Friday, 13 May 2016

May Learning

This isn't really just about what we have been doing in May but also covers our learning since Easter. Yes, I meant to post this before!

We have had few weeks of reasonably steady work which is useful as we are about to embark on trips to an exam centre for Middle Son. 

This academic year, we have used the Maths Enhancement Project for Youngest Son's maths. In principle, I like this project but it has been difficult to use. I spent some time wondering whether to change and, if so, to what, and decided to start using the Galore Park Junior Maths book one. Using this programme has worked well for our other two home educated children and it seems to be a reasonable fit for Youngest Son. 

The other programme which was causing us some difficulty was All about Spelling. I was using this with Younger Daughter. I do think that, in many ways, this is an excellent programme but finding time around an intensive maths programme; two phonics programmes and carers who need to be let in and who have questions or requests, just wasn't happening reliably. We have changed Younger Daughter to the Schofield and Sims spelling workbooks. These 
  • cover one digraph at a time
  • can be done independently
  • are cheap
Younger Daughter enjoys this programme and loves that it enables her to work independently. 

Poetry Tea continues to be a highlight of the week. Younger Daughter has taken over much of the preparation. We have also started to write out our own family anthology of favourite poems. 

Our nature walks have continued although we failed to find a caterpillar despite much hunting. We did find this creature in the soil in the garden. It may be a moth chrysalis.

We seem to find something new most days.

Horse chestnut candle
Is this soap wort or is it something else?

Cow slips

Egyptian goose

This has been quite a learning curve for me. I've needed guidebooks and the help of friends, on Instagram, to recognise some of our findings.
We are also in the process of putting together our nature swap and have had fun finding objects for it.

We had a trip to the Bank of England Museum with other home educators. Again, an educational experience for me. I think the children learned too! This Museum is child friendly and interactive. We were able to check notes to see if they were frauds; try to keep inflation stable with a sailing game and lift a bar of gold.
Model of the Bank at the time it was founded.

In the home education group, we have moved on to Oceania. Today, we looked at Papua New Guinea. Sadly, I have failed to take any photographs. Last week, was New Zealand with sheep and kiwi craft, thanks to Lizzy of Peaches at Home.

Our book club continues with plenty of recommendations from the children and a read for this half term about John Paton, South Sea Island Rescue.

Thoughts and Books
I am working on planning our next year. In many ways, I am not planning major changes but there are always tweaks to what we do, as well as, books to order. 

A copy of Deconstructing Penguins  arrived in the post, today. I'm hoping that this will help me to improve the book club and also be more equipped to talk about books with my own children.

A review of Big Bible Science  should be coming soon.

Other books in the pile are
  • The triumph of Truth: a life of Luther by Merle D'Aubigne. This has been a bit of a marathon but I'm reaching the end.
  • His love endures for ever: Reflections on the love of God by Garry Williams. Only a quarter through but this has been helpful and an enjoyable read thus far.
  • Home Education by Charlotte Mason. This is the first of the Charlotte Mason series. It was time for me to read what she actually said.
The next few weeks are due to be busy so I don't know how much reading will actually happen. I need to remember that God's grace is sufficient in our weakness and tiredness.

My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.
2 Corinthians 12 v9

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  1. Lovely nature photos, Sarah! I look forward to your book review.

  2. It's always interesting to read your thoughts on what you are using, Sarah. I hope you enjoy the Charlotte Mason books (please do post about what you think)

    1. Thank you, Claire. I need to assimilate Charlotte Mason's writings and will try to write about them. There is plenty to think about!

  3. I am also reading The triumph of truth by Merle D'aubigne. Sometimes my reading of it has been hampered by my lack of knowledge of the traditions Luther was rejecting. There is a very easy reading spurgeon sermon on the Spurgeon Archive entitled "Scala Santa " which explains the superstition of the staircase in Italy. You have probably read it already but it is well worth reading again and yes it is free!

    1. Heather, I haven't read that sermon and will try to look it up. Thank you.