Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Weekly Report 2008:15

Another good week for homeschooling, the last of first "term".

Circle Time
We read three stories and have now completed the stories of the resurrected Jesus. We'll begin the stories of the early church (from Acts, Revelation etc) later this week, for our second quarter of the year.
I have successfully learnt 1 Corinthians 15:3-5 so we're moving on to a new memory verse; this one was more for me than them although Joshua has learnt most of it. The others will probably pick it up over the coming weeks as we review it. Our new memory verse is the Beatitudes, which we have just studied at BSF. I think this is one section that we might spend a while learning, making sure that the kids understand what each verse means in the greater context of scripture (eg "poor in spirit" means spiritually humble, those who understand their religious poverty before God).
Our Easter song is firmly embedded in their memories:

"Easter Friday, Jesus has died.
All his friends are sad and they cried.
Sunday morning, what a surprise!
Jesus has risen! Hooray! He's alive!"

I think our next song, which may well take quite a while to learn, will be In Christ Alone. Then we might even learn Amazing Grace for a change in tempo.

Joshua read four Bob Books and will finish the third set this week. I didn't feel he read these stories, with their longer words, as well as he read the previous set so we might spend the fortnight holiday reading a different set of readers and then re-read this third Bob set before moving on to the fourth set. Joshua completed three penmanship sentences also.

A week of picture books and the kids really enjoyed this. One was Mr. Bliss, a picture book JRR Tolkein wrote for his children, (although only publicly published in 1982,) from a facsimile edition showing JRR Tolkein's writing and pen and wash drawings. This was a very funny book, and I highly recommend it as a read aloud for kindergarten to early primary aged children. An excerpt:

He walked into the shop, and said: "I want a motor-car!"
"What colour?" said Mr. Binks. "Bright yellow," said Mr. Bliss, "inside and out."
"That will be five shillings," said Mr. Binks.
"And I want red wheels," said Mr Bliss.
"That will be sixpence more."
"Very well," said Mr. Bliss; "only I have left my purse at home."
"Very well, then you will have to leave your bicycle here; and when you bring your money you can have it back."
It was a beautiful bicycle, all silver - but it had no pedals, because Mr. Bliss only rode down hill.

and from later in the story:

Even Mrs. Knight began to wonder whether her bananas were worth all the trouble, when she saw how bluey-dark the wood could look. She thought "the dogs will look after us!" But the dogs thought: "It is one thing to chase bears out of the garden in the afternoon, and quite a different thing to hunt them in their own wood after dark. Where are our nice comfy kennels?"
Albert said: "Isn't it time you put on your lamps?"
Then Mr. Bliss remembered he had never bought any - as you will see if you look back at the pictures. He had only bothered about the colour of the wheels.
"Never mind," said Herbert. "There won't be any policeman out in this lonely place."
"I wish there were," said Mr. Bliss - "lots and lots of policemen."

Mr. Bliss is more exciting and thrilling than scary. But you get an idea for the humour that fills the book. The only criticism I have is that there are a few transcription errors in the text (I noticed two and I wasn't exactly searching for them). The text of the story is presented opposite JRR Tolkein's handwritten and illustrated originals and I noticed a few places where the typed version differed from his writing, for example Tolkien's handwritten "could" above in the second quote is rendered incorrectly "would".

We only did Maths on Friday, but spent a while on it that morning and even Abigail go involved in using a traced and cut out footprint to measure the front doorway with Grandpa's help.

Class Time
Went well for its first week, although we won't be doing it over the school holidays so maybe I should have introduced it with the second term, I hope they don't get confused with the change in organisation. Joshua is already improving with his sight words from the flash card practice, and everyone has the Days of the Week memorised from the beginning but we still need to work on knowing the order when you don't start with Sunday.

Nothing new this week, just review of sea creatures using a Steve Parish book I found on our shelves but had forgotten about, with lots of great photos of Australian sea creatures. Also, we spent a bit of time examining some posters on whales and dinosaurs that Grandad had posted to us.

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