23 January 2010

Our Home School Journey

Everything is ready for baby to arrive, now we only have to wait for baby to decide when he/she thinks it to be a good time to enter the world.  Thus I figured it best to keep myself busy with homeschooling.

This year CJ (now 15years old) will do two extra ‘subjects’ alongside his Maths-U-See, LLATL, Excellence in Spelling, Clever and Science

He will do Robotics and programming with Mindstorms and an internet based equine course from Monty Roberts (the horse expert).
He also works three afternoons a week and every Saturday at Camelot, the horse riding school, giving riding lessons to young riders as needed. He will also start training a 4year old horse, that he will use for jumping events.  By the end of last year Silverball’s health was deteriorating and they decided it is best for this 20year old horse to resign from competitive jumping events, before they push him too far.  This was a sad, but good decision. The Lord has already provided miraculously in this aspect (a posting on its own for later!).  
CJ is my right hand in the vegetable garden, building the raised beds (we’re planning for 20 raised beds), looking after my compost heap and taking care of the irrigation system. 

For Heidi-Mari (now 12 years old), we decided to do a baking course alongside her Maths-U-See, LLATL, Clever, Exploring Creation with Astronomy and Exploring Creation with Botany. 

She will also start with Excellence in Spelling and learn some more advanced computer skills through her Craft blog
Young Explorer Botany comes in especially handy with our Vegetable Garden.  It is Heidi-Mari’s responsibility to water the pumpkin bed, lemon tree, fig tree and our seedlings, every morning.  Heidi-Mari also keeps track of when to sow what seeds to keep our vegetable garden at optimum production.   
For Heidi-Mari’s baking course we will use a book “Baking” by James Peterson. 

The reason why I’ve chosen this book is because it is written and organized with the aim to understand the principles and techniques at play in a given classic recipe. Then to apply what have learnt to baking projects that aren’t even included in the book.  Our aim is to do 4 modules over the four quarters of the year.  
Firstly, Basic Cakes, with their recipes for frostings, fillings and glazes, followed by an array of instructions for assembling cakes, which results in a delicious and beautifully decorated cake and also serves as an example of techniques that can be used successfully with myriad other recipes. 
The second quarter will be pies, tarts and pastries. The third quarter, cookies with their methods and techniques and lastly Custards, souffles, fruit curds and mousses.  During this baking course we will replace wheat flour with spelt flour and sugar and corn syrup with palm sugar (Jaggery) or xylitol. This will be a challenge on its own, but will give us some healthier recipes and teach Heidi-Mari how to prepare healthy snacks which is part of our life style.

As for Josua (now 9years), Christo will also teach him basic robotics and programming through Mindstorms. He will also do his Maths-U-See, Clever, Exploring Creation with Astronomy and Exploring Creation with Botany.  

He is very interested in natural medicine and already helps Christo out in the Health Shop.
He will also start English Phonics through Adventures in Phonics by Christian Liberty Press. Since English is our second language I’ve experienced it the best to teach them the basic phonic rules.  Josua actually taught himself to read english by reading the Tintin series and this will only teach him spelling rules and a better pronunciation.

Danika (now 6years) is this year officially part of the older ones, having a scheduled time for school in the morning. 

She is sooooo excited!  We’re doing Maths-U-See and Gr1 Clever.  She will still make lapbooks with Andrew and David.

For Danika, Andrew (now 4years) and David’s (now 3years) first lapbook of the year, I’ve decided on a Garden Lapbook.  

On Lapbook Lessons I’ve found a very interesting lapbook on gardening and thought it is an excellent tool to involve them in something we are already spending lots of time on and is part of our life style - our organic vegetable garden. 

So this is what we plan for the year.  I’m not a mom that allows the home school schedule to rule my live, but it is good to have some planning.  Especially when the little ones take up time with ‘little’ demands, the older ones can get quite frustrated if they don’t know what are expected of them.  When they know what we planned for the year, they can work on their own and do more to keep it interesting and excited.

Something amazing struck me this morning.  Little Daniel (18th months on the 1st of February) is just surprising us more and more each day with everything he is learning and the way he is communicating with us.  As I was busy getting ready for the day, he was busy too. As he got his water bottle to drink some water and communicating to CJ that he wants a piece of bread (the routine for the morning after daddy gets his espresso) he bumped his head against the table.  He came to me explaining in his baby-like way that he bumped his head and told me that he had a dirty nappy.  Just then it struck me how nobody put him in a chair for hours per day to teach him words, how to talk, how to communicate and testing him on his understanding!  He is just in a loving, secure, home situation and he absorbs everything like a sponge what happens around him - and here are 8 people that are more than willing to teach and show him every day life.  

Children learn through every day life - real life!  

Unlike the unnatural ‘school’ environment that we grow up in and are programmed to think what learning is - where politicians, evolutionists, the media, and many more decide what our children will learn and think. 

What a privilege to home school my children!  

Years ago, when we just started our Home School Journey I read that, children's minds aren't clean slates on which we can write just anything we want to, filling their heads with lot of information. No, God already programmed each child's mind with certain information as part of their talents, gifts and calling in life.  We as parents are responsible to spark our children's mind to discover this information and allow them to walk in the calling for their lives, as God intends it to be. 

May you seek God in 2010 to just do that with your children!

I wish you all a blessed home school year!


Sonja said...

Wonderlike planne vir n mooi nuwe jaar! Ek is sommer opgewonde om te sien CJ gaan n Monty Roberts kursus doen,ek het sy boeke gelees en dit is n baie dinamiese man!

Huisvrou said...

Vragie: Doen die kinders die "wetenskap" in Engels of vertaal jul sover jul gaan? Dan geld dieselfde vir Wiskunde ook...

Wens soms ek het gaan stilsit en beplan, maar ek is te halsoorkop en deurmekaar. Moet op 'n manier probeer om roetine te vestig.... ai-ai-ai :)

Linnie said...

Hallo Marelize
CJ doen sy Wetenskap in Engels, die opteken van die eksperimente en doen van toetse.
Vir Heidi-Mari en Josua vertaal ons in Afrikaans. Ek het vir hul wetenskap die 'lapbook' oor die internet aangekoop (jy laai dit direk af, nie nodig om te wag oor die pos) en ek gebruik die rekenaar om die bestaande engelse 'voue' dan in afrikaans oor te tik voor ek dit vir hul uitdruk en waarin hul dan hul waarnemings aanteken Dit is natuurlik baie tydrowend, maar die moeite werd.
Dieselfde met die kleintjies se 'lapbooks'.
Moenie dat ek jou mislei met die 'beplanning' nie. Ek doen ook maar soos ek aangaan. Hierdie is net die groot prentjie. Die fynere punte kom soos ons aangaan.

Linnie said...

O ja die Wiskunde
CJ doen sy wiskunde nou ook al direk uit sy Maths-U-See in engels.
Oor die algemeen probeer ek Heidi se woordsomme net bokant die engels in afrikaans vinnig oorskryf. Soms val dit deur die mat en dan lees sy die engels. Sy het al lankal gese dis nie nodig om dit oor te skryf nie, maar ek glo vir Leendert wat se hul moet ten minste tot 15jaar in hul huistaal onderrig ontvang, en probeer dus getrou wees hierin.
Vir Josua skryf ek nog alles oor (maar dis hoofsaaklik die woordsomme en op die stadium nie baie nie.)

Huisvrou said...

Dankie Linnie, ek het nogal gewonder oor moedertaalonderrig en al die Engelse boeke (en feit is, die Amerikaners het so 'n groot keuse op die mark gestel.)

Linnie said...

Ja, moedertaalonderrig is ook vir my belangrik, maar ek wil ook he die kinders moet hul leer geniet met interessante, kleurvolle werk en daarom is behalwe Clever, vir ons Afrikaans, alles engelse boeke/curriculums en vertaal ek maar soos ons aangaan. Doen my en hulle engels goed - gee ons 'n goeie engelse woordeskat. Alles is in elk geval engels wanneer hulle volwassenheid bereik.

Petra said...

Ja, ek het ook vir die begin Math-U-See woordsomme sommer op die rekenaar oor getik in Afrikaans, dan is daar vir die toekoms (en baie netjieser as my handskrif!). Ek moet saamstem met die groter prentjie idee, maar tot dit val soms "by the wayside". Sterkte met die jaar!

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