The last fortnight we settled into a ‘full load’ of learning, well mostly, though a few areas aren’t happening due to lack of organisation on my behalf and a mis-communication between myself and some of the children.  On the whole though we’ve settled into solid, productive learning and we actually had a whole week with no interruptions!  To the mix has been added after school activities with swim squad and lessons, and dance lessons keeping us out three afternoons a week, not feeling stressed at all as we currently have Anna Maria’s assistance.

One area that continues to be a challenge is finding time and energy for me to work with the older children, in particular to have time to teach some Language Arts lessons.  By the time I’ve completed working with the younger three children it’s a struggle to meet the needs of the older ones.  After brainstorming with PC I think I may have the answer, an idea we trialed today with success, though I know one day is no guarantee. Anyhow the plan is to concentrate on the three younger children for the first three days of the week, thus allowing me the last two days of the week to focus on the our older two, let’s hope it works:)


  • Jelly Bean continued reading the Magic Tree House books and also began the Magic School Bus books too.  One day during our science lesson I had to attend the baby and she continued reading to the children whilst I was gone:)
  • Rather excited that Jack Jack began reading the Hey Jack by Sally Rippin books and his own initiative too. They are the perfect transition to chapter books, extra large print, non-intimidating, yet interesting to a child his age.
  • Jem(6) and I have been consistent daily with his reading lessons. He has read the first book of Level 1 and was excited to begin the second one today.  We’re not even fully using this programs as I haven’t got the Activity book organised, imagine how even happier I’ll be when I do so (*note to self, get organised)

  • Michelangelo read: Five Agatha Christie mysteries and a Horrible Science Bulging Brain
  • Princess read: Eight Cousins and Rose in Bloom by LM Alcott
  • Jelly Bean read: 5 Magic Tree House books and a Magic School Bus title
  • Jack Jack read: 1 Hey Jack by Sally Rippin
  • JB was emphatically stating “I don’t want any read alouds” this week (broke my heart, my favourite time of the day with the children) and I didn’t manage to read to the boys either. However today she said she’d be happy for me to re-read Fantastic Mr Fox🙂
  • Read picture books with Bass over several days, bedtimes often a good time to share picture books with him, and the other younger boys who share a room with him.
  • Michelangelo and I worked on his AAS lessons, and also dictation lessons via Spelling Wisdom, his spelling really is improving:):) He is motivated to become a better speller, he also informs me communicating with his brothers (in the far away City) whilst gaming means he has to improve his spelling, maybe Son, maybe;)
  • Princess continued with a list of highschool words, rarely does she get words wrong. Thinking I might find a list of ‘above her grade’ words to challenge her. Also spelling well in her dictation lessons
  • Jelly Bean continued to use the AAS cards as flashcards for spelling. I’m not sure about the benefit to this.
  • Jack Jack went back to having lessons using AAS, far more effective.


  • JB is motivated to improve her handwriting and is setting her own work.  Also practicing her running writing
  • Focusing on where JJ starts his letters as he was writing some incorrectly.  Working on the ‘write less but perfectly’ school of thought
  • Jem is preferring to trace letters at this stage


  • Really enjoying the old English text books Let’s Make English Live and English Today that I’m using with JB and JJ. Such a good ’round up’ of skills covered weekly, different types of nouns, punctuation, the correct homophone and basic essay skills.  Occasionally we do a lesson orally but mostly they’ve been  writing out the sentences.  After years of thinking it’s busywork I can really see the benefit of these skills on so many levels. Handwriitng, spelling, punctuation, perserverance etc
  • Character Based Lessons with Michelangelo and Princess.  We worked on taking notes from a source text, how to write a key word outline.  Whilst I haven’t the IEW videos I do really appreciate the books we have, of which we have three.
  • Reading though the Bible with the younger three, and asking for oral narrations
  • We also read all three Noah’s ark picture books we own; Jerry Pinkney’sPeter Spier’s and Jane Ray’s. We also had a look at some Creation Science books we have on Noah’s Ark and had a discussion.  Discussions are my favourites.
  • Michelangelo continued with the first book of Beginning Apologetics and I began reading and discussing another book in the set with Princess on morality issues, heavy discussions:)
  • Michelangelo put a huge effort into his maths, lots of work on graphs
  • Princess also focused heavily on maths, including number places, division etc
  • JB and JJ still are fiercely competitive with each other, both working on the same grade level and each wishing to be achieve more work than the other
  • Jem whizzed through all of Grade 2’s multiplication work which focuses on 2s, 5s and 10s. He’s very keen to learn the other times tables.  Though he often still needs me to sit with him whenever reading is involved.
  • Michelangelo continues to research deeply into Science topics including:
  • Space
  • Military aricrafts
  • Robotics advancement
  • Birds was the science focus of the week for the younger children, read about how they fly, how far, building nests, growing in eggs etc
  • Wanting to focus on mapskills with all the children this Term. Still haven’t found the resource I want
  • Used printed worksheets from the internet in identifying Continents and Oceans (revision for most of the children)
  • Also matching countries with their capital cities

Bass’ List of Picture Books
* Only a portion of what we read, as I wasn’t diligent in recording this fortnight

Picture Books
The Monster Mystery – Gail Jorgensen– a Lift the Flap, popular with the children
Nathan’s Fishing Trip – Lulu Delacre – Nice enough, nothing too exciting
Laska the Polar Bear – Derek Hall – Baby animal book, educational in anatural way, very good

Classic Picture Books
The Little Island – Golden McDonald – Is a classic, can I admit it makes me yawn? Though children don’t mind it
The Five Chinese Brothers – Claire Huchet Bishop – Always a favourite with all
Tikki Tikki Tembo – Arlen Mosel – Another huge favourite

Linking up at The Wine Dark Sea’s Guilt Free Learning Notes