Planning Our Curriculum

If no one has noticed I’m a plan­ner.  I love plan­ning our cur­ricu­lum.  Noth­ing like a nicely ordered book shelf to increase my hap­pi­ness levels.



I’m a firm believer in the adage ‘fail to plan, plan to fail’.  How­ever, I believe a good home ed plan (for us) needs flex­i­bil­ity, needs to, in prac­tice, feel relaxed, spon­ta­neous and unplanned.  I ask a lot!

I have no doubt chil­dren learn best when they are lead­ing and shap­ing the way so Sam’s opin­ion and my expe­ri­ence of what works for him are the most impor­tant con­sid­er­a­tions.  But I believe there are some essen­tial skills and knowl­edge chil­dren need to learn to have doors open to them and that life is eas­ier with a cer­tain level of gen­eral knowledge/cultural lit­er­acy.   Pretty much any­thing can be bor­ing or inter­est­ing depend­ing on the pre­sen­ta­tion, my job is to make as much as pos­si­ble engag­ing to Sam.

My key start­ing points:

We need vari­ety; short lessons and a range of style of resources.

With a good rou­tine things feel effort­less, rou­tine is impor­tant but it needs to be flex­i­ble enough to absorb illness/days out etc.

Have a small set of achiev­able goals.  Keep these very real­is­tic.  Plan beyond them, aim for more but don’t get dis­heart­ened if you don’t keep up.

Prep ahead!  In term time I need things to just tick along. The more I’ve prepped the more we man­age to do.  But not too far, as it’s eas­ier to jet­ti­son things not work­ing if you haven’t spent hours prepping.

Along­side the one above be organ­ised.  Place for every thing and every thing in it’s place.

Ques­tion the edu­ca­tional value of all resources you use and adapt as needed.  Is there any ben­e­fit to writ­ing some­thing down when they can say it?  Is there any point in con­tin­u­ing doing prac­tice sums at maths when they’ve obvi­ously grasped the idea?

Year Goals

Bold = First level pri­or­ity, ital­ics= sec­ond level, text = that would be nice if we can fit it in :)  In terms of judg­ing suc­cess at the end of the year, fail­ure on first level pri­or­ity is a ‘should I con­sider school’ response, fail­ure on sec­ond level says tweak­ing to approach/resources needed

Over­all numer­acy and lit­er­acy remain main con­cerns but start decreas­ing impor­tance and increas­ing focus on science/humanities.  

Start to encour­age more writ­ing across the board as prep for KS3 but make sure it is meaningful.

Con­tinue build­ing basic lit­er­acy, more work on gram­mar and vocabulary

Maths — no learn­ing objec­tives at all, build con­fi­dence and make fun

Lan­guages — Latin and Span­ish — build up vocab, con­tinue with dis­ci­pline of reg­u­lar practice

Some Sci­ence read­ing and activ­ity every week.  Focus on con­sol­i­dat­ing knowl­edge.  Have a scrap­book to show at end of year.

His­tory and Geog — don’t let projects drift.  Reduce num­ber of field trips to allow more time for other aspects to get bet­ter balance.

Do more group social­is­ing.  Less indi­vid­ual.  Reduce demands on time and guilt levels.

Work through pro­gram­ming books

Reg­u­lar exercise

Learn about the sto­ries behind diff religions.

Read aloud regularly

Works of diff artists

More time for walking/outdoors


We don’t have a timetable as such.  We have a rhythm and a rou­tine to our weeks and days.  Always a new one for a new year as we tweak the social side.

Our core basics (Maths, Eng­lish, Lan­guages and read­ing bas­ket) I plan to a four day week.  The four days might be a dif­fer­ent four days week by week to accom­mo­date trips/events/mood.  I do allo­cate dates on a plan­ner to indi­vid­ual tasks for Maths and Eng­lish to try and make sure we progress along at a rea­son­able pace but this is very much a guide and I plan by week rather than by day.  I plot in catch up weeks every now and again at times I sus­pect we might have got a bit behind.  Plus try and have a very light sched­ule for the last half term as June is always a hayfever blur.

Year sched­ule (note this is a work in progress, wait­ing to see how some­things work before plan­ning further)

It works best to get up and get on with core work first thing and ide­ally fin­ished by 10.30.  Leav­ing rest of time clear for the more hands on/going out stuff.

We try and have a cou­ple of reg­u­lar social things on the cal­en­dar and every­thing else gets slot­ted in around those and one off events.  Aim­ing for 2 days a week that are ‘ours’ (no reg­u­lar com­mit­ments) this year.

It’s hard to explain but I have a men­tal pri­or­ity list of how things slot in.  I tend to over plan so when I look at sci­ence or project plans I know we prob­a­bly won’t get through all of it but I have in my mind the most impor­tant.  What is most impor­tant will change as we go based on pre­vi­ous work.

Diary then gets done on a week by week basis.  I don’t use a proper diary, use a note­book instead for flex­i­bil­ity.  Start off with dates on the cal­en­dar and idea of reg­u­lar events.  Then on one page of note­book have a list of the core tasks for Eng­lish and Maths.  Then Sci­ence, project, RE.  Then have a col­umn for car­ried overs.  Finally a list for extra ideas and at the bot­tom any­thing needed to be done for future prep or col­lected for that week.  On the oppo­site page have the days and allo­cate things to days as I can.  This is new approach so very much work in progress.  Will some­times allo­cate stuff on day by day basis so we have a lot of flexibility.



Details on indi­vid­ual plans can be found on the below links.







Other Stuff

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Other Stuff 15/16

All the bits not wor­thy of their own post


Last year’s plans didn’t really come to any­thing at all.  The ukulele was a flash in the pan inter­est.  Even our clas­si­cal con­cert was can­celled — we did make it to a Game­lan one which sent me to sleep.  I’m not going to make any attempt to ‘teach’ music at all this year.  With only lim­ited time avail­able to cover every­thing we want to it seems daft to waste time on stuff that nei­ther of us find inter­est­ing or useful.

That aside he’s become much more inter­ested in lis­ten­ing to music this year and I aim to set it up so we can have music on in the back­ground while we do work.  From time to time he’ll sit there with youtube piano tuto­ri­als and teach him­self to play a few lines of a song he likes.  Will leave it at that though.

Nature Study

Just read my plans for last year and laughed out loud.  They were very ambi­tious for us.  We’re not nature lovers, we like being out­side but too many aller­gies to enjoy any­where with plants for much of the year and we hate being hot.  More jump­ing in pud­dles and home for hot choc by the fire sort of people.

Plan to take a more or less com­pletely unplanned approach this year.  We’ve loads of spot­ters guides (good ones) and activ­ity ideas books.  When­ever time, weather, health and mood allow we’ll try and get out.  We’ve lots of nice walks on our doorstep.

Will include read­ings from our Enid Blyton’s Nature Lovers book and her Hedgerow, Wood­land and Coun­try Tales in our read­ing bas­ket.  Curled up on the sofa with a book is our sort of nature study :)

 Reli­gious Edu­ca­tion and Festivals

Plan to try and address this more this year.  We’ll include some of our col­lec­tions of reli­gious sto­ries in our read­ing bas­ket — I have a few :)  Also have the Usborne Ency­clopae­dia of World Reli­gions to read though.

How­ever I have a set of les­son plans bought from Plan­bee that I will try to build into our week.  Until we get some rou­tine estab­lished I don’t know how real­is­tic this is.  If it works we’ll start with look­ing at Chris­tian­ity, where the Bible came from, sto­ries from the Bible,  run­ning up to Christmas.

I’ve been adding dates of ran­dom hol­i­days and events to the cal­en­dar to draw on if we have time to fill 😉

Com­puter Programming

Sam has been dab­bling with this for a while but look­ing for an ordered approach this year.  We have these to work through.

20150827_3In case any one else falls for it, the one on the right is not iden­ti­cal to the Com­puter Cod­ing for Kids with Carol Vor­der­man on the cover but close.  But it has the advan­tage of not hav­ing Carol Vor­der­man on the cover so we’ll use this one and pass on the other 😉


I have had the IF Odyssey sat on my Kin­dle for about 18 months.  I am hop­ing to set up a monthly group to work through this.  Ide­ally 4–6 chil­dren of sim­i­lar age to Sam.  Think­ing that debat­ing ideas with his peer group will add some­thing dif­fer­ent to just talk­ing with me.


Organ­ised sports are not Sam.  Think­ing one after­noon a week for Laser Quest/Bowling?/Out door Gym/Long walk.  Then if my Dad will pro­vide trans­port another after­noon for either swim­ming or table ten­nis (we’ll chop and change week by week as mood takes us).  This is work in progress!

Read­ing Basket

I’d like to get into the habit of read­ing aloud more again.  I’m think­ing we’ll start the day with read­ing on 4 day rota­tion from the bas­ket which will have;

Nature Sto­ries (Enid Blyton’s as men­tioned above)

Aesops Fables

Year of Poetry

Children’s Bible


We’ll also hope­fully keep a longer story on the go.  Prob­a­bly some sort of fan­tasy book to tie in to cre­ative writ­ing.  Going to start with Alice in Wonderland.



From want­ing to see some­one (ide­ally at our house) nearly every day set­ting us on a social whirl­wind that nearly fin­ished me off, he’s had an about turn.  He’s happy to go out a cou­ple of days a week but wants to stay home the rest which works well for me.

We’re plan­ning on attend­ing one of the adven­ture play­grounds every week.  Plus laser quest monthly.  Work­ing on monthly bowl­ing and phi­los­o­phy plans and if they come off will prob­a­bly sug­gest a walk/soft play the other week.  That’s 2 group events a week possibly.

Look­ing around at who’s sign­ing up for things I think num­bers for trips might be an issue so will not bother with much trip book­ing this year I think.  Days out with fam­ily and friends instead.

We’ll con­tinue to have friends round as we’ve fallen into rou­tines.  Cubs obvi­ously too.

Will also try and get things set up so he can skype etc.  I do a lot of my social­is­ing through the com­puter I think I need to accept that that will suit Sam too.

Posted in Curriculum, Home Education Group, Music, Nature Study, Planning, PSHE | Leave a comment

Art 15/16

Another one that read­ing back on I had over com­pli­cated, over ambi­tious plans for last year.  The art award group never came off due to lack of take up.  We never man­aged as much out­door sketch­ing as I’d like.  Prob­lem of tak­ing friends on nature walks, can draw or socialise not both!  Plus I keep for­get­ting the Book of Cen­turies.  Will try a bit harder this year.

Art group became too hard work and Sam wasn’t enjoy­ing the social side any more.  Did enjoy the art though.  Plan on aban­don­ing the work­sheet side this year, not sure that added any­thing that we couldn’t gain from obser­va­tion and discussion.

Still work­ing through the artists from the Anholt’s Artists books.

So plan is to look at an artist a half term and one par­tic­u­lar piece of work of theirs a week.  Some­times if we have a busy week I sus­pect we won’t get round to art but it’s an aim to do one a week not a rule.

Artists we plan to do.

Van Gogh - Van Gogh plan


Marc Cha­gall (new Anholt book out in Nov)

Then we run out of Anholt books I think so pen­cilled in we have




We’ll go for the mod­ern.  Might do O’Keefe instead of one as fancy the Tate exhi­bi­tion next summer.

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History and Geography Projects 15/16

The 6 projects a year, 3 with a His­tory bias and 3 with a Geog­ra­phy bias worked really well last year so we’ll keep going on that path.  I say bias because the two are so entwined.

We don’t have a set approach to project work.  Some­times we’ll pro­duce some­thing like a lap­book often we won’t pro­duce any­thing at all.  Most often we’ll have a sort of dis­play of craft projects.  Some­times I’ll plan in depth, oth­ers I’ll buy in some resources, book some trips and let things unfold and see where we go.

I tend to have a broad agenda of a few things I’d like him to take away from a project (and these shape the resources we use).

For exam­ple our first project of the year will be spies (we’ve planned a visit to Beaulieu so look­ing for some­thing to leapfrog off it).  It would be easy to get caught up in the gadget/tech/spy fic­tion side but this is sup­posed to be a his­tory project.  So the things I’m look­ing for him to take from it are the idea that spy­ing has a long ‘real’ his­tory (not all James Bond style) and in par­tic­u­lar an overview of the Cold War factions.

I’ve bought these books.

The orange one is excel­lent, exactly what I wanted.  We could achieve my aims just by read­ing this.


I’m really plan­ning just on read­ing and dis­cussing.  Will try and add some cards to our time­line box.  May stick True Spy Sto­ries on the kin­dle for read­ing out and about.

Besides Beaulieu which is a fam­ily thing I’d booked a cou­ple of group home ed trips to add the local con­text but looks like I won’t have the num­bers to go ahead.  Not both­ered by one, was a ‘may as well’ book­ing, but dis­ap­pointed to can­cel the Dock­yard one, the idea of look­ing at spy his­tory in Portsmouth really appealed.  Will just have to see what I can find out so we can look into it our­selves.  Going to take it as a sign that I should do trips just for us this year and stop book­ing groups until I’m ready to book KS3 ones as lots of Sam’s friends are just slightly older.   I’d decided we wouldn’t do Bletch­ley Park as too far for the day and didn’t fancy an over night — seri­ously reconsidering!

We can’t do Spies and not do codes and gad­gets and James Bond so sure all of them will feature.


Don’t plan on spend­ing a full half term on this one, sus­pect 3 or 4 weeks will do.  The project sched­uled in next, Europe, has the poten­tial to be much big­ger and I’d like to leave the run up to Christ­mas for look­ing at Euro­pean Christ­mas tra­di­tions.  So we won’t linger on spies.

Other projects planned for this year are:


Greeks (pos­si­bly mov­ing on to His­tory of Sport — Olympics!)

Water use and sanitation



Posted in Curriculum, Geography, History, Spies | Leave a comment

Science 15/16

Found my Sci­ence mojo again last year.  Never quite came together the way I’d have liked though.  Focused too much on the prac­ti­cal and too lit­tle on the back­ground.  Doing it with friends was fun but per­haps too much dis­trac­tion so we’re back on our own.

I’ve been col­lect­ing a series of old­ish books (sus­pect out of print) called ‘How ****** Works’.  We’ve got least 5 or 6 now and I’m envis­ag­ing doing one a year until GCSE age.  This will hope­fully give us time to really get into things.  The books are a mix of infor­ma­tion and exper­i­ments and could almost stand alone as a cur­ricu­lum.  The biggest prob­lem was decid­ing which book to start with — Sam’s mind changed fre­quently!  In the end we set­tled on ‘How The Earth Works


The plan is to break it down into subtopics

  1. The Earth in Space
  2. Inside the Earth
  3. Vol­ca­noes and Earthquakes
  4. Rocks and Soil (will make this one a long full term one — got to love Minecraft :) )
  5. Water Cycle
  6. Atmos­phere and Weather

I’ll plan a term at a time so we an adapt as needed.

These are the plans for this term

Sci­ence plan term 1

These are the activ­ity books to sup­ple­ment this term.

20150826_2 These are our ref­er­ence books to refer to.  They’re all excel­lent.  The Earth book isn’t par­tic­u­larly child friendly but has some fab­u­lous  pho­tographs.  The Geog ency­clopae­dia and What’s Where in the World are both strong con­tenders for my top 10 books to grace a home ed book­shelf  (I’ll write it one day 😉 )



The DVDs listed on the plan are  Earth Story, Orbit and Rise of the Con­ti­nents.  Also found this which I’d forgotten…


I want to try and focus us a bit more this year, some­thing a bit more than read­ing and exper­i­ments but noth­ing like lap­books or work­books.  I’ve pre­pared a few worksheets/paper activ­i­ties for the first 1/2 term as rein­force­ment (still got 2nd half to do).  We’ve cov­ered a scrap­book (the sparkly black thing) into which we’ll stick work­sheets, pho­tos etc.


I’ll try and remem­ber to update as we go.

Posted in Curriculum, How the Earth Works, Science | Leave a comment

Languages 15/16


Decided this sum­mer that the Span­ish group we’ve been doing for a few years is no longer work­ing for us.  One of the chil­dren has moved, the tutor’s sit­u­a­tion has changed and she was find­ing it hard to give me a time plus the book they’d moved onto was a bit writ­ing heavy.  So we’re going to go it alone for now.

I’ve lots of ‘fun’ mate­ri­als and games but not sure these will work for us.  Lit­tle and often is how we work with lan­guages.  I’d rather do 5–10 mins a day and most resources take nearly that to set up.  So for now we’ll stick to just Duolingo.  Per­haps with read­ing the odd story book in Span­ish and see­ing how well we can trans­late.  The advan­tage of this approach is we both have our own accounts and are learn­ing along­side one another (he’s got the moti­va­tion of stay­ing one step ahead of me).

Must admit I’ve been greatly reas­sured by see­ing the chaotic, hodge­podge approach to teach­ing lan­guages that goes on in Jack’s school, where they can sit a GCSE in a lan­guage they start in yr 9.  Not sure we’ll ever do GCSE any­way, lan­guages are hard to arrange so it’s for per­sonal use really.


This is another one where lit­tle, reg­u­lar and really unex­cit­ing works for us.  I keep look­ing at the Min­imus book on my shelf but it’s just not for us I feel.  On we plod with Latin’s Not So Tough.  It’s made up of very short lessons with one new word at a time and lots of prac­tice.  All a bit ran­dom really it seems but the idea of study­ing Latin is to be able to spot links and word ori­gins and con­ver­sa­tion shows it’s work­ing, he’s recog­nis­ing links to both Eng­lish and Spanish.

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English 15/16

This is the hard­est area to get right for me.  It is prob­a­bly Sam’s weak­est area but the most cru­cial in being able to get over all the tick­box require­ments of later aca­d­e­mic years and it is the one area I feel that I need to have him ‘school ready’ just in case he ever chooses to go.   Writ­ing is pretty much essen­tial for all aspects of school.

I have to walk a bal­ance between pro­vid­ing enough prac­tice in basic skills to help him improve (he does bet­ter with prac­tice) and not get­ting car­ried away and going too far and putting him off.

What appears to be work­ing is a set of short tasks focussing on par­tic­u­lar areas.  The improve­ment in his hand­writ­ing in the last 12 months is amazing.


We’ll con­tinue work­ing through Writ­ing With Ease.  We’re on Level 2 and should com­plete it before the end of the year.  It’s an approach that works well for us, we like the use of extracts from real books and the 4 day week aspect of the struc­ture fits well with our routine.



While Sam was lik­ing the Collins Focus (pos­si­bly because I kept 3/4 of it ver­bal) I’ve got doubts about the depth of learn­ing he was get­ting from it.  Prob­lem of a lot of UK resources I feel.  They go too fast.

Decided instead this year that hav­ing got used to WWE by now I can live with the scripted aspect (by not using the script) of it’s sis­ter pub­li­ca­tion First Lan­guage Lessons.  I’ve picked up level 2, which on reflec­tion is con­sid­er­ably below what Sam should be able to man­age but I’d rather go slow and build confidence.

The aim is to use this 3 days a week.


Cre­ative Writing

This is where we failed last year.  My plan to include it every day as part of reg­u­lar pro­gramme was too ambi­tious.  We didn’t have the time and the resources didn’t excite us.

At var­i­ous points last year we put aside reg­u­lar lan­guage work for a few weeks and did some cre­ative work, in par­tic­u­lar writ­ing scary sto­ries in run up to Halloween.

I would like to keep more rou­tine this year so one day a week instead of gram­mar we’ll look at cre­ative writ­ing.  I intend to focus on Fan­tasy sto­ries all year using Scholastic’s guide and story starters site.


With the improve­ment in Sam’s hand­writ­ing and the fact that both WWE and FLL include copy­work this is no longer such an impor­tant part of our Eng­lish rou­tine.  So the idea is 10 mins a day (4 days a week) of ‘skills prac­tice’.  We’ll start with 2 days of hand­writ­ing, 1 of spelling and 1 of vocab.  Do as much of the book as you can in 10 mins.

Hand­writ­ing we will con­tinue with Getty Dubay since it’s served us so well.  I have really strug­gled to find a spelling pro­gramme we like, I’d wanted some­thing fun and ide­ally on line but noth­ing seemed right.  We like the Collin’s books. I don’t feel we need inten­sive teach­ing in this area (hence drop­ping Spelling Made Easy), the copy­work ele­ment of WWE seems to help.  So the fun prac­tice should suit.  Vocab­u­lary book looks okay despite hav­ing Carol Vor­der­man on the cover!

20150822_7 20150822_5 20150822_6

Depend­ing on how we go I may drop hand­writ­ing to one day a week and replace it with Bond’s No Non­sense Eng­lish, which I found on our cup­board and like the look of but can’t see a way to fit it in.


Sam enjoys read­ing, reads lots and with increas­ing vari­ety.  All I plan to do is keep feed­ing the habit and encour­ag­ing diverse tastes.  He’s look­ing for­ward to a new Rick Rior­dan series com­ing out and I’ve men­tally logged the Chron­i­cles of Pry­dain as ones that may appeal.

Hop­ing to get into the habit of read­ing aloud more.  Pos­si­bly make use of bus jour­neys as we start ven­tur­ing out to groups more.  Plan­ning to read some fan­tasy books to go along the cre­ative writ­ing ele­ment.  Think­ing Alice in Won­der­land, Arthurian Leg­ends, Peter Pan, The Wiz­ard of Oz, The Nev­erend­ing Story …  too many really.  Might reread Nar­nia, we love Narnia.

Last notes

The whole ses­sion should take between 40 mins and an hour depend­ing on whether we’re doing cre­ative writ­ing or gram­mar (I hope).  I may set an hour aside and let him fill the time with Read­ing Eggs­press, I’ll see if it’s a one day won­der before sub­scrib­ing though.

What this plan lacks is any com­pre­hen­sion besides the nar­ra­tion part of WWE (unless we include the Bond book).  This is fine to me.  I hated com­pre­hen­sion in school, pick­ing apart a text destroyed it for me.  I’d far rather that Sam loved read­ing than could tell me why so and so might have said such.  That ele­ment can wait for a few years and we’ll see if he needs it.  In the mean time nar­ra­tion gives him prac­tice at pulling out the key points in a piece of text.


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Planes, pulleys and polymers

A few pho­tos from the last few days.  We’re still in hol­i­day mode but I’m try­ing to make an effort to dis­tract Sam from screens as he’s show­ing the signs of far too much time on them — very dis­rupted sleep pat­terns and prone to weepy episodes.

We went down to the beach on Tues to see if we could see the Bat­tle of Britain fly­past.  Went over Portsmouth to the IOW so not sure how we missed it but we did.  Got us out though and prompted us to do a bit of plane build­ing with the kits we’d picked up from Tang­mere.

20150819_5 20150819_10 20150819_12 20150819_11We’ve also been mess­ing about with some of the sci­ence kits we’d per­haps not made as much of as I’d have liked.  I’d love to say it was part of clear­ing out old resources but at the moment we’ve made a lot more mess than we’ve cleared up and have sev­eral ‘exper­i­ments in progress’ are cov­er­ing surfaces.

Force meters and pul­ley sys­tems and fun squish­ing poly­mers.20150819_13 20150819_16 20150819_18 20150819_21 20150819_2420150819_2620150819_27

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Maths 15/16

Just glanced over my notes from July 14 and laughed.

We lasted a cou­ple of months into the year before the repet­i­tive nature of Saxon became a neg­a­tive rather than a pos­i­tive — see Rethink­ing Maths post from January.

We’ve spent the rest of the year mix­ing and match­ing hands on stuff and the play­ing with online schemes.  The lessons learnt are:

a) He likes the com­pet­i­tive nature and awards of online games.

b) Online stuff is great for prac­tice for us but not for teach­ing.  He just doesn’t learn that way.

c) I am not as good as I’d like at deliv­er­ing Maths ‘hands on’.

d) We work bet­ter with a scheme and a plan for Maths, although a loose, flex­i­ble one.

So the quest for this year was to find a ‘scheme’ that we could link to an online pro­gramme that included lots of vari­ety and hands on stuff.  Not easy but I think I’ve done it!

Quite by chance I was pok­ing around the par­ent area of Math­let­ics, his online pro­gramme of choice, and came across their work­books.  They include few too many work­sheets maybe but a lot of it is games, inves­ti­ga­tions and puz­zles, can’t imag­ine I’ll find some­thing more suit­able for us with­out writ­ing it myself which is what I’m try­ing to avoid.


The work­books are bro­ken down into 12 top­ics so I’ve split these into terms.

Term 1: Read­ing and Writ­ing Numbers/Multiplication and Division

Term 2: Addi­tion and Subtraction/Geometry

Term 3:Length,Area and Perimeter/Volume, Capac­ity and Mass

Term 4: Position/Time

Term 5: Data Representation/Fractions, Dec­i­mals and Percentages/Chance

Term 6: Pat­terns and Algebra/Plus time for assessment/recap

I got a bit car­ried away and have a nice colour coded spread­sheet break­ing the online and paper lessons down by day math­let­ics plan 15  Hmm, I’ll try and treat it as more of a guide than a todo list.

The units all have assess­ment sec­tions.  I’m unsure how to use these (or if to) yet.  I’m think­ing of sav­ing them to the end of the year and using as revision.

We’ve a few ‘catch up’ weeks in the cal­en­dar if needed.  The­o­ret­i­cally if we’re on tar­get we will use these weeks for ‘fun maths’ and use some of the point­less gim­icky stuff I bought in the hayfever fog of early sum­mer when for some unknown rea­son they seemed a good idea.  Real­is­ti­cally I should just pass them on now ;).  They do look good but not really for us, too ‘fun’!


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Side swiped by a wobble

I often tell newish home edu­ca­tors that even the most expe­ri­enced of us wob­ble at times.  How­ever it has been a good 18 months since I’ve felt even a lit­tle tremor.  I felt like I’d per­haps not quite mas­tered ‘relaxed’ struc­ture but we’d found a path that we were both happy on, which was struc­tured enough at the plan­ning level to give me the con­fi­dence that we were mov­ing for­ward and relaxed enough that in prac­tice it didn’t feel struc­tured, plenty of flex­i­bil­ity in there.

Aca­d­e­mic side isn’t really a wob­ble though.  I’ve gone too far with the plan­ning I know — right down to colour coded spread­sheets.  But I know it’s because I’m over­com­pen­sat­ing for a feel­ing of lack of con­trol else­where in my life.  Flex­i­bil­ity is still there and in a day or so’s time when I’ve caught up on sleep (bad insom­nia!) and shaken myself out of my dol­drums I’ll be able to pick out the key points and laugh at my con­trol freak keys and colour coding.

What brought me crash­ing down today was going to write an event on the cal­en­dar and real­is­ing that the idea of going to the local group’s Not Back to School pic­nic made me feel phys­i­cally sick.  Hav­ing one of my really anti-social moods.  Been com­ing for a while, I noticed it at the end of term pic­nic where I’m sure I came across as rude.  I’m okay with peo­ple I know well (usu­ally talk­ing 5+ years here) par­tic­u­larly if I haven’t seen them for a while or strangely enough com­plete strangers.  Any one in between I lose all abil­ity to con­verse with.  I sup­pose it’s a hang­over from my own school days and a crip­pling lack of self con­fi­dence in my own social skills and ‘like­abil­ity’.  The wob­ble comes in because if I’m feel­ing anti-social can I meet Sam’s social needs?  He’s fallen into rou­tine of being at home over the sum­mer and isn’t ask­ing to see peo­ple so can’t rely on him to moti­vate me.  Doesn’t help that prac­ti­cal­i­ties mean we’re likely to lose a cou­ple of reg­u­lar events from our sched­ule and the boy isn’t bit­ing at any of the alter­na­tives I’ve put forward.

Writ­ing that down I can see how ridicu­lous it is though.  In the last few weeks we’ve had sleep­overs and friends to play and been out with friends so we’re not exactly socially iso­lated, we’ve also had builders in which has teth­ered us a bit.  Sam’s got good friends and he’s at the age where my social involve­ment is head­ing towards coor­di­na­tion and lift arrang­ing.  Los­ing stuff from the cal­en­dar is good as we were doing too much last year.  This year was to be about slow­ing down and mak­ing more time for home and clos­est friends while find­ing the time to actu­ally make it to a ‘group’ reg­u­larly and that is all pen­cilled into my calendar.

I sup­pose I’m pro­ject­ing. There’s big changes else­where in my life and I find that unset­tling.  After 9 years I’ve made the very dif­fi­cult deci­sion to leave guides (not sure yet if I will stay in guid­ing — per­haps brown­ies, we’ll see).  It’s not a pos­i­tive deci­sion, more a reac­tion to a dif­fi­cult sit­u­a­tion and one that will be quite drawn out as need to stay for a term to over­see new lead­er­ship.  I sup­pose I’m just feel­ing low in self con­fi­dence, a bit lost (it has been a big part of my life and iden­tity for a long time) and rather emo­tion­ally bat­tered.  Mostly myself to blame for last one do seem to put myself through the emo­tional wringer sometimes.

A quiet week mak­ing most of boy 1 being about (who is being mar­vel­lous :) ), a dust­ing myself down with a firm inter­nal talk­ing to and get­ting back to rou­tine and I’ll be fine.

In the short term I might buy some more books that usu­ally helps 😉

Posted in Musings | 2 Comments