Week In Review 16/17: Week 17

We’re at that point in our term where we are counting down until Term Break. This break will also mark the halfway point of our year, which means we’re also discussing what will be used next year for each child.

The upside of using programmes like MUS, Sonlight, IEW, & Apologia Sciences is that it’s pretty simple to just get the next book or level. Which is basically what will be happening here; there was some debate about the next SL level for Morgan, but that was quickly sorted.

It’s always a relief to be at that halfway point in our year & be able to breathe a little easier. Mind you, we only breath easier if people are on point with their studies & for the most part everyone is. We had a stall with math in waiting for new curriculum to arrive {our fault} & so there’s a small hiccup there, but we’re not too worried about it. We’ve also made a small change to science {again} for Jayden, but that’ll be okay too.

We wrapped up our current poet, Emily Dickinson in the poetry book we’ve been reading. We really enjoyed her poetry & the biography in this book has sparked ongoing chatter about this poet. The only downside we had with her poems were that they don’t have titles & so at times we had a bit of confusion as the reader plunged from one poem right into the other thinking they were connected & just different stanzas.

We’re still enjoying Anne Shirley’s story. Oh the memories reading this book with my boys brings back. I still remember all the fuss & bother when the origional movie was on tv & how my father diligently recorded it so we could watch it over & over again.. As I read I hear those very voices all though I cannot mimic them. Morgan was dissapointed we didn’t get to read as much of Anne’s story this week as we would have liked, but we had a few late mornings & when that happens Anne’s story is put on the back burner. 
The Animal Whisperer has nearly wrapped up Ancient Rome in history. He’s enjoyed aspects of this time period, but is really at that point in our term where he’s ready for a break. He wrapped up the 1st volume of SOTW & is due to start the second one on Monday. He’ll only read a couple of chapters before we’ll have him lay it aside for the term. He’s reading more chapters of MOH in order to wrap up Volume 1 before the end of term. That way he can jump into Volume 2 & enjoy hearing about the new church as he starts in on the middle ages. I also have a few books for that time period I’d like to pull out & read with him.
Morgan wrapped up Volume 5 with HUS this week & is eager to jump right into Volume 6. That’s the last one to read before term break. He is, however, really missing hearing more than one view for his spine this year. In previous years we’ve always had a couple of spines going at a time so he can hear the same stories from different view points, allowing him to draw his own conclusions. One year, I think we had 3 spines going, which was crazy, but he absolutely loved it. He asked if we happened to have MOH IV on hand so he could read corresponding lessons. Unfortunately we don’t, as it’s still quite pricey, but I told him I’d pick up the MP3 Audios for him.

Yes, I mark up my IGs. I tend to sit down & highlight various sections for the weeks ahead. Yellow are discussion points, Green is vocabulary & Key people or times. Blue is geography. All though I think all you can see in the photo above is green & yellow.

Jayden’s timeline is still rapidly growing. He’s still adding to BC all thanks to MOH, while SOTW is up to AD. It’s funny to be adding both at the same time! We’re now up to 4 lines. We had 3, but he really wanted a fresh line for the AD pieces. We’ll have to give an updated picture/video at the end of term. We have a few BC pieces out of place as the count down vs up causes a few hiccups when pieces are added at times. 
Morgan’s new math book arrived this week, hoorah hoorah! Yes, he was excited too, no seriously he was! However, it arrived late enough int he week that I suggested he wait to dig in until the weekend. He starts new lessons on the weekend so that if he needs any guidance Mr S is there to work with him. I suspect he’ll breeze through the first lesson, but I guess we’ll wait & see. He’s relieved to have his new book, this kid takes his school pretty seriously. Yes, he’s laying inside a pizza; his USA Gram crocheted that for him for Christmas. Isn’t it awesome?
Jayden wrapped up another math lesson this week as well. He should finish his current math book in 2 weeks unless he gets hung up on any upcoming lessons, which I doubt. Despite his nervousness with math at the beginning of this term he’s doing really well. I wasn’t sure how the last few lessons in the book would go, but I’m delighted to see they’ve been a breeze. It never fails that the lessons that trip him tend to be the easier ones & the more complicated lessons are “no big deal” for him.
Morgan finally hit the point in Cover Story where he’s been given some writing assignments, we’ll see how that goes. Previous to hitting that point I’d suggested that if he didn’t get some writing assignments soon we’d need to move into another writing curriculum & he was rather aggrieved at the mere thought! He has a large assignment that will be due next week, but he’s pretty excited about it so I can’t wait to see how it goes for him.

Jayden’s writing {IEW} showed up this week, so he’ll jump in with that in the new week. We’re new to IEW, but we’ve had various people recommend it for the reluctant writer & our boy certainly fits that name to a T. I’m excited & leery to see how it goes for him, & totally delighted that they have video lessons.

Jayden wrapped up nearly all of the Chemistry in BkSk Science 6, & we’ve decided to shelve the remainder of this science programme. We ran into the same problems using it a second time as we did using it the first time. While we love this book the various sections are written for different age groups & the Chemistry section is actually quite thick. When I noticed my boys eyes were glazing over & he was no longer paying attention it was time to decide what to do next. It doesn’t help that the experiments are limited & once you wrap up the chemistry section the experiments still only focus on chemistry. He’ll return to his Science In The Beginning book for the remainder of this year & then we’ll give BkSk Science 7 a whirl.
Morgan moved into Module 4 in Marine Biology & enjoyed kicking off the week with a lab. It was pretty simplistic in that he just needed to cut open sponge & determine what type he had, with the beach next door we were able to collect more than one sample for him to check out & he after the lecture he was quickly able to tell us which types of sponge he had. The postal satchel was just what he pulled out of the bin to cut open the sponge on as we had no newspaper on hand.
A better look at his awesome sponge. We’d gone to the beach last Sunday intentionally to pick up various pieces of sponge for him. There’s always a bunch of it laying around the beach so we scouted out the three varieties we most often see on our beach. At the park on Friday he went down to the beach & found a magnificent specimen bigger than a human head! We use to find large chunks like that & the kids would wear them as hats when they were younger. Ahh, I don’t miss all the sand in the hair. hehe
We should be wrapping our grammar book in another couple of weeks, just in time for the end of term break. I had to chuckle this week when my eldest grabbed the book off the table & said, “Wait, what? I didn’t realise you meant the name of the story was really The Nose Tree! I thought you were just kidding.” Ahh, that funny boy! 
Wednesday things were completely chaotic in the house & when Morgan realised how late it was he asked if I’d like him to make dinner. Who am I to decline an offer like that? Pasta alla matriciana with Peas, better known as Bacon Pasta in our home, was on the menu so he set himself to work. Mr S generally makes this meal around here so when he came in & saw what was being cooked he found it really hard not to “help”.  As a note, we swap chicken broth for the wine & don’t add chilli, I think when Mr S made it the first time he opted not to use chilli because the kids were younger & couldn’t handle anything “hot”. Due to dairy allergies cheese isn’t mixed in the pot, but each person who can have cheese adds it on their own plate.
This funny blue blob was made from Jayde’s thinking putty. He was using his putty during math, but had become distracted so I asked him to put it down so I could add a face to it.. Later he hid it in the hood of jacket to “surprise me”, all though the surprise was on him because I didn’t find it until the next day when it required extreme help to remove it from my jacket! Ha!

We had an outing on Friday, just the park, where the kids met up with a friend. We didn’t stay incredibly long, but the boys still enjoyed themselves. Morgan has been attending to French & Piano during the week as well, but generally when I’m busy so no photos. His French is coming along well enough now that when I’m practicing mine of an evening & Mr S asks what on earth I’m saying Morgan can generally pick up the gist of it, or at least say, “Dad it’s French, you wouldn’t understand.” All in all, another lovely week of school all wrapped up.

Week In Review 16/17: Week 15-16

Another week has flown by & we’ve officially crossed the halfway mark of our second term! Pretty amazing because for a while it felt like we were just treading water. We officially wrapped up week 5 & week 6 of our term over the past 2 weeks. Yep, one more “double-up” week in review post so that I can get caught up. Crazy as it sounds, I find I’m putting off my WIR posts when I’m behind because while we do a lot of work in a week {or rather the kids do} I find it harder to recall when I’m in the midst of a new week of happenings.

We celebrated a birthday in week 15, as Morgan turned 16. While most people are in shock that their child is turning 16, & it’s not that we weren’t, we were more impressed that for the first time in years upon years {or so it seemed} that Valentine’s Day did not fall in the exact same week as our son’s birthday. Yeah, it caused a bit of a stir in our home!

Morgan officially wrapped up his math book, & is currently awaiting the arrival of his new Algebra book. Exciting times, all though he feels a little stress as he’d hoped to wrap up the previous book a bit sooner then he did. It’s all good though, & knowing this child he’ll excel with the next book & be fine despite the small hiccup.

Jayden spent 2 weeks on Lesson 27 in his math book. For those looking for tips, Lesson #27 in Epsilon deals with both area & circumference of a circle all in one go. From previous experience I found this to be information overload for a student as they need time to practice each way without concern they are using the wrong method. So for Jayde we split it up over 2 weeks, & it worked really well for us. He’s in the home stretch with his math book as well. I told him he can thank his brother for being the guinea pig which has made his own transition through the pre-algebra sections very simple.

Morgan buckled down with his science to get back into the swing of things. I was a little worried for him that having waiting so long to get back to it this term that he might find himself needing to do make-up time with it, but after surveying the schedule & the school calendar he’ll be fine. Module 3 of Marine Biology was a tough one, but he did enjoy the information. He also realised he didn’t take notes through the module like he normally does & he felt this greatly impacted his retention level. I love that he discovered this without any urging from me, it means he’s more likely to apply the knowledge he gained.

Jayden is still humming along with the BkSk science that he’s working on. Our goal is to get him through the chemistry portion before term break. We’ll see if we meet that goal. Oddly enough all experiments for this entire year are based on Chemistry despite the fact that he’ll touch on 2 other topics. We may have to scan our home shelves for experiment books or pull out some kits.

Both boys are still working away at their core work {history.} Morgan is in Volume 5 of HUS & still enjoying things. He has one more volume to finish & a total of 3 books to wrap up before Term Break. It’s always fun to see the end in sight & we’re all eager for a break!  Jayden has 2 books to wrap up before term break & is hoping to clear MOH 1 off his list before break as well.

We didn’t line up MOH & SOTW, it wasn’t my objective when we began things. Rather we’ve just read a chapter or two of MOH each time he sits down & reads from SOTW. I think if your goal is to finish them both at the same time you’d need to do 2-3 chapters of MOH for each chapter of SOTW. If you wanted to match them up there are many sources for that already from Winter Promise’s curriculum to schedules over on RedShift.

From doing these 2 cores previously I’m not sure if we’ll do all 4 levels of MOH along side it or not. In fairness the first 2 levels of MOH are much lighter in content & the lessons range from 2 minutes to 10 minutes. Where as Levels 3 & 4 have far meatier content.  In an ideal world it would be amazing to do them side by side, but reality tends to be a little different.

There were some major mapping assignments that happened. Morgan needed to map out what certain territories looked like “back in the day” in order to be well versed on that for an upcoming quiz he has. It’s been quite interesting to watch the way the land unfolded to be honest! Yes, he uses the Hewitt Tests to go along with the HUS volumes.

Jayden’s timeline continues to grow! It’s been just as much fun watching that expand each week too. I’m actually a bit concerned about spacing issues by the time he’s made it through 2 years of world history, but we’re all enjoying seeing things unfolds on the timeline. There was a debate between kids the other day over what event happened first so they ran to the timeline to check it out. I wish Morgan was putting one up of US history to watch it unfold as well, because that would be equally interesting!

Morgan started using the videos over at You ARE an Artist! He’s my very artsy child & really shines with things like this. We were delighted to be asked to try out the programme, & Morgan was smitten with his first project. For a child who can’t see well on white paper & struggles with hues of red, yellow, & orange the fact that his apple looks like an apple is just so impressive to me! He was a little annoyed his chalk pastels were limited in colour because it meant he had to come up with some unusual colours for the next video or two. I told him if he was able to wait I’d purchase him a new set, which is currently somewhere between here & South Korea. I can’t wait for them to arrive to see what he creates next.

What I will say is that because he loves to sketch in his sketch book we found that it might be wiser to cover your chalk pastel paintings with clear contact paper to keep the chalks from rubbing off onto other art work or blank pages. Of course this means I need to go buy some because the timeline has currently used up all we had!

There were, of course, birthday celebrations in our week. Due to gluten & dairy allergies I traditionally make an ice cream pie for birthdays. It’s the most simplistic thing to make that everyone can enjoy a small bit of, but I really wanted to make something a bit more this year for the birthday cakes. The boys has been asking for a Black Forest cake for ages, but let’s just say it’s not a simple task with dairy issues. Over Christmas we’d tried out some lovely coconut whipping cream from our favourite Allergy Friendly shop & as it was a huge hit I decided to stock up on some & really surprised the birthday boy.

I used our normal chocolate cake recipe, but doubled it. Gluten free good don’t rise as high as glutenous goods do. This simply means you need to make your pans nearly full when you bake cakes, muffins, & breads of you’ll get the typical short gluten free baked goods. I subbed our normal dairy free milk for the milk & used a GF baking mix we buy in bulk. Once the cakes were cooked {this cake is super moist} I frozen the 2 layers until they were firm enough to cut in half with our electric knife. Then I doused them in cherry juice & covered the up for the night. From there it was pretty easy to make as normal. It was a HUGE hit all around & deemed “So delicious we have to have this again!” Mr S was a little bummed he only got two slices of that massive cake. Ha, I think I know what cake he’ll get for his birthday.

We spent the afternoon of Morgan’s birthday at the pool with the local homeschool group. Morgan opted in on the water slide as well & a grand time was had by all. They came home with massive appetites ready to indulge in the birthday burgers that were on the menu. There are no photos of the burgers, but there were a lot of laughs over them being too big to get into one’s mouth.

Spelling has been a minor wash, these kids who don’t spell much correctly outside of spelling tests have knocked the last several lists of words out of the park on the first try. Not that I’m complaining, but I did suggest that if they can do so well on the tests they might want to apply that to the notes they leave laying around.  We are on track with our IEW Fix-It grammar lessons which is a delight. We should wrap up the book by the end of our term & then we’ll jump right into the next one.

Last week our Daikin was finally, at long last, repaired! This meant we grabbed as much of our work as we could & moved to the kitchen so the repairman wouldn’t feel the need to keep quiet with his work. This also meant that the birds could see our every move & were not pleased to be left out of things. They generally join us for our morning basket time & then return to have their breakfast while seat work is accomplished. I find that they are very naughty if they join us for seat work & prefer to eat papers, pencils, & rip keys off the computer.

We hit the beach one weekend because we were suppose to collect some sponge for an upcoming lab Morgan had going on, but in our explorations we totally forgot the sponge. Much is still washing ashore from the floods we had last year & it’s quite crazy what you can find along your walk. Of course the dog had to find himself a cow that had washed ashore {yuck!} It was actually at another portion of the beach & moved a few kilometres down, so we weren’t expecting it. Crazy dog decided to make himself all gacky smelling & was most disgusted with us when we dragged him into the ocean for a wash. Once we let him go he went back to the shore & sat there barking at us while we had a splash in the waves.

We watched a video on Octopi eggs hatching a while back & when we stumbled upon this on our walk we were trying to decide if they were infertile eggs or not. One child decided to break one open & the contents that came out were thick like the white of an egg. We’ll have to seek out someone in the know to find out what they were!

We made a second trip to the beach & actually remembered the sponge, in fact we spotted a person who might have been able to help identify the “eggs”, but alas he was in his truck & we felt it wrong to wave him down over a nature question.

I shocked the gang with some cut out cookies for Valentine’s Day. Yep, gluten, egg, & dairy free. I even frosted a few of them! I’ll have to share the recipe in another post for those who may be interested.

We’re still working our way through Anne of Green Gables. In fact, a bit of a funny to share.. someone misspelled anoint the other day because they called out how to spell it I said, “You know it’s an + oint!” So the child came back with Anneoint. We had ourselves a great laugh about it in the end! It felt like a bit of a slog at times with our last poet, but our current poet, Emily Dickinson, are very very enjoyable & we’re very ahead of the proposed schedule. We’re still reading through 2 Chronicles.

I’m sure I’ve forgotten something as we have Cover Story happening, are still reading about a president each week, working in Aussie History,  & other little things, but that’s about the sum of it for the past 2 weeks of learning in our home. Pretty full weeks, but it’s what makes those weeks off so much more enjoyable, isn’t it?