Monday, September 14, 2015

Week In Review: Week 28

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We've been a bit slack around here in the blogging world as life has kept us on our toes. I realised we hadn't done a WIR since our 22nd week of school & here we are in our 28th week all ready! It makes a bit more sense as to why we're nearing the end of many studies & wrapping things up.

The warmer weather has arrived, windows are open all day long, summer bedding is out, heaters are off most days, & we're just busy catching up on all the sun we can soak in after another cold grey winter.

Of course there's been plenty of learning going on too, but clearly we've not kept up our weekly posts about that so you'll just have to trust on that level of things. Over the past few weeks history programmes came to an end, grammar books were polished off, & a few new items were brought out to keep us fresh through the end of the year. We've even checked our school calendar to see how many more weeks we have ahead of us, 9 if you're really interested. Our final term will be quite short this year as we're breaking from most main stream studies early, but more about that later..


Last week we added some new items {not pictured} to our memory box as well as the contents all ready in there. We'd been a wee bit slack this term with our box & it was nice to have something fresh to add to it to remind us to pull it out daily again. We added some grammar cards to the box which we spotted for free online. Having wrapped up our grammar programme I wanted things to remain fresh in the boys minds as we continued onward this year without pulling out another grammar programme.


We polished off our last poetry book from the history programme we'd been using & I dusted this lovely old book off the shelf. When I was homeschooled Mom use to read from her own copy of Cheerio's to us. I purchased my own copy 7 or 8 years ago & we pulled it out from time to time, but now the boys are old enough to understand most of what's inside. This book is broken down by months & days. 1 page of poetry/sayings/quotes per day of the month.

We're still plucking away at our devotional this year. It's funny that it's taken us far more then 90 days to finish off, but we've enjoyed every single day of it all the same. It inspired the kids to pull out some of their awesome AIO cds & have a listen & what fun it was to hear some of those very stories mentioned in our book.

We're still reading Live Like A Jesus Freak. I love this book, & my boys were keen to have a read of it from the get-go. They adore the song Jesus Freak & my eldest has become quite interested in the former lead singer & was inspired to read more about the man's faith. The book has really put some hard questions to us & reminded of us some important things as well. It caused my boys, especially the eldest, to stand back during a rough situation & say, "I'm not okay with this." It's been a tough choice to make because it's cut us off from some out-of-the-house aspects we formerly enjoyed, but I felt it was just so important to respect the fact that my son was not only bold enough to stand up for what he felt was right, but to show him that I hear him & I'm willing to make that sacrifice with him. It's such an incredible blessing to see God working in his life, because let's face it we all have days where we wonder if anything we share with our kids is getting through.


We embarked on our new era of history this past week too & delighted in all that we learned. We've wavered a lot in oh we'd approach this particular section of history because, honestly, we have way too many wonderful resources to use. In the end we've come up with a plan that has made everyone really happy & I'll share here & there what we're doing. This past week we read a bit from each of the boosk above, which was a full-on week for us.

We delighted in reading about the Dutch Revolt & learning exactly why the Dutch people wear orange. You know, that's long been a question on everyone's tongues {in this home} during olympic sports. I have no idea why no one has bothered to research it before, expect that our coverage of Olympic Sport is so heavily limited we tend to be a wee bit too fixated while we're watching.

We delved into What Jane Austen Ate & Charles Dickens Knew, but only small bits here & there as we travel through time. The objective being to shed light on terms that would have been used during that time to help us grasp the most from all our readings. The book brought up the best conversation over tea one evening last week as a child asked for a butt of drink, I said that was unacceptable because our table couldn't handle the weight & thus he had to reduce his drink order. The next one ordered a barrel & I made the same comment before saying, "Right I really am thirsty now & request 20 drams of water please." Unfortunately, I was entirely ripped off because I was only given 14 which is the problem with requesting "sips" of fluid instead of a cup full. My fact collector especially loves this book & has delighted in pouring over the charts that are included when we're reading it. It should make our readings of Oliver Twist & Sherlock Holme's twice as fun!

I'm so totally not a fan of Idiot Guide books. I mean the name, for one, is annoying as all get-out, but the fact of the matter is we're nearly entirely done with Our Island Story with only enough chapters to last for Week 29 & thus we needed a new book on British History to continue reading alongside all our learning. This book was recommended by the Winter Promise Curriculum company &, as normal, they pick out absolute winners that we'd normally not look twice at. The book has opened up some really awesome conversation in our home. It's such a delight to have interesting in-depth conversations about the things we're learning as our children grow older, isn't it?

We won't, generally, be using MOH & SOTW side by side each week, but using a schedule I've devised that lines the 2 volumes up somewhat. My boys really adore the indepth information in MOH Vol. 3 & insisted it could not be left aside even if our planned curriculum didn't schedule it. I spent last Friday planning out a schedule that lined them up. This period of time may take us a wee bit longer to get through, but there's no rush.


We are truly enjoying the BookShark 6 Science which focuses first on Chemistry. We're adding in a few books from our shelves to beef it up a bit, but honestly it doesn't need it. If we didn't own the books we wouldn't purchase more to go with it, that's for sure. Morgan is doing this one solo right now & he's really enjoying himself all though I think he'd be just as keen to be turned loose with the chemistry kit.. his greatest desire is for permission to use a big of magnesium powder to make a lovely big bang..


Jayden is still dutifully working away at his weather science & enjoying it. Last week he finally wrapped up the 3rd week, which sounds crazy because we've actually been working on it for much longer then that! We got a little sidetracked with weather exploration & so forth. He has a study on clouds coming up soon & I suspect there'll be some cloud watching happening..


Speaking of weather we've been using the Study Jam website {included links in the schedule} alongside our studies. Some are only slide shows where as others are simple videos followed up with a quiz to see how much you remembered. He loves doing the tests to prove his weather knowledge, which totally cracks me up because I tend to choke on tests.


Morgan pulled out the Scratch Programming book Mr S purchased for him. We've had it for a while, but he was quite busy with a Java programming class that was time sensitive so he worked with that & now that it's wrapped up {for now} he's moved on to some fun & free scratch programming. He's really enjoying creating simple things & having Mr S test him, man have the tables turned there! Mr S use to create games & have the kids test them over & over until things were exactly how he wanted them before they were released. Funny thing is, one of the games the kids love the most, & still request, is the "prehistoric" version of one. Jayde's keen to get into some programming now too, but settled for helping test games last week & offer suggestions up.


The weather was amazing last week & we threw down our books & hit the road one day last week. Not that we had that far to travel! One of my children was nervous to use a local walking path because we've run into a fellow walker with an aggressive dog that hasn't been leashed. Rather then reassure him, yet again, that the dog was likely not to be present, because I honestly had no idea, we hit the beach a little further up the road instead. I managed to get the car jammed down a very narrow track & had to back up praying the whole time no one in their nifty 4WD came down, but we all survived & then enjoyed a beautiful walk.


Friday was Patriot's Day & our intention was to have a slightly somber ceremony in the morning. Reading a few articles about the days events, looking at some child friendly pictures, & then praying for survivors. Our plans went slightly askew with that, but we still decorated for the occasion & someone made us one of the Twin Towers. They'd intended to go make the other & perfect the first one, but the day got away from us.


And that pretty much wraps up our week. A club meeting was canceled due to most members, aside from ourselves, being sick. No tennis this past week either as unfortunately our coach was out sick! We did however take a few more walks, including into a field not far from our home. We'd been over on the weekend & had spotted a birds egg & after coming home to look it up realised it could be one of 3 different birds. Based on the location we were pretty certain we knew which & as it was abandoned we decided we'd trek back to see if we could find it & possibly blow it out to save for our Nature Shelf. Unfortunately, we had no luck finding it, all though we had a grand time investigating a million other things, collecting leaf skeletons, & climbing trees.

We actually did math & spelling this week as well, all though I seem to be lacking photos. Go figure! Each child is on a mission to finish off their current math book prior to the end of the year. One has been reviewing previous lessons & is nearly caught up while the other has been enjoying a steady forward plod. They both have 9 lessons left in their books, not counting the review one is doing. However, math will continue until we break for the year late in December.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Free Weather Unit

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I finally finished putting together the last 4 weeks of our weather unit this past weekend. It was more then time, especially since we need them for the week ahead!

All up there are a total of 7 weeks of study inside. We just used the two books we had, videos from YouTube, & the weather stations we all ready owned. It's been fun thus far & we're looking forward to a bit more learning before we wrap it up.

We've used some of our science notebooking pages for things here & there, especially the nifty vocabulary pages which my boy has learned to fill in electronically with images & text.

I put all the schedules, links, & a few notebooking pages together & brought it on over to share with anyone who's interested. There are direct links in the pdf for the books we used, but authors names are supplied should you all ready own them or have access through your local library.

I know I'll be asked about age & grade level, but that's a question I've intentionally avoided. Here's the thing, what works for one family may not work for another. You'll be able to peek at the books used & decide for yourself if it will work for your family. The child enjoying this study is 12, if that helps give you a more definitive answer. However, while his elder brother {14} isn't actively using the study he's picked up a bit from it himself.

You can download the pdf here if you're interested. Enjoy!