Sunday, August 17, 2014

Week Ending 17 August 2014

Back to formal work for Miss 13 after her delayed two week break.

The most eventful thing  about Monday was history. All  three of us started a new MOOC - A Brief History of Humankind. I enrolled in it last year but never finished it. I didn't discover it until the course was well underway and trying to get caught up at a very busy time of the year for us just proved too much. So I was delighted to see it offered again, especially since I've felt our current history programme is a little lacking, although I haven't been able to put my finger on exactly what the problem is.  This MOOC ties in really well with what we are so - with not too much arm-twisting - I've convinced everyone that we'll continue with our current course and add this in as well.

Speaking of our current history programme..... When we went to log into the Big History Project course I was totally thrown. Since last week they have totally reformatted the site and rejigged the course, I'm guessing due to the new North American school year and possibly the spread of Common Core. Even though much of the content is the same, the new packaging totally threw me -  I wasn't able to operate on autopilot!  Looks like there are a few bugs too. The online quiz (a new feature) that we took had one question that didn't really make sense and none of the possible answers was ever marked right. But we'll persevere because I still like the concept behind the course...and we've only got a few weeks to go before we finish. While Mr 16 would have no problem bailing now Miss 13 is like me . We have to finish things!

Tuesday's highlight was a birding expedition in the morning to an old quarry site. Great company (we went with a small group) even if there weren't a lot of birds to be seen. Apparently Basil totally missed us while we were away, even though he still had company at home, and Mr 16 had taken photos to prove it. Miss 19 joked that they were going to have to text me to come home because he was missing his Mummy too much!

While we were out birding Basil spent all his time looking for us out the front door, out various windows and  out a convenient knothole in the gate.

Wednesday and Thursday passed in a routine blur of maths and Latin and more history and science and reading and trampoline practice.

On Friday Miss 13 was pleased that the results of the Animal Behaviour MOOC were finally released and she did achieve distinction as she'd hoped. I was really frustrated to have to cancel a group field trip I'd tried to organise. A local living history park runs a class for teens focusing on the women's suffrage campaign. I organised one few years ago that both Miss 19 and Mr 16 enjoyed - dressing up, role playing, experiencing the liberation of riding early bicycles, setting a printing press and signing a copy of a petition calling for women to be granted the vote among other things. We needed at least ten teens and, despite advertising among two different groups, not a single person was interested. I suspect it was seen as too frivolous and fun for the exam focused home schoolers and probably  too mainstream for the more alternative types. Still sad for Miss 13 who was really looking forward to it and an example of our not really fitting in with local homeschooling groups.

Weekend highlights included an informal class reunion for dh with a group he was at school with around the ages of 10-12. Something my kids will never experience, but then again neither will I. I can barely recall the names of my classmates from that age and have no real desire to catch up with those I do recall! Mr 16 had a day long Scouting leadership course and Miss 13 went to an iceshow with some relations. I took advantage of the quiet time to finish reading Sue Monk Kidd's The Invention of Wings. A nice mix of fact and fiction I thought.


  1. Sorry you guys didn't get to do that planned field trip. It looked very interesting. I know how you feel about fitting it with different types of homeschoolers. So many different families in different phases of schooling, likes and dislikes. Kind of like finding that kindred spirit - sometimes it takes a long time to find them.

  2. I don't like when they change websites! We are booking a trip and when I can't immediately understand a website, I move on...I just don't have the patience. So many websites are so easy to navigate that if one is not....I move on.

    Also, I love Basil. The name, the face, everything!

    1. We can't take credit for his name - not sure why his owners picked it. We love him too and will really miss him when he goes back to his real owners. Since their rebuilt (like so many here) is taking lots longer than expected we'll have him for a lot longer yet.