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Author Archives: Tracey

My Week in Bullet Points

It feels like the term is winding down.  Only one more week until holidays.  Whoohoo!

*This week, we spent a morning at a Trampoline centre, jumping and playing laser tag with friends.  It’s great exercise.

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*We’ve been busy trying to wrap up some written work that I want finished before the end of term.  It’s nice to start a new term with fresh topics and tasks.

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*We’ve also been trying to finish a stack of books before the holidays.  Our favourite is “Albert Schweitzer: Genius in the Jungle”.

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It’s a gem of a book!  If you’ve ever heard a Classic Educator say that they aim to introduce their children to the true, good and beautiful, this is the kind of book a Classical Educator might read to achieve this.  Albert Schweitzer is amazing and the author’s descriptions of Albert’s time and work in Africa is fascinating.  And the language of this old book is just wonderful.  I want to find more books of this caliber and read them all with my children.

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*As always, we’ve been watching all sorts of interesting things in the evenings.  “Greeks, Romans,Vikings” was an excellent overview or introduction to the founders of Europe;  “Jandamarra’s War” introduced us to an historic event we hadn’t even heard of before; and “Burke and Wills” was a movie retelling of these great explorers.  This weekend I need to do some library searching to refill our documentary box.  We are running low.

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*It’s been a big week of nature here.  First, we found this neat paper wasp nest in our letterbox.  We’d previously sprayed the wasps but hadn’t found the nest.  But, this week, a parcel knocked down the nest and it was lying neatly in our letterbox waiting to be collected and observed.  How convenient.  🙂

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Can you see the two emerging adult wasps?  The spray obviously killed them in the act of emerging.  Of course, we grabbed “The Wonderland of Nature” (yes, we still use it from time to time) and read up about paper wasps.  Next week, the nest is off to my niece’s kindie for the show and tell table.

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Another night we spotted this gecko dining on a moth.  In a household of boys, this is a major event that everyone is expected to come and witness.  For all you soft hearts – the moth eventually got away and Mr Gecko had to go hungry.

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Oh and all this rain has bought out so many groovy mushrooms.  There are all different sorts.  We need to get a mushroom guide.

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*Yes, books also arrived at our house this week.  Two for me, one for the boys.  “Different” and “Hidden Girl” are mine to read.  “Augustine” is for the boys.  It’s not as long as I expected it to be though.  It’s clearly for a younger audience.  But, oh well.  We’ll read it anyway.  🙂

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*We also spent an afternoon at the park with friends.  Our kids love this park.  No, not for the playground equipment, although it’s pretty awesome.

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The boys love the bush surrounds with all its little nooks and crannies and interesting things to discover. And it’s what kids need more of – time in nature.  Man-made stuff is great, but God-made stuff is better.  And I’m glad our boys realise it.

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(Don’t my two little men look like twins in those seemingly matching outfits.  From the front they were different.  Honestly.  But my boys often end up looking similar as we don’t care much about clothes.  When we find something appropriate, we just buy two in different sizes so they often end up with the same shoes, hats, shorts and sometime shirts.  The less time and money we spend on clothes, the more money we can spend on books and reading them.  We are book people, not clothes people.)

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*On other interesting news, this week my parents went up to North Queensland to visit my Aunty Debbie in Ayr.  However, it seems that another Debbie, Cyclone Debbie, will be visiting while they are there.  At this point, it’s looking like Ayr will get a direct hit.  Mum and Dad might want to rethink their accommodations.  Staying out at the ‘beach hut’ doesn’t sound like a secure location.   :O

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And now I need to go and deal with this desk.  I feel it might need a little attention…or perhaps a lot.

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My Week in Bullet Points

* This week was a week of birthdays – my birthday and my niece’s birthday.  We gave my niece Lego and, of course, books.

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My niece gave me a handcrafted piece of art that has taken pride of place on my bookshelves.

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* We finished a couple of school books this week.  “The Great South Land” was a fantastic read.  If you are looking for a book about the men who visited Australia before Cook, then this is your book!  It’s intended for adults (but there’s nothing inappropriate in it) and it reads aloud really well.

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We also finished “Zoom”, a book on motion.  We said, “Wow!” so many times in this book.  We also said, “Huh?” quite a number of times.

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* Some books arrived in the mail this week.  (Admittedly, our parcel postie arrives most weeks 🙂 ).  This week we got books about Greece.  We’re reading the Iliad so I thought it was a good time to explore some Greek tangents.

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I also got a book gift from a friend.  I’ve drooled over this book for a long while, even since this friend highly recommended it as their favourite children’s version of ‘Cinderella’.

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The illustrations are gorgeous!

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* Currently I’m (trying to) read “The Bear and the Nightingale”.  At this point I’m not sure if I’ll make it to the end, although I’m so close to the end that I think I’ll have to make myself continue.  I really liked the sounds of this book, after reading the blurb and review, but it has turned out to be something completely different from what I was expecting – it’s much darker.  If I had to name a theme for this book, it would be fear – fear to leave the old beliefs (traditional nature centre beliefs) and fear of not accepting the new beliefs (Russian Orthodox).  Not a book to read at night before bed!

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* Thankfully I can pick a different book to read before bed time.  I picked up this bundle of goodies from the library this week.  Decisions, decisions.  What will I start with?  And how will I finish all of these before they are due back at the library!

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* We’ve been doing some viewing too.  We watched “Hacksaw Ridge” and it was excellent.  It’s not for those with a weak stomach though.  The gory battle scenes are among the worst I’ve seen, but we had to watch it as it was a true story of great faith.  We also finished watching the 6 episodes of, “Civilisation:  Is the West History?”.  And tonight we’ll watch “Gagarin:  First in Space”.

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* We also had book club this week.  We LOVE book club.  We (the mums, obviously) are currently reading “Life Under Compulsion” by Anthony Esolen (everything he writes is wonderful!).

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While the mum’s chat about the book, the kidlings run wild in our beloved bush setting.  This week, the kids had to seek shelter during a quick but heavy downpour so they sat and played a round of Uno.  After the rain, they went out and played in the mud and had a blast.

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Who knows what next week will hold?  Definitely more books!

🙂

 

 
 

Gem From a Clearance Table

You have to ALWAYS check the clearance tables at a bookstore.

ALWAYS!

Underneath the piles of trashy books,

(and there’s always lots of those),

there are often treasures

just waiting to be found.

Look what I found!

Fortuyn’s Ghost” by Mark Greenwood

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I have a stack of books by this author and the illustrator.

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Mark Wilson has a very distinct type of illustration.

I can always pick his books.

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The author, Mark Greenwood is also a kind of illustrator I suppose

– he illustrates with words.

Reading aloud his books is a delight.

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This book find was so perfectly timed.

It’s about a Dutch ship that was shipwrecked somewhere off the west coast of Australia.

And at the moment, that’s exactly what we’re reading about in History

– early maritime encounters with Australia.

Unfortunately, the Fortuyn had a rather unpleasant ‘encounter’ with Australia,

but, sadly, so did so many other ships.

(I love books that contain an information page for sharing additional information.)

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And  how much did this treasure cost me?

Drum rolls, please.

It was only $2!!!

Bargain!

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Hmmm…maybe I shouldn’t have told everyone about my book buying tip.

Now, all the clearance tables will be picked over.

Okay, just forget everything I said.

You read nothing.

🙂

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2017 in History, My Library

 

Ahhh…Math

“Don’t you love it?”

The subject that your children jump with joy about completing each day.

The subject that doesn’t cause you any grief at all.

The subject that simply makes you swoon.

Okay, who am I kidding!

It’s Math I’m talking about, not Art!

Math can be hard work.

And it’s most likely the cause of at least some of our grey hairs.

So,

do I have anything really insightful to impart about Math

that will solve all of your problems?

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Nope.

But I will say this:

If Math is done consistently, every single day,

it makes it just that bit easier.

Ignore the complaints, whines and grumbles

(well, give a quick commiseration if you wish),

and just dive into it

(kind of like pulling off a bandaide).

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I’m a smidge lucky.

Both of my boys are working on the same level of Math

so I only need to tackle one level of Math at a time.

This allows me to literally work alongside my boys.

I have my own Math book and I sit and do the very same Math as my men.

Side by side, we tackle Math.

I help them; they help me.

And we all benefit from the companionship

…and often the combined brain power.

It works really well for us.

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And, once we’ve got over our grumbles at the beginning,

we usually find that we quite enjoy Math

…well, some days.

It is Math afterall.

🙂

 
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Posted by on March 14, 2017 in Mathematics