Sunday, September 24, 2017

Week In Review 17/18: Week 3

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We wrapped up our 3rd week of the year on Thursday. It was a slightly disheveled week as we were only in need of finishing up work from the week prior that we’d not accomplished yet. I always feel a little lopsided when that happens, but it really does even out eventually & doesn’t really have any bearing on a good or bad school year either. I think it’s that typical preference for things to be even & well balanced that I have.

The awaited parcel of school supplies & other goodies arrived bright & early Tuesday morning. We were still in the middle of our breakfast routine when it arrived. Beautiful timing really as it meant no waiting around wondering if we should move on with other subjects while we awaited it’s arrival.

It contained Morgan’s science & literature curriculum & we’d hoped it would arrive in good enough speed to start that very day. So much so that after we finished mixed up our smoothies we took the books into the school room to dig into them.


I was a little nervous with the literature as I’d heard a lot of negative reviews, for varying reasons, about it. We, however, very much enjoyed our first lesson, which was actually the first 2 lessons, as scheduled in our guide, together. Basically he’ll read a story a day & then have some questions after to answer. He did the rest of the literature that week on his own meeting up with me afterwards to discuss the answers to the questions. He also gave me the lowdown on the stories he’d read too.

We tried out his new Bible Curriculum which is a bit different than the Inductive Studies we’ve previously done. Each new lesson {spread over 5 days} introduces a new people group to pray for which is lovely & reminds us fondly of our year with Children Around The World when we spent much time in prayer for other nations around the world as well as those brave enough to go minister & protect them.



The study itself was where there was some hesitation, our boy felt that some of the questions didn’t fully match up with the value of the verse that was being read. I suspect it was a content issue, as with our previous studies you often back up a bit & read previous verses to get a grasp of the full picture. On the other hand it could also have just been that he was worried about answering wrong, which is odd because that’s not been a concern for him before in his other studies.

Either way we sat down to discuss the situation & decide what he wanted to do. I don’t want Bible Study to be something he stresses over “getting right” as much as I want to be something he enjoys doing as he searches for what God has to share with him. In the end we decided to lay it aside for the moment & pull out an inductive study. I actually stocked up on a fair amount of the D4Y studies that we didn’t own or that he had done but his younger brother hadn’t.

I knew the studies would be below him, but figured they would still have value & while I do agree with that I felt led to look for something meatier for him but down the same path of familiar study. Our Precept shop in Australia is currently closed until the 14th of next month so I checked out the USA shop & found a series of studies that look more appropriate for his age level. I was more than a little appalled at the international shipping but got rather excited to discover I can obtain them from Book Depository for $0 shipping & no wait time on them to be printed. We’re pretty excited about them, there are ample samples to get you started on the Precept ministries page if you are interested, & before I’m asked I am not purchasing the teacher keys. Check through the sample to see if you’d need it.


He had two video segments to watch on Egypt which were both quite interesting. One was based on a the idea that a portable wheel was how the bricks for the pyramids were moved not sleds, & the same segment argued that they didn’t believe slave labour was used in the making of the pyramids, or at least the one they were currently digging in. The second segment argued that slaves were used, specifically Hebrew, & gave us a bit of a tour of Egypt.


He also wrapped up his lovely notebooking pages for the week, all though now that I’m looking at them I see he didn’t label the Pyramid drawing he did. The drawing is based on the clip with the “wheel” in the DVD we watched.

Jayden also wrapped up his week. He had some science to catch-up on, as well as a full day’s worth of work in his HOD level. We’re not feeling as much love with the science right now, but I suspect it’s because we’ve already read  A Child’s Geography. I’ve opted to use it again because it was a few years ago & I wasn’t entirely sure how much of it he remembered.


We read about Ivan The Great in his history this week. He also had a written narration to do based on that reading which was his only outstanding notebooking assignment. We also caught up in his read aloud Ink On His Fingers, which has been quite an enjoyable read thus far.

We ended up skipping Shakespeare this week, I generally read it aloud to him while he works on the notebooking segment for the reading. Due to our term break we saved the first half of the story to read all in one go this week, but this chest infection I’ve been dealing with was really killing me this week. Lots of irritating coughing while I was trying to read. Afterwards some fellow HOD users shared that our Shakespeare book is available in audio from Librovox!


They both continued working on their math, but due to the lovely cough & wheezing I was sporting I didn’t review their IEW & have them move forward. Hopefully we’ll tackle that next week because our white board is full of notes from the last lesson we left off with!

We're still working away with our current read aloud, & Bible readings. We selected a new batch of vocabulary words to get ourselves rolling with. the pictures for some of the words this time are downright hilarious. Mind you, I think the pictures make these vocabulary cards to some degree because it helps you visualise the definition. We squeezed in a trip to our local library too as we had books due, but no outing this week as I didn't think it would be appropriate to share my cough with others.


It was nice to finish everything up & be ready to start fresh come Monday morning. Hopefully my cough will have officially hit the road, because I can’t imagine how annoying it must be listening to me read aloud to kids while I’m hacking every two seconds!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Ants In The Pants

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When I was four or five I was given the game Ants In The Pants, I recall playing it, mostly with a lot of frustration because it was quite difficult to get those crazy ants inside those crazy pants! I remember, for the few years I went to a private school before being homeschooled, the cafeteria had the game too & it often came out along with Spill the Beans to be played.

Why this memory hit me so strongly over the past month I’ve really no idea at all. I think it started when our very wiggly child was, well.. wiggling all over. I told him he was acting like he had ants in his pants. Which made me chuckle as I thought about the game.

Our child, on the other hand sat up & said, “Ants? In my pants? I hope they are bull ants or jack jumpers. That’d be really painful.” Ahh, the joys of living in a country with inch-long ants that hurt like the dickens when they bite! And our poor boy has some first hand experience on that front too.

I then had to explain exactly what the game was, & how you played it. I went on & on about the little pair of blue pants you tried to get the ants to jump into, but I’m afraid the more I described this game the more confused my kids got. Maybe it was the concept, who knows.

Last Friday we ducked into our local library to return some books & then made a quick dash for the grocery shop. I was trying to be quick & efficient, both due to time & because I’ve been fighting some nasty chest infection for the past 5 weeks & I really didn’t want to be out longer than I had to be.

As I’m dashing hither & yon trying to avoid crashing into all the other crazy Friday shoppers eager to get home from a long week of work & settle in for a cold night to watch football finals, I nearly crashed into a promotional display in the produce department.

Yes, the produce department. See our produce department & deli are side by side  & it’s not abnormal for our deli to back up so long that people react like they’ve won the lottery when their number is called & they are served. So much so we still giggle about the man who screamed, “BINGO!” when his number was called. Needless to say, it’s a great place for all sorts of promotional displays & the powers that be use it to their advantage.


The promotional display that I happened to run into was a display for old board games made new, & right there smack in the front was Ants In The Pants. Not in the tall slightly cubist slightly rectangular style box I remember, but in a flat pack box. I was slightly doubtful that it could be the real deal available for $10, but the box claimed it was & had the Hasbro logo on it so I snatched it up, much to my children’s confusion, & dashed through the store to finish collecting our meat pies, melon, & milk.

When we got home I whipped out the game with as much flourish as is possible when you’re hacking between every word & said, “Let me introduce you to— Ants In The Pants!” They laughed. I dont’ mean they giggled, I mean they laughed so hard I completely lost them for a few minutes there.

So I did the only sensible thing available, I pulled out the dairy free chocolate & bribed them to play a round with me. We put our pants together, that’s right they now have to be assembled thus the flat packing, & sorted out colours. There were many gripes that these “bugs” didn’t look anything like ants but more like grasshoppers, true true.. Mr S walked in & we waited for him to join us.

And while our dinner cooked we shot ants all over the kitchen. It may be the first time in al the years we’ve lived in Australia there was not one complaint or shout of horror at finding ants all over the kitchen. To be honest, the game is still as crazy as ever & I’m still absolutely horrible at getting those ants consistently into the pants, but it sure elicited a lot of laughter around our kitchen.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Week In Review 17/18: Week 2

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We began our 2nd week of the new school year. I didn’t both to summarise our first week due to the laxness of it. The boys jumped back into their math programmes, we picked out our first read aloud of the year & dug in to that. We went over all the new curriculum for those who had new things to dig into, checked on parcels we’re still awaiting for, & signed our eldest up for his first elective of the year.

While we still live overseas we’re choosing to follow our home state’s regulations for high school. This is not mandatory where we live, but we feel led to follow this path. This means our boy needs a few electives to round out his high school career and you’ll hear a lot of chatter about credits around here where he’s involved.

As for this week we finally dug into new books, picked up older books & started to get the feel for our how days will unfold in the months ahead of us. While it can be overwhelming, at times, to dig into new things there’s also that lovely sense of excitement & we had a fair amount of excitement as we dug in.


Morgan started his new history/geography programme. Jayden switched to HOD some time ago, Morgan waited until wrapping up his previous curriculum to jump in. We left the choice of switching to a new curriculum or sticking with the previous 100% up to him, knowing we were content with either choice. He opted to change for a few reasons, & while the new goodies have been sitting on the shelf since April, he’s only just digging into it.

His science & lit are still making their way towards us, but he had all the rest he needed to dig in. Due to the missing books we opted to spread the first week over a 2 week period. It’s a bit of a change for our boy & he felt a little lopsided with it as he’s use to reading longer chunks of books at one go. He was a little surprised at how quick his days felt & felt a little unsure of the curriculum due to feeling like he hadn’t completed enough.

We discussed that sometimes it’s okay to read smaller amounts & really dig into the information you’ve read than reading larger amounts to tick them off our check-lists. That & moving on to the writing portion after each reading helped him see that it was not quite as light weight as he was thinking. After each of his Living Library books {we’re using them as read alouds} he writes a one sentence summary of our reading.


There are various assignments after his geography reading, but his favourite was the third day when he had to write a 3-5 paragraph essay on one of his readings that day. Research is something he loves so this was a well loved assignment that he tackled with enthusiasm. He applied his knowledge from his IEW lessons & used index cards for each paragraph numbering every other line & jotting down key words for each sentence within the paragraph. It was fun to see all his writing lessons paying off in this one assignment.

After his Religion/Culture readings he records specific things in the coordinating notebooking pages. These are pretty specific, thus far, but equally valuable. So far we’re reading through Don’t All Religions Lead To God? which has been an interesting read thus far. Morgan is really enjoying having notebooking pages again, in fact it was a huge lure for him desiring to change to HOD.


We dug into The Fallacy Detective this week too. He was going to read it on his own this time through, but the introduction of the book suggests that reading it with at least one other person is helpful when it comes to discussing the fallacies &  answering the questions at the end of each chapter. Somedays Mr S joined in for the discussions before leaving for work.

He tackled the next 5 lessons in his Teaching Textbook. He has a love hate relationship with TT. He was much farther along in his MUS when we made the switch & we opted to have him just work through the TT book in order to be sure we didn’t have gaps & to rebuild confidence in a few areas. The problem is that he was trying to apply more complicated theories to simplistic problems & that caused him a few hiccups.


He also dug into his new Animation Course which he's doing for an elective. He's taking a course through YouthDigital & was delighted to jump in with both feet. Lots of chuckling often takes place through the teaching portions & the hands on portions often involve a lot of, "I wonder if I can do.. Mm, I guess not, wait what if instead I try.."


We also watched one of the DVD segments that are scheduled in his World geography. Im hopeful I'll be available to watch the various portions with him because the one small portion we watched was really quite interesting. I love that the DVD isn't just "suggested" but sold as part of the package with this lovely programme.

Jayden was also busy with school, & only tackled half of his week as well leaving his science & Shakespeare for next week. We finally got to dig into MOH 3 which is very exciting. MOH 3 is a a lovely jump up from Vols. 1-2 & so beautifully done with the coloured photos & hardcover on it. The lessons have far more meat & depth to them that they are much more enjoyable to read.


Jayde was a little nervous about moving into MOH3 because he recalls some of the audios from previous volumes that he did not enjoy. I told him we could read the book together & thus we wouldn’t need the audios most of the time, but that on occasion we might rely on them. This relieved him greatly & he was delighted to dig in.

We learned about Ferdinand & Isabella & their roll in the Spanish Inquisition. How their marriage brought two countries together, & briefly touched on how we’d meet them again when we hear about Columbus. He also learned about The War Of The Roses, which led to discussions about crests, & now he’s quite keen to learn what our family crest may look like.

He was delighted to get to research London this week, not that I’m sure he needed to do a grand amount of research to answer the questions. His fascination with England holds no bounds, so this was right up his alley.


He too tackled the next 4 math lessons. Most of this week was review as he got back into the groove. Rather than moving through to a lesson where new material was I felt it wiser to get back into the routine with a few lessons that should be semi familiar to him. One of the drawbacks to changing math curriculums is that there will be a fair amount of overlap in some areas. There are really only a few lessons in this level that will be new to him before he levels up.


Our new family read aloud this week was The Green Ember which took some choosing to pick too! Several other books were picked previously but as it turned out we’d all ready them previously & we wanted something that was new to some/most of us. As it turned one one child hadn’t read this book at all & the other was halfway through so it fit our needs.


We also worked on some fire building skills. There’s always the debate in our home over who can build the best fire, but one things for sure, someone has really bad skills! So pulling out the new fire pit to burn off bits of our plum tree that died allowed for some fire building skills & how building a proper pile of varying kindling, paper, & wood made all the difference to your fire starting or not.

All up a relatively smooth transition back into our routine. I won’t deny that I felt a little lopsided through the week as I wasn’t quite as organised as I normally prefer to be during a school week, but we managed just fine & that’s what matters most.

Monday, September 18, 2017

New Year, New Curriculum

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It’s that time of year again when we the curriculum is rounded up & everyone’s gearing up to dig into fresh new books. It’s not much different in our house either as we also prepare ourselves for the academic year ahead.

We are still waiting for a few stray parcels to arrive, but the majority of our new books are here & we're back to business around here.

Both of my children opted to move to the Heart Of Dakota programme. One preferred the book selections as he's far more interested in non-fiction than fiction. The other felt that the HOD programmes start with God & work from there where as his current curriculum seemed to start with the world & see how it could mirror God.

While things can change at any time here’s what we’ll be starting out with & aiming to accomplish within our year. Due to changing math very late last year there will be some overlap with that for each of them, but it should all even out as long as they keep the pace with it:

8th Grade:


Heart Of Dakota’s Resurrection to Reformation & Revival to Revolution — Jayde hasn’t completed Res - Ref so he will just continue working forward & we’ll purchase the next set when he’s ready. This is the curriculum we moved him to halfway through last year & it’s been a beautiful move for him. This will cover Bible, science, geography & history. We swap out the math & language arts portions.

Teaching Textbooks: He will wrap up Level 7 & move right into Pre-Algebra. We moved to Teaching textbooks late in the year & while half the info in Level 7 he already knew they’ve woven material he’s not familiar with throughout so we’ve been working in order through some areas & will jump forward through others.

Earth & Physical Sciences: HOD covers earth science in Res to Ref & physical in Rev to Rev. Science is not something this boy enjoys much, especially from a textbook view point so we’re committed to trying what they offer for him & see how it goes. So far he’s enjoyed the earth science all though it’s a little below him.

Bible: he’s been really enjoying the Philippians study that is scheduled through HOD & will move into the Hebrew study after that {which ironically is also scheduled in the next level of HOD.} He's also reading through Boyhood & Beyond, & will use Who is God & Can I really Know Him?

IEW: we’ll continued forward with our Student Intensive Writing & Fix-It Grammar at this level. While I’d like to see him move a little faster through things, I will say the results are wonderful so it’s hard to argue with that.

Literature: We’re using a list from HOD’s Dithor programme. This worked well for him last year & it’s helped introduce him to different genres, something he’s not generally inclined to try out for himself.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Week In Review: Week 36

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Last week passed us by in a flurry of business as we hurdle towards the end of our term & thus the end of our 16/17 school year. As books & subjects are wrapped up & laid aside I confess I find myself a little emotional to realise I can count on one hand the years I have left with these boys of mine. It tends to hit you at the most unsuspecting moments, all though tripping over planners & discarded school supplies tends to bring me back to the hear & now.

We made a change in math curriculum last week, not something I was expecting at all. For the past 6 years we’ve used MUS & enjoyed getting Mr Demme every Monday {or in some cases Sunday} as he explained a variety of new topics to us. With our eldest working independently he was running into some snags with MUS & it was causing some frazzled, & admittedly late, evenings as he had to wait on Mr S to get in from work. I was being dragged to the white board to solve the math debates, & friends math is not my strong subject! Mr S came in a few weekends ago, sat down with an exasperated sigh & said, “Maybe I just can’t teach this math stuff.”




I wasn't very kind as I broke out in hysterical laughter, once I composed myself I suggested he look at other math curriculum & named a few. He was vaguely familiar with Teaching Textbooks due to the fact that we used them before jumping into MUS. Within a week we had 2 shiny new math programmes, which oddly enough are still, gracing the learning table. The upside to this change is that Teaching Textbooks offers hints & problem solvers. Problem Solvers mean that if you get the problem wrong on all tries they will walk you through it step by step to show you how you should have, or could have, done the problem to get the correct answer. Rather then making the same mistake through an entire lesson you can then take notes & move on to conquer the rest of your day.
We’ll see how it goes over the remainder of this term & into next year.



I won’t say both boys were jumping up & down with joy. Morgan found some of the TT methods silly when the lecturer was doing demos because it was so different to what he was taught & has practiced over the past 6 years. I had to remind him that there are various ways to get the work done as we proved at the “Great White Board Debate of Last Week..” Jayden, on the other hand, would likely only jump for joy over math if he was told he never had to do another lesson.


Morgan aced his Quiz for Module 15 & pushed forward into that final Module about Astrophysics. He & Mr S indulged in some long discussions over the weekend about the various material covered & whole bunch of other things I managed to block out while attempting to steam a pot of broccoli & keep it from going all mushy while they took forever to clear up the table so we could have our dinner. More seriously, I am delighted that despite my own dislike for science that my son has his own confidence & a father who is more than happy to feed it.




Jayden officially wrapped up his first science book in his HOD programme. He was very very excited about that. Not because he doesn’t like science, he’s so-so on the subject where it greatly depends on the topic being covered. It was more that he was ready to move on past space & into a new area. We indulged in watching the old Apollo 13 film with him this weekend, which opened up a world of discussion especially as the nation was called to pray for the stranded astronauts in the 1960's where as today the nation would be filled with outrage & contempt over the mere notion.




Jayden tackled Unit 13 in his HOD programme this week where we finished reading about John Wycliff in The Morning Start Of The Reformation. There was much mapping that took place as well covering The Black Plague, England In The 12th Century, & Scone Scotland. We covered William Wallace, which reminded us of one of the beautiful audio productions done by Heirloom Audio, In Freedom’s Cause. We also read about The Hundred Year War as we approach the end of the middle ages.




Morgan polished off his final literature book, & has reached the final chapter of his history which he’ll polish off next week. He had a few chuckles as he found himself disagreeing with the opinion of the author. Funny how the author, while listing fact can easily weave in opinion as well, isn’t it? I’ve really enjoyed hearing his own opinions on situations like that & his take on the information covered in the history books he’s used this year. It’s certainly given him his own viewpoint on many current events unfolding around us.




No major outings for us this week but Nana’s birthday was on Thursday & the boys helped make all the fixings for chicken wraps & a simple chocolate cake to take down to celebrate. We also enjoyed a few trips to the beach this week, all though we were nearly blown away with the crazy arctic winds that hit us. I joke not, we had to chase down our roast chicken that was blown off our table for our picnic lunch on Saturday!


We did, however, also taclke another week of writing in our IEW curriculum & grammar with Fix-It. We wrapped up our reading in the book of Acts, finished our read aloud of Wonder & spent many hours debating exactly who's turn it was to pick the next one & what book they should pick.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Week In Review 16/17: Week 34

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We wrapped up our 4th week of our 4th term this past week. I’ve been slowly writing up our WIR posts for previous weeks, but I’ve been horribly slow uploading photos & thus never end up posting anything. Thanks to each of you who asked how we were doing & told us you missed our posts. We actually considered closing up the blog, & for those who may be on the FB page will have noticed we closed that down. However, for now we’ll keep posting here, however sporadically as that may be.

It’s hard to imagine that we have 6 more weeks of our 2016/2017 year left & that our eldest will be moving into 10th. Where we live 10th is the end of the road for high school & then children move on to college. We’re choosing to follow the US educational standards for high school for a variety of reasons, the biggest being his choice in university at this stage. 

In order to keep with tradition we’re still considering a Leaver’s Dinner for him. Mr S think it would be a fun thing to put together, Morgan on the other hand is not quite so sure he's been to a few & isn't into the idea of dressing up much less a red carpet walk. Ha! I think he might have high expectations of what Mr S can pull off!

Our numbers will probably sound incredibly wonky as Jayde wrapped up Unit 10 in his level of HOD & Morgan wrapped up Week 32 in his Core. Ahh, the craziness of life here, especially when one student changes curriculum in the middle of a year. It’s been a great change for him & we’ll share in a seperate post about HOD in greater detail.


We’re still working through IEW’s SWI-B, not quite as quickly as I’d intended, but they are enjoying themselves & able to do the work independently which is exactly what we were after! They’ve both been able to apply the principles they’ve gained, thus far, in other writing assignments which is, again, exactly what we wanted! So, no complaints there.


Book 2 of Fix-It is a little different from Book 1 & there were some hiccups, where we need to pause & really focus on a few of the newer concepts. I love that Fix-It works in regular No New Concept weeks {ie Review} to allow for that. I did have one frustrated child because he wanted to mark everything in the sentences which isn’t the object in this particular book, but over all they are doing really well & the main goal was to keep their grammar skills fresh & touch base on anything they hadn’t quite learned yet which is exactly what Fix It has allowed us to do.

Morgan wrapped up Book 9 in HUS, leaving him with only 1 book left to go before he’s done. He’s moved at a great clip through this Core & he’s fully enjoyed all of his time with it. I’m excited for him to wrap it up & slip into his HOD programme, & am hopeful the learning curve won’t be too great for him, but we’ll see how it goes.


Jayden has officially reached the Middle Ages in Resurrection to Reformation & he’s totally in love with the time period. Not a huge surprise at all. We wrapped up The Illustrated Book Of Knights last week & jumped right into The Morning Start Of The Reformation. His notebooking pages all follow the same pattern so it’s reasonably predictable for him to know what to expect each week. However, a couple of weeks ago he got really excited about Draw & Write Through History in which means some days he also has a sketch to add to his notebook. We also wrapped up Much Ado About Nothing in his Shakespeare this week. 


Morgan wrapped up Module 14 in his Physical Science book, only 2 more modules to go before he wraps that one up for good. I always think of it as such an accomplishment to get through those books as they aren’t exactly light now, are they. He’s still using VHSG to take the quizzes & practice quizzes. We’ve had a few minor issues with that, but VHSG has been grateful for the corrections he’s pointed out to them. His labs have become pretty intense too, we’ve had him practice doing them a few different ways with this book so that he’s prepared for whatever may be ahead for him.

Jayden is still working through the first science book with Res to Rev, Apologia Astronomy. I’m not a huge fan of Fullbrights books because we don’t agree with the YE philosophy & I’m not particularly keen on the heavy bush these books have. However, we have found it quite simple to skip those small portions & still enjoy the book. He only has a couple of chapters left before he moves on to the biographies & other earth science books included. He’s pretty excited that he’s nearly finished the book, not because he hasn't enjoyed it but because it’s just a big accomplishment.


Both boys are still moving along with math at a decent clip. Morgan works independently on his math & Mr S corrects if in the evening. Their math lessons on the weekend can last a short time or a long time depending on how incredibly nuts they go with things. Jayden still works with me on his math, for now, he’ll “level up” next book, or so the family pattern goes..


We dropped DuoLingo for French & returned to Rosetta Stone. It’s a bit of a boring story, but the reality is that DuoLingo went to a very video game based idea in which one couldn’t even finish a lesson due to running out of “life” or “coins” & was constantly giving us errors & asking for money ranging in price from $3 - $15 USD which was absurd. So we pulled our RS French back off the shelf, we’ve had issues with the speaking aspect of it before so I’m a little concerned about that aspect, but after getting use to the new method Morgan’s just kept charging along.

He’s been corresponding with a few native French speakers online to practice his skills & has done really well with it. Enough so that one asked if he was also French & was impressed to learn that Morgan was “just learning..” It really boosted his confidence, & why not!


We wrapped up our previous read aloud, Rush Revere & The American Revolution & haven’t picked anything else up to read yet. We have a few more books I'd like to read this {calendar} year, but we’ll see what happens. We also wrapped up our current poetry book, & likely won’t start a new one until September. I’m a bit of a twiddle about what to pick at this point, so we’ll see what unfolds.

Our local group has been on holidays for the past couple of weeks, so no social meet ups there or hockey either. We’ve enjoyed a couple of low key weeks in that aspect. These winter days can be cold & dark at times, so its’ nice to have a few low key ones to rug up & sty close to home with. We’re officially past the halfway mark with winter so we’re counting down to lighter mornings.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Week In Review: Week 24

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The halfway point of our term snuck past us this week. We had absolutely no idea that's where we were until I sat down on Saturday to look over the calendar, update attendance & all that jazz.

Wow, the term has flown by, hasn't it! We were worried about having to make up some time/work with that week of allergy induced sickness the kids had, but thus far they've worked really hard to make-up for that time.

Autumn has officially rolled in, all though a few days this week Winter was knocking on the doors. I'm not quite ready for the cloudy days of winter, but I do so enjoy the crisper autumn ones!


Morgan & I wrapped up Bonanza Girl on Thursday. We hit those last 2 chapters & couldn't put it down. Funny to the end, all though there were some doubts about the ending. There's a lovely author's note at the end of the book that you really mustn't miss if you read the story. Our copy is now mangled because Archimedes decided to go "read" the author's note himself. *sigh*

We did not finish Evidence For Jesus but we did read several more chapters. It's interesting to look at this book from the perspective of a believer & a non-believer that's for sure.


We dug back into our Fix-It Grammar this week. I'm not sure what on earth took us so long to dig it out this term. I think learning the ropes of a new curriculum played a small part in that, but it's all good! We really love our Fix-It, quick, simple, & to the point.




We also finished off our beloved read aloud: The Railway Children. We got to the final 2 chapters of this one & lost ourselves for a while as we finished it off. There was a collective sigh in the room when it ended & then some bemoaning that the author had not shared the excitement over all that had likely unfolded. There's a lovely biography of the author at the end of our copy which was an interesting read too. Now to find a new read aloud, one child requested, "..something less old-fashioned!" And when I said, "What a shame, I was considering Robin Hood next." He changed his mind a bit when he heard that, but in fairness we still haven't selected a new read aloud!


It was chilly enough that this funny roo joined us for math lessons one day. He said he was very very cold, but then proceeded to eat a Bio-Stick {frozen juice pop} which made the rest of us chuckle a bit. Said Roo is making lovely progress in math, & flew through this weeks lesson. I do love how Mr Demme offers a hard lesson, often followed by a slightly easier one at times.


Morgan tackled his own math in the sunny kitchen under the Dakin. Smart boy on such a chilly day {don't be fooled by the beautiful light in the photo!} No, he's not googling math answers, he uses a calculator for some of his math work these days. It took us forever to convince him it was not cheating to use a calculator!


Our sweet boy wrote out Phillipians 1:1 this week & when I looked at his paper I was a little distressed by what I saw. I pulled out his grey overlay {generally only used while waiting on his tints to come in} & put it over the paper. He'd had no idea how poorly his handwriting had been until that moment. So, I printed a bunch of my homemade HWOT Style papers & cut them to fit in his little notebook. We need to make an office supply shop run to get heavier duty paper to fill his book with & remove all the white papers.  I'll have to share a handwriting comparison in another post. Either way he was writing a quote from his devotional in the above photo, but also copied out Phillipians 1:1-2 during the week.


Morgan tackled more of Module 11 in his Physical Science book. Archimedes flew over to "help" after getting told off for trying to drink my smoothie. Seriously, that bird is a character & a half. Morgan was actually listening to a lecture & taking notes, which greatly irritated Archimedes who tried to steal his pencil. As for the child doing school, his science notes have come such a long way, they were awesome to look over. He'll wrap up that module in the new week.


We are enjoying our final poet of the year in our poetry book: Walt Whitman. The artwork on all the pages with his poems are really beautiful. We had a lovely chat about how, as a poet, his work didn't sell as well as he'd hoped which brought up the topic that many poets & authors we consider amazing today were not considered amazing in their time. Some of them were considered to be quite the cracked-pots actually. 


Jayde enjoyed more picture study with his lovely book. The picture this week wasn't one we both enjoyed as it portrayed Jesus in a bit of cloth that was falling off & a bit.. revealing. It was however interesting to try & decide which disciple was which. We read another Emily Dickinson poem this week as well, one of my favourites, the "Nobody" poem. Jayde was quick to guess the meaning behind the poem as we read a bit of a biography about Emily earlier this year in which we learned of her extreme shyness & how people often tried to get a peek at her because she was considered to be such an oddity.


He also tackled the rest of his art project from last week. The idea was to make a piece that looks like stained glass. Apparently Jayde doesn't remember the beautiful stained glass we saw in Stanley last year. On our historical tour one of the stops was a local church. You could only get in with a key & the location to obtain said key was closed for the day, but we were still able to check out the beautiful historical stained glass features from the exterior. He decided to google a window similar to what he was suppose to be making for ideas on how to lay out his "glass" lines. His end piece is beautiful & while driving around on errand day he spotted a lovely stained glass window & then noticed the Nana's neighbour had hung something in her window to make it look like a stained glass window as well.


We started several new books in HOD this week & they were each lovely in their own way. Jayde loved this one, which is no surprise as it was a non-fiction. However, I think he loved the snippets of facts he was learning about a particular person this week & I suspect this reminded him very much of Our Island Story which he absolutely loved, in fact he loved it so much he leant it to Nana & told her she really needed to read it so she could brush up on her British History. She delighted in the idea as, "it's been many years since I was a school child."

This is another HOD selection & wow, aren't the illustrations in this book amazing! We read about the same Goth in this book as we did in the previous. He was also to base his longer historical narration on the reading in this book. I found it really interesting which portions of the reading he could easily remember vs which ones he needed a little help with.  


We started A Midsummer Nights Dream in Shakespeare this week. It will be interesting to see if he struggles to keep the characters straight in this one as there's many loops to this particular story, aren't there? He's far far to young to remember, but many years ago when we were state side we saw this very play done for free in a local park. It was a lovely event put on at a very low cost, but what fun we had!


He's still working through Jed Smith, but we pulled out our DITHOR lessons to tackle this week. I wanted to give him a good head start on the story so he could pull from it to apply the character based lessons, & it worked as he found some of the lessons much easier this week. He struggled with the one about discussing times you've shown specific character traits. He seems to feel he lacks them, so I took the paper away & filled it in, loudly, pointing out each time during the week when he showed the character traits we were discussing.


Jayden & I  began a new read aloud together this week as well. This is a new story to us, so there was much curiosity as we sat down to read. I was delighted to get to use an Irish accent which I can do far easier than the British accent. One of the main characters is a Viking, so there were absolutely no complaints about this title. 


This weeks art project was suppose to be tea dying a bit of paper & then writing first in Greek & then English a verse from the book of John. Due to the previous art project still being in progress we cheated & simply wrote the verse where we were suppose to glue our "parchment". I thought we had some parchment around from a previous craft, but we didn't & our boy was just as delighted to do it this way. He was very smitten by the idea of writing in Greek & decided he'd like to learn Greek. So much so he got himself all set up with DuoLingo & has been working daily on it. 


His lovely notebooking pages for the week. His postcard was address to Mr X this week. I would not put it past this child to use every letter in the alphabet at some point, he's a hoot. He was also delighted with this weeks research topic, Constantinople, because he knew many of the answers to questions he was suppose to research & was delighted to look them up & see if he was right. 


I loved this detailed drawing in one of his timeline boxes this week. He spent a long tie on making those boats "just right" & then was stressed about drawing the people so I suggested he go with stick figures. 


Morgan tackled his French this week as well as his own history programme. We didn't see much of him during those times, but I looked up one day to find him plunked at the desk across from us. I had to do a double take because he was sitting much like my father use to sit. He also tackled a few art projects of his own this week, one of which had me banned from the craft area because it was a Mother's Day card.


Morgan also had hockey this week. I couldn't get a photo of him without other children & coaches so no actual photo to post. He had a lovely time scoring 3 of the 4 goals in his first game {more of a scrimmage as they warmed up & worked on skills} & then was put in as a goalie in the next game where he made such a lovely tackle in the opening minutes that his coach's delight & joy was pretty fun to watch. The young men coaching this week are older teens from the state team, & their enthusiasm is lovely to see as is their attitudes in teaching those younger players.

Jayde took his Civil War quilt to keep warm with {yes it was in many photos this week as I was using it while my book quilt was in the wash} & was given special permission to take an ipad to play on. Normally that's a no-no, but he was dealing with some anxiety issues & I suspected being distracted by conquering some land in Rome might mean we could both enjoy the hockey match in our own ways.


We normally take a daily afternoon walk, but we've been slack lately as we've been really struggling to find a groove. This week we seemed to have really hit our pace which was lovely & we headed to the local footy field near our home for a jaunt. A bit later than we normally go out so others were walking their dogs which mean our Buster didn't enjoy himself as much as he might have otherwise. We keep him in a lead around other dogs as he's a bit of a grump in his old age towards some dogs. All up though it was a beautiful day for a walk & were a little sad that we didn't get  more in.

No social engagements, aside from hockey this week, as the local group was meeting a little too far up the coast for us. It was raining heavily down our way & I just wasn't up for the drive on top of battling a migraine. Instead we stayed home & we each worked on various things.