Friday, 23 October 2015

Autumn Half Term

We have just finished the first half of our autumn term.

The new introductions were
  • Nature Study with Exploring Nature with Children.

    This has been a great success even, or perhaps especially, with the child that I thought would be least interested.

  • Poetry Tea. Again, this has been popular.
     Being a bit of a spoil sport, I was a bit concerned about an overdose of cake but there have been requests for poetry even on the couple weeks when I haven't provided cake.

  • Free writing. This is another Brave Writer idea. We spend a few minutes on Friday mornings doing free writing and then read our writing to one another. There is no marking of spelling or punctuation during free writing. Yes, I have to write too! In fact, all three of the new innovations have involved me being a participant. I'm sure that this has a beneficial effect on learning. Now, I need to translate this into the less popular parts of the day, particularly phonics and spelling.
Literacy/English aka Language Arts
This is the area that takes the most time. As usual, there has been plenty of reading aloud. Popular books this autumn have been
  • Stone Girl, Bone Girl
  • Door in the Wall
  • Marcia William's Three Cheers for Inventors
  • Augustine: Farmer's Boy of Tagaste
Phonics programmes continue although I don't think it would be fair to say that there are popular. We are currently using
  • All about Spelling
  • Dancing Bears.
Alongside these, we use Galore Park Junior English 2 and Jolly Grammar 2 workbook.

Middle Son works hard, with a tutor, for English and his other IGCSE/GCSE subjects.

Near the beginning of term, I changed Younger Daughter onto Galore Park Junior Maths 2. This seems to have been the right decision. Having children on two different years of MEP was just too challenging!

The Veritas self-paced remains popular. We are in the depths of the Middle Ages learning about the feudal system. This has been a fascinating course and I've learned loads. Justinian and Theodora and Otto I were, previously, not even names to me. 

Geography has been covered at our home education group where we have been learning about Asia. Younger Daughter helped a friend give a talk about Malaysia. It was lovely to see them both spending hours, at a time when they could have been playing, making a banner and doing research.

Science has been about rocks. A friend loaned us a collection to use for our activities.

Of course, the children made volanoes, again! 

We were able to visit Lyme Regis and see the strata in the rocks,
as well, as the extensive work that has had to be done to stop erosion.

The Dorest trip had other science related activities with a visit to the Naval Air Arm Museum

and to the South West Deer Rescue Centre.

The Dorest trip was probably the highlight of this half term. 

What I've been reading
  • When Lightening Struck! The Story of Martin Luther. Danika Cooley's new book about Luther. Review coming soon!
  • A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park for the home education group for next half of term. This is a Newbery award winning book set in Korea in the Middle Ages. 
  • When your child hates handwriting see review.
  • An eagle in the snow by Michael Morpurgo to check if it was suitable for the children and it was, until the last chapter. I've got reservations about this, such a shame as the rest of the book was fascinating.
  • JC Ryle's Expository thoughts on Mark's Gospel. I love this book. The thoughts are relevant to the passage, applied, challenging and succinct. 
Things I've been considering
  • History after the Veritas series on the Middle Ages, Renaissance and Reformation.
  • Picture books about Africa.
  • Children's book prizes 
  • Reading/writing workshops
Looking forward to half term!

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  1. I am not a home schooler or an educationalist, but I find your blog most interesting!