Tuesday, October 25, 2016

2016 WEEK IN REVIEW: WEEK 34-35/4-5

Last week passed us by in a bit of a crazy blur. I was fighting what I thought was the umpteenth week of a cold & when I came down with a fever I decided it was time to book in & see the Dr. I limped through the week to get to my appointment & then spent the next several days sleeping. I'm still not 100%, but I was much more coherent & with it this week to get things done. Rather then try to post 2 back-to-back recaps I thought I'd combine them to some degree in one post.

We took it easy with our Book Basket because I spent more time coughing between reading sentences then actually reading. All though by the end of the week there was far less coughing which is nice. I'm still effected when the cold nights roll in. Why is it still snowing in Tasmania anyway?! Or when I burst out in laughter, or attempt to be active. It's all frustrating, but on the flip side sitting snuggled up under a blanket & reading away to my kids isn't such a bad way to spend time fighting off this yuck.

We officially reached our halfway mark in this term which is exciting in so many ways! Not only does it mark the typical halfway mark of a 10 week term for us, it marks the final hill we needed to climb before our summer holidays begin. 5 more weeks of school, & I'm pretty sure you'll hear the squeals of delight from my youngest in whatever part of the world you reside in! It also means 5 weeks of the new school year is under their belt as well which is kinda crazy to be thinking about.

We kicked this week off with a slight switch up for our youngest. I pulled out our BkSk 6 to scan over the book list & just felt inclined to have him use it. It's not that we're shelving MOH, but that we are beefing it up because it's really lacking in meat. I didn't announce this to Jayde, but just sprung it on him. Not something I generally do to my kids these days, but I did this time. I'm glad I did, because he was thoroughly immersed in his history this week & totally in love with it.

He'd started listening to SOTW last week alongside MOH so it wasn't really that big of a deal. BkSk uses SOTW & this gave me a firm schedule to work with & reminded me of the mapping & timeline pieces. Win-Win. My boy was giddy that he had an entire Markable Map all to himself & was delighted to start working on Egypt this week. While I love the markable maps, they are kinda lacking in space! We'll pull out a paper map of Egypt to mark up before we put Ancient Egypt to bed.

He wrapped up The Golden Goblet this week, wrapping himself up in his doona & not emerging until he'd finished the book. I know the feeling, those last few chapters are full steam ahead & I left him to it. He's really keen for his next book, mostly because it's an Heirloom Audio production & this kid hasn't met an Heirloom Audio Production that he hasn't loved yet.

We're still reading through our various additional books that we selected earlier this year, & have wrapped up the first official chapter in the Bible Jobs book. We've moved into the second chapter in Lamps, Scrolls, & Goatskin Bottles. We read about Joseph in SOTW & looked up the same story in Journey Through The Bible. Joseph's story is covered over 10 pages & we enjoyed reading snippets, & seeing artifacts from the time period. Jayde started reading from the KingFisher Encyclopedia this week which he really enjoys. Okay, true confession here, this kid just loves encyclopedias. One he reads what he was suppose to he peruses other sections for ages until I remind him he has more work to attend to.

We also started reading To Ride The Gods' Own Stallions. This is an Ancient Egypt book we didn't read last time through due to it's late arrival in our home, & I thought it might be fun to have something fresh to read this time. So far the story is enthralling, but I must confess I'm deeply taken aback by some of the language in this book. My child is completely unaware because I'm reading it aloud to him & simply edited on the fly.

He also started a wall-timeline this week much to his own delight. I left him with the option of doing a wall timeline or a book version {adding to the one he had} & he was keen for a wall version. Secretly, I'm super excited by this too because I've really really missed having a wall timeline up!

Morgan was busy with his own history these past 2 weeks. This year his history has tests after he wraps up his spines. He's working with a set of 12 US history books for spines & after each one he has a test. This is not a required part of the curriculum, but something we're adding in. Is it necessary? Absolutely not, but it's an easy way to come up with a solid grade for him, & it's great experience for him to get use to taking tests, studying for tests, & learning to work under pressure.

Admittedly, it's kinda hard to tell him he should study for tests when he managed to score a 94% on his first test without studying or taking advantage of the extra essay question worth 8pts. However, my kids are kinda funny & while they accept that you won't always score a 100%, they feel there is always room for improvement if they didn't reach that grade so he's totally open to studying.

He started filling in the US markable map. Actually one side of a markable map is USA the other is World. I purchased 2 over time so that we could always have one of each hanging up. While he is suppose ot mark a few "world" places I told him it's hands off the world map this year so Jayde can have it to himself. Besides, Morgan really hasn't done much US geography so it'll be good practice for him to focus on that map.

I was so miserable last week I didn't pull out the IG & ask him any questions about his studies & the kid never said a word about it. When I pulled out the IG this week to verify which sections he was suppose to map he got a little excited & said, "Oh good, are we finally going to get down to the business of discussing these books then?" Ahh, a boy after my own heart. Or as Mr S said, "Like Mother, like Son. You two are crazy!"

Morgan wrapped up Stink Alley which he thoroughly enjoyed. I was coherent enough to discuss his opinions on Wm Brewster before going down for the week. He started Amos Fortune this week as well as The Landing Of The Pilgrims. He was pretty pleased to see how much of the pilgrim book lined up with the information put forth in Stink Alley lined up with each other. I haven't heard much about his take on Amos yet, aside from a few small side chats that we had about slavery.

Jayden jumped ship on science as well this week. It's a bit of a crazy story, but the short version is he's not a huge fan of the elementary Apologia books & the one we'd purchased for him was frustrating him. He was keen to move back into his Dr Wile book which he hadn't entirely finished, but I wasn't keen for a lot of waffling between books & curriculum. So we sat down together & discussed the pros & cons of the two books. He's not keen on a single topic of science because he gets bored with it & feels that it's more difficult to concentrate on the topics at hand. I appreciated his openness on the topic & pulled out BkSk Science 6 & showed him how it tackles many topics over the year. We discussed how much time is spent on each topic & why.

He was pretty excited by that so we agreed to do the three days of weekly readings during the week with oral discussions vs the worksheets {for now} & he'll tackle experiments with Mr S on the weekend, because frankly Mr S makes science cool. Together he & Jayde have decided they'll be using the chemistry kit, which should be interesting. I did tell them if anyone lost eyebrows I didn't want to know about it.

Morgan, on the other hand, loves the high school Apologia books & is still happily trucking along with his Marine Biology. He spent some time reviewing for his test & finished that up this week. I'm a little off-beat with the tests because I was spoiled over the past 2 years in which he could take his science test, & practice tests, over on VHSG. Unfortunately, they don't offer Marine Biology & Apologia doesn't offer a notebook to accompany this science either so we're running solo on that this year. However, we typed up & printed out the practice tests which he's always filled in a little bit each day after his lectures in order to have it as more of a notes/study guide to work with for his tests. He took his Mod #1 test in paper form, but really missed the computer method. I told him I'd work on trying to get one made on the computer for him for Mod #2.

We broke out the Simple Machines kit that came in our Timberdoodle order earlier this term & after a much frazzled start with got the slide scale put together. The instructions suggest you put a measure of 100g on it {anything that weighs that much} & mark off your tape with 100g markings. Word of warning, the scale can't handle 100g unless you extend the slide which alters the balance. We worked with 10g of gluten free gummi bears & worked our way up from there. The smaller markings were 5g markers. Then I suggested they find things to weigh, which resulted in their attempt at weighing the birds. Archimedes is younger, lighter, & actually smaller then Squeakers so they put him on the scale.

In typical Archimedes fashion he had no desire to be a part of anything he could not chew on so he jumped off the scale, ran across the floor, out the door, & up the hallway screaming the whole way. We laughed so hard at him, he came running back to give us the stink eye. That bird!! Squeakers, on the other hand was perfectly content to sit on the scale while we told her how lovely she was to be so well behaved compared to the insane Archimedes. Unfortunately Squeakers was about 10g too heavy to get a proper weight on our scale!

The summer hockey season started last week, despite the excessive cold nights we are still dealing with, & our boy was beside himself excited. The summer session is a bit more casual then the winter session & it's a show up & pay to play type situation. He had a blast while I sat rugged up under the thickest quilt I could find in the car. I can assure you it's not every day I sit wrapped up under such a colourfully bright quilt, but that cough! When the Dr found out I'd been sitting outside in the cold he banned me from hockey until this yuck passes. Alas..

Despite taking it easy with our Book Basket, we did wrap up Operation Yes! which resulted in everyone talking at once. To say the book was a hit would be a mild understatement. One of the kids summed it up pretty quickly with, "It just felt.. so real." We started Itch this week which came with many raving reviews, we'll see if it lives up to the hype. Itch is a teenage science enthusiasts out collecting the elements from the periodic table. Thankfully we found it in audio fashion so I can keep the coughing down while we listen away, the only downer is that the narrator reads like she's late for dinner!

We're still plucking away with Why Pray? which is our theology book for the term. We're debating dropping it & moving on to something else. I've felt, as I've read the book, that it's not really speaking to me, that I'm not feeling the vibe that the author is attempting to push & that the book is just very very flat. Today I mentioned that I felt the book was rather flat & my eldest piped up with, "Yeah, I didn't' want to say anything, but it's very uninspiring. Our last 2 books made me feel like I needed to get up & get moving NOW, but this one.. leave me kinda.. I dunno."

Most of our books in this category are ones that are used in our Sonlight curriculum, & this one is no different. I don't know, perhaps if your prayer life was in need of a wake-up call this book would really be inspiring, but we're just not feeling it. I also think that the stories the man shares aren't things that teens, at least mine, can relate to. Unfortunately, the next book we're suppose to read after this one isn't here yet, so we may just continue onward until it arrives.

Morgan finished off his last Cover Story DVD lesson for the year. That probably sounds like he finished the curriculum, but he didn't. Rather he knew how much he needed to work on this term in order to have an even keel for the terms following summer break & he reached that goal last week. Until summer break he'll work on the accompanying journal & has the option to dabble with Spilling Ink if he'd like.

Jayden, is nearly finished with his first module in Writer's In Residence. Its been a slow journey with me falling sick last week. He was quick to jump back up & get busy this week & had much fun writing a small story this week. He tends to be shy about sharing these things, so it'll be interesting to see how that works as part of this curriculum encourages him to share his work & ask for critiques on it. He was quick to show his work to Mr S the day he wrote it & the story is now being quoted around the house, much to our boys delight!

Math, spelling, & grammar continued forward as normal.. or as normal as possible when your mother is coughing like a mad woman & half asleep while trying to teach you. On the flip side they seem to be none the worse for ware over the whole situation & worked on their grammar while I was passed out on the sofa sleeping of this chest infection.


Peggy said...

I love how well you lay out what you've been studying. It's helpful and motivating! Where did you get your timeline figures?

Kendra said...

Thanks Peggy, they are from Homeschool In The Woods Timeline Cd. BookShark sells timeline figures to accompany their history levels, but I also have the HSITW CD for the Mystery Of History timeline figures. All but one that are hanging up came from the CD & I printed out the wall timeline with word sheets from it. He colours them in, then I put contact paper on the front, we cut them out, & peg them up.

Peggy said...

I've been tempted to buy the CD, and now I'm thinking even more seriously about it. Thank you!

Calm Blue Ocean said...

Hi Kendra

I'm eyeing Bookshark 4&6 science, also one of their history packages - but ouch so expensive to have shipped to Australia. One level of Bookshark science will cost about $384 with the exchange rate and shipping. Do you purchase directly from them?