Saturday, 18 May 2013

The best of the year

I'm limping towards the end of the academic year and planning for the next.

Part of the planning is working on what has and what hasn't worked. Some of this is working out the nitty gritty of curriculum: what works for us and how things need tweaking. Another part of the assessment is thinking about the best parts of the year.

So what were the highlights?

  • Going outside-this has been so important. We have an afternoon a week planned to be outside but in reality the younger two go outside at the end of most afternoons. If I were only home educating Youngest Son, we would be outside about 90% of the time. 

  • Re-enactments/living history.
We've been to a Roman day, the Battle of Hasting re-enactment and a Tudor day. Usually, I try to fit these events in with the history that we have been studying but a couple of these weren't in that context. Still, they were appreciated and living history is something that I will look out for over the summer.
My handwriting is not the best, after all I practised as a doctor for many years. It is relatively legible but certainly not beautiful. Younger Daughter needed handwriting practice and copying me wasn't the way to go. A friend recommended these books which are obtainable from Ichthus Resources in the UK. Younger Daughter has done a page per day which takes about 10 minutes. We were impressed that we saw improvement within the first week. One of the best things about these books is that they encourage the child to assess their own writing and book for the best letters that they have formed.
  • Fun science. The older two children do more formal science but all three enjoy informal science. Middle Son likes to watch science programmes and the younger two have fun with science using items in the kitchen and garden.

Exploring the bouyancy of lemons with and without skin.
Middle Son has used this problem based add-on to his maths which has added variety, revision and some learning about Imperial measurements!

We now have subscriptions for the younger two children. This has been helpful in many ways: re-enforcement of phonics and meaning that some phonics can be done with one child while I work with another. 
  • Reading aloud each morning with the younger children
Every morning after we have read the Bible, I read to the younger two. This has been an important time to help Youngest  Son's involvement and is appreciated by his sister. This session is usually devoted to picture books with a few poems.  I read chapter books to Younger Daughter later in the day.
One thing that we haven't done this year and has been really missed is looking at a particular book in more depth as we did previously with Five in a Row. After some requests, I've been collecting some books from manual 4 of Five in a Row to use in the coming year. 

An idiosyncratic selection but I guess that describes most highlights!


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