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Thursday, February 10, 2011

back to school

I didn't mean for it to be a week between posts, but time has just seemed to slip away.
We started our first week of school this week for 2011 ( I am so glad we didn't start last week in all the heat!) and I have been trying very hard to start off the year with good habits and sticking to time.
This means everyone must be up at 7am to make beds, get dressed and have breakfast before 7:45am when we start our day together in a Family Worship time. 
A hymn, a short bible reading, a memory verse and a prayer, we have a longer bible reading at morning tea time.

The older children then head off to do their own bible reading and study, while I read a bible story to the little ones, they draw a picture and narrate the story to me.
Then we start on our work.
B1 and B2 work in the study, for the last few terms they do a subject a day which works really well. 
Maths, History and Science are worked this way, with the remaining days for B1's TAFE course Cert II in Agriculture and project and finishing off time.

 B2 and B3 have chosen to learn French this year and do a little each day- they are really having fun with it and are constantly sprouting off in French.

We have been using the Heart of Wisdom approach for a few years now and it has helped me to know where I am going and feel like we are covering all we should.
For those of you not in the know, it is set over 4 years for both history and science.
Here is a brief outline:
Year 1: Ancient History and Physics
Year 2: Middle Ages and Earth Sciences
Year 3: American History (we did Australian) and Animal Sciences
Year 4: 20th Century-present and the Human Body
We are doing Year 4 this year and then will start back at Year 1 next year.
I mainly program this for my High School students, but the little ones join in with major activities or areas of interest.

 We have been doing a continent/ area at a time for geography - last year doing Australia of course.
We did Europe and South America 2 years ago and have started off with Asia this year.

Each week the children research and find out about a particular country and then we cook a meal from that country - that's always the fun part!
It was China this week.
Halfway through last year we switched to Maths Online for our High Schoolers and were really happy with it.
It is free online because McDonalds sponsor it.
When we found out about their Primary program we signed up B3, he loves it too!
Then this year they have added Year 2 and within the next month Kinder and Year 1 will be up and running, this program does cost, but they give a discount for home educators and I will get half of it back on my tax.
B4 has been my most reluctant mathematician and I was getting worried that he was falling far behind has been doing the Year 2 program and loving it- he is even wanting to do extra maths in his spare time- how great is that?

B5 (and the Girl) will start when the Kinder and Year 1 are up.

 I am doing a bit of an owl theme with the 4 youngest just for fun, basing our reading on owls and doing a bit of craft, and science with B3 and B4. 
The first 4 Kathryn Lasky books arrived yesterday and we will read The Capture before borrowing the movie (Legend of the Guardians) from the Video store.

Did you notice I seemed to have gained an extra student this year?
Maggie has decided that she wants to be a well educated cat and likes to join in whenever possible!


  1. What a great program you have worked out. Do you find the Maths Online sufficient by itself? I have our high schoolers do some bookwork too at the moment. Do you do all your Maths in one day only?
    Do you have a set English program for your high schoolers?

    Your new student look very attentive!

  2. Only the two oldest do maths on one day each, B2 Tues, B1 Wed. The others do 1/2hr per day. I have found the program pretty comprehensive and haven't supplemented. The high schoolers, do spelling, and grammar, but their History and Science writing covers most of the writing skills they need. I am also doing an essay writing course with B1 and B2 on a Tuesday just before lunch.

  3. Thanks Deanne. I would interested to hear how the essay writing course goes. Are you using a book as a guide?

  4. Its an Excel book on Essay Writing

  5. I bought that one last year, I guess the trick is working WITH the writers, not just suggesting they use it!


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