Weekly Review: 16th-20th March

This week both Robin and Wren were sick. They’ve been taking naps in the day time and volunteering to go off to bed early. We cancelled on violin and swimming lessons too.

Maths:

Robin did 3 pages of Miquon Maths this week; multiplication and number patterns. We read Sir Cumference and the Knights of the First Round Table and Sir Cumference and the Isle of Immeter, then we estimated Pi using craft sticks following the instructions from Natural Math. We discussed that sometimes it was ok to use rounding up or down to make calculations easier and reviewed the parts of a circle, and finding area and perimeter. We practiced all this, and learnt about re-arranging equations by playing DJ Decibel by ABC Splash. Robin arranged speakers to fill the arena with sound, then estimated the size of circles to make robots dance. Lastly he read co-ordinates off a graph and compared them to the equation for the line passing through each point; this launched fireworks in the arena. Robin worked really hard to succeed at DJ Decibel, pulling together lots of bits of maths he already knew to solve new questions. He described it as “fun, but it made by brain sweaty”.

Science:

We had a brief discussion about Democritus and Leucippus and their early ideas about atoms. Robin noted that it would have been hard to believe in atoms when the idea was new, but he related to the analogy in our text of the ‘beach’ as an object, comprised of tiny particles called ‘sand’.

English:

In First Language Lessons we reviewed the poems Robin and Wren had already memorised and practiced standing nicely and speaking them clearly. We talked about how punctuation gives us hints about tone and pace.

I began reading The Ark, the Reed and the Firecloud to the children. Usually when I read longer books to them I just read and read until my voice wears out or the book is done. This time we’re taking it much slower, just 2-3 pages a day, so they can really brew on the story and the characters. I think this will help when the number of characters increases and the action takes off later in the book. I read this book for myself last year and really enjoyed it, so I’m hoping the children will too. (I started reading its sequel for myself this week too – one advantage of napping children).

After spending a lot of time in bed and on the couch this week, we finally made it to the library on Friday. Robin borrowed two DK Readers (Sharks and Iron Man) and one book for Premier’s Reading Challenge (Princess Smartypants). He read Princess Smartypants aloud to Wren (who loved it). Wren borrowed books from her two favourite series: Queen Victoria’s Christmas & Friday the Scaredy Cat. She also regularly borrows Queen Victoria’s Underpants and other Friday books. This time Wren also borrowed a beginner reader and Dustbin Dad.

HSIE/History:

We played through the first case in QED Cosmo’s Casebook also by ABC Splash. Wren navigated the gameplay (deciding where to go and what questions to ask), I read the dialogue and Robin read out the information cards (lore, evidence, historic information). We solved a mystery and won the case. We also watched three episodes of Horrible Histories on DVD (which both children find quite confronting, but they asked for it and managed through nearly the whole of each episode). We own the Horrible Histories Book Box as well, it’s not bad, just basic historical outlines punctuated by toilet humour and complaining about parents/teachers/adults. They are quick reads to give a basic idea of the time period before you really start learning about it (from other sources), or to fill in the bits you’ve forgotten already. We bought it primarily as a source of “chapter books” so Robin can develop his reading habit.

PDHPE:

There was a lot of resting this week, we didn’t even do swimming lessons. We did walk to the library. We visited with the friends we would ordinarily meet at the park as the weather turned wild that afternoon. Before visiting we talked about not sharing germs and hand hygiene.

Creative and Practical Arts:

Inspired by his reading about Iron Man, Robin designed and made a similar suit for one of his Barbies out of paper and cardboard. He intends to make a larger one to fit himself using cardboard and duct tape.

My cousin was in town this week to display a structure he had designed and built. Robin and Wren helped unload the structure from the truck for storage after it was dismantled. My cousin and Robin had a quick chat about building things for a specific purpose, not wasting materials, and the kinds of work he does as an architect. We looked at the photos of the structure (completed and being built) as we hadn’t managed to visit while it was assembled.

Wren and I weeded part of the vegetable garden and we picked one pumpkin to share with our family (it wasn’t quite ripe enough, but wasn’t bad). We also picked 3 eggplants, a good bundle of beans and a stingy amount of raspberries and strawberries.

We listened to the Suzuki CD a few times and practiced correct finger, feet and violin positions, but neither child was feeling very motivated to balance the violin very long (Robin managed 30 sec, Wren wasn’t having any of it).

So that was our week of sick kids. It seems like we did quite a lot considering they both ran fevers for nearly 48hrs straight, then melted into boogers and coughing. But I think that it’s more the case that the few things we did were quite challenging and I was happy for them to rest as much as possible in between.

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