Monday, February 1, 2016

2016 Week In Review: Week 3

We wrapped up our third week of school this past week & with that the end of the month of January. It was a bit shocking to peep at the calendar this weekend & realise the end of the month had rolled in.

It's been a crazy January for us between bush fires & ragingly wild storms, but we've weathered it. We were encased in smoke again Monday, Tuesday some cooler air blew in & pushed the smoke away,  Wednesday we had thunder & a meagre amount of rain, & on Thursday the skies opened & with it came lightening. One bolt of it hit so close to our home I honestly thought it hit our backyard.. talk about a lovely fright!  It took out our power, but not entirely which resulted in a 25 minute wait with the electric company in which the end result was to see if someone was available to check our area & see if the fault they were after was closer to our home.  We ended up without power for about 5 hours, which wasn't too bad considering Nana, who only lives 3 blocks away, was without power for 12.5 hours!!

We started a new read aloud this week entitled Master Cornhill, this is one of the very few books for the year that I didn't pre-read so I'm quite curious to see where this story will take us. It takes place during 1665 after a summer of The Plague ravaged London.

We're still reading through Myles Standish & have only just reached Captain Myles himself. The first chapter or two of the book gave some background information on why people opted to leave England during the Reformation. It made for some lovely tie-in chapters to our European History book.

We've finished chapter 7 in European History this week after reading about the many persecutions & beliefs various people had. We're not quite through with some of that chaoticness yet, but it'll be a breath of fresh air to read through some of the Explorers for a while... & I'm not generally a fan of the Exploration years!

We're on track with Story Of The World & traveled through Holland, Africa, the New World, England, & Japan this week as we read various stories around the world. We followed each one up with a few pages from our Encyclopedia. I know that Kingfisher doesn't always get rave reviews, but we rather enjoy it. Both my kids have always really enjoyed looking things up & this just feeds that love. It's also interesting to see pictures of what we're reading about in other books so it ties in beautifully.

We took Tuesday off for Australia Day as Mr S was home & it was a public holiday. It was a quieter Australia Day for us, all though we did have a small BBQ & there were a few sword fights with the crazy air-sticks in the photo above. Mister-Someone was going to make muffins to celebrate the day, but he had a lovely long sleep-in, so we made a quick batch of mint-choc ice cream instead.

Back to work on Wednesday for us & the boys were having a mad dash to find various locations I called out from our history book. The map Jayden is looking at is labeled & one we've had for years upon years. He was calling out the letters for the markable map to be properly labeled. Our Markable Map is filling in really quickly this year. We've decided to pull our second one out & hang it above that for making locations in the USA to help us along some.

Yes, he's eating pizza while watching his math lecture, & here you thought homeschoolers only did school in their pjs! Ha! He lamented that he was, "starving & not going to be able to concentrate too well!" I told him there was left over pizza in the oven & he was welcome to eat it while he watched his lecture. He's so close to the end of his math book there's much excitement growing over it!

I seem to have no photo of Morgan working on his math. He opted to stay put this week as he was confusing some of the definitions with his math. We discovered, however, that it had more to do with misreading the information. He wrapped it up last week & will progress forward. He has 3 lessons left in his book, so there's great excitement there too.

Bible this week was more from each of these books as well as finishing off Daniel & moving into Hosea. We're still really enjoying Do Hard Things which has continued to spark many deep conversations around the house on a variety of topics from the book. It's been interesting to hear a child let out a half complaint before the other reminds him that he just needs to, "Do hard things.."

We read a few more poems from our Classic Poetry book. We covered William Wordsworth this week, & admittedly he wasn't a favourite for any of us which caused a mild discussion about it being, perhaps, the reason he struggled to make a living & provide for his family as a poet. We don't dislike our poetry book this year, but it's most certainly not of the same flavour as the book we used last year which we all loved.

We were a bit later then intended getting started with our Grammar Ace, but we got going with it this week. The first week was nouns so really it was a simple review for my gang as will many of the lessons be, but that's okay. We'll be breaking it up over the course of the weeks ahead watching the corresponding videos from Schoolhouse Rocks & playing some of the games. Short & simple.

This boy continued progress with his writing this week, he took his dedication to a whole new level when he pulled it out to do during the major storm that blew through Thursday. I was sitting on the floor using one hand to hold a flashlight for him, the other arm comforting little brother, & a foot on the dog who was in absolute distress. Most of the time he listens to an audio recording of his lesson & then pulls up a corresponding computer file to do the work.

This one ended up doing 2 lessons of writing in one day to make up for his missing lesson from the chaos of Thursday. He's coming along so well with his summaries, narrations, & dictation. It's amazing what a pair of spiffy specs can do to help you see & comprehend better. Admittedly, his narrations will still be slack if he's worried about needing to write it himself, but over all he's made huge progress & I was impressed with his own dedication to make up a missing lesson the following day.

It was back to business with science this week too. We're still in the throws of Chemistry for a few more weeks before we move on to the next scheduled topic. I'm grateful for the Bookshark Science programme because it means science gets done in our home. We really love the What's Science All About book & have owned it well before Science 6. We read a bit from it each day & find corresponding questions, crosswords, or diagrams on our worksheets that match up with our reading. Chemically active is usually scheduled on the 4th day & can sometimes have an experiment in it. We ended up doing this rather late on Thursday thanks to that crazy storm that wreaked havoc on us.

Friday we had a lovely afternoon out with friends that ended up getting cut short thanks to the storm rolling back in. Our child dealing with anxiety doesn't cope well with thunder & when you add lightening to the mix it's all he can do to hold himself together, much less in an environment that isn't home. The rain was so bad on the way home we had to pull over for 10 minutes to wait it out before making a mad dash to collect Mr S early from work because there was no way I was going out in it a second time.

Jaydie has been dying to make some lovely mini choc banana muffins from his new cookbook. What is it about mini muffins that adds so much appeal to them? My kids have always gone nuts over mini-muffins! He'd intended all week to mix these things up & things just never happened. He was so cross about the power outage on Thursday because he'd intended to make them then in order to take them to share with friends! He finally got to mix them up on Saturday afternoon & was delighted with his results. I couldn't eat them due to egg & other ingredients, but the guys all gave him 2 thumbs up & wondered when he was going to make more.


We did cover spelling this week, but we move through it fairly quickly so no photos. We're really eager to wrap up the book we are currently using & move into the next one, which is great inspiration to keep us on track.

By the time the power popped back on after it's long outage we had a very late lunch & art projects we were in the middle of. So while we ate our lunch & finished off our projects we watched Episode one of Colonial House which is very fitting considering the history lessons we had this week. We'd intended to watch more on Friday evening, but well the storm was back..

Both boys are still working through their assigned book. Jayden's progress is on target, all though he had one day that was a bit of a struggle for him. Morgan is plowing through his book reading 4-5 chapters day which is just blowing us away. This is the same kid who could barely handle a page of reading without having a headache bad enough to blind him a year ago. So grateful for our spiffy specs.

Morgan continued with his Concepts In Game Design course, & is still doing well with it. He doesn't dislike the course, & he's taken a lot of the information & applied it to some Scratch projects he's working on as well as some game board projects, but overall he wishes there'd been a bit of actual programming involved. Mr S joined him for a couple of the lessons just to have a peep & walked away with a few comments that cracked us up..

Lots of art projects unfolding around here from game boards to colouring to paper folding. It took us a good half hour to clean up the floor in the library this week due to all the bits & bobs of paper, rolling marker caps, & a vast array of other "tools" which needed to be put away. Never let it be said that homeschooling is mess free, I assure you it is not.

We're looking forward to a week with no interruptions in it, hopefully, next week!

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