Term Two Summary – 2014

28 Jun

Two Term is complete and to wrap it up and see where I’m up to in my year, I always complete a term summary.  It helps me to see where we need more work and where to start with next term’s plans.

If you ever feel like you haven’t completed enough work in the term, I highly recommend making a list of all the things you have done.  When you see it on paper, you’ll most likely be pleasantly surprised.  And if things are a little lacking, you’ll be able to pinpoint the areas that need more work.

Of course it helps if you’ve been keeping track of these things throughout the term.  If you haven’t, then that’s the first thing I’d advise you to do.  It’s invaluable when it comes time to report to authorities.  Just get yourself a notebook and start jotting done the educational activities that happen each day.  Or, if you use a planner, tick off the work you complete and note any extra learning experiences that might happen.  It doesn’t have to be any flash or whiz bang procedure.  In fact, the more complicated you make it, the less likely you are to use it and keep using it.  But the key to successfully recording your learning is to do it at least daily.  Don’t wait until tomorrow or get to the weekend and try to remember what you did last week.  Things have a habit of all merging together in your mind and disappearing.  I promise you, you will forget stuff if you wait.

To keep my records I have my planner open on my desk during the school day so I can record things as I have time.  I tick things off that we complete, alter things that we change and add things that I hadn’t planned for.  Then at the end of the week, I elaborate on these little notes, (including things like the full names of the books and dvd that we used;  during the week I just photograph them), and type up a type of journal using my planner notes to jog my memory.  I used to go into great detail at this point and add photos and all that jazz, but I learned, just as I have shared with you, that complicated, time-consuming things rarely get done.  So now I keep it simple – a basic summary, with no pictures, that captures our weeks.  It is this weekly journal that makes it easy to type up my term summary, so I can get a good overview of where we have been and some ideas about where we might want to go next.

Anyway, with no further ado, here’s Term Two’s summary.



*  Regularly completed our “Daily” algorithm reviews (although it’s more like ‘Weeklies” nowadays)

*  Solved one to two challenging word problems each day

*  Reviewed multiplication facts with flash cards and daily written drills

*  Completed Singapore Math’s 5B unit on line graphs and conversion graphs

*  Completed Singapore Math’s 6B unit on pie charts

*  Completed Singapore Math’s 5B and 6A units on percentages

*  Completed Singapore Math’s 5A and 6A units on ratios

*  Reviewed the concept of pi, and how to find the circumference, diameter and radius



*  Everyday analysed (parsed) the grammatical element of one sentence

*  Everyday diagrammed the grammar in one sentence

*  Tried “Fix It” again but abandoned it for the second time now

*  Finished reading Michael Clay Thompson’s “Sentence Island” and began reading “Grammar Town”

*  Further explored the five different types of pronouns

“  Watched “Akeelah and the Bee” and discussed spelling bees and the helpfulness of word roots

*  Began memorising Latin word roots and their meanings; identifying examples words

*  Discussed and story charted the literary structure and elements of the following picture books:

–  “King Midas and the Golden Touch”

– “It could always be worse” (a Yiddish folktale)

– “The Money Tree”

– “St George and the Dragon”

–  “The Deep”

– “Stone Lion”

– “Tree”

*  Began creating a PowerPoint to illustrate different literary elements

*  Began reading the Narnia series (completing the first three books) and watched the dvds

*  Discussed and story charted the structure of “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe”; also discussed symbolism and allusions

*  Watched the dvd documentary, “Beyond Narnia”, which was about CS Lewis’ life

*  Began studying Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”

– read various children’s versions (Usborne, Orchard, Nesbit, and the picture book by Marianna Mayer)

– watched “The Tempest” from “Shakespeare:  The Animated Tales” dvd set

– watched “The Tempest” dvd starring Helen Mirren

– began reading and interpreting the ‘real’ play using the “No Fear Shakespeare” books as a guide

– (and books to see it performed on stage later in the year)

*  Read, “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” and started, “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” (also relistened to the previous stories on audio, and watched the third dvd)

*  Write five pieces of writing

– a report about Pearl Harbour

– a report about Hannibal

– a report about Shackleton

– a retelling of “The Sword of Damocles”

– and a creative writing piece

*  Continued to free read for pleasure and information



*  Continued to work through Visual Latin; a lesson a week

*  Also completed the first chapter of Lingua Latina (liked this approach a lot!)



*  Started memorising the countries in Northern Africa

*  Learned a little about Ancient China when we went to see Shen Yun at the theatre

– Discussed communism and the religious beliefs of the Chinese

– Learned some Chinese mythology.

*  Read about the Roman Forum in our Tour Guide book; learning about the arches, rostrum, curia and basilicas.

*  Read about the Pantheon in our guide

*  Watched a series of 10 youtube videos about the pantheon

*  Read about Ernest Shackleton in two picture books about him, “Trapped by the Ice” and “Ice Trap”

*  Read “Who Was Earnest Shackleton?”

*  Read “Avoid Joining Shackleton’s Polar Expedition”

*  Watched a documentary called, “Shackleton’s Antarctic Adventure”

*  Watched a documentary called, “Shackleton and Scott”

*  Read “No Return” about the last expedition of Robert Scott

*  Wrote a report about Shackleton

*  Watched “Blue Ice” which was a dvd about the setting up of Mawson Station on Antarctica

*  Visited the Australian Antarctica website and read more about Mawson Station

– Watched a live feed from the station

– Watched a time lapse of the station’s sunrise and sunset and discussed the limited hours of sunlight

– Read aloud some of their work diary entries

*  Read “Sophie Scott Goes South” which talked about Antarctica

*  Watched the documentary, “Antarctica”,

*  Watched “Beyond the Pack Ice”

*  Watched “March of the Penguins”

*  Read “Tom Crean’s Rabbit”

*  Began reading the novel, “The Pole Seekers” by Meredith Hooper.

*  Watched four episodes of the dvd “Ice Patrol” about the British ship “Endurance” that patrols their part of Antarctica

*  Watch the dvd, “Chasing Ice” about the retreating ice glaciers and discussed climate change

*  Read the book “Ice, Wind, Rock” about Douglas Mawson and explored maps of Antarctica to find places that were named about people they had read about

*  Researched what the geographic, magnetic, and geomagnetic poles are and discussed the reversing magnetic poles



*  Read “What was Pearl Harbour”

*  Watched the Pearl Harbour movie (appropriately censored)

*  Read “Under the Blood-Red Sun” a novel about Pearl Harbour

*  Wrote a report about Pearl Harbour

*  Read, “The Story of the Atomic Bomb”

*  Watched “Countdown to Zero” about nuclear weapons

*  Watched the dvd “Return to Sandarkan” which was about a particularly brutal prison of war camp in which all but six Australians died

*  Read “Masako’s Story: Surviving the Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima” about the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, written by an eyewitness (particularly gruesome)

*  Watched the movie “War Games” and discussed the cold war

*  Watched the dvd, “24 Hours After Hiroshima”

*  Watched the documentary “Surviving D-Day”

*  Watched the movie “Emperor” which was about the US coming to Japan after the war to rebuild Japan and try the war criminals

*  Googled to see if Japan still has an Emperor

*  Read a book called “D-Day”

*  Watched a dvd called “Thirteen Days” about the Cuban missile crisis

*  Watched “Saving Private Ryan” (with LOTS of censoring)

*  On Anzac Day, we baked Anzac biscuits and read three new picture books, “Gallipoli”, “The Poppy” and “Meet the Anzacs”

*  Read a picture book about Florence Nightingale.

*  Began reading the book, “I Marched with Hannibal” (re-enacted many scenes in their play)

*  Read a picture book called “Hannibal and His 37 Elephants”

*  Watched the documentary “The True Story of Hannibal”

*  Read “Hannibal – Rome’s Worst Nightmare”

*  Wrote a report about Hannibal

*  Read “The Story of Rome”

*  Read “Encyclopedia of the Roman World”

*  Read “The Orchard Book of Roman Myths”

*  Read “The Aeneid for Boys and Girls”

*  Watched a youtube documentary about Ancient Roman Roads

*  Read the Usborne book, “Spartacus”



*  Watched some episodes of “Kid Detective”

*  Read “What’s the Matter with Albert?”, a book about Albert Einstein

*  Completed lessons 23 to 45 in “Science in the Ancient World” (completing an activity and notebooking page each lesson)

– Lesson 23 – Euclid and the Law of Reflection

+Read further about Euclid in ““Mathematicians are People Too”

– Lesson 24 – Archimedes’ Principle

– Lesson 25 – Archimedes and the level

– Lesson 26 – Archimedes and Pulleys

+Explored a kit of pulleys and using them to lift things, using double block and tackle arrangements

+Read about Archimedes in “Mathematicians are People Too”

+Read, “Archimedes and the Door to Science”

– Lesson 27 – Archimedes and Pi

+Read a book called “Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi”

– Lesson 28 – Eratosthenes

+Read “How We Learned the Earth is Round” and “The Librarian Who Measured the Earth”

– Lesson 29 – Hipparchus and the Moon

– Lesson 30 – Hipparchus and the Sun and Stars

– Lesson 31 – BC and AD

– Lesson 32 – Pedanius Dioscorides

– Lesson 33 – Hero of Alexandria and Siphons

– Lesson 34 – Hero and Steam

– Lesson 35 – Hero and Flat Mirrors

– Lesson 36 – Ptolemy and the Universe

– Lesson 37 – Ptolemy and Optics

– Lesson 38 – Galen the Physician

+Read “Galen and the Gateway to Medicine”

– Lesson 39 – Galen and Blood

– Lesson 40 – Galen and Muscles

+Watched related youtube videos about antagonist muscle pairs

– Lesson 41 – Galen and Nerves

– Lesson 42 – Galen and the Voice

+Watched youtube video about the vocal chords

– Lesson 43 – Galen and Breathing

+Watched youtube videos about breathing

– Lesson 44 – Galen and Medicines

– Lesson 45 – Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius

*Read “Curie and the Science of Radioactivity”, a book about Marie Curie

*Watched videos about sinkholes, whirlpools, St Elmo’s Fire, Bioluminious animals in the ocean, red tides and algae and deep sea creatures

* Researched what sound a fox actually makes (and learned what ‘parody’ means)

* Observed a female fairy wren, identified it, compared male and females and discussed why females are dull in colour


The Arts:

* Went to see “Shen Yun”, a Chinese dance spectacular

– Marveled at the coloured ethnic costumes and visually stunning synchronicity of the movement

– Amazed by the acrobatics of the men

– Loved the use of technology (the actors jumping in and out of reality via the screen)

– Saw an orchestra pit for the first time and heard Eastern instruments

– Listened to Chinese soprano and tenor opera singers

*  Began reading “Looking at Pictures”

*  Read “Meet Me at the Art Museum”

*  Entered a colouring competition and won first place

*  Visited the theatre to attend the performance, “The Deep”, which was based on the book by Tim Winton

– the performance used lots of different puppets

– Prior to our visit we read the book the play was based on and completed a literary analysis of the book


Health and Physical Education:

*  Enjoyed walks and particularly scootering with friends

*  Enjoyed playing in the park

*  Enjoyed playing badminton with friends

*  Read about the heart in “Enjoying Good Health”

–  Learned about the role of the heart, the circulatory system, blood pressure, the chambers of the heart, the role of rest and exercise, and the problems with varicose veins, alcohol, smoking and cholesterol

*  Watched some youtube animations of how the heart works

*  Watched an episode that explained the circulatory system to children

*  Read “A Heart Pumping Adventure”.

*  Read “Boyhood and Beyond”, which is about character value as you grow into a man

*  Read parts of “The Ultimate Guys’ Body Book”

*  Discussed and watched related youtube videos about changing voices and Adam’s Apple

*  Discussed courtship versus dating and read “Princess and the Kiss” and began “Knights, Maidens and Dragons”


Technology & Design:

*  Watched multiple episodes of Popular Mechanics

*  Rewatched Megafactories episodes

*  Spent time computer programming

*  Played way too much Minecraft (and hardly counts as educational but I’ll put it here anyway)

*  Helped resolve technical issues for family and neighbours

*  Worked on Powerpoint presentations

*  Explored “Makey Makey”, researching ideas online and setting up various possibilities









Posted by on June 28, 2014 in Homeschooling Days


3 responses to “Term Two Summary – 2014

  1. Katie

    June 28, 2014 at 10:14 am

    This is totally off topic … Did you know that 3D puzzles of world buildings are half price at green ant toys. I have no affiliation with the company but I was on their website today and the St Peters Cathedral puzzle reminded me of you 🙂

    • Tracey

      June 28, 2014 at 11:08 am

      Thank you Katie. I jumped over and had a look. I have a bundle in my cupboard already waiting for a little man or two to get the urge to grow our landmark collection, but I don’t have Green Ant’s Notre Dame. Hmmm…decisions, decisions. Thanks for the heads up.

  2. sarah

    June 28, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    Good idea! Your list is so similar to what we do, or ‘try’ to do. I will try to make an end of semestre 1 list next week 🙂


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