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



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Posted by on February 11, 2018 in Homeschooling Days


3D Printing

Check out the printing of a little squirrel.

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Posted by on February 3, 2018 in Technology


First Week

This is our eleventh year of official homeschooling.

Well twelfth or thirteenth if you count the preschool homeschooling years.

Or seventeenth year if you start the homeschooling count from birth.

So there’s not as much fanfare about the start of a new school year anymore.

You just open the books and get started.

The books we chose to open first were our new Math books.

We’ve finished the Singapore Math series so we’re starting on a school text.

I was a bit worried about the changeover as school texts aren’t as supportive of parent tutors,

so I spent ages on the weekend going through the Math, making sure I understand the week’s lessons.

But when we opened the books and started the exercises, it was simple.

Despite being a publisher known for high standards, it’s got nothing on Singapore Math.

We simply had to plug and apply the new learning.

There was hardly any stretch and strain for our brains like we are used to with Singapore.

And the whole exercise was finished in less than 90 minutes.

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Because I was expecting a lot more adjustment with our Math text,

we didn’t dive fully into the language component of our curriculum this week.

We just slid back into some sentence diagramming, copywork, Logic and written narrations.

We’ll add essay writing and Latin next week.

However, we did dive head first into a big box of fabulous books

…of course.

(I’m also trying to improve our narrating habits this year.

And Karen Glass’ latest book will help a lot with that.)


We also worked through a number of Arduino projects this week.

If you haven’t tried your hand at Arduino electronics and coding, we’d recommend it.

Our boys really enjoy it.

This project uses a light to activate a motor connected to a little fan.

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In addition to school, we had a number of appointments to squeeze in.

We had a doctors appointment, a car service appointment and a plumbing appointment.

It was unfortunate that they all fell in our first week of school, but, sometimes, that is life.

Yes, our main toilet was sick and if your main toilet is sick, you can’t have guests over.

So this had to be attended to immediately.


Oh and our printer died!

I think it was rather rude that it waited until the day before school started to die.

No one needs to be researching new printers and new ink systems the night before school,

but that’s what I was doing.

Below is our new baby.

Our first multifunction printer and I’m already in love with it.

We haven’t installed the ink system yet as we’ll wait until the original ink cartridges run dry

and then install it.


This week was also sprinkled (okay, drenched) with book parcels arriving at the door.

(Aus Post – How come things arrive in big batches like this?

Do you hold them back until the pile is big enough to bother delivering?

I’m not complaining.  I love the big piles.  I’m just curious why it happens so often.)

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These were the books that arrived this week.

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Did you spot the imposter?

No, I did not order that book.

Book Depository made another mistake.

(Do you remember the book debacle of 2017?)

I actually ordered this book…


and received the book below.


The book went into the bin.


On a better book note,

I read “Jasper Jones” this week.

It’s an Australian book that is commonly read in grade 9 and 10

but I found the reading experience to be a bit of a roller coaster ride.

One minute I was offended and the next minute I was impressed.

One minute I’d resolved not to like the book and the next minute I was declaring that I liked the book.

And there were a lot of moments when I questioned whether I ‘should’ like the book, given all of its indecorum and difficult themes.

(It doesn’t hold back on the foul language.)

But, by the end of the book, I’d determined that I liked the book and that there was value in reading it.


Now I’m reading “The Librarian of Auschwitz”.

It’ll be a totally different reading experience.


So, that was our week.

Now I best go and plan our second week.

I have Math to preview and essay writing videos to view.


Posted by on February 3, 2018 in Homeschooling Days


Wondering about the State of Children’s Literature…


Wonder no more!

(These were all found in the one store.  I didn’t even have to try hard to find them.)

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Posted by on February 3, 2018 in My Library