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.

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