Monday – I was a little late in getting my kids weekly calendar printed out for them but they started their studies on time regardless. I got caught up in a conversation with one of my kids about growing up and the changes and transitions that need to happen – for both child/teen and parent. I then went into town with Peter to sort out some car issues and drop him off at his plane so I could use his car through the week. We are one car down at the moment. When I got back home it was all hands on deck – the groceries needed to be put away, dishes needed to be done, and the lounge needed a little tidy up. I needed to be in the office as I had the moderator visiting in a few hours time. I didn’t need to prepare a report or anything, but just collate my thoughts and think about the learning opportunities Daniel and Naomi have had in the last 9 months (just this year), and the resources that we’ve been using. My visit with the Moderator went very well, she is very supportive of homeschooling and it is always encouraging to chat education with her. She is a great advocate of educating the individual child. During the afternoon Naomi designed a colouring in sheet for a colouring in competition for the Combined Churches Christmas Carols committee. Hope they like it! Daniel and Josh went off to Taekwondo for the evening. Jess, Nomi and I had a big discussion (and many rabbit trails) about the girls moving into separate bedrooms (they share at this point). So changes afoot….by the end of the evening Nomi had removed any glimpse of country decorating (my style) and moved in!
Tuesday – I told the kids about their change in math curriculum today. They will be able to zip through parts of it quickly – and celebrate that they know that math – so I have gone through the first unit and marked what I expect them to do and what they can miss. They will have to redo 1 question for every question they get wrong. I hope they will progress through useful math quickly and be encouraged. At one point in our day I looked up and saw Jessica helping Daniel understand a sheet of music – he is teaching himself guitar so a few basics on music in general was helpful. And then there was Nomi helping Josh install audio mp3 onto his phone. I love it when my kids can share their expertise and strengths with each other. The rest of the morning was good focus study. Naomi also worked on a design/artwork piece she’d been asked to do by a volunteer organisation. Early afternoon Naomi cleaned her new room and then later she went to her Girls Bible Study and Daniel went to a friends for the afternoon. We had a dispersed dinner time as Josh spent the early evening talking and debating with a friend over the phone (this is a regular Tuesday evening activity!), Jess went to the Christmas Carols committee meeting, Naomi, Daniel and I watched a DVD, and I had a phone hookup ‘meeting’.
Wednesday – Daniel is doing very well with his studies – he is up at it on time in the morning, this morning he went for a run, and started his studies on time. Naomi is working on a different timetable – she delayed stayed her studies so she could clean out her room, it appears to be dusty and affecting her breathing so she wanted it cleaner before sleeping there again last night. But funniest story – Jess tells me, before she goes off to work, that she is tired cause Nomi came into “her” room last night and they talked and talked for ages! So much for their own space!! Naomi actually spent her whole morning cleaning and sorting, though she did have a piano practice before her lesson in the late afternoon. Daniel spent time with his camera and then writing. We had a talk about ‘living life’ and how writers need to read books, get out there and experience life – not just write about imaginary stuff. Dinner time, up at the table, was a hoot. I have no idea what we talked about – we went on so many rabbit trails, most of which ended up with us in stitches.
Thursday – Kids started study on time, though Nomi only had a short morning as she had a doctors appointment (the final one with the Pediatrician, after her childhood health issues!), we then spent a bit of time running around town doing chores and buying bits and pieces. Meanwhile back at home, Daniel is studying well. Daniel had Boys Bible Study in the afternoon, which includes some time in a workshop (mechanics). Naomi practiced the piano, and went for a run.
Friday – Today was our Homeschool Co-op day. Bit strange really cause Naomi is no longer going to co-op, and Daniel is mostly not going – and didn’t go today. They are the oldest by quite a bit, and struggle to glean anything much from their morning with other kids. I have tossed up between the benefit of them giving to younger kids, and having a study day – and at this stage, the study has won the day. They will still participate in the family days that we have every so often. So I went to co-op by myself – I led a discussion with the upper primary and highschool students (just 4 of them) about Punctuality, and took a few drama games with middle primary – highschool (about 8 kids). Meanwhile Daniel worked on his home/yard maintenance jobs (paid work), Reading time and he finished his photography course with Udemy. Naomi completed a study day. In the evening Naomi went to youth group, which was a Tennis night. Daniel stayed home.
Saturday – ahhhh… a lovely day at home. I went no-where. Daniel had a sleepover, which Josh drove him to. The kids and I had a very relaxing day doing nothing. Doesn’t happen very often.
Resources we’ve been using:
God’s Design for Science – I love this curriculum/resource. Science is one of those subjects we have struggled to find consistency with. Until we found this resource. It is written in a narrative style with content for 3 different ages. Though tagged as primary school, I have found the information more than enough for highschool students who aren’t going for science based futures. Since that doesn’t cover any of my children, I have encouraged them to read these books simply for general knowledge. They rarely do any of the experiments or written work – though both are clearly explained and sprinkled throughout the text.
We have used these books to work on Daniel’s narrations (so he reads a chapter, and comes and narrates what he has learnt). I have seen him grow from not remembering anything, to giving a very comprehensive, easy to listen to, factually correct narration in 6 months. I have also seen the kids retain and enjoy the knowledge they are learning about the world. To me this is regaining some of that love of learning about the world and curiousity that little kids have and often gets lost in middle primary school.
Though my highschool students are reading these books independently it is actually written for a read aloud / teacher type situation. Jessica is using this same resource with lower primary aged kids (she tutors them), and a friend is using the same book with her family which range from lower to upper primary. I love how it is so adaptable to the different ages – just the type of curriculum/resource a homeschool family needs.
What I’ve been reading (online or as a book)
- The Purity Controversy – We’ve got to walk away from defining purity in terms of what you can and can’t do, and instead define it as following Jesus. My mum says, if we preached Jesus we wouldn’t have to preach against sin. So true.
- Teaching Children Financial Skills
- The Selfish Homeschool Mother – this pricked my heart on a day where I was particularly frustrated at needing to be available to everyone all the time!
- Why I want my Kids to Love Reading – we get so caught up in the importance of reading – just because – that we don’t stop to realise the benefits
- Do you over-correct your Homeschool Student? – please take this message to heart – we must see our children behind all these lessons we want them to learn.
Conversations we’ve had with my kids lately:
- Which is the best “Marvel” comic super hero – yes, we have this very pointless conversations too!
- What happens if Mum and Dad were to die at the same time
- What’s the difference between diligence and thoroughness – can you have one without the other?
- How to decorate a bedroom and make it your space
We need to be consciously taking issues of life to our kids, letting them express what they believe, and sharing what we believe.
Also sharing and linking with others:
Throughout the week I share with one, or more of these blogs listed on my Link Parties page – but I share wrap up posts with: