Sunday, July 20, 2008

A new term

It's been a long time since I've posted - things have been busy. The new term starts on Monday so I am making plans. Mostly, we will carry on as before, but one change needs to be made, namely to give higher priority to our time working at home. One of the things that stands out about our homeschooling last term is that we didn't do a lot of it. We had two trips to Christchurch, one for a funeral, one for a climbing competition; the kids had a trip to Tauranga for another climbing competition; and there were birthday parties and other activities. Each of the trips away took out more days than was strictly necessary (packing, recovering) and yet I assumed we could also fit in our usual extra curricular pursuits. It was our time homeschooling at home that shrunk.

This term, I'm aware we can't "have it all": something (other than homeschooling) has to make way for the days spent preparing for and attending the next two climbing competitions. It won't be easy; we already try to be efficient about shopping and errands - doing them on the way to or from other outings. We are already hard pushed to find time for the field trips, homeschool events and social visits we'd like to participate in. But I think if I identify four "school days" each week and mark them as such in our diary, that will help me to avoid over-committing us.

Josiah and Tessa have both expressed a desire to take music lessons next year. The thought of fitting those into our lives too makes me very nervous.

Anyway, the format of our "school days" has been working well, so we'll stick with that for now:


Morning Activity

Snack and brief break


Afternoon Activities

"Reading" means me reading aloud to the kids:

  • History: The Kingfisher History Encyclopedia and library books on history.

  • A novel, currently Lee Raven: Boy Thief by Zizou Corder.

  • The travel blog of friends of ours.

  • Other miscellaneous things to read that come up, such as interesting books, news articles or Wikipedia pages.

"Morning Activity" means one of:

  • Maths

  • Language

  • Science

  • Latin

"Afternoon Activities" means two of:

  • Maths practice

  • Latin practice

  • Writers workshop

  • Touch typing

  • Critical thinking

  • Miscellaneous activities that come up, such as making birthday cards, get well cards, etc.