A Year in the Life of a Homeschooler: Day 38

Space Rocks
Space Rocks

This morning went by slowly and quietly. Thomas was at college all day, so left fairly early to catch his train, and Lillie left at 7 this morning to get to work in time. With only three in the house, it felt empty and quiet. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I mean I like quiet. Quiet is good. But in our house, which is characteristically very noisy, I noticed the quietness even more. I saw Thomas for minutes, and haven’t seen Lillie at all. I can see that I am going to need to get up earlier on a Wednesday if I want to spend a bit of time with them before they leave the house. It is preparing me for the day when Charlotte will no longer be in the house throughout the day. I mean, that is going to be a shock to all our systems because she is so LOUD…

Lil and I have been plotting and planning next year. I am determined to make this coming year really special for her. Much of our time and attention has gone to her twin over the past thirteen months. And whilst that was good and right (especially given the speed and totality of her recovery from an illness that can sometimes last a life time), I have missed my quieter twin. She and I are so alike in many ways, and I think we are both going to enjoy the time afforded to us next year.

One exciting thing, my mum went up to London yesterday to meet a childhood friend of hers, and came back with lots of clothes her twin girls used to wear back in the day (they are married with children of their own now). The girls had such a great time going through the enormous suitcase this morning:

Yes, it looks like something has vomited up a wardrobe of clothes onto my living room floor. It’s enough to give you a tic, isn’t it?

A blog reader of mine asked me what workbooks the little ones were using. Well, they use the ACE workbooks in the following subject: Maths, English, Word-building, Creative Writing, Science and Social Studies.

There are twelve books per subject per year. The girls get through approximately one book per subject per month. I am not too bothered, so long as they are making progress. They do two pages per day in everything bar maths. Abigail does four pages per day, because she is a bit behind with her times tables. This has meant that she started a bit behind (approximately 10 books behind) and is catching up:

They are completely independent, and in general I don’t contend with any moans about doing them. Abigail in particular thrives on their repetitive nature, and as my focus these days is so much on the older ones, I feel confident they are learning all they need to learn. The work books take my littles about an hour or so every morning.

Today, Abigail was learning about the circulatory system, and needed to take her pulse on waking (she’ll do that tomorrow), at rest and after two minutes of exercise. Here she is timing her pulse for a minute at rest:

Becca also had a science activity to do relating to the moon. As air carries sounds, and there is no air on the moon, there is no sound on the moon. I didn’t know that! To demonstrate how air carries sound Becs filled up three milk bottles to different heights:

She then blew on each bottle and compared the sounds:

She discovered that the pitch of the note gets higher the more water the bottle contains:

As pitch is a measure of how fast the vibration is, it can be seen that the less air, the quicker the vibration and the higher the pitch of the note. More air means it takes longer for the vibration to form (and is therefore slower) making the pitch of the note lower:

It is Becca’s birthday on Saturday, and she asked Charlotte whether, as a birthday present, she would take her down to the cafĂ© and have a hot chocolate with her. Of course, Charlotte said yes! Today was the chosen day, so after all their work books had been completed, the girls headed off to spend some time with each other whilst Abigail had a bath:

Becs bought back a packet of sweeties to give as part of her Valentine’s gift to everyone. Yesterday she made the cards, and this morning had brought them downstairs and laid them by the fireplace. She added one sweetie for each person:

So cute!

Whilst Abigail was waiting for her hair to dry, she took the opportunity to practice a song she is thinking of singing for a talent night: We Believe by Graham Kendrick:

She sounded so lovely, singing her little heart out, that I had to get a picture. Love my girly!

Charlotte has been glued to her seat for most of the day trying to get all her work finished. Every so often she would take a five minute break, during which she caught up on some fan girl stuff about one of the boy bands she and her sister follow. She’d then come excitedly to tell me all about it. She was most put out that I could care two hoots about what Mikey did or didn’t do. By the end of the morning I cared even less. Like negative equity of caring. Zero. Zilch. Some might say I was getting a bit bored…

As soon as Lillie came back from work both Charlotte and I threw ourselves at her, me desperate to have a break from boy band world and Charlotte desperate to talk to someone who would respond appropriately. Frankly, my response was the only sensible one. This is her telling Lillie just how frustrating her mother actually is!

Lil had a relax in the bath and then headed into her office to catch up on school work. I don’t set her as much on a Tuesday or Wednesday, but she does have some to do:

The little ones finished quiet time and came running downstairs for their afternoon school. I read the rest of the Jupiter chapter from their Apologia text book, and they did some copy work:

After, we tackled the long awaited activity – making our own model of Juno, the space craft currently orbiting Jupiter:

They then flew it over Jupiter, trying to pick up information about Jupiter’s magnetic field:

We are going to attempt to stick these models in their space notebook:

The little ones are currently playing outside, Lillie is about to go over to her Granny’s for a cup of tea and a chat, whilst Charlotte is attempting to concentrate for long enough to finish off her work for the day. I am finishing up here and then shopping for food for the youth group tomorrow.

We are all in tonight, which will be nice and relaxing, to prepare for our next visit to see a school for Charlotte. This one is a much bigger school, and is the one that Charlotte likes the sound of the most. It is in the same town as Thomas’ college and so they will be able to travel together.

I shall tell you all tomorrow!