Sunday, 11 October 2015

A Fresher Start

When we started homeschooling I figured that was a fresh start for us. Then on our 1 year anniversary we un-enrolled from the Distance Ed school we were with and started going it alone. In Qld you are supposed to register with the HEU (Home Education Unit) if you aren't using a DE school. Though the penalties for not doing so are minor, usually a reprimand with "register within this period and we won't do anything" and I'm not sure if that is even followed up on. We finished out term 3 carrying on roughly with the plan we were already working on with the DE school but with a few modifications. So now, in term 4, we are starting fresh again... so it's a fresher start or something like that.

I thought I might just throw in some links here for what we are getting up to this term. If nothing else it will help me when it comes to reporting time to look back at what I PLANNED to get done.

Our overall theme for this term is The Great Barrier Reef. Our homeschool group has 4 excursions planned to Reef HQ for specific educational tours. To go along with that I'm using some great resources from GBRMPA (which for those not in the know of reef associated acronyms is Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority). If you are interested in those you can find them here. They are awesome full unit plans that are geared towards science but there's plenty of other stuff in there.

I got these decorator test tube "vases" from Kmart.
They aren't suitable for anything too serious, but they'll work for us... until I buy a bunsen burner...

For Science we are trying out resources from Super Charged Science. I'm a bit excited about these. They are designed by an ex-NASA scientist and she "teaches" via video and there's workbooks that outline the materials you need and it's done with the intention that the homeschooling parent doesn't need to be involved if they don't want to... but I love science so I'll be getting right in there with the kiddos.

For Maths they are finishing off the workbooks that we were using with the DE school. They are standard books for their year levels so I know they are covering all the relevant topics. BUT there will be a whole lot of maths involved in Economics.

For Economics (which is technically only a subject that Lion "needs" to do for Year 5, but they are all doing it to whatever level they are capable) we are using SimCity BuildIt app. The kids started playing it and I started so I could answer Monkey's questions and check it was a safe game for them to be playing (I sacrifice so much for these kids)... but I quickly realised there's so much they are able to learn with this game. So much they are learning without even realising it and so much scope for me to use it to make learning what they need to know more fun!

Then comes PE, I don't really include it as an actual subject usually, I felt like we could for this term. Much of the PE curriculum is incorporated into day to day learning with homeschooling. They research sports the like, they borrow books from the library to find out rules, they learn about general health in day to day life and being involved in purposeful discussions about food choices etc. So why is it an actual subject for this term? Because we got this...

It's a slack line! If you don't know what a slack line is then it's kind of like tightrope walking on a ratchet strap. For now we just need to learn to balance and walk on it, so there will be no tricks, but if you look up some of the awesome videos on youtube you'll find people risking life and limb doing crazy crazy stuff on their strap.

Ours is staying low to the ground for now and we have to use a helper strap which is a bit tricky to find a height that works for all 3 of the boys... though I don't think Monkey will need it for long. That kid really is a little monkey!

For English they are still using Grammar books that we've been going on all year. Gum Drops Grammar, they are fantastic and we've found some new books that interest the boys through them. English is incorporated into various other subjects and I'm writing my own plan for that but we are also possibly participating in the young writers version of NaNoWriMo. I need to decide if I have the patience for that.

Now most of that is for the big two, Lion and Dragon. Monkey is just in Prep, the first year of school in Qld and it's still not actually compulsory just highly encouraged, so I'm just keeping him interested in learning anything at all at the moment while we work on the skills that are the foundation of his future learning, basic number and letter skills and he's started to really shoot ahead with his reading after a very rough start. I find it hard to not compare what he knows to kids in a mainstream classroom... then I remind myself that I actually think those kids are pushed too hard too soon so why would I compare my kid to them? I would love to see the younger years being much more focused on hands on learning, play based learning, fewer workbooks and more reading books. He rides along when he wants to on activities and projects his brothers are doing and he does love his Maths workbook and there are certain things that at some point he needs to learn... but when to push and when to hold myself back is probably something I'll never figure out.

So that's the plan for Term 4, 2015. I'll add more if I think of it. I'm not sure if this will be a regular feature, I guess it depends if I find it helpful to refer back to or not.

1 comment:

  1. Good to hear from you again. I truly admire home schoolers


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