We had a relaxing but productive week this week. A great start to the term. I always say that your first week should set the tone for the rest of the term…unless it’s a bad week and then you should just wipe it from memory and try again. You’ve gotta get a good one eventually.
This term I’m going to streamline some of our lessons and focus more on our current goals. I keep falling into the trap of trying to do everything right now.
In Language we have one focus for each boy this term. Ethan will work on writing and Brayden will work on reading. Cursive handwriting and spelling activities will form a part of Ethan’s writing focus, and phonics will compliment Brayden’s reading focus. But all the other good stuff has been set aside for the moment as I’m starting to think that it might not be the wisest thing to try and do it all at once. With our extra time we can focus on those things that are most important at the current time.
As a result of our educational decluttering we had time and motivation each school day this week to complete a piece of writing. With guidance from our IEW curriculum this was the piece that Ethan wrote yesterday:
The Foolish Donkey Falls
A donkey was being driven briskly down a mountainside. He had just spied his stall at the foot of the mountain. He decided to go on a shortcut which was over the nearest cliff. His master leaped forward furiously and caught the donkey’s tail. It was a stubborn donkey which is why it continued to pull. “Okay. Go your own way you silly beast and watch where it leads you,” warned his master. So the foolish donkey went head over heels down his way and that was the end of him.
I’m so pleased with his progress in writing and I’m absolutely loving IEW.
We’re going to enjoy a lot of reading this term too. We love our books. I’m stepping out a bit from our Story of the World text and selecting chapters of significance and finding memorable picture books and novels to bring the time periods to life. We’ve always read a lot of extra titles but at the same time we’ve always stuck closely to the text. I’m feeling rather ruthless at present and am thrilled about stepping out from the security of our text. It’s an exciting term. Already this week we’ve read two short novels and are half way through our third. That’s an added bonus of cutting out all the frills and fluff in our routine…more time to read!
I also released us from our Chemistry unit.
We’d enjoyed what we had already covered but not being “complete” was holding me hostage to the topic. After asking myself “why” and “who says we have to” I moved us on to our new topic – Physics.
This week we had a blast reading about Galileo and dropping all sorts of objects from great heights and watching them land at the same time.
We dabbled in a little Geography with the start of the Commonwealth Games in India. My boys and I stayed up and watched part of the opening ceremony. They were so excited and intrigued about people in other places in the world being awake at that hour. But the Indians switched around the usual structure of the opening ceremony and put all of the speeches and arrival of the athletes at the beginning BEFORE the celebrations. By the end of all this we couldn’t stay awake any longer and had to record the “good” stuff to watch later anyway!
The Australian national anthem has been our music focus for the week. I’ve heard it so often this week. No, not from hearing it on the winning podium at the Games, (although we have heard it there a LOT too) but from Ethan playing it on the CD player over and over. I’m sure he’s worn the track right off the disc…at least that’s what I’m hoping might happen…and SOON pleeeease.
We did Math each day too of course. Some of our Math comes from daily habits such as reviewing skip counting patterns, practising our number facts orally and completing a page of daily Math practise in the booklet I made the boys.
As we’ve completed most of our current Singapore Math texts, this term we’re going to work on reviewing the concepts we’ve learned rather than forging ahead. Ethan’s working through his Singapore Math Intensive Practise text and Brayden is using his Mathletics subscription (since we bought it and haven’t used it at all this year). My key Math goals for the term are to cement our number facts and times tables and review each of the new concepts we learned this year.
We also had a day out with dear homeschooling friends. We do this with these families once a term and decided that it would be a nice way to start Term 4…and it was! The boys had a wonderful time painting rocks, playing “families” with the girls, and preparing trampolining “shows” to present to the Mummies. This day’s focus is about socialisation for Mummies though. Homeschooling Mummies need support from each other too. I think we tend to forget that, which is a shame. These days are so refreshing and lovely. We always coming away from them feeling renewed and full of enthusiasm, which is why it was a lovely way to start Term 4.
Looking back at it this first week of the term I feel content that it was a good start, even when I consider some of the frustrations we worked through over the week. Even good weeks have non-gleaming parts though. That’s what makes the shiny bits seem to shine more.