Tag Archives: curriculum

Language Arts Beginners Lesson Pack download

Birds lang arts

click picture to go to lesson pack

I have set up a 60 page language arts lesson pack for children aged around 6 to 7 or slightly older. It incorporates Arabella Buckley’s Bird’s of the Air as a listening and basic comprehension lesson. Listening is an important skill that children need to learn to be able to learn other things. Charlotte Mason used “living books” such as those written by Buckley to read to children and have them narrate back in their own words. In the lesson pack there is room for doing that but also simple question and answer format for early writing practice.

I’ve included an introduction to Montessori grammar with cut out sentence strips and cut out symbols at the back.

I’ve tested the pack on my youngest and she did well with it. She is very dyslexic so it does seem to suit children who may have

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extra challenges in learning. I do have the proper grammar symbols and Heleyna loves using them, but you don’t absolutely need them.

The set only costs $2.75 so it won’t break even the most frugal budget.

It introduces nouns, proper nouns, articles and prepositions – which sounds like a lot for a 6 year old, but the visual and manipulative approach with the symbols seems to work remarkably well.

Click on the picture above to buy and the sig below to see everything.

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Thinking Love, Little Lessons; Alfred the Great

AlfredI’ve put a new lesson pack up. It’s a 24 page pack following Alfred of Wessex by Frank Morris. I’ve added extra historical information and there’s mapwork and artwork to be done.

There’s a genogram to complete – a simple one as an introduction to this process.

I’ve added a timeline and a couple of journal pages at the back. You can click on the picture or HERE TO GO TO THE LESSON

Don’t forget to look at the other lessons including the FREE STUFF

The Alfred pack is  only $2.00 so it won’t break the Home Ed budget.

Meanwhile I’ve just learned that the Govt of the Netherlands are out to trample the intrinsic human rights of families by banning home education. Governments are supposed to protect the rights of the people, not remove them.

You can sign the petition HERE and remember evil prevails when good men do nothing. Although I have to say I disagree with that little saying as doing nothing is not good.

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Home education; Simple Archimedes experiments

The children are reading Archimedes and the Door of Science and then following along with this lesson pack on Archimedes. Along with some questions and mapwork and a little Greek there are some basic experiments looking at some of the rules Archimedes discovered.

P1000133Even though the book and lesson pack are aimed at children Ronan and Avila’s age the experiments can be done by younger children too so Heleyna joined in with them. The first one looks at buoyancy and viscosity.  They filled a bowl with clear water and salt water, oil and syrup and then observed how the liquids separated. The they gathered some objects; marble, grape, cork and so on and dropped them into the bowl to see if they floated or sank and if they sank how far they sank. They were to write their observations. As a short extension we looked at emulsions. Mix the oil and water quite hard. Left to settle the oil and water separate again.

P1000136Then we make a hydrometer. A beaker is filled with “layers” again of water, sugar water, salt water, and cheap vodka (we have a bottle of cheap vodka for science of various kinds and for colour mixing for cake painting)  Then take a test tube and fill it with P1000137beads, beans etc – cork the top and place it in the beaker and see how it behaves.

After that we filled the beaker to the top with water and looked at the curve the water makes at rest.

Finally we did the displacement experiment. We filled a beaker with water and put it inside another container. Then the children added marbles to the beaker and measured the water that spilled into the  other container which told us the volume of the marbles we’d placed in the beaker.

New Lesson in my shop: The first Christians and the Milgrim experiment

I’ve uploaded two new lessons to my shop.

MilgrimThe Freebie is a short lesson for older children on the famous Milgrim Experiment. I think it is less well known these days, but has a lot to teach us about the proper obedience due to authority and when to say “No!”.

Milgrim did his experiment in 1963 in light of the outcome from the post World War II Nuremberg trials, in which Nazi concentration camp soldiers were tried for war crimes. The men nearly all used “We were just following orders” as their defense.

Milgrim gathered a group of students and put them in a situation where they were to believe they were giving an electric shock to an unseen but heard subject in another room. He wanted to see how far the student would go in inflicting shocks to screaming subjects, no matter how apparently painful and dangerous, if someone in authority (in a white coat) told them to. The results were shocking and in some cases enlightening.

Click on the picture to get this freebie. Read first before you decide for your child.

The second lesson pack is a 53 page study of the Acts of the Apostles based on First ChristiansMarigold Hunt’s The First Christians (kindle) or Paperback here. There are questions and mapwork and added pieces of information from history and Biblical study.

There is some picture study from fine art depicting events from the beginning of the Church.

The set costs $3.73 and apart from the good price you’ll save in shipping. So you know you want to buy it. Click on the picture to go to the shop.

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home education: Curriculum planning for grade 1 (year 2)(age 6 to 7)

P1010150I use the Summer term to step the children up towards the next grade of work. I’m planning what I hope to do with Heleyna over the next year and will be planning and prepping through the hols. This is an overview of what I hope to be using – not everything and subject to change; but a general overview.

I haven’t added into this list all the Montessori lessons I hope to do with her. I will blog them as we go along. I do have a friend who has planned her entire homeschooling year for both her children!! As I am not as awesome I just haven’t.

READING

We are still working through Reading Eggs and I will be using the Grade 1 reading and maths from more.starfall. (need to pay)

She is back on the Oxford Reading Tree books we have on long term loan from a friend and I’m adding in some Oxford Owl (free)books now and then.

Language Arts

She’s working through Draw Write Now Vol 1 and will move onto Vol 2 and so on, as we have the box set as well as the Starfall downloads (free) and the occasional worksheet I make for her. I hope to step her up to the Seton English 1, but she is still struggling with reading so I don’t want to overwhelm her or put her off. She is making progress; pushing her to work at “grade” might hold her back, rather than help her.

MATHS

For maths she’s working with Montessori bead material and number placement while we have adapted some of the Math U See Primer work to the Montessori approach. She’s also working through MCP Math level B. Now don’t have a dicky fit about that – she just happens to be very good at maths so she’s on a book that is stretching her a little. It’s well designed to move slowly through the concepts so she is getting them well.  She loves Complete the Picture Math Grade 1. I might buy her the ebook Half and Half Animals as well, as I think it will help with the dyslexic tendencies.

RELIGION

We are reading a good children’s Bible together and working through Our Heavenly Father from Faith and Life series. and Religion 1 Seton. I’ll also continue her Bible stories.

I’ve got some lovely Amy Steedman books on my Kindle from Yesterday’s Classics 

Our Island Saints

LANGUAGES

She’s starting Song School Latin which she loves and I do a little from Getting Started With Latin with her too. It’s also good revision for Roni and Avila.

She is joining in with Song School Spanish  and I am using a little Getting Started in Spanish with her too. With the other two she’s enjoying SALSA Spanish (free) and of course the freebies on Headventureland.(free)

SCIENCE/NATURE STUDY

We are using Behold and See Science 1 as a base for science but with lots of Montessori stuff alongside it. I think we’ll go down the lapbooking and notebooking route more often as the year goes on. Some free LAPBOOKS HERE

Read alouds: (These are still a bit of an issue for me as I just don’t have a voice very often these days) I do want to read Pagoo with her; or get Ronan to read it to her and we’ll do some lapbook/notebook work.

I also have some other nature books to read with her.

MUSIC and ART

Children’s Music Adventure keyboard lessons and introduction to composers.

artist lapbooks

Greatest Artists

History and Geography

Montessori resources for Geography.

History Pockets Ancient Civilisations

Our Lady’s Dowry and Our Island Story (which I am not that fussed about) and/or Cambridge Historical Reader.

Rivers and Oceans by Barbara Taylor (I don’t know how easy it is to get)

General list if resources:

Study Jams for science and maths

Possibly Tigtag but certainly not for nearly £100. I’ll see if they do a home ed deal.

free lapbook resources

Starfall downloads and More.starfall(1st Grade curriculum)

Oxford owl and ORT reading books

Draw Write Now

MCP Maths B, Mathematical Reasoning B and Draw maths 1

Seton: religion 1 and (possibly) English 1

Behold and See with Montessori printables etc. for science. Nature study. This, make your own constellations activity looks worth doing. And THIS ONE

Listening time.(free)

The Velveteen Rabbit

Rapunzel

Aesop’s Fables  to go with Aesop Lit Pockets from Evan Moor

Story Nory

Classics for Kids- greatradio/podcast of music from classical composers with a story about their life and times.

To Math U See or not to Math U See… and my mathphobia (cue scary music)

We’ve been using the Math U See curriculum for some time now. Even in the beginning I thought it was a bit pricey but as it comes with DVD instruction I was pretty taken with it. The curriculum is very thorough, It layers the skills carefully and logically so the skill base is built up. I do like that about it.

The children are doing well with it, on the whole. The one downside, it seems to me, is the amount of memory stuff which doesn’t work well with any of my lot. But the skip counting songs and adding in some Montessori math method seems to help with that.

Ronan and Avila are both on Gamma and sharing the workbook, using a notepad for the work. I think they will both do ok with this although I know Ronan finds it a right slog. But he loves Life of Fred so he isn’t completely put off maths. I really don’t want him to be put off the way I was. He’s struggling quite a bit. Do I take him off MUS and leave Avila on it while it works for her…or just get him past the bumps in the road?

I am wondering if I need to get a grip of my own mathphobia and use the Khan Academy videos and perhaps leave MUS for a while. Ronan wants to learn more geometry. Heleyna’s curriculum is much richer in this area than his and Avila’s has been. Heleyna’s curriculum is for ages 6 to 9 so although Ronan will be 10 soon he would get a lot out of it. I might just cut back on MUS and get both him and Avila doing more geometry with Heleyna.P1010624

Heleyna is just over half way through Primer which she is doing alongside the Montessori math album and geometry.

I already have Delta set aside for them, so we’re set up for the time being. But I was shocked at the price hike to £18 for the student book and £29+ for the teacher set. That’s nearly £50 plus P&P of over £11. It’s cheaper for me to buy the Latin set (workbook DVD and answerbook with flashcards) from America!

So. I think I will not be buying Alpha for Heleyna. We will stick with the Montessori maths, which she is doing very well with. I will slow down the MUS gamma work and add in geometry so that MUS Delta starts a little later.  We’ll keep using Life of Fred and possibly consider an ebook from The Critical Thinking Company.

I am hoping not to need to buy much curriculum over the next few months or more. If I can make what we have work even as Ronan enters Grade 5 I’ll be well pleased.

Of course I had to admit to my abiding shame when Ronan brought me a question from Life of Fred Jelly Beans, that I just couldn’t help him with, I had to ask Iona to help him. And no;  brain fog or crash time wasn’t my excuse. I just couldn’t do it! He’s 9!! Ouch!

Of course, I could comfort myself with what an excellent model of home education we are as a family as the older sibling comes to the rescue…but really…it’s embarressing!

Then, just as I declare I will not be buying any more curriculum, the good Dr. Schimdt produces an Intermediate set of books! Get thee behind me Fred!

Home Education; curriculum or not curriculum that is the question…

Whether it is better to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous lesson plans, or to take arms against the sea of trouble and buy a curriculum.

One of the first questions I still get asked when people discover that I home educate the children is whether I follow the National Curriculum. I always say no because we are not obliged to, and I try not to say what I actually think of the standard of the NC because most parents have their children in school.

But now I am more or less following a curriculum. What are the pros and cons?

Pro; I don’t have to plan every single lesson for the children and this frees up my time quite a bit and is vital now that I can’t actually think straight sometimes, let alone properly plan lessons. Having it just there helps me enormously when I’m struggling to string a coherent thought together.

The lessons in the workbooks I have are very well laid out and even on a bad day for me, they are easy to follow.

The workbook approach definitely suits my older one.  I think using Seton and some Catholic Heritage works really well for Ronan who is 9 because he can read fluently. This has helped him learn to be a much more independent learner and willing to read and look things up for himself.

Pro: there are some beautifully presented curriculum products out there that offer workbooks and videos and CDs teaching something I never could have such as the Latin, Greek and Math U See

Cons: It costs more to buy other people’s workbooks than to make my own. However the cost isn’t that much more and it’s way cheaper on time and brain cells. I also try and cut costs by having them use notebooks rather than write directly into the workbook, so the books can be passed down.

Con on that though is once I’ve paid for this stuff I am reluctant to buy something different for one of the others as that would be expensive. I just have to hope it will suit all of them. I did cave on Life of Fred, but it was worth the extra cost.

I am not sure if this is a con or not. But my concern over notebooks has been the sense that they lack flexibility and spoon feed the information. However, in fairness to the Seton workbooks, I don’t think this is so. There is an element of making the student learn through his own effort and I like that.

Free curriculums require as much work over all as making your own. But they are a good guide and being free can be a godsend to a very tight budget.

I would never buy a full curriculum. No matter how good they might be over all there will always be aspects that don’t suit my children’s way of learning, or where we have settled on one area and I don’t want to change it. So, for example, Seton uses Saxon Math which is supposed to be very good indeed, but we are happy with Math U See and Life of Fred and will continue with that.

Avila needs a gentler approach than the righteousness of Seton so a couple of CHC books have helped her with the Seton work.

There are some home educators who take it as a great affront if anyone should ask them a question about curriculum because they wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole. I have never heard a coherent argument about this, but bizarrely (and this is something I must stop) I have found myself defending or making excuses about buying in curriculum.

The major reason for home educating is to tailor the education to the child’s learning ability and interests. But there is also the reality of needing to tailor it to the needs of the family, and in my case, to the limits of the “teacher”.  There’s nothing shameful in this (so why am I defending myself?…silly me) and there are so many very good curricula choices out there, mainly American, that we can buy them with a clear conscience.

Home Education. What we are using or plan to use for Pre-k grade 1 and grade 3 and stepping up.

I’ve been sorting out and planning for the rest of the term to the Summer. As we have moved more towards workbooks and bought curriculum things have become a little easier on my foggy brain. One thing that has been fortunate is that the workbooks and curriculum I already have is working well so that I am not having to buy lots of new stuff over and over. So here’s the list.

As this post is going to be very long and some of you might want to come back to check resources and links I’ll make it sticky.

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Charlotte Mason (ish) curriculum grade 2 (yr 3 UK)

Apart from all the WORK THEY DO TOGETHER here is what I have planned for Ronan for the Autumn term and beyond (whoops am I having a Toy Story moment there?)

Reading: A lot of his reading is independent now, so he can read whatever he likes. For reading to me he is working through Tomie de Paola’s 26 Fairmount Ave books. He also has a couple of Stage 14 Oxford Reading Tree books he would like to go back to.

I intend to print off some of the Treasure Chest comics for him as we go through various subjects.

poetry: Walter de la Mare and Christina Rossetti among others.

yummy spelling and some online spelling stuff.

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Home ed curriculum Kindergarten/Year 1 (UK)

apart from the joint work you can READ HERE

Reading: We are still using The Oxford Reading Tree books given to us by another HE mum. Avila is working through stage 6 at the moment. As she needs a more Phonic based approach she uses Starfall and for a bit extra I get pages from the McGuffey Readers and some Language Arts

She is able to read well enough now to be confident with story books which she reads to her little sister.

She and Ronan are working through Yummy Spelling. To prevent her reversing her letters and writing from the wrong end of the page she has a wooden moveable alphabet, so she spells the word with these first and then copies it down on her page.

poetry: R L Stevenson and A A Milne mainly.

Writing: She is working through the Starfall downloads and any other writing sheets I make for her usually as part of her Latin lessons.

Maths: She is working through Math U See Alpha at the moment and will start Mathematical Reasoning Level A in Sept. (NB I am wondering what to do with the Maths programme for the future. All our group is using Math U See so we share the DVDs but I find the process of getting hold of the stuff really really difficult and long winded. Also, as photocopying the workbooks is not allowed under their copyright it can be a bit expensive. However the course itself is very good indeed and the children work well with the DVD lessons.  The Critical Thinking books are excellent. They seem expensive but you get a good chunky book for the money and the copyright allows for photocopying within the family which helps a lot.)

RE We will begin the Faith and Life Series again along with continuing Catechism and other Bible Stories; most often I follow the Liturgical year and we study that Sunday’s Gospel. Saints stories with minibooks.

Critical thinking Visual Perceptual Skills Book 1 and Hands On Thinking Skills.(this is something all 3 of the younger ones love doing. I’ve got it lent out to another family atm)

Read Alouds and Listening: apart from the joint stuff she likes to have the Ballet stories of Swan Lake, Coppalia, Nutcracker etc from her big Usborne Ballet book. There’s a few more but I’ll link them as we go along.

The Importance of Teaching History.

Every person has an obligation to seek the truth and speak it.  One of the most important areas for doing this is in teaching our children where they come from; their history. Sadly I have to concur with Chesterton who wrote  in 1913 “Our historians lie much more than our journalists.”

Baring this in mind a home educating mother like me has to tread with care through the historical books recommended on many curricula sites to ensure I don’t impart black legend or serious mistakes to my children. They have the right to the truth and I want to make sure that to the best of my ability they get it.

The minefield of history books and stories is a difficult one to navigate. Old books can be just as bad or worse than newer ones and I am constantly trying to be sure that what I might expose the children to in the way of ‘living fiction’ or ‘living books’ of a more factual basis are in fact true to the history they are telling.

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Home Education; budgeting, computers and curriculum

I am coming across a few home ed families who have started out by hearing of a good curriculum and then buying the lot, only to find it doesn’t quite work for them.

I know some home ed families prefer not to use computers but for us having computers has meant access to an astonishing amount of free or very cheap material that has been good for our families education.

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Curriculum plans; books and websites.

I’ve been mooching around websites looking for good curriculum ideas and the best prices for the books I want to get. I’ve also had a good look at Iona’s Open University plans.

IONA: entering yr 11 (grade 10): At the moment she has been using the OPEN LEARN site as a practice run for ‘real’ courses. Next year once she turns sixteen we are hoping to get her enrolled in YASS- Young Applicants in Schools and Colleges. Assuming there are no hitches over the fact that she is home educated (and I assume there won’t be) Iona wants to start with the “Start Writing Fiction” course which is level 1 and 10 points. She will need 120 points at level 1 to complete her first degree year. We are hoping that over the next three years that will take her to end of what would have been 6th form she can complete the majority of the 120 points.

Another way of getting qualifications would be to gain a High School Diploma via one of the high standard American homeschooling acadamies such as St Thomas Aquinas or Seton. Some time ago we did consider this for Iona and possibly Alex, but decided it didn’t suit them. Alex went on to college anyway. OU seems to be a more flexible route for Iona at this point.

I do use ideas from both Aquinas and Seton for curriculum and I love the fact that Seton let you have a preview of their recommended materials so I can decide if I really want to buy them or not. It really does help decision making.

Meanwhile Mr Linney and friends have been busy and Getting Started With Spanish is set up and running. It isn’t finished but that’s okay with us. I’ve ordered the book via Amazon. If it’s as good as the Latin we are going to do fine.

For those of a more Classical bent Memoria Press is a great place to start. I have ordered the cursive writing books from them. In the future I would be interested in their Rhetoric and Logic courses. They offer some great articles from The Classical Teacher as well.

Adoremus Books is just a brilliant hub all things homeschoolish and the prices aren’t too bad. I’m still checking around though and stuff I can get cheaper this side of the pond I am doing so. I have ordered some stuff from Catholic Heritage Curricula. They don’t take foreign orders automatically so I had to email them-but they were quick in sorting out what I wanted and setting up a payment page for me.

I think I’ve been a bit slow in discovering all these brilliant curriculums and bookstores and too reticent to order from America. But the quality of the stuff that side of the pond is excellent. I don’t know of equivalents over here. (sadly). They even have such gems as the Chesterton Academy which I think is a Dale Alquist venture. It looks very good indeed.

So, the timetable is done-books are ordered-some have even arrived…I think I’m about ready to roll.

Home Education-new daily plan

  Books I have set about a kind of day-plan for the home ed this term. I have not exactly time tabled as this is too rigid and when I tried it before it was awful.

This time I have taken what I think Ronan needs to get through each day and simply written it as a set of lessons for the day with some thought as to what it will be easy for Avila to join in with. I want the set up to be as flexible as possible because interruptions and other plans have a tendency to interfere.

here’s how Tues and Wed went:track

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Term Begins with Iona in yr10 and Ronan in yr 1

Some proper homeschooling parents like SWISS MISS are ready to roll as term looms- despite the fact that GOD HAS A WICKED SENSE OF HUMOUR . Ah yes SwissMiss, that sense of humour so many of us have come to know and….put up with! LOL!

Meanwhile, having done hardly any planning over the summer I had Monday (yesterday) pegged for planning the term with Iona and timetabling both her and Ronan so that I ensure I am teaching them both at different times in the day. I would also like to (haven’t worked that out yet) find a slot in the week where I read and another slot for writing if possible.

So as Tuesday arrived I was ready to go. Ronan was very excited about starting the term-his first day as an official Year 1 pupil. We did some Math; 2X table and a finished off his old science workbook.

Then we started some work with ‘The Big Book of Catholic Customs and Traditions’. I managed to get a second hand copy from Amazon.

It’s a great book aimed at children aged 4-8 and has plenty of activities and ideas for children to do. There’s an introductory chapter and then the book works through the academic and liturgical year from Sept to Aug so a child can learn the faith in a practical context.

This was followed by a bit of time with Story of the World Bk 1. We are looking at the Egyptians and Sumerians. Today we looked at their writing and we are going to start a lapbook to go with what Ronan is learning. I helped him write out his name in hieroglyphs and he coloured that in.

He has started learning the recorder so I can teach him a bit of music.

Meanwhile Iona who has begun her Year 10 work did some more of her science this morning. She is using the Apologia modules. I think it’s pretty thorough and she enjoys it. The modules are easy to follow and well written.

Then she did some research for her magazine ‘Common Sense’. Her first article for the next issue will be about the merits and otherwise of drinking tea.

This afternoon we worked on her essay on morality in books from a quote by Oscar Wilde and after that we worked on some bits and pieces for her sweet shop business which I hope we can launch properly in a week or two.

And that is the end of day one of the new homeschool term. I need a cuppa and a sit down.

Homeschool Thurs and Friday

Ronan struggled with his Maths tasks on Thursday morning. He found the concept of counting on hard to grasp. I was a bit surprised as he has worked through his Maths book so far with no real problems. Iona did some work with him and a box of marbles and gradually he grasped what he was being asked to do.

In science we looked at what eyes are for and how they work. We even looked at how his own eye works and why he is blind in the other one. He was fascinated by the explanation and said “Wow mum! You know everything don’t you?” I wish!

Iona did her maths and we continued work on The Picture of Dorian Grey. She is writing an essay on the statement Lord Henry made about how he chooses his friends and enemies. Writing essays is something Iona finds very difficult and this is a good book for her to work on this skill. She loves the book and there is plenty of aspects of the story to get her to analyse without ruining the whole thing for her.

I am hoping to build on some of the essay writing from last year and push her a little harder without putting her off. So far this is going slowly but well.

After Bible story time with Ronan I worked with Iona on the St Luke book. I have decided to skip ahead to the Holy Week chapters now. There’s a lot to do in a week but the book is well laid out.

For Ronan we have begun a Holy Week picture timeline along the wall showing the main events from each day leading up to Easter Sunday. I might continue the line for a few days post Easter-but as we wont be homeschooling in the hols I am not sure.

Yesterday Karen came over with her children and one other child and we did some work in two groups. Iona and Emily worked some more on their 1920s project. They made costumes and looked at fashion for the time.

Meanwhile with the boys we were studying iron age life and how to make a pattern welded sword. They watched a couple of short videos on Youtube showing an iron age house and how an iron age forge worked.

They made a sword in card each.

After lunch we took the children outside and they planted seeds and plants. Each of them had a sunflower seed in a cup to take home.

Finally Josh was around and as we had been talking about swords he gave an impromptu lesson on fencing and the lads got to dress up in the gear and hold the foil. You see we never miss a learning fun moment.

We’ll continue with the iron age next time.

Yr 9; 14 yr old curriculum.

portraitofdoriangray.jpgOne of the big advantages of home education is the fact we are not tied to the National Curriculum. This means we can work out what suits us and what Iona wants to learn and achieve for each term or year.

So this year, here is an overview of what she has been studying:

Maths: Edexel IGSCE which she will sit in May in Bristol. We booked the exam through 3A Tutors. It is possible to sit IGCSE Maths, English and Double Award Science without coursework. I think you can also sit an exam only history.

For other GCSE’s a lot of homeshoolers will use the Oxford courses. They are expensive though.

Iona has started a magazine which she hopes to publish bi-monthly, called “Common Sense” which will incorporate articles and ideas for homeschool and which she hopes some other homeschoolers will contribute too. This will also go towards her portfolio and is teaching her editing, layout and IT skills.

We are presently studing Oscar Wilde’s “A Portrait of Dorian Gray”. I bought her a cheap copy which she has already read. We are using Sparknotes, some essay ideas from GradeSaver and CliffNotes

 Chocolate The Business Plan for the Old Fashioned Sweet Shop is underway and will become a Powerpoint Presentation for her portfolio as well as, we hope, trying it out as a small business for real.

Her media project, a 3minute film on home education is nearly complete.

We are using the Ros Moss book “Reasons for Our Hope”-a study of the Gospel of St Luke and I would like Iona to have a go at reading “Reasons to Believe” by Scott Hahn. I am reading it first to judge the level-but he is good at pitching his Joe-Sixpack books at a sensible level.

The Forensics project is still under way and should be an excellent addition to her portfolio. For general science we are using modules from Apologia as well as her research into Poisonous Plants.

In cooking-or as schools call it, food technology, Iona is building up her skills in chocolate making as well as planning and cooking family meals. She has also moved towards more complicated dishes that require balanced spices such as making her own Rogan Josh lamb dish. It was lovely.

For art and craft we will continue with art appreciation and her work with the sewing machine as well as craft work with chocolate. She made a beautiful chocolate village for Christmas. Photos of that will go in her portfolio.

I am also encouraging her to read the Kon Tiki Expedition.

She is learning Sign Singing with the group here on a Wednesday and I would like to find the time as we build vocab to teach those with more interest, including Iona, up to Stage 1 standard, or even a little more.

Iona didn’t really want to learn Latin, but as I always do the Linney sessions with Ronan when she is in the room, she is accidentally picking it up (hehehe).

Finally she is working on a joint project with Emily one of her fellow homeschoolers on life in the 1920′s and 30′s.

I think that’s it. Anyway there’s some ideas.