Monday, January 26, 2009


We started school last week. Overall not a bad start. We had a few “interesting” diversions …quick nature study crash course on “there’s a huntsman near the air-conditioning duct”. Here is Master 7’s nature journal entry on it.

“The other day I said to my brother look there’s a GIGANTIC huntsman coming out of the air-conditioning duct. My mother got upset because she said I made my brother unnecessarily frightened! And because neither of us would sleep in our room. The next day I told T. that there were 2 or 3 little spiders on our ceiling. I tried to tell mum but she just told me to s*@#-up about spiders when T. screamed again. So I went back to have another look to see if there were more. Then I called my mother and she came this time and looked and THIS time there was hundreds and thousands of baby spiders all over the ceiling. My mum and my sister looked too this time AT LAST!! My sister said they looked like baby huntsman spiders. But my mum said she didn’t see how my sister could tell so my sister just looked up at the ceiling. Then we called Caleb and he vacuumed all the little babies up. When he took out the air-conditioning grate HE screamed (but only Hannah heard cause we were in the school-room) because as well as finding the egg sack there was the mother huntsman and she was ENORMOUS and coming out towards Caleb in the air. So he vacuumed her up and then all the spiders were dead!”

But we still managed to remain focused when the need was there.
For geography we are looking at the Continents beginning with AFRICA. If you have any good readlouds or picture books to recommend please feel free to suggest them!
We have made up an Africa Montessori continent box. So far it contains flags of countries, plastic animals of Africa, maps of Africa, a few recipies and games from various African countries which we are keen to learn.
Master 7 and I have read the following books.

The second is a longish picture book . The only pity about it is the tedious repetition of the expletive b@#%y by one of the main characters. While this fits with the rather grumpy behavior and condescending attitude of this character it seems like writer’s laziness to use it in very other sentence this person says when the book is obviously written for primary age children. However with mums “editing” we are continuing, as there is too much else worthwhile to make the book a non-read.
In Chemistry Master 11 is using the above text with explanations from his oldest sister. This is working well. I had Mel review the course before we began and she gave me the opinion that it covers many of the concepts expected in a yr11/12 chemistry course but obviously written for a younger audience. She gives it the “thumbs up”. Mel is also writing/editing a physics course for Master 7.

For Latin we are using Lively Latin. So far we are impressed. The lessons are colorful and engaging and place the language in an historical context. During Circle time we are also continuing with English from the Roots Up.

What is Circle time? For us it is when we come together(after violin practice) at the beginning of the day. Each day we revise a Latin or Greek root and its derivatives. Next we might discuss an artist, read a poem and discuss its form, or listen to a composer or study a kind of musical instrument. In line with our African study we have been listening to Siyahamba and Nkosi Sikeleli Africa(God bless Africa).
We are continuing with the Addison Wesley math series for Maths. Both boys are enthusiastic maths pupils.

For History we are reading through British History using the schedule by Katherine.  The  book Britannia  has been enjoyed by both boys.

Our readalouds have been Eleanor Estes  book set in the time of the Emperor Nero. and The last Battle by CS Lewis which we downloaded from Audible.And that in brief is what we are studying this term!

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