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Homeschool Life - July Wrap-Up

I thought (in the absence of a shiny new blog) that I might start up a bit of a monthly wrap-up of what we've been up to in our homeschooling. Weekly feels too onerous at the moment, and monthly lets me pick and choose the best bits! I'm going to make it a monthly event (don't snigger!) and I'm going all technological on you - check out the bottom of the post for a link up!

In amongst all the working and walking and bathrooms and crying and photos, there has been some homeschooling happening. Now of course, if I were super-organised, I would be recording all the wonderful natural learning that goes on all the time. But I'm not. Plus, I have been out of the home, working a lot, so it's hard to record what you don't see (but I'm sure it is happening!).

So, instead I leave the kids lists of things to do, usually accompanied by some worksheets or websites. They have been pretty good at doing them, even unsupervised sometimes, but Hubby has also stepped up somewhat and given them a hand when they needed it.

So, what have we been up to?

Lots of boardgames:

Tea and Set

Lego Heroica

and Chess Club at the library too - Term 3 is "Competition Term" and Video Boy has announced his intention to win the comp! It's so very rare he sets his mind to anything, that I'm quite chuffed. Maybe the Olympic Spirit is rubbing off on him (although if he was a real Aussie, he'd be coming in second - LOL!).

And we have totally been into Plague Inc - an iPad app that ghoulishly requires you to infect and kill the entire world with a disease. Which sounds bad, but is actually highly strategic, requiring data interpretation, world mapping skills, knowledge of disease-causing microorganisms and infection control.

In English, we have have started on a unit of looking at Graphic Novels - check out Read Me Resources for the unit and for other great units of work that are designed to get boys aged 11-14 into reading. They are designed for classroom use, but have great activities that are easily adapted for homeschool.

Our word cloud for "depicting emotions visually"

They also completed the English ICAS exam:

Proud Mummy Warning!!  We got our results back for the Computer Skills exam - Video Boy got a Distinction (top 96%!)  and Wombat Girl a Credit (top 83%) and also for Science - VB a Credit (top 74%) and WG a High Distinction (top 99%!!!). Way to go! Actually, Video Boy was quite upset after the science exam - one he has previously done well in and enjoyed. He really struggled with this one and didn't finish the questions. But given that, I think top 74% out of all the science-loving kids was a great effort and if we do them again next year, we'll spend some time doing some practice (she says, confidently). Both kids said the questions were very heavily based on data interpretation. Which is good feedback for me. And just quietly - yay Wombat Girl! Great result :-)

Also, in the data they send the schools (of which we are one, apparently) it shows you at what level the kids are achieving (if you are into that sort of thing) and I can relax a little knowing that their results are comparable to the median results of Year 12 students in both Computer Skills and Science (they are currently in Year 7). Phew - that's a load off my mind!

In Maths they have been working on geometry. Hubby said he needed a quick Google refresher to help them out with some of the work on quadrilaterals (because, yanno, you have to identify isoceles trapeziums in everyday life quite frequently - not!). But he quite enjoyed helping them with the challenges at the end of the questions. I'm glad he likes maths and the kids get a kick out of working with their Dad.

I have also been using the wonders of Khan Academy a bit more. Up until now, I've only really been looking at the videos with the kids, to back up some concepts. But then I looked at the Practice section. How cool is the Knowledge Map?? If you haven't checked it out, go follow the link and I'll wait for you...see? Shows you the progression of things and how it all fits together! And then you can go and practice what you need. Self-directed learning! Love it! Video Boy was not keen to try it (grumbling, moan, eye-roll) and I calmly suggested that he just try 15 minutes of practice. Well, there was a complete 180 in attitude and he spent a couple of hours trying to get points and stacks. Love it. And it's free!!!

I'm such cool teacher, I let him wear his hoody in class

For science/geography we are not doing natural learning - I am making them do Murder Under the Microscope because it's not free and I paid for it! But seriously, it's a great learning tool and we've been researching catchments, runoff, endangered species and plotting locations on Google Maps using latitude and longitude. 

We have even (ahem!! Homeschool mum award coming right up!) doing art and craft. I know. I'm that good! The Winter 2012 edition of Stepping Stones magazine (which you get a download as part of your HEA membership and which I help on the layout!) had a great list of art apps for the iPad and we had a great time creating some beautiful art:

And I spent a pleasant afternoon with Wombat Girl making some more Felties:

My "pensive rabbit"

Wombat Girl's nearly completed "Panda"

So that's about it. I'm sure there's been more...but you know how it gets!

If you homeschool, what's the best thing you've done this last month?

If you blog, add a link to post that describes 
some/all of your homeschool activities this last month:


  1. Ingi
    This hsing family are big on graphic comics in fac the Dad is a graphic artist, (mum writes books)

    Way to go for your two!!!:):):) so very excited that they did so well:) congrats to them and to you two parents.

    You keep inspiring me re Kahn Academy, I really must use it more. Our boys are are really big on periodic table element videos at present
    I'm still looking for a good systematic approach to computer studies if you have any recs?

    have just shared a post highlighting the learning highlights of our past month

    1. I wonder if you could try out the Linky thing, Erin? I would love to know if I've set it up properly! Thanks for sharing :-)

      That Thicklebit is a great blog! I haven't seen anything like it! And we have thoroughly explored the Periodic Videos - we love the Prof on there!!


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