Friday, 20 December 2013

Lapbooking, GCSEs and College Places

This school year I am running a weekly lapbooking group for M and other children around her age. The group is free because I found a free venue and the parents stay with their children and work with them. It makes it a learning experience for the family.

This term we covered the human body and did 11 lapbooks on various parts of the body. The final lapbook we did at home which was on the body systems. I thought it would take longer to do than the others as there was more cutting out to do and writing.

We worked our way through this bundle: Human Body Bundle by homeschool bits.

We did them in this order:

Human Body: Skeleton

Human Body: Joints

Human Body: Muscles

Human Body: Brain

Human Body: Heart

Human Body: Lungs

Human Body: Senses

Human Body: Stomach

Human Body: Intestines

Human Body: Cells

Human Body: Body Systems

In January we will be working on the Solar System Bundle which has 15 lapbooks in it.

We have not been using Easy Peasy very much as M's preferred way of learning is with lapbooks. Even when M isn't at lapbooking group, she still does lapbooks at home.

L is now working on more GCSEs and is at school finishing the last few off. She has three offers for college places next September. She chose this particular school and the staff there have been enthusiastic about working with three formerly home educated teens. She and two of her friends started there in September. They said that these three really want to learn and it is nice to work with people who have such a positive attitude to learning.

Today is the last day of term for the schools but we all know that learning never stops.

Have a Merry Christmas, a Blessed Yule (whichever you celebrate) and all the best for 2014.


Friday, 25 October 2013

Laugh and the World Laughs With You

I think jokes play a very important part of education and life in general. There are many types of comedy and jokes. We've learned about satire, parody, slapstick, and hyperbole to name a few.

Jokes are a wonderful tool for teaching literacy skills because some jokes have to be said aloud to be understood and some are best read or seen, as I found out this morning.

Let's look at this joke:

A man moved to Ireland because he got a job. He needed a new clock and it was a special kind of clock.

He went to the first shop on the street and asked if they sold potato clocks. The clerk told him no.

He went to the second shop, asked the same thing, the clerk told him no.

He went to every shop on the street and word started to get around.

He walked in, and asked if they sold potato clocks. The clerk said they didn't but then asked him why he was going into every shop and asking for a potato clock. He said we sell cuckoo clocks, carriage clocks, grandfather clocks, alarm clocks... what is a potato clock?

He said, "I don't know, but I start my new job at nine tomorrow, and my boss said 'You'd better get a potato clock."

A few people didn't get it because this joke needs to be heard to be understood. I had to type out the the other way of saying the punch line and then they got it (You'd better get up at eight o'clock).

This joke is joke that is funny whether it is heard or read:

Joe was driving through a little town and lost his way. He stopped someone and asked them for directions.

Joe said, "Can you tell me the quickest way to London from here?"

The man replied, "Are you walking or driving?"

Joe said, "Driving."

The man said, "That'll be the quickest way."

I enjoy a good joke and my favourite type of joke is of course the pun. I love playing with words and hearing how people react (or reading in the case of a Facebook share).

I will leave you with The One Ronnie to give you a good laugh or groan :-)

Now it's your turn to go and find a funny joke to comment on my post. Let's see who can come up with the best groaner. A joke a day keeps the doctor away because laughter is the best medicine.

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Easy Peasy is Easy Peasy for the Parents

M has been working through an online curriculum called Easy Peasy All in one Homeschool. I like how everything is planned out day by day and we just go to the computer and look at what the day's subjects and tasks are.

The curriculum is set out with the subjects divided into two sections on the website. First you work on a 'level' (not a grade or school year but level). In the level, you have English, Math, Computer and Logic (Thinking). English is divided into Reading, Spelling, Writing, Grammar, Vocabulary, and finally, Speech and Speaking.

The second component of the curriculum is the program year. There are four years (three of which are complete) and in those years you have History, Science, Music, Art and PE. A daily Bible passage is also included in the year program. The program year is meant to be used to teach multiple grade levels/ages together. The program year has two levels in it, Level L which is for elementary (Grades 1-4 or Years 2-5 in the British system) and Level M which is for Grades 5-8 or Years 6-9).

As the program year is intended to be used with multiple levels and ages there are times when it is too advanced for M and if I had a child in the Grade 4 age bracket there might be times where it would not be advanced enough. I am not particularly worried because I can either explain it to her, or we can skip over it because I know it will be covered again if we are working at the upper level in a few years from now.

Easy Peasy is easy for the parents because all of the planning is done and it's very easy to access everything, and at the same time it challenges the children and is fun for them.

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Easy Peasy Lemon Squeasy

We started working through the Easy Peasy All-in-One-Homeschool curriculum which can be found here. It is a 180 day curriculum that has subjects laid out in a nice format.

We are working on Year 1 which is a programme of study for History, Science, Music, Art, PE and Health along with the main level which has English (which includes reading, writing, spelling, vocabulary, speech and speaking and grammar), Math, Thinking/Logic and Computer.

I do find that some of the History and Science is a bit advanced because it is meant to be covered with multiple grade levels (1st Grade to 4th Grade) but as I am working 1:1 with M it just means that I have to explain things when she doesn't understand them.

Yesterday we did a reading test and M who is not yet 7 has a reading age of 12 (Grade 7 or Year 8)! I find that fascinating. I looked at the list of high frequency words that children in British schools are expected to use and know by the end of Year 5 (age 10 or Grade 4) and she knew those words at the age of 4. Her reading age has come up two full years this year.

Given that this curriculum is more advanced than what they are doing in schools, I think her reading age will come up again by the end of this 180 days (however long it takes to complete the 180 days).

We have finished all of our lessons for the day and we are off out to the playground just because we can. Enjoy your day!

Monday, 1 July 2013

Exams Are Done and Happy Canada Day!

This year we have been very focused on L's exams. She did five exams in three subjects. Now we wait for the results which are released in August.

Happy Canada Day! We are going to be celebrating Canada Day by making a flag cake, which is what we did last year. I need to get the necessary berries to make the maple leaf and red stripes.

I will be taking a different route with M and I am working my way through it all now. We are using a new curriculum that is available online for free. Easy Peasy All in One Homeschool. We are trying this out to see how M likes it and so far so good. I will be tweaking the curriculum to suit us. It is a Christian curriculum, however, if you are so inclined, you can chop and change it to go with your religious belief system (or lack thereof).

We are also going to carry on with our lapbooks as she loves those. We are finishing up our nocturnal animals lapbook which is not yet available to the general public via Hands of a Child. I took the plunge this year and bought a Super Membership and I get two lapbooks from them every month in my account. We are working through May's lapbook which will be made available to everyone in another few weeks.

We have some projects on certain nocturnal animals such as bats, beavers, and owls from Hands of a Child and we will work on those and then do something on princesses and oceans. I have enough material on oceans to sink a ship!

Another publisher whose materials I like to use is homeschool bits. This publisher makes some really good lapbooks that are called 'Speedy Lapbooks' and they are easily completed in one session. I use these for my new lapbooking group that I started up. I send a link to the file on Currclick, the other parents purchase and download the file and then we get together and work with our children in the same room. This is done via a Facebook group.

At first I taught and led the group, however, I think it works better if the parents are teaching their children and explaining because they are working to the child's pace. We started off with some really big projects in the lapbook group such as a lapbook on Egypt and a unit study on Ahmed's Secret. I read the storybook Ahmed's Secret and then I showed some of the parents how the templates work and then they worked with their children. After we were mostly finished, I taught them a song about Tutankhamun. It was delightfully cheesy and the children loved it!

This project ended up being a really big project and it took us two sessions to complete it. The next project we did was on camels and that was also from homeschoolshare. I did some research in order to help fill in the lapbook templates and taught that lesson too. This was also a big project and took two or more sessions to complete.

The third project we started was on oceans and continents which was at the request of one of the families. Again, that was a big project and we are going to finish that on our own.

I decided to go with the Speedy Lapbook series by homeschool bits as that means that if the family only come for one session, the lapbook is finished and there is no missing out or catch up. The children who come can complete the lapbook there and then and have a sense of accomplishment at the end (as do the parents!).

We have done two lapbooks so far, one on Animal Parents And Their Offspring and another on Animals And Their Needs. At our next session we will complete Human Skeleton. This week will be our last session for the term as group we share the building with are finishing up for this school year.

I am looking into other options for September both a new venue and a day of the week to meet.

Have a great Canada Day, eh?

Saturday, 6 April 2013

Hallelujah: The Light at The End of The Tunnel Has Arrived!

We have reached that stage where we can see the light at the end of this exam preparation tunnel! We managed to cover the complete syllabus for the History IGCSE in less than three months. We worked diligently these past three months and it has all paid off! I looked at past papers and I feel much better now about the whole thing. We even managed to finish earlier than I had allotted for in my scheduling! I do like it when that comes together.

L needs to revise and catch up on some extra topical reading that she missed out on doing. We have a few loose ends to tie up from her Performing Arts GCSE and then it will be mock exams in History. We are already doing mock exams in English and will have impromptu lessons as we need to about various aspects of English Language.

M is learning about dinosaurs and the solar system. We went to the show Walking With Dinosaurs and we kept it as a surprise for the girls. They had no idea what they were going to be seeing until we arrived in the arena. L guessed it had something to do with dinosaurs because of all the little boys clutching their dinosaur toys. She was visibly nervous that it the show was going to be geared for small children! So like the self-respecting wind-ups that we are, we told her we were going to see In The Night Garden. :-) Even the man who was checking our tickets on the way in joined in on the fun and asked her what her favourite group was. She LOVED the show and M did too.

We had completed a unit study on dinosaurs the day of the show and it was my way of preparing them without telling them. M learned to classify various dinosaurs into the five classes of dinosaur: Sauropod, Theropod, Ornithopod, Thyreophora, and Margincephalia. She also learned to classify them into Bipeds and Quadrupeds. I did drop a hint though that day and when looking back throughout the day, L saw the clues but alas only in hindsight.

M screamed with excitement when she heard we were seeing 'Walking With Dinosaurs' and that there was going to be a palaeontologist there. She knew that a palaeontologist is a type of detective because we had learned about that in our unit study.

M has been doing lapbooks on the solar system and is doing a lapbook on each planet. So far she has completed three: Mercury, Venus and Earth. She is really coming along with her handwriting which was a struggling point for her.

After the exams are finished, L will get a short break and then we will crack on with the Math GCSE (yuck!) I was looking through past papers and it isn't too bad. So I will teach her what I know (pretty much anything numbers I can do), and what I don't know (geometry) she will have to pro-actively ask her dad to teach her. I loved algebra (said while looking through rose-coloured classes) and numbers but I absolutely HATED geometry. I found someone who could show me a geometry trick which suddenly opened that topic up for me. I will leave the geometry for him to teach though. I really would rather not. The goal is to do the Math exam in November.

Monday, 1 April 2013

Useful Skills

Part of education is learning useful skills that will help you later in life or in the present. M now has her own email address and she sent her first email. Unfortunately my own email provider put her message in spam. The reason was because it was a very short email message. I hit 'reply all' and removed her name from the list and sent a quick message to everyone informing them that M has a new email address and that in my case it went to spam.

She didn't really know what to say in her email message so we kept it very short. She and I typed her message together. She is not used to using a keyboard. For now only our family members will have her email address as I feel that is safest for her.

TBG (The Big Guy aka the girls' dad and my husband) asked me when she will be checking her email. I explained that I would check it for her and let her know when she has a message. He thought that was sensible because she is very young.

She will learn more about sentence structure by using email, the rules of writing an email and of course it might spark her to learn to type in German as well as in English! TBG's family are all German speakers.

L has told me that she will give me a site that we can use to help M learn how to type. First I will just let her get used to the fact that the keys on the keyboard are not in alphabetical order before we start with learning home row typing. She uses one finger right now and that's fine by me.

I hope that those of you who celebrate Easter enjoyed your weekend and celebrations. I was very blessed this Easter.

Monday, 18 March 2013

A* on the mock

Today L did a mock exam in IGCSE English and she got an A*, which is said A star and is a bit like our A+ in North America. A* covers the range from B+ to A+ in North American grades. This is the highest grade you can get in the UK! I will keep giving her mock exams to over the course of the next few week; today it hit me that are only six school weeks until her exam! She has two exams one right after the other that week. She has a bit of a break before her IGCSE History which consists of THREE papers. She chose her exams and the syllabus that she wanted to work to and I teach her from that.

M and I played a cute little St Patrick's Day themed Math game which involved rolling a die and moving a 'man' to a clover. She had to add the number on the clover to the number on the die. The same game can be played with multiplication. The highest number is 12 on the game which of course means the highest possible answer is 72 for multiplication and 18 for addition. Perhaps we can add more dice to the game to make it more interesting or challenging for the addition or multiplication!

Onwards and ever upwards. I am much more confident that we will get through this exam process and breathe a huge sigh of relief at the other end.

As Easter is around the corner, I will say have a Hoppy Easter to you now :D

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Something to Consider

Today's post is going to be short and not very sweet, I'm afraid. I have been looking at my traffic referrals in my blog and discovered that some of the referring sites are from porn sites. I suggest that if you are putting photos up of your children on your blog, you might want to check your own blog traffic.

I noticed this on my own blog and thought I needed to be more careful about the titles I use for the posts. Then I read something on someone else's blog. She is now shutting her blog down and making it only available by password.

Until next time.

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Change is in the Air

There are going to be some slight changes to our routine, however, we are still going to carry on with our homeschooling as it stands.

One of the changes is that I am going to be helping another family who has a struggle with English. They are getting one of their children ready for the English exam and they are having some problems. So I will teach both their son and my daughter the English syllabus. Some families buy courses for their exams and that is definitely the easier route - you know exactly what you need to do and get feedback from the tutors who mark the assignments.

I opted not to go that route for our exams that we are getting ready for because we are enjoying sitting down together and studying the material together.

I also will be starting a job. For the past 14 years I have been self-employed and now I am going to be starting a job where I am actually an employee! That is the other change to our routine. I will be working a few hours a week for a small business that is branching out internationally. I will go to their office to work. Childcare won't be an issue because they know that I homeschool and they are very flexible and we can work around it.

I am also looking forward to another opportunity which I consider to be some professional development for me. This is not based in the UK despite I will be working in the UK. Again, they know that I homeschool and there is going to be flexibility.

You might notice that I am using the term homeschooling rather than the term home educating and that is simply because I am returning to my roots and using the terms that are natural for me to use. It's a bit like referring to chips as fries and crisps as chips or calling a boot the trunk. I prefer to call it homeschooling and always have :-)

Thursday, 21 February 2013

One-to-One is Working Well

I am finding that my one-to-one system of teaching is working much better than the three of us sitting at the table working together but each girl working on their own lessons. I am very structured in my approach with the girls and at the same time I follow their lead. The exams we are working toward are all of L's choices. She chose the specification, she chose the exam board and she has chosen the topics she has been and will continue studying.

M also has choice in what she does for lessons. At her age and level, we work on unit studies or topics and then throw some Math and Language Arts worksheets for good measure. I suggest topics to her and she decides whether she wants to learn about them or not. She has a very busy social life too and yesterday she had three friends around for a visit. This is a weekly or fortnightly occurrence which is good for her.

After the exams in May/June are finished, we will crack on with the next syllabus in the hopes of her being ready for that exam in November. She is hoping to do five exams during the next school year. She is really excited about the possibility of being finished her qualifications a year ahead of her schooled peers as she would like to attend college a year early.

If you are looking at going down the exam route for your child I do not recommend getting ready for two essay exams at the same time! It is very intense. It is a lot of content to remember and study. Thankfully there are gaps of a week to ten days in between each of her essay papers!

Monday, 4 February 2013

Coming Up For Air

If anyone who is homeschooling or home educating is preparing someone for the GCSE exams they know that it is quite an intense process. I foolishly believed people who said that it is possible to get someone prepared for an exam in four to six weeks. I thought it would be very easy to do. We do have a lot of information to cover for one of the exams which has three different papers done at three different time slots for a total of nearly five hours. The other exam she is working toward is a three hour exam paper! I have been told that is quite a lot for GCSE level.

GCSEs are two academic years of work and material that has to be covered before the exam. If you are working toward one or two two exams, that it might be possible to cover the material in a year but I do not believe it is possible to get ready for the exams in less than six weeks! Again this might be down to the exams that we are preparing for and might not be typical of all other exams.

We are covering a lot of material for the exams that L is getting ready for and it involves very intense blocks of study time. She even has homework to do in between sessions! That is something she hasn't had for a long time; it is necessary because we are working to a strict deadline now. Before we could take our time and work through things, however, with the exam dates set we are deadline oriented. She also has to write because the two exams she is writing are essay style exams. She needs to get used to writing her thoughts out rather than only discussing them.

M is still working without a concept of deadlines or terms or school holidays. I think that there are opportunities for learning all around and at her age she does not need the confines of term dates and breaks.

I still use themes and topics to direct her learning as I find that a much more interesting way of doing things rather than dividing things out by 'subject'. A band mate of mine told me that is how she is required to teach at the school she works at. The only thing she adds is some Math worksheets for the children because it is a bit more difficult to creatively incorporate Math into a topic. If M were in school, she would be in the same year that my band mate teaches.

I have a lot of other things to get done, so I don't think I will be posting with much regularity.

Until next time...

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

I Have a Dream - Martin Luther King Jr.

I cover a lot of exciting educational material with both girls each week. We have finished one of our history topics and we have moved onto the next topic. Actually we swapped the order around because Martin Luther King Jr Day was on the 21st. We decided to do race relations in America because of the tie in with MLK Jr. Our next topic will be the Great Depression and New Deal.

I read an excerpt aloud to L from the infamous 'I have a dream' speech and I was very moved by his words. He was a powerful writer and leader. We started off by reading about him and his life and L has a research project to finish on him. Did you know he was actually originally called Michael?

Here is an excerpt from his powerful and moving speech:

"I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at a table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a desert state, sweltering with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day the state of Alabama, whose governor's lips are presently dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, will be transformed into a situation where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together."

M is a bit young for such a heavy topic, so we are doing a Finding Nemo lapbook which will take us two weeks to finish. ♫ Just keep swimming, just keep swimming ♫ The lapbook covers many skills and is cross curricular. I just need to add some Math sheets to her week and that's it. She is learning words like bioluminesence and camouflage and what they mean.

We disassembled the Dyson vacuum cleaner and reassembled the Dyson vacuum cleaner a few times and on Friday it will go back to the Dyson Foundation which is a charity. We were so fortunate to be able to have this item. Schools get it for three or four weeks and homeschoolers get it for two weeks.

L attends two drama groups and for one of them she has to memorise dualogues and monologues. M is such a good reader that she reads the other person's part for L and it's so fun to watch them doing that together. L was amazed by M's ability to read a script. Reading a script is not like reading a book and she does it without getting lost.

We are going to buy some bird seed and in February do the nature challenge as outlined here February is the month for birds so we will look at the birds that come to our bird feeder. We will also go for walks to observe birds in nature and take photos. Hopefully I will get some good ones.

I am looking forward to seeing how we progress through the topics we are studying over the next few weeks. Have a lovely day, wherever you are!

Friday, 18 January 2013

Dyson Engineering Box

Our Dyson Engineering box arrived this week and the girls have completed the disassembly and reassembly of the vacuum cleaner, several times. When L feels like it, she will go take it out of the box and take it all apart and put it back together again. She can do it in 20 minutes flat!

We plugged on with English and History for the exams. I had a full week this week of band practices and choir practice.

It's quite late and I'm very tired, so good night all!

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

New Year New Rhythm

About six weeks ago, I came up with a new idea which gives L and M individual educational attention and allows us all to be productive. We are fortunate enough to have a home office. My nephew came for a visit, and when he visits we share my desk. I have an extra office chair which I gave him to use. After he went back home, I had what Oprah calls an 'Aha moment'. I realised that I could share my desk with my girls to do our 'homeschooling' or 'home education'

Now each girl sits at my desk with me for one to one time having their lessons. I rearranged my desk and section of the office, and in the process found things that I had printed off for completion. Now, they are all in file folders and easily accessible.

There are some activities that require more space and so we go to the living room or kitchen and carry out the activity there. If we were doing a messy science experiment, I certainly would not want that happening in my office! That would be done outside, in the kitchen or in the bathroom where clean up would be easy.

There are certain things that we all do together like Composer Study and here is my playlist for this term. We are listening to selections by Bach. We listen to the music, discuss the mood of it and then we listen to other selections to see if we can notice a style that is specific to the composer.

We also do Artist study and look at six paintings each term. This term we have two artists to study and the are Jacob van Ruisdael (1628/9-1682) and Pieter de Hooch (1629-1684). We will look at three paintings from each of them.

Here are the six paintings we will look at:

Jacob van Ruisdael (Dutch, 1628/9-1682)

1. Two Watermills and an Open Sluice near Singraven, 1650-52, National Gallery, London
2. View of Haarlem with Bleaching Grounds, c.1665, Kunsthaus, Zurich
3. Windmill at Wijk bij Duurstede, c. 1670, Rijksmuseum Amsterdam

Pieter de Hooch (Dutch, 1629-after 1684)

4. Courtyard of a House in Delft, 1658, National Gallery, London
5. Woman Peeling Apples, c. 1663, Wallace Collection, London
6. At the Linen Closet, also here, 1663, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

We often will look at paintings done by other artists of the same era to see if we can see a style that is typical for an era and have looked at more than the six paintings of the artist of the term. We also learn about the artist. We analyse the paintings in the same way we analyse the pieces of music we listen to.

We discuss whether the music or painting is telling a story and next term we will be listening to some opera. I will have to work hard to not transfer my dislike of opera to them. This means I cannot wear earplugs! I expect the earplugs would be a clue to my dislike of opera. Perhaps the fact that I don't listen to it at all is another clue. Alas, I am sure they know I don't like it, when we are looking for something on the radio I make sure that if we land on a station that is playing opera, we change the station with lightning speed.

All in all, this system that we have is working very well for us and it is really helping us to focus on the material that we need to cover, especially for L's exams in May! She has two exams that are essay style exams. We are starting off with verbal essays and we will eventually move to writing on paper. Starting off with a verbal narration is part of the Charlotte Mason method and when they are able to successfully narrate what they have learned verbally, they move on to written narrations.

Have you made any changes for the new year? Have you found a new rhythm? Or is your new year in September when school years tend to start?

Sunday, 6 January 2013

That Safe Place...

I am sure everyone has a 'safe place', you know the one I mean, it's that 'safe place' that you use to keep an item or paper safe so that you won't lose it.

It usually ends up being so safe that you can't even find it despite your best efforts. I filed some papers, and yes I really did file some papers, back in September. They were nicely organised in a file folder and the file folder was in plain sight. It was too obvious and I didn't see it.

I didn't remember filing these papers and so I ripped my office apart several times over looking for these papers. I checked everywhere except for that file folder! I checked file folders that were not even related to the topic of education!

The papers I was looking for were the charts that I use for keeping track of what I do each day with the girls. Not only had a 'lost' the logs I had filled in, I 'lost' the blank logs that I printed off because of course I was being efficient and wanted my year's worth of logs printed off so that I simply had to fill them in.

I 'lost' the first batch of papers and the blank ones, so I printed off logs for another two months and filled those in. I filed those elsewhere because I wasn't going to make that mistake twice!

Then I couldn't find those logs, so I printed off yet more and filled them in. This was ridiculous! I had to find those logs. I knew I had them, I knew they were somewhere but they were not in plain sight in the way I expected them to be. They were not filed where I expected them to be. I searched everywhere and finally I picked up what I thought was a lapbook file folder and there is where I had filed the blank logs, all the completed logs up until June 2012 and a study programme I was going to do with the girls.

I looked in another file folder that has curriculum that I printed off for M and found the other logs that I was missing. I am very relieved because I now have all of our logs from January 2012 to January 2013 in once place!

On Thursday, L and I sat down and mapped out her English IGCSE programme, she has an exam in May. We also mapped out her IGCSE History at the same time. Friday we sat together and finished off the outstanding chapter in her textbook and she showed me her project in The Great Depression and New Deal. She has a bit more left to do on that and then she has the task of assembling it.

Friday I looked at the History syllabus once more and realised that I had made a mistake with the amount of time we need to spend on a topic. I also discovered that I left out a week when we were writing out our time map. That extra week makes a huge difference when you are down to the wire.

We will go through the entire syllabus this term and finish it by the end of March and that will leave us a few weeks to review everything and get her ready for her exams.

Tonight I introduced M to stencils and she loved tracing the stencil letters. Maybe one day we will finish that Mr Men Show lapbook we started. The challenge for me is that she keeps drawing more characters to add into the lapbook. We need to glue them in and then she is going to tell me the story and I will transcribe it for her into the lapbook. We have other lapbooks to work on too and some unit studies.

I started a new system, the girls get one to one time with me at my desk as that seems to be a better place for us to work rather than at the kitchen table. I have two office chairs at my desk. It also means quick and easy access to the computer if we need to look anything up or print something off. They get one to one attention at my desk therefore they accomplish a lot in a short time.

I think I will set up a notebook and write down where I put things but I might put my notebook in 'that safe place'...

Friday, 4 January 2013

Does a New Year Mean a New Beginning?

We have entered into 2013 now and 2012 was a year of change and transition; I think that can be said for every year!

December ended up being a very busy month and so we took the month off from formal studies and the girls carried on with following their interests.

January has started and we have formulated a plan for L's IGCSE work and we need to stick to it.

She has three exams (done in five sessions) in May and June!

Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of Christmas crafts to show, however, I will put up a picture of our Christmas tree, which is up until January 6th.

We had a quieter than usual Christmas due to illness in the house.

We wish you all a happy and productive new year!