Author Archives: Tracey

Term 2 Summary 2017

Since we’ve already started Term 3, I suppose I should get a move on and post Term 2’s summary.

Here it is:



-Completed four units from our Math textbook (Math takes us at least 1.5 hrs a day!)

-Played ipad game, “Elements” about geometry

-Watched “Geometry of Islamic Design”



-Listened to “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”

-Listened to “Fever Code”

-Listened to “Flour Babies” (Lots of Personal Development discussions came from this one)

-Listened to “Whipping Boy” (We’d listened to this one when the boys were younger, but Brayden was clearly too young at the time to remember it)

-Completed several essays from Lost Tools of Writing

-Wrote weekly essays on topics read/learned about

-Finished reading “Grammar Town” (This is an EXCELLENT Grammar curriculum.  We are eagerly awaiting the next books)

-Completed workbook “Commas Made Easy”

-Read seven books of Iliad

-Read “The Day they Came to Arrest the Book”;  discussed censorship and freedom (Great book for discussions)

-Analysed and discussed the picture book “Finding Home” (Weird book; I didn’t like it)

-Listened to “1984” (With lots of censoring; probably not one I’d read with highschoolers again but we had to read it before attending a performance)

-Parsed and diagrammed sentences each day (our favourite 5 minutes of the day)

-Began reading “Great Expectations” (Great story!)

-Analysed and discussed the picture book “Golem” about a Jewish creature much like Frankenstein (Another weird book)

-Used dictionary to find meaning of different phobia words

-Individual reading

-Completed video lessons in Roman Roads Media curriculum for Iliad (I want to work through all of the RRM’s “Old Western History”)

-Daily spelling review

-Read Omnibus’s essay on “1984” and all of the materials from QPAC about the play

-Attended a performance of “1984”

-Listened to audio story “Echo” (Best audio ever!!)

-Began listening to “Fablehaven”



-Continued weekly Latin lessons and vocabulary review



-Watched “Brain Games 2”

-Utilised and explored Brainbox activities and Zometool construction set

-Read books about sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic rocks (one of those tangent topics that popped up)

-Read a book about minerals

-Sorted rocks into sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic (harder than you think!)

-Read “Automation” about the talking doll that Edison created (That was a creepy doll!)

-Read “It’s Not Rocket Science”

-Read “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind” and discussed electric circuits and related concepts (Another MUST read book)

-Read “Team Moon” about the people who helped get Apollo 11 to the moon (also a great book, especially for an Australian perspective)

-Watched “The Dish”

-Watched “Apollo 13”

-Researched answers to questions such as: what happened to the other Apollo missions

-Watched TED talks by the author of “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind”

-Watched documentary, “William and the Windmill”

-Watched videos that explained the difference between AC and DC current

-Read “To the Moon and Back”

-Watched a documentary about the moon hoax (very convincing but only because they only show one perspective)

-Watched a Mythbuster episode debunking the moon hoax myths (excellent)

-Completed six projects from “Physics Workshop” kit (The boys are enjoying this)

-Watched several Professor Julius Sumner Miller’s Physics lessons (a blast from the past and also a great launching point)

-Watched youtube videos about centre of gravity and repeated the demonstrations ourselves

-Watched video “How Does a Sailboat actually work” (My understanding of how it worked was completely wrong.)

-Watched video “Sailing into the wind” (We’re learning to appreciate the value of youtube for learning)

-Watched video “Physics of Sailing”

-Watched video “Mass and Weight”

-Watched video “Falling Object and Misconceptions”

-Watched video “Gravity in Space”

-Watched video “Why Does Earth Spin?”

-Watched video “Acceleration Lab”

-Watched video “What is Force”

-Watched video “What forces are acting on you?”

-Watched video “Can you perceive acceleration?”

-Watched video “Law of Inertia”

-Watched video “Force, Mass and Acceleration”

-Watched several videos on Chris Hatfield, the astronaut – “An Astronaut’s View of the Earth” and “What I Learned for Going Blind in Space” (brilliant!)

-Watched numerous videos of life in the ISS.

-Watched an episode on River Blindness from “Monsters Inside Me” (Fascinating!)

-Watched videos”Jetpack Rocket Science” and “Veritasium Bungee Jump”

-Watched documentary “The Last Man on the Moon”

-Began listening to audio story by astronaut Chris Hatfield, “An Astronaut’s Guide to Life” (This guy’s life is amazing and he’s got a lot of wisdom to share)



-Reviewed the US states

-Watched “The First Grader”

-Watched 4 seasons of “Life Under Zero” (Lots of swearing but what a great show if you are interesting in life in the cold)

-Read “The Lamp, the Ice and the Boat called Fish”

-Read “52 Days by Camel”

-Read “An Ordinary Day” about leprosy and poverty in India

-Watched “Molokia:  The Story of Father Damien” about leprosy

-Watched the documentary “War Dance” about northern Uganda and child soldiers (Heart-wrenching stories)

-Watched “Hotel Rwanda” about the massacre in Rwanda

-Read “One Plastic Bag” about an innovative recycling project in Gambia (Inspiring)

-Watched a short film about the Gambian recycling project and read through the related website

-After reading, “The Boy who Harnessed the Wind”, we researched life in Malawi

-Watched “The Queen of Katwe”

-Read “A Hare in the Elephant’s Trunk” (learning about Africa seems to involve learning about a lot of different genocides; it’s sad)

-Watched documentary “The Road to Freedom Peak” about returned Ugandan child soldiers

-Watched video “Jacob Deng – One of the Lost Boys of Sudan”

-Watched video “The Lost Girls”, “Kakuma” (The girls are rarely spoken about)

-Watched video “Lost Boys of Sudan”

-Watched video “Darfur in 10 minutes – Overview of conflict in Sudan” (This genocide is happening right now!!)

-Watched video “Darfur Conflict: A Rebel Leader’s Death”

-Watched video “On Our Watch:  Genocide in Darfur”

-Watched the movie “A Good Lie”

-Read the book “Child Soldier”

-Watched the documentary “Namibia Genocide and the 2nd Reich” (researched the difference between second and third Reich) (I had no idea about this!)



-Watched “Gladiator – Back from the Dead”

-Read “Young Murphy” about Ludwig Leichhardt

-Read “Radio Rescue”

-Read “Aussie Noteables:  John Flynn” and explored a $20 note

-Read “Tank Boys” and read through the Mephisto guide book (Eager to go and see the Mephisto in the flesh)

-Watched “The Years that Made Us:  Australia Between the Wars”

-Read “All About Captain Cook” (Old books are usually the best)

-Watched “Rome – Rise and Fall of an Empire”

-Watched documentary “Alexander’s Lost World”

-Watched the movie “Alexander” (censored) (Hard to get past the agenda they were pushing)

-Read “Alexander the Great”

-Read the book “The Hero Schliemann:  The Dreamer Who Dug for Troy”

-Read “John Winthrop, Oliver Cromwell and the Land of Promise” (Now I finally know who Oliver Cromwell is)

-Began reading “The Children of the New Forest”

-Read sections from “The Usborne History of Britain”




-Watched “The Greatest movie Ever” about advertising (Great doco!)

-Completed the curriculum “Economics for Everyone”

-Watched “The True Cost” about the true cost of fashion (A must watch for women and girls)

-Watched “Mabo” the documentary and researched answers to our questions and located places on a map (And now I know that Mabo was a person and not a policy; homeschooling is giving me the education my private elite highschool never did despite the expense)

-Finished reading Plutarch’s Publica

-Watched “Mabo” the movie

-Watched “Servant or Slave” about whether the stolen generation were used as slaves (a good doco; thought-provoking)

-Read the picture book “Say Yes” about the 1967 referendum in Australia; researched further information (a book for young students about a topic that is more appropriate to older students but we made do)


The Arts:

-Discussed and compared the collaged artwork in “Golem” and “One Plastic Bag”

-Attended theatre performance of “Model Citizen” by Circus Oz, which had a theme of society and fitting in (Brilliant)

-Watched short film created using blender called, “Alike” which is about how society doesn’t respect creativity (Lovely)

-Attended a performance of 1984 at QPAC and a Q&A sessions (Fantastic)



-Began curriculum “The Art of Argument”


Tech & Design:

-Volunteers at a weekly computer class (He loves it)

-Troubleshot various computer problems for family and friends (always)

-Used Zometool and Brainbox

-Read further chapters of “Art of Construction”

-Created “I” crossbeams to create the frame of a house (Enjoyed and could easily feel how it added strength to the model)

-Built various bridge models using Knex

-Watched “Engineering an Empire”

-Watched “Print the Legend” about 3D printers. (The boys enjoyed this more than I did)


Health & PE:

-Watched “The Mystery of Sleep”

-Watched “High:  How Drugs Works” about the dangers of cannabis and ecstasy

-Spent one afternoon a week in the park with friends

-Monthly visits to trampolining centre with friends (Their favourite thing)

-Watched “The Human Experiment” about the chemicals in our home (Scary)

-Watched documentary “A Plastic Ocean” (Horrifying.  It’s on Netflix.  Definitely watch it.)


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Posted by on July 12, 2017 in Homeschooling Days


Peek at Our Week

We have been busy little bees recently, squeezing in lot of things before the end of the term, which is one week away.  We’ve also been to bookclub, the park a couple of times, the trampolining centre, the movies, and the theatre.

At the theatre, we saw a production of “1984”.  It was intense but very well orchestrated.  Definitely worth the visit for mature students.

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With all of this driving around, between three different cities (yep, we get around), we have had a lot of time to listen to audio stories.  At present we are wrapping up, “Echo” by Pam Munoz Ryan.  You should listen to this audio (the book couldn’t be as good as the audio because of the musical element to the story).  It is amazing!  The story structure is rather quirky.  It has three stories within one story, all tied together with a harmonica.  And each of the stories is brilliantly crafted and very touching.  The stories deal with difficult topics but in such a way that lots of ages, from young to old, could appreciate this book.  We’ll definitely be checking out more of this author’s writing.  She’s very talented.

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We’ve been reading a stack of stuff, as always.  Recently, we’ve polished off “A Hare in the Elephant’s Trunk” about the lost boys fleeing Southern Sudan, “Child Soldier” about a boy in Northern Uganda, and “The Hero Schliemann” (cause there’s only so many bad news African stories you can cope with in a week) about the man who’s renown for uncovering the city of Troy.  We’re also a third of the way through, “John Winthrop, Oliver Cromwell and the Land of Promise” and part way through several others.

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We’ve watched a stack of documentaries on all manner of topics:

* “The Road to Freedom Peak” about returned child soldiers in Northern Uganda (very hard hitting)

*  “On Our Watch: Genocide in Dafur” about the current genocide and people displacement in Sudan (no, the atrocities haven’t ended in Sudan)

* “Namibia: Genocide and the Second Reich” about the genocide that Germany was responsible for well BEFORE Hitler came to power

* “The Good Life” (which is actually a movie) about several Lost Boys of Sudan who immigrate to the US

*  “The Human Experiment” about the chemicals used in our everyday world that are linked to all manner of illnesses

* “Print the Legend” about the businesses who designed 3D printers for private use

* “The Last Man on the Moon” about astronaut Gene Cernan

and, last but not least by any means,

* “A Plastic Ocean” about how plastic is affecting our world and its occupants (it was really horrifying to watch the amount of plastic that was being pulled out of the stomachs of animals)

We’ve also been researching information about problems in Africa.  Every time we receive a catalogue from Christian bookstores, there are always a number of pamphlets requesting help for all manner of problems.  So, recently, we took the time to have a closer look at the issues.  The issue that stirred us the most was River Blindness.  Have you heard of River Blindness?  “Dark Forest Black Fly” was an excellent documentary on the topic.

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We’ve also been picking up our pens and doing plenty of Math and Writing.  Both boys have finished their persuasive essays on whether man walked on the moon and we have been working hard to finish our current Math chapter before the holidays.

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The boys have also been building various things, like this force gauge.

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We tested it with our purchased force gauge and the Newtons on the device are actually pretty accurate.

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The boys also built an all-terrain vehicle and investigated speed.

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We’ve also been exploring the physics involved in sailing.  Are you like I was and think that sail boats move because air fills the sail and pushes it?  Rest assured, we’re not alone.  Most people think this.

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Sails actually use the principle of lift to move the boat.  Seriously.  Check out this video..

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Recently, the boys also had a bit of centre of gravity fun.  Have you ever tried to balance a coin on the edge of a note (or piece of paper)?  It’s easier than you might think.  Just fold your piece of paper or paper money and form a bit of a V and balance your coin there.  Then slowly and smoothly open out your paper.  (We found it helpful to lift it slightly off the surface of the bench).

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Voila.  A coin balancing on seemingly an impossibly difficult edge. Give it a go.

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We also balanced a soda can on a weird angle.  Pour about 100mls of water in the bottom of your can and give it a go.  It’s really easy.

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You can even gently nudge it so that it circles around.  Impressed?  We were!

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The boys also pulled out their Jenga blocks and built towers that seem to defy gravity.  It doesn’t take much to amuse homeschooled children.  🙂

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I’m sure there is plenty of other stuff we have done recently.  In fact, I know there was.  We’ve watched economic videos, we’ve done Logic lessons, we’re read about engineering concepts, we’ve done Latin lessons and plenty of other good stuff.

When I haven’t been working on school with the boys, I’ve been reading…of course.  My latest find is “Fablehaven“.  It’s a series but I’ve only read the first book as I’m waiting for the box set to arrive.  And it’s good.  If you liked “Harry Potter”, you will probably like “Fablehaven”.  Fablehaven is a secret magical creature refuge.  When Kendra and Seth, the caretaker’s grandchildren, arrive at Fablehaven, the refuge just looks like an idyllic garden surrounded by woods as their grandfather is doing his best to keep Fablehaven a secret.  Of course, no secret is ever kept long from children and all sorts of adventures happen of which you’ll have to read the series to find out.  Now, the fact that I’m recommending this book is kind of epic.  You see, I generally don’t like fantasy books (I’ll let you in on a little secret – I only read four of the seven Harry Potter books as I got bored of them.)  But Fablehaven, despite being fantasy, grabbed me and held me and even caused me to buy the whole series.  Yes, I enjoyed it that much.

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Currently, I’m reading a big person book.  Yes, I occasionally do that.  I’m reading Brian Kilmeade’s “Thomas Jefferson and the Tripoli Pirates“.  This author writes really well.  It’s a rare treat to find a non-fiction title that is so well written that you can’t put it down, but this book is one of them.  It helps that I’m partial to all things Jefferson.  Plus I’m fascinated by the topic.  Do you know anything about the Barbary Coast and the Tripoli Pirates?  It’s well worth a little read or research.  Here’s a quick summary.

So that’s what we’ve been up to this past week or so.  Hope everyone else is having a lovely time.


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Posted by on June 18, 2017 in Homeschooling Days


Our New Writing Program

This year, we have moved away from using IEW and have switched to “The Lost Tools of Writing” (LTW).  Not because we didn’t like IEW (we love IEW), but because we had a different writing goal this year.  IEW has been instrumental in teaching my boys how to structure and improve their writing and now we need to focus on content and thought and that’s what I think LTW does well.

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There are three components to LTW curriculum: there’s a teacher’s guide, a student book and streamed videos.  For almost all of the 9 essays, there are three videos, streamed through Vimeo, intended for the teacher, not the student.  The way I use the program is to watch the three videos for the essay I’m teaching and then read through the detailed lesson information in the teacher’s guide.  I do all of this on the weekend prior to teaching the new essay.  I love the amount of support that the LTW curriculum gives the instructor.

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I also love the amount of freedom that the program allows.  While the teaching is structured, the teacher and the student are given the freedom to chose what they will write about.  I appreciate this as it allows our writing to be related to what we are learning in other subject areas.

The persuasive essay is the genre that LTW teaches.  Prior to starting the curriculum, I thought I knew most of what there was to know about the persuasive genre.  I mean, I’m a qualified teacher and I’ve taught this genre a number of times, even for the infamous Naplan tests.  But LTW has taught me so much that I now know how little I actually knew about the persuasive essay.  I was on the right track, but I was only just scrapping at the surface.  LTW has opened a door I didn’t even know to look for.  I’d never heard of things like exordiums and amplifications.  I’m so glad I chose a writing program to help me teach my boys.

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The main reason I chose LTW for this stage of writing instruction is its focus on invention, or creation of ideas.  IEW taught my boys to structure their writing well but they needed more work on creation of ideas.  They preferred report writing, retelling what they knew after some research.  But, when asked for their thoughts on a topic, they were uncomfortable with identifying and expressing their own ideas.  LTW teaches students how to draw forth those thoughts and how to organise them.  In the ‘invention’ stage of writing, an often overlooked stage of writing, the students are taught five common topics: comparison, definition, circumstance, relation and testimony.   These five common topics lead to powerful questions that help students gather their ideas and thoughts.  Invention (or thinking) is a critical part of the LTW writing process and given equal importance with the outlining, drafting and editing processes.

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The ideas and thoughts that the students form and discover are collected on an ANI chart.  (This ANI chart is a brilliant device.  I can think of so many uses for it).  In LTW, after devising a thesis, the students’ thoughts are organised into: ideas that affirm the thesis, ideas that negate the thesis and ideas that are merely interesting to the topic but perhaps not yet relevant.  I particularly appreciate that the student is required to consider both sides of an argument, not merely their own.   This is an important skill if we are to teach our children to critically think through issues.

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Next, the students are moved into the arrangement stage of writing.  Here the students are taught to sort and group their ideas within their ANI chart in order to transfer them to an essay outline.  LTW does not overwhelm the students in this stage of writing, consequently, the initial essays are very rudimentary.  Do not be disturbed by the simplicity of the first couple of essays.  It’s part of the process and I assure you that the students will be writing good quality essays before long.

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In their student books, the students are supported with leading questions and prompts while transferring information from their organised ANI charts to an outline.  Then the students transcribe their outline onto their own page, using the template provided in their student books.  At first, this process seemed cumbersome to my boys but LTW has quickly taught them to appreciate the process that creates a high quality outline.  Writing from such an outline makes writing so much easier.

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Next, the students are given lessons in ‘elocution’, quality language expression.   I liken this stage to IEW’s dress-ups.  With each new LTW essay, the students are given skills to improve their written expression.  Some of the skills in LTW’s level 1 include parallelism, similes, alliteration and assonance.  I tend to teach these lessons after my students have drafted their essay so that they can edit their own writing to include the new element.

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With a little preparation each week, the program is very easy to use and incredibly supportive of both teacher and student.  Because of this support and the freedom to select our own writing topics, the writing skills we are learning should be easy to continue to use once we have finished the program.  My boys have just finished essay five in LTW and I’m already declaring the merits of this program high and low, and far and wide.  As evidence of why I’m falling in love with LTW, I’d like to leave you with the introduction paragraph of one of my sons’ essays.  For him, writing this paragraph was as easy as following the advice of the Lost Tools of Writing.

“One Small Step”

On the moon, Neil Armstrong said, “That’s one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind” but was he actually on the moon when he said this?  The truth is important to both sides of the argument.  One side believes that man walked on the moon and the other believes that the moon walk and landing were all just a hoax.  Evidence, however, indicates that man did walk on the moon in 1969.  There are five prominent reasons to believe that man went to the moon.  The Apollo astronauts themselves were eyewitnesses, who documented their experiences on the moon through photos and videos.  They also returned to Earth with a large number of moon rocks and soil samples to study.  The Apollo missions were not just tracked by NASA and other American organisations; they were also tracked by third-parties around the world.  Science has also explained the anomalies that the conspiracy theorists use as evidence against a moon landing.  In recent years, unmanned missions have been sent to the moon and have photographed the landing sites of the Apollo missions and the equipment they left behind.  With this clear evidence, it can safely be said that Neil Armstrong did walk on the moon.



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Posted by on June 18, 2017 in Language, Resources and Organising


Peek at Our Week

We found our Term 2 groove this week.  Yes, I realise that it’s week 6 (of 10) in the term and we’re only just finding our groove. I’m just thankful we found it at all.

* This week we’ve been dabbling with some Science activities.  Here the boys were investigating gravity

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and here they were working on centre of gravity.

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* We finished reading several books this week.  First, we finished “To the Moon and Back”.  I highly recommend this book.  It’s fabulous!  There were facts in the book that my space-loving husband didn’t even know.  If you ever want an Australian-flavoured book about space travel, this is the one you need.

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We also wrapped up “Everyday Battles” by Bob Schultz.  The epilogue was a bit of a bummer though.  It describes the events surrounding the author’s death. That’s not the way we wanted to finish a book.  Not to take anything away from the book though.  All of Bob Schultz’s books have been excellent.  They are aimed at boys and directing their walk into adulthood with God as their pilot.

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We just finished reading “All About Captain Cook” today.  It was also excellent.  (Yep, everything we’ve read this week was excellent and recommended.)  This book was an older title and I loved how it read.  It  told the life of James Cook in a different way from which I’m used to in modern books.  This book made me ‘care’ about Cook in a way I never have.

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* In the evenings, we’ve been watching “Alexander’s Lost World”.  It took us six nights to finish it off.  What did I learn while watching this dvd series – that I have absolutely no desire to travel to these locations and that my boys don’t know the story of Jason and the Argonauts.  (Yes, I immediately jumped onto Bookdepository and ordered a book about Jason – any excuse is a good excuse for buying a book.)

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* Now, in case you are starting to think that all we do all day is read books and watch documentaries (wouldn’t that be a lovely life!), here’s a glimpse at some of the other things we did this week in school: reviewed the US states, completed several Latin lessons, completed an economics lesson on video, completed a Logic lesson in “The Art of Argument”, completed a technology lesson in “The Art of Construction”, completed two Physics tasks plus reading (and set up the third ready for next week), completed a whole unit on Geometry, did copywork and spelling tasks every day, parsed and diagrammed sentences every day, worked on a persuasive essay about whether we should believe that man walked on the moon, continued to listen to the audio “1984”, read more of “Great Expectations”,  began reading “A Hare in the Elephant’s Trunk” and did plenty of our own reading.  I also took one son to hubby’s school to help teach a computer programming class and we all spent an afternoon at the park with friends.

* When I’m not working side by side with my sons on Math or some other schooly thing, and if the house isn’t screaming my name and demanding attention, I can be found reading.  This week, I finished reading, “Edge of Extinction”.  I loved it and had to buy my own copy and the sequel (which I haven’t read yet).  Middle schoolers will love this book.  Yes, the covers look a little scary but it’s not that scary.  Yes, there are some dinosaur related injuries, but, to be fair, there are a lot more dinosaurs being injured than humans.  In case you were wondering, dinosaurs have been bought back to life (whose great idea was that?!!) and so humans have fled into the safety of underground compounds and have been living there for some time.  However, a girl named Sky, leaves the compound and goes top-side to find her father and solve a mystery.  It’s a thrilling read and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  My boys will love it.

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“Unwind” is another book I finished recently.  I really liked this book and plan to read the read of the series.  I could see them making this series into movies (although I don’t think our twisted society will like the message).  Now brace yourself for this plot outline.  Abortion is illegal in this future society and life is protected…well, until a child turns 13.  At that point, parents can choose to ‘unwind’ their child.  Any reason is valid – disabilities, rebellion, or just don’t want the kid.  The unwound’s body parts are then donated to those looking for ‘replacement parts’.  Sounds horrible, doesn’t it.   But it’s a very clever way of getting the reader to understand that, regardless of age, abortion is the murder of a child, no matter what lens you are looking through.  The story follows a group of runaway ‘unwinds’ and those people who help them survive.  The story isn’t gruesome but it does make you think.

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I’ve also just finished reading “The Shadow of the Bear“.  I loved it.  It’s part of a series called ‘fairy tale novels’.  But, don’t be deceived; these are no ordinary fairy tales.  They have been modernised.  Initially I didn’t think I’d like the books because of the modernising but it was such a crazy mix that it just worked.  In the first book, Blanche and Rose are sisters who live with their mother in the Bronx in New York.  One night a stranger helps their mother and they invite him into their apartment.  Rose instantly makes the stranger, a young man named Bear, feel at home but Blanche is a lot more cautious and vaguely remembers seeing Bear at their school gate where the drug dealers hang out.  Anyway the story goes on and there is some danger from their association with Bear but not in the way you might expect.  Now, despite the dark, dangerous setting, complete with drugs and murders, the story is contains a good dose of innocence, which I think is what made me like it so much.  None of the ugliness is described in great detail (we don’t need to get a clear imagine of what is happening) and Rose and Blanche are uncomfortable and wary of the things they should be.  They care about modesty and purity and spend their time talking about poetry and literature.  My favourite element of the books are some of the things that the characters talk about and say.  Check out this quote from the first book:

“Art’s about truth,” said Bear, “Truth and beauty go together”…”Art’s almost always beautiful because beauty is truth,” Bear said.

or this one:

“C.S. Lewis had said something about true humility being the ability to rejoice in somebody else’s good fortune as if it were your own.  So she took in the picture of her sister, with her smooth, shining hair, sparkling eyes, and slim figures, and sighing, counted it all joy.”

What’s not to like about books that include these kinds of discussions and ideas!


* This week, when we were over visiting my parents, we got the grand tour of the cubby house renovations.  My two nieces spend a fair bit of time with grandma and grandad so the cubby was built with two little girls in mind.  And it is AMAZING.  Firstly, there’s a little bed that doubles as a storage box.  And, since Missy 4 requested a door to ‘her bedroom,’ a curtain divider was installed.

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The cubby’s window doubles as a store front.  The window can be slid open to attend to your customers.

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Now, this kitchen is the most deluxe cubby kitchen I have EVER seen.  There’s plenty of storage above and below and even hooks for hanging your cups.  There’s a space for the microwave, and under that there’s a built-in oven (complete with a timer that counts down – yes, it has digital numbers that count backwards!).  Under the over is a built-in dishwasher (complete with buttons that turns on lights which are on a timer so you’ll know when your dishes are done).  Oh and don’t forget the fridge under the stove (yes, a light turns on when you open the fridge door – I kid you not!!).

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Check out the stove top!  You press the black buttons on the front and it turns on lights, I mean the heating elements.  How cool is that?!!!

Yes, that’s a blackboard for messages that you can see behind the kettle and toaster.

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It’s simply amazing and all handmade by my father.  (No, I didn’t have one when I was a kid.  So technically this should be MY cubby house because my name was on the wishlist first but I don’t think I’ll win in a battle of wills with Missy 4 so I’ll let her and her sister have it.)

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Here’s a picture of the outside of the cubby. (You can see my men in the reflection checking out the renovations.  They were impressed and feel that playing with their little cousins just got a whole lot more interesting).  Yes, the cubby exterior is set up as a shop.  See the little spot for your cash register over on the left.  Yep, my dad has thought of everything.  Oh and in case you were wondering about how all of the electrics are powered in the cubby, there are solar panels on the roof.  I mean, don’t all cubbies come with solar panels nowadays.  🙂

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* Finally, this week, I Kon Mari-ed the boys’ clothes dresser.  Everything is folded into a nice little parcel and stood on its end in the drawer.  I love it.  I Kon Mari-ed hubby’s dresser ages ago and he loved it.  He can easily see all of the clothes he owns and make his selection.  I love how much you can fit into the drawers using this method, how easy everything is to put away, and how easy it is to open and close the drawers now.

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And yes, this is all of the summer and winter clothes that this one child owns (aside from his smalls, pjs, swimmers, two hanging button-up shirts and jumper).  In fact, I could probably cut back on the jeans and shorts, but I like to have about one week’s worth in case I get behind in washing.

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That’s it for another week folks.  I wonder what next week will hold.

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Posted by on May 27, 2017 in Homeschooling Days