Reflections on the Past Three Weeks

I can’t believe a whole three weeks has passed!  Where on earth does time go?  I am reposting our goals for these past three weeks with the ones we achieved crossed out.  I am hoping this will show me what we are managing and what we maybe need a bit more work on.

My other reason for doing these posts is that the children are changing so much now they are in their teens.  By focusing on three-week segments I will know very quickly what is working and what might need tweaking.  I really need to be on the ball over the next couple of years to help my older children reach the standard they need to in order to pursue their dreams.

I also want to be more diligent in recording all we do so that in those shaky moments when I am wondering whether I have done enough I can look back and relax 🙂

(Please do feel free to skip the schedule part of the post – that is just for my own information 🙂  )

Everyone Morning Schedule

Room chores, breakfast, couch to 5K exercise, morning chores

Bible devotions alone/ Apologia’s Who Am I? together

T14 Schedule and Goals

9-945 IGCSE Maths

945-1045 Morning Meeting: Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice Read AloudAfrica Study; Israel Study; Mystery of History (Finish 6 lessons)

1045-1145 Independent Delight Learning: IGCSE Chemistry

1145-1215 Independent Writing: Psychology GCSE Past Paper Questions (Use this time to do Chemistry follow-up questions if you have no Psychology to do/Also Chemistry spellings )

1215-1245 Lunch

1245-115 IGCSE RS together with girls and Mum (Do one section of Christianity this term)

115-215 Bike Ride (and shower)

215-4 Project Based Learningmusic theory course/ Solo guitar reading music book/ Yousician (a learning to play guitar app)/ finish up making bass guitar

4 – Teen Bible video course

L13 Schedule and Goals

9-945 Maths

945-1045 Morning Meeting: Pride and Prejudice Read Aloud; Africa Study; Israel Study; Mystery of History (Finish 6 lessons)

1045-1145 Delight Learning: Drawing with Realism x 3 lessons (Drawing an orange, drawing a cluster of grapes and drawing peppers); Spring splendor mixed media x 3 lessons (Mixed media Bunny, Vintage Book Page Butterflies and Cherry Blossom Tree); Artist Study x 3 lessons (Reynolds, Bruegel and Rockwell)

1145-1215 WritingJane Austin Pride and Prejudice copy work

1215-1245 Lunch

1245-115 IGCSE RS With older children and Mum (Do one section of Christianity this term)

115 – 215 Country Walk

215-4   Project Based Learning – African Jewellery

4 – Teen Bible Video Course

C13 Schedule and Goals

9-945 Maths

945-1045 Morning Meeting: Pride and Prejudice Read Aloud; Africa Study; Israel Study; Mystery of History (six lessons)

1045-1145 Delight Learning: The Regency Period of Georgian Time – Planning and organising a Jane Austen birthday party for herself and her twin sister to celebrate their fourteenth birthday; Write a six chapter book

1145-1215 WritingJane Austin & Pride and Prejudice copy work

1215-1245 Lunch

1245-115 IGCSE RS (Do one section of Christianity this term)

115-215 Country walk

215-230 Grade 3 Music: Go through songs using Leah’s tapes

230-4     Project Based Learning: African religion and music.  Part of her project is to learn to play the bongos.  We have bought her a set as well as a three-volume course.  (She needs to have finished volume one by the end of this term).

4pm- Teen Bible Video Course

A7 Schedule and Goals

9-10 School with Granny (reading, writing and read aloud)

10-1045 Morning Meeting with older ones: Pride and Prejudice Read Aloud; Africa Study; Israel Study; Mystery of History (I set out dinosaur colouring for the Littles to do)

1045-11 Morning Meeting with B5: Read African picture books.  The Story of the World (Complete lessons 1-4 & activities)

11-1130 Maths 

1130-1215 Dinosaurs and the Bible – Listen to next slide show

                  Rainforest Journey – (Adapt or Die) Plus work sheets from curriculum/ narrations.  Do one chapter each week to complete Unit Two.

1215-1245 Lunch

1245-115 Free Play (Finish Rain forest Journey narrations/writing then free time)

115-215 Country Walk

215-3 Project Based Learning 1 – South America (complete all activities for the Gully Washer (water cycle) and for Adventure in the Amazon (Adaptations)

3-345 Project Based Learning 2 – Dinosaurs

345 – Video in our room

Night time Reading – Brazilian Folk Tales (South America Read aloud)

Jim Elliot Biography (South America Read Aloud)

B5 Schedule and Goals

9-945 School with me (Maths, Rain Forest Journey ( Do one chapter each week to complete Unit Three), making snacks)

945-1045 Morning Meeting with older ones: Pride and Prejudice Read Aloud; Africa Study; Israel Study; Mystery of History (I set out colouring for the littles to do)

1045-11 Morning Meeting with B5: Read African picture books.  The Story of the World (Complete lessons 1-4 & activities)

11-12 School with Granny (phonics, writing and read aloud)

12-1215 Narrations/writing from Rainforest Journey lesson

1245-115 Free Play (Finish Rain forest Journey narrations/writing then free time)

115-215 Country Walk

215-3 Project Based Learning 1 – South America (complete all activities for the Gully Washer (water cycle) and for Adventure in the Amazon (Adaptations) )

3-345 Project Based Learning 2 – Dinosaurs

345 – Video in our room

Night time Reading – Brazilian Folk Tales

Jim Elliot Biography


Reflections with T14

T started a paper round at the beginning of the three weeks.  He wasn’t certain he wanted to do it, but the newsagent asked for him specifically.  He enjoys it but is not enjoying having less sleep.  He is a boy who needs ten hours sleep to feel normal and over the past three weeks he has been struggling to get 8 because of the early mornings of the paper round.  He told the news agents at the beginning that he would give it a try, but that if his work suffered at all then he would not continue.  I think this week he has decided that it is affecting his work, and I would agree.  This week he has been nowhere near as productive as he usually is.  He will be making the decision to continue or not over the next few days.

As he is not wanting to take English Literature for IGCSE, he requested that he not read Pride and Prejudice, instead focusing on Joy Hakim’s The Story of Science.  He reads this excellent ‘living’ book each morning and is thoroughly enjoying it.  She has written three books detailing the history of science right from the start of man to the modern-day. T then rejoins us for the rest of the morning meeting.

He has completed two more units of his IGCSE Chemistry and sent off his work to be marked.  He was disappointed to see that he had made a silly mistake mixing up the atomic number with the atomic mass which made all his calculations wrong.  He is definitely finding chemistry harder than Physics, maths and psychology, and we are in discussions about how to make it more enjoyable and understandable for him.  I have some ideas for next term….


He has not done any chemistry spellings and I have not been very good at requiring it.  I think this needs to change.  My mum has offered to step in and help and I think this may work very well as T would be far more diligent with Granny as she is waaaaay stricter than I am 🙂

He has completed all the Psychology required of him and is enjoying doing this alongside B14.  He uses Psychology as his writing practice and up until this week had been great at doing it each day.  This week he is exhausted.

As he does his paper rounds on his bike, and the two rounds take him about an hour, he has chosen to rest rather than go on another bike ride after lunch.

He has been practicing his guitar daily and has finished his bass guitar.


Reflections with L13

L has been storming through her maths and is very close to finishing key stage three and moving on to GCSE maths one year early.  This is an incredible achievement given how far behind she was just two short years ago.

L has completed three lessons of ‘Drawing with Realism‘ drawing an orange, grapes and a pepper.  She was very unimpressed by her grapes, but fairly happy with her other two pictures.  L does not find drawing or painting easy, but I am encouraging her to continue because I can see such improvements:


She has happily completed three mixed media projects from her Springtime Splendor course and has been over the moon with the results.  She is loving the course and we have ordered Alisha’s newest course ‘You Are a Masterpiece’, which combines devotions with mixed media projects.  She will probably do these during her weeks ‘off’


L has also finished two of the three planned artist studies from Artists and their Art free curriculum.  She ran out of canvases to complete the third, but I don’t think she was too unhappy about this as she has struggled with the past two assignments on account of them portraying people.  Drawing and painting people is her nemesis.  If anyone knows of a great course which could teach her in this area, please do share.


L enjoys project based learning the most out of all my children, and she is thoroughly enjoying everything about her Learning about Africa through Jewellery.  She continues to make lots of items for her jewellery party in a couple of months.


Reflections with C13

C is proud to announce that she has caught up with her maths and is exactly where she should be!  She is finding it all fairly easy at the moment and is moving through the lessons at a good rate.

Her delight learning is the writing a six chapter book and planning a Regency Jane Austin party for her and L’s fourteenth.


She is creating a newspaper/magazine which she will make lots of copies of and will gift to the guests a few weeks before the party, so they know how to get into the ‘Regency way of doing things’.  This term she has written pieces for the paper including etiquette for the Regency gentleman, lady and child and the do’s and don’t’s on dating for gentlemen.  C has also completed three more lessons for her ‘Writing a book’ curriculum and is still enjoying them very much.

Her singing lessons are coming on well, and C has been diligently practicing her songs for her next exam.  She has also begun piano lessons, and will be working towards grade 1.  I think the teacher she has will be perfect for her and I will be scheduling half an hour practice each day into her afternoons dedicated to piano practice.  Her Learning about Africa through Religion and Literature project is coming along nicely.  She has completely rewritten one of the Anansi stories as a musical play, with her as narrator and musician, her brother as Anansi and her father as the old man (a fact she took great delight informing him of!).  Her bongo playing is coming on remarkably well and she will be giving us a bongo concert tomorrow to show everyone what she has learnt.


She is coming to the end of the first volume of her video lessons and has found them incredibly helpful and well done.

Reflections with A7

School is coming along nicely with Granny.  A has finished reading Enid Blyton’s The Wishing Chair and begun on the next book.  She also completed three more lessons of the Essentials in Writing English Course, is listening to Charlotte’s Web being read aloud by Granny, as well as a page of poems from The Random House Poetry Book:


Her maths is coming along nicely and she has completed a lesson a day and is now only 27 lessons away from finishing her Year Two work.

She has watched Dinosaurs and the Bible slide show, as well as finishing her learning about the Triceratops and beginning on the Brachiosaurus.


She also completed Unit Two of Rainforest Adventures, completing narrations and copywork daily.  This unit focused on the adaptations plants and animals have to survive in the rainforest.  We completed our FIAR Gully Washer study:

columbia 2

We did not, however, begin the Adventures in the Rainforest study.

We are currently reviewing a couple of curricula which we weren’t at the beginning of this three-week term.  This means A7 has also completed nine lessons of Science Shepherd‘s excellent science program as well as 30 odd lessons of ESA‘s spelling program.  She is loving both and, once again, we feel very blessed to be a member of the TOS review crew.

During our night-time reading we have made it half way through the Brazilian Folk Tales book and again half way through Jim Elliot‘s biography (set in South America)

Reflections with B5

B has also been busy with some of the curricula we are reviewing.  As she has finished her reception age maths, I’ve been keeping my eye out for any maths courses which we might be able to use.  This week we have stumbled on a gem with one of our review products.  She is currently doing a couple of lessons a day of ESA‘s maths and it is filling the gap nicely.  B, like her sister, has also completed Unit Three of Rainforest Adventures, learning about how animals and plants change in order to survive their different surroundings and doing both narrations and copywork daily, as well as the lesson work.  She is also following along with the Science Shepherd videos, although she is not completing any of the workbook.

bottle 1

Schooling with Granny continues to be a success with B having read five beginning with phonics books, as well as working her way through a simple phonics work book and playing some phonics based games.  She is also listening to Granny read the entire collection of Winnie the Poo stories, which she is thoroughly enjoying:


As far as her South America Project Based Learning goes she has finished The Gully Washer from FIAR with all its many activities.

columbia 3

Her Dinosaur project is also coming along nicely.  She has finished her Triceratops study and has begun on Brachiosaurus.

dinosaur unit study-triceratops-puzzle-3

As with A7 we have read half of each of their bedtime reading – Brazilian Folk Tales and Jim Elliot‘s biography.

Reflections on Group Activities

The thing that stuck out like a sore thumb to me was that we had not gone jogging or even managed a country walk each day.  This is partly due to T’s paper rounds in the morning throwing a spanner in the works, but really it is mainly down to me.  I am aware that if I deem something important my children will also follow suite.  If I am unenthusiastic, they tend to be also.  Somehow, this needs to become a much bigger priority than it currently is and it will be this I will focus on more next term.  We seem to have lost our mojo with the great outdoors and it really is not a healthy place to be.

The children are in a great routine of doing their devotions now each morning and we completed our current lesson in Who am I? curriculum.  Morning meetings have gone spectacularly well, with the girls reading Pride and Prejudice out loud whilst T reads The Story of Science in his room.  We have completed Unit 1 of Exploring Africa, finishing modules on Learning About Africa; Examining Africa’s diversity; Examining Africa’s Global Connections and ‘Looking Back’.  We have completed the first Unit of our Ancient Israel Unit Study, which focused on the life and times of Abraham.  We also completed six lessons of Mystery of History learning about Johann Sebastian Bach and George Frideric Handel; The Thirteen colonies of North America; The Great Awakening under Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield; Frederick II and seven years’ war; Voltaire and Jean-Jaques Rousseau: Leaders of the Enlightenment; and Benjamin Franklin.

Although we are all enjoying IGCSE Religious Studies, we spend so much time discussing things that we seem to be moving at a snail’s pace through it.  I really wanted us to have covered the first unit, which has 12 parts to it, and whilst we are close, we didn’t quite manage it (although we still have tomorrow, and if the children stop discussing every single point, then we might have a chance to finish it 🙂  )

It seems we have not done even one of the little one’s morning meeting (only a fifteen minute slot) and so have not completed The Story of the World lessons.  I need to think about this, and decide whether it is lack of diligence on my behalf (probably) or whether it is just one thing too many.

We also haven’t watched even one Teen Bible course video.  I’m thinking I might keep those for our weeks off, because, to be honest, come 4pm the children just want some time to switch off 🙂

If you made it through this extraordinarily long post, congratulations…….you deserve a medal!


  1. Wow, I really enjoyed the last three weeks. How time flies. I just want to add some thing to the post,
    Claire: Encouraging, helping and everything else that she happens to have missed out on her very hard work.
    Thanks mummy for a wonderful three weeks of enjoyable school work!
    Love C13☺

  2. The past three weeks have been awesome! There is only one reason I am finishing key stage 3 early and that is because I had a great teacher☺! Thank you for helping me in everything❤
    Love from

  3. AWESOME! I am amazed by all that you guys got done. What lovely children you are modeling and guiding towards adulthood.
    blessings, Dawn

  4. What a productive looking three weeks! has free worksheets for maths and you can pick by year level for them. They might be a good interim set for your B5.

    1. Thank you Erin! I shall check it out. One of the review programs I am using at the moment has a very basic maths component which is filling the gap nicely but not really stretching her yet.

  5. I find it much easier to spend time outside when it’s coupled to something else I’m doing – would any of the group lessons translate into park time or similar? Maybe something discussion-based that you could talk about while walking somewhere, delve into in more depth when you arrive, have active breaks and then discuss on the way back? Sounds like you’ve been productive despite the things you’ve not managed to get to!

    1. Yes, I agree! We always did well when we did nature studies, but I’m not sure why but they seem to have come to an abrupt halt at the moment 🙂

  6. I made it through, and super kudos to you for all you have done.
    I’ll be curious to hear what you think of the Masterpiece class, it’s the only one I haven’t gotten yet, because I know the boys wouldn’t be excited by it, but Princess would love it.

    1. Well done!! It was a rather long post, although I have to admit was really for my benefit. I find reflecting such a useful process to use regularly.

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