Sunday, February 12, 2017

Week In Review 16/17: Week 13-14

How can I be behind with our WIR posts all ready?! I hate when I fall behind because recalling some of the in-depth things we've done can be harder. Rather than fully back-track I'm going to cover the last 2 weeks for now, I might go back & fill in the missing weeks, but for now I don't want to miss out on what I do remember fully!

Week 13 was a little crazy as we had company here Sunday - Monday, a holiday on Thursday {Australia Day!}, & then attempted to fit in all our studies around everything. Morgan kept the pace, but Jayden faltered a bit & had a little make-up work to do the following week.

Week 14 was much much smoother with no interruptions, all though we did opt to try out our local Homeschool Group. Interesting experience, but we opted to do studies before going to hang out at the park so really not an interruption to our day.

We've had a slightly wobbly start with our book basket this term as we've been waiting for our new Bible books to arrive & deciding how we want to divide up the other stacks we intended to read through. With US History happening for Morgan, we also wanted to include some Australian history. The plan had been to do a year of it solo, but with the possibility of a move looming over us I decided to put those books in our book basket. Rather than attempt to rush through it in a year we'll dedicate one day a week to Australian History so we can delve in as deep as we'd like. We started Stowaway, one of the few books about Captain Cook's voyages we haven't read yet. We're using our normal Aussie spines, Australia, Her First 100 Years & The Ashton Scholastic Australian History book. We tend to read one or the other & a few chapters of our read aloud.

Morgan's covering US Presidents at an awfully fast rate with SL 100, & it's peeked many discussions about the various past leaders so I pulled some president books off the shelf & one day a week we read about 1 president. I was debating acquiring the PBS American Experience DVDs about each President, but it looks like most of the videos are available on YouTube so we may just watch it that way as we don't currently have a DVD player.

One of our new Bible books arrived somewhere in there, Jesus Freaks Vol. II. We finished up I Chronicles & moved into II, we also finally wrapped up Robert Frost in our poetry book & moved into Emily Dickinson. Her poems are much easier to read, especially aloud, & really roll off the tongue so nicely. After much discussion we've jumped into reading Anne Of Green Gables, & after reading a few chapters I was having a pretty rough morning. I declared that I might just be in the "depths of despair.." when one of the boys chuckled & said, "seriously Anne you're so dramatic."

Jayden started in on Archimedes but was quickly in dire straights with this book. I can't blame him, it was not one I enjoyed when Morgan used it, all though Morgan loved it. For Jayden, the bigger problem was that he remembered so much of it & the narrator for this book was so incredibly boring he was really struggling to pay any attention at all. Needless to say, we've put the book back on the shelf & got him going in others.

Jayden wrapped up The Book Of Greek Myths & Black Ships Before Troy, both of which he fully enjoyed. He's crossed the halfway point with Volume 1 of SOTW, which is always exciting. In fact, he's about 2 weeks or less away from finishing that one off! He's still really loves his daily readings in Kingfisher. He's also reading The Silver Branch & Theras & His Town. He much prefers the former over the later.

On his own he's reading An Elephant In The Garden still, while he's only telling us little bits about it, he disappears for large lengths of time to enjoy the book. He's a tough cookie & really doesn't like to show you how much he loves something, he's keen to tell you if he loathes it.. so we look for all the signs that mean he's enjoying something.

Morgan enjoyed The Adventures Of Tom Sawyer over the past 2 weeks. There were many chuckles a few, "Oh dears.." & lots of chatter about Tom & his antics. He really enjoyed this book & the small biography we read about Mark Twain to accompany the book. He can't wait to indulge in Huck's adventure!

Morgan listens to many of his audio books due to his VPD, but there are a few he reads for a variety of reasons. Sequoyah was one of the books he was reading recently from his Core. He's pretty caught up in the tale & enjoying the story too. I managed to snap a shot of him just before he realised I was in the room & decided to tell me a half dozen crazy things he'd just read.

We are still working our way through IEW's Fix-It Grammar, & are on target to finish this book at the end of the term. I'm so glad I snatched up the next few in the series prior to the Australian vendor closing it's doors, should keep us busy for a while! The boys are still enjoying it, but the progress has slowed down to lots of review at this point in the curriculum. Not too bad as we did have a break from our starting point & the review is nice to see how much they remembered from the start of the year.

We wrapped up several more spelling weeks in our book as well. I find that some weeks are harder & some weeks we should just advance after making sure the kids know what they are spelling. Something I need to keep in mind for future lessons. Yes, my child is in a homemade crocheted snuggly. It's some type of Star Wars ship his Gram made for Christmas, notice the pizza one in the background? We had a few crisp mornings here recently & this kid was hopping all over the house in his spaceship.

Morgan moves past his angst with Mr Schwabauer's distaste for adverbs. There was some serious frustration with that lesson, but it's all good. I've had some fun reading through the journal entries he's made that go with this programme, but I'm still waiting for some meaty writing lessons vs the grammar focused lessons that he's encountered this far.

Jayden's timeline has exploded across the chimney! It's been so much fun to watch his timeline fill in & expand. He's up to two strings worth now & won't be long before he needs to expand to a third string as well. It's hard to get a proper photo of this from a distance, but I did snag a video of it recently just to give an idea of how big it is. You can view it here if you're interested.

We had a small, but fun, BBQ for Australia day & pulled out our Aussie games to go along with desert. We played our own version of Australian Dictionary before the BBQ, in which there are no teams, we rarely keep points beyond someone reaching 5 & we generally find ourselves in hysterics. This year was no different. After dinner, however, we pulled out this lovely trivia game. We picked it up a few years ago & haven't used it much or we may have noticed a few of the questions having wrong answers before this year! It was still good for a lot of laughs & much fun. Poor Nana, she had such a hard time not blurting our answers, & let me tell you guys.. she may struggle to remember the name for a tea kettle or an ear of corn, but this woman's ability to answer Australian Trivia questions is just incredible!

We pulled this book out after our trivia game. It's another lovely second hand book we picked up. A questions came up asking why a woman had been arrested, & the answer was for wearing a 2 piece swim suit. The boys thought it was weird she'd been arrested & so we had a quick chat about the whys behind it, but then I pointed out that it was likely her 2 piece was much more conservative than the underpant & bra version our eyes assaulted with these days. We decided to look in the above book to see if we could find some information or even a photo. The book is a coloberation of newspaper articles & photos from Australia & it spans a few hundred years. We did not find what we were looking for, but we sure had some giggles about other things we found.

Morgan is still working through the BFG, but much more slowly as he had some library holds come in as well as reading the book about Sequoyah. I'm really not that fussed about what he's reading as long as he is reading.

Both boys are still on a roll with math. Morgan wrapped up his current book & moves into the next level of MUS, a bit later {5 weeks} than we'd intended, but better to be solidly firm in his previous knowledge than rush into the new book & find you've not fully cemented previous knowledge.

Jayden is still a few weeks away from moving into his new book. I told him the other day he can thank his brother for that.. & then had to explain that the oldest always end up being the poor guinea pig. I'd made notes of a few lessons Morgan had done where Mr Demme introduces several topics that are nearly identical & managed to cause some confusion, so we had the foresight to seperate those lessons into smaller chunks for the next one in line & it's made the progression so much smoother. Jayden is still not fond of math & got really excited the other day when he realised he could count the remaining math books in the series on one hand. Oh that silly boy!!

Somehow this is the only science photo I have for several weeks worth of science.. Morgan is still working on Marine Biology, but put off returning to things another week. I did express he couldnt' afford to wait much longer or he might find that he would be doing it on the weekends to finish it in time.. Jayden is still working through science 6 with BookShark.

As was the case last time around, we find the experiments a bit flat. I think this is because in previous year when my kids were younger science WAS experiments. We did so many experiments & then disused the whys behind them & thus my children have a lot of experiments under their belts. It's caused a few issues at other times too, including the time we went to the science museum & each time the curator asked what we thought would happen my boys could tell her the what & why. When she got to the very end she had this rocket full of water she was going to send soaring into the air, she snarkily {I'm sure she was frustrated at that point} told my kids they didn't know what that was for. My eldest said, "We do! Our Poppy made us one of these!" & he's right, all though the curator didn't believe him.

I've been flagging experiments as I find them & sending them to Mr S as he's the science professor around here. The one above was simplistic but got a bit of a wow out of the youngest. He drew a stick figure {don't use heavy pressure} on the bottom of a glass pie plate, slowly pour in cold water & the drawing will lift up off the bottom of the pan & you can make it dance.

We decided to try out the local homeschool group this year. Many changes have taken place & the kids were keen to give it a go.. or one was, the other wasn't at all as his previous experience was quite ugly. We did our morning work & showed up around 11:45 & by 12:45 we were sitting at a picnic table.. alone. Everyone else had left for the day. So, we had a grand conversation all to ourselves about a few things, enjoyed our picnic lunch, chatted with Mr S on his lunch break, who was utterly shocked we were sitting there alone, & then proceeded to check out the library. We tend to avoid it when the local kids are out of school.

All in all a few busy weeks for our family.

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