You haven’t been a fly on the wall of our homeschool for a while so I’ll invite you in to spend today with us.
I got up nice and early – 8.30am is early in my world – and pottered around doing morning routines before waking my men at 9 (they rarely fall asleep before 10 or 11pm although they are always in bed with their lights out).
The boys had to make their beds, get dressed and tidy their room before leaving it…well that’s the plan and yet I still have to call them back into their rooms more than once.
As I put away the dishes and made breakfast (Vegemite toast, strawberries and milk if you were wondering) for everyone I ran through our memory repertoire with my little men. Before sitting down to eat we had reviewed our previous Latin vocabulary and verbs, the books of the Bible, our Bible verses and Ten Commandments.
Over breakfast the boys continued with their memory work skip counting in 3s, 4s, 6s and 7s, revising the parts of speech grammar definitions, their poems, the names of all of the 2D and 3D shapes (easy and hard), various measurement conversions (time, length, weight), addition facts, all of the countries in Europe, their Days in Each Month poem and today I pulled out our continent, oceans and lines chart and had the boys review it as well. They were a little rusty so it’ll stay in our daily review section for a while. Brayden also chanted through his blends poster and Ethan reviewed his problem spelling list.
As Brayden likes to forge ahead quickly in his memory work he insisted that we add some new books of the Bible to their current repertoire so I suggested that we listen to the Books of the Bible song I found on youtube. Of course this led to us watching several other versions before I could get us back on track for the day.
After dishes, teeth brushing and mail box checking (three new books – whoohoo – “Amish Proverbs“, “That Crumpled Paper Was Due Last Week” and “Don Quixote“) I made myself comfortable on the couch while the boys spread out on the mat. Brayden was lining up dominoes and Ethan was slowly riding his gyrocar up and down the room while they listened to me read (Little Men rarely sit still. They need to move to learn.)
First we read from the Bible. We have moved on from Children’s Bibles to the “real” thing so we read and discuss. We also read a chapter of “Herein Is Love: Genesis“. This is a brilliant book…based on what we’ve read of it so far. Today we read about how humans are not animals and the author showed us how our creation was more special than the animals. He ‘spoke’ the rest of creation into existence but He ‘formed’ us, breathed life into us and made us in His image. His connection with us was special. We had a huge discussion about this. Did I mention how much we’re enjoying this book?
Next up we did another lesson from Rod and Staff Grammar. We do this orally. Today we read about paragraphs and topic sentences.
We also added two chapters’ worth of new Latin vocabulary to our repertoire. Usually we complete our notebooking pages when we introduce the new vocabulary but this time I wanted to switch things around and complete the bookwork once the vocabulary was a little more familiar. All we did today was listen to the songs and repeat the new vocabulary. We are currently learning the parts of the body.
We then read two chapters of “Castaway Convict” which I heard about at Aussie Pumpkin Patch. The boys are really getting into this story. They soooo love their read alouds. We always have several on the go at any one time and yet the boys somehow manage to keep all of the details straight in their head.
By this point in the day I figured we should start some work. Reading isn’t work to us. My boys will sit and listen all day if I let them but at some point they have to learn to do Math and how to read and write. So I set them up with their Math for the day. Each had 60 multiplication facts to answer, their Dailies to complete and a Singapore Math exercise to do. Brayden took his bundle of work off to a desk in the play room and Ethan snuggled up on the couch. I played ping pong between the two for a while but once they were on task I set to work emptying the fish tank of the smelly dead and dying moths.
Somehow this Math dragged out for a length of time that is too embarrassing to share. It didn’t help that boys kept coming to see what I was doing with the moths and tank and offering to help (interesting how they rarely offer to help when there isn’t work they are avoiding…hmmmm.)
Oh boy. I just remembered that Ethan was supposed to finish his Singapore Math after school for punishment. In the end I set a reasonable time limit and he spent so much time arguing over it that the time lapsed and…well I forgot the punishment. Oh well. We’ll start fresh tomorrow.
Over lunch the boys watched an episode of “Backyard Science” which they love, while I listened to an audio (well half of) by the Boyers, “Proverbs – God’s Character Curriculum” and drooled over the latest Light and Life book catalogue that came in the mail the other day.
After lunch we started with Language. I made a pile of each boys’ work and sent them off with bits and pieces. I gave Brayden independent work (6 pages of Primary Phonics work pages and handwriting) so I could work with Ethan first.
I watched Ethan as he completed his handwriting. He is learning cursive using Bible verses I printed in Qld Cursive for him.
He then orally completed his daily spelling quiz from Sequential Spelling. Following this he was ready to head off and work independently on an IEW task. He is working on Unit 4 which is report writing. Today I wanted him to highlight the repeated and reflected words in each topic and clincher sentence in three separate sources about ants. He then had to make a list of the topics that the sources covered. Tomorrow he’ll select one of these topics and write a draft paragraph about it. I was so impressed with how well Ethan did this task without assistance.
While Ethan was off working hard, it was Brayden’s turn to work with me. Homeschooling more than one is a juggling act of your time. After I checked the work Brayden had completed and helped him with the questions he needed assistance with, we sat at the dining room table together and he did his first dictation using sentences from The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading (thanks for the great idea Susan). We started with a nice simple one. He breezed through it.
Finally Brayden sat with me on the couch and read lists of words starting with blends from “The Webster Speller” and then a simple reader of his choice from our Reading A-Z collection. Of course when given free reign he often picks the easiest one on offer but that’s okay. Eventually he’ll pick more challenging titles. Ordinarily we read at least two readers but the day was getting away from us and motivation was waning.
Once all of our Language lessons were completed we snuggled on the couch to read a little more. We read several segments from Exploring Creation with Zoology 3. We read about DNA and genes and more about canines. Before we finished the chapter (which was the plan) our interest faded and Daddy came home so we abandoned ship for the day.
Strangely enough they were still keen to do the promised drawing lesson so everyone collected their resources and pulled up a chair at the computer. Okay well there was a melt down from one little man as Daddy was using the chair that he usually uses during drawing classes – actually I think he was tired and needed to finish up for the day but he really wanted to do the lesson. Once he gathered himself together he was right. We each draw a monster in a trash can and a bubble burping dragon. We love Mark Kistler’s online drawing subscription.
So that was our school day. We finished much later than we normally do (after 4pm) but that’s what happens when you decide to clean a fish tank in the middle of the day and your students can’t concentrate on their Math.
While I packed up the art resources little men disappeared in various directions. One boy put his nose back in his library book and took notes on HTML. Later he watched a dvd about HTML. The other little man headed to the play room and pulled out various Fisher Price Little People toys (yes he still enjoys them occasionally) and included his Star Wars figurine collection in the game and later asked to watch a dvd. (Ordinarily they’d play outside but the weather was miserable.) Meanwhile I dragged out the Wii Fit board for some exercise, swept the house, finished cleaning the fish tank, set it to dry and then made homemade pizza for tea.
After tea little men were herded into showers and then Daddy took over the night time routine and read to them from their novel “The Odyssey“. Ethan then read a a chapter from his current “Will Solvit” book while Brayden browsed through his own basket of picture books in his bed. Add in a million excuses to be out of their bedrooms and you’ll have a pretty good picture of our evening.
Currently it’s almost midnight so I best head off before you start peeking into my tomorrow as well. Hope you enjoyed your day with us. Come again to visit.