And the Year Begins

04 Feb

Ah the day has been long, extra long since we got up early, and at times it was like dragging boulders up hills.

But the first day is over and the bar has been set.

The new leg of the journey has begun.

First up was class photos.

The Grade Six class…yes, rather an elite school.  We only accept students by birth.

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And our Grade Four class.

Handsome bunch of students, hey?

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Actually well before these photos our day started in bed.  I wake the boys with Bible reading and devotionals.  It’s worked well for us in the past and I like starting the day out with God, before they’ve even lifted their heads off their pillows.  And it gives the boys a reason to lie in for a while.

Today we read two chapters of “Grandpa’s Box”, a book I highly recommend!

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Over breakfast we reviewed our memorisation of the books of the Bible and our past Bible verses.  Well that was depressing.  Somewhere between November and February they lost their brains.  But we pressed on.  Things will improve over the week…I hope.

Once breakfast dishes were in the sink we reviewed our memorisation of the countries of Europe and Asia and introduced South America.  Even my brain was a little rusty this time.  Ah well there’s plenty of time to sweep out the cobwebs.

Oh and we had some “motivational” issues from the crew which had to be “addressed”.

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Little men were then sent to make beds, clean rooms, attend to personal cleanliness and start the washing machine with a load of towels, while I dealt with cleaning up the kitchen.

Thankfully things began to look up at this point.  They returned to our Latin review actually remembering stuff.  Perhaps under all the  junk on their bedroom floor they discovered the contents of their brains.

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They’d found their eager selves too and were competing with each other to answer my Latin questions.  We’re just going back to the beginning of the book and orally reviewing our way through until we’re back up to date.  Then we’ll trudge on and upwards.

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Little Men continued their eager beaver streak and happily (yes, happily) took their multiplication books to their new desks to work, racing each other to finish.  Thankfully it was a tie.

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Facts were followed by algorithms, oomph fading, brains draining.  These took us quite a lot longer than normal as they each needed reminding about everything.  I played ping pong between them both.  Glad I only have the two students!

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Then we started our main Math lesson for the day – Multiplication from Beast Academy, a great review for both of them, but challenging at the same time.  These Beast Academy books are no stroll in the park.  But we love the comic format of the teacher guide.  The boys eagerly curled up on the couch to see what the monsters were up to at their academy.  They loved “Sargeant Rote”.   He sounded worse than me!  Hehehe.

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In the lesson we had to fill in a Times Tables chart.  Our memorised skip counting patterns came in handy for this task.  But Sargeant Rote says there is no more mamby pamby finger counting or skip counting allowed in his class!  Oh.  Glad Sargeant Rote issued the command and not me.

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Once we read through our lesson/story the boys were set to work in their activity books.  There was a big chunk of work that was expected with the lesson but it was easy stuff, just churning out multiplication to exercise their grey matter.

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While my men worked I whipped up some Latin posters and laminated them.

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But while the cat’s away the mice did play…and didn’t complete their work in a timely manner and were issued with their first ‘homework’ tasks – tasks they had to finish after school in their own time.   Amazing how on task they can be when it’s ‘their’ time.
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To manage two students at once I set one boy to review his cursive lowercase letters, while I worked with the other on spelling.  Then they switched.

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Ethan is doing his spelling orally but Brayden is currently writing his words on the whiteboard.  Today we were just reviewing, touching on issues that needed correcting.

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While we waited for lunch to cook, I read our first chapter of “A Child’s Geography” Volume 2.  For the next couple of weeks we’re learning about Turkey.  The kids were pretty engrossed  in the reading and active in asking and answer questions so I hadn’t worn them out yet but we were well and truly ready for a break by then.

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After our lunch break we begin our brand new Grammar series by Michael Clay Thompson.  So far I liked the approach – sit and read and chat.  The kids actually enjoyed talking about Language and were perfectly happy about not having to pick up a pencil.  .
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Science was next off the ranks.  We grabbed a leaf each and a magnifying glass and were led by Dr Jay Wile through the structure of a leaf.   I looooooove this curriculum.  Nothing else compares!

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For our written task we labeled a leaf with all of the features we had just learned about.

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As the day wound down I sat with Brayden and listened to him read aloud to me, while Ethan was sent off to read a History title I selected for him.  This is the first time I have dictated what he must read as part of a school requirement but he took the book and compiled without too much grumbling.  That’s a success in my books.

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And finally, with my last ounce of oomph (it was certainly waning by this point), we ploughed through a good chunk of a read aloud we had not finished over the holidays as I had planned.  I want to have it finished by Wednesday so I just took what we had left and divided it in two and read until that point.  Oh my weary voice.  But thankfully it’s right at the climax so we were on the edge of our seats for that hour and a half.  Yep.  I had one very sore throat at the end.

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But we made it to the end of the day, all students alive and accounted for, with nothing missing from our day (except our beloved sleep-in, which we will mourn for a few weeks yet as we adjust to our new unpleasant hours).

Tomorrow we have swimming lessons and an unexpected errand so we’ll see how our day pans out.

Right now though, we are ready for bed and I’m dying for a throat soother.

Do we really have a whole year of this ahead of us?




Posted by on February 4, 2013 in Homeschooling Days


7 responses to “And the Year Begins

  1. JoAnn

    February 5, 2013 at 8:55 am

    Sounds like a great first day. Glad everything went so well for all of you. 🙂

  2. Sheryll

    February 5, 2013 at 11:07 pm

    Where did you order MCT? Did you have to order directly and did the shipping…um, cost more than the books? 🙂

    I’ve heard Song School Latin 2 is coming out toward the end of March. I know yours are probably a bit old for it but might still enjoy the songs!

  3. Tracey

    February 5, 2013 at 11:21 pm

    Yes I ordered directly but had no problems. I couldn’t find anyone else who sold them anyway. The shipping was fair. It’s about what I would pay for a order. What I didn’t like was having to email them for a shipping quote. You have to email them first for an estimate, then order online where you are only charged the local shipping price and then they send you an email with the additional shipping fee. So it’s not as ‘easy’ as normal ordering but at the same time it wasn’t too awful.
    For one full level plus one additional book I paid approximately $50 shipping so about a third of the price. Isn’t living overseas from the best books fun?!
    No I didn’t know about SSL2. I might keep an eye out for that. Funnily enough we didn’t like the songs. We’re not the most musical people around. I just liked the simplistic of the book. Hehehehe. Oh and I saw their dvd for SSL1 and it’s awful! What a shame. It would have been a great review resource to own.

  4. Sheryll

    February 6, 2013 at 8:32 am

    Thanks, Tracey!

    Don’t tell me that about the SSL video- I just bought it!!! 🙂

  5. Tracey

    February 6, 2013 at 9:04 am

    Well I don’t have the video and have only seen snippets that were shown to me so you’ll have to tell me if the whole things is like it. I really liked the idea of it.

  6. Nathalie

    February 20, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    More of these posts, I love seeing other homeschooling families books and what they do. Thank you,

  7. Bernadette

    March 9, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    You will have to drink lots of pineapple juice for your weary voice.
    My cousin is a singer and that’s what she uses to prepare her voice when she goes to tam worth or does a gig etc. 🙂


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