Before I got into home education I was under the mistaken impression that once I did a year with one kiddo I would cruise through repeating the same thing with the youngest (in the days when I did not really understand home education). The truth is nothing like that. My son (my youngest) has never repeated the exact same activities that his sister (my oldest) did in that academic year. Why? Well simply put they are two different kiddos, their strengths are different, their learning styles are different and if your youngest is in the house when you are home educating your oldest you will be amazed as how much they pick up and understand. Plus as the kids get older the dynamic of your home education, your rhythm naturally changes.
This academic year my oldest has started her year 10 work and my youngest has technically started his year 7 work. But his year 7 is actually looking quite different to what his sister’s year 7 looked like. So I thought I would explain a bit about how we have changed it for him and why.
Firstly one of the best things that I did differently this time around has been the Maths. With my oldest we did Maths topic by topic, using lots of resources from the internet (including Twinkl). It worked really well for her and I feel like it allowed us to build up her Maths confidence but I will admit it was very intensive for me. My youngest is more confident in his Maths (in fact he loves arguing about Maths with me), so I knew he would be able to work through it quite independently and I also knew that with his sister starting Year 10 my time was going to be even more in demand. As luck would happen in his sisters year 9 I switched her to a Maths series, one which I was really happy with so I decided to try that Maths series for my son’s year 7 – Mastering Mathematics. And I have to admit I am thrilled that I changed the Maths for him. The series is so easy to use, the explanations are good and there are a lot of practice questions and he can work it is own pace (in other words I am not slowing him down because I have not had time to find resources etc). It has been a very good change for us.
Then English. I knew that we were going to have to work on English with my son. He is very creative when it comes to writing stories, really his stories are brilliant but actually writing it down, the grammar, spelling and even basic structure is not as “easy / natural” for him as it is for his sister. So English has become the subject that we are really working on this year. We have taken a step back with spelling and are working on fulling some gaps and insecurities that I think he has. We are doing more Grammar (really with him it is a case of just more practice when it comes to Grammar). We are doing lots of Comprehensions (I think Comprehension are great as the cover a range of skills) and he is writing a lot of short stories. It really is a lot more than I did with his sister but it is what my youngest needs. His Maths is cruising along fine, Science ad History he has breezed through so we actually have the time to really try and build on his English skills and try and really improve them.
History. We are rereading the History series that I used with my oldest but again we are doing it very differently. My youngest has already heard all of the content before so this time around he reads the pages by himself and we go through them quite quickly but then we focus on the longer written questions. We are doing this for two reasons. He has already mentioned that he would like to do History as one of his GCSE subjects so I know working on the skills used for the longer written questions is going to be something that will benefit us later and it also ties in really nicely with our focus on our English writing. If you think your kiddo might want to do History as an exam subject that I really recommend this Oxford History series that we discovered, the longer written questions are just such good practice.
Science. He has actually already covered and understood most of the KS3 Science. So I have put his year 7 aside for us to fill in gaps and go over sections that I think we need to redo (Chemistry) but we really are dipping in and out of all of the Science books that I used for my daughters Year 7, Year 8 and Year 9. He is also doing the Theater of Science lessons which he loves. My thoughts are lets cement a few things this year and then when he starts year 8 we are actually going to start prepping him for his first GCSE Science subject. Yes it is early but honestly I think if we don’t start he will just end up bored.
Geography. In all honestly Geography has never really taken off in our house, both my kids do not seem that keen on it. But that being said my son has already covered quite a bit of the Secondary Geography with his sister so we are doing something similar to Science are we are going back and filling in the gaps using all the Geography books so – Geog.1, Geog.2 and Geog.3.
Those are our main subjects.
He is also learning Latin with his dad and sister. It is something that the three of them do together and I must admit I am really thrilled that are doing it because he is starting to link some of the Latin to his English.
And his dad has also started doing some computer programming with him, but honestly I am leaving that it to them to figure out.
And then the fun stuff like art, cooking and baking. Well I really am not involved in that he tends to do all of it just for fun and without anyone really having to ask or suggest.