Picking up the pace

It is still at least 10 days before we will be able to move into our ‘school room’ – it doesn’t have anything but foundations at the moment.  But with a real taste of Autumn in the air we are starting to pick up the pace homeschooling wise – can’t procrastinate indefinitely.  This gradual easing in to resources and bookwork has really worked for us in terms of maintaining enthusiasm and allowed us to make the most of the changeable Autumn weather.  I must remember this next September and contain myself when I am chomping at the bit and have a big box of shiny new things.

With J. leaving the house at 8, find we’re starting early (we don’t have a set time) which is good – it is lovely when you look at the clock having achieved loads and it is still only 9.30am.

We are yet to start on our proper maths scheme (Saxon) mainly as it is printed on really horrible thin scratchy paper so I think I will redo the worksheets myself on the computer (added advantages I can anglicise the spelling and tweak and tailor to Sam) and print on nice paper.  Also have plans for the daily meeting element but that requires being set up in the conservatory that does not yet exist.  Although doing so much tweaking is a lot of work it does have the advantage that the books can be sold on virtually unused.

In the meantime I am setting Sam a collection of weekly challenges on MangaHigh we have a free subscription.  He likes the games although most are a bit difficult but I really like the challenges.  You pick your challenges (and you can search by school year/NC level) and set difficulty and target date so you can focus them on areas that you want them to look at.  It is designed for schools to set homework – Jack used it at juniors and got really into the competitive element (produces league tables of children in a class – good for those at the top of the class as challenges them not so keen on it for those at the bottom).   This week we have practiced addition and subtraction, easy times tables, reading and ordering numbers and ordering fractions.

We have started gently with handwriting (this deserves a post in it’s own right) a page of Getty Dubay at a time.

There has also been spelling work going on – we are using Spelling Made Easy Level 1, which at the moment we are following properly – even did the dictation this week which was a new idea for us.  The actual spellings I don’t think will test Sam until we are good 2/3 – 3/4 into the book and I may end up skipping bits, going through areas at speed.  But I wanted to start from the start and get him used to the way of working, there is a dictation exercise and also a creative writing task associated with it – these are things that he finds challenging so I think for these alone we will persevere for a good while through the easier spellings as it won’t hurt to reinforce the easier spellings and letter patterns/sounds.

Here is his first go at dictation

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