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Saturday, 16 September 2017

Friday Reflections - 70

Work has begun in earnest this week. Looking back, it has been a very good week (though it didn't always feel like it!). I'm still working out exactly how much we can fit in to the schedule, though, so there will probably be a few weeks of tweaking the programme.

We went on another nature walk at the beginning of the week, hunting for mini-beasts and drawing them. 


Hunting for Mini-Beasts

We've also fitted in a couple of runs over the week. Last Saturday, my 8  year old was pleased to achieve a new personal best at parkrun, and we also met with friends during the week for running and a picnic in the park. It rained fairly heavily as we were leaving, which the children enjoyed!

We watched the Great British Bake Off together (catching up with it a couple of days late), and my 8 year old made a brilliant crown loaf for us to enjoy. I did little more than find ingredients for him, and he was really pleased with his cooking.

My 8 Year Old with his Bread

Crown Loaf

Most of the week has seen the children deep in their book work. They've all studied hard, and my marking box has been full at the end of each day. My 8 year old has just started Latin, and is very enthusiastic, which is fun. 

In addition to keeping up with the children's work, we have church meetings starting up again in our home, I have quite a bit of planning and preparation for out home education group which is starting up properly next Friday, and I am trying to squeeze in a bit of running, reading and crochet in too (it keeps me sane!). 

Monday, 11 September 2017

Year 7 Plan

It's begun - my eldest is now secondary school aged! This feels like it is a big change, but in reality the shift from last year is pretty gentle. Many subjects will continue as before, though I have added extra resources for both science and geography, and have moved to a UK curriculum for maths now.

I'm still unsure about how much I can fit in a week, so I am testing this out a bit for the first few weeks. With all that said, here are the resources that I am planning to use for this year:

Books for Year 7


Bible:

Discover Bible notes.

Bible Time; We have been working through the Bible in chunks.

In addition, we will have family devotions led by Michael over breakfast. My eldest is also reading through the Bible on his own, starting again in Genesis just a week or two ago after making it all the way through.

(See here for more about how we teach the Bible to our children.)

English:

Rod & Staff Building Christian English 8, Preparing for Usefulness
Writing with Skill 1 & 2
The Creative Writer, Level 1
Set Reading

Maths:

Galore Park Mathematics for Common Entrance Two
Mental Maths

History:

The Story of the World Volume 3: Early Modern Times

(I have written about this curriculum here)

Latin:

Latin Prep Book 3

Classical Greek

An Introduction to Classical Greek (Continued)

IT

Programming (Code.org)
Touch typing

Art

An art project once a week (sometimes as part of our history programme).
We plan to use lessons from ArtAchieve for at least some weeks.

Science

Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding Vol. 2 (I've written about this here.)
Exploring Nature with Children (New for this year.)
Galore Park Science for Common Entrance: Biology
Galore Park Science for Common Entrance: Chemistry
Galore Park Science for Common Entrance: Physics

Geography

Galore Park Geography for Common Entrance: Human Geography
Galore Park Geography for Common Entrance: Physical Geography

Music:



Piano

Friday, 8 September 2017

Friday Reflections - 69

The beginning of September is often a time of mixed emotions for me as a home educator. My facebook page is full of sweet pictures of children heading off to school, and life is becoming hectic once again as we all adjust to a new routine. A slightly grumpy child or a messy piece of work or just the exhaustion of long days trying to balance everything can make me wonder why I am doing this at all!

On the other hand, as we settle back into our work patterns at the beginning of term, and the start of a new academic year, it is good to see the children working well, and thriving in so many of the activities that we do during the week.

Here have been some of the highlights of the week:

Our first nature walk took place on Monday. I've chosen for us to visit some local woods each week this year for a change. We were looking for different seeds this time. The children drew some pictures, and took plenty of samples back for our nature table.

Drawing on our Nature Walk

Nature Table

Each morning after breakfast I read aloud to the children for a while. This is one of their favourite parts of the day! At the moment I am reading On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness by Andrew Peterson, The Gospel Story Bible by Marty Machowski, and Archimedes and the Door of Science by Jeanne Bendick. While I read they sometimes just snuggle on the sofa (maybe with a hamster!), or colour or sew or draw as they listen. This morning I had two happy moments: firstly when they all begged for another chapter of On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, and secondly when the older two spontaneously told me all they had learned last year about density and buoyancy during their science lessons with Michael (prompted by today's chapter about Archimedes). It's good to know they have learned something...

We've had a pretty gentle week - we're just gearing up for a full timetable - but we have tried one or two new things. The older two boys have just started a curriculum to help them with creative writing (The Creative Writer by Boris Fishman). I got the two of them to work together to outline the plot of one of the Star Wars films, which they enjoyed.

Creative Writing Activity

Yesterday my eldest did some baking (pinwheel biscuits and cheese straws) for us to eat while we caught up on Bake Off together, and I played a game of Labyrinth with my daughter. It's good to have time for these activities as well as our more formal work.

Baking Fun

Board Game Fun

Today we met with our home education group for the first time this term. We were supposed to be having a picnic in the park, but the weather was very wet so we had an indoor picnic instead. Everyone seemed to have a good time, though, and the children are looking forward to our science themed sessions beginning in a couple of weeks.

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Year 6 Plan

My 10 year old is beginning his Year 6 work this week - I can't believe that he's at this stage already! For more information about the curriculum I use, see here.

Here's what I have planned for him for the coming year:

Bible:

Discover Bible notes.

Bible Time. We will continue to work through the Bible together. I'm also thinking of doing some more formal teaching of doctrine with him and his older brother.

In addition, we will have family devotions led by Michael over breakfast.

He is also reading through the Bible on his own, working through different books at a time.

(See here for more about how we teach the Bible to our children.)


English:

Rod & Staff Building Christian English 6, Progressing With Courage
Writing with Ease 4
Set Reading
All About Spelling Level 5 (I have written about this here.)
The Creative Writer, Level 1

Maths:

Singapore Maths 6A
Mental Maths

History:

The Story of the World Volume 3: Early Modern Times

(I have written about this curriculum here)

Latin:

Latin Prep Book 2 (continued)

Classical Greek

An Introduction to Classical Greek (Initially just weekly, though I plan to build in more as the year progresses)

IT

Programming (Code.org)
Touch typing

Art

An art project once a week (sometimes as part of our history programme).
We plan to use lessons from ArtAchieve for at least some weeks.

Science

Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding Vol. 2 (I've written about this here.)
Exploring Nature with Children

Music:

Piano


Saturday, 2 September 2017

Year 4 Plan

My 8 year old would be beginning Year 4 if he were in school. Here's what I have planned for him for the coming academic year (see here for more detail about the curriculum I use):

Bible:

XTB Bible notes.

Bible Time. I plan to continue working through the Bible with him and his younger sister.

In addition, we will have family devotions led by Michael over breakfast. We are also reading through the Bible with him 1 chapter a night (and we've nearly finished the Bible!).

(See here for more about how we teach the Bible to our children, and here for how we read through the whole Bible with each of our children.)

Resources for my Year 4 Child


English:

Rod & Staff Building Christian English 4, Building With Diligence
Writing with Ease 2
Set Reading
All About Spelling Level 5 (I have written about All About Reading and All About Spelling here.)
Handwriting

Maths:

Singapore Maths 5B
Beast Academy Grade 4
Mental Maths

History:

The Story of the World Volume 3: Early Modern Times

(I have written about this curriculum here)


IT

Programming (Code.org)
Touch typing

Art

An art project once a week (sometimes as part of our history programme).
We plan to use lessons from ArtAchieve for at least some weeks.

Science

Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding Vol.1 (I've written about this here.)
Exploring Nature with Children

We will also have a science theme each week at our home education group.

Latin

Latin Prep Book 1 (Galore Park)

Friday, 1 September 2017

Friday Reflections - 68

We are nearing the end of the holiday for us, and it has been a very full week.

We visited Bristol for the day on Monday to catch up with some friends, and took the children to visit the Clifton Suspension Bridge while we were there. We also went to a camera obscura there, which was fun.

Clifton Suspension Bridge

On Tuesday I had a theatre trip with the children, to see The Wind in the Willows. My 10 year old had a bit of a panic about sitting so high up, but a kind usher found him somewhere to sit at the back where he felt much happier, so I was able to stay with our other children in our seats, and we all had a good time in the end.

Wednesday was a bit quieter in general, but I took my daughter to a cookery class (a birthday gift for her), where she made chocolate crunch bars. She also won a Crunchie, which she was very pleased with!

Cooking Fun

We finished the week with two days of holiday club at church. Michael has been very busy, and I have been quite busy, with preparations all week, so we were pleased that it seemed to go well! The first day was about when Jesus met the rich young ruler, so we had some camel themed crafts.

Camel Biscuits to Decorate

Junk-Modelled Camels

A hectic week has left me with little time to prepare for the coming term. Although many things are ready, I still have some work to do! I am planning a gentle introduction to work next week before we begin in earnest the following Monday. It has been refreshing to have a bit of a break, and a slightly slower pace of life, but I know that everything will be pretty full on soon. It's always a strange time; it's good to be getting going again with new books and ideas, but the year ahead always seems a little daunting.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Year 2 Plan

My 6 year old would be going into Year 2 if she were in school. In reality, I plan the work based on what I think she is ready for, not on which year group she should be in (which I frequently forget!).

Having said that, here is the plan for the curriculum that I plan to use for her in the coming year. I have written here in more detail about the resources that I use for my primary aged children.




Bible:

Bible Time. I will continue working through the Bible with her, along with her 8 year old brother.

She will also be using XTB Bible notes.

In addition, we will have family devotions led by Michael over breakfast, and also read a chapter of the Bible to her every evening.

(See here for more about how we teach the Bible to our children, and here for how we read through the whole Bible with each of our children.)

English:

All About Reading Level 3
All About Spelling, Level 2
Writing With Ease 1
Handwriting

I have written about All About Reading and All About Spelling here.

Maths:

Singapore Maths 2A
Mental Maths
Maths Whizz

History:

The Story of the World Volume 3: Early Modern Times

(I have written about this curriculum here)

Art

An art project once a week (sometimes as part of our history programme).
We plan to use lessons from ArtAchieve for at least some weeks.

Science

Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding Vol.1 (I've written about this here.)
Exploring Nature with Children

We will also have a science theme each week at our home education group.