A Year in the Life of a Home-Schooling Family: Day 86

Last night I could not get to sleep. There was no reason for this insomnia, but not being used to it anymore I felt yukky when I got up today. I was up by eight, and I walked out of my bedroom, and there was nobody around! Usually chores and half of the workbooks have been done by now! Thomas was starting his chores in the bathroom, and just looked at me and said how unwell he was feeling. Lillie came up behind me and said she’d only just got out of bed. Charlotte had had a bath and was upstairs putting on her face, and the littles were upstairs with Abigail looking after Becca, who also hadn’t slept on account of a cold and the resulting blocked up nose. No chores had been done. This was a slight issue because I had told the girls they could do their kitchen chores and living room chores of last night, this morning, and the house looked like a bomb had hit it! And there was only 45 minutes until school officially started, and we’d done nothing yesterday so we had to do something today! I needed me a coffee and I needed it now!

Miraculously, we did get everything done before 9, and we did start school on time. Yay! Becca needed a lot of support as she felt very tired and not at all well. I gave her medicine and Lil went to buy her some Lucozade (a rather weird tradition I have continued from my own childhood. I’m not sure the good it does anyone, but the children sure do look forward to it when they feel rough!). With help, she managed to finish her work books and take her social studies test. Abigail meanwhile was ploughing through pages and pages of division. In addition, she managed to finish her science workbook and test:

Lillie was feeling a lot better after yesterday, and attacked her school work with her normal vim and vigour (and smiles):

At around ten the littles had finished their work books, so everyone had a break and did their individual devotions:

After break, Charlotte went back to Granny’s to do her Latin and Classics, Lillie continued with her Psychology and Biology and the Littles and I snuggled up for some read aloud work. I read the second chapter about Thales from Science in Ancient Times, and the girls learnt about how he applied what they had been doing Monday (measuring shadows to find the height of tall things) to measuring the pyramids in Egypt and how he believed everything was made out of water(!) – I also read some more from their Botanics book, and began dictation with them:

Over the past few months we have been finishing off Astronomy, during which time I used copywork extensively. For these new botanical journals I will be using both copywork and dictation with the goal of moving exclusively to dictation by the end of the course. The goal of this is to build up Becca’s confidence in her ability to write sentences on her own. The other thing which will be changing with the introduction of Botanics is that I will be asking them to draw most of their pictures instead of me photocopying stuff from the internet:

Next, I read the latest history lesson from the Mystery of History about the Tabernacle and the Ark of the Covenant. I then tested the girls on their multiplication tables and they tested themselves on the Latin vocab, after which I had them translate a few simple passages in Latin into English:

Lastly, I read another chapter of The Thieves of Ostia, a book the girls are enjoying more and more.

Just before lunch, I asked Abs to help me move the protection from their seedlings and tomato plants:

It was a very cold night and the forecast warned of a frost this morning:

So last night, Gary had used the girls’ collection of cut off milk bottles to cover the tomato plants and a huge garden rubbish bag to cover the pot of lettuces we have growing:

We also checked for slugs and snails and pulled off any we found. It’s frosty again tomorrow, so we will need to get these covered again tonight. I am loving learning about this!

During lunch the girls played with their magic set. It’s quite comical watching them try out the tricks. They don’t have the slight of hand required to make them realistic 🙂

Believe it or not, both girls are doing the same trick (making the card hang in suspension), but as you can see they vary widely in their application. Abigail uses a rag:

And Becca uses a piece of string:

Becca’s worked quite well, because looking at it without the camera, it really did look like it was just hanging there.

After lunch, the girls painted their (not very very accurate) paper mache map of Italy:

I had to laugh when Becca said, almost in awe, ‘Wow, Mummy, it looks like a real map!’:

We were pretty pleased with it.

The next thing on my list was to do a shoe sorting activity. Becca was looking rougher by the moment, so I knew I needed to finish up school fairly soon. Sorting the shoes of a seven person family made me shudder…until I spotted two dolls houses which the girls had been playing with over the weekend.

Hmm, I decided there and then that we would sort furniture in the dolls house. It was at least small and had the advantage that it was clean, not muddy and didn’t smell in the slightest. Sounded good to me!

I had the girls separate everything into Kingdoms (as in the animal kingdom or the plant kingdom). They chose bathroom, bedroom, kitchen and living room:

I was so happy that each house had already been handily divided into the above section. This was going to make this arduous task much easier! I’ll be sharing the activity in all its organisational glory in my Botanics post. Suffice it to say that it took a long time, but was a very useful way of understanding taxonomy and binomial nomenclature. Both girls grasped it very quickly:

That’s it for today. I am out with my mum tonight to see a village production and to enjoy an Italian to eat. I have been spoilt rotten this week with two breakfasts out (Becca), one lunch out (Abigail) and one dinner out (Mum). Oh, and don’t forget yesterday’s pizza for the cheery up party… I am going to be the size of a barge by the end of the week!

Have a great evening everyone 🙂

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