This will be a strange term for us, with three out of five children preparing for an IGCSE in May/June. In addition to these taking priority over most other learning, I am also busy preparing for Thomas’ final year of homeschool; getting all my ducks (or should that be his ducks?) in order to ensure our final year of homeschool together is as great as all the rest of them. My desire is to finish strong, to ensure that home schooling has in no way shut doors which he may need to be open in the future. I never want him to regret Gary’s and my decision to homeschool him. To this end he, Gary and I have been in collaboration and have potentially found the perfect mix of building skills for his future and ensuring he is academically on par.
Back to this term though. It will be a shorter term, but without any half term holiday in the middle. Thomas’ first IGCSE in Chemistry is on the 18th May, which means as of next Monday we will have almost five weeks to prepare him for it. I have been photocopying all the past Paper 1 exams since 2012. He has already completed the 2012 (Jan and June series), so he has 8 papers left to complete of past papers. Last term he spent his time going through the IGCSE Chemistry section of SAM Learning, alongside completing the 4 papers of 2012. This term he will be focusing on just the past papers and will only be completing the Paper 1 exams first (he will have an opportunity to focus on Paper 2 once his Paper 1 is out of the way in May). So that is 8 papers in five weeks which will include a full mock exam marked by his chemistry tutor. He will be attempting two papers per week, which is the equivalent of three hours work. I also have him mark the papers himself, which means he gets to see the best possible answer in the marking booklet. I think this is like him kind of revising twice….
He will be continuing with an hour of maths each day as he is hoping to finish the curriculum by the end of the summer, meaning he can go into the new academic year focusing on past papers. He will also be continuing with his BTEC in Engineering, attending one day each week for the next year or so. This term he will be putting his English work to one side to concentrate on the Chemistry.
He is also currently studying a Sound Tech and PA Training Course with MusicAcademy. We will be buying him a year-long subscription to either Music Academy or WorshipU where he will be able to take multiple courses related to Music in Worship. This will make up much of next year’s interest-led learning. We have also finally found an online school with which he can take his Music GCSE, something he really wanted to do! Things are coming together for an amazing final year 🙂
Lillie and Charlotte will both need to be studying towards their IGCSE in English Language, and will be doing much the same thing as Thomas with regards to past papers. I will be marking their papers together with them because there is a little more grey area with English Language and therefore not quite as straightforward for a student to mark themselves. They have almost 8 weeks until their first paper, so we have a bit more time. We will aim for one past paper per week.
Charlotte will be continuing with her study of English Literature with the aim of taking the exam at Christmas. Much like Thomas and maths, she will be pushing to finish the curriculum by the end of this term so she can focus her efforts on past papers over the summer and beyond. Lillie will be continuing with her Level Two Art and Design and will aim to complete two or three lessons this term (graphite still life, a still life of a knife and fork and a lesson of portraiture).
Once the English Language is out of the way, Charlotte is very excited to be receiving a Sociology IGCSE course and a Psychology IGCSE course to study over the next year. In contrast, Lillie will be studying on the Jewellery Business Boot camp, a course she can do time and time again. This course should do as her third subject until she turns 15 (October) when we have negotiated with the college for her to begin her Level Three in Photography.
Both girls will (begrudgingly) continue with their maths IGCSE….
Over the next term the little ones will be continuing with our Around the World with FIAR. This is going much slower than I had hoped and I will be upping the ante a bit to make sure I complete all of the continents by the August rolls in. Having taken a few months off to focus on the times tables, I am feeling the pressure to get back into their regular maths curriculum to finish off each of their respective years (year 1 and year 3).
History-wise, I am keeping it to a bare minimum, covering David Livingstone, the Boer Wars and the sinking of the Titanic. I am in two minds as to how I approach the 20th century, either simply focusing on the world wars or taking it one decade at a time…we’ll see