We made it through a whole school year, year 7, and while a pandemic was happening. I am super proud of Faith for all that she has achieved over the year and I am also quite proud of myself too!
The topics we covered
We use a topic based homeschool style which we add extras into. Here are the topics which we covered in Year 7.
- Back garden wildlife
- Extreme weather
- The UK
- African animals
- The human body
- The polar regions.
I think that the most memorable activity for me was when we dissected owl pellets. It was disgusting but also fascinating! I did not think that Faith would be as squeamish as she was.
Faith said that her favourite activity was visiting the planetarium and her favourite topic was African animals as she enjoyed drawing all of the animals.
While doing our topics we have done so many things. We have written stories, poems and fact files. Baked breads and cakes. Drawn pictures, painted, crafted all sorts of things from bird feeders to solar systems. We have watched movies and documentaries. Completed science experiments like how large our lung capacity is and how to make a tornado in a jar!
It has been a busy year but so much fun!
Extras for year 7
On top of our topics we also do a number of other activities. We had a reading book which I would read aloud and then Faith would answer questions on what we had read to develop her English skills. This was done with both fiction and non-fiction texts. We also did silent reading as well, where we get to read to ourselves as Faith likes reading her fanfiction. She is not keen on reading out loud and as I know that she can read well, I see no reason to make her do something that she does not want to do.
We do something physical for PE twice a week. It could be walking outside or bike riding or an online dance tutorial. Even wii fit games count as it is all about getting up and active. Before Covid-19 we would go swimming once or twice a month. We were also about to start attending rock climbing as they had a home education group there. However this was just before lockdown so it was cancelled!
We also did colouring while listening to audiobooks as some down time away from screens which was lovely and relaxing. Maths is Faiths least favourite thing to do so we used a workbook and only did two pages a week as a compromise as I think that it is important that she understands basic math.
For languages we have been learning Spanish using the free Duolingo app and I supplemented this with some worksheets as well. I also made some sheets which we call potluck as they are varied and Faith picks one each week at random and completes it. Towards the end of year 7 we discovered the show Brain games on Disney + which we both love so we would watch one of those each week too.
My thoughts on year 7
Seeing it all there in black and white, it seems like we have done a lot! On top of that Faith also has a weekly homework task which related to the topic which she has to complete in her own time.
I think that had we homeschooled the whole time we would probably do it a bit differently. However, as Faith was only months away from finishing year 6 when we started and I had not homeschooled my other children or even met anyone else doing it, I think that we are pulling bits from schools and mixing it with homeschool to make what works for us. The main reason I give Faith ‘homework’ is to give her practice at time management and meeting a deadline.
Even though it sounds like a lot, we normally only do set activities all day Tuesday and then Wednesday, Thursday and Friday mornings. The three spare afternoons that Faith has are when she completes homework and other small tasks which she can do without needing help or supervision. Mondays are a day off from school work for Faith. As when we do our activities it is one on one, we get so much more done then a child at school would so I feel that we are still doing enough to provide a full time education.
Of course, there is opportunity for learning in everything that we do and it does not just happen when we are doing a topic activity or writing in a book. I feel that we have really gotten into a good swing of things now and I look forward to what the next school year will bring us. Faith has really settled well into our schedule and works hard. I am a very proud mum.
Plans for year 8!
We plan to keep things mostly the same for year 8. It worked well for us in year 7 so I do not see the point of changing things too much. I have some KS3 English texts and lesson plans which I will do with Faith as read alouds like we were doing before and of course new topics but the format will be the same.
Now that things are opening up again, we will hopefully be able to get out a bit more too. We shall see if the rock climbing group is starting up again and I will be able to plan some more field trips too.
Overall, it has been a successful school year and more importantly, Faith is the happiest she has ever been.