Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Our School Year Begins

Homeschool Happenings
Where has the last week gone?  I have been very busy with the planning side of our homeschool. Spending every spare moment on this, so sorry there was no blogging. As the holidays have continued more and more of my new curriculum has been arriving, until at last I have everything I need to start school.  We are starting a week early, giving us a whopping 12 week term off the mark.  This will allow us to have some days up our sleeve during the year.  If, through the year, we want to one of those days off, then we can simple have a quiet day off schoolwork. Yesterday we were straight into study; math, grammar, writing, spelling for one and both starting science.

I am so excited about the curriculum I have purchased and will tell you what we are using in upcoming blogs.  It has been a full year since we began this journey, and most of that without many resources.  This has been for several reasons;

Firstly it has been a steep learning curve in just finding out about what curriculum is available and what will suite us as a family.  Both Alex and Georgia come with very individual needs that require a much different approach and specific resources. I have spent countless hours on the Internet researching the best programmes for their needs.  We do some subjects together like geography, history and math together.  So again, I need resources that can be taught at intermediate and high school levels simultaneously.  One is a very good writer and the other struggles to put any thoughts physically down on paper. One a good speller the other needing a very good programme to help with spelling. So you get the picture. 

Secondly, the setting up costs for a new homeschool (just quietly) are huge.  We have been slowly adding desks, whiteboards, whiteboard marker pens, more desks, bookcases, stationary, chairs, printers etc. Not to mention resources, programmes, books, cds. As you bloggers who already homeschool will realise, these costs soon add up.  We  have been collecting things peace meal through the year by buying secondhand or in some cases going straight to the manufacturer (whiteboard) and not the shop selling it at retail prices.  All this takes lots of time, but worth every minute of it.

Our new school year started off with a meeting discussing our goals for the coming year.  This didn't go quite as I'd planned.  Perhaps at  ages 12 and 14 I was being overly optimistic? However, what was a real success was the discussion on changes we could make for the new year.  What worked for us in 2010 and what was a dismal failure.  This was a brutally honest talk, and I am thankful the children spoke with honesty and sincerity about how they actually felt about our homeschool day.  They both agreed they wanted more individual time with me. We discussed that for me to work more with one child, the other would have to work quietly and independently somewhere else, and be relied upon to do this. Some responsibility creeping in here, which I am aiming for more of.

Around the Home and Garden
The garden has been providing us with all our vegetables for dinner each night.  What a wonderful feeling not having to buy any vegetables from the market.  We are mindful though that we must prepare for the coming autumn which here in New Zealand, is just around the corner.  And you know me, I LOVE autumn.  Lets take a look around the house and garden...

Herbs are pretty at the moment

 We seemed to have got something right with our beans, I am getting this much every couple of days.  Plus we are eating them for dinner as well.

The corn maturing, won't be long now


We are listening to The Hobbit on audio cassette

There is something about our tables that the cats love.  Here is Poppy keeping me company while I am planning our school work....

... here is Sebbie doing much the same.

Until next time, bye from Lee-Anne

1 comment:

  1. First of all, being a cat person, I totally get your cats love of being on top of and in the middle of what you are up to. My kitty comes running when she hears me start to read aloud. She plops down on top of me and watches the birds or dozes. So sweet! And, as an American, I did not realize that schools start in NZ now. Oh and to have fresh veggies right now would be heavenly.
    I hope you have a great start to your new school year.



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