Thursday, February 18, 2016

Homeschool Plan - 2016

Well, the new school year is has well and truly begun and we are gradually easing back into the swing of things.  This year I have 4 doing "schoolwork" - yikes!!  Liana is in year 7, Liam is in year 5, Samuel is in year 1 and my baby would be starting Kindergarten.  How did that happen?!?!?

I like to have a record of what we use and how it worked so I can look back as the kids get older and re-use or change things up a bit.  So here is this years plan...until it changes...which it already has several times!!!

Kindergarten - Nathanael

Nathanael would be one of the youngest in his class if he was at school as he doesn't turn 4 until the end of May.  We are taking things slowly and don't push any academics at this age.  However, being the youngest of 4 he wants to "do school" like the big kids so I have a plan but if he chooses to play instead there is no pressure to sit down and do anything.

I am using Raising Rock Stars Preschool as our core. It is a 4yr old Kindergarten program based on the Word of God and includes an introduction to letters and numbers too.  This is what we do if Nathanael wants to sit down with the big kids.  Otherwise we learn all of those skills through playing.

We also do lots of reading and use an approach like that of Five in a Row where we pick a book and read it everyday for a week or two and then do a whole lot of fun theme based arts and crafts and other activities based on that book.

Nathanael has started coming to our Homeschool group this year where he does gymnastics and Songs, Stories and Scriptures.  He has also started learning the violin like his big brothers and sister.

Year 1 - Samuel

So, year 1, time to get serious...sort of.  Still lots of play based learning going on around here for my Sam.  I do insist on a bit of sit down book work most days but he still learns so much just from being outside and playing.

He joins in with Nathanael for Raising Rock Stars for the Bible portion and then does some of the extension activities like sight words, story writing and copy work.

The main focus for Sam this year is learning to read.  We are not using any curriculum in particular at the moment, just systematically working though out phonics and using the BOB books for reading.

For Maths he is using MUS Alpha and he joins in with the older two for Science and Geography.

Samuel is doing gymnastics at our homeschool group and is continuing with violin lessons that he started last term.

Year 5 - Liam

Liam struggles with school work.  Being dyslexic means everything "schoolish"  is harder for him.  However, give him something to build or take apart and he beams.  With that in mind I am doing lots of hands on things with him this year and keeping book work to a minimum.

We will do phonics/reading everyday,working systematically through all our phonics and practicing reading. We use All About Reading and All About Spelling but I modify it a lot to suit Liam. Slow and steady and lots of patience and prayer!

He is continuing with MUS Gamma and also using some MathsOnline.

Then, the fun begins.  We are learning robotics using Lego Mindstorm and will spend many hours creating, designing and building and programming using this.  Also, just regular Lego building and designing.  

Lots of design and technology beginning with recreating and building his own floodlight based on Da Vinci's design after going to the Da Vinci exhibition last week.

Of course, he will continue to find and study any animal he can get his hands on.  So far this year we have had tadpoles and frogs, bearded dragons, skinks, geckos, grasshoppers, a pretty cool dragon fly, oh, and of course the dugite that his dad ran over in the driveway!!!

At our homeschool group Liam is beginning Tech Drawing, which so far he loves and is also doing Soccer, gymnastics and outdoor adventure and will start Archery Tag next term when his Dad starts running classes.

He is continuing with violin lessons and will also start learning the keyboard.

Year 7 - Liana

So Liana is year 7.  If she was going to school she would be starting high school - Wow!!  Doesn't seem that long ago we were just learning letters.

She is an amazing reader who will devour anything she can get her hands on.  I have trouble finding enough appropriate books for her to read.

For maths she is using MathsOnline and Life of Fred.  She absolutely loves Life of Fred because it involves....reading...of course!!

We are using IEW for spelling (phonetic zoo) and writing (student intensive A)

She is starting her fourth year of Latin using Cambridge Latin, another subject she absolutely loves.

Liana is continuing with Violin which she has been learning since she was 3.  She is getting quite good now and will be graduating Suzuki book 4 soon and is planning on starting AMEB theory exams this year too.  She is also beginning to learn the flute.

At our homeschool group Liana does, Latin, flute, choir and drama. She also attends Girls Brigade.

Together Subjects

We have circle time every morning where we do a mixture of things for all ages.  We start with singing, praying and Bible time and then move onto memory work which includes letters and sounds for the little ones, poems, History dates and geography review for the older ones.  We also do lots of reading during this time from picture books through to books relating to our Geography and Science lessons.  All of the children are expected to sit with us for all of it but the little ones will often have lego or something to play quietly with while they are listening.

History - Liana and Liam are using Veritas Press Online Self Pace History courses.  This year is Explorers to 1815.  This is our 3rd year using Veritas for History and the kids absolutely love it.  So do I because I don't have to do anything except pay for it!!!!!

Geography - I have two Geography obsessed children (Liana and Sam) so we do lots of Geography.  Liana has just finished a 2 year geography course through our homeschool group so between that and her natural desire to learn everything she could about Geography, she can pretty much find any country in the world, state its capital and flag and tell us some random fact about it.  So she doesn't really need this but she enjoys it anyway.\

We are using Expedition Earth as our main curriculum for Geography, travelling to a different country each week.  We also have a Little Passports subscription using both World Edition for Samuel and Early Explorer for Nathanael.

Science- For Science this year, we are all working together using Answers In Genesis, God's Design series.  We are starting of using God's Design for Life looking at the Animal kingdom and then the Plant Kingdom.  So far this is working well as it has activities for Samuel's level as well as extension activities Liam can do and Liana joins in and then does some of her own research.  To start with we are learning about classifying animals.  We have also been blessed with a yearly family pass to Scitech so are planning on visiting once a fortnight or once a month - anyone, want to come and join us?

There is also loads more learning and fun that goes in between all the planned activities and book work.  We are ready for another great year of exploring and learning together!! 

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

My Father's World - A is for Apple

If I stay in Jesus, I will have much fruit!  These were our words to remember for this unit and they were very timely, for all of us.  With all of the upheaval in our lives at the moment we have been missing quite a bit of "fruit"!  We spent lots of time talking about the fruit of the spirit and how we can show different fruit in different circumstances.  There wasn't a great amount of paperwork to show for this unit but we did lots of talking and learning.

We practiced being patient, kind and having self-control by working and playing together to build a new fort.

We practiced kindness by giving little brother a ride in the wagon.

We saw love when big brother let us cuddle up to him in his bed during the storm.

We did a little bit of paper work.

We had fun learning our colours and numbers.

Our book of the week was 10 Apples Up On Top, so we tried to see how many apples we could balance on our heads.  We didn't get much further than 1!!

We made a graph of different coloured apples.

Played with our apple playdough,

And did some apple prints.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Bible Road Trip

We have come across an awesome Bible curriculum thanks to my friend Sandra. Bible Road Trip leads your family on a three year survey of the Bible, cover to cover.  It is aimed for pre-k to year 12 with teachers notes and notebooking pages etc for each different level.  We have been using it for 3 weeks so far and are loving it!!  The kids ask for Bible time every morning now and are really getting into it.  The best thing, is that we can all do it together.

Here is a look at what we have done over the last couple of weeks.

We started off with a quick overview of the Bible, what it is, where it came from etc and looked at some parables. I love starting the day with us all together reading and talking and working on the same thing!

We read and talked about the parable of the sower.

We acted out the parable of the wise and foolish builders....again and again and again!

Then while the big kids were busy with their notebooking pages, the little ones built some houses.  My favourite is the one built on the sand.  It just makes me smile.  :)

We watched episode one of What's In the Bible.  This series ties in really well and we already own it - bonus!!!

We also read about the armour of God and made our own sword of the spirit.

Which, of course, were used for sparring practice as soon as they were dry!!

From what I have seen so far I would thoroughly recommend this curriculum to anyone.  Oh, and even better it is completely free.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

My Father's World - L is for Leaf

I wanted to blog Samuel's pre-primary year so I would have a record to look back on, but so far I haven't been very consistent!!  Anyway, I have a few catch-up posts to do.  I can't find any of our moon week photos so that will come later.  For now we will catch up on L is for Leaf!!

We started our week, as usual with a lesson about our words to remember.  For this unit our words were, I can live and grow in Jesus.  We picked a branch off of our tree and put it in some water, then we removed one leaf that decided it wanted to do things its own way and not be part of the branch. We discussed what we thought would happen and then watch it over the week as it dried up and died.  We compared this to our lives with and without Jesus.

Samuel completed his reading, writing and maths pages for the unit.  

Nathanael, as usual, joined in with his own activities.  Give this boy a crayon or paint and he will be happy for hours.  So different to his big brother!

We made play dough using herbs from our garden to scent it and then collected leaves and twigs from outside to help decorate our own gardens.

We made leaf prints in a variety of ways.  we painted the leaves and used them to print on the paper.  we also put different leaves directly on the paper, covered them with kitchen towel and then gently banged them with the hammer hammered the life out of them and produced some pretty cool prints.  Finally, we did the good old leaves under the paper and colour over with crayon trick!

We also did a bit of name practice this week.  I have been a bit slack with teaching the boys their names this time around.  Samuel pretty much knows his name but Nathanael doesn't have a clue.  Poor child, who gives their baby a 9 letter name to try and learn to spell!!

To finish of our L is for leaf week we went to Fred Jacoby up in Mundaring to enjoy what was left of the Autumn leaves.  There was lots of running and jumping and throwing and slipping down muddy hills!