Here we are, in week 2 of our school year. We’re still not up to full speed yet, which is all part of the plan. It’s funny because we do start this way every year, but most years I have this nagging voice in the back of my head telling me how I need to do more even though I know the slow start is right for our home. That voice isn’t there this year and I’m grateful not to have to peat it down with a sharpened #2 pencil! Our objective was to add in our history & art this week
We’re using Heart Of Dakota’s World History for both our Fine Arts elective and our history, & I have to be honest I’m rather gushy about the fact that both my kids are combined again. It’s been a long long time since we’ve schooled this way, but after much prayer and discussion this is the choice we made. I’ll also be honest, whether I’ve homeschooled for 2 years of 12 years the new year jitters are always there, but this year’s jitters were the least I’ve felt in a long time as well. I spent a lot of time over our summer holidays in prayer about our new year from curriculum to schedules and back again & the peace that I feel about all of it this year is something I’m so grateful for. There is much to be said about not just planning our your year academically but spiritually too.
Last week I mentioned that we had started off with a plan to read the Bible through in 180 days, but that I’d forgotten about my origional plan for Bible. Isn’t it crazy that I would forget my origional plan? Yet, I did, until I walked over to the book case holding this years books and there was my plan, all neatly organised and awaiting us! That plan was to use the World Cultures And Religions Study from Heart of Dakota’s World Geography.

We already owned it and my eldest hadn’t completed the course, while my youngest hadn’t started it at all.  Pulling it out and using it made sense on many levels so that’s just what we did. We’re using one set of notebooking pages for two kids and typing on them. Interestingly enough, my kids saw this quote twice this week in school, the first time they were shocked that it was something Napoleon said, the second time they just exchanged “the look” and copied it down.

We dug into our history this week with much anticipation of what it would hold, and for the most part we were not dissapointed. We are using the Living Library book set along with the required history books. We had readings from all 4 books above, with our longest readings being in The Cat Of Bubastes, which we are listening to via an audio copy.

It’s a delightful way to start our day with the audio going while we all enjoy our smoothies, for the one amongst us who wakes up latest and needs a good hour to be awake before he’s engaged in discussions this has been a huge help as the chapters are over 30 minutes each and are scheduled out at a pace of 1.5 chapters for our first week.

We read only a small selection from Kings Of Israel and were a little taken aback with some leeway the author took wth the Bible. He makes a rather bold, and disturbing, claim that Sarai would have preferred life in a harem compared to life in a tent. This struck us as absolutely bizarre especially as the reasonings were that she would have had maidservants and not had to attend to marital duties. I reminded the boys of Sarai’s maidservant named Hagar and the results of allow Hagar to fulfil marital duties.. There were a few other claims that really shocked us, but opened up some delightful conversations in our home.

The PAC booklet was one I was a wee bit worried about as my kids haven’t really used textbooks in their school careers, but I admit we’ve actually really enjoyed it. There’s a lot of information shoved into a few short pages and some of it is information we’ve never heard before. Admittedly the quality of the booklet leaves much to be desired, but that doesn’t affect the content.

Finally we read a few pages from Short Lessons From World History. I’m not sure about this book, it seems to be written considerably below the level of the rest of this lovely programme. It is laced with very simplistic sentences, but then will have the occasional complex one thrown in. It will be interesting to see how the book progresses through the year as there are critical thinking questions smattered throughout that are needed for your notebooking pages.

The notebooking page shared above is the same one split in half to make it fit in the collage of photos. My kids are also typing on the history notebooking pages and sharing one set between them for now. This method is working well for us and we discuss the assignment aloud and then work through it. This week’s Written Narration was a little difficult for the boys as the topic covered was based completely on a YE view point, which is not something we are sold on despite our 100% belief in creation. ‘nough said. I do think the boys did a great job pointing on the assignment and following the instructions laid out for them.

Have I mentioned just how much I love having both my kids in the same level yet in this post? Ha, can you tell I’m a little giddy about it or the peace it’s brought us so far this year? I didn’t buy another set of the Book Of Century that HOD offers as we already owned one and I wasn’t sure my eldest was going to want to continue with it, but I knew that the Timeline was something my youngest really loves. However, this year instead of drawing your own as in the younger years you add clips from a specific HSITW cd and then write other dates on the lines. One child prefers to colour so he offered to colour in the figures, while the other was more than delighted to write down the information on the line. 
We had math for both boys this week too, which didn’t REALLY involve cookies, but somehow they ended up on the table while a child was doing a math lesson. I snapped a photo of the cookies instead of the child shouting at the computer. Ha! Both kids have mapped out their current math levels so they’ll finish in June, a couple of weeks apart. For one this is incentive enough to not need reminding to get the lessons done, for the other he’s still not feeling the love. It’s not that he doesn’t love his curriculum, he just doesn’t like math which is kinda crazy because he’s very very good at it and can catch on to new concepts without batting an eye.

In leu of full disclosure my kids aren’t doing ALL the problems in their Teaching Textbook lessons which have on average 25 problems. Rather we are doing only x amount, & that amount depends on what the lesson was about, how many problems were scheduled, and how quickly the child caught on to the concept. I was having them do all the problems, and decided to have the eldest work on only odd or evens {if there are 19 he does odds, if there are 20 or 22 he does evens as the last problem is always a word problem!} and I’m finding that some of the struggles he was having aren’t there. While we are loving the aspects of TT the yellow/orange combo is really rough on his irlen. I’ve no clue if that’s some of the reason for the excess stress or not, but either way doing less has boosted his confidence levels and I’m seeing little to no simple mistakes in his work. Win-win!

We dug into our art courses in full this week. We started the God & The History Of Art last week with the first lesson, and enjoyed watching more this week. We are really enjoying Mr Stebbing’s insight on art, but we did have a minor issue with one lesson this week discussing nudity. There was nothing wrong with the lesson itself, but we heavily disagreed with Mr Stebbing’s statement that, “nudity is our shame.” He used Genesis 3:10 as an example, but Adam & Eve were not ashamed due to their nudity, they were afraid due to their nudity due to the shame of their sin. A mighty difference, and in a world where body image problems abound we paused the video and discussed this in depth before moving on.

We purchased the entire Fine Arts package which included the Art Projects Dvd{s} which are scheduled out. This week Morgan began the Tiffany Window project which walked him through his composition after giving a rather interesting history lesson on Mr Tiffany. I can’t wait to see his finished project! Jayden is sitting this portion of the Fine Arts credit out, although he fully enjoyed watching the artist at work and the history lesson she shared.

Lastly this week we started our lovely science curriculum, Friendly Chemistry. After speaking with Dr Hajda about what we specifically needed, which is a bit different than your needs for Biology, and getting set up with our video lessons, we were ready to roll. The guys have all been looking forward to this for a while and there were no grumbles when I said they needed to grab paper for note taking before we put on the first lecture.

For lesson one’s test the objective is to memorise the first 36, at least, elements. There’s a flashcard “method” both in your manipulative book and on the Friendly Chemistry website, and the boys had a spin at the website version. Then I suggested they make some flash cards similiar to their vocabulary cards, basically adding small pictures/sketches that would help them remember, the above index cards were the result for the first 12. I specifically like the one for boron in which the poor fellow is “bored”, and the magnesium card. The stick figure on the magnesium card is rubbing magnesium cream on his knees, can you tell what this Mamma does after a hard workout? We will continue making more cards on Friday and then the final 12 on Monday giving them a bit more time to review them before they take the test. We still have a lab to do, but that will likely be done next week too.

We also worked on our Total Health programme this week, although you’ll have to take our word for that as I have 0 photos to share. All up we had a really lovely week, and it may be a miracle that the home library, where we also do our learning, was found clean one afternoon. No books askew, quilts {mostly} away, globes back in their places, pillows {mostly} away, etc. I snapped a photo, even if we had dirty dishes to clear out.
%d bloggers like this: