Sunday, February 22, 2015

Preparing for the week

I get asked a lot about how I plan our weeks out in order that we accomplish so much. I always find the question a wee bit intimidating because for a start, it's not about how much a person accomplishes as much as it's about the content of what they accomplish. I can buzz through an entire schedule of stuff in a week, but if my kids walk away with no knowledge of what we learned then it was a waste of time & effort. I also suspect if you were to write out what you did each week you might discover you do/did more then you give yourself credit for. Give it a go & see!

Our planning tends to start way back over the summer holidays, if not sooner in the tail ends of the final terms of school. I keep notes in my planner all year long of what my goals & intentions for the coming school year are. This makes selecting curriculum a lot more simple. If I know I want my eldest to work on his expository writing skills then I need to pick a curriculum with that focus over creative writing. If I want a child to focus on World History then I can greatly reduce the choices out there.

From there I tend to keep a running file in Numbers/Excel which breaks our year down by terms. We tend to work in 10 week terms with 9 fully loaded academic weeks. The 10th week is left for catching up on projects or areas we've slipped behind in for any reasons. If we're on track {we're never always on track with every subject} then we use that spare time for reviews, extra projects, & so forth.

Most curriculum is based on a US 36 week school schedule & because we tend to school in 10 week sessions that's where the 9 week break down comes from. Incase you were wondering. We do occasionally end up with an 8 or 9 week only term, which is usually the last one of the year, but only if the work is completed!

This means by the time the actual planning of a week rolls around it's a painless 5 minute or less to get things on the schedule, printed, & into my planner for the week ahead. I make a planning sheet like the one above for each child. It's slipped into their section in my planner behind which I'll find all the notes from their given curriculum for the week ahead. I have a pocket at the front of each child's section which hold timeline figures or notebooking pages so they know where to easily locate them.

This year the kids asked to just have a copy of the sheet for their own planners which works too. They trim the outside box & glue it into their Lego Planners. They love the ease of this, all though there are blank places on the planners such as for filling in what math pages will be accomplished on which days of the week.

It's really that simple! Some of our lessons take longer then others, & some of our school days are also longer then others. We also only schedule a 4 day academic week, leaving our final day for catching up, socialising, outings, & so forth. Some weeks this means we do 4 solid days in a row & then go out, other weeks we might do 3 full days & 2 half-days. It simply depends upon what's on the calendar for the outings & events for the week.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

2015 Week Wrap Up: Week 3

Another school week wrapped up in our home. It was suppose to be a little quieter & calmer of a week for us, but you know I've learned that stating that out loud is like praying for patience. You'll have to endure the trials in order to obtain the desire. Needless to say we had a semi-crazy week, but the outcome was all good.

We had our biennial meeting with the state moderator in regards to homechooling, we met via Skype this time which was new for all involved. The meeting went well despite the new technology & the kids thought it pretty cool that I only made them help tidy up one area of the house instead of worrying about the whole thing. This allowed them to get their normal studies done & do chores in their normal time & fashion. A win for all of us.

We used a portion of each of these books this week. Jayden was not impressed with much of the poetry this week, he found many of the bird poems, "a little bit weird, don't you think?" We're using the 90 Days in Matthew Daily in place of the NT reading in our IG right now. We'll move back to the NT reading from the IG as soon as we finish the devotional. Through The Bible Devotions matches up well with the OT reading the kids are doing via the IG so we read the devotional that matches up to what they are reading for the week. We weren't as regular with the Memory Box this week as we normally are.

These are the lovely Character Trait books we're using. I printed out Character Traits For Kids in full before school started & we're just working through one trait a week as they are laid to follow early US history. The one behind it is Portraits Of Integrity. It's not laid out in the same fashion, but rather with character traits in alphabetical order. I was out of paper at the time so I didn't print it out in full yet, but really need to. Instead I've just printed out the trait we need each week. Last week we learned about Courage.

We progressed another 4 lessons in spelling covering some new word patterns. They had no issue with most of the words on their lists which delighted them to no end. They did have to differentiate between a couple of similar sounds that were spelled differently though so it wasn't a futile lesson by any means.

We finished the 2nd language arts workbook on grammar focus, which meant mostly a review work. They didn't due too badly with it, & it seemed a timely place for a review for them to gauge how things were going. They have 2 more workbooks to go before moving into the next level. The next level pretty much repeats what was learned in this one, but that's okay.

Jayden started Writing Rhetoric this week, he was so very very excited about it. The only complaint I have, thus far, is that the lines in the book for the student to write on aren't conducive with the method of handwriting we've been using. I also find that at this stage if he doesn't have the specific lines we've been using {HWOT} he's less likely to write neatly. I had him do his dictation on our HWOT paper & we cut & affixed it into the book. At the end of the week he had to rewrite a fable that we'd read with a mouse being the largest character. His new story was entitled: The Mouse & The Silverfish. Yeah, this kid totally lives in Australia & cherishes the home library. I'll share his written work later.

Morgan was suppose to use another level of Writing Rhetoric & we'd even gone so far as to purchase it.. prior to his last specialist appointment. The book requires: reading, copywork, dictation, writing. He's not suppose to do the two middle things in order to allow his brain to concentrate on the more important things like writing & reading. While we could have used the programme without those middle two areas being covered it somewhat diminishes the value of the lessons. So we decided to pull out Writing With Skill earlier then intended this year. Neither of us minded, but he decided, two days in, he'd like to start at the beginning of the book again. I was a bit surprised by the request, but agreed that starting on Monday that's what we'll do.

Yes, I'm fully aware that Rush is not short for Russia, I've even told the child that a few times this week...nor is FL short for Finland. However, I did love his sketches in geography this week! His focus was on Russia, but the objective of the curriculum is that they continue drawing & labeing previous countries/states.

Jayden is covering the New England area still & opted for an extra large drawing of some of those tiny little states. He was frustrated with drawing Vermont & New Hampshire {yes I'm aware he's got the wrong letter on top...} in their smaller fashions.

Jayden's focus in history is still on early Exploration. They've finally found land in Pedro's Journal, & we're learning what the men did once they found land. He's enjoying the new reader this week, all though was seriously put out by the way one of the characters treats the children. It was humours that when I asked him a question about the book he answered it & then flopped down in a chair & went on a long tirade about how mean this woman is because "she actually threw a dish at one of the children!"

We wrapped up Walk The World's Rim, & added another timeline figure to his notebook. He thoroughly enjoyed the book! I'm having him keep a writer's response type journal for books read this year. Nothing fancy, just a couple of sentences about the books. The ones he reads on his own use one type of report, where as the ones we read together use a differing one. He had to give an opinion or something he learned from this particular book & I was highly impressed with what he came up with.

Morgan had a lot of lovely places to add to his markable map, he was overjoyed! We mark what we read about after locating it on the map included with our guide. This year they each have their own markable map because they both love using them so much. Jayden was a little sad he only had a couple of places to mark.

Morgan's focus is coming towards the end of the middle ages, all though we still have a couple of weeks before the change into renaissance takes place. We enjoyed all of the books above as well as Our Island Story. We've finally reached the point in our studies where our books are all starting to meet together, which has been exciting to see. Morgan is listening ti Otto of The Silver Hand on his own, we listen to SOTW together per his request, & I read Kingfisher to him because there's just no way I'm copying that book on blue paper right now! We're nearly at the end of Archers & Alchemists which has been a long time coming, making it very exciting.  The Great & Terrible Quest is his current read aloud & we're absolutely loving that book.

He also had a stack of timeline figures, but his timeline book is taking it's sweet time about arriving. Alas, he coloured them in & we've tucked them away until it arrives. Maybe this coming week?

Both boys did science. Once again our attempts with General Science are short lived. It's not the topic or the depth of the book that's the problem, our boy had no issue with the lessons, it's that we as parents are just not content with some of the content. So we've moved Morgan into Chem 3 via Noeo science putting them both in the same content but on their own levels. I have no qualms with them sitting in on each others lessons & taking what they can for them.

Morgan's books & guide aren't here yet, but thankfully the samples allowed us to get started which was lovely. He also sat in on Jayde's lessons which were readings from the above book. They both had a few words to define which they did. Morgan does his via fillable notebooking pages on the computer where as Jayden's are done by hand. They both illustrate the words as desired. Labs will happen on the weekend.

And that pretty much sums up our week. We had our meeting this week when our group would normally meet so we didn't meet up with friends much to the kids horror. There was a lot of robotic programming happening, and creative play as well.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Science Lab Sundays: Week 2

It was another Science Lab Sunday around here.. the day in which Mr S rounds the kids up & all experiments from the week are performed.  Jayden had 3 this weekend, with another one from this coming week due next weekend!

I'm really loving the Noeo Science that he's using, but some weeks are very heavy on the experiment side. Not a huge issue because that's what he loves the most.

At this point all his experiments are coming from the book Adventures With Atoms & Molecules. I'm not sure if it's available elsewhere, but you can certainly obtain it from Noeo Science. We purchased ours second hand in Australia.

Jayden's experiments all echoed the molecule information we studied this week, & oddly enough one of Morgan's experiments was identical to Jayden's. Which turns out to be a great thing, because I only managed to snap one photo before I was needed elsewhere.

Jayden's first experiment was all about seeing if the molecules in essence was small enough to work through a tied balloon. His hypothesis was right in that he would be able to smell it, but his reasoning was a little skewed. We don't have vanilla essence on hand so they subbed with peppermint, he knew peppermint has a strong smell & that's what he based his idea on.

His second experiment needed food colouring. Oh how I loathe the stuff! We rarely use it aside form science stuff! We have the squeeze bottle type in there, but someone had chucked it to the top shelf of the pantry so he grabbed he bottle that opens like essence. That did not end very well for his shirt. It didn't end well for his experiment either because his drop turned into a tablespoon! I pulled out the squeeze bottles & they redid the experiment with the expected results.

Mr S is still new at this whole teaching thing without being run off by the kids. Yep, it really happened the one, & only time, he tried to sub for me. Last week he realised that teaching two kids, totally different sciences, was a challenge & I suggested he teach one at a time from the start of an experiment to the completion of the lab reports. I offered to help oversee the filling in of lab reports if needed. Mr S called one child in, they did all the experiments & then when he called the second child in I heard a roar of laughter. Yep, this time they were doing the exact same experiment! I have on idea why, but they are recording the experiment they were doing.

They did it once & then repeated it for the sole purpose of recording it. I think it was incase Morgan needed to refer back to it for data information while Mr S was at work. Last week we sent him an SOS while he was in a meeting to confirm data from our first Science Lab Sundays! It beats the time we sent him a horribly funny photo & he burst out laughing so that everyone wanted to know what was so amusing & then he got stuck sharing the photo with everyone. The office replied with an office selfie...

As for the experiment itself it was seeing if molecules move faster or slower in hot water vs cold water. Jayden presumed hot water would make them move faster, but he had no logical reason for it. Morgan, on the other hand suggested that if it's easier for him to get out of bed or do chores when he's warm vs when he's cold, then it stands to reason that molecules would move faster in warm water.

He even went so far, in his non-pictured lab report, to point out the connection between boiling water in which you can visibly see the water bouncing around which also aided him in his hypothesis. I was actually impressed with the entire theory he laid out.

Jayden only filled in one lab-report today & will complete the rest during the week. His was based on the first experiment in which he wanted to know if molecules were small enough to escape the closed wall of a balloon. He was a little disappointed that they escaped, but did not create a huge bang. In the mean time, the rest of us took pure delight in his notebooking picture. I absolutely love looking at the sketches this kid does!

Noeo Chem 2; Apologia General Science

Friday, February 13, 2015

2015 Weekly Wrap Up: Week 2

Week 2 is now officially under our belts. We had a choppy week on our first week back so we were a bit nervous heading into week 2, but a quick meeting resolved most of our problems & everyone buckled down to business.

We had a few minor interruptions to the week with a Dr's appointment on Friday & a birthday on Tuesday, but we did school both days regardless. I know, I hear you, many people take off for birthdays & we have in the past but considering my kids were building with lego most of the day I figured they could listen to me read books to them at the same time.

We had an unexpected interruption on Wednesday with having to go into town & get a pair of glasses repaired & another pair adjusted to stop falling off my face. I had the kids take books with them because I knew we'd either be in & out or waiting forever. We had a mild wait, & a huge laugh listening to an elderly gentlemen attempt to explain how & why his glasses were so incredibly mangled. I'm guessing it's an often occurrence because they simply walked into the back room popped his lenses out & slipped them into new frames. Gotta love the insurance Eyelines offers on their glasses, totally worth it!

The memory box was back in use this week. It was idle all summer & most of Term 4, so I freshened it up on the weekend & prepared it for use. We had a few things that needed working on & I knew the quickest way for that to happen was to slip them in the daily section. We're not working on any new verses or poetry right now, but we'll be adding some in soon. Our taps are looking pretty shabby these days, aren't they?

We started the year reading our 90 Devotions from Matthew book, a beautiful devotional on many levels, but especially leading up to Easter. We discussed using it annually at the start of the year for that very reason. We're not into the bunny or all that goes with it, so this is a lovely way to keep our focus.

Still working our way through Favourite Poems Old & New. We had a few really funny ones this week about chickens & ducks, but there was an equally lovely one about ducks that I kept quoting bits of until someone said if they heard the poem again they might scream.

Geography is reasonably light this year with the focus being more on recognising countries, drawing them, & labelling them. Mondays are the longest with the curriculum in which you fill in a few details. This particular week Morgan had 3 countries & Jayden had 2 states. So far they are still enjoying it, all though Morgan commented that our Atlas is out of date & doesn't have the correct population count in it for some countries anymore. Google to the recuse.

The kids are reading from the OT & made it through Genesis 11 this week. They are following a scheduled in one of our SL IGs & it's been fun to sit back & let them read to me. I was worried about Morgan coping with it due to the white pages, but he found using a light blue overlay changes the colour of the page without making it too dark. Hooray!

Morgan wrapped up some science notebook pages that were keeping us from progressing. The notebooking aspect is a bit fiddly, but more so for him as he needs to record all his answers with Dragon, print them out & then glue them into his notebook. He became frustrated with a table he was filling in because his slips of paper turned out to be too long for the available area. I wonder if Apologia ever considered an editable pdf of their nifty journal...

Jayden's still doing well with Noeo Chem 2. Lots of words to define on Tuesday, okay not heaps, but 4. He had some pretty heavy duty words, & when I read the final section to him on Friday I was able to leave gaps in what we were reading so he could fill in the missing words. I loved hearing that knowing he was grasping all that we were doing. The notebooking pages is when I made.

Tuesday someone turned 14. Where did the time go?! He was delighted with his gifts & enjoyed the well wishes he received from across the state & ocean. Even ended up with a homemade card in the mail which delighted him to no end.

The weather is iffy lately, but the guys were keen to try out the new 2-way radios to see how far apart they could be & still use them. We headed down to the beach after a bit of school on Tuesday & I told them to start walking in opposite directions. Yeah, I totally forgot the 2-ways could reach up to 25 miles apart in optimal conditions. The dog & I were scavenging in tide pools when the dog started going nuts whining at me to move on. I didn't give him much heed but when he started pacing I looked up to see what was going on & realised he was torn about which direction to go because both kids were completely out of sight for as far as I could see. I told the dog to find one child while I went off in search of the other. On the bright side, the kids were pretty impressed with how far they made it before I pulled them back in!

Adjectives, prepositions, & prepositional phrases, Oh my! The kids totally rocked grammar this week, which doesn't really surprise me as they are familiar with the parts of speech. It's left me deep in thought about which way to go when they finish up the course they are on which should happen by the end of the Term. Either way, they are still really enjoying the LA from WP & enjoyed a nifty MadLib type exercises this week.

There was a lot of robotic building happening. Jayde has never shown much interest in it before, but was really keen to pull out the Wee-Do Lego one miserable afternoon while Morgan was attempting to perfect the programming of his own robotic lego. Im not sure it was cold enough for the lama hair sweater, but we did have a really icy morning this week. Autumn is quickly approaching.

Jayde was flying along with math & suddenly hit a brick wall last week. I decided to stop right there & give him time to pause. He did fantastic on what he was needing review time with until his brother bounced into the room & informed us all that he had a few new jokes to test on us. Love the bump on Jayde's wrist? He has a bug bite that just won't heal. I finally had him put some homemade salve on it last night.

Morgan's stack of books for history this week. We've enjoyed them all thus far. The bottom is read as scheduled, just a couple of pages here & there, but we really enjoy it. Medieval Medicine & The Plague...yeah, I dunno. What we learned about the Black Plague in that book was remarkable, but the pictures, on man the pictures! Morgan could not look at them, & I confess some were downright awful. People being sick, blood letting, you get the point, right? The book is informative, but I'd preview before using. We're still working away at Arches & Alchemists, oddly enough we read about "Dr" type jobs in there too in the same week. He's loving Otto Of The Sliver Hand which he's reading on his own, or listening to I should clarify.

We're reading The Great & Terrible Quest together & enjoying is very very much. We've had a really hard time putting it down, which is exactly what we needed!  Red Hugh wasn't as easy to get into & it was so nice to have something we both wanted to spend hours reading.

SOTW is also being used as scheduled in our guide. It's been fun seeing how some of the stories match up or overlap with what we're reading in Our Island Story. It's amazing, & incredibly sad at times too, what some people did in an attempt to have power & control over others.

Jayden & I enjoyed this stack of books this week. We've added in Native Homes & Ballplayers & Bone Setters. We read all of Native homes this week, he's still really smitten by the Pablo homes, we should have another week or so to go of the Ancient Jobs book. He was unimpressed that one of the lovely dishes they use to eat consisted of frogs & chillies. For my "can't handle spicy food" it was more then he wanted to think about.

Pedro's Journal & Walk The Worlds Rim are both scheduled in his core. Having said that he's so enjoyed the later that he's begged off more chapters a few days in a row. It really is a great read, & we're enjoying it muchly, I'm curious to see where it will go from where we are because the main character has some maturing to do before the book will end.

Pedro is a boy on Columbus' ship & is written in diary/journal format. It's a very quick read & reminds me a bit of the book I Sailed With Columbus but in simpler text. Pedro is more about the journey where as I Sailed... is about the entire adventure & the truth in how some of the native peoples were treated as well as some of the peoples on the boat.

We also listened to Adventure In Odyssey's For God & Country which had a story about Columbus on there as well. I was a little disappointed with the sugar coating of that version compared to the books I've mentioned above, but it was a fun story & great to hear differing perspectives of history as well.

Morgan spent a good portion of his week building this robot & then programming it to do a variety of things. At one point I heard shouts of, "Ow! Cut it out!" & wondered if the boys were having a skirmish only to walk in & discover the robot was shooting little balls at him. Apparently that wasn't exactly what he'd meant to tell it to do.

Jayden is still working on his notebooking page for the locations of the Native American Tribes. We're not filling it in in any particular order. I just tell him to select one or two each week & he colours them in & labels them. I've had to trace over his handwriting in pen because sometimes we can't see!  I did notice that generally he's picking the areas we are studying about. He'll probably work on this for another week or two. It's part of the American Story Notebooking pages available in E-Format over at Winter Promise.

Without ranting too much, all though I reserve that right considering this is my blog, I was a lot unhappy with the fact that Leif Ericson was only glossed over in the history he was doing this year. It's one reason why we added in some of the books we added in & dropped off some of the others. Either way, we read about Leif Ericson & his contribution to America's history. I pulled out the Viking notebooking page from the same pack the Native American tribe paper came from & he cracked the code & coloured in the viking.

He also add Vespucci to his timeline along with Ericson & finally Columbus. The timeline pieces for Vesupcci & Ericson were ones I printed out of our HSITW Timeline Cd, but Columbus came from his timeline pack. I was really disappointed with the {or lack of} representation of each of these men, but I'm grateful we had the books on hand to rectify the situation.

Morgan was suppose to add a few men to his own timeline book, but it hasn't arrived in the mail yet. Here's hoping it shows up bright & early Monday morning! He's pretty eager to dig into it as he has a few figures he could have added by now.

There's more...

We also continued with spelling this week, someone was delighted to be back at the top of his game with spelling again this week. He was a little annoyed with himself for getting so many wrong & not scoring his normal. It was the inspiration he needed to pick up the pace again. With Sequential Spelling it's like having a test everyday, but as the words build off of each other it's very possible to score correctly if you follow the clues & study the words you missed the day prior.

We also met up with our local group at the beach this week, or the park depending on which half you wanted to be in. It was chilly when we left our house so we didn't go with the intention of getting wet, not sure if the kids regretted that in the end of not as they were pretty hot after all those scooter tricks.

After reading in the Ancient Jobs book about working on Tapestries we looked up The Bayeux Tapestry, wow, there was a great number of facts in the book we'd read about this piece of work.

Jayden finished off his reader The Corn Grows Ripe & is tickled pink to be moving into something else which he hopes is more exciting & not just about the day to day life of living in MesoAmerican times.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Happy 14th Birthday

I've been listening to a few homeschool "pick-me-up" type lectures & a statement I heard recently in one was, "The days are long, but the years are short." I chuckled when I heard it a last month & then my youngest reminded me, daily from Australia Day forward just how many days were left until his big brother's birthday. That constant niggling reminder, because perhaps you forgot somewhere in the past 13 years & it might happen again, right?

We got all sappy & pulled up baby photos to look at & the kids roared with laughter at some of them. We had to tell the typical, "It was a dark & stormy night..." story, except when our boy was born it really was a dark & stormy night! There was even a tree down across our crazy long driveway which Mr S had to haul out of the way before we could be officially on our way. There was the whole small town thing where the Emergency Room was officially closed & so I just camped out in the doorway until my parents showed up. Let's just say people rolled pretty quickly when Mom hit the button & said, "Did you know there's a lady in labour laying out here in the foyer."

Yeah, sometimes "..the days are long..." as we manoeuvre through teenage hormones, & typical immaturity. But there's those amazing moments of love & laughter where we talk long & often about things that are important to him. The days when we see glimpses of the man he'll become.

That's when the reality of the "...the years are short." statement hit me hard. Fourteen years?! Where did the time go? Wasn't it only yesterday that we started this journey? Yet, here we are, talking about learning to drive, jobs, & life long career opportunities.

I wouldn't trade any of it for all the world! Not a moment.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Science Lab Sundays: Week 1

Over the summer we had a parent/teacher meeting, or is that a Principle/Teacher meeting? Who knows, it could be classified as so many absurd things! The point is, that I reminded Mr S that he was suppose to be overseeing the science, especially experiments & lab times. The conversation resulted in the kids doing the work through the week & meeting up for labs on the weekends.

This weekend marked the first of their labs. Both kids had experiments that needed doing, & while none of them were difficult I was honestly relieved to hand it all over to Mr S & let the guys go at it.

The only rule was that the kids fill out lab reports, especially Morgan so that he grasps now exactly how those are dealt with. It's not abnormal for the kids to fill out notebooking pages based on experiments, but as Morgan gets older we get a little bit more official in the things we have him doing each year. Lab reports made the cut.

After giving Mr S the books & pointing out which experiments needed accomplishing I evacuated the room. I wanted to quickly fill in my planner for the week ahead, & I really really didn't want to see the mess I was pretty certain was about to ensue. I snuck back in for a minute to dash upstairs & on my way through snagged a couple of photos, but Mr S assured me he had that angle covered too.

Yeah, Mr S wanted "funny glasses" to conduct the labs with. All I could find were some kids safety glasses that came with a wood kit one of the boys got a few years back. He lost control of his students pretty quickly who told him how insanely ridiculous he looked, but I'm pretty sure that was his objective.

There was a whole lot of laughter coming from the kitchen & a few amazed gasps as well. All up though, they all really enjoyed themselves & walked away more then capable of writing up conclusions about what they'd learned.

Friday, February 6, 2015

2015 Weekly Wrap Up: Week 1

Our official first term started this week. Goodness, all that prep leading up to it & wouldn't you know we got off to a bit of a wonky start around here anyway. That's the way life goes isn't it?

Nothing like an unexpected, & quite urgent, Dr's visit to shake things up mid-week. Can I just say nothing yanks my kids out of sleep as quickly as whispering into the room, "Boys, I have to go to the Dr. I'll be back soon." Both of them sat bolt upright. I suppose, in all fairness the last time they were told that I was being rushed off in the back of an ambulance. Nothing quite so drastic this time, thank goodness!

Despite the wobbly start, & wonky middle we completed the work we set before us which gave us all a great sense of accomplishment. It's always such a great feeling for them to be able to look in their planners & see that they've accomplished what they set out to do & know that nothing is hanging over their heads.

They also enjoyed meeting back up with friends in our local homeschool group, not to mention a day at the pool. Ironically, we'd discussed as a family invading the local public pool the first day the public schools went back, but as it turned out that happened to be the same day our group was meeting there! Not a bad way to start back really.

Monday rolled in bright & beautiful complete with a text message that this was the day a favoured cousin was strolling off to the mainland to greet the next great adventure in her life. Thankfully we don't live too far from the docks & I shouted out to round people up. What a site we must have looked dashing up to the observation deck because the favoured cousin couldn't disembark the doors had all ready been sealed. There we stood shouting over the water incapable of hearing each other. Thankfully Mr S had her on his mobile phone so messages were conveyed more properly & security decided we weren't in need of removal.

We're reading from Luke each day again, we seem to hit one of the 4 gospels each school year, if not all of them. Always a delight. As we're on a four day schedule this year we're using our Devotional on the 5th day. It covers Matthew & the life of Jesus, which I will be lovely leading up to Easter. Jayden was a little confused on that statement considering it was made after reading about the lineage & birth of Christ.

The boys are suppose to be reading the OT on their own this year, but as we're awaiting the arrival of the other easier to read Bible they've been splitting the reading for the day aloud at the table & reading it to me. It's always a fun treat, especially to hear Morgan reading without hesitation or assistance. He's really struggling with those white backgrounds & seconds after the photo was snapped he snapped his blue overlay back on top.

Jayden & I enjoyed a stack of books, mostly, based on Native Americans. Much of what we read about this week took place in Mexico so we covered more of the Mayan civilisation. He's reading The Corn Grows Ripe on his own, & I'm reading Walk The World's Rim to him. We also read Native Americans, The Discovery Of The Americas, & the first 21 pages of Ball Players & Bone Settlers.

He's enjoying the majority of the books above, all though he's not as pleased with his current reader. He doesn't enjoy the flavor of Mexican words tossed in that trip him up because they don't sound out properly. On the other hand he is enjoying the story, & I think that won out on his frustration.

Morgan enjoyed a different stack of books pertaining to the middle ages this week. We've been listening to Our Island Story for some time now, listening to just one chapter a week. It focuses on the history of England but it's been a lot of fun to listen to it alongside our other stories. Story Of The World Vol 2 is scheduled out in his Bookshark, & this week we read about the first Australians & New Zealanders. We're still enjoying Archer's & Alchemists, all though he was totally mortified with one of the chapters this week having to do with middle age doctoring. He's not a fan of blood, poor kid. Kinfisher is also scheduled in his Bookshark, & we've really enjoying using it as our readings generally tie in with our SOTW readings.

Red Hugh was our read aloud, & one we added in to his studies. Truthfully a good way into the book & we're just not feeling it. I'm not one for dropping books often, but this is one we've opted to lay aside for now & pick up our next read aloud instead. We may or may not come back to Red Hugh.

We tackled the next 4 lessons in spelling which means they have their first evaluation coming up. They both did well this week with one being a bit more tripped up on a couple of words then the other. I'm pretty sure it had a lot to do with not taking up the suggestions of writing the words he missed in his planner.

We also had review in our LA with basic grammar. They did well enough with it we probably could have just moved on, but the idea of skipping a lesson in which they could have solve a lovely new mystery. They really do love the programme!

The boys started their new geography programme, Drawing Around The World. One is doing USA the other Europe. Check out that freehand drawing of Maine Jayden did, I was seriously blown away by it! Some weeks he'll cover one state, others 2. The lessons each day are very simple & concentrate mostly on recognising & drawing the state or country. Morgan tackled Iceland.

Jayden's current audio book is Captain John Smith: Foothold On The New World. He wasn't to impressed with it the first day, but by the second day he couldn't put it down & I found him acting out the book, to some odd degree, while he was listening. By the end of the week he was so smitten with it he tried to convince Morgan that instead of finishing their bedtime book they should just put on John Smith!

Morgan's listening to Otto of The Silver Hand this week. He also found the start slow, but more interesting as it got going. We heard him laughing a few times while listening, mostly over some of the questions young Otto asks the monks he lives with. In the picture above he's actually looking at Mayan building he was debating trying to build...

Morgan tackled more science this week, I need to change things up a little bit in how he answers the On Your Own questions. He's taking lovely notes, but only on the portions that really capture his attention, which means he misses out on a bit too. He also has a couple of experiments that he'll tackle this weekend. Jayden was ahead in history so he just has an experiment to get to which he'll tackle on the weekend with Mr S. He's pretty excited! Looks like we'll be having some Science Saturdays around here!