This is the first day of our 9th year of home-education and as usual, I have made a plan.
I make plans every year, to a greater or lesser extent. Generally, they involve a spreadsheet or a table and multi-colours and most times they get adapted or re-written several times during the year.
When we first began, in 2006, my plans were simple, and have become more detailed as they have grown older and more children were added into the mix.
We have always been relatively structured (erm, in the morning) but we don’t time-table to to times, as such – we just have a list of things we’ll look at that day (erm, that we don’t always manage to get around to).
This year will be the first year with formal exams – eek! So we are having to make more of an effort to stick to the plan, though.
As usual, we’ve also got quite a few trips and activities either properly booked in, or in the pipeline.
Spelling (Prim-Ed) for all four, Word Roots (Critical Thinking Company) for the eldest three. For all four, reading & “read-alouds” for literature (which ties in with History) for grammar & comprehension (the list of books is an amalgamation of reading lists from Sonlight and Well-Trained Mind)
(Where applicable, they each have their own spelling and word roots books. We are taking a break from Galore Park English this year, and having a more relaxed approach to English this year)
Pixie and Scooter are working towards GCSE Maths (using an Edexel/Pearson textbook) and whatever the tutor provides. (Even though maths was my degree subject, I’ve decided that it would be more fun for them to do maths with friends, as I was struggling to make it interesting. I’ve no idea if the tutor makes it interesting, but no one is crying, which can only be a good thing)
Squiggle is continuing with Singapore Maths
Tumble is continuing with a combination of Singapore Maths and CIMT MEP maths
I’m also going to try and introduce some more hands-on stuff, too, as we have done less of that in the last couple of years.
Middle Ages/Story of the World volume 2 (finishing off) and the accompanying activity book for volume 2.
Moving onto Sonlight Core H (it’s an old version, bought second hand from another home-educator), which effectively covers Story of the World volume 3 and 4 (I am anticipating we only cover the first half, though – effectively volume 3 of Story of the World.)
This is an IGCSE subject, which Pixie will aim to sit in 2015, I’m undecided as to whether Scooter will sit the exam this time around, though. I also plan to adapt some of the content for Squiggle and Tumble, too.
This is also an IGCSE topic, which Pixie will aim to sit in 2015. As with Chemistry, we are undecided as to whether Scooter will sit the exam and as with Chemistry, I also plan to adapt some of it for Squiggle and Tumble.
This was to be an IGCSE subject for Pixie, but we have swapped it for Chemistry, owing to the timing of the speaking component potentially clashing with other plans. So, we’ll take this one a little steadier and also continue with the tutor group.
This is just ticking over, it may well become an IGCSE subject in the future, but not until at least 2016. They go to a tutor group for this, too. It’s actually the same tutor that teaches Spanish. Over the past 2-3 years, she’s really gotten to know the quirks of us home-educators. (I think she was probably in shock for the first year!)
We’re going to cover the IGCSE syllabus over 2 years, probably in a group class, because it lends itself to discussion quite well – I’m still sorting out the final details for this. I have gotten as far as establishing that there are 49 chapters in the book, which roughly equates to a chapter a week (or two chapters per fortnight, as we don’t generally do “weekly”)
Projects/Unit Studies/Everything Else
Since the I/GCSE work is going to be quite structured, we’re returning to a more project/unit studies/theme approach for some things (I actually wish we’d kept on with this a bit more, because we seemed to stop doing “themes” and so on in recent times).
The plan is to look at a topic together, for part of the week. I’ve made a list, which includes things like computing, law/politics, film-making and fashion but I’m not going to fret over “slippage” if something doesn’t get done exactly “on plan”