2014 Term 1 Summary

04 Apr

Yes, it’s that time again – the end of the first term.  So here’s what we go up to during the past ten weeks.


*  Watched the exchange rate and decided on the best time to exchange their leftover US currency; totaled the US currency and how much they would receive when it was exchanged

*  Watched numerous Cyberchase episodes for fun

*  Completed regular practise in algorithms (one page twice a week) – long division, short division, addition and subtraction with regrouping, multiplying by large numbers, adding and subtracting fractions with unlike denominators, multiplying and dividing fractions, equivalent fractions and converting and simplifying improper fractions

*  Reviewed place value and numbers up into the millions

*  Rounded numbers to varying degrees and estimated to assist in mentally calculating operations

*  Reviewed BOMDAS (order of operations) and used BOMDAS to solve fraction problems

*  Practised long division with double digit divisors

*  Completed book 1 of “Key to Decimals” and work in Singapore on decimals

*  Solved algorithms (all sorts) that included decimals numbers

*  Learned how to complete division without remainders

*  Explored how to multiply and divide decimal numbers by multiples of ten

*  Reviewed fractions in Singapore Math; the only new content was finding fractions of various measurements

*  Reviewed averages and learned about rate

*  Completed regular challenging word problems

*  Read about Thales and Pythagoras from “Mathematician are People, Too”

*  Discussed how interest works on their bank savings


*  Read and discussed lots of Australian Ballads.  Our favourites included:

-“The Man From Ironbark”

-“How McDougal Topped the Score”

-“Mulga Bill’s Bicycle”

-“Said Hanrahan”

-“Waltzing Matilda”

-“Geebung Polo Club”

*  Wrote:

– a report about the blackout during the Blitz in Britain

– a report about gas masks in Britain during WW2

– a report about the evacuations in Britain during WW2

– a report about Dunkirk

– a report about the Colosseum

– a story rewrite about Androcles and the Lion

– a story rewrite about Romulus and Remus

– a report about the bombing of Darwin

– a report about gladiators

– a story rewrite of “The Ants and the Grasshopper”

– a report about Marcus Aurelius

– a story rewrite of “The Fox and the Grapes”

– an original narrative called “Revenge” about a cat and a dog by Brayden and “The Wolf and the Nutritious Puppy” by Ethan

*  Started a spelling notebook

*  Each day analysed the grammar of one sentence

*  Read several chapters of Sentence Island

*  The boys regularly read aloud to an adult to practise fluency and expression

*  Listened to numerous books read aloud and as audio stories


*  Finished up “Getting Started with Latin”

*  Began Visual Latin and completed the first 6 lessons

*  Watched the Song School Latin dvds for revision

*  Read and translated chapter one of Lingua Latina


*  Every day they reviewed the countries in the continents of South America, Asia and Europe

*  Explored life in Great Britain, Italy and France using the books “Hungry Planet” and “Material World”

*  Explored the countries that make up the United Kingdom

*  Discussed London, France and Rome in preparation for our visit later in the year

*  Began learning about Rome:

– located key locations in Italy

– watched youtube videos and documentaries about the Colosseum and Gladiators, some of these were:

+ “Empire of Stone: Colosseum”

+ “The Colosseum” by the History Channel

+ “Ancient Megastructures”

+ “Beyond Imagination: Colosseum”

+ “Carthage: The Roman Holocaust”

– watched the movie “Gladiators” (appropriately censored of course)

– rewatched the “Roman Mysteries” series after finishing off the novels

– read:

+ the story of “Androcles and the Lion” and explored the background of the story and the time frame

+ the story of “Romulus and Remus” in “Famous Men of Rome”

+ an Usborne book called “Gladiators”

+ Richard Watkins book “Gladiators”

+ Read the novel “Tiger, Tiger” that explored life for the Emperor’s daughter and activities in the Colosseum

+ Read “Our Roman Cousin of Long Ago”

+ Read about Marcus Aurelius in “Famous Men of Rome” and “The Book of the Ancient Romans”

+ Read about the Punic Wars, Carthage and Hannibal in “The Book of the Ancient Romans”

+ Read “What did the Ancient Romans Do for Me?”

+ Read “Look Around a Roman Villa”


– Learned about Nelson Mandela

+ Watched “Invictus”

+ Watched “The Power of One”

+ Watched the documentary “Nelson Mandela: One Man”

+ Discussed apartheid

– Continued to learn about WW2 in Europe

+  Listened the audio “The Elephant in the Garden”

+ Listened tot he audio “Winged Watchman”

+ Watched the “Holocaust” mini series (appropriately censored)

+ Read aloud “Book Thief” and save the movie

+ Watched, “Hope and Glory” about life in Britain during WW2

+ Watched the documentary “Blitz Street” about effect of bombs on buildings during the Blitz

+ Read “The Mozart Question”

+ Read an information book called, “Second World War”

+ Read “My Uncle’s Dunkirk”

+ Listened to the audio “Goodnight Mister Tom”

+ Watched the dvd “Goodnight Mister Tom”

+ Read “Avoid Being a World War Two Evacuee”

+ Read “Lion and the Unicorn”

+ Watched “Carrie’s War”

+ Read “The Dolphin Crossing”

+ Listened to “Time Travel to the Blitz”

+ Listened to “Put out the Light”

– Learned about WW2 and the Pacific Region

+ Watched “Bridge over the River Kwai”

+ Watched “The Railway Man”

+ Read “The Forgotten Pearl” about the bombing of Darwin

+ Watched the documentary “The Battle of Australia”

+ Watched “Australia” (appropriately censored)

+ Researched how many times Darwin was bombed and what other towns were bombed

+ Listened to an archived radio broadcast from Townsville that was recorded during the raid on Townsville

+ Watched “Sydney at War”

+ Read “Pix and Me” about the fall of Singapore

+ Watched “Paradise Road”

+ Listened to “Kensuke’s Kingdom”

+ Watched “Empire of the Sun”

+ Read information about the war in the Pacific region in “The World Wars” and “The Big Book of Australian History”

+ Listened to and discussed “Bomb: The Race to Build and Steal the World’s Most Dangerous Weapon”

+ Read “Break of Day” about the Kokoda Track

+ Read “Angel of Kokoda”

+ Looked at maps of Kokoda track and elevations

– Read about Florence Nightingale to find out why references are made to her


– Regularly watched episodes of “Backyard Science”

– Attended a Creation Science Seminar

– Completed approximately three lessons in “Science in Ancient Times” each week, including a hands on activity and notebook page

–  We have studied:

+ Thales and how Science includes the study of Math

+ Pythagoras and how there is Math in Music

+ Sound in relation to music

+ Atoms – incorrect and correct theories from the past; protons, neutrons, electrons

+ Hipprocrates – preventing infection

+ Veins and arteries

+ Digestion and purpose of bile

+ Purpose of Mucus

+ Plato

+ Aristotle – theory about elements, speed at which object fell

+ Vision – seeing upside down

+ Classification of animals

+ Geocentric and heliocentric view of the solar system

– Read about Thales and Pythagoras from the book “Mathematics are People, Too”

– Participated in a Light workshop at the Science Centre

– Explored the primary colours in pigment and light

– Watched a Bill Nye video on sound

– Watched a youtube video called “Our Friend the Atom”

– Researched whether young babies view the world upside down until their brain inverts the image

– Learned about the splitting of the atom; fission and fusion

The Arts:

– Visited Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) to see Cai Quo-Qiang exhibition

– Performance of “Tashi” at the Arts Centre

– Explored various Classical Music:

+ Pachelbel’s Canon in D

+ Couperin’s Chaconne in g minor

+ Jeremiah Clarke’s “Prince of Denmark’s March”

+ Vivaldi’s “Spring”

+ Vivaldi’s, “Gloria in Excelsis Deo”


– Began working through “Fallacy Detective”

Physical Education:

– swimming

– body boarding in the surf

– bike riding


– Watched the whole series of “Popular Mechanics”

– Visited the Science Centre’s “Science Fiction, Science Future” exhibit

– Printed, cut and put together various Minecraft papercraft

– Ethan works daily on teaching himself various programming languages – Java, Scratch and Python

– Regular typing practise

– Exploring Lego Mindstorm

– Creating with Lego


– Goma for the Cai Quo-Qiang exhibition

– Science Centre for the “Science Fiction, Science Future” exhibition

– Fire Safety Presentation

– a performance of “Tashi” (two stories)









Posted by on April 4, 2014 in Homeschooling Days


4 responses to “2014 Term 1 Summary

  1. Jen in NSW

    April 5, 2014 at 8:34 pm

    Tracey, it seems you covered two very different eras in history. Can you please tell me how you do history as it wouldn’t appear to be chronologically?

    Otherwise a very full and inspiring list.

    Best wishes
    Jen in NSW

    • Tracey

      April 6, 2014 at 1:01 am

      There is a method to my madness. 🙂 Our chronological history cycle has us at WW2 in the pacific. However, in December/January we’ll be in Rome, Paris and London (my brother is taken the entire family again – all of my siblings and their children plus my parents) so our initial Asian focus for Geography had to be tweaked. So now we are focusing on Europe. Currently we’re looking at Rome, trying to get the boys up to speed with the things they might see and the key background knowledge they’ll need to know. When they see a monument dedicated to Constantine or Titus I’d like them to have an inkling about who he was. So of course my task is absolutely monumental (pun not intended but we’ll go with it) but I’m going to aim high and see how we go. After Roman history we’ll have to rush over to Parisian/France history and then British. My head is spinning at the thought. The plan is to finish off WW2 and then consider our European focus both our History and Geography for the remainder of the year. At first I was trying to make a list of all the things they had to learn about the places we would visit but it was too overwhelming so we just jumped in and started with the most obvious – for Rome, the Colosseum – and we’ve branched off from there. We’ll set a time limit for Rome and when the time’s up, we’ll move on to studying France, which will have to include a lot of art and artists. And I suppose it’s not too far off our chronological History as we were due to start back with the Ancients next year anyway. Flexibility is the name of the game, although I was rather looking forward to our Asian study. We’ll have to add it back in somewhere.

  2. Petra

    April 7, 2014 at 2:00 am

    A good term I can see – what was the Mandela movie like for the boys?

    • Tracey

      April 7, 2014 at 3:05 am

      No dramas. They watch documentaries and movies (for the purpose of learning more) all the time. They are great discussion starters. We didn’t see the recent Mandela release at the movies though. Ours were all on dvd as it gives us more control over fast forward or stopping to discuss things. Although we did see “The Railway Man” at the movies and that was a bit rough but the goal was to give them an understanding of the torture that was inflicted on prisoners of war and the psychological aftermath. It certainly gave them that. But the beauty of seeing it at the movies was that the cinema was filled (well there were less than 20 people in total there) with elderly couples and many of them were crying. That made it all the more real and added to the depth of the discussion. Provided there aren’t sexual elements to a movie, that we can’t fast forward past, I’m fine with most historically based movies and often seek them out to watch as part of school.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: