Sunday, January 29, 2012

Weekly Diary - 25 -29 January


Swimming - Vince went to swimming and swam 25 meters using the kickboard. He was so proud of his acheivement and his teacher was chuffed! Vince was happy all day and was ebuillient enough to tell family and aquaintances of his acheivement.

Practice - breathing in the bath and the pool. Plan to go to the pool over the weekend.

Minds and Hearts - Both kids had appts at Minds and Hearts.

Rhiannon caught up with L and they talked about the friendship group that Rhiannon will be starting on 4/2. Rhiannon's very excited about the group and is looking forward to meeting the other girls.

Vince and R spent some time catching up on Christmas events and then talked about friends and making friends. They spent some time discussing how to have a casual conversation which Vince struggled with. He has trouble thinking of questions to ask someone in a casual situation or how to keep the conversation going. 

Practice - We will practice casual conversations over the month and think of ways to start and continue conversations. We will also encourage Vince to have incidental interaction with people like shopkeepers, at the park etc. Also will prepare conversation starters for Art Class and for the Tween fun day. 

Blogging - Getting the blog going again as part of my More Time for the Homeschool Journey initiative. I want to record what we're doing and share it with more friends. I have tried to update my blog, plan some ideas for regular updating and have also been visitng lots of other homeschool blogs for inspiration. I've got a few ideas about what I'd like to add.

To do - take some up to date photos of the kids. I am woefully out of any recent pictures of them to share. Ditto for me, I have discovered! Second I want to figure out how to set up a 'what we're playing' gadget and include games that we're playing ath the moment. This should be good for vistors for reviews/suggestions and hopefully will inspire us to play more games.

To do in homeschool - Start a portfolio for each of the kids. I need to post on my goals so I hold myself accountable for this this one. Vince's psych would also like us to showcase his achevements in the social sphere as well, so it can all go in the one book for him. The goal is also to make HEU reporting easier next year. Only a month to go until Anni's report is due!


Hugo - We went to see the movie Hugo which both kids enjoyed. It was very well told with lots of tension, mystery, a puzzle to solve and sympathetic characters, even the Station Guard was someone you had a cheer for at times. Hugo is based on the book The Invention of Hugo Cabret which is on Vince's Literature list for the coming year. Afterwards we discussed the history of films and whether the story had any true elements. We resolved to research it and discussed how the book might be different from the movie. Vince seems to be interested in studying it further when we get to it in the curriculum.

Killer Bunnies and Tomboy Cardigan
Killer Bunnies Ultimate Odyssey - Vince and I played a game of this, his first game and my second. It's sat in the cupboard for quite a while as it has a complicated CCG style play. He was able to pick it up really well and we had an enjoyable game, which Vince won with much cackling and fist pumping along the way.

Killer Bunnies Crops Deck
Planet Earth the game
Planet Earth and Menagerie - After dinner Vince, Anni and I played two games. It was the first real game of Planet Earth we've tried and it went really well. The kids were familiar with much of the subject matter thanks to watching both Planet Earth and Life recently. The questions were multiple choice which allowed for some guessing. We modified the win rule slightly for a faster game by allowing multiple people to occupy a home circle at once. Anni won and was very proud of herself.

Australian Menagerie
Then we played Menagerie which would be the most played educational game we have. The only games we would play more would be Carcassonne and Killer Bunnies and the Quest for the Magic Carrot. Every time we bring this out I am reminded of how much we love it. The game play is relatively simple, turns are quick and there's a small amount of strategy in what you discard, but it's not too complex. The kids love reading the different facts on the cards and they gain an attachment to the animals they are collecting. I must get another expansion but even without it it's a game we play again and again.


Lazy Day - It was very overcast and wet all day. Both kids slept in pretty late and got up to play quietly on electronics until after midday. Vince then taught Rhiannon how to play Killer Bunnies Ultimate Odyssey. Fortunately I had decided to try and get a third deck today, so I stopped on the way home and picked up the Energy deck, pity it was the only one Mind Games had. 

Catan - Settlers of America: Trails to Rails
I also picked up Quiddler after reading a recommendation for it and The Art of Children's Conversation on the thought that it might help with Vince. Saw many other things I would like to get including the newest Ticket to Ride - Asia and Catan Settlers of America - Trails to Rails which looks like it will be good when we get to the Westward Expansion in Vince's curriculum later in the year.

Homeschool was on the agenda today but Jamie and the kids completely forgot about it so we decided to give it a miss in favour of having a games night.

Art - Vince went to his first Art class for the year and was very excited to go back. E had him painting today but next week she will have him clay modelling again which is is ecstatic about. He loves to model so E is going to set him some challenging goals for the year. 

Games Night - We played a three deck version of Killer Bunnies UO and then a game of Guillotine. I won Killer Bunnies and Anni won Guillotine. The kids are starting to get a real feel for the strategy in both despite the posted age of 12+. Perhaps that has more to do with the content than the difficulty. 

Chickens - Choc Choc appeared to be missing yesterday and we spent the night being worried about her. When I went to check on them this morning she was happily hanging out in the chicken run. Crisis and funeral averted. 

Knitting - I have finished the body on Anni's Tomboy Cardigan and need to bind off. I chose a stretchy bind off but got half way before deciding that I didn't like it so undoing and going to do something in pattern to maintain the rib. 

Organisation - I've followed some ideas from others and organised our activities and homeschool plan more thoroughly using Google Calendar and Evernote. I only have two more lesson plans to do and I will be finished planning the last unit of Moving Beyond the Page 7-9. Just a few more weeks and we will be done with 7-9 and starting 8-10 and 9-11.


Modelling - After I finished the diary last night Rhiannon decided to work on her latest model, dubbed a Bear-Guy Gundam. Jamie had to help her replace a lost piece but it was finished and now is ready to display. She was very happy as she perceived this to be the most complex model she had attempted yet. She is going to work further on another model, something more complex than the distorted minis she has been working on so far. 

This is a great opportunity for me to use this as the third subject for our HEU report submitting it under Technology. And, as a plus, Jamie is her teacher in this subject, which is a nice change for me (I still have to write up the report, though).

To do - Write up HEU Report.

Errands - Usual run to the library this morning to return and stock up. Picked up Iggie's House so I can review it before the kids read it in our next unit. Also picked up some books Vince enjoyed a few years ago - The Rhianna series by Dave Luckett. We got them in audio book format and I look forward to reading them again as I enjoyed them so much the last time. 

We made a quick stop at Bunnings for some supplies and a plant as a birthday gift for mum. Then we went over to Ace Comics and Games hoping they would have some Killer Bunnies Ultimate Odyssey starters. Unfortunately they were out but we got some UO boosters.

Castle Logix
Games - Anni had Castle Logix out when we turned to do homeschooling. She was working through the levels again as well as making up some creations of her own. We were going to start off school with a game of Quiddler but it ended up taking two hours to play! Vince was really struggling with the spelling format and was having trouble seeing past a spelling game and picking up the strategy. Rhiannon did fine with some assistance. Jamie joined after a few rounds to lend Vince a hand. 

Cooking - After that and with Vince's frustration levels riding high we decided to pause for a bit and Anni and I made some mini muffins. I am trying to provide better grazing options for the kids by having ready to go finger food in the fridge each day. Part of this is providing favourites but in smaller servings like mini muffins. I let Anni take the cooking lead and helped her think through the cooking process. We used a box cake mix and then modified the recipe. I talked to her through the modifications and we added banana and choc chips to the mix. It all went pretty well and Rhiannon showed good levels of confidence. They are also happy with the tasty outcomes!

Birthday Celebrations - We then decided to play a game of Ultimate Odyssey while making a birthday card for grandma. The card came out nicely but we had to stop the game half way through. Vince composed the message and Rhiannon made the card. They consulted and cooperated really well. We went to grandmas, delivered the card and plant. After a yummy roast dinner we played another game of Quiddler which Vince happily joined in and led all the way to the last round where I beat him only by three points. He insisted on spelling the words himself and it was great to see his confidence grow as we played on.

We watched a few episodes of Zoo Day recorded at Chester Zoo which dad has been taping for Anni to watch. Everyone enjoyed discussing what the zookeepers must do to help enrich the lives of the animals. We then watched an episode of an architecture programme. Vince declared he loves architecture and proceeded to rave about how fascinating the building and the design was. I was astounded! Now adding this to interests we should delve deeper in to.

To do - Figure out some architecture and Economics enrichment activities or study.


Cubs - Had an early start to get to the den to have our beginning of the year working bee. We cleaned the den ready for the first meetings that start this week. I left the kids home sleeping because it just wasn't worth getting up two hours before we had to leave to get everyone motivated (none of us are morning people). We cleaned everything out, had a chance to catch up with some parents I am friends with and discussed my need to retire from leading full time with my Group Leader.

Grazing Tray
Healthy Eating - On the way home I stopped to get a container for our grazing tray and some supplies. I got a few things we haven't had for ages as well as a good selection of fruit and veg. Anni helped me with good portions of it and then we all tucked into it for lunch. Successful day 1 where they discovered new things that they liked.

Swimming - We took two friends to Chandler pool and enjoyed some great swimming time in the 25 m pool and on the water slide. Vince had a chance to show me his swimming. It is amazing to see him going for it without any aids. He can swim across two lanes quite confidently. For the next hour we goofed off playing games with everyone and daring each other to hold our breath under water, touch the bottom, dive and swim under lane ropes etc. It was wonderful to see him confidently attempt all of these things which most 11 year olds would consider easy tasks. He did so much today that proved he truly has gotten some water confidence. If you knew him six months ago you wouldn't believe this was the kid who was terrified of putting his face anywhere near water. Much kudos to Vince for his acheivement and to T, his swim teacher, who has shown tonnes of patience and built so much trust with him.

To do - Add this acheivement to Vince's Pride book.

Evening - When we got home we finished off the snack box and yesterday's suspended game of UO. Anni won quite handily. After chores and and a nanna nap for me I organised dinner and then Jamie, Vince and I played another game of Quiddler, which Vince won! We only helped him with a few of the words and this was after he had come up with some great words by himself. This is such a great way to learn spelling rules and he is really loving it.

This has been a great exercise in reflection on our week and I have enjoyed putting it together. We've acheived heaps this week, things I would normally forget about. I'm really glad to have recorded them.


Kylie said...

I love these posts...give a real insight into homeschooling in your house :-)

Rosemary said...

Thanks Kylie! Especially interesting as we did no formal school at all last week. I am comfortable enough now to let that happen when it needs to. We acheived a heap even if most of it wasn't written down in their folders!

Post a Comment