Term 1 & 2 Combined Summary for 2015

28 Jun

Here we are at the mid-point of the year – two terms completed and two terms to go.  We had a very disrupted term and a half, where our workload was severely limited, so I’ve combined our work into one summary.  I can see where our work suffered, but, knowing the extent of the disruptions, I’m pleased that we managed as much as we did.



*  Read Romans, 1 Corinthians & 2 Corinthians

*  Memorised “The Lord is My Shepherd”

*  Began reading “50 Things Every Gentleman Should Know”


*  Worked on regularly reviewing algorithm and fact skills

*  Completed the first two units of Discovery Mathematics

*  Studied the sieve of Eratosthenes

*  Measured, recorded and graphed the growth of watermelons


*  Daily parsed and diagrammed sentences

*  Worked on spelling, copywork and handwriting

*  Daily independent reading


– a lengthy report on Hadrian’s Wall

– a lengthy report on Vietnam War

– a report on Helen Keller

– a report on centipedes

– letters back and forth to a friend

– a lengthy report on the Great Wall of China

– reports about ten plants with Aboriginal uses

– an acrostic poem about china

– paragraphs explaining Science concepts

*  learned/reviewed various literary elements, specifically personification, onomatopoeia, anthropomorphism

*  regularly had literary discussions, using picture books and novels, using techniques from in “Teaching the Classics”

listened to:

– Eragon and Eldest

– Ernest Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea”

– The Green Ember

– To Kill a Mockingbird

– Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

– Divergent, Insurgent & Allegiance

– Black Like Me

– Itch

– Farmer Boy

*  Read the book “The Right Word: Roger and His Thesaurus”.

*  Read children’s versions of  “Much Ado About Nothing”, “Comedy of Errors” and “Taming of the Shrew”

*  Watched the movie of Shakespeare’s “Taming of the Shrew”

*  Attended a performance of Shakespeare’s “Comedy of Errors”

*  Began reading “The Story of King Arthur” by Howard Pyle


*  Brayden is working through “Latin’s Not So Tough”

*  Ethan is working through Lingua Latina & Colloquia Personarum


* Read (narrated and discussed):

– Hostage Lands (novel)

– Why Are You Calling Me a Barbarian? (pb)

– Eagle of the Ninth (novel)

– Helen’s Big World (pb)

– Who Was Helen Keller? (novel)

– The Saga of Erik the Viking (novel)

– They Came on Viking Ships (novel)

– The Time Traveller’s Guide to Medieval England (began reading) (novel)

– Digger – Dog Who Went to War (pb)

– Jack’s Bugle (pb)

– The Soldier’s Gift (pb)

– The Last Anzac (pb)

– I Was Only 19 (pb)

– The Anzac Puppy (pb)

– And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda (pb)

– One Minute Silence (pb)

– Leif the Lucky (pb)

– The Bayeux Tapestry (pb)

– Adventures with Vikings (pb)

– Marguerite Makes a Book (pb)

– Genghis Khan by Demi (pb)

– The Ink Garden of Brother Theophane  (pb)

– Brother Hugo and the Bear (pb)

– Across a Dark and Wild Sea (pb)

– The Adventures of Marco Polo (novel)

– Avoid Fighting in the First Crusade (pb)

– The Kitchen Knight (pb)

– The Story of King Arthur (began reading) (novel)

– The Man Who Loved Books (pb)

– Chanticleer and the Fox” (adapted from Canterburry Tales) (pb)

– Making of a Knight (pb)

– A Medieval Feast (pb)

– Harald and the Great Stag (pb)

– Battle of Hastings (pb)

– The Legend of St Christopher (pb)

– Crusaders (novel)

– Johann Gutenberg and the Printing Press (pb)

Watched (and discussed):

– The Imitation Game & a related documentary

– Unbroken

– History of Ancient Britain: Celtic Britain

– The Lost Treasures of the Ancient World: Hadrian’s Wall

– The Lost Treasures of the Ancient World: Celts

– Miracle Worker (movie about Helen Keller)

– Vikings (Neil Oliver documentary)

– Mississippi Burning (movie)

– A Time to Kill (movie)

– Greeks, Romans and Vikings

– The Viking Saga

– The Vikings (documentary)

– White Australia Policy

– Battle of Hastings

– Europe in Middle Ages

– Genghis Khan (two documentaries of the same name)

– Mongol (movies about Genghis Khan)

– Barbarians (documentary about Genghis Khan)

– Empire of the Mongols

– Secrets of the Kells

– youtube videos on medieval manuscripts and book of Kells

– The Crusaders: The Crescent and the Cross

– youtube videos of Gutenberg’s printing press and how it worked

– Robin Hood (movie)

*  Listened to the songs “I Was Only 19” and “And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda”.


– the Gold Coast Renaissance Faire – attempted archery, watched sword fights, watched a Shakespeare play, listened to medieval musicians

– the Caboolture Historical Village – listened to a presentation about school, printing presses, washing and gem fossicking, rod the train, and talked to two Boggo Road Gaol wardens

– Fort Lytton’s History Alive weekend – attended medieval tournament and archery display, WW1 & 2 reenactments, Vietnam War reenactment, Viking and Medieval life talks, toured the replica ship the “Notorious”


*  attending polling day and watched the election results

Read (narrated and discussed):

– Australia’s State and Territory Governments

– As Good as Anything (civil rights pb)

– Freedom Summer (civil rights pb)

– Going Someplace Special (civil rights pb)

– From Slaveship to Freedom Road (pb)

– Martin’s Big Words (pb)

– Heart and Soul (pb)

Listened to:

– To Kill a Mockingbird

– Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry

– Black Like Me

Watched (and discussed):

– The Good Lie (movie about Sudanese refugees)

– I’ll Call Australia Home (documentary about immigration in Australia)

– Democracy in Australia

– Tempel Grandin (movie about autistic lady)

– The Help  (movie)

– The Butler (movie)

– Ruby Bridges (movie)

– Freedom Riders (documentary)

– Nightjohn (movie)

– The Watsons Go to Birmingham (movie)

– School Ties (movie about Jewish racism in the US)

– Selma (movie – Martin Luther and civil rights movement to gain freedom to vote)

– youtube videos on problems with arsenic in ground water, and treated timber


– levels of Australian government

– the plight of Chinese women in the past

– Chinese citizens living under Mao’s regime

– African Americans past and present

– Indonesian sulfur miners

– tin mining companies exploiting the poor for cheap labour and destroying the environment

– arsenic-laced wells in third world countries

– the use of phosphorus in warfare eg napalm in Vietnam


*  Memorising the countries of Africa


– Invisible Children

– Children Living in a Guatemala City Dump

– youtube videos about the poor in Hong Kong

– Once Upon a Rooftop (poor in Hong Kong)

– Domestic Slavery

– Good Morning Vietnam (movie)

– Tour of Duty (some of series)

– Anzacs in Vietnam (documentary)

– Vietnam War (documentary)

– Agent Orange (documentary)

– Lost Treasures of the Ancient World: Ancient China

– 7 Wonders of China: The Forbidden City

– 7 Wonders of China: The Terracotta Warriors

– China: Trial and Turmoil

– Mao – A Life

– The Last Emperor (movie)

– Great Wall of China (two different documentaries with the same title)

– Declassified: Tiananmen Square

– The Silk Road

– Marco Polo (mini-series movie)

– an episode of “One Plus One” on sbs about Mao’s Last Dancer Li Cunxim

– Mao’s Last Dancer (movie)

– youtube videos of Chinese bound feet

– youtube videos on lion dances and dragon dances

– San Andres (movie)

– Earthquake (movie from 1974)

– youtube videos about earthquakes and fault lines, googled the San Andres fault and looked at pictures

– 1421: The Year China Discovered the World (documentary)

Listened to:

– Trash (novel about children living on a dump in a third world country)

– A Million Shades of Gray (novel set during Vietnam War)

* Read (narrated and discussed):

– The Vietnam War (novel)

– The Land I Lost (memories of living in his village in Vietnam) (novel)

– Water Buffalo Days (novel)

– The Happiest Refugee (novel)

– Children of the Dragon” (Vietnamese folktales)

– 10 000 Days of Thunder (about the Vietnam War)

– Traveling Solo to Vietnam (pb)

– Vietnam Diary (pb)

– Onion Tears (novels)

– The Little Refugee (pb)

– Goodbye Vietnam (novel)

– The Wishing Cupboard (about Vietnam) (pb)

– The Lotus Seed (about Vietnam) (pb)

– A True Person (about refugees) (pb)

– Brothers and the Star Fruit Tree (Vietnamese folktale) (pb)

– The Great Race: The story of the Chinese Zodiac (pb)

– China Land of Dragons and Emperors (novel)

– The Name Jar  (pb)

– Finders Keepers: A True Story in India (pb)

– Life in Ancient China

– Mooncake (about China) (pb)

– The Peasant Prince (about China) (pb)

– Mao and Me (pb)

– Marco Polo (pb)

– Chinese Fairytales

– The Great Wall of China (pb)

– Little Leap Forward (novel)

– Kubla Khan (pb)

– Li Lun (novel)

– Bound (novel about bound feet)

– Happy New Year (Chinese New Year pb)

– Lion Dance: Ernie Wan’s Chinese New Year (pb)

– Lon Po Po (Chinese pb version of Red Riding Hood)

– Fang Fang’s Chinese New Year (pb)

– Great Voyages of Zheng He

– Adventures of the Treasure Fleet

– The Chinese Thought of it

– The Lost Horse (pb)

– The Magic Horse of Han Gan (pb)

– The Seven Chinese Brothers (pb)

– Kamishibai Man (about Japan) (Pb)

– Yeh-Shen (Chinese Cinderella story) (pb)

– Ming Lo Moves the Mountain (pb)

– Time Zones

* located various locations using longitude and latitude.


*  attended three chemistry “It’s Atomic” workshops at the museum

*  listened to “The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate” (an inspiring Science focused story)

*  visited the Science Centre to the “Humanoid Discovery” exhibition – tested our senses, explored the length of intestines, measured our resting and active heart rate, checked out the layers of skin, listened to details about neonatal development, learned about different body systems, and laid on a bed of nails

*  visited Seaworld (several times) – attended the talk on penguins, saw the new baby penguin on its mother’s feet, attended the dolphin show and the new “Creatures of the Deep” attraction, fed the stingrays

Read (narrated and discussed):

– The Mystery of the Periodic Table (novel)

– Living Sunlight (pb)

– Rachel Carson and Her Book That Changed the World (pb)

– chapters from Rachel Caron’s book “The Silent Spring” and “The Sea Around Us”

– The Wonder Book of Chemistry (began reading)

– a story about caterpillars and butterfly and faith from “Parables of Nature” which provoked a great discussion about Christianity

– “The Day Glo Brothers” which was about fluorescent colours

– “Commotion in the Ocean” about plastic tub toys that were spilled in the ocean

– “Tracking Trash” about using floating trash to study ocean currents

*  cared for new plants in the garden – watermelon, rosella and corn


– captured the gas from the reaction between vinegar and bicarb with a balloon

– used red cabbage dye to determine acids and bases

– used upturned glasses submerged in water and a straw to capture and transfer gas

– put a lit candle under a jar in a bowl, filled the bowl with water and when the flame used up all the oxygen, water was drawn into the jar to take the place of the oxygen

*  used our sub-atomic particle model to help us understand sub-atomic particles


– Biography: Alexander Graham Bell (documentary)

– youtube videos about the combination of sulfur and iron, the blue flame of sulfur, mining of sulfur from the infamous volcano in Indonesia (and its acidic lake), the miners and their poor work conditions

– youtube videos about mercury, its toxicity, where mercury comes from, how matches work, and how matches are made, videos from Ted on the Periodic Table on mercury and sulfur

– youtube videos about sodium and arsenic; arsenic poisoning from water wells and chemical usage in wood and food; alkali metals that were reactive to water

– youtube videos on tin, phosphorus, titanium, thallium and oxygen

– youtube videos that explained why the sky is blue

*  spent regular time in nature – going on walks, observing wildlife, saw a wild koala

*  observed processionary caterpillars in their silken web and experimented with sound and how the caterpillars responded

*  observed a centipede – read about them, compared them to millipedes

*  found a buttery chrysalis, identified the type of butterfly from the cocoon, and observed it’s transformation

*  researched the question of what happens to nocturnal animals during 24 hour sunlight

*  made a giant periodic tables to fill in

*  listen to the audio book “Itch” which is focused on chemistry

*  wrote paragraphs summarising learning

The Arts:

*  art project using perspective and disappearing points

*  theatre performances:

– Marlin (read “The Old Man and the Sea” prior to visit)

– Carnival of the Animals (listened to the book prior to visit)

– I Am Jack (plus author Q&A session about bullying)

*  attended Shakespeare’s play “The Comedy of Errors” at the Renaissance Fair.

*  listened to Medieval music on medieval instruments


*  Read “Who Was Steve Jobs?” and “Who Is Bill Gates?”

*  Attended “Built for Speed” exhibition at Ipswich Art Gallery (building lego vehicles and testing them on different gradient ramps)

*  Minecraft programming and play

*  Minecraft papercraft

*  Skyping friends

*  Constructing with construction straws

*  Lego designing and building

*  Lego stop animation

*  Computer programming

*  Built a 3D puzzle

*  Made video trailers with friends

*  Made teepee out of bamboos and sheets with friend

*  Youtube videos about how matches are made

Health and PE:

*  recreational swimming with friends

*  cared for family member cat and dogs

*  learned about the risk of skin cancer when attending a family member’s appointment

*  discussed bullying in related to “I Am Jack” performance we attended

*  learned about heart attacks, bypasses, pacemakers and strokes

*  learned about nutrition

* regularly spent time at parks/bushlands with friends, kicking around balls, playing tag, frisbee, scooters, going on hikes, exploring

*  learned to play Bocce

*  many visits to hospital

*  one archery lesson

*  helped family with gardening and cleaning in preparation for house sale


* visited Science Centre to see “Humanoid Discovery”

* visited Ipswich Art Gallery for the exhibition, “Built for Speed”

* attended performance of “Marlin”

* attended performance of “Carnival of the Animals”

* attended performance of “I Am Jack”

* spent a day in emergency with great nana

* attended performance of Shakespeare’s play “Comedy of Errors”

* visited Seaworld and Movieworld (as school excursions)

* attended Mt Cootha Botanical Garden for an Aboriginal Uses excursion

* attended Gold Coast Renaissance Fair

* attended Fort Lytton’s History Alive weekend & toured the Notorious, a replica ship

* attended Caboolture Historic Village excursion


Posted by on June 28, 2015 in Homeschooling Days


5 responses to “Term 1 & 2 Combined Summary for 2015

  1. Ann

    June 29, 2015 at 2:16 am

    Tracey what did you think of The Green Ember?

    • Tracey

      June 29, 2015 at 2:24 am

      The boys didn’t mind it but they didn’t rave. However, I struggled with it. Not necessarily anything to do with the book. Anthropomorphism just isn’t my cup of tea and I struggled to pay full attention. I also struggled with Watership Down but I think I preferred it over The Green Ember.

  2. Ann

    June 29, 2015 at 2:48 am


  3. homeschoolhoneymoon

    June 29, 2015 at 11:15 am

    Judging by how many books/movies/shows you have listed here, I doubt your little men had any sleep at all! hehehe

    • Tracey

      June 29, 2015 at 11:20 am

      Sleep? We are supposed to let them sleep? What a waste! Hehehehe.


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