Weekly Review

Music Appreciation

If you haven\’t ever listened to the dulcet tones of Peter Ustinov, you\’re in for a treat. We bought a CD \’Peter Ustinov Reads the Orchestra\’ a long time ago and I haven\’t ever come across it anywhere else.  When I discovered that someone had put it on YouTube, I thought I\’d share it here. It\’s about 30 minutes long and is a wonderful narration on the instruments of the orchestra. I prefer just to listen to the audio but the video is quite nicely done and it\’s ideal for young children.

Art Appreciation/Picture Study

Earlier this year we visited the art gallery and I found some art books published by Phaidon that I thought would be ideal to use for Picture Study – a good variety of paintings from the artist with  lovely, good-sized colour reproductions. They didn\’t have any books on artists I wanted to study but I took a photo of the book and searched when I got home and found Book Depository has a good selection of them for the same price.


Reading/Audio Books

I didn\’t realise Moozle hadn\’t read The Phantom Tollbooth before, so she started reading it today. Quirky and fun, written in 1961, it\’s recommended for ages 8 to 12 years, but it\’s one of those books that appeals to all ages, adults included.


Moozle\’s been reading Kim by Rudyard Kipling (Ambleside Online Year 5) so I put together some background information/history/general interest related to India during British rule to help with understanding and appreciating Kipling\’s book.

We enjoyed listening to The Exploits of Brigadier Gerard while we were out and about in the car. It\’s a good choice for car listening as the chapters are almost a short story in themselves, so if one child isn\’t there, we can just continue and the missing person doesn\’t lose the plot and and can join in with the next chapter. I wrote about it here.



After Macbeth and Hamlet everyone was ready for a comedy. I chose The Comedy of Errors because I found the Arkangel audio recording at our library. It\’s Shakespeare\’s shortest play and the full text is here.


Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas is a book I bought a couple of years ago and its 624 pages have sat on the bookshelf unread – until this week. I was pushed to start it after both reading Ruth\’s inspiring review at A Great Book Study, and hearing how much a friend at church enjoyed it also.


The Martian by Andy Weir, was recommended to my husband and me by our son, Mr T (he\’s in his mid-twenties) but before we could get a hold of the book we watched the DVD. There aren\’t many movies my husband and I both like – our tastes are so different – but we did enjoy this one. Basically, a group of astronauts get caught in a violent storm on Mars and in the chaos, one of them is believed to have been killed. The others make the difficult decision to leave the planet, believing there was no hope of the missing man\’s survival. Well, he does survive, and has to work out a way to contact NASA and use his wits to keep alive until he can be rescued. Some language but considering his situation, it\’s not inappropriate! The first couple of sentences in the book contain expletives, but that\’s not the overall tone of the book. It\’s a great story, the movie (M rating in Australia) was excellent, and I loved the music! (e.g. Starman by David Bowie).



Benj, Moozle and I went to our homeschool park day this afternoon and on the way home we dropped in to see Zana who is house sitting for a few weeks. Somehow we got into a conversation (probably related to food and what we were going to have for dinner) that recalled a poem all the kids learnt when they were young. There\’s something very gratifying about these shared memories:

There Once Was a Puffin

Oh, there once was a Puffin
Just the shape of a muffin,
And he lived on an island
In the bright blue sea!

He ate little fishes,
That were most delicious,
And he had them for supper
And he had them for tea.

But this poor little Puffin,
He couldn’t play nothin’,
For he hadn’t anybody
To play with at all.

So he sat on his island,
And he cried for awhile, and
He felt very lonely,
And he felt very small.

Then along came the fishes,
And they said, “If you wishes,
You can have us for playmates,
Instead of for tea!”

So they now play together,
In all sorts of weather,
And the Puffin eats pancakes,
Like you and like me.

by Florence Page Jaques

Linking up at Weekly Wrap-up

9 thoughts on “Weekly Review

  1. The Phantom Tollbooth is an old favorite of ours! I should read it again! Can't wait to check out the youtube version of the orchestra. That dulcet voice of his!! The poem is lovely.


  2. What an interesting post this is. I have put P. Ustinov on my 'to-listen-to list and am curious about The Martian. Shakespeare? I'm discovering modern playwrghts at the moment. I'm convinced the Irish have this genre in their DNA! (Brian Friel, Conor McPherson and Enda Walsh)


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