Well, we are plodding along nicely here in Term 1, I think.
Mid-term is a great time to pause and assess your term’s work.
Are you achieving your goals? At the rate you planned?
Are some subjects being left behind? And other subjects consuming too much time?
Which things are working and which things simply aren’t?
So I decided to sit down with my diary and records and do a little homeschool diagnostic
to see how well we are progressing.
Here’s what I uncovered:
Mathematics: – We are progressing well, almost finishing up a unit of work each week (we usually do the review the following week and it can take two days). In order to get through both Math books (our text uses two books a year), we need to be finish half the first text by the end of term 1. We are 4 units into the 7 units in book one so we are right on schedule, perhaps a little ahead of schedule. Starting the day with Math instead of reading aloud is currently working for us. It means Math isn’t hanging over our heads in the afternoon.
English: – Hmmm…in some areas we are going well and in others…well, we need to pick up our game. Brayden’s English is going really well but Ethan’s is lagging. We’ve started a new writing program and it’s a bit light on in the early stages so it feels like he’s not doing much (and he’s not because the writing expectations are well below what I’d normally expect). In literature, we are steaming ahead and reading a translation of Iliad and loving it. We’re moving forward slowly though and it could take us much of the year to read it but that’s okay. Handwriting is my big bug bear at present. I’m raising doctors I tell you. (If you have young students, knuckle down with the copywork pages. Don’t wait until they are teens!) And, to end on a high, their grammar is excellent. We’re at a point in grammar that is well beyond what I ever learned at school (and I actually learned grammar at school). We really enjoy grammar, which isn’t something most people can say.
Latin – We are cruising along, completing one unit of work each week. Sometimes we space that work over a few days, and other times we complete it in one sitting. I’m happy with one unit a week. I used to expect Latin work on a daily basis but it just wasn’t achievable with everything else we want to do.
History: – We are off on one big tangent in History. We ticked off one topic we wanted to explore a little (Irish history) and then got sucked into the fascinating vortex of early Australian maritime exploration. This was not on my plan but you have to follow where your interests lead you. My plans will still be there when we climb back out.
Geography: – We are on track for Geography and it looks like we’ll finish up our two current books before the end of term (we finished one from our list, earlier in the term). One of the current two is an extra we added in when we wanted to know more about Albert Schweitzer. Geography has also been a big part of History recently. As we read about the early Dutch sailors who ‘bumped’ into Australia, we’ve been poring over our big Australian map locating the places they mention. It’s fascinating knowing the reasons behind place names.
Civics: – We are plodding along with Plutarch and our Anne White study guide. It’s been a lot easier than I expected, but we only nibble away at the reading a couple of times each week. It’s more enjoyable in small doses (the writing is very dense and heavy). We’ll probably finish the first life (and hence the study guide) by the end of the term. I better start ordering the next soon.
Science: – We are spending a lot of time on Science. The curriculum/guide we attempted to follow has ridiculous expectations. They were scheduling full sized books to be read in under two weeks, which may do doable for fiction but Physics books take more thought and time. So I’m using most of their books (I did drop a few) but I’ve abandoned the schedule completely. We are taking our time and enjoying the journey. Learning isn’t about filling our kids’ heads with facts, it’s about developing passions and you can’t do that in a hurry. I do need to be more proactive about hands on activities though. We tends towards books rather than do activities, which we tend to watch on youtube.
Economics: – Economics. Oh yeah. We should be doing that. I think we’ll do a block of Economics over a couple of weeks and then set it aside again. It doesn’t really need to happen all of the time, does it? 😦
Technology: – Well, this subject kind of just happens by itself really but we’ve also being reading an engineering book which I’ll admit has been sitting on the shelf more often than we have been reading it. I need to set a goal to help us move through it (it’s a good book). The problem is that each chapter requires a hands on task and if I haven’t prepared it, we tend to leave the reading.
The Arts: – We don’t do Art regularly; we dabble and we’re happy with that. We’ve already completed an art project this term, visited the art gallery and thoroughly explored one artist – Winslow Homer. I’m perfectly happy.
Socialisation (since everyone else seems so panicked about it): – Overabundant. We see friends at least twice a week, sometimes three times a week. We also see cousins and grandparents every couple of weeks. We’ve been to the art gallery, the trampoline centre and the Hadron Collider exhibition and we’re only in week 6. (If you are thinking about homeschooling and worried about socialisation – don’t. Once you make some connections, your biggest struggle will be making sure you are home enough to do work.)
So that’s our term so far.
If I had to rate it out of ten, I think I’d give it a seven and a half, because there is always room for improvement.
How is your term going?