Friday, 20 October 2017

Friday Reflections - 75

We have had our home education group today, and it was a fun way to end the week. This week the subject was plant and animal cells, and we have carried out a number of fun activities.

I lead the younger group (those aged up to 8), and we made simple collage diagrams of plant cells together:

And models of animal cells using jelly:

I also set up our microscope with a slither of onion for the children to look at, which went down well.

It's always a relief when it all comes together; preparing for the group is dominating a lot of my thinking time at the moment, and I'm never quite sure if it will all work out or not.

The older group made models of cells using pizza, and also learned about DNA. They extracted DNA from strawberries together, which sounded exciting.

Earlier in the week, we went on our nature walk, looking at autumn trees. The children took some bark rubbings, as well as drawing the leaves and fruit or seeds of their chosen tree.

The rest of the week went by in a bit of a blur! I'm finding it hard to make sure that we are fitting everything in, though my marking box is full each day. It's always reassuring to see that we have done quite a lot, even if a bit depressing to see that I've forgotten to do my marking just as I am hoping to finally go to bed at the end of the day.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Family Devotions - Resources

Each morning during the week, Michael leads our family devotions over breakfast, as he has since the children were very small. Sometimes he leads us bit by bit through a book of the Bible, but often he uses one of a number of useful resources which are available for this purpose.

Here are a few that we have found helpful:

1) Table Talk by Alison Mitchell

These provide a short Bible study - a few questions to discuss about part of the Bible, a chance to think about how the passage might apply, and some ideas for prayer. It pairs up with XTB Bible notes, so a child could go on to do further study on the same passage. We found that these notes were particularly useful when our children were aged about 4-8.

2) The Big Picture Family Devotional by David R. Helm

These notes take you through the whole Bible story, with a memory verse to learn for each week as you trace the story of salvation together. We took our time with these notes, and although we are not word perfect on all the verses, it is encouraging to see just how much has stuck in the children's minds. It is a good way to get a sense of the shape of the Bible, and to commit some scripture to memory. These notes are probably better suited to slightly older children (6 +).

3) Wise Up by Marty Machowski

These notes are centred on the book of Proverbs, although certain themes are explored in other parts of the Bible too. Each day focuses on a particular Bible passage, has some reflections to read out loud, and some questions for discussion. It was good to have some thoughtfully applied Bible devotions for us to use in discussion with our children. Again, these are probably better for slightly older children (6+).

4) Awesome Cutlery Family Devotionals 

Our children have enjoyed listening to our Awesome Cutlery CD - full of Bible truths. This set of family devotionals picks up on some key gospel ideas, with simple explanations of what they mean. These would probably be aimed at younger children (8s and under), but our older boys have enjoyed them nonetheless. 

Friday, 13 October 2017

Friday Reflections - 74

Last Saturday, Michael and the boys went to visit the Tower of London with the archaeology club that the older boys belong to. They really enjoyed themselves, and seemed to have learned a bit about the history of the Tower too.

At the Tower of London

Meanwhile, I took my 6 year old off to visit another local parkrun so that we could have a trip out too. This run begins with about a mile uphill, so she did very well! She also enjoyed wearing her parkrun "10" t-shirt (a reward for completing 10 parkruns) for the first time too.

A New T-Shirt!

Later in the week, we all went to the park one morning for running (or cycling for my eldest). Although it was a bit chilly when we started, by the time we were sitting down for our picnic breakfast (very popular cinnamon rolls), it was glorious.

Picnic Breakfast

On Thursday afternoon, we decided to repeat our red cabbage indicator experiment that we had enjoyed so much at our home education group, but to test more substances. We made lots of pretty colours - and the children are very enthusiastic about science at the moment.

Red Cabbage Indicator Results

My 8 year old was down to cook for our Bake Off watching this week, so he made pizza for us all to enjoy.

Making Pizza

Finally, we finished our week with a trip to Dover Castle. This was a brilliant trip to do: plenty of space to explore, and such a lot of history to learn about in one location. We visited the medieval castle, the Roman pharos (lighthouse), a Saxon church, and tunnels used during World War II. We have English Heritage membership this year, so hopefully we will be able to go back in a few months and see the bits we didn't get to visit today.

Roman Pharos and a Saxon Church

Going to the Castle
It looks like a great week - and we have had lots of good days. In fact, I have spent most of the time feeling like I am getting nowhere! Objectively, this isn't the case, but when we are busy I always feel like everything is about to fall apart. I also find it easy to notice all the things I haven't managed to do (and there are always plenty of those). Nonetheless, this week the children have learned plenty, had some fun along the way, and we are ready to begin it all again next week.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Teaching the Reformation

The 500th Anniversary of the start of the Reformation is fast approaching.  A few years ago, we began to celebrate Reformation Day each year on 31st October. This year I am planning to take a full week out of our usual schedule to focus on this topic. I've not got everything completely sorted, but here are some of the activities I have planned:

1) Reading

I plan to use a number of relevant books to read aloud to the children in our morning slot. These will include Reformation ABCs by Stephen J. Nichols, John Calvin - What is the Truth by Catherine Mackenzie, Martin Luther - What Should I Do? by Catherine Mackenzie, and When Lighting Struck!: The Story of Martin Luther  by Danika Cooley.

I will also set reading for my older 3 to read during the week. My 12 year old will read Luther in Love by Douglas Bond, My 10 year old Courage and Conviction:Chronicles of the Reformation Church by Mindy and Brandon Withrow, and I will set John Calvin: After Darkness Light by Catherine Mackenzie for my 8 year old.

Reformation Reading

2) History

My plan is to look at the life and influence of one reformer a day for five days (probably Luther, Calvin, Cranmer, Tyndale and Zwingli). We'll use the books I've planned to read aloud, as well as other resources, such as this video of the life of Martin Luther (in playmobil!).

My hope is that each child will also focus on the life of one key figure for the whole week, and produce some kind of written work detailing the life of their reformer. I'm not completely settled on how this will work, but I'm thinking of some combination of drawing and writing would go down well!

As well as looking at the lives of various reformers, we will study the history of the time in broader strokes. I plan to review some of the Story of the World chapters that we looked at last year, and perhaps do some extra activities alongside.

3) Bible

As well as a reformer a day, we'll also take one of the five solas of the reformation each day, and do some Bible studies based on that particular theme.

We'll also use these free colouring pages, one for each sola.

4) Activities

I'm hoping to go on at least one trip out with the children, probably to the National Portrait Gallery to try and find as many reformers, or people associated with the reformation, as we can.

We usually make a cake to celebrate Reformation Day, but this year we may try to have a meal that is in some sense Reformation themed. I'm not sure what this will mean in practice, other than that we will eat sausages (my eldest insists!).

Friday, 6 October 2017

Friday Reflections - 73

By this stage of the week, I am usually pretty exhausted, and this week is no exception. However, as I look back at the week, there have been lots of great days and all the hard work has been well worth it.

We have had a few running outings together. Last Saturday, we went to parkrun. My 8 year old ran the fastest he has managed yet, and my 10 year old kept going to the end even though he was finding the run tougher than usual. They both did really well.

My 10 year old finishing his run with Michael.

We also had a family breakfast in the park so Michael and I could alternate watching children and running, and so my 12 year old could ride his bike. It broadly worked as an idea, though it would be better if we got out the house a little earlier. We also got caught in a very heavy rain shower, but went ahead anyway! Fortunately, the sun came out and we were able to dry out a bit while the children played in the park.

 "Mummy, look at me on a class 1 lever!" (We've been reading about levers!)

I also went for a long run this week, and completed a half marathon distance for the first time. That may explain some of my tiredness!

This run coincided with the big event of the week - my eldest's twelfth birthday. We celebrated with presents, cake, and a Father-Son trip to a Dr. Who museum and shop. He had a great day!

Birthday Fun

Amidst all the excitement, we found time to watch Bake Off together again, with jam tarts made by my 6 year old for the occasion.

Jam Tarts!

Today we met for our home education group again. We had the second of our science sessions. It was a lot of work to prepare, but it was a very enjoyable time (if more than a little hectic at times!).

Our topic was acids and alkalis, and each child made red cabbage indicator and used it to test a number of household substances. The results were impressive!

Red cabbage indicator results - very colourful.

I then helped the younger children making "foaming monsters" - decorated bottles with vinegar and washing-up liquid in, which foamed up once bicarbonate of soda was added. The older group used the same ingredients to fire a rocket in the garden outside! Apparently that also worked well.

Foaming Monsters

We finished up with our two book groups. My group (under 9s) is reading Archimedes and the Door of  Science by Jeanne Bendick, and it seems to be going down well. Michael helped me make an Archimedes screw to use in a demonstration, which worked better than I hoped!

An Archimedes screw.

I find keeping up with all the day-to-day work for the children, keeping on top of running a home, being involved in some church activities, and also making sure that we keep the fun stuff (like baking or running) going pretty hard work at times. A lot of it is mundane, many of my tasks are repetitive, and much of the important work is unseen. It is encouraging to look back over a week where I have often been overwhelmed, and see that there have been many good moments shared together as a family.

Friday, 29 September 2017

Friday Reflections - 72

Last Saturday, my 8 year old ran his 10th parkrun, which he was very pleased to do. It's great to see the younger three really enjoying their running each week.

Recovering After Parkrun

That afternoon, the more significant family running event occurred when Michael ran his first half marathon.

Finishing a Half Marathon

Recovering with Supporters

There were plenty of hills, and he was pretty exhausted when he finished, but he did enjoy it. I'm hoping to run the next one with him!

Our usual work has included some autumn leaf pictures, and also a science lesson about seasonal changes and the rotation of the earth.

Art Time

Science Time

As ever, term time is pretty full on, so we appreciate the time for fun stuff as well as work. This week that has included watching Bake Off  together as a family, taking the children to visit a farm with our home education group, and heading off for a round of crazy golf with Michael as a slightly belated birthday celebration.

Michael volunteered to make a pudding for this week's Bake Off. He doesn't usually bake at all, but his banoffee pie was delicious.

Michael and his Banoffee Pie

Our farm trip was very enjoyable. The children learned about different animals, had the opportunity to feed many of them if they wanted to, and finished the trip by taking turns holding quail chicks.

Holding a Quail Chick

Michael and my trip to crazy golf was great fun - an excellent way to celebrate a 39th birthday. Michael won - so there may have to be a re-match one day.

Crazy Golf

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Committed Reader Books - 11 Year Old's Choices (2017 Christian Reading Challenge)

We're in the final stretch of our year long reading challenge, so I'm expecting that this will be the last list that I need to put together.

These are my 11 year old's choices for the Committed Reader level of the challenge. Quite a lot of the books are ones that he's read over the summer already, so he's actually made pretty good progress through them.

1) A book from a theological viewpoint you disagree with: Freedom Movement by Michael Reeves

2) A book about Christian living: Sacrifice by Simon Guillebaud

3) A book about apologetics: Your Verdict on the Empty Tomb by Val Grieve

4) A book of your choice: Kid Normal by Greg James & Chris Smith

5) A humorous book: Asterix The Legionary by Rene Goscinny & Albert Uderzo

6) A book based on a true story: The Endless Steppe by Esther Hautzig

7) A book about prayer: Enjoy your Prayer Life by Michael Reeves

8) A book of poetry: The Mighty Slide by Allan Ahlberg

9) A book with a one-word title: Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson

10) A book by Sinclair Ferguson: The Magnificent Amazing Time Machine: A Journey Back to the Cross by Sinclair Ferguson

11) A novel by an author you have never read before: Fairy Tales by Charles Perrault

12) A book about Christian living: A Young Person’s Guide to Knowing God by Patricia St. John

13) A memoir or autobiography: Children of the Storm by Natasha Vins

14) A play by William Shakespeare: A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare

15) A book of your choice: Death in the Arena by Caroline Lawrence

16) A book written by an author with initials in their name: Wonder by R. J. Palacio

17) A book by a female author: The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie

18) A book about theology: The Resurrection by Mark Meynell

19) A book published by Crossway: Reformation ABCs by Stephen J. Nichols

20) A self-improvement book: Learning to be Happy by Jeremiah Burroughs

21) A graphic novel: Obelix and Co. by Rene Goscinny & Albert Uderzo

22) A book you own but have never read: Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

23) A book targeted at the other gender: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

24) A book about Christian living: The Radical Book for Kids by Champ Thornton

25) A book of your choice: The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan

26) A book about race or racial issues: William Wilberforce by Janet & Geoff Benge

Friday, 22 September 2017

Friday Reflections - 71

We've made it through another week this term. I'm still not getting it quite right in terms of how much I think we can manage, but I am trying to relax a bit about not getting through absolutely everything.

We've been back at our normal book work in earnest. The children are working hard, and have adjusted pretty well to term time after the summer break.

My 8 year old hard at work.

We've had a nature walk, been running with friends, and my 10 year old has made some very tasty millionaires' shortbread for us to enjoy while watching Bake Off.

A Nature Walk

Baking Time!

Today we had the first of our Home Education Group meetings. After working our way around the world over the last couple of years, we have begun a series of science themed sessions. This week we were focusing on states of matter. We have a wide age range, so we've divided into two groups for the younger and older children. I think it went well, but it was fairly hectic! My children all said they enjoyed it, though, which was good.

Term time has nearly, but not quite, killed off my time for reading. I need to get back into the habit of filling little slots of time with books. I got slightly ahead with my list for the reading challenge I am doing this year over the summer, so I'm still on track - but I'd still like to read a bit more.

I am still managing to fit in a couple of runs each week, however, plus a parkrun with the family. Leaving early in the morning works for me, and it is a good way to get a break, clear my head a bit, and to get some decent exercise without spending much money. I ran 12 miles one day this week, which was very satisfying!

Tomorrow will mean parkrun again, with my 8 year old hitting his 10th run milestone. After that, we are all going to watch Michael run a half marathon - something he's wanted to do for a while. We're looking forward to it!

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Friday Reflections - 70

Work has begun in earnest this week. Looking back, it has been a very good week (though it didn't always feel like it!). I'm still working out exactly how much we can fit in to the schedule, though, so there will probably be a few weeks of tweaking the programme.

We went on another nature walk at the beginning of the week, hunting for mini-beasts and drawing them. 

Hunting for Mini-Beasts

We've also fitted in a couple of runs over the week. Last Saturday, my 8  year old was pleased to achieve a new personal best at parkrun, and we also met with friends during the week for running and a picnic in the park. It rained fairly heavily as we were leaving, which the children enjoyed!

We watched the Great British Bake Off together (catching up with it a couple of days late), and my 8 year old made a brilliant crown loaf for us to enjoy. I did little more than find ingredients for him, and he was really pleased with his cooking.

My 8 Year Old with his Bread

Crown Loaf

Most of the week has seen the children deep in their book work. They've all studied hard, and my marking box has been full at the end of each day. My 8 year old has just started Latin, and is very enthusiastic, which is fun. 

In addition to keeping up with the children's work, we have church meetings starting up again in our home, I have quite a bit of planning and preparation for out home education group which is starting up properly next Friday, and I am trying to squeeze in a bit of running, reading and crochet in too (it keeps me sane!). 

Monday, 11 September 2017

Year 7 Plan

It's begun - my eldest is now secondary school aged! This feels like it is a big change, but in reality the shift from last year is pretty gentle. Many subjects will continue as before, though I have added extra resources for both science and geography, and have moved to a UK curriculum for maths now.

I'm still unsure about how much I can fit in a week, so I am testing this out a bit for the first few weeks. With all that said, here are the resources that I am planning to use for this year:

Books for Year 7


Discover Bible notes.

Bible Time; We have been working through the Bible in chunks.

In addition, we will have family devotions led by Michael over breakfast. My eldest is also reading through the Bible on his own, starting again in Genesis just a week or two ago after making it all the way through.

(See here for more about how we teach the Bible to our children.)


Rod & Staff Building Christian English 8, Preparing for Usefulness
Writing with Skill 1 & 2
The Creative Writer, Level 1
Set Reading


Galore Park Mathematics for Common Entrance Two
Mental Maths


The Story of the World Volume 3: Early Modern Times

(I have written about this curriculum here)


Latin Prep Book 3

Classical Greek

An Introduction to Classical Greek (Continued)


Programming (
Touch typing


An art project once a week (sometimes as part of our history programme).
We plan to use lessons from ArtAchieve for at least some weeks.


Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding Vol. 2 (I've written about this here.)
Exploring Nature with Children (New for this year.)
Galore Park Science for Common Entrance: Biology
Galore Park Science for Common Entrance: Chemistry
Galore Park Science for Common Entrance: Physics


Galore Park Geography for Common Entrance: Human Geography
Galore Park Geography for Common Entrance: Physical Geography



Friday, 8 September 2017

Friday Reflections - 69

The beginning of September is often a time of mixed emotions for me as a home educator. My facebook page is full of sweet pictures of children heading off to school, and life is becoming hectic once again as we all adjust to a new routine. A slightly grumpy child or a messy piece of work or just the exhaustion of long days trying to balance everything can make me wonder why I am doing this at all!

On the other hand, as we settle back into our work patterns at the beginning of term, and the start of a new academic year, it is good to see the children working well, and thriving in so many of the activities that we do during the week.

Here have been some of the highlights of the week:

Our first nature walk took place on Monday. I've chosen for us to visit some local woods each week this year for a change. We were looking for different seeds this time. The children drew some pictures, and took plenty of samples back for our nature table.

Drawing on our Nature Walk

Nature Table

Each morning after breakfast I read aloud to the children for a while. This is one of their favourite parts of the day! At the moment I am reading On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness by Andrew Peterson, The Gospel Story Bible by Marty Machowski, and Archimedes and the Door of Science by Jeanne Bendick. While I read they sometimes just snuggle on the sofa (maybe with a hamster!), or colour or sew or draw as they listen. This morning I had two happy moments: firstly when they all begged for another chapter of On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness, and secondly when the older two spontaneously told me all they had learned last year about density and buoyancy during their science lessons with Michael (prompted by today's chapter about Archimedes). It's good to know they have learned something...

We've had a pretty gentle week - we're just gearing up for a full timetable - but we have tried one or two new things. The older two boys have just started a curriculum to help them with creative writing (The Creative Writer by Boris Fishman). I got the two of them to work together to outline the plot of one of the Star Wars films, which they enjoyed.

Creative Writing Activity

Yesterday my eldest did some baking (pinwheel biscuits and cheese straws) for us to eat while we caught up on Bake Off together, and I played a game of Labyrinth with my daughter. It's good to have time for these activities as well as our more formal work.

Baking Fun

Board Game Fun

Today we met with our home education group for the first time this term. We were supposed to be having a picnic in the park, but the weather was very wet so we had an indoor picnic instead. Everyone seemed to have a good time, though, and the children are looking forward to our science themed sessions beginning in a couple of weeks.

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Year 6 Plan

My 10 year old is beginning his Year 6 work this week - I can't believe that he's at this stage already! For more information about the curriculum I use, see here.

Here's what I have planned for him for the coming year:


Discover Bible notes.

Bible Time. We will continue to work through the Bible together. I'm also thinking of doing some more formal teaching of doctrine with him and his older brother.

In addition, we will have family devotions led by Michael over breakfast.

He is also reading through the Bible on his own, working through different books at a time.

(See here for more about how we teach the Bible to our children.)


Rod & Staff Building Christian English 6, Progressing With Courage
Writing with Ease 4
Set Reading
All About Spelling Level 5 (I have written about this here.)
The Creative Writer, Level 1


Singapore Maths 6A
Mental Maths


The Story of the World Volume 3: Early Modern Times

(I have written about this curriculum here)


Latin Prep Book 2 (continued)

Classical Greek

An Introduction to Classical Greek (Initially just weekly, though I plan to build in more as the year progresses)


Programming (
Touch typing


An art project once a week (sometimes as part of our history programme).
We plan to use lessons from ArtAchieve for at least some weeks.


Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding Vol. 2 (I've written about this here.)
Exploring Nature with Children



Saturday, 2 September 2017

Year 4 Plan

My 8 year old would be beginning Year 4 if he were in school. Here's what I have planned for him for the coming academic year (see here for more detail about the curriculum I use):


XTB Bible notes.

Bible Time. I plan to continue working through the Bible with him and his younger sister.

In addition, we will have family devotions led by Michael over breakfast. We are also reading through the Bible with him 1 chapter a night (and we've nearly finished the Bible!).

(See here for more about how we teach the Bible to our children, and here for how we read through the whole Bible with each of our children.)

Resources for my Year 4 Child


Rod & Staff Building Christian English 4, Building With Diligence
Writing with Ease 2
Set Reading
All About Spelling Level 5 (I have written about All About Reading and All About Spelling here.)


Singapore Maths 5B
Beast Academy Grade 4
Mental Maths


The Story of the World Volume 3: Early Modern Times

(I have written about this curriculum here)


Programming (
Touch typing


An art project once a week (sometimes as part of our history programme).
We plan to use lessons from ArtAchieve for at least some weeks.


Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding Vol.1 (I've written about this here.)
Exploring Nature with Children

We will also have a science theme each week at our home education group.


Latin Prep Book 1 (Galore Park)

Friday, 1 September 2017

Friday Reflections - 68

We are nearing the end of the holiday for us, and it has been a very full week.

We visited Bristol for the day on Monday to catch up with some friends, and took the children to visit the Clifton Suspension Bridge while we were there. We also went to a camera obscura there, which was fun.

Clifton Suspension Bridge

On Tuesday I had a theatre trip with the children, to see The Wind in the Willows. My 10 year old had a bit of a panic about sitting so high up, but a kind usher found him somewhere to sit at the back where he felt much happier, so I was able to stay with our other children in our seats, and we all had a good time in the end.

Wednesday was a bit quieter in general, but I took my daughter to a cookery class (a birthday gift for her), where she made chocolate crunch bars. She also won a Crunchie, which she was very pleased with!

Cooking Fun

We finished the week with two days of holiday club at church. Michael has been very busy, and I have been quite busy, with preparations all week, so we were pleased that it seemed to go well! The first day was about when Jesus met the rich young ruler, so we had some camel themed crafts.

Camel Biscuits to Decorate

Junk-Modelled Camels

A hectic week has left me with little time to prepare for the coming term. Although many things are ready, I still have some work to do! I am planning a gentle introduction to work next week before we begin in earnest the following Monday. It has been refreshing to have a bit of a break, and a slightly slower pace of life, but I know that everything will be pretty full on soon. It's always a strange time; it's good to be getting going again with new books and ideas, but the year ahead always seems a little daunting.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Year 2 Plan

My 6 year old would be going into Year 2 if she were in school. In reality, I plan the work based on what I think she is ready for, not on which year group she should be in (which I frequently forget!).

Having said that, here is the plan for the curriculum that I plan to use for her in the coming year. I have written here in more detail about the resources that I use for my primary aged children.


Bible Time. I will continue working through the Bible with her, along with her 8 year old brother.

She will also be using XTB Bible notes.

In addition, we will have family devotions led by Michael over breakfast, and also read a chapter of the Bible to her every evening.

(See here for more about how we teach the Bible to our children, and here for how we read through the whole Bible with each of our children.)


All About Reading Level 3
All About Spelling, Level 2
Writing With Ease 1

I have written about All About Reading and All About Spelling here.


Singapore Maths 2A
Mental Maths
Maths Whizz


The Story of the World Volume 3: Early Modern Times

(I have written about this curriculum here)


An art project once a week (sometimes as part of our history programme).
We plan to use lessons from ArtAchieve for at least some weeks.


Building Foundations of Scientific Understanding Vol.1 (I've written about this here.)
Exploring Nature with Children

We will also have a science theme each week at our home education group.

Friday, 25 August 2017

Friday Reflections - 67

Yesterday, my daughter turned 6 - an event she has been eagerly anticipating. We celebrated quietly yesterday with presents and cards, and my daughter's favourite food for tea (meatballs) and breakfast (pancakes). Today we had friends round for a birthday lunch, including a cake decorated with our local parkrun route, as requested by my daughter.

The Birthday Girl

Birthday Cake

Running is certainly one her favourite activities at the moment! She completed her 10th parkrun last week, fulfilling her ambition to do so before she turned 6.

Post-Parkrun Ice Lolly

We also had my nephew visit us for the day earlier in the week, and I took him to visit Crystal Palace Park to see the dinosaur models there. All 5 children enjoyed themselves.


Other than that, I have been trying to get my house and my books in order. I am slowly getting there - but have lots I still want to do. In particular, I need to get my head around some more detailed planning of the children's work for next year - especially for my eldest as he will be working through some material that I haven't used before. Unfortunately, next week is looking pretty full, so I'm not quite sure how it's all going to happen...