Our third week of school is all wrapped up, we had a few minor bumps this week in our studies and schedule, but nothing major that can’t be ironed out in the weeks ahead. We also had some insane weather here that had us melting where we stood, man do I miss central air conditioning on crazy humid days like that! By the end of the week the air was smoky and the smell of it burns the eyes and throats, our poor little island is on fire and we are in desperate need of rain to help combat it.
We are nearly up to our full schedule; we didn’t have health this week due to how it was oddly scheduled, and we may change tactics with that in the future. One of the boys wants to do a seperate writing curriculum which is not in hand yet either, but excluding those I think we’re up to full speed here which is nice. It gives us an idea of where those bumps are and how to iron them out for the remainder of the term.

It’s always a small challenge to see how our new term will unfold compared to previous ones as we work towards new goals and create new schedules to aid us along that path.

We began Unit 2 this week in HOD’s World History, I’m not really sure why they are called units instead of weeks to be honest. In fact in our home we generally just say week. Ahh, anyway, we had some issues with further readings in Unveiling The Kings Of Israel this week, it’s left us very disappointing as the book is nothing like the description. Sadly, it’s more of a distorted retelling of OT Bible happenings with the very rare and occasional insight into customs at that time. It ends up resulting in far more time being taken on this book as people scramble for Bible saying, “Wait didn’t… really happen?”

I am grateful do have these discussions with my children, without doubt, but I’m really disappointed  in the book being scheduled and used because of the multiple gross errors within. When you know that the Bible is being distorted it leaves you wondering if the archeological and historical information is also being treated in the same manner. Monday was especially hard with this book because the boys had a written narration on the information within the book about Abram, and in the end they reread Abram’s life story from Genesis before attending to the writing. We are super grateful this book is only used for 8 weeks.

We also read a few chapters from the PAC booklet again, it’s amusing to us that we were worried those would be what we’d not enjoy, but thus far we haven’t minded them at all. They’ve shared more historical and/or custom information on the time periods than the previous book which has made it very enjoyable. And they completed their first official Portrait Gallery in their Book of Centuries, it only took 2 years as the BOC lasts for all 4 high school years.

We are still reading through The Cat Of Bubastes, but I confess it’s not one of my favourites. I much preferred the radio production we listened to of this book a couple of years ago by Heirloom Audio, in fact if I were to ever do this level again I’d use that in place of the book. I’m not sure why I’m not enjoying the story, it may be that the chapters are well over 30 minutes each and they are often scheduled ate the rate of 1.5 chapters per day. The boys are enjoying the book though, which is the important part. We also enjoyed this article to understand more about the birthright and blessing that is given to Jacob in Genesis.

We have just a few chapters left in But Don’t All Religions Lead To God, and it’s been sharing this book with my youngest, making it my second trip through myself. It’s funny how upon rereading books you notice things you didn’t previously or things that hit you before hit you harder this time.

I did share this article with my boys when the author claimed Jesus was a refugee, a very common, all be it entirely false, claim. For the nitty gritty to understand the why you’ll need to read the article, but for the quick version Egypt was ruled by Rome, and Roman citizens were not refugees within lands still ruled by them.

I’m excited to wrap up the book next week and jump into the other aspects of it and see how we go. My youngest has far more questions with our readings than the older did, and it’s been enjoyable to have those discussions with him. I’m also hopeful that the next book scheduled will help with some of the questions he’s been asking.

We started our new language arts programme, which thus far has been enjoyable. It’s a little light compared to what we used previously, but at the same time we’re only just starting so we’ll see if that remains the case all the way through or not. I purchased the Physical/Digital combo kit unaware that you would get EVERYTHING in both formats, I also didn’t expect the little booklets to be of such beautiful quality, had I known I’d have ordered 2 sets of booklets and skipped the digital version. I printed the kids out the worksheets they’d need and we’re working through Unit 1 together. With future units they may or may not work solo, but as it’s new they opted to work together for now.

We’re enjoying Just David by Eleanor H. Porter, we’ve read many of her other books and loved them all, but somehow I’d never heard of this one. We indulged ourselves in her mini biography in Unit 1 as well as the first 12 pages of the booklet. We were aiming for 15, but this was one of those minor blimps I was referring to.

The programme comes with Geography, Latin/Greek Roots, and Poetry cards. The objective is to select the ones in your unit and work on them. The Latin/Greek Roots are the same for the whole year, my kids already knew nearly all the words on there with only a half dozen or less being “newish” to them, but they still run through the list each day. The Geography card for the first unit is New England and one has the states down pat, the other just calls everything Rhode Island which cracks us up. They selected the poem Trees by Sergeant Joyce Kilmer and run through it each day as well.

They made it through Lesson 6 in the art history dvd as well, and had matching notebook pages to answer some questions about the information they heard. I find it interesting that my non artsy student was not looking forward to all the “art” this year, but has fully enjoyed watching these dvd and being a part of the daily discussion around them. I confess that I didn’t partake in many/much of the videos this week as I left them to it while I was dashing around dealing with other things, and we met up after they finished to work through the notebooking pages.

We are dragging our first science lesson out over two weeks, which is probably a little bit nutty, but Monday is a public holiday and Mr S will be home to do the first lab with the kids. It’s really a very simple one, but he wanted in on Chemistry this year so I figured it was a great way for him to be a part of things in a fun way. Although he did ask if he had a white lab coat.. I mean to say!

While waiting on the lab the kids finished off their element flash cards and continued to quiz each other. They do really well with the flash cards, but were really disappointed with their practice test results. It’s a practice test though, and I heard at least one of them practicing with the cards slightly differently after his practice run so it’ll be interesting to see how they go on the actual test.

Both boys are doing excelling with their math. One thing we’re enjoying about Teaching Textbook is that each problem can be watched with an explanation of how to work it out if someone gets in a jam, but one of the HUGE drawbacks of it is that the math problems are presented on a YELLOW notepad on the computer. This is a HUGE issue for my Irlen kids who have yellow and red on their no-no colors. {No-no colours, are colours that set their Irlen into hyperdrive..} and with TT’s colours being yellow and orange this can be a huge issue at times. We’d love to see future version of TT allow the student to change the notepad colour just like they can change their buddy and background.

Our struggling student has made huge headways by having him only do every other problem. He’s able to concentrate better on those problems because he’s not being over exposed to the crazy yellow and orange colours. Which in turn boosts the confidence and shows in the work. I’m grateful to have found a way to work with the problem, but man it’d be so awesome if Teaching Textbooks would fix that little notepad!

There was also some foreign language happening, but no pictorial proof, as well as hobbies and kitchen help. Our state is currently on fire which means a total fire ban. We are allowed to use gas grills/barbecues {thankfully} which we took liberty with due to the extreme heat and not wanting to overheat the kitchen. The kids watched the fajitas we cooked one night as well as baked potatoes another, and made the pasta to go with the goulash on a third night. So grateful who kids are who are capable in such matters!

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