I haven’t written a daily summary of our days this week, so this won’t be as long or as detailed as it has been. But the things worth highlighting this week are:
* We finally got Naomi set up on Photoshop. She is fine tuning her studies to be very art orientated and we believe being comfortable with digital art technologies is important for her. She has started Photoshop and has Illustrator lined up as well.
* I also bought some art-lesson (technical side of art, design, line, balance etc) for her to do. She received them positively – to date Naomi has been pretty much self taught.
* Naomi decided to shuffle around her study schedule – she divided her study list to those that need practice every day (Math, Italian, Piano, Writing) from those that she thinks she may benefit from doing in larger blocks of time (Bible study, Art Lessons, Digital Art, History). For this second list, she is planning to study those subjects alternated every second day. It is good to see her starting to consider her study habits and inclinations and plan her work around that.
* Daniel has also alternated some of his studies. At the moment, Daniel’s focus is on ‘how things work’. He is working with a TOPS Science unit, as well as NOEO Chemistry and God’s Design Chemistry. He was finding TOPS unit tricky (it is hands on and fiddly so takes a lot of effort for him to process) so he is alternating that with the more reading based lessons. Once again, good to see him understanding himself and making things work to meet his goals and interests.
* On Wednesday we went to a Citizenship Ceremony where our friend because an Australian. Though we didn’t delve too deeply into the whys and wherefores of the legal process, it was good to be a witness.
* Its Jessica’s birthday soon so both Naomi and Daniel have spent time researching what they could make. Once they made their choice, they had to create a shopping list of supplies, checking of course with what we already had in the house.
* Naomi has also been researching how to decorate her new bedroom – including the possibility of creating a bedhead herself (which she has decided against). Giving the girls a bedroom each has developed into a good project for homemaking: finding a purpose for space, being creative and resourceful, researching ideas and yet being content, and I’m sure there’ll be some sewing, painting etc to come!
* Daniel spent one morning doing his studies in at the local library. I had to be in town for the morning, so he packed up his studies, spent some time browsing books and the rest of the time studying.
* I had a visit from a mum from Germany who is travelling around Australia for 12 months. Homeschooling is illegal in Germany so this family has started a small independent school (which is legal), and adopts many philosophies and practices that homeschoolers are familiar with. They have 40 students K-10. It was interesting to hear her story, and to encourage her that though she isn’t homeschooling, as she works with the freedoms she does have she may well be on the edge of change – she may not see that change, but she may be a part of it. I believe the growth of the independent Christian schools (not that her school is a Christian school) has created an atmosphere making homeschooling more acceptable option here in Australia.
* Youth Group was focused on community projects this week – there was a selection of different projects that the kids could choose from. It was a great idea and I think the kids threw themselves into it.
* Saturday night was a Missions Night at our church – the main focus was on MAF and a family who are with MAF, whom the church supports. Even though this is our weekend, being exposed to different needs around the world is very much a part of our kids education.
Over the last little while I’ve showcased some of Daniel’s photography – thought today I’d show some of Naomi’s art. This year has been about trying lots of different mediums:
Resources we’ve been using:
Five in a Row (FIAR) – Though we aren’t using FIAR now, I wanted to highlight it as it has been central to our homeschooling journey. I used this literature based unit study for our primary school years to cover general knowledge and language arts (once they were already reading and writing). FIAR covers Social Studies, Science, Art, Language Arts, Math and Bible. It fits well with narrations (both written and oral), lapbooking and/or notebooking, and it creates a love of learning as the kids are exposed to so many topics. As our children grew older, and yet weren’t ready for independent studies, I simply expanded FIAR by giving them extra research and writing assignments. This way I only had to balance one resource, regardless of the ages of my kids. FIAR taught me to see learning lessons in books, and in every day life – I love picture books now, and will never be able to part with my FIAR library.
What I’ve been reading (online or as a book):
* Time Management: All of my kids are starting to pick up responsibility for managing their time – though they all do it differently depending on their personalities and situations. I have found this website to be very helpful to both myself and to pass onto the kids.
* Teach your Child to use a Student Planner – some good keys here, even though most of my kids are preferring digital – same practices, different tools.
* Life Skills for Teens – a good list that I quickly cast my eyes over to see if there was something we could pick up on.
* The Hurried Child – though this is often applied to the younger levels I think it is very relevant for highschool students too – they don’t have to rush into things, they don’t have to keep up with other students.
Conversations I’ve had with my kids this week:
* As my kids get older we often revisit how they use their time, this week we revisited the idea of productive free time and free time, and my desire to see them build focus and skill in a variety of hobbies and practical skills (this is what productive free time is for). The idea of productive time in the afternoon is to build focus and hopefully make the transition into the adult world easier, since they haven’t had long blocks of time of free play (highschool years).
* Choosing a life partner and how they understand gender roles will affect your life.
* Being in the world, and yet not of the world: what does this mean, what does it look like.
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: