Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Weekly Reports 2008:16&17

This weekly report covers all we've done and plan to do in this fortnight of "homeschool holidays".

Circle Time
I have found the words of In Christ Alone in the booklet from the 2007 Perth Women's Christian Convention and have started teaching the first verse to my kids... I use the term "teaching" loosely here because all I've done so far is sing it to them a few times when I put them down the bed for their afternoon nap.
Jeff picked up Gospel Light's Bible Story Coloring Pages #2 from Koorong the other day, which added a few pictures to our collection for studying Acts, some of the Epistles and Revelation. I took a few hours and planned out the study, including the stories from this period in our The Children's Bible. We will probably use the text on the back of the Gospel Light pictures for the stories that aren't in TCB. I have 40 stories planned to use, which should take us at least 10 weeks to cover (we do Circle Time each M, Tu, Th & F if we are being really diligent). I have tried to include stories that illustrate the vehement proclamation of gospel truth that characterised the apostles' ministries. Stories behind Peter's statements "Salvation is found in no-one else." and "We must obey God rather than men!", for example, as well as the story of Stephen's martyrdom (which also provides background to the story of Saul's conversion). Also stories of the miraculous power that testified to the apostles' authority, such as Peter's release from prison twice by angels and Dorcas being brought back to life. I have also tried to include at least one story of each of the most noteworthy people who accompanied (or met) Paul in his ministry - Barnabas, Silas, Timothy, Lydia - and I plan to include Pricilla and Aquila also, but still need a suitable colouring picture. And I probably should mention Luke in there somewhere as well! At the end of our study we will read some of the promises of our future hope that are found at the very end of Revelation. I'm looking forward to working through this with the kids, especially because we've been so blessed by our studies from the gospels.

We went on several excursions this fortnight, to the Museum of Western Australia and to the Perth Zoo as well as down to the end of our street to watch some friendly workmen build us a lovely new footpath. Jeff and Joshua also competed in their Karate-Do gradings. Last night we had dinner with some friends of ours who are Sudanese, which was a great cross-cultural experience as well as being fabulous Christian fellowship!
I am really glad that I decided at the beginning of this "holiday" to get the kids away from the house and off to some of those places that we might just put off as too difficult. We went to the museum without Jeff and it wasn't totally impossible. It would be better to schedule our holidays for a different time to the public school holidays, but it seems to have worked anyway, and at least today Jeff was able to accompany us because it's one of his study weeks.
This weekend we're going to Pemberton with the B family which should be a lovely end to our fortnight of holidays. We've been there the last two years and it seems to be becoming our yearly family holiday destination. I just need to remember to pack the camera!

The one thing I have kept on with each day is Joshua's reading, although we've taken a break from the Bob Books and are reading one story a day from two Ladybird Phonics books called Splat Cat (which he's now finished) and Hot Fox. These are good books for reviewing sounds, but they're not nearly as good at the finely incremental phonics as the Bob Books.


mom24 said...

Are you on a break right now? How do you plan out your schedule over there in WA?
We like TCB also but I havn't been able to coordinate enough coloring pages to go with. It seems a little to unfocused for my liking but I'm glad to have them hearing the Word at least.
You certainly have been busy with the trips - the most fun type of learning! Wish I could help about the grammar but I haven't thought that through yet (although the question of timing for proper grammar study has definitely been in the back of my mind). So nfar we've just been plugging thru the repetitious First Language Lessons. Not too interesting and I'm not sure how much J is really comprehending. Hmmmm....

Sharon said...

In Australia, we have four terms in a school year, each approximately 10 weeks long (depending on Easter and a few other things). Our school year starts with the calendar year, with the first day of school around the last day of January. In Western Australia, there is a two week holiday between each of the terms, then at Christmas we have a six week break. ish! Today was the last day of the holiday between first and second terms.
Joshua will only enter his compulsory years of schooling next year, so at the moment we don't have any legal requirements. I'm not sure whether next year we'll be required to homeschool according to the government school timetable or not. I might have to check that out.

I've read through a copy of FLL and I can see the advantage of having one resource with it all there, but I'm not sure I want to go that route. I'd rather pick my own poems to memorise, co-ordinate our copywork with our other studies and just teach the grammar rules (as we've been doing so far) through regular recitation at the same time Joshua does his copywork. I don't really see the point of getting a curriculum to give me the minutae of each and every lesson - I'm pretty good at winging it and developing resources as I go. And I'd probably want to skip lessons when they got too repetitive and boring then feel bad about not doing things by the book so it's probably better I don't use FLL.

This will be the first time we have regularly use the Children's Bible, and we'll still be adding in stories not in this story bible. A great online resource for colouring pictures (and other knowledge-based activities) to go with bible stories is the Calvary Chapel Children's Ministry Curriculum at http://children.calvarychapel.com/site/curriculum_n.htm (NT) and http://children.calvarychapel.com/site/curriculum.htm (OT). They have resources for 325 bible events and teaching, so I look there if I can't find what I want in the black line master colouring books I have from Gospel Light.

~ Sharon