Sunday, February 21, 2016

Week Ending 21 February 2016

Most of our homeschool week is spent on the routine things. And good steady progress was made this week - another four algebra lessons completed, the third week of the Learning How to Learn course finished, the outline for her essay approved so she can final start to draft, plus more land marking of bills and work on a biography for ornithology.

However, what really makes the weeks sing is the extras.

We finally attended to the outdoor performance of Hamlet that we postponed last week. The weather was lovely. All too often it is cold for evening performances and in years past we've ended up shivering in jackets and hats and wrapped in several blankets. Sadly Miss 21 couldn't make it thus year. What with her work schedule and Miss 15's work and training schedules there simply wasn't a session that worked for everyone. It really felt like the end of an era since Miss 21 and I have been going together for nearly ten years. The guys came once or twice, sometimes a friend as well, and more recently Miss 15 has been a regular but it did feel odd not to be there with Miss 21. But this is what happens when your children grow up. Miss 15 and I enjoyed the performance even though it was a shortened version that ran for just over two hours. Since we'd studied Hamlet fairly extensively just over a year ago we didn't read the play before we went - another departure from tradition!



We fitted two birding field trips into the week. The first one was a  ramble with members of our birding group. On our way back to the car Miss 15 spotted a very recently deceased juvenile Yellowhammer. So of course we collected its body and bought it home. She was able to show me a lot of what she learnt about measuring birds and counting feathers at the two field courses she attended last year. Now we are attempting to process the bird and obtain it's skeleton. By all accounts it is a fairly hit and miss process so we're not necessarily expecting to succeed. But the learning is in the doing.



On our second trip to a local wetland Miss 15 completed a count of all the birds. We saw some of our favourites including a kingfisher and several Royal spoonbills plus about thirty Bar-tailed godwits, many of whom were starting to moult into their breeding plumage prior to their long journey back to Alaska. She had hoped to select one individual bird and conduct a timed observation on it. But the birds were relatively distant making that too difficult. So we saved that assignment for another day and took a quick walk around another wetland, keeping an eye out for  the Glossy ibis, an annual visitor who should be due to return there soon. We thought we were at least a week too early but since we were close by it seemed worthwhile to check, just in case!

Spot the Mallards and Canada geese. You need good eyes to bird from a distance!


Over the weekend Miss 15, Dh and I attended  Philippines Day. Since the earthquakes there has been a big increase in the local Filipino population, with many moving here to  work on the rebuild. This day was a chance to highlight and showcase their culture. It was a really hot day and the venue didn't offer much shade so we didn't stay very long. Long enough to try some new food and the delicious mango shakes though!

Miss 15 spent an hour or two honing her new-found trampoline judging skills by watching videos from last year's National Champs, marking the routines and then comparing her marks to those given by the actual judges. Turns out she was in the same range as them, just on the low side. I guess she's going to be the tough judge! She also spent several hours at an online meeting for a young birder's group .

I've spent my spare time reading - finally finished The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson which feels like  a real achievement -  and practising yoga.My balance and flexibility seem to be improving which is encouraging. My main difficulty at the moment is fitting both walking and yoga into my schedule. Since the days have been hot I've been leaving them both until the evening but now that evening trampoline training has resumed and I have to collect Miss 15 my evenings get interrupted. Time to shift one of them to the morning I think.

One final thing we've been having fun with this week is this quiz where you try and type in the names of all the countries of the world in 15 minutes. It was interesting to see what we remembered from last year's geography study and fun to try and beat each others high score.

Linking to the Weekly Wrap-Up over at Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers.




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