Last week we had a very hodge podge week with entirely too many outings and commitments so this morning we jumped into work with two feet.
We started with Bible and began listening to the first chapter of Mark, discussing things as we went along. We also had a chat about a comment I heard Ken Ham make over the weekend – that Sunday School teachers incorrectly teach children about the beauty of our world, when in reality the creation that we see is broken and only a glimmer of the beauty God intended. We had a great discussion about this.
Then we settled in for some reading aloud time, our second most important activity of the day. We began by reading sections from a non-fiction book called “The World Wars”. We read specifically about Pearl Harbour. The boys were particularly interested in this topic and we talked for an extended period about the events of that day. I think we’ll have to locate a documentary about Pearl Harbour sooner rather than later.
Next we read several chapters of “Pix and Me” which is about the Japanese invading Singapore. It’s a little slow moving and long winded but we’re hooked now and have to find out what happens. (During our reading session we had to pause briefly to hang some sheets on the line. While I did that, the boys stripped the sheets off their beds and reloaded the washing machine. Yep, during the school day, housework has to fit somewhere.)
Once my voice wore out from all the reading aloud and talking, I put three decimal problems for each boy on the whiteboard – problems such as 7 – 3.68 and 2.9 x 3.7 and 95.37 divided by 4. These were completed quickly and easily by both boys. These quick activities help the boys retain previous learning and allows me to keep a close eye on how they solve these more difficult algorithms.
While we were working on the whiteboard I added a sentence for the boys to grammatically analyse. They had to locate things such as the subject, predicate, direct object and prepositional phrase. They also had to identify the different parts of speech for each word. They complete one of these sentences every day so the task is quite an easy one for them and only takes a couple of minutes.
Next on the schedule was work in our text, Singapore Math. Both boys are currently working on decimals. The boys were rounding to two decimal places, completing division problems with answers to two decimal places and learning how to turn fractions into decimals using division. They also completed several word problems that used the same skills. None of this work was particularly hard for them but it took a while to complete as division uses all your spare brain cells.
While they worked on Math, I hovered for a while watching them work so they didn’t make errors that were repeated throughout their work. Once they were on the right track, I folded some washing, hung the second load of sheets on the line and collected the mail. The mail rewarded me with the latest issue of “Practical Homeschooling” and before the boys had finished their Math the parcel man delivered “The Book of Ancient Romans”. Instantly a great day!
As the boys neared the end of their Math, work was checked and errors fixed. There’s no such thing as a “cross” on work in this house. All worked must be made correct or it’s incomplete. (Not that I bother with ticks or stickers and stamps either. A job well done is reward enough I reckon.) Then I checked our plan for the day to see what other work needed completing, but, with stomachs rumbling, the decision was made to have lunch instead.
During lunch, the boys chose to watch an episode of “Backyard Science” and an episode of “Cyberchase”. It’s way too hot to head outside in the middle of the day so I don’t mind. It’s pretty much the only tv they watch, aside from documentaries with us some evenings.
Meanwhile I checked my email and forums and began this post. An hour later school began again.
Our afternoon session began with a Science lesson from Dr Jay Wile’s “Science in the Ancient World”. We read about Aristotle and completed an experiment that showed how one of Aristotle’s ideas was incorrect. I was very impressed with Ethan’s knowledge of Science as he linked the results of this experiment with several others we had completed in the past to form a detailed answer. We also reviewed the ideas of Socrates and Plato who were mentioned in the past lesson. We didn’t complete any notebooking activities for this lesson as there didn’t seem to be anything that we really needed to note and remember. Our time was better spent discussing.
Over the weekend we read about the Roman Emperor, Marcus Aurelius, as the audio book we are listening to has a character called Marcus and one called Aurelius so the link was only logical. Today, to summarise the information we had learned, the boys worked together to create an IEW outline about the emperor. I’ve been getting them to outline together as each boy lacks the skill of the other. One uses too much detail and one uses too little. Together they are just right and help each other practise the skill they need.
At this point in our day the boys headed in opposite directions to complete their work. On index cards I listed several activities they each had to complete, some of which involved working with me, and the boys set to work.
First I went to the study with Ethan to watch his Visual Latin lesson. I’m learning Latin alongside him as I can’t imagine helping him learn a subject that I myself don’t know. Plus Latin is pretty cool. Then I left Ethan to complete the accompanying worksheet by himself so that I could join Brayden for his phonics, reading and spelling tasks.
Ethan then spent time reviewing the countries of Europe, Asia and South America and completing his next typing lesson. Brayden however chose to first work on his Marcus Aurelius draft, which he also dressed up. Then the boys switched and Ethan wrote his summary while Brayden worked on Geography and typing. This worked perfectly for me as it allowed me to spend time with each boy as they edited their work.
Finally school was finished for the day. But then the house needed some attention. I sent the boys to replace the sheets on their beds and to clean up their belongings, which were spread from one end of the house to the other. Meanwhile I grabbed the duster and tracked down the bunnies, did a load of dishes and put the clean sheets back on my own bed.
With the house restored to order and the boys both quietly playing in the same room we decided to read a little more since Daddy was late arriving home. (The boys continued to play on the floor as I read aloud). First we read a chapter from the book, “Gladiators” and then several chapters from “Our Roman Cousin of Long Ago”.
Around 6pm Daddy arrived home and I set to work preparing kebabs and rice for dinner while the boys had their evening showers.
Later in the evening we sat down as a family and finished watching the movie, “Empire of the Sun”. (Rest assured, it was appropriately edited in one particular place.) Now of course we have to find out more about when the Japanese invaded China. We have questions galore and this is what I love about not using a curriculum for History.
…Thus completing yet another day of school.