Sunday, April 15, 2018

Term One Evaluation: Moster


Reading ~
* You can see from my Weekly Review posts that we read (aloud and independently) a LOT.
* A book list is included in Monster's portfolio with all the books he reads each term.

Writing ~
We still use and LOVE the following curriculum
Institute for Excellence in Writing Program
Teaching Writing: Structure and Style

In Term One Monster wrote eight paragraphs on the following topics: Dance Flies, Vulture Bees, The Great Wall of China, Qin Shi Huangdi, Water-Holding Frogs, The Wandering Albatross, Australian Pelicans, and The Australian White Ibis

Spelling ~
We continue with Ozspeller lists that I source online.
Monster is working through the Advanced lists.

Handwriting ~
Foundation Handwriting Yr 6

Grammar ~
This year we are using Junior Analytical Grammar
Term One we worked through the first four units: nouns, articles and adjectives, pronouns, and prepositions.


We completed Chapter 11 (Introducing Indices) of the Cambridge Year 7 textbook.
Units included: divisibility tests, prime numbers, using indices, prime decomposition, squares, square roots, cubes and cube roots, the zero index and index laws. We finished up with a chapter summary, followed by a semester 2 review which covered chapters 7-11.

We began our Cambridge Year 8 textbook.
We completed chapters 1 and 2 covering the following topics:
The language of algebra, substitution and equivalence, adding and subtracting terms, multiplying and dividing terms, adding and subtracting algebraic fractions, multiplying an dividing algebraic fractions, expanding brackets, factorising expressions, applying algebra, index laws for multiplication and division, the zero index and power of a power, reviewing equations, equivalent equations, equations with fractions, equations with pronumerals on both sides, equations with brackets, solving simple quadratic equations, formulas and relationships, applications, Inequalities and solving inequalities. We also completed pre-tests and chapter summaries for each chapter.


Our main unit study for this term was about water, followed by another unit study on forces.
We read books to do with water, the water cycle, and water management:
"Water" by Martha Rustad
"The Water Cycle" by Izzi Howell
"Water in the Atmosphere" by Isaac Ladeau
"Water in Rivers and Lakes"
"Water in Plants and Animals"
"Water in Glaciers"
"Earth's Cycles: The Water Cycle" by Cheryl Jakab
Water For Australia Series by Bruce McClish
"Our Water Sources"
"Caring For Waterways"
"How is Water Used"
"Getting Water to People"
"Safe and Healthy Water"
"Being Waterwise"

We watched the following about water, the water cycle and water management:
"Wet All Over"
"Kicks Up a Storm"
Magic School Bus Episodes

We read the following books to do with Forces:
"Exerting Forces" by Australian Geographic
"Magnets and Springs" by Carol Ballard

We watched the following about Forces:
"Gains Weight" (about gravity)
"Plays Ball" (about forces)
Magic School Bus Episodes

We will be learning more about forces in Term Two.

We also started a unit about Human Reproduction.
We read "The Amazing True Story of How Babies Are Made" by Fiona Katauskas and we are working our way through "Puberty Boy" which we will continue and finish in Term Two.


For Term One we began an in-depth study of Ancient China
We read the following books as part of our unit study:
"Ancient China" by Philip Steele
"Explore Ancient China"
"Ancient China" by Natalie M. Rosinsky
"Wicked Warriors and Evil Emperors" by Alison Lloyd
"Technology in Ancient China" by Charlie Samuels
"The Ancient Chinese"
"What Did the Ancient Chinese Do For Me?"
"30-Second Ancient China" by Yijie Zhuang
"Ming's Adventures with Confucius in Qufu" by Li Jian

We are currently reading an adult non-fiction book about Confucius which we will finish in Term 2 and we have some YouTube videos and other documentaries we want to watch about Ancient China before we conclude this depth study.

Monster has also written two paragraphs about Ancient Chinese topics using his IEW program and I intend to have him write 2-4 more paragraphs/papers as we round out our studies.


There is quite a bit of overlap between some of the geography topics with some of the science topics. For term one, as I needed time and space to adjust to THREE students - one of whom was now in high school - I opted for a geography topic that overlapped with science. Thus we did an IN DEPTH water unit study. All of the books we read in our science unit, pertain to our further in dept study of water within a geographic context. We will wrap up this unit with some study of worldwide water scarcity (we are currently reading "A Long Walk to Water") and then delve into atmospheric and hydrologic hazards/events to finish off our studies.


A bonus of homeschooling over public schooling, is that homeschooled students get the option of electives from Year 7, whereas public students do not until the senior high school years (if at all). Monster fell in LOVE with Latin when we studied it as part of our co-op day with another family last year, so we continued it this year. I purchased "Getting Started with Latin" by William E. Linney and Monster is working through it entirely independently. The textbook provides him with words, phrases and sentences to translate. There is also on online component where he gets to listen to audio of the words being pronounced correctly. The information builds on itself as you work through the lessons so the portions that must be translated get longer and more difficult as he progresses. Monster was thrilled recently to discover that the author is working on a second (advanced) book, we he has informed me I MUST buy as soon as it is available.

There are seven focus areas in this course, 4-5 of which are of particular interest to Monster. He has a strong interest and LOVE for all things marine biology so this was a PERFECT choice for him and I was pleased as anything to stumble across it as I read through the curriculum over the summer. We have started out slowing with this in Term 1 but will be racing ahead next term. We focused on Module 1 of the Biology Focus Area which is Water Birds of NSW. This term Monster chose three different Australian Birds (Wandering Albatross, Australian Pelican, and Australian White Ibis) and wrote a mini report on each. We also spent an afternoon investigating the rock pools at a local beach, so we'll continue with those studies next term.

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