Just discovered I forgot to post this after I wrote it at the end of January ...
I did some school planning yesterday, working out a loose timetable and list of weekly activities. It all looks much more manageable and appealing than the workload we set ourselves last year; I am beginning to look forward to getting started. We are continuing with many of the resources we used last year but will be working with new science material: Real Science-4-Kids Chemistry Level II.
At homeschool camp last year, listening to other mums talk about how their families homeschool, I began to wonder if Tessa would like to do more of her work independently of Josiah and me, maybe in her bedroom. Just before the end of the school year, I asked her what she thought of the idea and she leapt at the opportunity to try it out. The trial went well and she is enthusiastic about working on her own this year. We will still do a daily literature read-aloud together - the three of us - and we will do French practice together (game of Fish), and seeing as both children are doing the same science course, we will do the science experiments together. As before, I will present Tessa a new maths lesson each week. For the rest, she and I have drawn up a weekly task list and she will work through the items on her own.
It means a change in the way I observe and check on Tessa's learning. Reading is an element of several of the subjects we study: History (The Kingfisher History Encyclopedia); Language (currently Penguin Guide to Punctuation); French (Hugo in 3 Months - French); Science; Bible. In the past, I have read aloud to the children and have seen and heard them taking in and processing the new information. Now that Tessa will be doing the reading on her own, she is going to take notes as she reads, for her benefit and mine.