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Year 2 - A Look At Our Homeschool

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DS7 will be in year 2 this year. He has always been advanced so this may not look like your average year 2 curriculum. This is why homeschooling is awesome for him as he gets to work at his own pace and no one teases him because he can do freaky things with numbers in his head!

When homeschooling gifted children they become less defined by academic ability and more by character which is so important. We knew the day he got offered a scholarship to a prestigious school  that if he grew up in that environment that he would learn to define himself by his academic ability not who he was as a person. We chose homeschooling because we want more for our kids than just academic achievement - we want them to grow up to be people of integrity, compassion and empathy for others and with a strong sense of who they are and why they are here on this planet!

Literacy

DS7's reading list.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid series Zac Power seriesAbeka booksPilgrims progressThe chronicles of Narnia
+ anything else th…

Year 4 - A Look At Our Homeschool

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Because I like a sticky beak into what other homeschoolers are doing with kids who are a similar age to my own, I thought I'd do this post for any other sticky beaks out there!

My nearly 9 year old will be in year 4 in 2015. His strong-willed, independent and highly innovative nature means he isn't the 'sit compliantly and complete your worksheet' kinda kid. This is exactly why homeschooling is such a great fit for him. He still has tasks to complete and persistence to develop but has plenty of time to explore his own interests and express his creativity. 

Literacy

DS9 is an avid reader. At the end of last year he decided he wanted to read The Hobbit. We managed to find a copy in two parts to make it less of an ordeal. As a follow on he wants to read the Lord of the rings trilogy. Certainly not my cup of tea but if he can read it and comprehend it, then hats off to him! 



In 2014 we read the chronicles of Narnia as a family read-aloud. We LOVED it. I want to continue thi…

Why I Chose Skwirk For Homeschooling

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Over the years we've used a few different online learning resources but I'm particularly excited about trying something NEW for 2015.

Skwirk has had a make-over and quite frankly, it's awesome. There is nothing quite like it around at the moment and it has some great functions that work well with homeschooling. It provides animation based lessons for younger ones as well as great options for independent learning for older kids all the way up to year 10.

As an educational tool it is aligned with the Australian curriculum so if that's important to you, or you just like to occasionally see where your kids sit in relation to their peers (like I do) this is a good thing.

The subjects it includes are maths, English, science, geography and history.

My plan was to use this for my 5 year old who is 'technically' in his first year of school next year. However, once I learnt all the features of the program I'm thinking it will be a great resource for encouraging some…

Learning To Relax - A Day In Our Homeschool!

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At the beginning of this year I sensed the need to relax in my homeschooling approach.

I felt that less structure and more freedom would result in a more positive experience for us all.  I can hear the more experienced homeschoolers saying, "I told you so!".

The two areas that are important to us as a homeschooling family are:


Freedom to explore interests, be creative and LOVE learning

To develop self-discipline and ability to persist with difficult, unpleasant tasks to prepare them for life

Initially, we trialled a very relaxed approach. But I found that although they were abounding in creativity they weren't being persistent and were giving up on tasks easily. It made me realise that in order to prepare them for the future e.g possible University life and work that they needed to learn self-discipline. 

In order to be successful the ability to be both consistent and persistent are important. So persisting through difficult maths questions or getting frustrated with spelling …

It's HARD to "Train up a child in the way he should go.."

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The other morning my day began in tears, my tears. I awoke to the sound of high pitched squeals, aggressive voices and unkind words. Like most parents, I don't like when my children fight. I'm not a morning person at the best of times but that day, I lost it. I lost my marbles, my cool, my common decency.. I was overwhelmed. See, justified or not, I take misbehavior personally. I see my own inadequacies and failings when I observe undesirable behavior in my own children.

I don't expect perfection and misbehavior is always an opportunity for character development but I take the task of raising children very seriously. Why? Because I know that my children are a gift from God and that he has given me the task of 'training' them. As long as I rely on him, he gives me the strength to rise to the challenge but I have to keep my eyes fixed on him and remember why he has given my children in the first place.

God's design for parents = Training


"Do not exasperate yo…

Why I Keep Homeschooling.....

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When I first withdrew my eldest from mainstream school (in year 1) I told everyone that we would just 'see how we go' and trial it for one term. 

It has now been over 2 years since we began our homeschooling journey!  

It has quite honestly been the best decision I have ever made for my children and I believe that wholeheartedly. 

This is why I can't go back.

I don't want to say that I will 'never' send my children back to mainstream school because no one know what the future holds. But the longer I homeschool, the more convicted I become of its importance and value for both our family and the wider community. The benefits of homeschooling are not only academic but emotional, spiritual and social. 


 I LOVE having my kids at home. 




I didn't have children to delegate that responsibility to a complete stranger once they turned 5. I believe God has entrusted my children to me and it is my responsibility to ensure they are nurtured, prepared and equipped for the …

When Your 8 Year Old Wants To Be An Entrepreneur.....

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I first heard about Camp Kidpreneur from a fellow homeschooler. It sounded like the perfect experience for my 8yo who has always been interested in shops and sales and has been running a store out of his bedroom for the past 6 months. Admittedly, running a business is in his genes, but certainly not from me!

2 years ago we held a garage sale so the kids could earn some money toward our Gold Coast holiday. DS8 organised can's of cool drinks and chocolates for the people browsing our stuff. Clearly, they couldn't resist his charm and he made more money from selling the drinks and chocolates than from his toys! It was the first time I'd observed a keen interest in the 'idea' of business. He took great joy in adding up his earnings and subtracting his expenses. I began to see that his interest came from within and since we had recently taken the plunge into homeschooling we were now blessed with the time and freedom to support this developing passion and watch it grow…

Morning Boards and Routine

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When we have homeschool days we use a flexible routine. So, here is an example of what mornings look like in our family.

Our morning routine
My children are early risers, often before 6am, so I do allow an hour or so of TV in the morning. I am not a morning person and find that without the TV I wake up to fighting, destruction and mess which sets a terrible tone for the rest of the day.

Once I am up the TV goes off and my children eat breakfast and I make myself a coffee. My children know that NOTHING happens before mummy has had her morning coffee and some quiet time.

If the kids are playing something that looks productive then I allow them to continue respecting that children of all ages learn through play and I don't want to interrupt this process! This means that although we aim to start homeschool at 8:00am we are flexible and often won't begin until 9:00am (but generally no later).

I give my kids the 'warning' that it is 10 minutes until homeschool time and they …

First Day Of Homeschool 2014

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It's a new year!

If you're thinking, wow it's only January 8th - are you crazy? let me fill you in. We homeschool all year round. This doesn't mean we homeschool every day of the year. It simply means we don't take long breaks so we can afford to take little breaks during the year for holidays, special occasions, my work commitments or even just a mental health day (week). I have a full on work schedule for term 1 so the next few weeks are a homeschooling intensive to account for the fact life will be a little hectic for 11 weeks or so. The good news however, is that I have made a big decision about my work / homeschool / life balance or lack thereof and will be working MUCH less from term 2 onwards. It is such a relief just writing that!

So here are my little cherubs (?).


I can't believe he's in year 3 this year!


This boy is an absolute JOY to homeschool!



DS4 will actually be going to 2 days of sessional kindergarten this year. The older boys went and the…