It has been chaotic here. I had hoped to move house over the summer while we were all taking a break but that never happened and instead moving slotted in right while we were busy with out home educating. And yes if the kids had been younger I probably would have just stopped everything for 3 weeks but my oldest is now in Year 9 and she has quite a bit of work to get through (she has actually opted to include 2 extra subjects this year). So I really did not want a complete shutdown for 3 whole weeks. Luckily our Maths that we started has just been working so effortlessly that she easily continued with that, then her History and her Ancient History, well that is something she loves so she kept those going, her Latin mostly continued but Science was something that I was concerned about. Science is not her area, so she often needs a bit of extra guidance. In September we actually switched to a new set of Science Books – the AQA KS3 set from Hodder Education. It was new so I was still not sure how it would go with the whole upheaval of moving, me being distracted and not as available as I normally would be. But really I had nothing to worry about. The Science just like her Maths is user-friendly and she kept her books in a backpack (so she always knew were they were) and really just kept at it, no extra asking or extra guidance from me was needed (well – I did answer a few questions that she had but that was it).
My daughter tends to read one double page from the student book at a time, if there are examples in the student book to work through she tends to do them orally. Then she flips over to the Practice book and works through the questions. Tthe practice books are not write-on workbooks, so the kids do need somewhere to write their answers. She has the Extend practice book which she is using, so it includes a range of questions from quite easy to fairly challenging (I am going to publish a post later this week where I talk about the different in the two practice books in more detail). I have printed out the answers for her (they are free to download from the site), so she checks her answers herself and if she has any queries she then comes to me. Doing it this way has really suited us.
A bit about how the student book is set out. There are 10 Topics covered in the book. Each Topic starts with a “Transition” page which is an introduction of sorts.
Then they have the “Core” pages. All the Core pages have worked examples and activities for the kids to try (answers for all activities are Free to download from the Hodder website). They also highlight Common Errors made by the kids in boxes on the page (my daughter liked this) and key facts and key words are also boxed in along the side of the page.
After the Core pages you get the “Extend” page (if your kids struggle with Science you could focus of the core pages and leave the Extend pages). And the “Enquiry” page, which my daughter calls Extend.2
My daughter has been working through Physics section of the Student and Practice Books. And I have to admit Physics is the Science that she HATES, she does not want to do Combined Science just because Physics is included she would rather just do Biology and Chemistry. Physics is NEVER popular with her and then to combine it with moving house, which was chaotic and overwhelming, yet she managed, she more than managed, there was no problem at all, she finished 2 topics. She is understanding what she is reading, she is answering the questions and getting most of them correct and yes she has a few questions but honestly she has a lot fewer questions than I expected. So just based on how well she is managing with her Least Favourite Science section I am impressed and I have high hopes for the Biology and Chemistry sections.