Friday, 8 January 2016

January Changes

This was our first week back to more formal learning. In fact, it was a relatively gentle start with morning only work for the first couple of days. This was partly so that I could do some administrative work on some applications, for Middle Son and partly to ease us all in.

Every term, there are changes. This term, we are having a more formal timetable in the mornings. A schedule rather than a timetable has served us well but has meant that if we are busy or start late then a break mid-morning gets squeezed. I don't think this leads to the best work and it also means that I struggle to get some chores accomplished so back to a timetable. This has shown, what I rather suspected, that I have overpacked our mornings and the timetable needs some jiggling. 

Just to make the timetable overload worse, Younger Daughter has been very keen to do some art history. So far, this has meant either looking at an Usborne art card or reading one of James Mayhew's Katie books each morning, This is easy and popular with the children so a win:win.

Bible learning didn't really stop but we worked on the children's memory work from Sunday School for part of the autumn. Now we are back working on the Trinitarian Bible Society children's memory work and Youngest Son has surprised me with what he can remember.

The other changes are really extensions of what worked well, last term. One of the highlights of our term was nature study using Exploring Nature with Children. One of the children is very keen to add a proper nature collection to this so several times, this week, we have come back with leaves, lichen and moss.
Actually setting up a nature table has proved more complicated than we might have imagined. Leaves wilt, cats play with plane tree seeds and nose the lichen. We have had to choose a different place which we hope will work!

Probably the biggest change is another extension. Over the last term, we used a couple of ideas from Bravewriter: a weekly Poetry Tea and freewriting. Both of these worked well for us but I was keen to do more work on writing so purchased Partnership Writing. The suggestions for the week have, so far, proved helpful and the first writing topic which is about codes has been appealing to the children. Another change has been having to do some copywork alongside the children which has proved surprisingly relaxing.

Have you made changes to your curriculum, this term? Any thoughts about nature tables/collections? This has proved surprisingly challenging.

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  1. I have tried to include some art history this year. I am learning quite a bit. I think the only thing I want to do is add a bit of poetry into our week.

    1. We have enjoyed a weekly poetry tea and hope to continue this, in the New Year.

  2. Sounds like a great beginning to the new year. When we lived in the Netherlands, people did nature tables just as a celebration of each new season, nothing educational at all. Sometimes they were elaborate, full tables, and other times just a few sprigs of something arranged prettily on the living room table. I hope to see more pictures!

    1. Thank you, Annie Kate. This makes me feel better about our collecting and arranging rather than labeling!