Our Term 2 Summary

27 Jun

At the end of each term I type up a little summary of what each boy has completed.  I find it useful to include with my reporting to give a quick summary of the work we’ve completed (rather than reading through my journals).  But its true value is in showing how much we have achieved and in what areas we need to do more work.  I always feel better about our term’s work after typing up these summaries.  Seeing the reality of what we’ve done on paper is always more encouraging than what my brain was telling me.  However it works the opposite way in the areas I’ve neglected.  When I pull my head out of the sand to look at what we actually accomplished in some subject areas, it gives me the appropriate kick in the pants that I need to make changes for the coming term.  (Reckon we’ll have to do something about Music next term.)

Since I know you’re curious, I’ve included Ethan’s summary for this term (7 weeks worth).  Brayden’s is almost identical except for a handful of Language and Math things so I haven’t included his.

Happy browsing   🙂




*  reviewed our skip counting patterns (3s, 4s and 6s) every morning and added in the 7s later in the term

*  reviewed our addition facts orally every morning.  We have a chart and we quickly run through them all to limbo up the brain

*  reviewed our multiplication facts, focusing on the 2s, 3s, 10s and 11s.  We’re ready to move onto a new set next term.  We used speed tests, oral review and the Flashmaster.

*  occasionally reviewed our “Day in the Month” poem

*  practised setting out and answering algorithms in our grid books

*  learned how to do long division and completed at least each day for review

*  learned how to do short division, with and without remainders

*  completed the current Singapore workbook (focused on mental strategies to solve multiplication algorithms; division algorithms with and without remainders; and plenty of related word problems)

*  completed Dailies several times a week (our Dailies page contained 2 addition algorithms with regrouping, 2 subtraction algorithms with regrouping, 2 multiplication algorithms,  2 long division algorithms and a word problem)

*  watched an episode of Cyberchase each week:

Castleblanca – about using data
A Day At the Spa – about combinations
Return to Sensible Flats – about line graphs
Less Than Zero – about negative numbers
Cool It – about liquid volume
Eureeka – about 2D and 3D geometry
Problem Solving in Shangri-La – about problem solving
Find Those Gleamers – about algebra
Of All the Luck – about logic

*  explored and discussed 2D and 3D shapes (specifically angles, faces, edges, vertices, apex etc)

*  read and discussed “Sir Cumference and the First Round Table” (about geometry, circumference, diameter, radius, area of rectangle, parallelograms, triangles, and circles)

*  read and discussed “Sir Cumference and the Sword in the Cone” (about geometry, geometric solids, edges, vertices, faces, pyramid, cubes, rectangular prisms, triangular prisms, cylinders, and cones)

*  read and discussed “Mummy Math” (about geometric solids, faces, edges and vertices)

*  read an adapted version of “Flatland”, watched a youtube clip about Flatland and watched the Flatland movie.  Discussed dimensions.

*  played matching games with 3D shape descriptions, 3D cross sections and 3D shape examples

*  created 2D and 3D shapes with Zome construction set

*  completed the Naplan Math test at home as an activity rather than a test




*  orally reviewed the syllabary every morning, and occasionally wrote the syllables on paper

*  reviewed (daily) and learned the poem “My Gift” and started a new poem, “Hearts are Like Doors”

*  reviewed the grammar definitions that we are memorising (specifically nouns, types of nouns, verbs, adjectives, pronouns etc)

*  studied and drilled word families for spelling each day, orally and occasionally in writing

*  completed lessons in Rod and Staff each day (completed activities on different types of plurals, different uses of commas, pronouns and verbs)

*  practised cursive by tracing a model with his finger and then transferring the image formed in his mind onto paper

*  completed both the Language Conventions and Reading components of the Naplan test at home as an activity rather than a test

*  practised elaborating/dressing up short sentences with adverbs, strong verbs, quality adjectives, and adjectival and adverbially clauses

*  outlined, drafted, dressed up and completed 4 writing pieces from Unit 3 of IEW

*  read one chapter from a novel aloud to Daddy each night from the Battle Boy series

Aztec Attack (Battle Boy 5)
Battle Bust-Up (Battle Boy 6)
Vampire Virus (Battle Boy 7)
Chariot Charge (Battle Boy 8 )
White War (Battle Boy 9)
Caveman Bash (Battle Boy 10)

*  every night Daddy read aloud from Box Car Children novels

*  listened to the following audio stories when driving in the car

The Robber’s Cave (Lamplighter Radio Drama series 2)
The Boy of Mount Rhigi (Lamplighter Radio Drama series 2)
finished Father and I Were Ranchers – from the Little Britches series
Man of the Family – from the Little Britches series
The Home Ranch – from the Little Britches series
The Fields of Home – from the Little Britches series

*  Ethan read silently each night in bed and completed the following titles:

Berenstain Bears and the Perfect Crime
Berenstain Bear Scouts and the Terrible Talking Termite
Berenstain Bears and the Drug Free Zone
Berenstain Bears and the Showdown at Chainsaw Gap
Berenstain Bears and the Dress Code
Berenstain Bears and the Red-Handed Thief
Berenstain Bears and the Humungous Pumpkin
Berenstain Bear Scouts and the Run-a-Muck Robot
Berenstain Bear Scouts Meet Big Paw
Berenstain Bear Scouts and the Ice Monster
Berenstain Bear Scouts in Giant Bat Cave
Berenstain Bear Scouts and the Sci-Fi Pizza
Berenstain Bear Scouts and the Backscratchers
Berenstain Bears Accept No Substitutes
Berenstain Bears Phenom in the Family
Berenstain Bears and the Wheelchair Commando
Toothpaste Millionaire
2 Real 2000
The Paw Thing
Singenpoo Strikes Again
Singenpoo Shoots Through
Singenpoo’s Secret Weapon
Diary of a Killer Cat
The Return of the Killer Cat
The Killer Cat Strikes Back
The Killer Cat’s Birthday Bash
The Killer Cat’s Christmas




*  reviewed all of our vocabulary  each morning

*  completed two new lessons which had twice as much vocabulary as normal which took us longer to memorise

*  memorised the Latin conjugations for “sum” – to be

*  explored Latin words in the English language




*  over the term we read:

Lizzie and the Red Coats (finished) – novel
I Wish I’d Sailed With Captain Cook – picture book
Avoid Exploring With Captain Cook – picture book
The Goat That Sailed the World – novel
Excuse Me Captain Cook – picture book
Captain Cook – young novel
Meet Grace (Our Australian Girl series) – novel
A Friend for Grace (Our Australian Girl series) – novel
Journal of Watkin Stench – novel

*  made notebook pages about:

The Transit of Venus
Captain Cook’s secret orders
A ‘postcard’ from a sailor on Cook’s ship
Joseph Banks
The highlights of Cook’s voyage

*  drew a map showing Captain Cook’s first voyage

*  added new cards to our history timeline

*  narrated what we’d learned and read to Daddy over dinner most nights

*  toured the Endeavour Ship replica

*  watched snippets of “Captain Cook – Obsession and Discovery” dvd

*  watched most of “The Colony” dvds (excluding scene with bad language)

*  attended a Living History presentation at a school focusing on the Colonial period of Australian History

-heard about the lives of ship Captains, male and female convicts, merchants, teachers, females
-handled the many replicas and antiques the troop bought to show the children

*  explored Brisbane City looking for signs of the past on buildings and statues

*  attended a Vietnam War commemorative service


Studies of Society and Environments (SOSE)


*  watched (and narrated) “Behind the News” each week and often entered opinions on the programs online weekly polls

*  watched episodes of “My Place” and discussed things about the past

*  read “The Island” and discussed boat people and also how authors attempt to make their view yours

*  watched several “For the Junior” episodes although most of these are repeats for us now



*  visited the Science Centre to renew our annual pass and to explore the Mega Watt exhibit again

*  watched “Backyard Science” each week and often selected an activity to complete

*  continued to care for our little gardening project

*  watched various Magic School Bus episodes

*  watched several Richard Hammond’s Blast Lab dvds

*  watched animated videos about electricity, magnets and circuits on Brainpop

*  explored heart beats by placing toothpicks on a vein to see the toothpick move with our pulse

*  created a Mobius strip

*  made cystals, exploring which temperature of water would produce better crystals

*  read “Introducing Electricity”

*  created simple circuits

*  made circuits to explore conductors and insulators and completed a results chart

*  made a notebook page showing which things are conductors and which are insulators

*  completed a comprehension sheet titled “To Flow or Not” about conductors and insulators

*  explored the voltage of batteries, the amps of bulbs, and filaments in light bulbs

*  used a multimeter to measure the voltage and amps in circuits

*  created a table to sort our electrical appliances in essential, important or not necessary categories

*  used knowledge of circuits to create a simple set of traffic lights

*  made different arrangements for simple circuits and created a notebook page of our results




*  read, observed artworks within, and discussed the following picture books:

Behind the Frame
Almost Famous Daisy
Dan’s Angels
Dogs’ Night
Visiting the Art Museum

*  watched episodes of Mister Maker

*  used creative CD roms – Kid Pix and Magic Artist Deluxe

*  use water paints to decorate the rainsticks we made

*  used oil pastels, collage and water paints to create a cityscape with a reflection

*  watched Mark Kistler’s online art lessons and completed two lessons




*  received a ‘cultural’ parcel from an American family

*  reviewed continents, oceans and lines of latitude and longitude occasionally

*  reviewed the names of  European countries every day in our effort to memorise them all

*  explored the map of Australia tracing possible route to Tasmania for a future holiday




*  attended a performance of “My Grandma Lives in Gooligulch”




*  made rainsticks

*  listened to Mozart cds




*  watched “Take on Technology” episodes several times

*  set up their own Hotmail accounts and created a group email account for their friends

*  chatted online with friends

*  helped reformat one of our computers and reinstall software

*  started the curriculum “Beginning Microsoft Small Basic”

*  with a group of friends completed an egg drop challenge – ie. Made a capsule from recyclable materials that would protect a raw egg when dropped from quite a height


Physical Education


*  attended private swimming lessons each week

*  played regularly at various parks with friends

*  went bike riding and scootering with Daddy or with friends

*  went on long walks as a family

*  played ball games with Daddy in the backyard

*  used the trampoline and swings in our backyard frequently




*  went to a birthday party at an indoor play centre and played laser tag, mini golf and traditional party games

*  went with a large group of homeschoolers to the park three times

*  went with a group of homeschoolers to the theatre and afterwards played at the park for the afternoon

*  spent the day with two homeschooling families for a technology challenge and also spent a lot of time creating imaginative games  (eg shops, banks)

*  spent one afternoon a week with a homeschooling family either visiting at each others’ homes, at bike parks or parks

*  went to the park fortnightly with another homeschooling family

*  played with the neighbourhood children on occasion


Posted by on June 27, 2011 in Homeschooling Days


10 responses to “Our Term 2 Summary

  1. Jackie

    June 28, 2011 at 4:51 am

    Very comprehensive list! It looks and sounds like your kids had a wonderful learning year. Great hands-on projects. I love the toothpick heartbeat experiment. I’ve never thought about that one. Thanks for sharing it.

    Just reading your list reminds me of why homeschooling is so great. I dare to say that your kids wouldn’t have done nearly as much in pb school, or at least had nearly as much fun. I bet they have retained most everything, too!

    We use Teaching Textbooks ( and Time4Learning ( as our core curriculum and love and recommend them both. One of the benefits of T4L is that it does all the record keeping for me!!!! I can print off the reports or download them to my computer or a jump drive. It works great for me.

    Best wishes for an exciting summer.

    My Attempt at Blogging

  2. Sarah

    June 28, 2011 at 12:14 pm

    Oh my you are so much more organised than me. I have been thinking about doing a term summery and can’t even remember half the stuff we did because I can’t fine were I recorded it.

  3. April

    June 28, 2011 at 1:03 pm

    You have been busy! I like this idea… It would be so beneficial with regards to HEU reporting. Speaking of HEU, did you ever get your review back from them? It has almost been six months since I posted mine and still nothing 😦

  4. Tracey

    June 28, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    That’s the thing about record keeping – we really do forget. We think we’ll just write it down later but later comes and we’re left scratching our head. I’ve learned this the hard way. It’s taken me several years to get into a good routine for record keeping. I plan our days prior in note form in a diary, ticking off what we achieve and adding in any extras. Then at the end of the week I sit down and type up in a tad more detail what we did and how it worked out. Now I could leave it at that as the end of the week journal is more detailed than my summary but who is going to read through all of it. Not me. Hehehe. I look at the pictures to reminisce. So the summary works better for when I’m evaluating our term in regards to what we achieved and didn’t achieve.

    While the HEU only require a few samples that show progress, I think the summaries give them a better picture of the environment the samples came from.

    And no, I haven’t received any word on my HEU program or report. We’re at the 6 month point and I don’t expect to hear from them for a while yet. It’s totally ridiculous but on the other hand I’m very glad they are so hands off.

  5. bernadette

    July 3, 2011 at 11:43 pm

    it’s crazy the difference between the states, in moderating homeschoolers. i believe there are only a handful of staff for all of Qld, hence your delays. Whereas in WA there are a handful of staff per district! And i think there are at least 10 – 15 districts. no programmes or ‘record keeping’ required, just a yearly meeting, to chat about your journey. though i hear SA is the hardest, apparently you don’t much room to move within the curriculum?? and they get regular meetings?? Certainly easier here for me as each child comes into school age 😉

  6. Mrs. McAwesome

    July 6, 2011 at 2:35 pm

    are you able to explain how you do your daily latin vocab reviews? I am really interested in doing that – but can’t figure out how to go about it. Thanks so much.

    • Tracey

      July 6, 2011 at 2:54 pm

      I keep it really simple. Over breakfast I say the English words and the boys say the Latin. Oh and I make sure to alternate each day so the next day I’ll give them the Latin and they give me the English. I have a list of all the vocabulary we’ve learned to jog my memory but we’ve got to the point now that I know it as well as the boys.

      Generally we start the review with the words we’ve most recently learned, then I throw in the words I know we often stumble on, followed by a stack of random other words. Some days we can go through them all – each boy does half – other days I might just review the first chunk with them and then the second chunk the next day. It depends on the time we have available. There’s not so many on the list that we need a rigorous system.

      Even when the list grows beyond this point I think we’d still work it this same way with: new words, then troublesome words but rather than selecting random words we would work through methodically reviewing chunks and then mark where we are up to so we can continue from where we are up to. Then when we get to the end we’d start all over again.

      My theory is to keep it simple, otherwise I have to spend time trying to remember the system. Hehehehe.

  7. Mrs. McAwesome

    July 6, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    awesome. Thank you so so so much!

  8. Pauline

    July 11, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    Hi! I have recently found your blog and I think that it is amazing. I truly have enjoyed reading! Your Term of work is truly impressive!!!! And what a good idea to list what you have achieved at the end of each Term. I wanted to ask you if you could give me a little more detail about your latin program… I am doing Getting Started with Latin but I would love to hear how you implement Latin in your daily routine? Thanks so much for your time! Pauline in Queensland “O)

  9. Tracey

    July 11, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    Hi Pauline,
    I’m glad you’ve enjoyed my blog.

    I highly recommend making a list of everything you’ve achieved in a term. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much you’ve actually achieved. I always am.

    I use Songschool Latin, mixed with my own activity pages and daily review (as described above) for Latin at the moment. I have a post, with pretty pictures (hehehe), about our latin program here: We take it pretty casually at present. I want the boys to enjoy learning vocabulary in a second language before bombarding them with grammar and the nitty gritty so I’m pretty pleased with our first latin curriculum. I must say, the most important feature of our program is the daily review.


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