10 Jan 2011

Day one is done

Don't those books look yummy all lined up like that? There's Black Beauty, Bambi, Mates at Billabong, The Chronicles of Narnia, Robinson Crusoe, The Secret Garden, Kidnapped, By the Shores of Silver Lake (the one where Mary goes blind), The Railway Children, The Borrowers, Lassie, Sophie's Misfortunes, The Midnight Folk, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiller, Thimble Summer and more, more, more - and that's only the literature! Be still my beating heart!!!!

AO4 is the most deliciously rich year of delights for both mummy and daughter, and it was with a great deal of excited anticipation that we commenced our first day of the new school year this morning.

Oh my! There is such an awful lot of tradition surrounding our first day of school. There's the donuts we eat for breakfast; the first-day-of-school photographs; the intensive swimming program in the morning; the Vietnamese pork rolls for lunch, and the gift wrapped stationery to open. There's new coloured pencils, new paints and brushes, new exercise books and new folders to keep everything neat. Some things always stay the same.

And some things are different: new composer: Schumann; new artist: Caravaggio; new subjects: Latin; Plutarch; Grammar; Apologetics; Shakespeare. There's new Memory Verses, new folk songs (French and English) and new Psalms (French and English). We begin Bible notebooks for the first time and Jemimah starts to read some books herself.

And all those beautiful books are sitting there waiting for her.

It has taken a bit of time to get our Australian History together for the year, believe you me, and I'll tell you more about it shortly if you like, but in a nutshell we'll be reading Children of the Dark People; James Cook, Royal Navy; Bennelong; John of the Sirius; and Matthew Flinders by George Finkel. We'll learn about Aborigines and Discovery in Term 1; Captain Cook in Term 2 and The First Fleet and Matthew Flinders in Term 3. In the rest of the world we'll look at Prussia, the American Revolution and the one in France as well. I have no doubt that there is as much for me to learn here as there is for Jemimah, and personally I can't wait!!

For devotions we're reading Grandpa's Box: Retelling the Biblical Story of Redemption by Starr Meade, and Jemimah's reading her way through the Gospel of Luke. We'll be covering the Westminster Shorter Catechism questions on Obedience, Faith and Salvation. They Live in Australia by Eve Pownall is our geography book, and The Story of Australia for Boys and Girls by Joseph Bryant is our history spine. We've chosen Madam How and Lady Why for Natural History instead of Explore His Creation, but we'll make a final decision on this in a few weeks as recommended by Ellen, whose opinion I respect. I just can't get excited by Explore His Creation, somehow, although many homeschoolers rave about it.

Poplicola's our first Plutarch life. We had a superb discussion today about the first section of this, following Anne White's study guide very closely all the way. We each have a copy of the text to look at, and I have bound the discussion guide and text together in mine to make it easy to navigate. I don't think I could have attempted this difficult book without Anne's help. You're a wonder!! For what it's worth, Jemimah's narration was pretty impressive as well!!

Our first Shakespeare play is The Comedy of Errors. The Australian Shakespeare Company are presenting this play at the Royal Botanic Garden this summer, and we're just waiting for a fine night to get along to see it. I do hope it is not too absurd...

We're using MEP 4b for maths, Minimus for Latin and L'Art de Lire for French.

And now I'm going to stop. It is already 11.30 pm, and I need to go to bed. I'll try and link all the books tomorrow afternoon.

I go into this year with an incredible amount of optimism that this course is a good match for Jemimah - and for me as her teacher. All of our years of homeschooling so far have been terrific, but with the amazing lineup of books sitting on my desk, I have a feeling that AO4 might just be the best one yet!



  1. That is a great looking year and I really enjoyed reading about your first day traditions.

    The Ralph Moody series has been on my list of 'wantities' for some time.

  2. OOOh, Jeanne, your books make such a beautiful picture! I am getting excited as I plan our new year too. We are still in holiday mode, and won't start for another 2-3 weeks, but I am thinking a lot about what we are going to do this year. I have a beautiful new book about New Zealand art that I want to use as a spine for NZ artist study...more Shakespeare...should start some Plutarch, ahhhh!!
    I definitely get as much out of homeschooling as my children do!

  3. Oh yes, very exciting indeed! Thank you for sharing again so openly your line up, it's such a wonderful inspriation and encouragment. All my books (well not all) will be arriving in the mail in the next week or two, and I can't wait! I'm still wondering if I should include Plutarch this year, we'll see how we go! Hat's off to you Jeanne and Jemimah! xxx

  4. A shelf full of great books ahhhh be still my beating heart, my husband thinks I may be slightly nuts by how excited I get about books and some of those ones on Jemimah's shelf were ones I loved as a girl. A friend dropped round a bag full of books for Jaden yetserday that her son had grown out of and I loved how excited he got about a bag of books!!!!! :-)

  5. Some terrific books there! We have a few more weeks of freedom from lessons but holiday? Hasn't happened. Expecting Brizzie to flood too. *sigh* I'm so happy you had a good start to your year!

  6. Oooh! I see quite a few favorites there. Miss M picked up The Secret Garden over the holidays and was immediately engrossed - I do love seeing the kids pick up an old favorite!

    This post was great for me today, because I needed a little push to get excited about starting up again. Our winter vacation was extra long - we're just starting back today - and I was feeling a little sluggish. Thanks for the boost!

  7. Oh Jeanne,
    You make it all sound so delicious amd so easy. We are using Teaching Textbooks (i'm feeling fairly confident)this year but if it doesn't do the job we will be back with MEP. Wonerful to see the line up, I will be looking into the Australian History line-up as I'm yet to add that! Oh well I'll get there. Have a lovely first week. Blessings, Renelle

  8. Have a great year you two!

  9. The beginning of the new school year is always exciting. One can never go past all the new books and stationery.

    I'd also like to try Plutarch when Chloe is a little older.

    How will you do the Bible notebooks? Very curious there. Hoping to be able to get an idea or two from you. :)

    We too have also already begun - trying to put some extra time away for a rainy day in August so we can relax more then.

  10. I really enjoyed reading this:)
    And wow! what traditions for the first day of school! I need to start up some (besides the one of taking a photo which is all we do right now):) new stationery all gift wrapped might do the trick; thanks for the ideas and as always I'll be following your AO posts closely as I learn so much from you about it!

  11. I'm getting excited about the new year to- sound like heaps of fun.

  12. I am thrilled to see Children of the Dark People there, also The Midnight Folk and Gone-Away Lake. Looking forward to reading what you two think about them and all the other wonderful books!

  13. Oh, Jeanne, you and Jemimah are going to love those books! We've ready many of those titles already and some are still on our list. Enjoy! xo

  14. Looks like a great year! We are enjoying our Year 4 too. Best wishes from this side of the world!

  15. I <3 Year 4, and no doubt Jemimah [and you] will too! :)


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