Saturday, July 29, 2017

Week Ending 30 July 2017

The first week of the final academic term of our homeschooling year is in the bag and went without a hitch. Statistics involved a unit on control charts. If something is going to throw us during the week it is most likely to be statistics, but thankfully Miss 16 found this unit as straightforward as I thought she would. Anti-predator behaviour was the focus for animal behaviour, while history was concerned with issues of conformity and non-conformity in the inter-war years. Miss 16 finally started her new vocabulary book, after it mistakenly got packed in storage rather than taken with us to our temporary accommodation. She's going to do double lessons for a few weeks so she can get it wrapped up by the end of term. Since she finished her grammar earlier than planned, courtesy of doing double grammar while she was vocabulary-free, she has plenty of time to devote to it. She's started reading Puddin'head Wilson for literature, using this free sample as our guide. The course as a whole wouldn't be a good fit for us but it has a couple of aspects I wanted to expose Miss 16 to so I'm happy to adapt the free sample lesson. It'll  be interesting to compare this lesser known work of Mark Twain's  to Huckleberry Finn which she read earlier in the year. She finished the Movies as Literature course at the end of last term, but we've decided to add in some film history and rename the course Film Studies. We've started the film history component with Crash Course.

It seems that every year, often around this time, we add something unexpected and previously unplanned into the mix, and this year is no different. Recently I was given the opportunity to review Blair Lee's course on climate change. Although Miss 16 is older than the target audience, climate change is an important issue for everyone to fully understand, especially those who are considering studying environmental science or ecology and conservation at university! Plus I have a great deal of respect for the thoroughness of Blair's science and the accessible and engaging way in which she writes. This week we read the first section - The Greenhouse Effect. As expected the tone was clear and conversational, the diagrams were also clear and complemented the text, while the activities were quick and easy to complete but definitely designed to emphasize the lessons contained in the text. They weren't just time fillers. Blair is a strong advocate of the importance of integrating mathematics with science where relevant and this section included activities involving scientific notation and graphing. At this stage our plan is just to cover one section per week. Look for a full review once we've finished the course.

Also adding a little fun and variety to our week was the temporary presence of our favorite dog. His family sadly had to attend an out-of-town funeral so he spent a few nights back at our place. Everyone (except our cat) was delighted to have the chance to spend some time with him again.

He's so innocent - at least when he's asleep!

The other thing that was different - very different -  this week was that Miss 16 began a break from trampoline training. She's been considering retiring for quite a few weeks now and still hasn't fully decided. It's a tough call, given it has been a big part of her life for so long. As an interim measure she's taking the term off, before making her final decision. She's still coaching for six hours per week but is home every evening which makes a real change.

At the end of June I was planning to check in with all of my reading challenges and see how I was going. However, the end of June was a little crazy what with all the moving and uncertainty over moving. So I left my check-in until the end of July instead. Turns out I've read 114 books so far this year. I've finished both the challenges from Modern Mrs Darcy and I've also finished the reading for my 50 book Classic Club Challenge. But I've still got to post reviews for a couple of them. I'm 3/4 of the way through the Back to the Classics Challenge, but have some heavy duty reads ahead including Crime and Punishment. I've also completed 47 of 52 categories from the Pop Sugar Ultimate Reading Challenge.  I'm part way through a book for one category and have a couple of options lined up for another. But  'a book written by someone you admire', 'a book recommended by an author you love' and 'a book you bought on a trip' are proving a struggle. I may have to apply some artistic license and make a special trip to a bookshop for that last one since the only trips I'm planning for the remainder of the year are for birding, and the locations aren't really awash with any shops, let alone book stores! I'm also considering a couple of multicultural or read your way around the world type challenges if I get into a reading slump for the remainder of the year.

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