It was back to school around our house this past week, & boy was it nice to fall back into routines & structure. To have a semblance of normal in this crazy life we live right now. Life is anything but normal & calm for my family, so when we have that one reliable thing that is.. yeah, it’s good.
Ironically, two days before school was set to start we made some last minute curriculum changes. I was already under a lot of stress from the whole airport saga, & then as I sat down to finalise schedules for the week I felt led to take another route with our oldest. Crazy, I know. We sat him down & had a chat about it, & unrolled the new plans.

So, if you read our back to school curriculum choices & then read this post & think, “That ain’t right!” {you totally get that quote, right?} it’s because we made a small change, that we decided to trial for a couple of weeks before officially editing that post.

We kicked off day one with our normal morning routine. I know morning routines are pretty hot & big in the homeschool world right now, especially if they involve a book basket, but friends this is something my family has been doing for 12 years & the only thing about it that has changed are the books because we haven’t been reading the same one over & over for 12 years!

We decided to start the school year with the book of John. We don’t have a firm pre-planned scheduled for Bible reading this year, so we’ll make our way through John & then move back & forth between the Old & New Testament after that.

Our first read aloud of the year got swapped up at the last minute too, so we’re indulging in Ember Falls, the sequel to The Green Ember. We’re using the audio version of this as I’m reading a fair amount to various members of the household in a day. 

Who Is God is scheduled in place of a devotional with Jayden’s school this year. I’m not sure about it, in regards to being really at his level. We’ll continue on with it for a while & see how we feel about that down the road.

We’ve just picked up the Fallacy Detective where we left off before the end of last year. We still need to print out that pesky poster, but he seems to recognise each fallacy as he’s moving through the book..

We haven’t selected a poetry book yet this year, all though we do have one on the shelf I need to pull out. So for this week we simply read The Barefoot Boy which was the first poem of the year in Jayde’s Revival to Revolution Programme.

We also ended up reading Practical Happiness together one day a week even though it’s actually scheduled in Morgan’s World Geography Programme. Ha, that probably sounds pretty confusing, but it works for us & I’m able to keep it straight so it’s all good.

We also did the Classical Music For Kids together one morning, again this was scheduled in one child’s programme. Are you seeing a recurring theme here? Ha! I knew that the eldest would enjoy this too. We were only scheduled to listen to the first 3 tracks, so not very far into it, but still enjoyable.

Jayde jumped right in with his Rev to Rev this week, he was so excited to dig into the new programme. Lots of lovely new books & topics to be covered with R2R. We opted to go with The Signers portion, but not the state study.  We dug into the introduction of that book, which is a beautiful hardcopy with a small bio about each man who signed the Declaration of Independence. My great-grandmother use to tell us we had a direct descendant who was not only on the Mayflower, but who also signed the DOI. Not that she ever actually told us who they were.. I need to purchase a wall copy of the Declaration, we have it in book form which we read every July.

We also dug into George Washington’s World, this isnt’ one we ordered with our set as we’ve owned it & had on the shelf for some time. I’d had intentions to use it with this same child but at a different time but never got to it, I’m rather glad of that now.

We also started “story time” book, as it’s called at this HOD level, Amos Fortune. There are some questions in the guide the reader is suppose to ponder {if reading alone} before meeting up with the parent. As we did this book together last week we each answered the questions based on what we gathered from the book. Most of the time we agreed, but there was one question about why Fortune was sad upon seeing his reflection in the mirror where we each differed.

He was delighted to start in on Hearts & Hands, all though we only read about  John Wesley & what led to the First Great Awakening. Lots of notebooking again this year, but nothing unachievable. The pattern/rotation has changed in R2R, but not in a bad way. His longer written narration is due on Mondays instead of Thursdays. He’s also suppose to copy bits of the poetry this year, all though I’m letting him type them up. He needs to practice his typing skills, & as we’re using the dictation this year I figured it was a reasonable trade-off.

Science was started too. I wasn’t sure we’d get to that as the objective was to cover half a week to get us rolling, but he was really excited to get involved in everything so I let him roll with it. He’s using the Inventors pack as it’s such a lovely compliment to the physical science this year.

I’m so-so with the Exploration Education’s Physical science, merely because I’d love a textbook to go along with it.. or just a book to read the info. I can see why it’s 100% computer based but with the Irlen in our house a book is always a nice thing to have. On the other hand the step by step pictorial directions for assembling/building his experiments is nice too. He built the racer last week, but he didn’t not complete the experiment portion of the lesson yet.

Morgan picked up with Week 7 in his HOD Geography.. yep, I told you we made some changes. He didn’t miss a beat & was a bit worried about it. With his severe Irlen he really needs the books in audio format & we can’t seem to round as many of the lovely HOD selections up in that fashion, so I spent the previous weekend recording all his readings for him, which allowed him to work as he would had we stuck with our origional choice for him.

He continued with Word To Caesar, it had been a while since we’d read it {summer vacation & all that..} & it was nice to get back into the story, by pre-recording I’m getting to enjoy all the lovely books as well! He writes a one sentence summary after reading the Living Library selections.

Rather than copying the bookmark out of the back of our guide we created a file on the computer that he pulls up. While I love the idea of the bookmark directly in the book & the physical pen to paper we have to adapt some things & this is a simple solution. He types it up & sends me a copy of his sentence for corrections, I make notes of what needs fixing, if needed, & that’s that. He prints it all out once the book is finished & files it in his notebook.

I had assigned him to pick up with Fundamentals of Literature, but he was already ahead of schedule. I thought he had been, but as I wasn’t positive I’d jotted it in his planner for him. In the end he had none to do that first week which was probably a bit nicer for getting back into the swing of our schedule.

Rather interestingly we had this family discussion over the weekend {no clue what started it} about The Dead Sea Scrolls & how not all sights claimed to be “real” in Israel are truely Biblically based. We also discussed many other angles of both topics, & then I mentioned that a friend was currently in Israel & if they reminded me I’d share some of her photos with them..

Well, this week in his Archeology book we read about these very topics! It was really rather funny after our discussion to see them pop up. In fact, he had a writing assignment on the Dead Sea Scrolls this week too. It wasn’t his best work, but it was well done considering our lengthy summer holidays.

Lastly he had a half dozen things or so to put in his Book Of Centuries. He has a few portraits each week & then also some things to jot on various lines in other areas. He had a variety of dates to deal with that were rather spread out based on the discover of those Dead Sea Scrolls.

We ended up saving all the video watching for Thursday, & the boys joined each other for that. Jayde’s DVD had some info about events leading up to the French & Indian War on his video including some more info about The Great Awakening. It reminded me I had a couple of PBS Documentaries on the shelf I need to pull out for him.

Morgan is still working through the Reader’s Digest DVDs as they are scheduled through his HOD programme. We were a little confused on the DVD we watched this week as it felt out of place, perhaps because our minds were totally enraptured with the aligning of the Dead Sea Scroll reading & our family chat, or even the sights within Israel. But the DVD was more about how various religious groups celebrate the Easter holiday & so how many of them walk the path believed to have been the path Jesus would have walked on his way to Golgotha.

Thursday the kids also helped make dinner, okay actually pretty much everyone but me made dinner. Jayden made burgers & cooked them on his sandwich toaster, he was going to do them outside on the bbq, but we were in a fire ban & he was worried about that. {If you’re curious, a gas bbq is allowed, but you have to be sure it is 1 meter away from anything that could be considered flammable..} Morgan made fries in the air fryer & sliced up veggies, we usually don’t use bread on our burgers, but put them on salad on our plate.

Morgan didn’t work on science this week, as he eases back into things. Both boys did tackle math & worked on Bible studies, but I seem to have taken more pictures of books than children this week. I might need to work on that for next week!

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