Precious Moments

We have kept the school schedule really simple this year and it is bliss!  We have morning meeting, followed by 90 minutes of maths (60 for the girls), a quick walk around the village, 90 minutes of self-directed learning (120 for the girls), Lunch and free time, 90 minutes of English Language IGCSE (teaching using resources pertaining to the Victorian Age) with the little ones watching their only TV of the day.  See?  Couldn’t be simpler!



Thomas has stormed through this first week of school with a combination of gritty determination and genuine pleasure at being back in a normal routine.  This is the first year I am keeping Thomas accountable with goals to meet each week.  Together we have set out all we want him to achieve between now and Christmas, breaking it down into first weeks and then individual days.

If he does not manage to finish his lessons during the time allotted he will need to spend time in the evening catching up.  He has a very, very busy social life, so it really does not suit him to have homework.  This week, he has managed over two weeks of maths.  I think he would have preferred to have finished his one lesson and then have free time, but we discussed how useful it might be to his social future if he managed to get ahead of the calendar.  This would mean even if he began struggling with a lesson, he would have enough lessons ‘saved up’ and so would not be required to do any homework!  He has completed a lot of his IGCSE curriculum but left algebra for later as he was struggling a bit.  ‘Later’ seems to have been a good call as he is finding it fairly simple now so the break obviously served him well 🙂

Chemistry wise, he has enjoyed the mix of study chemistry and fun chemistry, doing one hour of his IGCSE course and half an hour of fun YouTube/ Periodic Table chemistry!  He has completed his assignments for the week, covering two modules, and sent them off to be marked this morning.

He has also been biking, playing ultimate frisbee, skate-boarding with friends as well as taking his sisters to the skate park and teaching them some stunts.  I had to smile when Lillie commented that she sits at the park glowing with pride for her brother as he skateboards 🙂




Lillie is flying through her maths and keeps saying how wonderful it is to be back at school 🙂  She spends her self-directed learning on art, (of course) and this week has made a good start to her Impressionist Project, beginning with Monet.  We put together her Impressionist Art Journal, which she began to plan and download some of Monet’s paintings to go in it.

She also began her study into Monet’s use of light and dark, in addition to attempting to copy his ‘Water Lily Pond’:


And Lillie’s copy so far:


She is also working on a Dragonfly mixed media project for my birthday.  I was only allowed to photograph it half way through as I’m now not allowed to see it until my actual birthday 🙂


We had a couple of meetings about my expectations for her impressionist project.  We are planning to host a Victorian Steam Punk Christmas, when the children will be able to show case their projects, their steam punk creations as well as learn a bit more about how the Victorians Christmassed.  Fun times ahead, but a bit of hard work to get through yet 😉  She and I worked out a plan so she knows exactly what she needs to do.  She also spent a couple of hours working on her blog, which will go public shortly.



I am so incredibly happy with Charlotte’s blossoming as a young lady.  She has really come into herself this summer.  She and Lillie are really, really close; Thomas is appreciating more and more her quick wit, which often has us in hysterics.  She is still my ditsy, quirky daughter, but now somehow is more comfortable in her own skin.  She has been gleefully skipping through the house declaring her passion for her schedule(!) this year <3  She makes me smile all. the. time.


Charlotte began her maths struggling a bit until she realised she hadn’t done the previous lesson and so was missing some vital knowledge.  Duh!  She can be a bit air-headed sometimes…..

She continues to practice the piano daily, and will be starting up her lessons in a week or so.  Her novel is coming along nicely, with the help of HereToHelpLearning.  She is still on chapter three of her six chapter book due to a few rewrites.  She reminded me that I needed to post the second chapter sometime, so I shall endeavour to do that when I have a spare slot in my slimmed down blogging schedule.

A new love of hers is ‘Dream Big’, a set of teen videos from RightNow Media, encouraging teens to  ‘throw off everything that holds them back and be energized by God’s dreams for them’  She was delightfully excited about this and I think it will be perfect for her.  She is a girl who can hardly be contained by life.  She dreams big, lives big, and talks a lot.  Really, a LOT.


Around the World 40

Riding high on being a ‘big girl’ eight, A has been a delight this week.  She is another child who does much better when busy and stretched.  She has been independently completing her maths each day, and achieving lots of high scores of 100%.  I have also begun her and her sister on Life of Fred, just for a bit of fun 🙂

I have purposefully set her stacks and stacks of science to do and she is more than rising to the occasion.  We all do EdTechLens Rainforest Adventure together and hope to finish it by Christmas.  This week the littles learnt about Birds and Mammals of the rainforest, completely finishing Unit 3.

In addition, A8 is also finishing off Elementary Science from Science Shepherd by herself, watching the video then filling in her workbook by herself.  But the real big news of the week is her project.  For the first time ever, she has a project to complete all of her own, and she is so excited!  A8 has always been interested in science and particularly natural science.  A nature walk with A takes about three hours longer than one with any of her sisters.  She is fascinated by everything she comes across and has to stop, look, pick, carry, talk about and learn in any other way possible.  This year I thought about doing some sort of project based on her obvious interest in animals and nature.  Each night she reads her national Geographic encyclopedia of animals.  She read out to me one night about Tigers and that is when the idea struck me!  A project about endangered animals sounded just up her street.

We adopted her a tiger for her birthday and bought her a National Geographic book all about saving tigers.  She received an adoption pack with a cuddly tiger and information on her adoptive tiger.  We also get email updates (we had two already this week!) and A really enjoys exploring them.  The first was a newsletter giving all sorts of links to various pertinent articles.  The focus was on the Panda which is now off the endangered list and onto the vulnerable list:capture

The second email was giving us an update on the tiger situation.  I imagine these emails will become more and more important to her the more we learn about tiger conservation.  This week I began reading the book to her.  Oh, it is brilliant.  Really interesting for both her and me.  This week we learnt about Machli, a Bengal Tiger who lives (actually lived, she has since died at the grand age of 19/20) in Nepal:


Machli was happily the focus of a video I had found over the weekend which I suggested to the girls they watch.  They loved it and had a wonderful afternoon playing tigers with the Schleich Tiger family Thomas had bought A as a birthday gift:


This continued on throughout the week…


A project on endangered animals has been a seriously good choice for A8!

Y’know when you have had five children all those seemingly important things to teach them get neglected a bit?  A loves to ride her bike and has been asking for ages to go without stabilisers.  Yes, I know, 8 is really old to still be using stabilisers but, well, we just haven’t got round to it 😀  So yesterday Gary removed them and began helping her to ride without them.  Better late than never…..




B is sloooowly beginning to read, but it is a little like pulling teeth some days.  If she is in the mood she flies through it, if not then she doesn’t.  Same with her maths.  She has been enjoying being back on her Rainforest Journey curriculum, and finishing Unit Three, and is looking forward to finishing off her dinosaur study today.

She and I did another art lesson today, creating a colourful plate from Nepal:



She has also been spending hours upon hours soaking up the last of the hot summer sun, picnicking with her sister and riding around on her bike:


Really, it has been an easy week for her, and to be honest, I’m not certain it will get any harder any time soon 🙂

On the Blog this Week

On Saturday I wrote about my plans to only write between three or four posts a week with my Seasons of Joy: Plans for Angelicscalliwags post:

Ribbet collageSeasons of Joy

Monday’s post was all about A7 turning to A8 with an Around the World in 80 Days Birthday Party:

Around the World 33

And Wednesday I wrote a review for a wonderful inexpensive Christian resource CHSH-Teach:

Christian HomeSchool Hub {Download Club}

Freebie for all my readers!!!

You may remember my review of Star Toaster’s Orphs of the Woodland?  They are offering this brilliant app for free just now!  This is an app well worth downloading.  We intend to buy their larger interactive book for A8 when we are travelling.  Read my review and then go get your copy for free!


Next week, I am hoping to write about week four of our Around the World summer as well as the children’s very successful trip around London.  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend ahead of you filled with much love and the company of those you love 🙂

Weekly Wrap-Up


  1. Love that your kiddos are liking their start back at school. Mine are also. I found with a jammed packed schedule, we need a slight break next week. Like your self-directed learning. My kids do all their daywork on their own and it took me awhile to get them ‘trained’ to be independent. Basically Math, Language Arts, and Comprehension are the core classes that will make it easy for kids to learn anything. The rest should be up to them.

  2. I always smile as I read your precious moments posts. Well, all your posts really, but I do like the ones with lots of photos of your smiling happy children. It sounds like your new school year has got off to a fab start. Well done everyone!

  3. Your posts always make me smile. It looks like you’re off to an amazing start to school. I hope it’s the first of many happy weeks.

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