Day 1…

02 Feb


Today was Day One of school for the year…if you don’t count the excursions we did last week.

It was a pretty good first day.

We started our day with the Bible and listened to the first chapter of Romans.

We also reviewed our memory verse – Psalm 23.

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With breakfast over and chores done, we discussed the dvd we watched last night, “Democracy in Australia”.

Did you know that it’s not compulsory to vote in local elections in Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania?  I didn’t know this.  On the dvd they mentioned that it was compulsory to vote in federal and state elections, but they left out local elections.  So inquiring minds instantly needed to know if and where it wasn’t compulsory.

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Then the boys and I sat and read a chunk of “Australia’s State and Territory Government”.  Our plan is to read it in small sittings over the week.  We read about democracy, other forms of government, the roles of each level of government and the history of the colonies and states.  Afterwards, the boys gave narrations.

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Since we are reading about the Romans and the boys are amused by their habit of called foreigners “barbarians”, we began reading the book, “Why Are You Calling Me a Barbarian?”.

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In the car, at present, we are listening to the audio story, “A Million Shades of Grey”, which is about a Vietnamese boy whose village is attacked by the Viet Cong so today we read several chapters of the book, “The Vietnam War”.  It was fascinating.  The boys and I had a great discussion about communism and the possible domino effect that the west feared if Vietnam fell.  We’ll definitely be reading more on this topic!

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We also read several chapters from “The Land I Lost”.  (If you hadn’t guessed, we are studying Vietnam at present.)  This book is a collection of memories from the author’s childhood in Vietnam.

We could easily have devoured this book in one sitting but we didn’t.  We are savouring it.

Oh yes, and, after each chapter, one of the boys had to give a narration of the events of that chapter.

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At this point in the day, the postie ‘interrupted’ us with a blast of his horn to let us know that he had parcels for me.  I dropped everything and ran.  In the parcels were these goodies:  “Black Horses for the King”, “Raiders from the Sea” and “Who Was Rachel Carson?”.  These books will be read over the next few weeks.  I can’t wait

…I might not wait.

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While I was distracted with my book goodies, Brayden went out to water his garden.  He returned and insisted I follow him out.  The treasure he wanted to share was his first watermelon.  He was elated, to say the least.  I must say that I was impressed too.  We are not the gardening type so this almost rates as a miracle.  🙂

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Eventually, I got everyone back on task.

First, we warmed up our brains with algorithms.  Then we moved on to multiplication facts.  Every day the boys will do 100 multiplication problems (and later division) and note how long it takes.   The aim is to improve their personal best times.  Today I was seriously expecting a mutiny over this task, but I got none.  I wonder how long my luck will hold out.

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Today both boys started the high school Singapore Math text, “Discovering Mathematics”.  Oh and I started it too!  Yes, I sat and did the same Math with the boys.  I even have my own grid book and text.  Hey, there’s no better way to keep up with the kids’ Math than to do it with them.  Plus it’s fun.

We didn’t get a whole lot of work completed because we were focusing on how the new books work and how to set out the work in the grid books, but we’ll pick up speed with practise.

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After an hour or so of Math tasks, our bellies indicated the need for a lunch break.

And guess what arrived during our break?

Yes, more books.  These ones came via the parcel delivery man.

What a way to start the school year!

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During my lunch break, I listened to an episode of the “Read Aloud Revival“.  Well part of the episode.  Lunch breaks go too quickly.

After lunch, I read aloud several poems from “Favourite Poems Old and New”.

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Then we snuggled up to read some of “The Eagle of the Ninth”.  We could have sat and read all afternoon.

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But one must work on skills as well as content,

so, we parsed a sentence,

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 and then we diagrammed one.  (We do one of each, each day.)

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Then we did some copywork (which was like pulling teeth).  I’m torn about the merits of this activity.  😦

We also did some spelling quizzes.  A lot more fun than copywork!

Next up, we outlined a report on Hadrian’s Wall using multiple sources.  Tomorrow we’ll draft it.

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Then we did some independent reading.  Ethan chose, “Who Is Bill Gates?” …of course.

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Finally, we started an art project.  This task required a lot of measuring and drawing so we worked on that today and, tomorrow, we’ll pull out the paints.  We can’t wait to see what the finished products will look like.  They already look impressive.

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And so ended our first official school day for 2015

Although, later in the day, I found my boys watching episodes of “Backyard Science” and after dinner we watched the documentary, “A History of Ancient Britain”.  And I’m totally counting both of them as school.


On that note, I better go to bed so I’ve got enough oomph for Day Two.

There will be paint involved.



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Posted by on February 2, 2015 in Homeschooling Days


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