Week In Review 2019: Week 4

Our first month of school is under our belts, and crazily enough the first month of 2019 is also under our belts. This also means that in less than 2 weeks our eldest turns 18, where on earth did the time go?!

This week we had a public holiday on Monday to recognise Australia Day, which was a little silly because Australia Day fell on Saturday, but alas the government felt need to be sure we all had a day off from work.. or something like that.

While we didn’t attend to all our studies on Monday we did attend to a few things, amongst which was math. Most of the rest of our day was spent putting the house back in order and stacking up wood from the shrubs we trimmed.

Ahh, the story of our shrubs is a long one and best saved for another day, but they are very very tall and need much taming. We opted to thin them out just a little bit to prevent the neighbour doing further damage to them, and it took us nearly the whole weekend!

There were some groans about having to attend to math on a “public holiday” so I attempted to woo them with leftover {allergy friend} brownies I’d made for Australia Day. One child was delighted, the other snubbed them. Ahh well, you simply can’t win them all with brownies, but a good Pavlova often does the trick. 
One of the boys has been watching the new Carmen SanDiego shows on Netflix and in one episode “Carmen” jumped on a snowmobile to make her escape, the detective in pursuit caught up with her in a matter of seconds to which someone was overheard muttering, “Clearly the writers didn’t do enough Algebra problems.” Oh goodness did I laugh!

The crazy racoon will pop up every so many lessons with TT, or some other encouraging note or joke, and each time it’s happened I’ve tried to snag a photo with 0 luck. This week I managed one and sent the photo through our Family Chat which confused poor Mr S who was at work and had 0 clues what was going on.

Another full week of history, which felt a considerably heavier load this week with not attending to it on Monday. We will likely have a day or two to catch-up with in our final week of term, but that’s all right, I’d rather enjoy the journey then spend the days rushing through them.

We’re still working our way through The Cat Of Bubastes, and will wrap that up next week. I opted to slow the pace for a variety of reasons, which is lovely but also means we will likely have to scrap a few of the Living Library books in order to be able to do that with future books, but that’s fine. We’ve previously read a few that were planned.

We have 8 chapters left in our first PAC booklet, which actually surprised me because it looked like a lot less. I can only presume that a few of the chapters ahead will be short, not that any of the chapters have been super long yet. We’re still enjoying the little booklets and feel they give a more balanced view of things than Unveiling The Kings Of Israel does.

We continued our voyage with Unveiling The Kings Of Israel this week, we still found small issues with it, but it was much less than in previous weeks. However the author spent more time speaking to his personal travels, history {from his changed date system}, and other author’s writings which were all interesting to read.

We also found that we had more timeline figures to add to our Portrait Gallery, but it was also stated that if you no longer had room {we didn’t} to put them on the actual timeline lines. We did, but I have to confess they seem big and clunky there. Had we known we could have printed them at a slightly smaller size to help it fit better. Oh well, perfection is not the goal!

We had a lot more mapping in our notebooking pages this week, which the boys enjoyed, compared to writing. Not that they don’t like the writing aspect, although they felt slightly frustrated by this weeks written narration as the information provided was very skimpy. We’ve read about Hammurabi in previous trips through World History, so they weren’t lacking for knowledge, but sticking with the assignment they tried to draw from the information provided.

If you’re astute you’ll notice that the above photo strip is the same as last week.. that’s not from a lack of attending to our Language Arts, but more the lack of Mamma remembering to take photos. We’re still enjoying our time with Just David, although honestly I’d like to snatch the book and go curl up somewhere with it because I want to see where it’s taking us! One of my boys isn’t as impressed but he confessed he’s struggling with the narrator of the book, so I read it aloud a few days.

They’ve made enough progress on their first poem that they were able to use the “missing words” side of the card to practice with this week, one still has a bit of work to do with his geography card, but the other has them down pat. Not a huge shocker. They both have the Latin/Greek down too.

This week we read about Ralph Waldo Emerson, and discussed some of his poetry’s deeper meanings. The kids also had their first dose of sentence diagramming which they didn’t bat an eye out after years of IEW which gave them the confidence to recognise parts of speech. They still need to attend to an annotation lesson, but it will keep for another day. They also worked on a few other small writing projects with the curriculum, there’s a bit more meat in there than it appears upon first glance.

We continued with our Art History lessons this week wrapping up Disc 2 with Mr Stebbing and jumping into Short Lessons In Art History which has small bios about various authors. This meant we also reached a new section of our Art Gallery Notebooking Pages which made for a nice change. These are the only pages we aren’t typing on, the kids took turns labelling the art work this week. Morgan is still working on his Tiffany Window, I’m excited to see the finished project! 
We found that some of the description of the Madonna with Child and Virtues were difficult to see in the small, but beautiful, art work on the notebooking page so I had a quick google search and found a lovely large photo of it on Wikimedia which allowed us to see all the wonderful details that were being described to us. 
We made a small switch, yes already, to our curriculum. We were given the opportunity to try out Guest Hollow Chemistry, which had me thrilled to bits as his was something I’d intended to go with in the first place, and yet didn’t originally run with. The curriculum is put together with lots of lovely book choices, videos, and a hefty workbook for the students.

It comes with gobs of videos suggestions and link, practical kitchen experiments {okay, cooking!}, and the ability to make this curriculum cover a few credits that the boys need for high school so I was  beyond excited to give this a whirl. I know we’re still in what’s often dubbed “the honeymoon” period, but my goodness did we have fun! My science hater didn’t complain once, and may have chuckled, oohed, and ahhed.

We’re loving Dr Joe And What You Didn’t Know which is loaded with fun questions that have surprising answers. While I really do prefer physical books for most things we are relying on an Audible copy merely because we wanted to dig into this programme NOW and that was the quickest way to get the book as our library doesn’t have it. We’re also digging into Culinary Reactions, which is also in audio format for the same reason. We learned about weighing and measuring ingredients and why it matters and affects the outcome from a chemical reaction, we learned about calories, and foams.. With the big experiment this week being to make bread, we made our traditional Buckwheat Bread recipe which we turned into pizza crust, my science hating child was over the moon giddy.

We watched a load of small clips on YouTube which I put together on watch lists on YouTube to make it easier to pull them up each day and mirror them from a device to our tv. It also cuts down on the race to find the right link, and allows an auto-play feature to work on the playlists. We watched Mr Brady with the crazy hair get very excited about all kinds of elements, and his helper blow up bubbles made of helium. We also watched a Mythbusters Episode about the Hindenburg and possibilities of how/why it might have blown up.

Honestly, it was one of the best weeks of science we’ve had in a while, mostly because everyone was keen to attend to the lessons!

We also decided to take our own route with health.. after much prayer, internal debates, and some research we’ve decided to take a much different route with health. The reality is that we had a very thorough year of biology last year which covered reproduction on an absurdly crazy amount of levels, as well as different functions of the body. Frankly we’re not interested in a health curriculum that is repeating everything we learned last year. So after coming up with a plan of action I sat the boys down and explained that amongst a few other requirements for the year I would be emailing them articles that they’d be required to read and then we’d be discussing them the following day. They were pretty excited about it, I may or may not share the articles and other requirements as we attempt this voyage.

All up we had a good week despite the interruption on Monday. We decided that we like it better when interruptions and holidays happen on Fridays vs Mondays. We spent the week feeling far less rushed to accomplish things than we do when they occur on Mondays, and yet it’s all the same amount of time really isn’t it? 

Week In Review 2019: Week 3

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!

Week In Review 2019: Week 2

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.

Week In Review 2019: Week 1

Wow, hasn’t time flown by, it seems like yesterday I was living in a tiny little 2 bedroom apartment kicked back on an oversized sofa reading through Cathy Duffy’s 100 Top Homeschool Picks as I debated what curriculum to use with my children.

12 years later my eldest is nearly done with high school, I can only dream of that oversized sofa which I long ago donated to Goodwill upon leaving the USA, and Cathy Duffy now has 102 Top Homeschool Picks book out.

Yet, here we are, two high schoolers in our little school. The end is in sight for this homeschooling Mamma and she faces it with a bag of mixed emotions that range from fear to delight. You know the old saying, “The days are long and the years are short?” Oh how I hated that saying when my boys were little, when the days were incredibly long and I was worn and weary dying for bedtime at 3pm, but now that I have teenagers who stay up later than I do I fully understand that statement.

The days truely were long in the beginning, and honestly some still are, but my haven’t the years flown by? Where did they go, and how did they slide by me so fast?

On Monday we started our 2019 school year after a long and delicious summer break in which we did a lot of nothing and a little of everything. Many rounds of Dutch Blitz were had, many episodes of Tim Hawkins humour were watched, memories were reflected upon, goals were set for the new year, and hours were spent watching the stars come out.

No one was entirely ready to go back to the grindstone, although a part of all of us craves the routine of normal. There was sighing and gnashing of teeth as each of us set our alarms for the beginning of a new work and school year.

And so we began our very light start back to business. We intended to only worry about: our maths, which always takes forever to get into the swing of; Bible, because what’s a day if it’s not started off on the right foot; and Health, the elective no one cares about but is a pesky requirement covered in a, let’s be honest, dreary manner.

Math was a little rocky on day 1 after such a long break, we really did have the best of intentions to be about it over the summer holidays, but we were kept on our toes with Nana’s needs & we also needed that space to simply rest. I have one who slipped back in quite easily without having forgotten much, & another who struggled a bit so we slid him into half lessons as his brain stretches and strengthens.

Bible was a bit of an interesting thing for us. We are use to, in years gone by, having a Bible Reading Plan provided for us, but for many reasons which will be explained in a very thorough upcoming review, we are no longer using the Sonlight Curriculum. I ended up digging out an older Bible Plan in which a student/family can read the Bible through in 180 days, as in a school year, to get us through the week. While we enjoyed it, I think the pace is a bit full-on and then remembered on oh, you know, Saturday, what my origional Bible plans were. Come on, admit it you’ve had weeks like that too! Fear not, I’ve slipped those plans into action for next week and you’ll learn about them then.

Health was alright. I really expected one of mine to be a tad fussy about this, although we’ve had multiple long chats about high school requirements and how some you’re stuck with and some you get to pick and choose so he was well briefed on what to expect. The only issue he ended up happening was that I asked him to answer a health question before 11am. You heard that snort, right?

The health is scheduled in an interesting manner with HOD, which really means a manner that seems odd to us, but then keep in mind we weren’t reading history this week so we may feel different once we get into the full swing of things. Either way, we ended up reading three days worth in one day, so on Thursday when the kids crowded in with pets and smoothies and quilts we listened to our Bible reading and then I announced that aside from math I didn’t have anything else for them that day and suggested we dig into our Art History Curriculum.

My resident artist is so very excited about this curriculum he was REALLY gung-ho to jump in with both feet. Okay, so I’m not going to lie. When I told him this curriculum was on tabs this year he had a long list of artists he hoped were covered {they aren’t all}, and when it arrived I had to pry it from his hands so I could actually verify if it was all accounted for. So, despite the fact that the younger was all for a super short day {as if our days weren’t already short this week!} I vetoed and we watched the first lesson.

It has a slight “older” feel to it, but we really did enjoy it! We also have the Art Notebooking Pages from HOD, but I only purchased one set for my kids as I suspected the resident artist would enjoy them more than the non-artist. Having said that, the questions on them really do lend themselves to great discussions in which both boys took their turns stating their opinions and their reasonings for it, querying the other on aspects they wondered “why” about, and then came up with an answer they were both happy with to write down on the page.

Friday they just tackled math, and then we headed to the library, much later than intended, where they collected holds and other goodies while I hid on the second level and worked on one of my writing projects before making a mad dash to collect Mr S who got out of work early!

Saturday we wrapped up our week with a bit of fun at the beach to beat the insane heat that was making us all feel a lot like wilted lettuce. That water was REALLY cold though, and because the tide was in and just starting to turn it was also very calm. So we played a few crazy silly games all concocted by our youngest before we clambered out and watched a family of black swans make their way ashore while Mr S tried to capture them on film.

Week In Review 17/18: Week 3

We wrapped up our 3rd week of the year on Thursday. It was a slightly disheveled week as we were only in need of finishing up work from the week prior that we’d not accomplished yet. I always feel a little lopsided when that happens, but it really does even out eventually & doesn’t really have any bearing on a good or bad school year either. I think it’s that typical preference for things to be even & well balanced that I have.

The awaited parcel of school supplies & other goodies arrived bright & early Tuesday morning. We were still in the middle of our breakfast routine when it arrived. Beautiful timing really as it meant no waiting around wondering if we should move on with other subjects while we awaited it’s arrival.

It contained Morgan’s science & literature curriculum & we’d hoped it would arrive in good enough speed to start that very day. So much so that after we finished mixed up our smoothies we took the books into the school room to dig into them.

I was a little nervous with the literature as I’d heard a lot of negative reviews, for varying reasons, about it. We, however, very much enjoyed our first lesson, which was actually the first 2 lessons, as scheduled in our guide, together. Basically he’ll read a story a day & then have some questions after to answer. He did the rest of the literature that week on his own meeting up with me afterwards to discuss the answers to the questions. He also gave me the lowdown on the stories he’d read too.

We tried out his new Bible Curriculum which is a bit different than the Inductive Studies we’ve previously done. Each new lesson {spread over 5 days} introduces a new people group to pray for which is lovely & reminds us fondly of our year with Children Around The World when we spent much time in prayer for other nations around the world as well as those brave enough to go minister & protect them.

The study itself was where there was some hesitation, our boy felt that some of the questions didn’t fully match up with the value of the verse that was being read. I suspect it was a content issue, as with our previous studies you often back up a bit & read previous verses to get a grasp of the full picture. On the other hand it could also have just been that he was worried about answering wrong, which is odd because that’s not been a concern for him before in his other studies.

Either way we sat down to discuss the situation & decide what he wanted to do. I don’t want Bible Study to be something he stresses over “getting right” as much as I want to be something he enjoys doing as he searches for what God has to share with him. In the end we decided to lay it aside for the moment & pull out an inductive study. I actually stocked up on a fair amount of the D4Y studies that we didn’t own or that he had done but his younger brother hadn’t.

I knew the studies would be below him, but figured they would still have value & while I do agree with that I felt led to look for something meatier for him but down the same path of familiar study. Our Precept shop in Australia is currently closed until the 14th of next month so I checked out the USA shop & found a series of studies that look more appropriate for his age level. I was more than a little appalled at the international shipping but got rather excited to discover I can obtain them from Book Depository for $0 shipping & no wait time on them to be printed. We’re pretty excited about them, there are ample samples to get you started on the Precept ministries page if you are interested, & before I’m asked I am not purchasing the teacher keys. Check through the sample to see if you’d need it.

He had two video segments to watch on Egypt which were both quite interesting. One was based on a the idea that a portable wheel was how the bricks for the pyramids were moved not sleds, & the same segment argued that they didn’t believe slave labour was used in the making of the pyramids, or at least the one they were currently digging in. The second segment argued that slaves were used, specifically Hebrew, & gave us a bit of a tour of Egypt.

He also wrapped up his lovely notebooking pages for the week, all though now that I’m looking at them I see he didn’t label the Pyramid drawing he did. The drawing is based on the clip with the “wheel” in the DVD we watched.

Jayden also wrapped up his week. He had some science to catch-up on, as well as a full day’s worth of work in his HOD level. We’re not feeling as much love with the science right now, but I suspect it’s because we’ve already read  A Child’s Geography. I’ve opted to use it again because it was a few years ago & I wasn’t entirely sure how much of it he remembered.

We read about Ivan The Great in his history this week. He also had a written narration to do based on that reading which was his only outstanding notebooking assignment. We also caught up in his read aloud Ink On His Fingers, which has been quite an enjoyable read thus far.

We ended up skipping Shakespeare this week, I generally read it aloud to him while he works on the notebooking segment for the reading. Due to our term break we saved the first half of the story to read all in one go this week, but this chest infection I’ve been dealing with was really killing me this week. Lots of irritating coughing while I was trying to read. Afterwards some fellow HOD users shared that our Shakespeare book is available in audio from Librovox!

They both continued working on their math, but due to the lovely cough & wheezing I was sporting I didn’t review their IEW & have them move forward. Hopefully we’ll tackle that next week because our white board is full of notes from the last lesson we left off with!

We’re still working away with our current read aloud, & Bible readings. We selected a new batch of vocabulary words to get ourselves rolling with. the pictures for some of the words this time are downright hilarious. Mind you, I think the pictures make these vocabulary cards to some degree because it helps you visualise the definition. We squeezed in a trip to our local library too as we had books due, but no outing this week as I didn’t think it would be appropriate to share my cough with others.

It was nice to finish everything up & be ready to start fresh come Monday morning. Hopefully my cough will have officially hit the road, because I can’t imagine how annoying it must be listening to me read aloud to kids while I’m hacking every two seconds!