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!!