Sunday, June 28, 2009

Our week of learning - 28th June

English: Lots of reading plus a couple of hours on Spellodrome.

Last year sometime I downloaded an awesome study unit on Treasure Island from the Little Blue School blog. As I tend to do, I printed it out but hadn't gotten around to using it yet. Since we've just started reading Treasure Island again together (we started reading it earlier this year and got sidetracked!), I figured it was time to finally put it to use :)

So we looked at some vocabulary meanings from Treasure Island, and then for the fun bits, Billy made a pirate flag, and picked his pirate name - Captain Mad-eye Fish-lip Peg-Leg Swashbuckle :)

Maths: As well as a couple of hours spent on the Mathletics site, we looked for the first time at 2 digit addition - mainly without carrying, but we did touch briefly on carrying.

Science & Technology: We made a Benham's disc using an old CD, a ping-pong ball, softdrink bottle lid and the template from the RAFT worksheet. A Benham's disc is a certain black & white pattern, which when spun tricks the eye into seeing colour. It was very cool :)

Billy's Joey mob also did science stuff this week - looking at other optical illusions, and making a paper helicopter.

HSIE (Human Society and it's environment): We started reading the "Wonders of Egypt" book, and also watched a series called Pyramid about the building of the pyramids.

Creative & Practical Arts:
The last drama class of the term.

LOTE (Languages other than English): Nothing this week.

PDHPE (Personal Development, Health & Physical Education): Circus class.

Life skills (cooking, gardening, housekeeping): He's been making a few salads on his own to go with dinner this week. It helps if you like very large chucks of carrot in your salad :)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Wednesday Weigh-In - Wk 12

Weight loss from last week: gained 0.5kg :(
Total weight loss overall: 2.5 kg
Total cms lost off waist: 7 cm

I put weight on :( It's not hard to see why - I didn't exercise all week (my "excuse" was the wet weather), and I had a few too many desserts and snacks through the week.

So I'm committing to exercising for 10 mins x 3 times per day to see how I go with that. Surely I can do that!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Our week of learning - 20th June

English: Lots of reading plus a couple of hours on Spellodrome. We looked at the Greek prefixes "tele" and "photo", what they meant and what words Billy knew that were derived from them.

Maths: A nice mixture of stuff this week - MEP worksheets with mirroring / symmetry exercises, some time spent playing Times Attack and a couple of hours spent on the Mathletics site.

Science & Technology: An experiment with sound from the book "Jazzy Science Projects with Sound and Music". He filled different glasses with differing amounts of water to see if the amount of water made a difference to the sound. Result, the amount of water, size, thickness & shape of the glass all made a difference.

HSIE (Human Society and it's environment): Ancient Mesopotamia / Sumer - he watched the Brainpop video on Sumer again, and then he made a ziggurat (stepped pyramid) out of boxes, and a cuneiform tablet. We added key events like the invention of the wheel, invention of writing and building ziggurats to our timeline.

Creative & Practical Arts:
Drama class - as reported, his play went quite well.

LOTE (Languages other than English): Nothing this week.

PDHPE (Personal Development, Health & Physical Education): Circus class. Lots of running around at a Joey's event - treasure hunt, compass hike and active games.

Life skills (cooking, gardening, housekeeping): The Market Day was a success - he had lots of practice at marketing, handling money and customer relations :)

They made pikelets at Joeys - he was the chief egg-cracker!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Ancient Mesopotamia / Sumer - history unit

We began our history unit on the Ancient Mesopotamia / Sumerians a week or so ago by watching a Brainpop video on Ancient Sumer, discussing it and completing the quiz.

On Friday Billy watched it again, then set about making a ziggurat (stepped pyramid) out of boxes.

Followed by making a clay tablet and doing some cuneiform writing.

We added important dates to our timeline - Sumerians inventing the wheel, writing and building the ziggurats.

We used the following books as resources:

The Technology of Mesopotamia by Graham Faiella

Picturing the Past - Mesopotamia, Iraq in Ancient Times by Peter Chrisp

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

All the world's a stage..

I don't normally show photos of other people's kids on here - but I had to with this photo to get the full effect. Billy had his drama company's production last night - his class (5-8 yos) did the "Trials & Tribulations of the Terrible Trio".. The "true" stories of the 3 little pigs, the 3 billy goats gruff and the 3 bears. It was all very cute :)

Billy played a pig (he's the one on all fours at the front on the photo). It all went very well, and he accepted the praise as his due :)

Wednesday Weigh-In - Wk 11

Weight loss from last week: 0kg
Total weight loss overall: 3 kg
Total cms lost off waist: 8.0 cm

I was expecting no weight loss this week - I seem to follow a pattern of losing for a couple of weeks, and then "consolidate" for a week :) I have lost another cm off my waist though. I'm still pleased.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Our week of learning - 14th June

English: Lots of reading. I bought a subscription to Spellodrome on Saturday night and he's spent about 1hr doing spelling races on that today. It's so refreshing to hear an Australian accent on educational games!

Maths: A nice mixture of stuff this week - MEP worksheets (156 & 157) with measuring activities, maths puzzles like Tangrams from this site, lots of time spent playing Times Attack (he absolutely loves this game!) and some time spent on the Mathletics site on Sunday (I only bought the subscription on Saturday night!).

Science & Technology: He did some experimenting with bicarb & vinegar "potions" - testing things like whether white vinegar or malt would work better, did it matter whether you put the bicarb or the vinegar in first etc.

HSIE (Human Society and it's environment): Nothing formal this week.

Creative & Practical Arts:
Drama class. He's also been in a creative mood - making a mixed media collage of the combined Joeys, Cubs & Scouts campfire a couple of weeks ago. He also decorated his "pig's ears & nose" ready for his drama play next week.

LOTE (Languages other than English): Nothing this week.

PDHPE (Personal Development, Health & Physical Education): Circus class. Auskick training. Time spent playing in the playground with a friend.

Life skills (cooking, gardening, housekeeping): He made "power bars" and decorated biscuits ready to sell at the Market Day next week.

Friday, June 12, 2009

So proud!

I was so proud of Billy last night - he made his promise / was invested at Joeys (the youngest level of Boy Scouts). Since his first night at the beginning of this term, he has loved it. I'm not exactly sure what the attraction was - but he was absolutely buzzing after his first night and has kept the same level of enthusiasm since! He begged me to buy his uniform, and couldn't wait until he was official!

Last night was *finally* the night lol. He and another boy L, recited their promise and officially joined the group (doubling the numbers of the group - it's a small one lol). L's mum & I got to present them with their scarf & woggle.

I went through the Guide movement from Brownies through to Ranger Guides - so from about 8 to 18 years old. Mum was the Guide leader for (far too many) years, so it was a major part of our life. Camping, preparing activities for the meetings, participating in events. It gave me so many experiences and memories, and even though Guides and Scouts have changed a lot in the time since, I still think it's a worthwhile organisation to belong to.

Now I just have to stop myself getting sucked into becoming a leader :) (I've already gone to a committee meeting - but I didn't volunteer for anything!)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Wednesday Weigh-In - Wk 10

Weight loss from last week: 0.5kg
Total weight loss overall: 3 kg
Total cms lost off waist: 7.0 cm

I went for a walk yesterday for the first time in weeks - boy was I huffing and puffing! Hopefully the wet weather will hold off for a while while I get back into the routine..

Monday, June 08, 2009

Our week of learning - 7th June

Last week was a really odd one. Due to my work commitments, Billy had to skip his drama class, Auskick was cancelled due to wet weather and Joeys was a special night at a local sports ground. Our formal school was all over the place, but we did get a bit achieved regardless!

English: Lots of reading.

Maths: Only one MEP (worksheet) lesson, but he spent a fair bit of time on this awesome free game for learning Times Tables.

Science & Technology: We didn't do any hands-on science, but he watched several programs on Discovery Science and several science animations on BrainPop.

HSIE (Human Society and it's environment): To celebrate the National Day of Italy, we held an Italian Day at our homeschooling meeting. Activities included soccer, bocce, Italian scientist activities and pasta making. Prior to that, Billy spent some time learning a bit about Italy and making a poster.

We attended a local historic homestead to watch the local team compete in the "International Back to Back Wool Challenge" - the participating team have to shear a sheep, spin the wool and knit an entire jumper in the shortest possible time. Last year our local team came 2nd in the world with a time of 6 hr and 8 mins!

Apologies for the shocking photo!

Creative & Practical Arts: The Back to Back challenge also had workshops available for people to try - Billy tried his hand at wet felting and Japanese weaving.

LOTE (Languages other than English): He learnt a couple of words in Italian for our Italian Day.

PDHPE (Personal Development, Health & Physical Education): Circus class. Time spent playing in the playground.

Life skills (cooking, gardening, housekeeping): Pasta making at the homeschool meeting. He made "power bars" (basically a cross between LCMs and muesli bars) - did all of the measuring, stirring etc - the only thing I did was melt the butter and golden syrup for him.

Menu Plan Monday - 8th June

Notes on last week's menu:
It's been about a month since I've done Menu Plan Monday - I have been menu planning, just haven't blogged it. I'm not sure why, guess I got out of the habit!

To use up this week:

Menu Plan this week:

Monday - beef stir fry
Tuesday - spag bol
Wednesday - burritos
Thursday - chicken schnitzel & veges
Friday - quiche & veges
Saturday - leftovers
Sunday - roast pork & baked veges

For more exciting menu plan ideas, see Organizing Junkie's Menu Plan Monday.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Anyone want to start a daycare for homeschoolers??

I get so exhausted from Billy. From the moment he wakes up until the moment he finally falls asleep (something he puts off as long as possible), he wants to do things. This morning he's planning what to sell at a market day at our homeschool meeting in a couple of weeks - he's making lists and a sign. That would be all well and good if he could / would do it by himself, but he is constantly asking me for help, advice, or just bouncing ideas off me. "Can you ..", "Look at this...", "How do I ..." ARRRRGGGGHHHH!!! I'm barely awake (it's not even 8am), and trying to read some blogs and getting really on edge by the constant interruptions.

I really wish there was some sort of daycare for homeschool kids, where you can drop them off for a few hours and you can go away and recharge. I really find that the hardest thing - the lack of peace & quiet, and time to myself. I had a wonderful morning earlier in the week - due to a scheduling conflict, Mum looked after Billy while I worked on Tuesday night and he stayed over at their place. By the time they dropped him back the next morning, I'd had a great time. I'd had a bit of a sleep in (well til 8am, but you take what you can get!), I got a couple of hours paid work done, I pottered around the house, I ate breakfast when I wanted and only had to think about making something for me, I didn't have any background noise like the TV, I didn't have anyone talking to me - I could actually complete a thought or a task without getting interrupted. Bliss!!!

Now back to my reality...

(I wish I'd counted the number of interruptions I had while writing this!!)

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Wednesday Weigh-In - Wk 9

Weight loss from last week: 0.5kg
Total weight loss overall: 2.5 kg
Total cms lost off waist: 6.0 cm

I'm actually quite surprised at the result - I pretty much gave myself this week off - I've done no exercise, we ate out one night and had takeaway another night, so I wasn't expecting a loss!

I'm also stoked because I've now reached my first "mini goal"! According to the BMI calculator I was using when I started the journey, that puts me back into the healthy range (just lol).

Now 2.5kg to go until my next mini goal. I want to have lost 5kg all together for Billy's b'day in August.