Our Past School Week

14 Sep

Monday 8th September – Friday 12th September 2014

 Bible: During this past week, we listened to our audio Bible read Acts 4 through 6.

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Math: We’ve finished studying our main topics for this term so we worked through several of Singapore Math’s review exercises.

Language:  We continued reading “Tales from Russia” this week.  We read a chapter or two each day.  There are some fantastic stories in this book.  I’m contemplating buying another version of “The Firebird” and even “Baba Yaga and Vasilisa the Brave”.  We’re very partial to Russian folktales.

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We also read another fairy tale.  This week we read Hansel and Gretel.  Can you believe my boys had never heard this story?!  This is why we are reading through the fairy tales.

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We continued reading more of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”.  We are working little by little reading through the original text.

We also began reading the modern version of “Richard III”.   We’ll be seeing the play soon so we have to get up to speed and fast.

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Prior to this, we read a children’s version of Richard III to give us a bit of a quick summary.

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We read another book about William Shakespeare this week.  I love this series of books.

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We finished watching the documentary, “In Search of Shakespeare”.  All four hours worth!  We do this in the evening as a family.

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Our new audio story this week was “The Maze Runner”. We’ve listened to about 4 hours worth so far and are loving it.  We’re aiming to finish it in time to see the movie during the holidays.

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Hubby continued to read “Harry Potter” to the boys. They finished the fifth book this week and started the sixth.  They also watched the fifth movie.  They are aiming to finish all of the books by Christmas when they may get the opportunity to visit Warner Bros. in London.

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Each afternoon the boys worked for at least an hour on a Language task.  This week Ethan has been researching information for his report on Colony Collapse Disorder.  Next week he’ll outline it, draft it and hopefully finish it. That’s the aim anyway.  Brayden worked on spelling and finishing off his picture book about flower parts and pollination.  He’s going to have his book printed as a photo book.

Geography:   Every day the boys used an online program to review the countries in Africa, four times.  They also checked their memory of Europe.

History:   We finished reading “The Riddle of the Rosetta Stone”.  Years ago we read “Seeker of Knowledge” so I’ve pulled it off the shelves to re-read next week.

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The boys were pretty excited to see a replica of the Rosetta Stone hanging in the Science Centre.

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After hearing about the Spanish Armada on our Shakespeare documentary, we read “You Wouldn’t Want to Sail in the Spanish Armada” to make a connection and find out a little more.  I’ve placed a few more books, on the topic, on hold at the library.  This is how I get myself into a tangle of tangents (which I love, by the way).

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Over the weekend we watched “Monument Men” and then googled some information about the real life story the movie is based on.  I’ve also bookmarked some extra videos to watch on the topic.

Latin: We finished reading chapter three of Lingua Latina. We read through all of the text twice to increase fluency.  Then we reviewed nominatives and accusatives and completed the grammar exercises.  I’m loving this book.  There’s such a sense of accomplishment when you finish the chapter.


Technology:   The boys had a Skype chat with a friend and played Minecraft together.  They are only allowed one hour a week.  (Yes, I’m ruthless).  Ethan also spent most of his free time programming and every time I saw him with a book in his hand, it was his latest Java programming tome.  Brayden spent his free time designing and building with Lego.

Science: We continued to read about genetics this week. We finished reading “What Makes You You?” and also read “The Role of Genes”.

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We watched youtube various videos about genetic engineering.  Did you now that they have created fish that glow in the dark?  And sheep too?!  I can’t imagine why you would need a sheep that glows in the dark.  I also purchased some Christian dvds about genetics and recent research to get a different perspective on the topic.  We’ll watch those next week.

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On Saturday we visited the “Deep Ocean” exhibition.

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When we visit an exhibit, we stop and read everything, so we spent well over an hour in the exhibit.

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On returning home, we googled extra information about the creatures that interested us.  We watched videos about the hagfish and its slime, read reports about James Cameron’s trip to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, and determined which were the arms and which were the tentacles of the giant squid.

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On the same day we also went to the “Top Secret: Licence to spy” exhibition at the Science Centre.

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We had to work our way through the exhibits, finding clues and unraveling codes, to determine who committed the crime.

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We tapped phone lines, broke into safes, used longitude and latitude to zoom into locations on satellite maps, watched video surveillance, used listening devices, solved various codes, crawled through light beam security and all manner of other things.

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During the week the boys also paid particular attention to the birds enjoying our yard.  We saw galahs in the yard for the first time and I was surprised to discovered that the boys didn’t know such a common Australia bird.  We also had a crow sit on our back porch and caw for several minutes.  The boys went silent and listened to their different vocalisations for several minutes.  We enjoy watching the wildlife that visits our yard and googling information about them.

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In grandma’s yard we witnessed two Rainbow Lorikeets mating.  Tis the season.

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We also sought out the peacocks that choose to live in grandma’s yard.  We’re eager to see the males display their fanned tails and figured that spring might give us that chance.

A little research, this week, also uncovered the fact that they should be called peafowl when referring to both sexes.  It is the male that is the peacock, while the female is a peahen.  And when they gather in a group, it’s called a party.

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We also researched solar flares after the boys asked if they were dangerous.  We read about the recent solar storm and also found a newspaper article from Brisbane’s Moreton Bay Courier in 1859, describing the aurora people in Brisbane saw after the Carrington Super Flare.  Fascinating but scary stuff.

Art:  We read more about Michelangelo. We finished reading Diane Stanley’s “Michelangelo” and began reading Tim McNeese’s “Michelangelo”.

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We enjoyed the end of chapter quizzes in Tim McNeese’s book.

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We also watched a documentary called “The Michelangelo Code”, which was about the Sistine Chapel.

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Socialisation:  We went to play with friends one afternoon and the kids spent the afternoon riding and scootering around the neighbourhood. We also spent a day at Grandma and Grandad’s babysitting Little Miss.  We love visiting and seeing how Little Miss has grown and changed.

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So that was our week.

We only had three full school days this week but we made sure those days counted.

We read a LOT (but less than normal), watched a bit, sought to answer our many questions, worked on Math, worked on Languages, went out to explore the world and visited with family and friends.

What more can I ask from a week.  🙂


Posted by on September 14, 2014 in Homeschooling Days


4 responses to “Our Past School Week

  1. Sarah

    September 14, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    Fantastic! Off to amazon now to check some of those goodies.

    • Tracey

      September 15, 2014 at 12:14 am

      Between you and I, I think we keep book companies in business. Hehehehe. That’s a worthy role to play in society I think.

  2. Jen

    September 24, 2014 at 2:10 pm

    You’ve ALMOST convinced me to delve into Shakespeare 😀 (I missed your blog while I was between computers! 😀 )

    • Tracey

      September 24, 2014 at 11:31 pm

      Just take a totally different approach to it. Don’t worry about reading the original text or writing those dead boring essays. Make your goal to fall in love with the stories and attend a play. Read lots of children’s versions of the story, maybe watch the movie and definitely attend a play, but not until you know the story inside out. I’ve found personally (not so much for the boys yet) that after the play, I’ve wanted to come home and read the original text. And once you’ve done all that, you may even feel up to writing about the play. We’re just about to embark on that phase. I’m falling in love with the fellow….and I hated him many years ago. 🙂


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