We're reaching the end of the year so it's been a bit slack on the socially accepted learning front as everyone is a bit tired and over it. There's been a lot of playing going on and in our usual fashion the 2015 program has already been modified before we could even think about starting it. Instead of doing bookwork every day, we're alternating with cooking where the kids will choose a recipe, check we have all of the ingredients before commencing (and write out shopping list to be able to do something next session if they really want a thing we don't have all the ingredients for) and do it themselves from start to finish. I will help with/supervise dangerous things (such as putting things in and out of ovens and anything that requires cooking on stove top) but they are otherwise on their own.
It's that time of year again and I'm doing it all in one post this time round.
10yo (Year 5) next year
9yo has been finding his yr5-6 maths book generally easy but some parts are challenging enough that I am going to keep one year ahead and see how he goes. He's been pretty much on track with English, most of his challenge seems to be the tedium of writing full sentence answers and a continued reluctance to practise writing though his writing can be neat when he wants it to be. If he starts finding the 5-6 books too easy I'll bump up to yr7 to see how he goes and back down again if that's too hard.
As he's older he can do a bit more bookwork now and will be doing 2 pages of English, 2 pages of Science and 2 pages of Maths per day (or just 1 if he does the Yr6 books) for $5/week. Once a week he can count doing quests in School of Dragons as science bookwork and the maths mission in Khan Academy as maths.
9yo displayed that he does have some organisational skills while we were playing Minecraft and he wandered off and said he had found some mines, then told me the coordinates so I could join him. He had made a book and quill to use as a journal (and would be less likely to misplace seeing as it's in-game) in which he was writing down the coordinates of our bases and any mines he encountered (which would then be deleted once we'd finished exploring and digging them out).
7yo wrote me a poem:
Recently we were at a nephew's 3rd birthday party. Seeing as we were in the area we followed JJ's parents back to their place as his dad had said he had a straight razor belonging to his grandfather that JJ might be interested in (seeing as he's recently gotten into shaving with straight razors).
JJ showing 9yo how to examine razor's edges. Or something.
JJ was intending to take the straight razor and clean it up and return it, but FIL said he could keep it and use it but he would be upset if JJ lost it. The razor had lived inside a briefcase of JJ's great grandfather's stuff.
The mosaic thing got some good use while it was rainy, with 9yo and 7yo both copying patterns from the book and inventing their own:
7yo's English workbook:
I told 7yo and 5yo they would have to wait a couple of hours for a box of frozen raspberries to defrost.
5yo: How much is a couple?
me: Two. Dua. re.
7yo and 5yo: Doo-wop! Doo-wop! Doo-wop!
me: [laughing too hard to correct them]
I keep forgetting to write about our day trip to New Norcia.
It was one of those things that had been suggested ages ago by mother in law as she had gone to school there and was interested in showing it to the kids (and us, though both JJ and I have been in the area previously, me on a Yr11/12 art camp and him...well he was not quite sober for most of it apparently). This seemed like a nice little local history and anthropology/society and environment type thing (New Norcia is the only monastic town in Australia) and we finally got around to it, in the in-laws massive shiny new Toyota something or other that they'd bought as part of their retirement plans.
We parked outside the museum but decided to stretch our legs after the 2hr drive (with one pit stop past Bullsbrook for 7yo who gets motion sick after an hour or so) by looking at mother in law's old boarding school.
[9yo was carrying on like a pork chop about doing his maths workbook.]
9yo: Do I haaaaaaave toooooo [bleat whine moan etc]
me: It's on the way to stuff you'll have to know to be an engineer.
[9yo's eyes light up]
9yo: Oh in that case it's okay!
[9yo hits the books]
We binged out on history recently. I can't remember if I mentioned instating a docos-only-before-bookwork rule to stop the kids from gluing themselves to screens and routinely refusing to come do the bookwork, but it's been working reasonably well. Horrible Histories was the recent favourite, I think they've watched every dvd we have now as well as anything on iView at the time, and favourite dvds have been repeated with them singing along. As well as watching Horrible Histories, 9yo has also decided to have me read him the books for bedtime story. We're also still very slowly working our way through the very thick Ned Kelly book.
We've had a couple of days going semi-rural this week. The first was a picnic at a friend's 12 acre block in Bullsbrook where a great time was had by all children and I caught an awesome photo of my friends' kids and pretended to be closer to a master of iPhone camera composition.
Pretended to be closer to a master as it was a very, very quick "whip phone out of pocket aim try to get horizon lines and vague rule of thirds thing happening press button before kids move" kinda photo.