Category Archives: Homeschooling Days

The Week That Was

Gosh, the weeks are just flying by.

I can’t believe it’s the holidays already!

This week, we spent a day with our favourite little people at Dreamworld.

(How do you get a 16 year old on a carousel?

Get a four year old to say ‘Pleeeeease’ in her sweet voice, with her head tilted to one side.)

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Isn’t this wee one sweet?!

Okay, so the ‘look’ is because I turned her hat sideways to get a cute photo.

She has an opinion now that she’s 18 months old.

Yes, that’s a book that Aunty Tracey bought her.

I’m pretty sure that Aunty Tracey has filled an entire bookshelf of books for her sweet little nieces.

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We did lots of things at Dreamworld that we hadn’t done before.

For the first time, we went to the shearing show.  It was worth the visit.

I wish that Dreamworld invested more time and money in entertainment and experiences like the shearing show,

rather than the thrill rides that only a limited group of people enjoy.

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We also saw the second tiger show.

We usually head to the morning session, where the tigers play in the pool.

But we heard that the afternoon show was different so we made a point of visiting.

It was different!

They demonstrated a number of skills that the tigers are trained to do that help with various things, like medical exams.

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Oh and just in case you are ever chased by a tiger…

don’t climb a tree.

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In the evenings this week, we’ve been watching the doco, “The War That Changed US”,

which was about Australia’s involvement in the first World War

and, in particular, how it affected the lives of several specific Australians.

The production was very well done.

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Of course, we’ve also been reading.

Yes, this is a picture book, but I bought it because the topic caught my attention.

I hadn’t even thought that graphs were ‘invented’.

Of course, they had to have been but it’s just something I hadn’t given a thought to.

So, I had to buy the book and find out more.

After reading it and becoming curious, we went and hunted for further info about William Playfair.

(See, there’s nothing wrong with picture books for teens if they move them to appropriate action.)

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We also read “The Language of Angels:  A Story about the Reinvention of Hebrew”.

Yet another topic that startled me and forced me to buy it.

Why did they need to reinvent Hebrew?

I didn’t know that Hebrew had been virtually lost.

Fascinating stuff.

Because of this picture book, we now have a biography on Eliezer Ben Yehuda coming

and plans to watch several documentaries on him as well.

Never doubt the value of a good quality picture book.

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We’re also reading this book called “Red Madness:  How a Medical Mystery Changed What We Eat”;

another book that piqued my interest and simply had to be read.

Have you heard of Pellagra before?  I hadn’t.

It’s a devastating disease of deficiency

and all the way through the first chapters of the book,

you are kept wondering, “What on earth causes it?”

Suffice it to say, if you are studying nutrition,

this would be a good book to add to your booklist.

Nope, I’m not going to tell you what causes Pellagra.

You’ll have to find out for yourself.  🙂

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Oh and this darling book…

I bought “The Snatchabook” for my nieces

and it was almost a disaster.

When I started pre-reading it, I thought, “Oh boy, this is going to scare the girls half to death”,

but I kept reading and was simply delighted with the ending.

So I gave it to the girls with the warning that they can’t give up half way through,

they have to read to the end.

They did and they loved it.

Then, of course, since I loved the book so much, I had to go and buy another copy for myself to keep.

Yep, I’m weird like that.  🙂

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In my own reading, I finished reading “Married to a Bedouin” this week.

It’s about a New Zealand tourist who falls in love with a Bedouin man, who lives in a cave in Petra,

and decides to marry him.

It was a GREAT read.  I highly recommend it.

It caused me to put Petra, Jordan, on my dream list of places to visit.

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Oh and my friend Sarah’s book just went live on Amazon recently.

She adapted Edmund Spencer’s “The Faerie Queene” into prose to make it more accessible.

But, at the same time, she kept true to the plot and language and created an adaptation that is well suited to teens.

I wasn’t actually expecting my boys to enjoy it.

I mean, a book with the words “fairy” and “queen” in the title isn’t usually high on a boy’s list of ‘must reads’.

But it was full of medieval battles, bold knights and evil to be defeated.

If you love Christian allegories, you’ll love “The Faerie Queene”.

My boys thoroughly enjoyed it…and so did I.

Having read Sarah’s adaptation, now I feel like I have the confidence to go forth and try reading Spencer’s original.

Yep, I definitely recommend Sarah’s adaptation of “The Faerie Queene”.


We also went to the movies this week.

We saw the Emoji movie.

What can I say?


Yes, the poo jokes were amusing.

Yes, the commentary about social media was spot on.

But, all up, this movie was pretty mediocre.

It reminded me of “Inside Out”, only the setting was inside a phone instead of inside a head.


I scored some great shopping bargains this week.

I’m not usually in the stores enough to stumble across bargains like these

but I was certainly lucky this day.

We found this huge Lego set on a clearance sale for 50% off!!

It’s being stashed away for Christmas for a certain Lego lover.

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I also found an Usborne Picture Book Gift Set for 50% off an already bargain price.

My nieces will be getting these books.

Usborne books are great

and I always give the girls books for special events.

Okay, let’s be honest.

I don’t need an event to buy my nieces books

and they know who their literary fairy godmother is.  🙂


Yes, we did some schoolish stuff too.

The highlight would have to be our soldering lesson.

We’re working through Jaycar’s “Short Circuits” volumes

and we’ve come to the part where you need to learn to solder.

Thankfully, Grandad knows how so we, of course, went to Grandma and Grandad’s house for that lesson.

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I got Dad to show me how to solder as well and I was simply terrible at it.

It’s not as easy as it looks.

You need steady hands to hold both items in the one small location until the solder has melted

and I do not have those steady hands.

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This is how Brayden’s circuit board turned out.

You can see his shonky first attempts

and his improvement.

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And what did all this soldering make?

Two alternating flashing lights.

Hey, we were thankful that it worked at all!

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In the mail this week, I received the book, “Seven Myths About Education”.

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You should check out some of her Daisy Christodoulou’s presentations.

This was one of my favourites as it gives a bit of an overview of what she believes.

She also gives the opposition a run for their money in this debate about whether facts should be taught in schools in this modern age.

Well, that was my week; a bit of a hodge podge.

I wonder what next week will hold.

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Posted by on September 17, 2017 in Family Life, Homeschooling Days, My Library


Abducted by Aliens? Nope.

We’re still here.  I’ve just been unmotivated to blog.  But life continues as will this blog.  🙂

So what have we been up to during our online absence?

To be honest, we’ve mostly just been hanging around doing our usual thing.

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We have had a few birthdays in this time.

Brayden turned fourteen

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and Ethan turned sixteen.  How did they get so old?!!

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We’ve also had a couple of outings.

We’ve been on a trip to Jurassic Ark in Gympie

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where we got the chance to dig for fossilised logs.

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Some children worked on further exposing already discovered logs but we chose to start working a new patch of dirt.

We got excited when we hit something hard with our spade but it turned out to be… just a rock.

Oh well.  Better luck next time.

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We learned a lot about fossils and the fossilisation process.

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We were particularly impressed with the stalactite machines.  Using the same process as stalactites need to grow in caves, the folk at Jurassic Ark have ‘grown’ their own stalactites.  They’ve done this to show that stalactites don’t take millions or even thousands of years to grow, merely the right conditions.  The stalactites in this image are almost two years old and are already 25 cm in length.  Within, say, a hundred years, they’ll be quite impressive looking stalactites.

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In the time of our absence, we’ve also visited the Marvel Exhibition at GOMA.

Hubby and Brayden are both Marvel fans and were keen to visit, so Ethan and I tagged along.

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Personally, I thought it was overpriced.  But my Marvel lovers thought it was money well spent.

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We thought the free green screen photos were a nice touch though.

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We also took a trip into the Science Centre for their “Mathamazing” exhibition.

Both boys were introduced to the ‘Tower of Hanoi’ puzzle (although it was called the ‘Tower of Brahma’ in the exhibit).

and enjoyed the challenge.

You have to move this stack of discs to the other end but you are only allowed to move one disc at a time and at no time can a bigger disc be on top of a smaller disc.

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Brayden loved this jumbo version of the same puzzle.

(Actually, as I type this, Brayden is working on a 9 disc version of this same puzzle.  I knew we had one in the house somewhere and I only remembered where as I was uploading these photos.)

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Brayden loves and excels at all things spatial.  He can just ‘see’ how to solve puzzles like these without much of a challenge.

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The boys timed themselves putting together this giant soma cube.  Their fastest time was 20 seconds.

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Ethan is a different thinker to Brayden.

Brayden sees and does.  If he can’t do it quickly, he’ll move on.

Ethan however works at a slower pace but will stick with a problem that interests him until he solves it.

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Ethan worked for ages on this puzzle – he had to ‘fly’ in and out of Canberra, stopping only once at all the locations in the shortest flight distance.

He finally figured it out and we could move on.

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This past week, we also went to the Ekka with my parents and my little nieces.

It was a huge day out.  Little people are exhausting!

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We spent our morning checking out all the Ekka animals.

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And our afternoon, checking out the rides and activities.

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Aria, once again, convinced her teenage cousins to ride the baby rides with her.  She has them wrapped around her little pinkie.  Thankfully, her choice of ride was a little more manly than last time’s tea cup ride.

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Oh my.  We must have fed a dozen zombie clowns balls.

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How is it that this activity so enchants little kids.  It’s certainly not the quality of the prize you receive, that’s for sure!

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And little Evie, well, she was happy doing anything.


I suppose I really do have a valid reason for being so absent on the blog of late.  Every weekend, for what seems like forever, and even some days in between weekends, we have been at my deceased FIL’s house.  The whole family is working together to sort it out and get it on the market.

You know how people will advise you to never have a garage sale…well, we are having a garage sale.  There is just soooo much stuff in this house.

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Oh and the other side of clearing out someone else house – all of the stuff that finds it way back to your own house.  This photo was taken on the very first day of hauling stuff home.  It got a lot, LOT worse than these few piles.  I’ve been slowing working through the piles, reassessing and rehoming items.

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Yes, some semblance of school has been happening amidst everything else.

Last week, we finished reading “Sachiko:  A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor’s Story”.  It you want a change from reading Sadako’s story and you are looking for something a little more challenging and informative, trying “Sachiko”.  We thought it was excellent and we appreciated learning something about Nagasaki.  So much of the focus always seems to be on Hiroshima.

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We also finished reading “Mansa Musa and the Empire of Mali”.  This book showed me just how little we know about the continent of Africa.  They have a fascinating history.

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I also read “The Book Smugglers of Timbuktu”.  Did you know that Timbuktu was an actual place?  It’s like the El Dorado of Africa.  This book actually tells two stories.  It tells the distant past history of Timbuktu and its more recent history, where Jihadists tried to destroy the books of Timbuktu but were too late, thanks to the efforts of a librarian, who smuggled almost all of the books out of Timbuktu.

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We are one chapter away from finishing “The Road From Home”, which tells the true story of an Armenian girl during the times of the Armenian genocides.  We’ve been reading a lot about genocides this year as it really upsets me to think that so many genocides have occurred in our recent history and yet we know so little about them.  They seem almost wholly forgotten, especially by the current culture who seem to care more about climate change and environmental destruction than the annihilation of whole groups of people.

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We’re also still reading “Great Expectations” and “The Iliad”.  We don’t read these kinds of books quickly.  They must be nibbled and savoured and talked about.

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We’re also reading “Up from Slavery” by Booker T Washington.  It’s a lot more readable than I was expecting and we are thoroughly enjoying it.

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Our documentaries have fallen by the wayside a bit recently but we have viewed a few things.

We watched “Evolution’s Achilles’ Heels” which was excellent.  I highly recommend this one.

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We watched this docodrama about the ‘founder’ of McDonalds.  It left a very bad taste in our mouths…and it had nothing to do with their food.  You must watch this one, but, I warn you, you’ll not be happy with Ray Kroc. I feel really bad for the ‘real’ founders of McDonalds.

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We’ve also been watching “Physics 101”.  We loooove all of these dvds.  Did you know that, in a double rainbow, the second rainbow’s colours are reversed?  I did not know that!  Now I’m hunting double rainbows to see for myself.

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Currently, we’re watching Shakespeare’s “The Winter’s Tale” as we’re off to see a performance of it this week.  It’s such a great story.  I wonder why it’s not one of the better known play.  Oh and if you haven’t fallen in love with Shakespeare yet, you have to give it a try.  Skip reading the play.  That’ll bore you to death.  It’s not meant to be read.  It’s meant to be performed and experienced.  Read a children’s abridged version, to get the storyline, and then find yourself a good production to attend.  I promise you.  You won’t regret it.  (For Brisbanites, I recommend Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble or the Brisbane Shakespeare Festival in the park).

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On another level of education, my Marvel lovers are educating me in the world of Marvel.  Below is my current curriculum.  I’ve already ‘studied’ Thor and am currently working on the great classic, “Captain America”.  Hey, this is important learning…apparently; and it’s not as bad as I was expecting.  I’ve been quite enjoying them.

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Coming up in our viewing world are the following (with some censoring where necessary of course).  I’m looking forward to all of these.

Oh and we went and saw the latest movie, “Dunkirk” too.  I was so looking forward to it.  It’s a miraculous and amazing story but the movie just didn’t do the story justice.  I was quite disappointed with it.

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Finally, in our listening world, we are ploughing through the Fablehaven series.  Yes, I know.  This book set is unopened.  We ended up listening to the audio instead of reading the books.  We’ve been doing a LOT of driving back and forth to my FIL’s house and needed something to listen to.  Never fear. Fablehaven is such a good series that the books are a must own anyway.

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And, finally, for all my book loving readers, here’s a shelfie, as the net likes to call random photos of books.  These are some of the books that I’ve been buying and we’ve been reading (or plan to).  I’m drooling just looking at them.  Yes, that’s how I measure my days, in books I have purchased and books I have read.

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Well, on that note, I have to dash.  We have to watch the second half of “The Winter’s Tale” tonight.

I’ll try to be a better blogger.  I promise.  🙂


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