Precious Memories

I’ve got a rather eclectic collection of photos this week.  It has been such a good week.  Peace has descended on our homeschool as we transition back to what works for us and away from unschooling.  It has done us good to get unschooling out of our system.  I know without doubt now that it is not for us and we are all throwing ourselves back into the familiar.


We have got a lot done this week, particularly the older ones.  I still need to do a bit of tweaking to find a really good routine for the littles, which works alongside the older ones as well.

  • Maths

The older ones have continued to work on their Conquer Maths.  C12 has just begun her Key stage three maths, having just caught up on her Year 6 work.  L12 is slowly working her way through her key stage three and hasn’t come up against anything too hard so far.  T13 is about two thirds of the way through Key stage three and believes he will be finished by the start of the next academic year, unless he comes up against something he struggles with.  A6 is working through Heinmann Maths for year 1.  She will be finished fairly soon.  I am looking forward to having her start Conquer Maths as soon as she is able to concentrate long enough to watch one of the 50 second teaching videos!

  • English

The older ones have completed three more lessons in their Cover Story curriculum.  This is by far the best curriculum they have ever used and it is never a hassle getting it done.  They have been learning about different types of poetry and trying their hand at it.  T has astounded me with his poetic ability and he in particular keeps saying how much he enjoys Cover Story.

In addition the older ones have sat two timed essays, written under exam conditions (or at least one of them was, we had a friend present for the first and A6 chatted the whole way through to her – so not very very exam like!).  One was a compare and contrast essay on the polar regions and the other was to write about the traits of a good leader using Sir Ernest Shackleton as their reference.  Both were fairly good but there was a vast improvement in the second when compared to the first.  I’m hoping these types of practice questions will help T when it comes to his physics IGCSE in January.

I also had A6 do some copywork and started A4 on tracing.  A6’s concentration is still an issue.

The older girls continue to read their ‘My Story’ books in relation to the Tudor and Stuart times.  T asked if he could focus on his science in his quiet time so he is currently reading some biographies (‘The Big Idea’ series by Paul Strathern and the ‘Scientist in 90 minutes’ series by John and Mary Gribbin).  He loves them both.

A6 keeps surprising me by how much she improves in her reading even daily.  With both Granny and Daddy listening to her in addition to school, she is becoming more fluent all the time.  We have run out of books for her (she has needed much more practice than the others), so we have begun the reading section of Grade 1 Sonlight which she is really enjoying and I think they are stretching her further, which is good.  She is currently reading the Little Bear series.

B4 is beginning to learn her letters by watching AlphaBlocks each day whilst A6 is reading at Granny’s.  I hope to start All About Reading with her soon

  • History

We have read through five lessons of Mystery of History; began an explorer study on Christopher Columbus and finished an explorer and leadership study on Shackleton:

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  • Geography

We have continued our study into the Antarctic learning the differences between the two polar regions; making an Antarctica continent box and finished learning about the intrepid explorers of one of the harshest lands on the earth:

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  •  Science

We have begun simple genetics learning about traits we inherit from our parents by doing a finger print lab; beginning a scientist study on Mendal and learning about his inheritance laws and pulling it all together by creating our own family and working out which traits the children of our mummy and daddy will inherit.  I’ll be posting on all that next week, but suffice it to say we had huge fun!

  • Morning Meeting

We are reading through chapter three in Who is God? and have had some wonderful conversations; this is also when we read through the Mystery of History and we have also finished off the Crick and Watson Biography we had begun a couple of weeks ago.

On the non-school front

It has been glorious weather all week and we have had the most enormous fun.  It has been a phenomenally busy week and one I wish I had thought to take more photos, especially of friends we saw.

It began last Friday evening with Lorna and her two children coming round for our weekly get together with baked potatoes and toppings.  Saturday we were invited round to a friends for an American brunch.  Oh my!  It was gorgeous!  We had pancakes piled high, sausages, bacon, toast, blueberries, bananas, maple syrup,  and fried potatoes.  It was so good and we all had such a wonderful time.  Friendships are so lovely, aren’t they?

Saturday evening, Lorna returned with the rest of her family to look after all our children so I could go with Gary to a fund raising concert for our village’s learning disabilities group (thank you Lorna!).  Gary was playing but not until gone 10pm.  I wanted to be back for 9 to get our guys to bed and let poor Lorna get her two to bed as well, so I missed Gary but the other bands I saw were fabulous.  One of our friends sung a self-penned song written about his sister, one of the founding members of the group.  It was so moving, I had tears streaming down my face.

The rest of the weekend passed in a flurry of activity and the feeling of being here, there and everywhere.  Monday we began school with a vengeance and I realised just how well this whole home school thing suits us.  I feel very peaceful about our decision to end the unschooling weeks, as well as a renewed enthusiasm for life in general.  The sun has been shining all week and meant that we have all spent a lot of time outside.  The older ones have played tennis and football at every opportunity:

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The little ones have been climbing trees and making tree swings and basically having lots and lots of fun:

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B4 has rediscovered her love of scootering and has asked repeatedly for ‘one more picture please, Mummy?’

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L12 has been quite nervous this week preparing for her first ever competition in trampolining.  She has been outside practicing at every opportunity:

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As a surprise we bought her a tight, long sleeved top which she needed to prevent lots of skin being on show.  She was delighted and she looks wonderfully professional now!

As nervous as she has been she still found time to send her sister a little note in the post to tell her she loved her.  It was so sweet.  The envelope was tiny, made up of lined paper she had folded over her note.  She had found a stamp and so posted in the actual postbox down in the village.  The post man delivered it this morning.  I love my twins!  Here are the pictures of her opening the note and realising who it is from (L hadn’t signed it, just wrote ‘I love you’, with L12 giggling away next to me:

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Speaking of C she received a phone call from her singing teacher on Monday to tell her she received a distinction in her music and theater exam she had taken the week before.  Way to go C!

The girls really do have so much fun together.  Here is a series of pictures I got of them dancing away to a song on the radio:

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We had a friend come and stay for a few hours at the beginning of the week.  All the children adore S but the little ones particularly so.  She’s great at playing with them, reading to them and chatting or snuggling up and watching a film:

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Last night (Thursday) L12 participated in her first trampolining competition.  She has only been trampolining for 8 weeks but has really taken to it.  For the competition each girls had to be working on level 8, level 9 and level 10 badges to participate.  My little L had only just passed level six a few weeks ago and is currently working towards level 7.  The teacher said she was good enough to have a go in the level 8 competition.  She was so nervous but did really well and came away with bronze.  Well done L!

Today, after maths and English we will be spending the morning on household chores.  Gary will be home from work early and we will pop to the shops and then make our way over to Lorna’s for a baked potato and toppings night.

It has been a really good week.

I hope you have all have a wonderful weekend filled with love and laughter.

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  1. what a FUN week you all had. Those pictures are great! Can’t wait for warmer weather here in NY! Enjoy the weekend.

  2. It sounds like you had a great week. ..lots of solid studies and some fun. Your children always seem to end their weeks with a strong sense of accomplishment.

  3. Claire, you inspire me with how much you fit into a week. Congratulations to your twins for their singing and trampolining successes.
    We have found that our local library stocks early readers but do let me know if you need more. We have a child who has needed extra practice and so have a fair few readers sitting around.

    1. Thank you Sarah, that’s so kind of you. We have enough to keep us going at the moment (having just bought in Sonlight’s grade 1 readers), but if she needs more I will come to you! Thank you for the offer.

  4. I’ve said it before but your children are so lovely and get along so well. I love to read about them. Everyone sounds happy to be back at a regular schedule. I’m sorry unschooling didn’t work, but at least you tried. It wouldn’t work here either, but it sounds so enticing at times.

  5. I’m so glad you’ve found your homeschool groove! I love reading about all you do with your children – you’re doing such a great job – you should be at peace 🙂

  6. Remember when we had snow and you wished you were just a bit north to enjoy it. Now I am wishing we were just a bit south to go out without jackets. It looks like a great week. I love the smiles on your children’s faces.

  7. Congratulations to the twins! Isn’t it lovely that spring is coming and the weather is getting better? You’ve all been making good use of it 🙂

  8. Seems you have found your place in home schooling. It it such an awesome responsibility, and we want to do things just right; and sometimes that makes me a little nervous. Well, a lot nervous. We have tried different things, but I think what we do now fits us well, too. It seems your children are flourishing in their individual activities. They all look so happy. I can totally relate to the toys everywhere. Evan had Thomas the Tank Engine everywhere and we still have Legos and everywhere. Nothing like jamming them into the bottom of your foot. One day, I am sure I will miss those days.

    I see from the comment above that Sunday is Mother’s Day. Happy Mother’s Day. I hope it doesn’t rain. Have a wonderful time doing whatever you do.

    Love and hugs to you, my friend.

  9. It does look lovely where you live! I’m glad you gave unschooling a good shot. Now you know without a doubt that you guys prefer your own unique way of homeschooling! It is sooo sweet how much your children love each other and get along so well! I had no idea that there was such a thing as trampoline competitions! I wonder if we have them here! Good luck to L12 in all her trampolining endeavors!

    1. Thank you Sylvia! I am trying to gather the courage to attempt a bit of trampolining myself, only I’m afraid the trampoline will break!

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