Home education diary, April 2003

April 1st

Tim did his guitar and piano practice in the morning, while Daniel was getting up. Around 11am, Dan did his first world history test and got 100% - it was really very easy.  Much easier than the geography from the previous level!  He did have a query - the pace had said that Noah preached for 120 years, and his neighbours laughed at him. But that isn't anywhere in the Bible. We checked, and Daniel is correct. Is very strange.  That didn't come up in the test, which is just as well.   Tim did four subjects, still coughing and sniffling at the end of a cold. Dan did some English, then got stuck with a science checkup.  He realises this isn't as easy as the previous one, so he'll re-read and do some highlighting tomorrow. 

Later, Dan did about an hour's clarinet practice, including lots of scales and arpeggios, then emerged saying his hand was aching - not as it usually does, but muscle pain from holding the clarinet too long.  I read to them, another chapter of 'Why shoot the butler?' then Dan told me he'd created a new program on the computer to help him learn his Greek vocabulary:  when he tries to log in, it gives him a Greek word and he has to type in the English!  He says it'll be a good security measure, however at present it just says 'Wrong!' and gives the right answer if he doesn't get it correct.  Sounds like a good plan, anyway.

April 2nd

Tim did some ACE, feeling a bit better from his cold.  Then he asked about our microscope, as his biology pace was describing them, so I got it out. He then spent half an hour or so looking at the one ready-made slide, and a hair, and a few other things through it. 

Dan did a little ACE but was very tired - too tired to concentrate - and after about half an hour went to read in his room, saying he'd do some later.  Though in fact he didn't.  He did about an hour's clarinet practice this afternoon, then went to Antidote to help with the children's group, and go through the play where he's currently playing a part.  

April 7th

The boys did some ACE but not a whole lot. They didn't start till 11am, then Daniel realised he had to do his Greek homework first.  They're behind where they wanted to be, so I think they'll both be working next week, although we'd planned to take two weeks' break over Easter. 

In the afternoon, I went with Tim to his tennis lesson, and read in the sunshine in the park next door.  Daniel had a Greek lesson, then later a clarinet lesson, where apparently Mr A was very impressed with his playing. So that encouraged him.  Apparently he also mended a couple of pads in the clarinet that were broken.  Dan's been struggling a bit with his scales,but has done at least four hours practice in the past week, so I'm glad Mr A was pleased with him.  

There's no youth band this evening, which was just as well since Tim was making naan bread, and it wasn't ready till 7.30.  Tim has gradually taken over quite a bit of our cooking, and actually enjoys messy things like making naan bread from scratch. I don't know quite where he's learned all he has, but at fourteen he's a very competent cook, albeit a rather untidy one.

April 9th

Daniel did his ACE work in his room today. He's started doing that occasionally. He likes working at his deks in peace. Tim was in the dining room as usual, and did an Etymology test. He got 99%, which was pretty good; but the one he got wrong (the difference between Immigration and Emigration) was one we had actually discussed. 

We're doing a lot of gardening this week, trying to get the back garden tidier. Daniel has invented a new way to use the rake, extended, which makes things a lot quicker.  He's helping a lot outside, which is encouraging and also very useful. 

April 12th

We had an excellent home educators' meeting at our home today.  Five other families came - there were thirty of us in all. Lots of good food, as usual, and we talked about what we might do at future meetings. Dan says he'll try and find some drama sketches that the teens can do. They did some music jamming, and chatted, then a couple of kids did some science demonstrations on our patio: the standard one with vinegar and bicarb, and then some alka-seltzer 'rockets' which were quite spectacular and occupied several of them for a while!  

Later we had a mini-concert - Daniel and one friend played a clarinet/flute duet, then Daniel played his jazzy grade 5 clarinet piece with the computer accompaniment which he and Tim had typed in a couple of days ago. Then Tim played guitar to accompany Dan and their flautist friend in a pan-pipes piece. Then two of the younger children played simple pieces on the piano, and Tim played his Mozart Sonata, although he seemed nervous and his timing went rather astray!  Still, everyone seemed to enjoy it.

April 16th

The boys have been winding down their ACE this week - today they both did a Literature test, and science self-tests. So tomorrow there will be science tests for both, then that's it until the Tuesday after Greek Easter.  Thank goodness!  We all need a break.  Dan is delaying his current Old Testament survey, and Tim is delaying his French test, but they've done quite a few other tests both last week and this week.  I really do need to spend more time with Tim on his French, rather than hassling him.. although he seems to want to do it independently. 

April 18th

Dan did some independent travelling today. He agreed to be in a dance-drama with the Limassol youth group for Good Friday, and as there was nobody to drive him there, he caught the bus at the sea-front this morning. We've been here five and a half years now, and I think this is the first time any of us have used a bus! He's staying overnight with some friends, and then playing with the recorder group there in the morning, coming back on another bus later. 

April 25th

We've all done some gardening; Tim's done a lot of cooking; both boys have done music, and computer games, and read books. It's good to take a break. 

Today is Greek Good Friday;Tim was playing piano at the Greek Evangelical church Good Friday service with the youth group band so he had to be there by 6.30.  Dan went to listen, then to Antidote Theatre to help with setting things up. Then he changed into his municipal band uniform, as the band march slowly through the town playing, before joining the Good Friday floral 'coffins' that are brought from four of the local Orthodox churches. 

April 30th

We're back in more normal routine now. Tim did a couple of subjects in ACE, though he's struggling with the maths again (factoring). I do understand, and am trying to help with further explanations, but he has such a mental block about maths. Dan went straight to the English self-test in a new pace, after reading it, since apparently it was very easy - and got almost all of it right.  Then he did some history.  They didn't do a whole lot today, but none of us felt very inspired.

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