Precious Moments



Thomas has been on top of his work this week.  He is storming ahead with his maths and finishing all the chemistry I have set him, this week finishing up topics 3 and 4 of section 2 (Chemistry of Elements).  He seems to be enjoying it and understanding it well.  As far as his English goes we have decided to do what we did with Lillie and her maths.  Take him right back to the start.  He will be spending an hour each day working on his handwriting, along with more basic work.  I didn’t feel he would be ready to take his IGCSE in English next summer so we have decided to hold off for a year and he will take it when he is 16.  Hopefully that year will give him the opportunity to fill in any holes and to improve his handwriting so it is, y’know actually readable!

He also began college this week, on a one day a week level 2 Engineering course (it will be the equivalent to an IGCSE in Engineering).  He loved it, made some friends, and is really looking forward to the actual classes, Gary has decided to take him up each Tuesday and then play golf, picking him up again at 330pm.  He really enjoys the atmosphere of the college and is now looking into maybe doing his A’levels there.


Socially he is being kept very busy.  In fact, I have never known such sociability.  Thomas is now attending church youth group, a small Bible study group, youth choir, skateboarding and ultimate frisbee.  He has just received snap chat and works at the village bakery on Saturday.  He has continued helping at Sunday School and is now a 1-2-1 helper with a young boy who needs extra support.

I continue to be blown away by how financially savvy my son is.  I’m not sure where he has got it from (certainly not Gary and I).  His savings for uni are coming along nicely, he pays for own phone, all his own clothes, as well as paying for holidays such as Soul Survivor.  He spends very little on himself, although he does enjoy going out with friends for a coffee, and he saves for and always buys really thoughtful birthday presents.  I am really enjoying this aspect of his maturity, and pray he keeps on this track for the rest of his life.

Laundry – ha!  Since being back at school he was meant to add doing his laundry to his list of chores.  Mine and Gary’s bedroom looks like a fabric land fill sight!  I wash about three or four loads a day and get them clean and dry, but putting them away in their respective rooms is my down fall, hence the land fill sight!  Charlotte has always done her laundry, Lillie has just started this term, and Thomas was like wise meant to begin, only he keeps sneaking his laundry in with the adults, so I keep finding his stuff when I go through it.  That son of mine!  This weekend we are buying him a laundry basket, because apparently (note the sarcasm) that is the reason he keeps ‘forgetting to do his’!  Mmmm.

That said, he is in a really happy place right now and that makes this Mummy very, very pleased 🙂


Lillie is doing fairly well in her studies.  She is now beginning her IGCSE maths which is remarkable given how behind she was a few years ago – well done Lillie!  I have decided to buy in an English Language IGCSE course as I didn’t feel able to take them right through.  We will be starting that on Monday and are all very excited 🙂

She is also enjoying her art work (of course- that kind of goes without saying).


She needs to finish her two mixed media courses before Gary and I will consider buying her the Level 2 BTEC in Art and Design she wishes to take in the new year.  This week she worked on her Springtime Splendor art, painting some tulips in water colour:


She completed some doodle writing with one of her friends for her ‘I Am A Masterpiece’ mixed media course, which I am sure Gary will be asked to find some room on our walls to hang it 🙂


And lastly she has been working on her Impressionist project focusing on Monet for the past couple of weeks.  She has written a report which she will be publishing on her new blog (info to follow, maybe tomorrow), began her scrap book and completed her copy of one of Monet’s paintings:


We have been looking at possible art courses for her to do when she turns 16.  We have found an online course which she will hopefully begin in January, giving her a level 2 BTEC in Art and Design and we have found a University very near to us which caters for the 16-18 group allowing her to do art full time for two years with prospects of continuing to further education at the same college.  She needs five IGCSEs to do this, so we are busy choosing which five she will take, in addition to BTECs in Art and Design and Child Care.

Socially she would be my least outgoing child.  This Sunday she tried out the youth church which she was very nervous about, but really enjoyed it once she was there.  Thomas was a huge support making sure she knew he was around if she needed him.  But all was well, and she really enjoyed herself.  Youth choir also started this week as well as painting with one of her friends:


On Sunday she began to help out at Sunday school.  Again she was very nervous, but when she arrived she realised one of her friends was working there too and from that moment on she had lots of fun 🙂

Lil has also began skateboarding with her brother.  Having broken her penny board, he has given her one of his skate boards, which he helped her to rub down, repaint and refelt.


She feels like she has a brand new skateboard 🙂


Lillie has also enjoyed dancing with her younger sisters:



Fun, fun, fun!



Charlotte is plodding along nicely with her current school load, focusing on her maths, writing, music and English Language IGCSE.  She has chosen to focus on obtaining her Grade 4 in Musical Theater as well as working her way towards grade four in Classical music.  We are hoping she will be able to take her grade 1 in piano next summer.  She needs Grade 5 in both Classical Music and Piano in order to achieve an IGCSE level qualification.

Charlotte still hates maths every second of every day, but she willingly (pretty much anyway!) does it for an hour each morning.  She would rather be writing though…..


We have also been in discussions about which direction to take her studies in over the next three years.  She will be taking her English Language next summer and English Literature the Christmas after.  She will do her maths whenever she manages to complete the course.  She will just plug away at that.  No pressure.  Her plans, like her sister, include taking a similar course to Thomas at college, but instead of Engineering it will be in Childcare.  She wants to be a youth leader, so this is a helpful course, I think.  It will give her a Level 2 BTEC qualification, equivalent to a IGCSE.  She talked to her youth leader at church, explaining she wanted to work with disadvantaged teens.  He advised her to look into GCSE’s in Sociology and Psychology.  We have found online courses she can take, which she will begin next year.

Both girls attended a School Assembly course where they received applause for being the youngest ever helpers.  They were just a little chuffed 🙂  They began back at helping out at the local church school’s assembly on Tuesday and will be spending each Tuesday morning there.

The girls are beginning to pick up babysitting jobs and last Monday spent the evening babysitting two lovely girls.  One of the reasons for doing their childcare course next year is to help them start up a babysitting business together.  This will hopefully help them to save up for their University courses.  Gary and I are very happy to support this because they do it together.  Safety in numbers, and all that 🙂


All three older ones have enjoyed times with friends, worked hard and played hard.  The perfect balance <3



A and B have been playing in the garden most of the week.  I have to admit that I have let them and not insisted on school this week.


That said, A8 has done a maths lesson each day independently and achieved 100% on each one, B5 has done a lesson a day with me, learning about patterns.  They have also finished a week’s worth of work using EdTechLens Rainforest curriculum and a half a week’s work on Science Shepperd.  I am aware though that I should be giving them much more work than they are currently doing.  Mum’s away next week so they won’t be getting their normal dose of reading, and writing.  I really do need to pull up my socks!

A also had a little accident yesterday being thrown off her scooter onto the wall, scrapping her neck.  A rarely cries over anything, but my goodness did she cry.  I think it was shock more than anything.  We cleaned her up, made her a sweet tea, ran a warm bath and basically made a huge fuss of her.  It looks a bit better today, but is still causing her lots of pain:


She is definitely not back to her normal sunny self yet:



Again, I haven’t done enough school with little B either this week.  She has spent the majority of her time outside playing with her sister.  I did get a lot of lovely photos of her though…

…spotting a wasp:


….painting my birthday present:


….quick changes of mood from grumpy to giggly in about two minutes flat:


…singing ‘we all live in a yellow submarine’ with their daddy at bath time:


…a captured moment of beauty:


I did make the time to create a sewing kit for her so I could begin the sewing course I have specifically designed with her in mind.  The picture below is her hugging the kit with glee on receiving it 🙂 and of her sewing:


It’s funny, most of my precious moments posts show me just how much the children have done in any given week, but I have to be honest, this week it has shown me how pitiful A and B’s school has been over the past few days.  Next week I shall be focusing on upping my game with them 🙂

Weekly Wrap-Up


  1. Could you sometime comment on the English college system? I am very curious about it. What are ICGSEs or BTSEs? What does grade 1 or 5 or the like? Anything you could say about it all would be interesting to me.

    1. I don’t want to speak for Claire, but I can give you a bit of information on the English system in general.

      Level two qualifications are the ones people tend to take at age 16; GCSEs are the standard level 2 qualifications that pupils at school would take and it stands for General Certificate of Secondary Education. IGCSEs are a newer form that I don’t know a lot about, but I do know that they are ideal for home educators, students abroad and anyone else who isn’t in a standard school environment (I think they’re entirely exam-based, with no assessed coursework, so it’s no problem that there’s not a certified teacher to supervise). BTECs are another form of qualification, usually for more vocational subjects although they still involve academic work.

      Level three qualifications build on level two, obviously, and in the “normal” course of school they’re taken at age 18, usually in the form of A levels but level 3 BTECs are growing more popular. Music certificates are given equivalencies, so a grade 5 certificate is approximately the same level as a GCSE (level 2), I believe, and a grade 8 is a level 3.

      To get into university, you typically need good level two and level three qualifications, or something equivalent which the university is prepared to accept. There’s a standardised application system which gives all qualifications a certain number of points, depending on the grade achieved and the level taken, and music certificates contribute points towards the entry requirements.

  2. I also would love to know more about the college system in England. What a busy social life Thomas is up too. It makes my kids look like they are home bodies (LOL). I love to see all that you all are doing. Your family is just beautiful!
    Blessings, Dawn

  3. SOOOO lovely to get an update of your older children, , Thomas, Lillie and Charlotte, they are doing sooo well. and also of Abigail andf Rebecca – again it is good to get an update. xxxxx

  4. I love your updates! Your children are all so different and so interesting to read about; I feel as though I know them through you.
    The photo of Gary and the girls singing Yellow Submarine may just be my all-time favourite from your blog. Love it!

  5. I love your updates, but have to admit I’m a bit confused as to how University goes in England as I’ve never looked into it being that I’m from the states. I’d love a mild explanation as it sounds like the older kids are doing very well! Your younger two are absolutely adorable!

  6. You are such an awesome mom! Look at all those smiles and artistic flares throughout your days. It’s wonderful that your son is ahead on chemistry. I always had to push my girls in that subject.

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