Happy Easter!

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Christ, the Lord, is risen today,
Hallelujah!
Sons of men and angels say:
Raise your joys and triumphs high;
Sing, ye heavens, and earth reply.

Love’s redeeming work is done;
Fought the fight, the battle won.
Lo! our Sun’s eclipse is o’er;
Lo! He sets in blood no more.

Vain the stone, the watch, the seal;
Christ hath burst the gates of hell;
Death in vain forbids Him rise;
Christ hath opened paradise.

Lives again our glorious King!
‘Where, O death, is now thy sting?’
Once He died our souls to save;
‘Where’s thy victory, boasting grave?’

Soar we now where Christ hath led,
Following our exalted Head;
Made like Him, like Him we rise;
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies.

King of glory! Soul of bliss!
Everlasting life is this,
Thee to know, Thy power to prove,
Thus to sing, and thus to love.

Charles Wesley, 1707-88

Curriculum and resources 2014/15

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I can’t believe it’s November already, this post has been in my drafts folder since August! I always enjoy reading about what resources other home educators are using, so I thought I would share some of our curriculum for this year.

Bible

We begin our morning by reading a lesson from Leading Little Ones to God. Each lesson includes a Bible story, questions to talk about, memory verse, suggested Bible reading, hymn and prayer. We are also using the free character lessons from Kids of Integrity.

Handwriting

We are still working through Scholastic Literacy Skills: Handwriting Reception-Year 2.  Tabitha loves writing her name and other words, so my focus for her will be learning the correct letter formations, whilst Aaron is showing an interest in joined up writing and needs to focus on neatness. Other handwriting resources include sandpaper letters, wipe-clean workbooks, pegboards and tablet apps.

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Reading

Aaron reads aloud to me either from Biff, Chip and Kipper books or from his Minecraft handbooks. He also uses an app to practise high frequency words. Tabitha knows most of her letter names and sounds, as I discovered a while ago at a visit to the optician. She is also starting to decode some CVC words, so we are using the level one Biff, Chip and Kipper books and Montessori pink series materials alongside other resources. I may resubscribe to Reading Eggs at some point, although I wish they did monthly subscriptions as the children tend to lose interest after a while.

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Maths

As usual, a lot of our maths learning is what I like to call “conversational maths”. We discuss mathematical concepts and problems as we come across them in everyday, real life situations. We also use the materials from our maths shelves for various activities, challenges and games. Aaron uses Komodo on the computer or tablet to practise mental arithmetic. Tabitha hasn’t done much formal maths yet but has a good grasp of numbers, so I have introduced some of the Montessori maths activities to her. She also enjoys doing maths workbooks. We will continue using Miquon Math with our Cuisenaire rods, although we haven’t done any for a while as our printer is playing up and I can’t print out the lab sheets. Aaron has lost interest in the orange book lab sheets, so I have decided to leave it and skip straight onto the red book which will hopefully be more challenging for him.

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Science

Until now, we haven’t done much formal science. Plenty of time outside in nature and lots of inquisitive questions have allowed us to cover the basics informally. However, last week I decided to try out AIG’s God’s Design for Science curriculum, starting with The World of Plants, The World of Animals and The Human Body. We will be able to combine many of the lessons with nature study and additional hands-on activities.

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Other subjects

Colin usually has Fridays off, so we do a four day week and keep Fridays and Saturdays free for days out. Bible, handwriting, reading, maths and science doesn’t take much more than an hour or so each day, as many of our activities are only 5-10 minutes long. That leaves the rest of the day free for play, outings or other subjects such as art, music, French, geography and history. I have no formal plan for other subjects and we tend to cover them in blocks depending on what else is going on. For example, at the moment we are learning about Paris because my parents are on holiday there and the First World War because Remembrance Day is coming up.

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Christian Home Educators’ Conference

Yesterday I was blessed to attend a Christian home educators’ conference. The speakers, Steve and Teri Ong, were lovely and the sessions were both encouraging and challenging. The audio recordings from the four sessions are now available online for those who are interested:

CHEC