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Summer- Time to Hit the Re-Set Button

Well we are passed the half way mark of 2015, it’s a good time to take stock of the past 6 months and check how things are doing, and prepare for the rest of the year. One of the main things I decided that had to change this year was the amount of rest I was having. So I have been intentional about resting, about scheduling a weekly Sabbath, about not cramming too much into the week. This has been a very positive change. However, the last few weeks have seen a complacency creep in, an overfilling of the weeks. And with it growing tiredness and inevitable grumpiness! Now is the start of the summer holidays, and school is coming to an end for this academic year- the perfect opportunity to hit the re-set button. A time to naturally slow down, and re-commit to good habits. Taking a little bit of time to look at what has worked this passed 6 months, and what needs improved. A time to plan for the rest of the year, so we don’t live in survival mode. Share this:PrintFacebookTwitterEmailLike this:Like...

Preparing For a New School Year

The long summer holiday is great to prepare for the school year ahead. You have the space to think and plan, to replenish supplies, as well as vision and energy. First the practical stuff you need for school. Keep it simple! Although my children all have their own pencil case, this is unnecessary, and I’m trying to phase it out! Best is to have a stationary box, where all the basics are centralised. Basics are: 1. Good quality HB pencils, like most things cheap ones are a false economy! 2. New rubbers! We always seem to lose them, so one each is a wise idea. 3. Make sure the sharpener is not lost, and a spare is to hand (the same goes for rulers!) 4. New colouring pens and pencils. Through the year ours run dry, pencils end up with never-ending broken leads. So a supply or new fresh ones is good. 5. Check paint and glue supplies. 6. New jotters, enough for your needs. I don’t go for anything fancy. You can cover them with lining paper, or old wall paper if you want to make a cheap notebook more durable. 7. I have a folder for each child, to keep loose pieces of work neatly together. Make sure you have all your curriculum up to date. As someone who loosly follows Charlotte Mason, this year I want to introduce some new elements: ART: Begin to look at an artist in more depth, using the study to teach some new techniques, and inspire art projects. NATURE STUDY: We already spend a lot of time in nature, but Charlotte Mason encouraged the study of 6 plants and 6 animals per term. This I will customise to our region. We are looking into changing our maths curriculum to Math U See, from Singapore Maths. I am drawn by the emphasis is teaching the principals of maths in a more meaningful way. Although the rigour of Singapore Math has been beneficial to The Girl’s mental arithmetic this year; but I do not think it will suit the boys in the long term. Share this:PrintFacebookTwitterEmailLike this:Like...

Make a Plan!

To be honest homeschool/parenting blogs can be intimidating as much as they are inspirational. It is very easy to make homeschooling look easy, and idyllic. But the reality in your own home is more chaotic, exhausting and disheartening- comparisons are not encouraging. Well, today was one of those days you want to hide in a cupboard! I do wonder if any productive learning happened- although The Girl did seem to make some progress with the dreaded (often tear inducing division). One of the reasons for today’s failure was my lack of a plan (that and terrible weather, so the wild boys had no outlet for their vast amounts of energy!) I have found homeschooling is more successful the better the plan is. I have also found Sunday evening is not the best time to form this plan. Sunday’s are busy for us, and Sunday evening can sometimes be too full to add planning for Monday in as well. Top Tip Set aside a time that works for you to make a plan for the coming week. I remember reading of a woman who made a plan at the start of each term, so she knew and her children knew exactly what they were doing on each day of that term- very impressive. But even a few days of advanced planning will make a huge difference. Share this:PrintFacebookTwitterEmailLike this:Like...
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