Saturday, 12 September 2015

First Week Back Reflections

Well, we've had our first week - and survived!

Inevitably, there will be a few adjustments to make before our second week, though overall I'm happy with what I had planned.


My lovely 4 year old says that maths was what she enjoyed most this week.

Science with the older two boys was very popular. We've started volume 2 of the Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding, beginning with Brownian Motion and diffusion - so proper science (I've written about our science curriculum here). Until now, I've not set written work for science, but this year they have begun science notebooks. This was much more popular than I expected, and they both drew some lovely diagrams.

Page 1 of a science notebook

My 8 year old has just started Latin, and is very keen at the moment. I have also started teaching a Latin class at one home education group that we attend, and was relieved that it went well.

Writing With Ease is a new addition to our curriculum, and so far I am impressed with it. I hope it will have good results for their writing in the long term.

Our local home education group, which I help to run, was also very much enjoyed. We have started a new series where we will focus on a new country each week. This term our focus is Asia. The cookie dough map of Asia we made was particularly successful. My older two boys joined in the book club run by a fellow home educator, and were very enthusiastic about this too.

Cookie Dough Map of Asia

My home education planner that we made worked well. It was much easier to have a list of everything I had planned for that day all in one place so I could see at a glance what we had left to do.


I planned too much to do! We did manage it, but I should have scheduled less for the first week.

Linked to this, we had less time outside than I'd like. We went for a walk each day, but I'd like a bit more time in the park or in the woods. Partly, we had two home education groups in one week, which is unusual.

One of our walks this week.

I had planned for my 6 year old to tag along with his older brothers for science. When we looked more closely at this year's science curriculum, it was clear that it would be too advanced for him to really benefit. Instead, we will start the younger two children off on volume 1 of Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding.

I didn't go to bed early enough. There's always more to do, but if I sleep more it is better for everyone!

Overall, we had a good week. The children have done well and adjusted to work again (with a few inevitable tears at times). They have worked hard, and also had fun.

However, I am exhausted - and I know I really need to pace myself if I am to get through the next few weeks. Not just home education responsibilities, but also church commitments have stepped up again. These are all good things - which I enjoy, not just feel that I have to do - but it does tend to make me more tired.

There are many demands on my time and energy, and I want to be able to do the really important things with my children, as well as get through all that I have planned.


  1. Lizzy, that cookie dough map looks fabulous! Do you have a link to recipe & instructions for this?

    P.S. We miss you!

    1. Hi Dene!

      I used the basic recipe from here (after googling "cookie dough map"):

      Michael drew a rough map of Asia free hand, then I traced it onto baking paper. I dyed the cookie dough four different colours, and the children squished it onto the baking paper in the right shapes. It worked MUCH better than I anticipated!

  2. Brilliant, thank you! I think we'll be using this soon... :)