Today is our first day of school for 2009. I know people go back at different times through the country, but WA's term starts today. This will actually be the first time we've started school at the same time as the others. We're usually well underway by now. Our girls are entering into Years 4 and 6.
The day didn't start well as I overslept. There was quite a lot of noise outside which kept me awake until after midnight. So I was up just after 8am. I wanted to be up earlier because I needed to do the weekly food shop before we started school. The weather forecast was hot and humid so I decided we would go shopping before school not after. We ended up going at about 9.30 so we were never going to make our 10am start. 10am works for us, we tried 9am but it just wasn't worth the hassle, perhaps after the dreaded daylight savings is over (hopefully forever) it will be better. Consequently because of lots of little things I had to do we didn't get back from shopping until just before noon. So school would now start at 1pm. The girls asked to start at 12.45 after we'd all eaten lunch.
I've decided to document what we do as often as I can in the hope that our district moderator can log on in here and read our progress. So here goes.
I've purposed to start each and every day with a Bible Verse. I have taken the verses from a nifty little book called Scripture Memory Made Easy. We will not be memorising them. We read today's out (Psalm 119:11) then they copied it into an exercise book.
Next they did their journal entries. This is simply writing a few complete sentences about something that they have done or about something that has happened.
The girls then go on to Maths. We use New Signpost Maths books and they do one page each day.
After this the subject English, they do different books. Through the week they each cover Comprehension, Grammar, Creative Writing, Spelling and they use a book called Text types which explores different ways of writing ie - recount, poem, narrative etc. Today Olivia did Text Types and Natasha did Comprehension. The Comprehension books we use are called Once a week comprehension, they do a "week" at a time.
While shopping in Wooldridges a couple years ago I came across some Western Australian Health books which were reasonably priced and covered topics like Stranger Danger, Road Safety and Recycling. So I bought them. I wanted the girls to start them from Year 1 to get the basics before getting up to their level. Some things we skip because they know it already, but mainly they are pretty easy anyway and are prompts for a conversation about the topic. I have worked out a schedule for the books and so they do 1 or 2 pages a week. Today they had their health pages to do.
The work I've explained so far is given to them in a pile of folders, papers and books and they work through at their own pace. Once they have finished this work, if one has finished before the other they are free to play (quietly and in a different room-not outside) until the other finishes. Today there was a little gap after which I said the girls could have a break. We generally break after around an hour of work.
After the break we went on to our Unit Studies work. Unit Study is my words for "covering the rest of the curriculum framework being: Science, Society & Environment, Technology & Enterprise, Languages Other Than English, Arts, Physical Education (and health)." Each day we will do one subject.
Today's subject was PE. I've decided to cover some basic skills this year as well as many other things. Today we explored the seemingly easy and boring but actually a bit difficult and fun skill of "Rolling a Ball"! (I found a great resource ages ago on Blake Education for some Basic Skills.) So out we went hats on heads in our lovely 39.c weather to roll some balls. We used a tennis ball, a hockey ball and a soccer ball. We rolled the balls up to a line, along a line and to knock over some blocks (we used some legos and set them up like ten pin bowling). At first the girls weren't into it so much, but by the end they'd worked out that rolling a ball to get a particular outcome was tricky and fun.
When we had finished that I'd congratulated the girls on a job well done. It was a trying day that didn't turn out the way that we'd expected. There was a little tension but all in all good. I "freed" them and they instantly got into their bathers then the pool!!! I sat down and had a cuppa to reward myself! That was at 4pm, so school took approximately 3 hours, including breaks. Not bad.