T turns 14 in January. It has always been our goal to spread his GCSEs over three years and for him to study his A-levels at a sixth form collage. After some discussion we are going to aim for two this year, three next year and three the year after. He is already booked in to do his physics IGCSE at the end of January and he is about 20 % through his GCSE syllabus in Maths, and is hoping to maybe take it next summer. Obviously to do that he will have to work very hard. If he continues at the rate he is going he should be half way through the curriculum by the time he has sat his Physics. After this the amount of maths he does each day will double, allowing him to focus primarily on his maths. We won’t book him in for his exam until he has finished the actual course. This means much of his work this year will be maths and physics related.
Here is his schedule:
8-9 am One hour of Maths
9-10 am One hour of writing/grammar/spelling (this will be with me. I will share what I will be doing in a later post)
10-11 am One hour Morning Meeting – this will include listening to Samuel Pepys diary; finishing the Who is God? curriculum and moving onto Who am I? curriculum; Watching a ten minute video from Khan Academy on the 17th century and another on biology. These are free and very, very good, each lasting around 10 minutes. The videos on the 17th century will be great go alongs with our very casual approach to history this year, whilst the biology ones will be useful for IGCSE in Biology which both T and L want to take at some point.
On a Friday (when Lorna’s two join us) this one hour will be focused on a continent unit study which the children will be doing by themselves in preparation for their presentation at the end of each term. Each term we will cover a new continent. This term it will be South America.
11-12 am One hour Nature walk to a local meadow and woodland
12-1230 pm Lunch whilst watching another Khan video on world history. These are done by John Greene and are really, really good. They go over all we have covered in the past six years but I hope will pull everything together and make more sense of history as a whole rather than a series of cultures.
On a Friday we will probably not include the video and just have lunch at the table.
1230- 130pm Quiet time. The children have a small reading list to work their way through and I have bought in a few more books from the Sonlight curriculum, which are perfect for their age but have little to do with what we are learning.
On a Friday the littles will have a quiet time whilst the older four and I work our way through Religious Studies GCSE and will be focusing on Religion and Citizenship. This will not be an exam we take this year, but I figured there is no harm in beginning to work our way through the syllabus.
130 -330 pm Interest led learning
For T this means focusing on his Physics. His physics teacher will be setting him lots of homework to do and I will be hoping for a completed past paper each week under exam conditions. He will go next door to mum’s house to do that.
I have also asked him to do 15 minutes of Latin. My thought is that Latin will be useful for him in his future in science as well as ticking off his language learning option. It is unlikely he will take this as a GCSE but it will, I think, be useful to include when applying for universities. I have found a couple of free resources on line which he can use (Learn Languages and Sprachprofi ) as well as a few resources we have lying about the house.
As a bit of down time mid way through the afternoon, he will watch a ten minute video from the Khan Academy on Cosmology and Astronomy. There are enough videos to last the whole year, and as this is a fairly academic in-depth course, I will not be requiring any extra work from him. Astronomy has been a subject he has always wanted to learn more about and the Khan videos will help him to do just that in a very incremental,simple way.
On a Friday, when Lorna’s two are here, he will be completing his project based learning on first Galileo Galilei and the early 17th Century (term one) and then Isaac Newton and the late 17th Century (term two). We haven’t looked at after Christmas yet but I do know we will be moving onto the 18th Century.
Thursdays will be slightly different because Gary is home at 12. We will do normal routine up to 11, after which everyone will work on their own interest led learning until Gary returns. We will eat lunch together and then spend an hour or so in the garden. T and Gary will then go on their weekly bike ride together.
Saturday mornings will also be focused on doing their home improvement project. For this T will be concentrating on putting up some shoe shelves inside our laundry cupboard in the bathroom.
T will also being doing lots of outside the house activities including extreme frisbee, mountain biking, skate boarding as well as youth group meetings, youth choir and his job. He is also teaching himself to play guitar, so I’m sure he will be squeezing lots of practice in somewhere!
I think this year is going to be a great, albeit very busy, one for my son!