Saturday, 2 February 2008

Weekly Report 2008:5

With Jeff back in the house we've managed to have a social life as well as keeping up with our school work this week. The fact that it is the last week of institutional school holidays has spurred us on. Although many of the people we spent time with are homeschooling, I know that all of us will be a lot busier and have less free time from Monday. This week I'm doing a day-by-day snapshot rather than taking things by academic area.

A public holiday after Australia Day (Jan 26) was on the Saturday, we had a BBQ lunch with the our homeschooling friends the B***** family. I met Mrs B online, and she was brave enough to invite me and my kids to share regular playdates with her family last year. We've really enjoyed getting to know them, so it was quite strange to thing that this was our first opportunity to meet Mr B, who is normally at work when we get together. The kids loved a water balloon fight and our version of water pistols - cheap plastic spray bottles from the local shop. The presence of water, even in limited amounts, kept the kids mostly happy in the heat... and I stayed inside in the airconditioning catching up with Mrs B.

Was a regular day. We got our academics done in the morning and rested in the afternoon. Jeff had to go in to college to speak to the incoming students about the student facilities, but he was back by 5. The kids were sad to have him out for the day, and I suspect that this does not bode well for him going back to full-time study as of Monday next week. We did manage all our school work. This was extra, not sure if it qualifies as "Art":"Look at my dark forest, Mummy!"

Jeff went into college on Wednesday as well. He is now busy getting into prep for college. He's meant to have completed translating the first three chapters of Romans from the Greek by Monday, but Wed was not a good day. When he got home he announced he'd only just completed the first seven verses, Paul's introduction! To relax, Jeff took the kids for a few rides up and down our footpath in their home-made go-cart.
Samuel was very comfortable sitting on Anna's lap.

Joshua finished his maths for the week, with his last page of Lesson 2 from the Earlybird Maths 2A book. So far, nothing has been difficult intellectually. Some days, he starts the math page in the morning and needs to finish it in the afternoon before Play School is on TV. This has not been because of the mental effort, but the physical effort of neat writing in maths after doing his Circle Time colouring and reading/penmanship lesson, which means his hand gets tired. At the moment, I'd still like to keep all these lessons together in one hit rather than spacing them through the day, because I do think it is better to be doing academics when we're fresh and not wilting from the heat and it helps me to actually get them done rather than put them off. Anyway, I guess so long as I remember not to push him too much, and concentrate on whether there is a legitimate problem or he's just being lazy, it'll work itself out in time. A little homework never hurt anyone!I write extra example numerals for Joshua to trace on the pages which are principally penmanship, but he forms his numbers without this help on the problem pages. The 4 on this page was formed perfectly and correctly, and I was very pleased. I have been making him re-do numbers if he writes them incorrectly, because I don't want him to develop bad habits that will be hard to overcome later.
Thursday seemed to be hospitality day. Soon after Joshua finished his maths, the T***** family arrived for a loud morning together and another water balloon fight. Jeff and Mr T spent one and a half hours filling water balloons! At least our back lawn might be a touch greener after all this. Mrs T is officially starting homeschooling with her two oldest children this year, with her boy in grade 2 and her oldest girl in pre-primary (the same as Joshua), so we spent a bit of time chatting about schedules and stuff. Mrs T has already taught these two to read and a heap of other stuff, so knowing she could do homeschooling wasn't the question. They've just had their fifth child, though, so the dust might take a while to settle.
We also enjoyed a visit from one of Jeff's college friends for dinner.

Joshua finally finished his third Penmanship Reader, just in time to start the new one sentence a day copywork that Jeff and I decided I'd implement with him this year. Joshua is really looking forward to writing sentences that involve himself and familiar people, activities and objects.I went to the gym for an aqua aerobics class with another friend Mrs B*** (different Mrs B to the one above). We both put our kids in the creche and had a great chat in between leaping all over the pool. I was very glad to at last get back to the gym after hardly going at all over the holidays, and I've booked the kids into the creche for next Friday as well. As long as we can manage to get our schoolwork done either early or in the afternoon, I'll keep it up. It was very encouraging to be there with a friend, I hadn't realised how much difference that could make.

Jeff spent much of today with his woodworking tools out in the garage (right at the side of our house) and I am amazed he could keep at it in the heat. I took the kids for the short walk to the local shops and was absolutely exhausted by the heat when we arrived home. In the afternoon while the girls and Samuel napped and Jeff worked on his Romans translation, I took Joshua to the bigger, airconditioned, shopping centre nearby, and bought him Go, Dog, Go by PD Eastman for his first "proper" book that he will read himself. We also went to the library for some books on Dinosaurs, but I'll write more on how that goes next week.

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