For many days now I have been surrounded with sheets of paper, scribbled all over with ideas, schedules, book titles and notes about piano lessons and craft groups. School starts tomorrow, and I am trying to timetable my life.

I think I am almost sorted now. I started with a list of subjects and topics, then worked out a daily rhythm that seems to work for us, then slotted the subjects in wherever there was space. The change this year? We are starting with morning chores. We will see how much housework we can tear through in the half hour between 8.30 and 9am.

Our curriculum is based on the wonderfully relaxing and reassuring Well-Trained Mind series by Susan Wise Bauer and her mother, Jessie Wise. Why relaxing? Because their rigorously academic content is completely scripted, while designed to be a conversation between parent and child. It makes me sound as though I know everything. I love it!

And they cover so many subjects. For history, there is Story of the World, a four volume history of the world in stories, with accompanying activity books. Grammar, and usage of the English language is covered in First Language Lessons. Reading in Ordinary Parent's Guide to Teaching Reading (I also use this for spelling lists), and the recently published Writing With Ease, which promise to help students to erm...write, ease. Love, love, love these books. They take most of the angst out of teaching for me, and that just leaves some gaps where, now all the basics are taken care of, I have the energy to be creative (well, this is the plan). French, with our dear friend Em. A morning for walking and drawing in our nature diaries and pretending to be Beatrix Potter. Experiments with the chemistry set. And, oh, yes, you noticed the omission. Maths. A tutor for The Domestic Goddess. I have struggled through Year 7 maths before with The Boy, and I must say, I did a terrible job at it. A tutor is so much a better plan. It will reduce my stress no end. Rosy's maths is easy. Understanding Maths is the text, with DK workbooks to supplement it. Plus Monopoly. Nothing guaranteed to improve math skills quicker.

Ok, now breathe. At ten to seven tomorrow morning, it all starts again.


Anonymous said…
I use the same books you do. Add Singapore Maths and God's Design for Life science and I am all covered. It is great to find resources that cover everything so well.

I balked a little at the price for FLL but am so glad I got it. With 4 young men to use it I will get my money's worth. And WWE will go well I hope too. When I get it back from a friend. lol

Breathe Jo, you will be fine. The Boy turned out ok, didn't he?

Best wishes
Jen in NSW

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