An Average Day

25 May

Another fairly ordinary day has been completed, so I thought I’d give you a peek into what was achieved.

We started our morning by practising our current memory passage, “The Lord is My Shepherd”.  Today, we added yet another line and practised the passage with the new line.

Then we pulled out our Bibles and listened to the audio of chapter 13 of Corinthians 1.  Before we listened, I gave the boys a quick overview of what they’d hear and then I left the rest to the Holy Spirit.

After Bible, we always start our days with reading aloud.  I read aloud to the boys for at least two hours, sometimes more, depending on the day.  Today we started with a chapter from “The Wonder Book of Chemistry“, a book we are absolutely loving.  We read about elements, metals, and metalloids.  We were also introduced to mercury and the elements used in a match head.  We even detoured off to discuss Shakespeare’s expression, “All that glisters is not gold”, a phrase which was used in the book.

After reading this chapter in our Science book, we decided to find out more about mercury and match heads on youtube.  That was fascinating!   I had no idea mercury was such a curious element.  To demonstrate it’s density, we watched a video where insects were able to walk across its surface and rather heavy objects floated easily on the top of the mercury.  It is very cool, but sadly rather toxic.  Then we watched a video that described the dangers and symptoms of mercury poisoning.  The first emperor of China was ingesting mercury pills in his efforts to live forever.  Clearly he didn’t do his research on youtube!

We also watched several videos on the composition of match heads and how they are made in factories (we always love factory videos).

After our video spree, we took a 15 minute break and then returned to our daily grammar task.  One sentence is diagrammed and one sentence is parsed.  We do this every day so it’s an easy, enjoyable part of our day.  It’s also very effective.

Then we returned to our reading.  We’re currently reading Chinese folktales and we aren’t liking them at all.  We’re three quarters of the way through a collection of them and have decided that we can’t bear to read many more.  So today we read our final story from this particularly book – one about where Chinese New Year traditions began – and tomorrow we’re going to try a different compilation, in case it’s the book, rather than the stories, we’re not enjoying.  We’ve always loved folktales, so this situation is unusual for us.  At the end of all of our reading, a boy is chosen to narrate back what he heard.

Next, we read our book, “Bound“, for an extended period.  We’re at an exciting part of the book so today we set aside other books and just read until we’d had our fill.  Well actually, my voice always gives out before we get our fill.

By this point we were starting to get hungry so I put our lunch on to cook while we did our Math lesson.  We’re working in “Discovering Mathematics” and today we learned about operations with rational numbers (integers and fractions).  It’s been a while since we worked with fractions so we were a bit rusty but after an hour of work we were finding our groove again.

The end of Math always heralds lunch time in our house.  We take about an hour, sometime more depending on what activities the boys are engaged it.  Recently the boys have been enjoying playing board games during their lunch break.  Today was no different.  They pulled out their game of Monopoly and played and ate.  Towards the end of our hour long break they decided to head outside so I extended our break to let the boys get some fresh air.

When the boys came back inside, we reviewed the countries of Africa.  This had fallen by the wayside so I was determined to get the ball rolling again.  Previously, we’d used a website to review but our learning hasn’t progressed as solidly as it had when we’d learned the countries of other continents the old fashioned way – with a blank map and repetition.  So I printed out a blank map and we got started on Africa again.

At this point in the day, I always send the boys in opposite directions.  Today Ethan was sent to work on his essay on the Great Wall of China.  He’s been researching and outlining this for over a week so this afternoon he started his draft.  This is a task Ethan does independently nowadays and I just review it at the end of each day’s work.

Brayden stayed with me and worked on his Latin.  He’s thoroughly enjoying his Latin.  After Latin, Brayden worked with me on his Language tasks.  He read with me, learned new spelling rules revised old ones, and did some dictation.  To finish off his day, Brayden did some cursive copywork.  We’re working on doing a small amount consistently.  Currently I’m raising doctors, if their handwriting has anything to say about it, so they need all the practise they can get!

Once Brayden had finished working with me, Ethan left his writing and joined me for his lessons.  First, I looked over his writing and got him to make necessary corrections, then we started with his Latin lesson.  Today he was doing review exercises, so we did them side by side and then compared answers at the end.  I love learning alongside my boys.  To complete his afternoon of work, Ethan also did a little copywork to wrap up our day of work.

With a full day of school done, the boys dashed outdoors, where they remained for the rest of the afternoon.

The only other schooly thing we did today was watch a documentary called “Europe in the Middle Ages”.  We watched the segment on monks and heretics, pausing multiple times to make comments and ask questions.  This would be the perfect time to read about books in the middle ages as there was so much on this topic in this dvd.  Yes, I think I’ll pull out some books on this topic to read tomorrow.  This is my type of planning – planning on the run.

And that was our day.  An ordinary day with not too much and not too little.  A very average day for us.


Posted by on May 25, 2015 in Homeschooling Days


4 responses to “An Average Day

  1. Jen

    May 26, 2015 at 10:34 am

    I know I have asked this before but since the move my brain is numb 😀 But I am after some grammar for my older two boys. I am of the generation where they thought it unnecessary to teach so I don’t have a lot of info to offer them. So something that has the answers would be good 😀

    • Tracey

      May 26, 2015 at 11:01 am

      The turning point for our grammar understanding has been Michael Clay Thompson’s grammar books but it’s an expensive program. The way we’ve used it is to read the books and then we used their practise book as our daily practise. We also use a diagramming book and just take one sentence from it a day, but it assumes you have a basic knowledge.

      Rod and Staff was another good program that was clear and simple but it doesn’t have the answers, from what I can remember.

      Oh another program I heard of recently and liked the look of (and I still love the look of their information booklet) was memoria press’s grammar series:

      Personally I’d start with a simple, cheap workbook (maybe something from those $1 scholastic ebook sales) to teach the 8 basic parts of speech and then go from there. The parts of speech are easy and can be taught with almost anything.

      Just be careful of using most modern Australian grammar products. They use functional (aka really dumbed down grammar) rather than the traditional grammar from our pass or that is still used in the US.

      Grammarland is a free program that is can be a fun read but I think it made a simple thing very longwinded and we didn’t want to waste our read aloud time on it. We never finished the book.

      If I could use anything at all, I’d use Michael Clay Thompson’s books. I wish he’d simplify his grammar knowledge into one book rather than masses of books needed for each level. I don’t use them the way he suggests anyway.

  2. Jen

    June 3, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    Have you heard of Analytical Grammar and if so, what do you think of it?

    • Tracey

      June 4, 2015 at 12:00 am

      I’ve heard of it but don’t know anything about it. Sorry I can’t help Jen.


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