read basket 1
Thus concludes the first week back for Term 2, a gentle but intense week as I’ve packed to overflowing our reading basket, with material for all three age groups and both ‘sections’, Faith and Reading. This week showed me the strengths and the weaknesses of my plans. Reading basket – strength, timetable – weakness. Enjoying our reading basket first doesn’t work as we became engrossed in our reading and thus didn’t do any written work, next week we’ll do all written work first and then reading baskets, this should address the issue.


Faith – All

  • Daily – Prayers and Sang hymns.
  • Daily – Read the ‘Saint of the Day’.

Think this is an important addition to our plans, the children have already learnt so many snippets about various saints and have a deeper awareness of the liturgical year.  Thinking next week I’ll get them to narrate the saint of the day to Dad at tea times.

Beautiful book, although Malachi (16) declares we haven’t yet read anything yet he doesn’t already know, which is good, but hoping we do soon to keep his interest.

  • Malachi – One Year Bible Plan


Reading Basket – Youngest

Dividing the reading basket into three groups was perfect for Sebastian(5), he was so pleased to have special time, though now I find Ignatius (7) doesn’t quite fit in either group but I suspect that is because the books chosen are a bit young for him. When these books are finished and I make new selections I should be able to correct that issue.

Catholic Treasure Box – Read the first two books. Sebastian was absolutely enthralled. Ignatius semi interested, he has heard them before.

Little Pete – Leila Berg – Sebastian is loving this book, Ignatius and I are barely tolerating it.  Written to appeal to the younger child, but not only is it rather boring, we find Little Pete rather rude and demanding to adults, too it is written in another era and we’re rather jarred by comments such as the man who says “If you clean my car I’ll take you for a drive” though there is mention of asking mother later.

When We Were Very Young, AA Milne – We’re rather enjoying Milne’s poetry, perfect for both boys.

The Australia BookEve Pownell – Australian history perfect for Sebastian, read about the First Australians and the Dutch explorers who briefly touched on parts of Australia. As Ignatius didn’t listen this week I’m not certain whether this is the best fit for him or if he’d be best listening to the Middles selection.

Magic School Bus Science Chapter Book: Voyage to the Volcanoes – Read a couple of chapters, Ignatius was particular enthralled and was keen to watch matching DVD but alas we don’t have it. He has previously studied volcanoes in some depth and this is an area that interests him. Sebastian was interested too.

Children’s Book of Virtues – William Bennett – Focus this week on perseverance.


Reading Basket – Middles

The Miraculous Medal – Mary Fabyn Windeatt – We began this last term so finishing it still. Nurturing a devotion to Our Lady.

My Side of the Mountain – Jean Craighead George – Absolute favourite of the week, the year!! The children begged me to read more and more, which I did. We ‘gobbled’ the whole book within the week!

A Book for Kids – CJ Dennis – Australian Poetry, has a limerick-y feel to it, Genevieve particularly is drawn to this style of poetry.

Our Sunburnt Country – Arthur Baillie – Read about the First Australians, discussed “why didn’t they wear clothes?”

Children’s Book of Virtues – William Bennett– Focus this week on perseverance, rather relevant for one child, hopefully the message ‘sinks in’.


Reading Basket – Teens

Set All Afire – Louis de Wohl – Long chapters, we’ve divided into each chapter into a few ‘sessions’.

Silver Sword – Ian Serraillier – Set in Poland during and after World War 2. Tells the story of a family torn apart during the war and how the young children survived on their own in a war torn city. This is a book that I’ve read a several times over the years, to myself as well as our older children.  Admittedly the target audience is younger than my teens but as they somehow hadn’t read this book I really wanted to share it with them. They’re as engrossed as I. Whilst the younger children could join in and listen our teens are not willing to share this special time with Mum.

Poetry –

Our Heritage: The Story of the Catholic Church in Australia – CJ Duffy – Read a couple of chapters. Packed full of information, reading and discussing.


Reading Lessons

Sebastian – He continues to learn the sounds of letters with ease. Continually revising letters learnt and remembering them.

Ignatius –  Amazed me with his fluency in the long chapter we read, we learnt the words for this lesson weeks ago and yet he picked up the book and read with no revision!! No stumbling, no hesitations!



Saxon and Genevieve completed a couple of dictation lessons. Determined to be consistent here.



Mariah worked on typing speed and accuracy



Mariah – continues to love Spanish


Creative Writing

Mariah – The Little Macaco, excellent



Saxon put a great effort into his maths this week, some of the other children eased slowly in and some not at all 🙁


Project Investigations

Focusing this term on projects, so many benefits; research and reporting skills, independent learning and the knowledge and hopefully interest gained. The children were keen, some I assigned projects too, some had ideas of their own, they read a little, watched several youtubes on their topics, but the weak link in the chain was pen to paper.  Both girls, Mariah (14) and Genevieve (11) were diligent and handed in papers, and Mariah’s was even typed, however the boys didn’t write anything.  A few ideas on how to tackle this area, it is admittedly a weak area of ours. I’ve ‘resurrected’ our notebooking pages account, and I need to follow through on accountability, no paper no… as one solution but also being clear each day what is expected and daily checking it was done.

Project Interests were:

Malachi – Children’s Crusade

Mariah- Cars

Genevieve – Adelie Penguins

Saxon – Lions

Ignatius – Sharks

Sebastian – Lions



Malachi – Science; Jupiter’s Moons: The Ganemede, Uroper etc

All – Project Investigations as recorded above.



The Railway Children – E Nesbitt – Libriovox, read by Karen Savage – The ‘middles’ listened to this for hours for several afternoons.



The Railway Children – Children disappointed and mad that the movie made some major changes to the book. Not happy.

My Side of the Mountain – Children really upset at some major changes from book to movie, declared book far better. Not happy.

Magic School Bus – Episodes;