Category Archives: Homeschooling Days

Term Two Review

Oh how I am failing at blogging this year.

I have no good excuses.

Blogging just hasn’t been happening.

So what have we been doing this past term?

Well, first of all, we’ve been sneaking in as many visits of my new niece as possible.

Isn’t she cute?

These are a handful of the hundreds of shots I took of her.
125 (2) (Medium)

This is one of my favourites.

She wasn’t a keen model.

She just wanted to sleep and her mother and I just wanted to pose and photograph her.

215 (Medium)

Then she woke up and gave us some more cute shots.

270 (Medium)

She was only a couple of weeks old in these shots

so this isn’t a ‘real’ smile but boy does it look like it.

344 (Medium)

She’s now about three months old

and coming out of that newborn fog

079 (Medium)

and interacting more with the people around her.

083 (Medium)

Her big sister, Miss Two, is also growing.

Growing in personality and attitude.

I love this age.

(And she loved the kidney beans activity I set up for her.)
035 (Medium)

These girls love my boys

and my boys idolise these little girls.

147 (Medium)

Moment like these (below) just melt my heart. 

 075 (Medium)

The other day I had my first school experience.

I took my eldest niece to her first sports carnival.

Watching her run her little race made my eyes well up with tears of pride.


My own not-so-little munchkins have also been hard at work.

We’ve been digging into trigonometry this term.

I like it a whole lot more than I did when I was at school.


The boys (one in particular) are loving their graphing calculator.

I still feel faint at the cost…of two of them!


Of course, it wouldn’t be my house if we weren’t reading.

002 (Medium)

We read lots of books this term (as always) but a highlight was this book about the Lebensborn program.

If you don’t know anything about it, “Hitler’s Forgotten Children” is an informative read.


We also read about Eva Mozes and Dr Mengele.

You have to watch her dvd “Forgiving Dr Mengele”.

It was fantastic.


We also read “Gulliver’s Travels”.

It was our dud read of the term.

I had been really looking forward to it, but, now that we’ve read it, I don’t recommend it to others.

I totally understand why the book has been abridged for children.

Not a fan and I had really wanted to be.


We also read the whole Egyptian Mummies souvenir guide from the museum.

No, we haven’t been to the exhibit yet.

We just always read the guides before we visit.

I know.  We’re weird.

Hopefully we’ll get to the exhibition during the holidays,

which are quickly filling to the brim.


My favourite documentary this term was “How the States Got Their Shapes”.

It was fascinating.

I learned so many new things.


Oh and I read this delightful little junior fiction novel to myself.

I totally loved it.

Reading bugs, lots of great book references and a library to save – what’s not to love!!

Hubby is going to read it to his grade two class next term.


Actually, there’s been lots of book action this term.

I’ve been book culling, cleaning and shuffling again.

I got rid of a whole pile of junior non-fiction that the boys had grown out of

and that I didn’t love enough to keep in the house.

Don’t panic, only one of those six empty shelves were left totally empty by the time I was finished.

I haven’t totally lost my mind.


Of course, a book decluttering means that there are spaces to fill

so of course I have been to the Lifeline Bookfest.


I didn’t buy a huge amount though.

I bought a bag full for my nieces

and this tidy little pile for our own shelves.


I don’t tend to buy much at the Lifeline sales anymore.

I prefer to buy exactly what I want from online bookstores.

For instance, these Richard Maybury books that complete my collection of his books.


Or this lovely new book from Living Books Press.

I just love how they present their books in brown paper, twine and a wax seal.


Or any one of these glorious books that are in my ‘to read’ pile.


Oh I have to recommend this title – “In the Land of the Blue Burqas”.

I just finished reading it last week (and another of the author’s books, “Farewell, Four Waters”).

I had to rush out and buy a paperback copy of it to read to my boys next term.

It’s brilliant.

It’s about a Christian aid worker who goes to Afghanistan and her interactions with her Muslim neighbours.

If you want to be reminded of how good our God is, read this book.


This term I’ve also been busy with schole for the mumma.

Yes, the homeschooling mother should also be learning and stretching her mind.

I’m almost finished “Saving Leonardo”.

I highly highly recommend this book to fellow Christians.


Check out the view from where I sometimes meet with friends to discuss books.

How distracting is that view!


The boys have also been to more QUT Stem workshops.

This last workshop was on robotic arms.

The boys loved it.

We have several more of these workshops in coming months.


Plenty of technology has been happening in our home this term.

The boys have been steadily working through Arduino tasks.

Ethan does the programming and Brayden does the electronics.

006 (Medium)

Yes, yes, I let my homeschooled kids out of the house sometimes too.  🙂

I let them mow the backyard at least fortnightly!!  🙂

018 (Medium)

And we head to different parks to let them run wild with friends every week.

The other day we were at this park (below) for six hours!!

It’s just trees and space to run and play but we love it.

I had a dear U.S. friend visit and we sat at this park and talked and talked until the sun was on the way down

and we were concerned that our husbands might send out search parties.


Ah, it’s been a very good term.

And next term is going to be huge.

We have more travel planned.

Nothing overseas this time

…unless you count the Bass Strait as ‘overseas’.





Posted by on June 30, 2018 in Family Life, Homeschooling Days


Another Fortnight

Two more weeks have flown past and now it’s the holidays.

As usual, we have been doing school.

(Yes, our ‘school’ photos are usually of Math.

That’s when they look the most studious and when I think to take a photo.)

003 (Small)

Check out this groovy little stand I got from Ikea.

I absolutely love it.

It cost less than two bucks.

We’ve been using it for everything.

007 (Small)

Brace yourself – this is year eleven Math.

Doesn’t it make your head hurt just looking at it.

Mine too.

006 (Small)

We’ve been on a bit of a Winston Churchill spree recently.

These are only a couple of the books and dvds we’ve used.

What a fascinating man.

If you haven’t learned about him, you should.

I learned absolutely nothing about him when I was at school.

I wonder if learning about Churchill is scheduled in the Australian National Curriculum.

I doubt it.

001 (Small)002 (Small)004 (Small)

As I’ve read aloud to the boys,

Brayden has been dabbling with the Fractiles.

These are just a few of his creations.


This is my favourite.

001 (Small)

One of my nieces turned 5 this past fortnight.

Gosh little people grow fast.

129 (Small)

She was delighted with the size of our gift.

055 (Small)

It wasn’t full to the brim…it simply had a lot of little gifts at the bottom

and they happened to arrive in the post in this giant box.

066 (Small)

Last week we spent two mornings at the World Science Festival.

The first morning we attended the “Cool Jobs” lecture

and the second morning we attended “MathMagic” by Dr Arthur Benjamin.

MathMagic was excellent.

(Check out Dr Arthur Benjamin on youtube.)


During the festival, the Science Centre

(what remains open of it during their renovations)

was free so we also popped in there for a quick visit.


All in all, it has been a very busy fortnight.

But, now, it’s the Easter holidays.

Happy Easter everyone.

019 (Small)

Leave a comment

Posted by on April 1, 2018 in Homeschooling Days


More School Updates

We have had some rather busy weeks here.

Our biggest event was our termite inspection.

Our guy likes all the furniture pulled away from walls

and all the stuff pulled out of cupboards to expose the skirting boards.

It’s a huge job but it’s a great opportunity to do some decluttering.

So that’s where a huge chunk of our last fortnight went.

(Thankfully, he found no termites.  Whoohoo!)


Of course, school has happened around all this mess.

Every morning we spent a few hours on Math.

Year 11 Math takes a long time.

001 (Small)

And an expensive calculator!!

003 (Small)

After Math we did some grammar, Latin, spelling and worked on our current essay.

We always have an essay on the go.

001 (Small)

By then the postie has usually been so it’s reading time.

Okay, he doesn’t come every day (that’s a shame!)

and he rarely brings big piles like this,

but, when he does, it’s lovely.


In the past fortnight, the postie bought this lovely book on Abel Tasman.

007 (Small)

I bought it primarily for the illustrations.

Just look at them.

It was a good read too.

008 (Small)

We also got this little Anzac title.

I’m always adding to our Anzac book collection.

This book also become the subject matter for their most recent essay.

Picture books aren’t just for the little guys!

003 (Small)

We also read this lovely newly published book, “The Chinese Emperor’s New Clothes”.

001 (Small)

And a lovely friend sent me several book gifts –

“Twelve Kinds of Ice”, “Roxaboxen” and “Miss Dorothy and her Bookmobile”.

My book friend knows my tastes so well.


And from the library, we read “Ten Pound Pom”.


I highly recommend this book.

It’s an interesting historical read.


As you can tell, I’m very partial to children’s picture books.

But never fret, they are always additions to our school reading.

The core of our reading is always big people books.

Here’s our current reading basket.

(Actually, we’ve already finished that Louisiana Purchase book.

I need to move it back to the bookshelves.)


In the evenings, our documentaries have had a Russian flavour.

We’ve been working through the “Peter the Great” miniseries.

005 (Small)

And, yes, we pulled out a picture book from our shelves for a quick review of Peter the Great.

Picture books are much lovelier than a paragraph from a dull textbook.

006 (Small)

We also watched “The Way Back” which is about a group of people escaping a Russian gulag.

It’s based on a true story and quite inspiring.

001 (Small)

Recently, we’ve been watching a little family of curlews.

The mother and father bird nested in a friend’s front yard

so each week, when we’ve visited, we’ve checked up on the little bird family.

001 (Small)

Check out the way the curlew bird sits.

Their ‘knees’ bend forwards when they sit!

004 (Small)

But, our whole life isn’t bookwork, books and birds.

Recently, we headed to a friend’s place for a computer processing workshop.


My computer boy was in techie heaven.


Actually, all of the boys loved the workshop.


Dr Karstan Schulz presented the workshop

to demonstrate his product, the B4 Learning System.


We were all, parents included, incredibly impressed with the product,

the presentation and Dr Schulz.


I’m very very tempted to purchase further kits to work through.

Hmmm…whose birthday is next?


This past week, we also headed to the orchestra to hear some Mendelssohn and Brucker.


And almost every week ends up in a park somewhere.

This week we explored a new park and I believe it may become a new favourite.


Outside of school hours and playing mum’s taxi,

I’ve been busying reading, “Saving Leonardo” and “How Should We Then Live”.

“How Should We Then Live” is touted as an excellent read

but, to be honest, “Saving Leonardo” is so much better.

Toss Schaeffer and keep Pearcey, I say.

You must read “Saving Leonardo”!

It’s all about worldviews and it’s brilliant.


Speaking of books and book spaces,

(Do I ever speak of anything else?!),

I bought myself a new little bookshelf recently.

We have all of these delicious books that we want to read

 sitting on my desk cluttering up our work space.

I didn’t want to put them away in the bigger bookshelves

because they’d be forgotten and overlooked before we got a chance to read them,

so I bought them their own little shelf.

I suppose you could call it the ‘to be read’ shelf.

Yes, some people have a pile, but we have a whole shelf.


Finally, we had a some birthday cake with friends this week.

Lauren, Miss 15, baked this cake for me.

She bakes me something every year.

Yes, she’s that sweet.

And this was her birthday surprise this year – a cupcake.

It tasted as good as it looks.


Tomorrow, for my actual birthday, I have a dishwasher installer man

coming to bring me my birthday present – a new dishwasher.

I haven’t had a dishwasher in years and years.

So, for my birthday, you now know what I won’t be doing…

washing dishes,

ever ever again!


Leave a comment

Posted by on March 11, 2018 in Homeschooling Days


What We Achieved This Week

Okay, well we are still warming up to full speed, but here’s what we achieved in week two…

Monday –

In Math, we completed the first review on linear relationships, inverse proportion, reciprocal functions and rational functions (after only one week of Math, we had already filled a WHOLE graph pad and needed a new one)

Reviewed Math facts (you can never review Math facts too much)

Diagrammed the structure of four sentences (looking at objective complements)

Completed a few lines of copywork

Completed the ANI chart (from Lost Tools of Writing – it’s the thinking/planning stage of an essay) of an essay about whether the Emperor should wear the new clothes or not.

Read independently (must be done every day if they hope to get anywhere near an electronic device)

Chanted through the states of the US as I pointed to the map (we have a giant homemade made of the US states on the wall in our front entry hallway)

Listened to three chapters of “Around the World in 80 Days” and orally narrated them

Read aloud several chapters of a book about the ‘Louisiana Purchase’ (it’s a Landmark book; they are brilliant!) and wrote a narration about what was learned

Read several entries from “What Einstein Told His Barber” about friction, traction, and tyres; learned how to judge if a tyre is bald (checked our tyres), why vehicles need tread and how smooth tyres perform on race cars – orally narrating all of it

Listened to an hour of the audio, “Jasper Jones” (reader beware; this is not a book for everyone) as we drove Ethan to school to help out in a computer coding class

Did some errands and then came home for more independent reading

Tuesday –

In Math, we completed review two on the same topics

Reviewed Math facts and completed a mental math exercise

Diagrammed four more sentences

Completed some copywork

Created the outline (using the Lost Tools of Writing curriculum) for their essay focused on why the Emperor should NOT have worn the ‘new clothes’

Read independently

Reviewed the states of the US (they always forget poor old Maryland)

Read a section from “Prisoners of Geography” (we are reading about Russia and NATO; excellent book); orally narrated

Read another few chapters from our Louisiana Purchase book and added to their written narration on this book

Read, discussed and narrated our Plutarch reading about Marcus Cato

Read a section of Charlotte Mason’s “Ourselves” (I hope this book improves)

Completed a Latin lesson (and decided to switch Latin programs for one of the boys)

(My voice was struggling with read alouds this day.  It takes a little while to get it back into the swing of long read aloud sessions.)

Wednesday –

Began a new Math chapter about quadratic functions

Reviewed Math facts and did a mental Math exercise

Had to look up ‘triangular numbers’ and played with the idea for a while

Diagrammed four more sentences; this time focusing on coordinating conjunctions

Completed some copywork

Began their Emperor’s new clothes essay draft

Read independently

Reviewed the states of the US

Read a chapter from “Book of Marvels” about the Golden Gate Bridge (had to pull out our San Francisco holiday photos and reminisce)

Read more of “Prisoners of Geography”

Read more chapters of our Louisiana Purchase book and the boys added to their written narrations

Read sections of “Science Matters” (reading about gravity, Galileo and Newton)

Read about Jan Van Eyck, “Arnolfini Marriage” from “What Paintings Say”; each boy held their own copy of the painting so they could observe as I read

Explored information about the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games (looked at the history of the games, participating countries, the symbolism within the baton construction, the baton relay and its current gps location, and the games mascot and his features

Both boys completed a lesson of Latin

Thursday –

Completed another Math lesson about quadratic functions

Finished their Emperor’s New Clothes essay and edited it

Read independently

Read a chapter/book of the Odyssey and orally narrated it (this reading took forever!)

Read a chapter from a devotional book (it was about ‘hearing’ the voice of God)

Read more from “Science Matters”; it focused on the scientific method

Listen to an hour of “Jasper Jones” as we drove to a friend’s place to chat and play board games

Went to the library and did the weekly grocery shopping (nope, no online groceries shopping for us; we want our children to know how to shop and fend for themselves one day)

Friday –

Spent the little time we had in the morning, reading independently

Listened to just under two hours of “Jasper Jones” as we drove to our afternoon activity

Spent the afternoon at a park with a bunch of teen boys running around like wild things getting some socialisation and exercise



1 Comment

Posted by on February 11, 2018 in Homeschooling Days