told you it was pretty simple. Laugh if you want, I don't mind. It might not be quite as neat this way, but that's okay.

We switched up Bible for Jayden this week. There's a beautiful Bible study that goes with his Adventure in Sea & Sky, but he wasn't quite ready for it. That's okay because I remembered I'd picked up this lovely Character Study earlier this year to use specifically with him. He was delighted to find this week's telling was about Abraham Lincoln, a man he has many many questions for. We also read through Job this week, but not in full. Last week we read through Job chapter by Chapter, but this week we just had a brief visit & moved on to some Psalms. Morgan is still reading through the Old Testament, he actually listens to it on Audio & then comes to chat about it with me, he's finding lots of interesting things he wants to chat about in his daily readings.

Morgan started his programming this week with Youth Digital this week. He requested computer programming from Mr S for an elective this year & Mr S really dragged his feet with it. He encountered the age old problem many of us have, we know what we want to teach but aren't sure what resources we want to cover it with. So when I spotted Mod 1 Design on special at HSBC he checked it out & gave it the thumbs up. Morgan laughs through his lectures & delights in his homework, reviews, & quizzes. I could live without the Java {that's not coffee for you non-computer speaking peoples} talk at the table, but I do find it funny to see my child speaking computer lingo with my husband. Jayden wishes he'd requested computer programming, but I think in all fairness he's lured by the topic, Mine Craft, & the funny lectures.

Jayden & I read all about Egyptians sailing powers during Ancient time this week & each time I read out a location he'd spin the globe to find it. Thus he was filled with gales of laughter when, upon reaching the end of our chapter in Unfurling The Sail they suggested he locate a few of the seas we'd read about on the map. My kids love looking for places on maps, in atlases, & on globes!

Morgan worked on some review again this week with Zeta, I felt it was imperative as he still wasn't completely confident with what he was doing. He think he's got it now & is ready to return to the lesson we were up to, but we'll see how things go next week. Jayden moved on in his own math book to the next lesson putting him only 4 away from the end of his book, exciting times there!

Jayden started with Zoo 2 this week. While his Adventures in Sea & Sky has plenty of science, the first eighteen weeks focus on various parts of oceanography. He'd hoped to study Zoo 2 over the summer, but life happened & we never got to it. So I decided to pull it out & work through it over the 18 weeks we'll be studying Ocean Life in his Theme this year. We wrapped up chapter 1 this week & he did a little journaling as we went along. I'm not sure if we'll use the notebook full on or just bits & pieces of it.

Morgan's been listening to The Golden Goblet for school & he's very in love with the book all though struggles with the main character's brother. It never stops him from reading a book, but the most villainous characters to him are family members who don't treat other family members with the love & kindness he's use to seeing. Anyway, he came in after listening one day to present me with Gebu. I love it, & if you're familiar with the book I think you'll get the mini fig!

Jayden was actually keen to get to his writing this week. He's still using Writing With Ease, which I still love very much. We'll switch between it and the Writing Thru series, which I equally love, this year. Morgan only got to the introduction of his writing book which was very lengthy. He was horribly disappointed there was no writing assignment at the end of it. Hopefully the first assignment won't disappoint next week!

Morgan worked on his timeline pieces from the first 3 weeks of school this week. I printed them on sticker paper for him to use as last year we had figures pre-purchased that way which were a true delight. When he was done colouring them in he ran a copy off on more sticker paper for me. I want to use one of our long halls for a wall timeline this year & rather then create new pieces for it we'll just copy off what the kids have used all ready & then we'll affix it to our wall.

One of our books with our Sea & Sky theme is The Strange Intruder & while it was a little slow getting going this week it hit a pretty big climax. While I was on the couch reading away to Jayde I noticed as the book got more intense his playing slowed down until he was just staring at the setup completely enraptured in the story. Mind you, we had to leave off this week wondering if the strange intruder may have attacked one of our main characters, talk about a cliff hanger!!

Swim lessons were attended this week as well as swim practice{s}. The boys decided they needed to set up a small regime in order to be ready to pass their test all though they are having difficulty getting permission to practice diving. A little frustrating when it's part of what they'll be tested on, but it didn't stop them from practicing the other aspects of their test.

Both boys had a lovely stack of notebooking pages to add to their timeline notebooks, they really love having something to show Daddy when they are telling him about their weeks. The ones pictured above are all Jayden's, I need to get a photo of Morgan's incase he should lose them! Jayden was delighted to have stickers to use again this week to mark up his map.

Morgan & I read this book together each day, we're borrowing a library copy while we await our own to arrive in the mail. We've really enjoyed the little clips of daily life in this book & the pictures of artefacts & remains of cities. The boys spotted a couple of the artefacts in the book in my Bible as well which really excited them.

We ended up going on a fun boat ride this week, nothing major, but it was fun all the same. All though we nearly lost Jayden off the dock when the boat came in to collect us. The wind picked up & someone was training to learn to drive the boat we road on & the combo caused the boat to hit the dock harder then intended. It all ended well though, & upon disembarking Jayden told the captain to have a great day & the reply was, "If I don't sink it Mate!" Kinda made me glad we got off when we did!! 

Morgan tackled some science this week & was impressed with what he learned. He didn't attend to it as diligently as he should have, but I do confess he waited on me a bit because our intention was to listen to the lectures together as I found his lessons quite interesting too. He might have to continue on alone next week in order to ensure he gets to his lessons.

And that pretty much wraps up our week. We still missed a few things that we'd intended to tackle, but we had a fair bit happen. No outings for us this week aside from our boat ride which was lovely & fun! 

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Number Rings

I picked this game up last year & it arrived while we were living between two homes & headed out of town for Christmas. Does that make three homes?! I have no idea, it just meant a lot of craziness! When the package arrived in the mail I took it to the new house & shoved it under my bed meaning to pull it out either for a Christmas Eve game or a New Years Eve game. But you know, that game stayed where I chucked it until the kids said, "Mom what happened to that package you got in the mail..."

We dug it out & I read through the instructions which are really pretty simple, but a phone call dragged us out of the house & before you knew it the new year was here & so was a lazy Sunday afternoon & two little boys who wanted something to do. So I declared it Family Game Time & told them to get ready.

We spent a good portion of time playing this game, mostly because in a moment of stress a few of us had rings go flying off our boards & we had to try & figure out where they'd come from. I heard a lot of math talk which was quite enjoyable as well because when you're playing a game 15 squared doesn't sound nearly as insane as when it's in your math book, right?

The rules really aren't complicated. You have three dice & when you roll them you make mathematical equations using the three numbers on the dice to equal as many of the numbers on your game board as possible. Pretty easy for a variety of math skilled people to play at one time to be honest. It was funny because everyone was working out math problems for the dice as they were rolled & while many times the same answer was found it didn't happen with the same equations.

There are a few more rules, but we kept it pretty simple for our first go ignoring all rules except the covering of numbers by working out math equations. We figure we'll get more technical as we pull it out more often & considering no complained about playing it I'm thinking it'll see a lot of use. It's just a really fun way to practice math facts & considering you can make the facts up as you go along there's no complaining that Mom put all the hard ones at the start. Yeah, I've been accused of that a few times over, & I'm still pleading the 5th on that one too!

As for acquiring it, we had to obtain it second hand as I couldn't find it new anywhere, but I thought I spotted Amazon having a couple of used copies? However, if you live overseas you might want to check ebay instead, Amazon is pretty picky about mailing games this way..

Friday, February 21, 2014

Happy 13th Birthday

Morgan turned 13th this month. We've reached that point where a single box of candles is no longer enough, & the word teen now applies at the end of his age. We've heard rumours about those terrible years known as emotional teen years, but so far we've been quite blessed with a placid teen who, tends to make us laugh more then rage.

I had to resort to a store bought cake on his actual birthday as after swim lessons we went to play with friends & ended up staying far longer then I realised, the downfalls of losing my watch in the current move! On our way home I realised I'd also left the roast sitting on the counter instead of sitting in the crockpot. As you can tell, I am not an age that ends with teen all though it still takes more then one box of candles for my children to light the cake afire.

Thankfully Morgan is, & pretty much always has been, a go with the flow kinda boy. So he was gleeful to actually pick a cake from the bakery & searched high & low until he found a cake that was dairy free so Jayden could indulge as well. I took their word for it that it tasted awesome, all though the remainder sat in the pantry long enough I finally ditched it.

Between several of us he received an ipad mini, a case of his choosing for it, & an itunes gift card. Honestly, it's a rather extravagant gift even for thirteen, but he relies heavily on our original & very outdated ipad or ipod for school purposes. Having to update one of them was on the cards & we figured why not do so for his birthday? So we did. It's a huge help for him in regards to schooling with his SSS, & now all his ebooks & audio books are in one place. His school list is on it which I can update from my computer to greet him each day, & he loves waking up early & sending messages via imessage to Gram. It's pretty sad, but I'm pretty sure my child talks to my mother then I do!

Needless to say he was quite blown away with his gift & shocked & had to open the box to be sure we weren't trying to play a trick on him. Always good for a laugh that is! All though thanks to his lovely gift he was eager to do school on his birthday just so he could use his lovely new toy. In fact during one of Jayden's science lessons Morgan came in to announce he'd had to tell people he couldn't chat with them he was busy doing school. Once he left the room I had a bit of a laugh..

It turned into a bit of a birthday week around here as Jayde & I made Morgan a mint chocolate chip ice cream pie that was dairy & gluten free for his proper desert the following day & I remembered to put the roast in the crockpot & fix his favourite potatoes. We had family over for games & more ice cream pie on Sunday afternoon. The kids are now convinced ice cream pie is the only way to go for birthdays!

Our local Coles has been selling these, which is the only upside to their change in the Gluten Free Range, but I won't rant about that at the moment.. These cookies have excess filling in them so I put one row of cookies in with the icing & pulled the other 2 rows apart removing the icing. We crushed them in the blender & then added about a teaspoon of coconut oil to help bind it a bit before pressing it into a pie plate.

We've tweaked our traditional ice cream recipe to be allergy friendly around here:

Honey Ice Cream

4 cups of Light Coconut Milk {we use the AYAM brand which is not only light but organic, all though I can only get the milk from one of our local IGAs}
4 Cups of Light Coconut Cream {again I use the AYAM brand which is available at my local Coles}
1 cup honey
1/4 t salt
2 T vanilla

Mix it all in the blender, & use in your ice cream maker.

I only make a half batch of this at a time, a full batch will make 2 full pies like the one pictured above. When making it minty I sub the vanilla for mint & add a handful or two of baby spinach leaves while blending. My Blend Tech type blender leaves no specks behind & no one knew until they caught me in the act!

For dairy free chocolate chips we get the 70% Dark Lindt Chocolate, 2 bars per half batch of ice cream. We throw it in the food processor until it's roughly the size of chocolate chips. I don't add this until the ice cream is nearly done & can easily hold it's shape when you pull a spoonful out of the ice cream maker.

Even for a half batch of ice cream I only half fill my ice cream maker. In order to get light & creamy ice cream you need to leave a lot of room for this stuff to freeze & expand. By only half filling your ice cream maker you'll get lighter creamier ice cream. We have 2 ice cream makers that we half fill & run at the same time per every half batch of this cream.

Once you add the chocolate chips & they are thoroughly mixed in just spread this into your pie shell & put in the freezer until firm. If you only mix a half batch at a time in two makers like I describe above we found that mixing it up in the morning & serving it in the afternoon was fine. Otherwise you might need to let it firm up more. Keep covered with plastic wrap in the freezer & you'll want to let the left overs soften a little before serving.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

2014 Weekly Wrap Up: Week 2

Another week busy week has flown by here in our home. We celebrated a birthday this week as well as Morgan had his 13th birthday. A bigger even to Jayden then I think it was to Morgan, all though he might have just been trying to keep cool & calm about the whole thing. We do little in halves around here so we spent a good portion of the week celebrating him on top of school & other responsibilities.

We still have science to add back into our normal routine, but aside from that I think we might have gotten back into everything else, not a small feat either!

There's also been a whole lot of Olympic Game watching, & griping over poor coverage & insane time zone differences. However, I'm pretty sure we can tell you about every snowboarding & skiing event competition in Sochi right now.. Much anxiety was had over getting to see the bobsledding, but have no fear we finally saw a little.

I'm looking forward to a quieter month ahead after all our excitement, but we'll see what happens. In the mean time, let's take a look at our busy week.

Our new history book was happily awaiting us when we got back from the wedding, & we didn't hesitate to dig in. While it does mean we've started back at the beginning again, not my intention or desire, the book is really lovely & will take us through the first 100 years of Australian history so it will progress us well ahead of where we left off as well. It'll be a lovely spine for us indeed.

Morgan moved right along on his history this past week, he's really enjoying his Mystery Of History which he listens to while following along in the book. Amongst other things he covered the Ice Age last week & was set with the task of coming up with a survival plan for the Ice Age, it led to some really interesting chats about where each of us might have chosen to set up home in order to have the benefits of certain things without the pitfalls of others.

After reading about a variety of topics last week we read some articles in a few of our older copies of God's World News. This one about Mammoths was rather interesting & had a large Jurasssic Park feel to it which led to more interesting topics. We also read an article about a man named Johan who made a replica ark, he has a lovely website we checked out as well to get another look at the ark.

Jayde was delighted to tackle cursive this week. All though he was a little too into making it perfect, I shouldn't complain, really I shouldn't. It's nice to see him caring about his handwriting considering the difficulties we've had in the past! Morgan joined him, but mostly for review purposes.

I started reading this book to Morgan, all though Jayden was keen to listen in as well. It's written from the perspective  of the two dogs & Timna, Shep's wife, with their adventure on the ark. I've read the book previously & thought it would tie in really well with our school last week, all though we'll be reading it for another week or still. It brings up some interesting topics to chat about as well, which is always fun.

Last week Jayden & I read about Eratosthenes in his history lesson & I pulled this lovely picture book off our shelf to read to him. It explained how he came up with the idea & why in a little bit easier to understand format. We're still in awe of how accurate he was considering the limitations of travel back then!

We also read about Ancient Egyptians history in the sailing world, all though that picture above has little to do with it. I have no idea what happened to the Egyptian notebooking page we did as I'm certain I took a photo of it! I will say that this year I printed out all the "cut & glue" portions of Jayde's notebooking pages on sticker paper. He was so excited! He despises glue & so while happy to cut things out begs me to glue them down for him, in precisely the correct manner. This was a much better way to allow him to do it all himself!

We've used this book previously several years ago for a summer of ocean fun, but we're back at it this year with our Adventures in Sea & Sky schedule. Jayden is delighted as he doesn't remember a lot of it. We turned one of his projects into a birthday desert which was a double win for me during our very busy week. 

Both boys tackled math last week. And yes I draw lines over double digit multiplication problems to help a certain child keep his place value lined up so when he ads in the end he doesn't mix up which digits are where. We still have some minor fraction review we need to do, but I think the goal is still to be done with that book midyear. Can you tell it was morning tea time? I offered them dried fruit, but we all found it a bit too sweet for our liking.

We made cupcakes to take to share with friends for Morgan's birthday. I was out of gluten free flour, & decided not to use it anyway as I wasn't sure any of the friends that would be there would need it. I did make them dairy free so Jayden could have one, but I think in the end he got missed. He wasn't pleased until we reminded him there was birthday pie at home he could have some of. That & making a new friend seem to cheer him up immensely.

We had our weekly swim lessons on Monday, much to Morgan's delight. After all what better way to celebrate one's birthday then in the pool? No, the people in the other lane were not wearing ski masks while working out, they were actually trying to pick up tips! I find it quite funny how many people swimming laps will stop to listen intently to the instructor who's teaching a lesson. And if you're wondering, I blacked out their faces as I couldn't seem to snap a photo of my kids without them in it this past week. Jayden made sure that their swim coach knew it was Morgan's birthday so we listened to an opera version of Happy Birthday which delighted Morgan until he realised the entire pool had gone quiet to try & figure out what was going on in our small corner.

We wrapped up our week with a semi quiet day at home. Where I pulled out Number Rings to play with the guys. We played slightly different then the rules to give everyone a chance to get a feel for it, & I think we should have played full out. The kids both managed to beat us! Just enough time to regroup before the family lunch for the birthday boy that we hosted on Sunday.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Hot Summer Days

This past weekend we drove to the other end of Tassie for a family wedding. I forgot how hot it is inland, I'm a spoiled costal girl & I'm grateful for those ocean winds & the coolness they bring me on long hot summer days.

The closer inland we drove the sweatier we became. By the time we checked in at emptied the car into the cabin the boys were desperate to hit the pool in the caravan park. We told them it had to wait as we needed to run up to the shop & grab a couple of things we'd forgotten. While we were out we decided to head down to the river.

There's nothing quite like water on a hot day, is there? We started out debating where we'd park for the wedding we were attending the following day, debating which sites we'd try to see before hand, & then Jayden asked if he could get in the river. We joined him.

It wasn't deep, but it was cool & refreshing & just what we needed. There was a lot of splashing happening which the ducks let us know they were very pleased with. We had our photo taken by random tourists which always cracks us up. It sounds weird, but you have to remember our state survives largely on tourism.

As we debated heading back to the cabin for a proper swim & some dinner Jayden said, "Wait, I can't go right now I'm Jesus!" We turned to look & as he sat on the edge of the viewing platform he made his feet walk on the water. Oh how we laughed, & chased off the pesky picture snapping tourist.

Monday, February 10, 2014

2014 Weekly Wrap Up: Week 1

Life is crazy here again, but all in good ways. Last week was our first official week back to school. We didn't hit all the books or subjects I'd intended but the boys made a great effort back & our week was short but lovely.

We knew, going into it we'd have a short week with family events, back to home school group events, & the start of a new term of swim lessons underway. Which allowed us time to plan in advance how to tackle our busy schedule. Always a plus!

I struggle when the unexpected happens & I need to change plans quickly which messes up my all ready premade, beautifully lined out plans. Flexible I am not, all though I try pretty hard. I believe there's a hideously embarrassing story about this problem starting at about oh 2 or 3 year of age, & there's even a picture to prove it hanging on my mother's hall wall.

Not a glorious one I might add unless you like a teary faced three year old with a skinned up knee kinda picture, apparently my mother does. I have to say it's the story behind that picture that has always made me smile when I see the photo, & not because it's a great story but because I can still relate with my 3 year old self being dragged off from playing to having to go get a photo made. But I digress..

We started our new poetry book for the year, we're in love all ready which may, or may not, have a lot to do with the fact that Robert Louise Stevenson graced the pages a few times over in our first week complete with one of my favourite poems: My Shadow. Of course we've met a few new poems which were equally fun, & a few that left us giggling.

Monday the boys had their first swim lesson of the term in the new olympic sized pool. They've been using one a quarter of that size prior & another that was half that size, so the newer size required a bit more work for them, but they really enjoyed themselves & were delighted to see their Swim Coach again. The cherry on top was that another student was waiting, a young lady from our Home Ed group so they knew her. They raved all day about how awesome it was.

We started our Grammar Ace & enjoyed a noun scavenger hunt & a silly song on our School House Rocks DVD. It wasn't new information to them, but it tied in really well with the Grammar Lessons from Winter Promise for the week & was fun so I'd call that a lovely Win-Win.

Jayden absolutely loved his Grammar & he asks to do it first each day. He was really excited that on the first day he had a long list of clues & by the end of the week was able to eliminate a few. He wondered when he'd solve the mystery by & I told him I wasn't positive but I think he gets to solve one each term. Despite the look in the photo above he really was enjoying what he was doing.

Morgan looked like this most mornings as he was working on his own. He was redoing a notebooking page because he wasn't happy with how he did it the first time over. I need to find the finished page & get a good photo of it & there's some really cute pictures on there in regards to the 7 days of creation. He completed his entire first week of his new theme doing the majority of it all on his own.

Jayden deciphered some lovely Sea Lingo & had then tried a few new phrases out on Mr S at dinner one evening. It was quite amusing to watch, mostly because Mr S was on a different topic of conversation & Jayden simply interjected with the occasional bit of sea lingo from time to time. We didn't quite finish his first week of theme work, but we enjoyed what we did accomplish.

Thursday we met up with our Home Ed group back at our local pool for free swim. As in the boys were free to do/swim was they wished. They enjoyed themselves immensely despite the chillier temperatures that sprang up that morning. They met up with a friend they only see from time to time & spend the afternoon playing with him much to their delight, which left me free to catch up with other Mums during that time. The boys were shocked when they saw their swim coach as life guard, it was quite the talk at the super table.

Friday we packed up & headed south for a rather special event. Jayden was a bit nervous about attending his first wedding & wanted to stand behind me to avoid seeing people kiss. I nixed the idea & offered to hide his face for him when the moment occurred, he was much relieved until the groom went back for a second kiss. There was a load groan from our child & me squealing, "Quick close your eyes!" Much to the delight & giggles of those standing nearest us.

No science for Morgan this week & math wasn't on the table either. We decided to find our feet with our new themes & ease back into the math & science next week. We'll see how that unfolds!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

A Peek Inside..

After spending a few days printing things out for Jayden's Adventures In The Sea & Sky, I thought I'd share a few peeks inside at all the loveliness he'll be enjoying this year.

Yes, I said printing out because I purchase the digital versions of Winter Promise when I can. This worked really well starting a year or two ago when we'd picked up our Winter Promise needs while in the USA & came home to realise I'd forgotten a few things. Winter Promise had made many of their items available digitally & the ones I'd forgotten were there. It's also really nice for those of us who live overseas & struggle with the constant rising costs of shipping.

Lots of interactive notebooking pages inside. In this particular page he'll need to design a sign for his own business, which I'm quite curious to see what he'll come up with. It's funny because if I had to guess now I'd bet it would have something to do with a weapons or toy shop, but after reading the lessons for the day this page will be done on he might actually pick something based upon what we read. If you purchase the Make Your Own Captains Log you can choose to print in colour or black & white. I love colour & think the WP notebooking pages are lovely printed that way so we choose to print them in colour.

This page is one of the Technology Of The Times pages, as it says on the base of it. These pages give you information about the time frame you are studying & often you have to decide, based on the information, what each person in the graphic represents from your reading.

Maps are pretty self explanatory, but I love that the maps are provided for the kids to do what's needed on them. Sometimes you need other maps as well, but where to obtain them from is always mentioned in the introduction in your Theme's Guide. The boys love the looks of these maps because they look very, "cool & old fashioned!"

Check out the detail on this page! There are several of these pages for use throughout the year as we travel through time and learn history through sea & air. Peeping at all the notebooking pages has just excited Jayden more about his choice for the upcoming year, & I honestly can't blame him!

Again, I set up Jayden's Theme for the year in the same way we set up Morgan's. Everything is in one notebook with all the pages {LA worksheets, all schedules, notebooking pages, etc.} in sheet protectors & in order according to the week they are needed in. I've put a few of the ebooks for this theme on my kindle as we won't need to do more then read from those ones. It should be pretty open & go for him, all though Morgan's really annoyed Jayden's first book is Treasure Island & keeps asking if he can read it too. Ahh, the trials of so many good books on hand!